Old Bay Popcorn Shrimp – Crispy, Golden Fried Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce
Caramelized Banana Pancakes – Buttermilk Pancakes Filled & Topped with Caramelized Bananas, Caramel, Candied Walnuts & Streusel
12oz Angus Rib Eye Steak with Béarnaise Sauce & Asparagus
Surf & Turf – 5oz Filet Mignon, Three Colossal Shrimp Scampi & Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Seared Pacific Salmon with Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Tomatoes & Lemon-Caper Sauce
Fettuccine Alfredo – Rich, Creamy Alfredo Sauce with Toasted Garlic, Parmesan Cheese, Grilled Shrimp
Ravioli Marinara – Cheese Ravioli with Fresh Tomato & Basil
Char Sui Pork Ribs
Custard Steamed Bun
Pork Sticky Rice Lotus Wrap
Shrimp Har Gow
Char Sui Pork Steamed Bun
Fried Pork and Shrimp Wontons
Fried Vegetable Spring Rolls
Char Sui Roasted Pork
Baked Egg Custard
Whole Steamed Striped Bass with Lemongrass
Salt & Pepper Fresh Squid with Garlic, Jalapeño & Green Onion
Cashew Chicken with Celery & Bell Pepper
Kung Pao Chicken with Bell Pepper, Onion & Peanuts
Fried Rice with Egg White & Dry Scallops
Yang Chow Fried Rice with Shrimp, BBQ Pork & Chicken
Beef Chow Fun with Gravy – Rice Noodles, Bean Sprouts, Choy Sum, Bell Pepper, Onion & Gravy
Mongolian Beef with Bamboo Shoots & Onion
Soy Sauce Chow Mein with Onion & Bean Sprouts
Steamed Choy Sum with Oyster Sauce
Banana Cream Pie
Apple Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream and Caramel
Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie with Chocolate Ice Cream
Croissant Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream and Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Likely one of the most saddened persons in Las Vegas when The Griddle Cafe at SLS suddenly shuttered, but impressed by Northside Cafe during a substantial breakfast just days after the switch, it was on the invite of SBE’s Director of Dining that myself and five friends sat down to experience the restaurant’s newly launched dinner and late night menus this past Saturday – a total of 32 plates showing a great degree of diversity with the majority far better than one would expect from 24/7 dining, though one specific section proved barely passable at best.
Admitting up front that the experience was fully comped, a few requests made of the kitchen while the vast majority of the items were served carte blanche, it was at a large booth in the far corner of the room that our party was sat and with IHeartRadio playing lightly overhead the meal was presented with exemplary service, first bites of shrimp atop popcorn perhaps a bit *too* clever for their own good while the stack of banana pancakes served a strong reminder of the high quality marking my aforementioned breakfast, the pure maple syrup presented steaming hot and drizzled liberally to our heart’s content.
Opting next to send out dinner entrees, the later rounds focused on recently launched dim sum and Chinese plates, Northside Cafe certainly is not skimping on ingredient quality as both the rib eye and filet were served a juicy medium rare, the trio of snappy shrimp deftly doused in garlic while asparagus and potatoes were both as good as upscale steakhouse fare.
Blase as ever about salmon, the fish itself nicely cooked though a bit lost amidst all the brightly citrus sauce, a duo of pastas was presented simultaneously with far more balance, the fettuccine cooked perfectly al dente with heavy cream laced inn garlic while the cheesy pockets of ravioli were quickly devoured by the left half of the table, the simplicity of the crushed tomatoes and herbs praised by an Italian at the table reminiscing of his grandmother’s red sauce.
Transitioning abruptly to Chinese, the next nine plates offered on a newly launched list of dim sum, suffice it to say that substantial tweaks are needed before this part of the menu can be appropriately recommended, the fried items by far the best of the group while pork was sticky and far too sweet, the steamed options universally overcooked as if by an inexperienced hand,
Admittedly shocked by the drop in quality, and soon to become even more confused by the fact that actual Chinese entrees were confidently prepared as if by an entirely different kitchen compared to those sent out before, it was to a whole steamed bass that eyes were next widened, the flesh rich and moist with a delicate bit of lemon and lovely top-notes of scallions and lemongrass.
At this point already overserved, some items boxed for home while others unfortunately went to waste, it was still to nine more full-size plates that the slowly dwindling table was treated, the salt and pepper dazzling beneath delicate batter while fried rice, chow fun, and everything made with noodles was on par with the best of Spring Mountain Road, without too substantial a hike in price.
Dining partners already waiving the white flag, or at least folding napkins and debating the pros and cons of renting a room within the hotel rather than carrying the food coma home, it was with five desserts that the evening would end and although the cookie was far less ‘gooey’ than one may have expected there was no lack of quality anywhere else, the fruited options each outstripping modest expectations while the peanut butter cup studded cheesecake was silky, smooth, and not oversweetened, the bread pudding taking the opposite path in offering the steamy custard block topped in ice cream with a shallow pool of golden brown sauce.
THREE AND A HALF STARS: Offering better food than almost any 24/7 spot in Las Vegas, with prices far more forgiving for comparable items than at places further South on the Strip, Northside Cafe continues to impress on a level far greater than passers-by may notice, the dim-sum menu a lone exception while breakfast, dinner, Chinese plates, and desserts offer plenty of well-priced hits.
RECOMMENDED: Caramelized Banana Pancakes, Croissant Bread Pudding, Ravioli Marinara, Whole Steamed Striped Bass, Salt & Pepper Fresh Squid, Fried Rice with Egg White & Dry Scallops, Beef Chow Fun with Gravy, Soy Sauce Chow Mein with Onion & Bean Sprouts
AVOID: Dim Sum, Chocolate Chip Cookie.
TIP: Featuring several different menus throughout the day, Chinese items beginning at 5pm and stretching until 2am, those interested in specific items are encouraged to peruse the SLS website as all but the desserts are listed in full and up to date.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor