Chubby Cattle Mongolia Hot Pot House, Las Vegas NV

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Chubby Cattle Mongolia Hot Pot House

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2015 Monchhof Riesling / Scarbolo Campo Viotto

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House Original Pot

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House Hellishly Spicy Pot

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Crawfish Broil – Mussels, Corn, Shrimp, Crawfish, Dried Peppers

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Fried Tofu

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Fresh Tofu

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Seaweed Salad and Peanut Butter Sauce

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Cucumber Salad and Fried Garlic

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Green Tea, Tomato and Yam Noodles

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Signature Hand-Cut Beef Combo – Brisket, Ribeye, Japanese Wagyu

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Hand Cut Texan Dorper Sheep

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Seafood Combo Platter – Tiger Shrimp, Crab, Scallops, Mussels, Manila Clams

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Veggie Combo Platter – Lettuce, Daikon, Bok Choy, Napa Cabbage, Water Cress

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Mixed Mushroom Basket – Enoki, Oyster, White Beech, Shitake, Wood Ear, King Oyster

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Already one of the hottest tickets in Chinatown, but planning a nationwide rollout and unwilling to offer a second rate experience as ownership hopes to bring Hot Pot culture to the American mainstream, it was on the invite of Joe Muscaglione that a party of four sat down in one of the private rooms at Chubby Cattle Mongolia Hot Pot House on South Jones Boulevard, a variety of tastes, ages and even religious preferences represented with all getting their fill of food that was not only well sourced and delicious, but also a whole lot of fun.

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Dating back thousands of years in terms of its first references in Mongolia, but obviously much older in terms of the simple idea of cooking Protein, Vegetables and Herbs in a large vessel, Chinese Hot Pot in its current format is said to have gained nationwide acceptance somewhere during the Yuan or Ming Dynasty and although variations on the theme now exist throughout the Mainland, Japan and even the Philippines the idea of tableside communal cooking remains foreign to most American’s, a situation that Chubby Cattle’s focus on individual pots with shared ingredients soon hopes to change.

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Originally opened in August 2016, but briefly closing recently for an internal remodel that brightened up the space while ownership went so far as to source A5 Wagyu from Japan and their own genetic line of Dorper Sheep to ensure quality of product as the conveyor belt-style space grows in reach, it was on opening night of version 2.0 that hundreds of patrons sat down to get a taste of one of five Soups and nearly seventy diverse items to cook tableside, everything from Mushrooms and hand-cranked Noodles to Pork Blood and Geoduck included.

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Fortunately spared the forty-minute waits and close set tables, the later not particularly a turn-off as the action behind glass at both ends of the room may be as entertaining to some as the persons with whom they are sharing a meal, it was just past 7:00pm during the height of the rush that a server explained Chubby Cattle’s concept before presenting four different Soups and turning the electric burners up to three, the aromatics soon perfuming the air with bubbling to commence just a few minutes afterward.

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Allowing the staff to make selections at will, one member of the table abstaining from Pork and Shellfish consistently pleased from beginning to end with her Tomato-based Broth and items including an impressive variety of leafy Greens and Mushrooms including thin King Oyster slices and pillowy Wood Ears that became soft and thoroughly saturated after just a quick bath in the Soup, other Soup bases ranging $5-6 included Mixed Mushroom and the traditional Pork based version as well as the “Hellishly Hot” one with dried Chili Peppers, a similar base used in the daily special Crawfish Broil with Corn, Shrimp and Mussels all intermingling with fresh Crustaceans just flown in from New Orleans the prior evening.

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Making two trips to an all-you-care-to-eat Toppings and Salad Bar as the table waited briefly for ingredients to arrive, both the Seaweed and Cucumber Salad very good with the former lightly spiced and the later pickled and refreshing when transitioning between various ingredients at the table, other choices such as Korean Hot Sauce, Soy, Crispy Garlic and even Sugar were available for those looking to augment flavors completely to their liking, a bit of still-steamy Hellishly Hot with a tablespoon of Peanut Butter proving a great way to enjoy Tofu, whether fleshly sliced and gelatinous or fried, springy and soft.

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Pairing the meal with two Wines, the Red going over well with most while the Riesling with a bit of residual sugar stood up well to both the Hot and Traditional broths, it was not long before a plate of Beef arrived featuring Brisket, Ribeye and Japanese Wagyu, a bit of resistance needed to resist simply eating the latter as it was, the first attempt to not overcook the thin slices a notable failure with the heat subsequently turned down to 1, a thirty second dip yielding just the right amount of cooking to maximize both texture and flavor.

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Next offered a platter of chilled Seafood, the communal table adjacent going all-out with live Shrimp and Lobster but missing out on the freshly shucked Scallops and Manila Clams that took a while to yield themselves to low heat, it was only the skimpy King Crab that proved the slightest bit disappointing, the previously frozen meat a bit mushy in its texture while the Tiger Shrimp, when properly cooked, were snappy and delicious complete with head, shell and tail.

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Told that the hand-cut Sheep was something special, a simple glance at the brick-red muscle and rim of fat indicating a quality breed with a backstory that includes cross-breeding and genetics that were specifically sought out by the owners of Chubby Cattle, it was with pots set at two that raw flesh turned into juicy morsels with an up-front funk but clean finish, the hand cranked noodles available in three-varieties rounding things out and great not only as ‘filler,’ but also based on fact that they cook up well in just minutes while still maintaining a bit of tooth even if they spend a more lengthy amount of time in the broth.

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FOUR AND A HALF STARS: With little basis for comparison aside from a few fine-dining Shabu-Shabu courses it would seem that the folks at Chubby Cattle are doing everything right to dominate a field that most Americans would likely find both accessible and fun if given a chance to see it for themselves, the quality of the ingredients every bit worth a price-tag that seems ‘cheap’ only because the portions are sensible and offered a la carte with most patrons likely to be happily sated with food that is mostly quite healthy for under $20.

RECOMMENDED: Hand Cut Texan Dorper Sheep, Mixed Mushroom Basket, Signature Hand-Cut Beef Combo, Noodle Combo, Hellishly Hot Soup.

AVOID: King Crab.

TIP: 5:00pm to 12:30pm Daily. Reservations available by phone or online.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

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Chubby Cattle Mongolia Hot Pot House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Chubby Cattle, Chubby Cattle Hot Pot House, Chubby Cattle Mongolia Hot Pot House, Crab, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork, The Chubby Cattle, The Chubby Cattle Hot Pot House, The Chubby Cattle Mongolia Hot Pot House Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Carnevino [10] and B&B Burgers & Beer [2,] Las Vegas NV

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Carnevino and B&B Burgers & Beer Dessert Tasting

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La Colombe Caffee Nizza Americano

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Coconut Panna Cotta – Seasonal Berries, Toasted Coconut, Kiwi Sorbetto

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Bomboloni – Praline Cream, Rhubarb-Blackberry Conserva, Whipped Cream

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S’more Tart – Housemade Marshmallow, Chocolate, Graham Cracker Crumble

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Sfoglitella – Fresh Strawberries, Sweetened Ricotta, Strawberry Gelato

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Cannoli – Creamy Ricotta, Cream Cheese, Orange, Vanilla, Chocolate Chips

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Ice Cream Sandwich – Two Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Nutella Ice Cream / Cookie Plate – Nutella Brownie Cookie, Snickerdoodle, Peanut Butter Cookie

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Oreo Cookie Milkshake

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Nutella Cake – Chocolate Cake, Nutella Mousse, Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting, Candied Hazelnuts, Whipped Cream

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Salted Caramel Cheesecake – Seasonal Berry Compote, Whipped Cream, Amaretti Cookie Crumble

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In charge of Pastries at Carnevino for some time, those with fond memories of the Chocolate & Peanut Butter Torte or a particularly splendid Bomboloni at the end of their meal owing thanks to her and the team, it was only recently that Ashley Costa was given the title of Pastry Chef at both the city’s premier source of Dry Aged Steaks and its sister B&B Burgers & Beer near the Venetian Sports Book, the dual role finally giving the latter more than just Shakes while late Spring/early Summer shows continued Seasonal inspiration infusing five new selections available at the Italian Steakhouse.

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Recently feeling inspired to talk more about Chefs that exist outside the spotlight, particularly those doing work that might otherwise go unmentioned in places where other great Chefs and outstanding products are prone to dominate the conversation, it was as part of an interview with Ms. Costa that I sat down to taste the whole new collection from Batali and Bastianich’s skilled young Pastry Chef, a seat at the bar mine over the course of ninety minutes and a dozen creations while David “Coop” Cooper kept up the conversation as the restaurant prepared to once again do over six hundred covers.

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Arranged by Ashley and Chef Nicole Brisson as a four course experience, La Colombe’s Nizza Espresso always a great way to cleanse the palate between bites whether salty or sweet, it was after a brief greeting from Ms. Costa that course one arrived featuring two familiar plates given a seasonal twist, the Coconut Panna Cotta a creamy round topped with Intuitive Forager’s Seasonal Berry selection, Toasted Coconut , and Kiwi Sorbet while the trio of Donuts were as lightly fried as ever, the inside stuffed to bursting with Praline Cream while the plate was garnished with poached Rhubarb and Blackberry Juice plus stiffly Whipped Cream and Hazelnuts.

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Unaware of what would arrive next, the element of surprise only spoiled when a menu was requested after three courses to see what was yet to come, round two featured two completely new items that should feature prominently in any local or tourist’s dining agenda, the S’more Tart similar to Michel Bras famous Fondant with the thin walls crumbling and Dark Chocolate pouring forth to meet housemade bruleed Marshmallows and Graham Cracker crumbs while the Sfoglitella with Harry’s Strawberries, Sweetened Ricotta and Gelato was a flaky, delightful surprise rarely seen in Las Vegas in the days since the closure of Montesano’s.

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Appropriately taking a more casual approach to new B&B Burgers & Beer menu, the outstanding Nutella and Bourbon Cherry Shakes assuredly still available in addition to an Oreo Cookie concoction that is lighter than most thanks to the combination of Whipped Cream and quality Gelato, additional offerings feature four Cookies including a perfect Snickerdoodle and Ice Cream Sandwich of Brown Butter Chocolate Chip rounds plus a made-to-order Cannoli with light Citrus Cream that makes the soggy pre-filled shells served at Buddy V’s or Carlo’s down the hall particularly disappointing.

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Going one-and-one for the final round, another Americano ready and waiting, it was with two ‘cakes’ that the tasting would end, both originally formulated for B&B but only the moist Chocolate Cake with dueling Nutella frostings remaining on that menu, the Salted Caramel Cheesecake instead ported over to Carnevino where California’s best Berries are reduced down to serve over the velvety base with a golf-ball sized round of Whipped Cream and crumbled Amaretti Cookies.

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FIVE STARS: Continuing to evolve the Carnevino menu seasonally even as she was tasked with creating several new selections for B&B Burgers & Beer there was not one unbalanced taste or unappealing texture amongst the late-Spring/early-Summer Dessert offerings at either of the spaces under the guidance of Chef Costa, planned changes at B&B Ristorante and the opening of Eataly hopefully seeing even more quality desserts from the B&B Hospitatliy Group, whether headed up by Ashley or another of Mario’s culinary team.

Recommended: Carnevino – Bomboloni, Sfoglitella, Coconut Panna Cotta. B&B Burgers & Beer – Cannoli, Snickerdoodle, Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwich.

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AVOID: NA.

TIP: Both new menus launched in-full on May 17th, though online details are not yet 100% accurate. Additional offerings at B&B include all the classic Shakes while Carnevino still features the Chocolate & Peanut Butter Torte and Tiramisu.

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WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

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Carnevino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

B&B Burger & Beer - The Palzazzo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in B&B, B&B Burgers & Beer, Carnevino, La Colombe, La Colombe Coffee, La Colombe Coffee Roasters Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Boteco, Las Vegas NV

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Boteco

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Mt. Charleston – Organic Greek Yogurt, Seasonal Fruits, House Birchemuseli

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Champagne Pancake – Dutch Baby, Champagne Zabaglione, Strawberry Coulis

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Blueberry Gravlax – Blueberry Vodka Cured Salmon, Capers, Red Onion, Crème Fraiche, Rye

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Chicken & Mash – Braised Chicken, Mushrooms, Carrots, Pearl Onions, Celery cooked in Red Wine and served with Buttered Mashed Potatoes

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Foie Gras Benedict – Brioche Toast, Mushroom & Bacon Hash, Poached Eggs, Madeira Foie Gras Cream

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Botequito Sliders – House Ground Beef and Bacon, Onion Bacon Jam, Tomato, Smoked Gouda Cheese

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Steak & Eggs with Potato Pave – Hanger Steak & Herbed Euro Butter, Crispy Pave Potatoes, Fried Egg, House Salad

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Salted Caramel Budino – Salted Caramel Toffee, Mascarpone Custard, Whipped Cream Swirl

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Brigadeiro Beast – Slowly Cooked Condensed Milk, Brazilian Nescau Milk Chocolate, Choco Power Mini Balls

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To suggest that South Eastern Avenue makes up in quantity for what it lacks in quality would be an understatement, for every one CRAFTkitchen or Standard & Pour there are at least ten chain restaurants, three questionable Taco shops and twenty Fast Food Drive-thrus, thus when news broke that the former cooking school in a plaza best known for Crepes, Popcorn and Custard would be converted into a Social Eating concept headed by a former Chef from Joel Robuchon it unsurprisingly raised some eyebrows.

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Stated to be “not a bar, a pub nor a restaurant” on its website, but rather a “local no-frills meeting place for friends and family,” even as it proudly touts Chef Rachel LeGloahec’s fine-dining pedigree on a separate page, Boteco opened on 5/12/17 to limited fanfare on Social Media in the face of substantial hype for two other new restaurants, the decision to pay such an early visit based largely on a Brunch menu that seemed significantly underpriced for the sort of plates it suggested.

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Owned by the same people involved with the cooking school, the change in concept bringing Maine native and former White Barn Inn Chef LeGloahec into the fold to create dishes of “superior flavors made from seasonal and fresh ingredients,” first impressions on entering Boteco are created by clean lines and dark leather with light-fixtures made from repurposed Wine bottles, the music overhead a low-key blend of everything from the xx to The Shins with only one other diner present just past 9:30am on Saturday, the hotrod show outside seeing the parking lot quite full as Crepe Expectations’ line snaked out it’s door.

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Describing its cuisine as “embrac(ing) recipes that are fused from cultures around the world – no borders or boundaries,” but clearly taking a French angle given the Chef’s pedigree and list of ingredients, those visiting Boteco for Brunch are greeted by a menu of less than a dozen plates ranging anywhere from Pancakes and a Parfait to Steak and Eggs or a Foie Gras Benedict, plus Espresso drinks served at even-higher-than-the-Strip charge of four bucks per shot, no discounts for a double with the cost on the bill for two a staggering sixteen dollars.

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Reportedly offering free Mimosas on this particular morning, though it was not until the Chef stopped by that the deal was explained…and no Mimosa ever did arrive…it was with an all-in approach omitting Caviar, Oysters and a Charcuterie board that seven plates were ordered to divide amongst three people, the dishes sent out as they were readied from the kitchen with portions quite big for the price-point, though one wished frequently that the pace of a place suggesting it “provides the set and the setting to slow down in the company of one another and exchange experiences paired with great conversation” would course things out more appropriately and, indeed, ‘slow down.’

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Admittedly still in its earliest days, the lone server overselling most dishes but generally quite pleasant and well-versed in the ingredients and technique, Brunch began with the Mt. Charleston Parfait featuring Organic Greek Yogurt and housemade Birchemuseli with a wide variety of Fruits and Berries, the fact that Cherries had not been pitted a risky mistake that fortunately did not cause any harm while the $12 Champagne Pancakes pictured and described on the menu as ‘Japanese style’ were instead served as a Dutch Baby with a side of Champagne Zabaglione, the menu updated just 48-hours later now listing the version served appropriately for a cost of $4 less than what was paid.

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Told by the Chef that changes were already upcoming, a mere eight days and two Brunch services apparently enough to inform the owners that some terminology was ‘scaring off’ potential patrons, plate three featured Blueberry Gravlax now described on the menu as Vodka Cured Salmon, the velvety housemade Fish nicely paired to traditional accoutrements with more than enough to go around while the Coq Au Vin (or Chicken & Mash) was a truly remarkable dish with tender Chicken, Mushrooms and Vegetables cooked in the classic style with Red Wine and served with near-Robuchon quality 50% Butter Mashed Potatoes.

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As yet not unafraid to challenge diners with a few luxury ingredients, though the updated Brunch Menu seems to have done away with Charcuterie, Cheese, Oysters and Caviar in exchange for Cobb Salad, Breakfast Casserole and a ‘Hangover’ Patty Melt, those interested in something truly decadent should happily invest $14 in the Foie Gras Benedict complete with two 63° Eggs atop Buttered Brioche and Mushroom-Bacon Hash, the now-dinner-only Sliders another great bite with a loose grind topped in Bacon Jam and Gouda while the previously misspelled “Steak & Sunny Side Laktes” are now termed Steak & Eggs with Potato Pave, a $1 price-cut from $14 really not something Boteco should have had to do as the Medium-rare Steak tasted as good as many of the city’s “Dry-Aged” versions with melting Garlic Butter and a stack of thinly sliced Potatoes cooked crispy.

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Not always offering Desserts at Brunch, but happy to do so if some have already been readied for Dinner service, it was with a complimentary taste of the texture-rich “Brigadeiro Beast” that the meal came to its conclusion, the flavor of Brazilian Nescau Milk Chocolate far more bitter than some might expect while the Salted Caramel Budino was simple and well-balanced with flecks of Fleur de Sel, the elegant presentation at first appearing a touch small but in reality plenty to share around and the perfect amount of sweet at the end of a pleasant breakfast.

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THREE AND A HALF STARS: Difficult to assess as ownership has already shown an unprecedented degree of impatience by changing the menu less than two weeks in, Chef LeGloahec clearly has her work cut out for her if she is create something truly special in a part of town long in need of more interesting dining options, the choices made thus far unfortunately not showing much faith in the concept and certainly not focused in the right places as the cooking was at about 90% while issues such as the Coffee cost and lack of public engagement are yet to be remedied.

RECOMMENDED: Chicken & Mash, Blueberry Gravlax, Mt. Charleston, Steak & Eggs with Potato.

AVOID: Espresso, Cherry Pits and the middle-portion of the Pancake which was poured too thick.

TIP: Brunch 9a-4p Sat/Sun, Dinner 5p-11p Wed/Thu/Fri.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

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Boteco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Boteco, Breakfast, Coffee, Dessert, Foie, Foie Gras, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, pancake, Pancakes, Pork Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hexx Kitchen + Bar [7,] Las Vegas NV

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HeXx Kitchen + Bar

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Purple Haze – Absolut Acai Berri, Kinky Blue, Stoli Razberi, Blueberry Schnapps, Berry Puree

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Virgin Strawberry Mojito – Mint, Fresh Lime, Soda Water

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2014 Niner Estates Reserve Pinot Noir

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Candied Bacon – Applewood Smoked Bacon, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Maple Aioli

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Pork Rinds – Basil, Mint, Red Fresno Chiles, Lime Vinaigrette

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Roasted Beets – Pistachio Yogurt, Feta Cheese, Candied Quinoa

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Buffalo Calamari – Calamari, Celery, Carrots, Buffalo Sauce, Ranch Dressing

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Oven Fired Vegetable Pizza – Peppers, Broccolini, Brussels Sprouts, Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella, Olive Oil

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Oven Fired Benton’s Ham Pizza – Boursin Cheese, Arugula, Over Easy Egg, Olive Oil

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Gemelli – Beef and Pork Bolognese, Burrata Cheese, Basil

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Gnocchi – Lobster, Smoked Pork Belly, Peas, Pea Shoots, Herbs, Butter

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Black Quinoa Risotto – Squid, Ink, Roasted Mushrooms, Fresh Peas

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Spicy Jambalaya – Gulf Shrimp, Chicken Confit, Andouille Sausage, Dirty Rice

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Chicken & Waffles – Apple-Cheddar Waffle, Housemade Sweet-Spicy Pickles, Bourbon Maple Syrup

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Scallops – Heirloom Carrots, Spinach, Smokey Onion Puree, Crispy Benton’s Ham

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Roasted Wild Mushrooms – Portabella, Maitake, Shimeji

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Double Espresso

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Carrot Cake – Walnut Carrot Cake, Cream Cheese Frosting, Pecans, Cream Cheese Ice Cream, Pineapple Jam

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Chocolate Peanut Butter & Jelly Jar – Peanut Butter Cream, Pinot Noir Grape Jelly, Tanzanian Chocolate Mousse, Toast Crumble

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Panna Cotta – Bourbon Caramel, Candied Pecans, Blackberries

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Dominican Dark Chocolate S’mores – Graham Cracker, Dominican Dark Chocolate Mousse, Toasted Soft Marshmallow

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HeXx Venezuelan Chocolate

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Ever since switching over from Sugar Factory in early 2015 the team at HeXx Kitchen + Bar has been steadily improving its product, the misguided decision to remove Carrot Cake Pancakes from the Brunch menu seemingly the only bad choice made at a restaurant with an enviable view of the Bellagio Fountains, though up until recently the Dinner menu had never really offered an impetus to visit later than 2pm – a situation that the hiring of Due Forni’s Carlos Buscaglia has already seen change in just one month.

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Notably one of the few restaurants in the Harrah’s empire that is independently owned, external funding both a gift and a curse for the 24/7 restaurant that tries to differentiate itself from other ‘everything to everyone’ spots while still acknowledging itself as an American eatery with gigantic Cocktails, Burgers, Pizza and the obligatory Salmon entrée, HeXx at night is a far different scene from the daytime venue that is often mobbed with everything from families to bachelorette parties, the menu ranging from Snacks and Appetizers to Soups, Salads, Pastas and Steaks while the hidden gem of a Chocolate program fuels a dessert menu that has recently been trimmed in lengthy, though three new items were added while others were improved upon.

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Seated indoors while the sun set over The Strip, lights coming on at the fountains where big booms every half-hour coincided with a crew currently putting together a new show for the summer, it was with brief greetings from Carlos and service from a gregarious fellow named Kevin that several selections were made from a menu that has undergone an approximate 25% face-lift, one of HeXx’s thirty-eight dollar ‘Potions’ kicking things off with the Hendrix-themed drink bubbly and Fruit forward featuring four types of Booze plus fresh Berries while the Virgin-Strawberry Mojito was brisk and refreshing, though those leery of Mint may wish to avoid it.

 

Allowing the kitchen to send out items as they liked, the meal eventually divided into five courses inclusive of dessert, dinner began with four plates from the Snacks and Appetizers sections, the Candied Bacon quite different from the version previously offered at Breakfast in terms of its thickness and the light flavors of Cinnamon and Nutmeg while the Roasted Beet Salad could compete with most in town thanks to the Pistachio Yogurt and sweet Quinoa Crackers, a bit of spice brought to the table by way of Chicharrones served with Pickled Chiles and a squeezer of Lime Vinaigrette plus Rings and Tentacles of Squid fried crispy in batter tinged with Tobasco plus chopped Vegetables and a light drizzle of Ranch Dressing.

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No longer blessed by the dual ovens of Due Forni, but gaining a whole lot of kitchen in the process, course two saw Chef Buscaglia send out two Pizzas that unfortunately could not match his former spot in terms of Crust quality but made up for it by way of toppings including an Egg plus Boursin Cheese paired to Benton’s Ham in one case and a great mélange of Vegetables accented by Curry in the other, Carlos showing his pasta skills next by way of springy curls of Gemelli topped in melted Burrata and a meaty Ragu while the housemade Gnocchi served as a tender backdrop to a split Lobster Tail given the Carbonara treatment with Peas and Pork Belly.

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Warning us that the Jambalaya was not his favorite dish, but happy to send out the boldly seasoned Rice with juicy Chicken, Spicy Sausage and Shrimp alongside the revamped Fried Chicken and housemade Pickles atop a puffy Waffle imbued with Cheese and sliced Apples, it was surprisingly Chef Buscaglia’s seared Scallops atop pureed Onions and briny Ham that proved to be the entrée of the night, though not to be outdone was a mix of simple mixed Mushrooms of various sizes and textures, the base to a newly featured Salmon dish also served as a side for the sake of tasting with slow-cooked Quinoa imbued with Squid, its Ink and Mushrooms showing a whole lot of commitment to craft and attention to detail.

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Long a fan of Chef Carol Garcia’s desserts, only the retired Bread Pudding ever disappointing in the slightest, it was joking with Carlos that Due’s Bread Pudding should be brought over to HeXx featuring their Chocolate that three new desserts plus one re-vamp were presented, the warm Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting as well as Ice Cream now challenging CRAFTkitchen for Sin City’s best while a trio of new creations all vied for attention, the boozed up Panna Cotta a light dish perfect after a big meal while the Dominican Dark Chocolate S’mores features HeXx’s newest Bean-to-Bar origin beneath bruleed Fluff and Graham Crackers, the Chocolate Peanut Butter & Jelly Jar putting Tanzanian Mousse amidst Peanut Butter Cream, Pinot Noir Jam, halved-Peanuts and the flavor of toasted Bread for familiar taste reimagined that is perfect for sharing.

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FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Not quite as dialed-in as Brunch, but still outperforming any other 24/7 spot on the Strip in terms of Food quality and guest experience it likely will not be long before Chefs Piekarski, Silverman, Buscaglia and Garcia have HeXx humming all day and night, the recent changes improving on an already great concept that continues to improve with each visit.

RECOMMENDED: Pork Rinds, Buffalo Calamari, Gnocchi, Black Quinoa Risotta (in our case a side, but usually served as the set-up for Salmon,) Gnocchi, Scallops, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter & Jelly Jar.

AVOID: Those expecting Carlos to be able to replicate his pies at Due Forni will be a bit disappointed in the Crust.

TIP: Having heard from many that the “4.7% Concession Fee” is a point of contention, a direct question to someone at HeXx indicates that this charge is stated as being related to the “High cost of doing business on the Strip without being affiliated with Harrah’s. If a guest even mentions it, it will be removed from the bill without question.”

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

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HEXX kitchen + bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Coffee, Dessert, Food, Gnocchi, Hexx, Hexx Kitchen + Bar, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Lobster, Nevada, Pizza, Pork, Waffle, Waffles Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Harvest by Roy Ellamar [2,] Las Vegas NV

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Harvest by Roy Ellamar

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Pear Harvest – Grey Goose La Poire Vodka, Rekorderlig Pear Cider, Panllini Limonello, Madagascar Vanilla Syrup, Southwest Prickly Pear Juice, Fresh Lemon Juice, Bruleed Pear

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Lobster L’Armoricaine – Binchotan grilled Lobster, Tomato-Espelette Confiture, Aligot of Raclette & White Asparagus

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Foie Gras Mille Feuille – Puff Pastry, La Belle Farms Foie Gras, Morel Mushrooms, Fava Beans, Sauce Vin Jaune

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Red Miso-Yuzu cured Ahi Tuna – Tomato & Avocado “Poke,” Rice Cracker

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Blue Lizard Farms Arugula Gazpacho – Salt seared Pork Belly, Kumquat Kosho, Local Pea Shoots

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Smoked Salmon Toast – Wild King Salmon Rillette, Farm Egg Remoulade, Poppy Seed Brioche

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Grilled & Chilled Asparagus – California Delta Asparagus, Fried Artisanal Farms Egg, Reggiano, Kochujang, Sesame Oil / Japanese Tomatoes – Cooke Farm California Tomatoes, Macadamia Nuts, Smoked Shoyu, Spring Onions, Radish Sprout, Goat Cheese / Snap Peas & Shoots – Cortez Farm California Peas, Lemon-Anchovy Dressing, Cilantro, Shallot Bread Crumbs, Ricotta Salata

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Steak Tartare – Painted Hills Oregon Grass-Fed Tenderloin, Black Garlic Soy, Furikake, Arare, Kettle Chips

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Kona Kampachi – Line-Caught Hawaiian Kampachi, Nori Chip, Cherry Blossom Ponzu, Serrano Peppers, Ginger Oil

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Roasted Octopus – Savoy Cabbage, Watercress, Chorizo, Black Garlic Aioli

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Naan Bread – Cucumber Raita, Beet Top Pesto

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Grilled Pork Chop – Tails & Trotters Oregon Pork, Lemongrass-Chili Rub, Pea Shoots, Shaved Apple Salad

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Wild Alaskan Halibut – Line-Caught Alaskan Halibut, Bok Choy, Snow Peas, Radishes, Dashi Butter

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Crushed Potatoes – Beehive Seahive Cheese, Crème Fraiche, Green Garlic

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Tempura Asparagus – California Delta Asparagus, Kimchi Dip, Furikake

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Blueberry Crumble – Puff Pastry, Lemon-Yogurt Sorbet

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Chocolate Ganache – Praline Cream, Hazelnut Sponge Cake, Toasted Praline-Cappuccino Ice Cream

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Coconut Panna Cotta – Strawberries, Chartreuse Jelly, Lavender Cookies

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Sticky Toffee Pudding – Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Bacon-Caramel, Chocolate Ring

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Opened in the final days of 2015 and still a hidden gem half-way between the Bellagio Conservatory and Ballrooms currently hosting the SALT Conference, it was on an atypical Thursday that two diners sat down in the lounge at Harvest by Roy Ellamar, a “Snack Wagon takeover” by Josh Smith of Bardot Brasserie providing an impetus to revisit a restaurant that continues to do great things with some of the best Produce and Proteins in Sin City.

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Originally described by Ellamar as “an homage to the origin of food,” and slowly growing in creativity and content to meet a challenging clientele that is half-conference attendees and half-culinary interested tourists, 2016 saw the restaurant begin to entice locals by offering a series of Guest Chef events, everyone from Off-Strip favorites like Dan Krohmer to Superstars like Michael Mina taking their turn behind a dim-sum style push cart where they can interact with guests as they prepare 2-4 unique dishes.

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Having visited and wrote about Harvest early on, but since forgetting about the place when making dining plans largely as a result of its location and lack of press, it was with warm greetings from the recently returned Nick Servedio that patrons were seated at high-tops overlooking the bar and renovated Sensi kitchen-space, the smell of smoke and shellfish soon recognizable as Chef Smith wheeled by his cart featuring a pot poached Lobster tails ready for a tableside cooking display.

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Ever a sizable and compelling space, the multi-million dollar overhaul still looking as fresh as it did sixteen months prior, it was after a quick perusal of both Harvest’s frequently-updated menu and an Ipad of mixed drinks that decisions were made to begin the meal with a full range of Snack Wagon treats before moving on to more substantial plates, a Martini titled “Pear Harvest” refreshing and light, perfect for the warmer months despite the expected ‘Strip-Pricing’ of $17.

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Not as intimate or low-lit as the tables surrounding a kitchen full of hard-working Chefs, but instead a lively space perfect for a quick bite at the bar or shared plates with pals, it was with dueling carts roaming around the lounge that Chef Smith first stopped by with his two offerings for the evening, the first a taking a poached Lobster Tail and placing it briefly on a Binchotan Grill before plating it atop the sort of Aligot Michel Bras would be proud of plus sauce imbued with Lobster Coral while the Foie Gras Mille Feuille was even better than the sum of its worthy parts, the compressed Puff Pastry lightly coated in Sugar around a Mousse of Duck Liver plus a rich Pan Sauce, early-season Morels and Fava Beans.

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Next greeted by the name on the marquee, Chef Ellamar ever humble in explaining how a recent trip back to Hawaii had influenced much of the current menu, the night’s second Snack Wagon featured small bowls of Ahi cured in Miso atop diced Tomatoes and Avocado alongside a chilled Soup of Arugula warmed by Pork Belly straight from a searing hot Salt Rock, the Smoked Salmon Rillette on Toast a tasty two-mouthfuls each while the weekly updated Market Snacks brought in fresh produce from California yielded three salads, the most memorable a spin on Bibimbap made with grilled Delta Asparagus, Red Chili Paste and Sesame Oil with a Sunny Side Egg on top.

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At this point opting to defer all further choices to Mr. Servedio and Chef Roy, several items from sections titled Ranch, Ocean, Boards and Sides to follow, Harvest’s Steak Tartare comes from a place quite unlike most of the chopped Beef choices on the Strip by placing Grass-Fed Tenderloin in the setting of Poke with briny Kettle Chips for serving while the Kona Kampachi dials in the Asian sensibilities of Nobu by way of sweet-heat alongside clean and snappy flesh, the Roasted Octopus unfortunately a little overpowered by the spicy Pork Sausage while the crisp Naan Bread from the old Sensi oven was as good as ever with Cucumber Raita and green, both in terms of color and waste-reduction, Beet Top Pesto.

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A lot of small plates, but adding up quickly as bold and balanced flavors compel diners to enjoy every bite, entrees prove to be more substantial and are easily shared by a couple when paired with few sides, the Line-Caught Halibut flaky and capable of holding its own against Dashi Butter plus bitter Vegetables while the Pork Chop from Tails & Trotters in Oregon was so fatty and tender it could just as easily be mistaken as something straight out of Spain, the fragrant Rub playing well off accoutrements including Carrot Puree embued with Truffles while sides of Smashed Potatoes and Tempura Asparagus were simple yet elegant, the ‘Kimchi Dip’ textured like Cream Cheese but with a bit of heat and a whole lot of funk.

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Having done away with the Dessert Cart previously served in a style similar to the Snack Wagon, the size of the restaurant simply making such a thing impractical when the pastry team can execute better within the confines of a kitchen, Harvest’s seasonal updates include a skillet-baked Blueberry Crumble that gets the classic right by way of small bits of Puff Pastry and tangy Lemon Sorbet while the Chocolate Ganache riffs on the flavor of Nutella with a bit of Tiramisu influence by way of Cappuccino Ice Cream, the Coconut Panna Cotta inspired by Chef Ellamar’s trip back to the Islands a great choice for those seeking something light while everyone else should make it a point to order a Sticky Toffee Pudding that would make fans of the one at Gordon Ramsay Steak wonder why they’ve been subjecting themselves to that room for so long when they could be eating something richer, smoother and more balanced in a place that is far less an assault on the senses.

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FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Improved from the past, and only likely to get better as small changes are made to a menu and space that are both incredibly flexible thanks to the amount of space and quality of sourcing, Harvest remains a rarity in the land of Celebrity Chefs and menus stocked with nothing but Salmon, Scallops and Burgers, the Snack Wagon Takeovers just another sign of a team thinking outside the box and challenging customers, both local and visiting, to do the same.

RECOMMENDED: Whatever the Snack Wagon is offering, Naan Bread, Tempura Asparagus, Grilled Pork Chop, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Panna Cotta.

AVOID: The Octopus was a bit lost amidst the Chorizo and the Kettle Chips with the Tartare could have used a bit less salt.

TIP: Snack Wagon Takeovers are announced as they are planned, by Social Media and occasionally on the website though the menu itself is infrequently updated.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://www.bellagio.com/en/restaurants/harvest.html#/Overview

Harvest by Roy Ellamar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Coffee, Dessert, Foie, Foie Gras, Food, Harvest, Harvest by Roy Ellamar, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Lobster, Nevada, Octopus, Pork, Truffle, Truffles Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, Bakery and Catering, Las Vegas NV

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Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, Bakery and Catering

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Housemade Tortillas and Salsa

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Side of Mole

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$4 Frozen Lemon Margarita

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Sample Platter – Nachos, Beans, Taquitos, Chicken Fingers, Quesadilla. Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, Sour Cream

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Giant Burrito – Carnitas, Rice, Beans, Cheese, Pico de Gallo, Red Sauce, Guacamole, Sour Cream

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Butter Cookies

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Guava Empanada

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Apple Empanada

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Guava Besos

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Sprinkle Cake

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Located in Las Vegas out near Nellis Air Force Base since the late 2000s, a family run place that has recently rebranded from “Mama Maria’s Mexican Restaurant and Panaderia” to “Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, Bakery and Catering,” though signage facing East Lake Mead Boulevard still bears the old name, it was prior to a Graduation Party that our group of three stopped in for what was hoped to be some well-made Southwestern cuisine at a good price, the subsequent hour and forty-five minutes instead spent mostly sitting in wait as two servers meandered around the room somewhat aimlessly.

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Known best of all for their Giant Burritos and Nachos, neither particularly rare amongst local Mexican eateries but here said to be bigger and better than most, it was just past 5:00 that two adults and one child entered the combined Restaurant/Carry-Out and Bakery tucked into a small Shopping complex, an invitation to seat ourselves suggested from a woman in back as only two other families were present, a family of four soon to settle the bill and thus leaving only five patrons present for the duration of the visit.

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Eventually electing a rounded booth set against a pony-wall diving restaurant from store, the kitchen window in full view along with a few murals of Mexico as Latin music chimed above, it was with menus in hand that two pages of Food plus one of Drinks was quickly navigated as a plate of sizzling Fajitas was brought to a middle-age Caucasian couple across the way, the server not even making eye contact as she walked, nor as she returned to the register where she proceeded to clean the cash register CPU with a disposable cloth.

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Eventually offered water by the ‘hostess,’ a bowl of warm Corn Tortillas and Chunky Salsa without much heat soon to follow, it was with phrasing something along the lines of “the waitress will be back to take your order” that this woman disappeared to the back, the ‘server’ continuing to pay no mind to anything but her task at hand and not once acknowledging the dining room until twenty minute later, when she walked by to check on the other table and was alerted by a rather loud clearing of the throat.

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Having twice now debated getting up to leave, or at least to visit the Bakery for some snacks on the way out, it was again with a delay that diners awaited the young woman’s return with a pen to jot down an order consisting of two plates and one drink to be shared, the $4 Frozen Margarita with quite a bit of booze admittedly a great deal in a portion that would typically cost guests closer to $15 on The Strip.

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Not really needing much guidance on such a straightforward menu, the kitchen moving slower than one would guess given the low volume but clearly visible making all but the pre-breaded Tenders from scratch, it was perhaps twenty more minutes before two large plates of food would arrive including the Sample Platter highlighted by tightly rolled Chicken Taquitos plus Nachos, Quesadillas and Chicken Fingers that even the most novice college student could make at home, the Burrito bigger and thicker than a 9-year old’s arm a far better choice at just $10.95, the enormous Flour Tortilla stuffed with fragrant Rice, Refried Beans, roast Pork and Pico de Gallo beneath melted shreds of Cheese and a peppery Red Sauce.

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Impressed by the moist Meat in the Burrito, though others might opt for Carne Asada, Chicken, Roast Peppers or ground Beef, it was with both plates mostly cleared and a sample of thin, spicy ‘Mole’ tasted that the check was requested not once or twice but three times, the decision at this point made to visit the Bakery next door where a variety of perhaps two-dozen items were offered from an on-site kitchen, the Guava Besos soft and fluffy with sweetness mellowed by Coconut while the Butter Cookies and Turnovers were both fair-to-middling, a far better option available in a Sprinkled Cake wedge that at first looked a little dry but proved to be both soft and not too sugary, the whole to-go Box costing just $3.85.

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TWO STARS: No doubt an affordable dining option with Food that is middle-of-the-road Mexican save for the Giant Burrito, Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, Bakery and Catering would be difficult to recommend for anyone save for those who live in the area and have a lot of time to waste, though the pickings are admittedly slim in this part of Las Vegas.

RECOMMENDED: Giant Burrito, Frozen Lemon Margarita, Guava Besos.

AVOID: Chicken Fingers, Quesadilla, Mole, Apple Turnover.

TIP: Restaurant.com offers a $5 discount coupon and photos on Yelp seem to indicate coupons are sent out occasionally in local mailers.

Grad

FYI: The Panamanian Catering offered at the Graduation Party was better.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

No Website, but @MamaMarias on Social Media

Mama Maria’s Mexican Restaurant & Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bakery and Catering, Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Mama Maria’s, Mama Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, Mama Maria’s Mexican Restaurant and Panaderia, Maria’s, Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, Maria’s Mexican Restaurant and Bakery, Maria’s Mexican Restaurant Bakery and Catering, Nevada, North Las Vegas, Pork Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Crunch Donut Factory, North Las Vegas NV

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Crunch Donut Factory

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Halle Strawberry – Yeast Ring, Strawberry Glaze

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Adoughl – Vanilla Cake, Chocolate Icing, Butterfinger

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Nutshell Doughbama – Yeast Square, Chocolate Icing, Nuts

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Katy Cherry – Yeast Square, Cream Cheese Icing, Cherry Topping

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BBKing – Blueberry Cake, Cheesecake Filling, Blueberry Topping

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Mike’s Cinnful Apple Crumb Roll – Cinnamon Roll, Apples, Streusel

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Strawberry Fritter – Fried Dough, Strawberries, Strawberry Jam

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Expanding out of Arlington Texas in late 2016, the first Sin City location on Harmon Avenue directly across Maryland Parkway from the UNLV Student Union, Crunch Donut Factory recently made the move to an underserved area on Simmons Street in North Las Vegas, the corner slot next to Roberto’s Tacos and a popular nail salon generating plenty of foot traffic for a store similar in style to the first, complete with ‘Crunchie’ the Donut Man awaiting his photo-op.

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Open 24/7 just like its sister store, the space a bit tighter on the inside but offering an outdoor patio with metal tables and chairs for those wishing to indulge al fresco, Crunch Donut Factory North Las Vegas sees the locally operated venture expand its selection from fried rings and stuffed pockets to a collection of freshly made Waffles and Shakes with Donuts blended in, the prices competitive to those of Pink Box, Donut Mania or the recently opened Fractured Prune with several pre-set choices plus the choice to build one’s own by way of the “Crunch Creation Station.”

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Staffed by two youngsters at the late-morning hour of eleven on a Saturday, the Grand-Opening paraphernalia still hung with flags flapping in the breeze and roadside signage alerting passers-by to a store that is not particularly visible at first glance, it was with a few other patrons making their selections that a case of thirty varieties was perused along with a small box of Fritters and Cronuts, the poster on the wall listing additional made-to-order options, plus cheaper-by-the-dozen, or half-dozen bargains.

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In no way purporting to be an ‘artisan’ doughnuttery like many others, the majority of the choices made from a mix with square or circular bases offered in either Cake or Raised varieties, those unfamiliar with the brand will likely get a quick chuckle from names based on Pop Culture stars like Beyonce Knowles or Leonardo DiCaprio, some of them admittedly a bit of a stretch such as “Adoughl” which requires one to go Rolling in the Deep to establish a connection between the British musician and Vanilla Cake topped in rich Chocolate Frosting and crumbled Butterfinger pieces.

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Freshly making new Donuts throughout the day, popular choices replaced as needed with most others able to be made fresh on request, it was with an $11 half-dozen of Specials plus the $1 “Halle Strawberry” boxed that choices were taken outside to enjoy during one of the Valley’s last 70°F days, the Strawberry flavor similar to that of the classic Pink Doughnut served at Dunkin’ but more natural and less sweet, a similar attribute noted in the pillowy square topped in Chocolate and chopped Nuts, though one is left a bit perplexed as to how such a pairing relates to the seemingly unflappable former First Lady.

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Impressed by most of the Fruit flavors during a visit to the Harmon location, and thus investing the majority of this tasting in similar, additional picks included the “Katy Cherry” which placed the same base as the one before it beneath tangy Cream Cheese Frosting and a dollop of Pie filling, the typically cloying sweetness actually not so bad in this context and similarly mellowed in the case of Blueberries by the combination of a soft Cake Ring with a center piped full of Cream Cheese named after the Mississippi-born Blues legend.

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Taking a look at two ‘occasional’ specials to round out the tasting, both fairly sizable but not charged extra like other Donut shops in town, “Mike’s Cinnful Apple Crumb Roll” took the idea of a Cinnamon Roll and married it to that of a Fritter by placing Apples both in the Dough as well as amidst the Streusel, the lone remaining Fritter a best-of-the-best contender thanks to the crispy exterior and soft layers of Strawberries and Dough within, a virtually greaseless creation with a sugary shellac and a spoonful of Jam adding even more flavor.

FOUR STARS: Store number two of what could very well be an ongoing trend, Crunch Donut Factory ups the quality of North Las Vegas fried breakfast treats in a similar way to how it did so at UNLV, the 24/7 hours probably less relevant on Simmons Street but the quality and prices exactly the same and a worthwhile place to visit for those in the area or Doughnut fans looking for something different.

RECOMMENDED: Strawberry Fritter, Mikes’ Cinnful Apple Crumb Roll, BBKing, Halle Strawberry.

AVOID: Adoughl as the Vanilla Cake was a bit dry.

TIP: Classics are $5 for Six, $9 for a Dozen while “Specialty & Premiums” excluding Kronuts and Maple Bacon are $11 for Six and $20 for a Dozen.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://www.crunchdonutfactory.com/

Crunch Donut Factory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Breakfast, Crunch, Crunch Donut Factory, Crunch Doughnut Factory, Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, North Las Vegas Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

808 Hawaii Mixed Plate, North Las Vegas NV

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808 Hawaii Mixed Plate

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Korean Wings – Hot Style

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Fried Saimin

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Mixed Plate with Kalua Pork & Cabbage, Ono Chicken, Steamed Rice and Mac

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Deep Fried Musubi with Unagi Sauce and Spicy Mayo

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Blueberry Butter Mochi

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Ube Butter Mochi

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Hailing from the Midwest it would be an understatement to say that Hawaiian food was locally underrepresented, and even to this day a search of restaurants close to Northwest Ohio indicates zero serving anything ‘Hawaiian’ save for the “Flaming Hawaiian Volcano Roll” at a particularly sad looking Sushi joint, thus when a patient from the Big Island suggested that the most authentic taste of home she’d found since living in Las Vegas was at 808 Hawaii Mixed Plate on West Craig Road the decision was made to stop in, though a drive of nearly thirty minutes from home made such a thing somewhat laborious.

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In reality located in North Las Vegas, a completely different entity from Las Vegas proper to those unfamiliar, and operated by the same family for seven years in a shopping plaza next to Ella Em’s Soul Food, 808 Hawaii Mixed Plate is presented as a counter-service concept in which diners are invited to approach a menu hanging at the far end of a lengthy space over a wide window looking into the kitchen, the owner’s wife serving as the sole front-of-house staff-member as she pulls triple duty as cashier, server and story-teller, an early arrival before the crowds allowing for plenty of the latter.

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Truly a wealth of knowledge as relates to her homeland’s history, the ‘plantation era’ briefly described when explaining Saimin Noodles to the uninitiated, it was with several questions asked and answered that decisions were made from a board that at first seems brief before one really digs into the various offerings for Meats and toppings, the decision to try one mixed plate plus Noodles, an Appetizer, two sweets and a side easily enough food for four, all at the total cost of just under thirty dollars.

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Taking a seat in the minimally decorated space, The Food Network displayed on televisions as diners are left to peruse a flip-card indicating daily specials plus a Brunch menu offered on Sundays, it was after perhaps five minutes that plates one and two were delivered from the kitchen, the aforementioned Egg Noodles pan fried in a slick sauce with Ham and a mix of Cabbage, Radishes and Green Onions, the flavor largely that of light Sesame plus a bit of Ginger while the half-dozen Chicken Wings were twice-fried crisp and medium-hot, the meat on the inside plump with a good seasoning of its own and tender but not greasy.

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Offering Chicken in no less than ten styles, a sample of the Garlic version topped in yellow Aioli a bit too pungent while the “Ono Chicken” takes the Katsu-style Thigh meat and lightly tosses it in a pan of Garlic, Onions and Oil with outstanding results, the $11.50 “Mixed Plate” was completed with a small bowl of shredded Pork and Cabbage next to two big mounds of Rice and a rather flavorless Macaroni Salad, the deep-fried Musubi marrying Hawaii’s love of Spam with Spicy Mayonnaise, Unagi Sauce and Furikake in an unexpectedly compelling manner that could change the opinion of many mainlanders as relates to canned Meat.

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Told that 808’s Pastry Chef, actually the owner’s son, was vacationing back home currently, thus leaving only two types of Butter Mochi available for Dessert, it was with one of each that the meal came to an end, the version topped in Blueberries unfortunately quite disappointing with a gummy texture and not much sweetness while the block of sticky Purple Yam proved somewhat better, though certainly not on par with the pies and cakes featured in Social Media, nor the Macadamia Nut Pancakes or Bread Pudding French Toast offered at Brunch.

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THREE AND A HALF STARS: Thriving as a family run eatery in North Las Vegas for almost eight years thanks to a dedicated following of Hawaiians searching for the real thing, 808 Hawaii Mixed Plate is a worthy destination for those seeking something a little different from the big-box Poke stops springing up across the Valley, the prices a genuine bargain for both the quality and the portion sizes even when accounting for the gallon or so of gas it will take most Las Vegans to get there.

RECOMMENDED: Fried Saimin, Korean Wings, Ono Chicken, Fried Musubi.

AVOID: Blueberry Butter Mochi, Macaroni Salad.

TIP: Gift Certificates for $15 off $30 available on Restaurant.com.

BONUS TIP: The family recently opened a second location called Young’s Hawaiian Style Kitchen at 3231 North Decatur Blvd Ste 11.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://www.808hmp.com

808 Hawaii Mixed Plate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in 808 Hawaii Mixed Plate, Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, North Las Vegas, Pork Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

El Tricolor Bakery / Panaderia Tricolor, Las Vegas NV

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El Tricolor Bakery – Panaderia Tricolor

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Pastel de Pina

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Caramelized Puff Pastry Stick

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Salvadoran Quesadilla

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Corn Pudding

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Guava Besos

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Cherry Turnover

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Quadruple Cake – Chocolate, Cheesecake, Flan, Tres Leches with Icing

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A small shop tucked away on North Decatur in an area still not qualified as North Las Vegas, but not too far away, Panaderia Tricolor is a place many have probably driven by a hundred times without even noticing, a family-owned business operating in the same space for so long that the Las Vegas sun has almost completely faded its signage.

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Listed as El Tricolor Bakery above the door, but as Panaderia Tricolor by a street-side sign and in its limited representation on Social Media and Search Engines, visitors to Tricolor will find the space located towards the back-center of a shopping plaza filled with everything from Check Cashing to Nail Salons and Convenience Stores, a step through the door placing patrons in a small standing space surrounded by baking racks, cold cases and two small tables.

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Selling both savories and sweets, though the obvious focus is on freshly baked Breads and Pastries in a variety of perhaps four-to-five dozen total, it was with limited English and a lot of pointing that several items were described by a young woman working the front of the house as an older woman labored over dough that appeared to be the base of several dozen Concha, the eventual order comprised of five Pastries and two slices of Cake that were carefully boxed and taken home for consumption.

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Trying to best cover a wide range of styles, the total price of $9.75 making a little bit of waste acceptable in an attempt to weigh the quality against other Panaderia in town, first tastes of Tricolors goods came by way of the Pastel de Pina and Caramelized Puff Pastry Stick, both quite mild in terms of sweetness with the Pineapple Cake soft and spongy while the nearly weightless rod was crisp and shattering, but probably been better suited for a Sauce or Coffee for dipping.

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Turning attention next to two savory selections, the Salvadoran Quesadilla a 3/4″-thick frisbee-size disc described as “sort of like cake, but moist and a little sweet” proving to be just that plus a long-linger of Sesame, the ‘cornbread’ at Tricolor is nothing like what most American’s would think when picturing the hot skillets or piping-hot Muffins down South, this version actually a hefty wedge of just-set Custard atop a more granular base, the flavor a bit like cream corn but with a more egginess and Butter.

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Underwhelmed by a Turnover with good lamination but cloying sweetness thanks to HFCS-based Cherry Pie filling, and even more put-off by a tennis-ball size Guava Besos with good Jam but Dough so chalky and flavorless that it may as well have been a few days stale, it was finally with the “4x Cake” that a taste of Panaderia Tricolor came to an end, the Chocolate Cake and Cheesecake relatively par for the course while smooth Flan and sopping-wet Tres Leches were both about as good as they come in Las Vegas, another visit to try each on their own probably necessary at some point in the near future.

TWO AND A HALF STARS: Discovered as part of what has become a fun attempt to find the best Tres Leches Cake in Sin City, that title still belonging to Drago Sister’s on South Rainbow, Panaderia Tricolor has a lot to offer at a good price with excellent customer service, though the quality of several items previously enjoyed elsewhere was unfortunately a little inconsistent.

RECOMMENDED: Corn Pudding, 4x Cake, Salvadoran Quesadilla.

AVOID: Guava Besos, Cherry Turnover.

TIP: (702) 646-0068 for custom cakes. 6a-8p Seven Days a Week.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

El Tricolor Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Cornbread, Dessert, El Tricolor Bakery, El Tricolor Bakery – Panaderia Tricolor, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Panaderia Tricolor Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Playa Papagayos Restaurant, Las Vegas NV

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Playa Papagayos Restaurant

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Guanabana Agua Fresca

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Warm Housemade Tortilla Chips and Salsa

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Cubana Mexicana Torta – Pork Leg, Ham, Hot Dog, Breaded Steak, Mexican Sausage, Cheese and Egg

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Gordita – Chicharron, Lettuce and Queso Fresco

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Pambazo – Mexican Roll dipped in Red Sauce, Fried with Chorizo and Potatoes, Fresh Lettuce, Sour Cream and Queso Fresco

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Shrimp Tostada – Ceviche-style, Avocado, Cilantro and extra Lime

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Flan Napolitano – Whipped Cream and Walnuts

Recently fortunate enough to have dined at many of Mexico City’s best, a chance to visit the coastal noma residency passed up to instead explore restaurants both high-brow and literally ‘hole in the wall’ that have helped make the Mexican Capital a dining destination for everything from Tripe Tacos and Ant Larvae to Foie Gras and Wagyu Beef, it was with a bit of hesitancy that the decision was made to visit Playa Papagayos Restaurant on Friday afternoon, the experience thankfully proving to be a good one by any standard with gracious service and some truly delicious cuisine.

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Open now since November in a shopping plaza at the corner of Decatur and Sahara, not exactly a culinary ‘hot-spot’ with the Fantastik Indoor Swapmeet only a few steps away, Playa Papagayo translates literally to Parrot Beach and although nothing about the sizable space tucked beside a Pizza parlor screams tropical, the restaurant is clean and well lit with a lot of seating, a petit Mexican woman greeting diners at the door and offering them a wide range of tables with padded chairs, many of them coated in clear plastic.

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Playing traditional Latin American music overhead and Soccer on a pair of Televisions, the clientele sparse but consisting mostly of local businessmen and a few Mexican women who seemed to be doing work as they partook in Salads, large Sandwiches or Soups, it was with water in hand that the sizable menu from Chef Alberto Ocampo was perused, one at the table opting for a $2.50 Agua Fresca that quickly saw the lone-server turn craftsman, a mix of fresh Fruit, Sugar and bottled Water placed in a Vitamix with the result a creamy concoction that was only slightly sweet and whole lot better than the typical lunchtime Iced Tea or Soda.

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Ranging from typical Tacos and Burritos to more esoteric regional specialties from the state of Guerrero, the original home of Chef Ocampo before relocating and opening his first restaurant in Colton California, first-time diners at Playa Papagayo would be well-advised to approach the menu front-to-back with the first two pages focusing on lighter bites such as the Oysters, Shrimp, Fish and Octopus that put the original location on the map, the $6 Camaron Tostada featuring plump little Shrimp with plenty of Citrus amidst the flavor of chopped Onions and Cilantro, the portion quite large for the price-point, especially when accounting for the big slice of fresh Avocado.

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Reportedly importing many of the Spices and Meats from the family’s home town, a Chicken Mole and housemade Huaraches more than enough reason to return, it was after a short wait spent watching two Chefs work that three plates were brought forth along with two Salsas, one look at the Cubana Mexicana Torta enough to make even the hungriest diner question their capacity, the soft Roll stretched to its limits around five types of Meat, two styles of Cheese plus Vegetables and a light Sauce, the flavor of the Breaded Steak and Pork Sausage most prevalent amongst the mix with the wise only enjoying half, making for essentially two full meals for just eleven bucks.

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Not particularly a ‘diet-friendly’ place, though healthful choices can certainly be made by way of Tuna or Shrimp Salad, Seafood Soup or the raw Shellfish noted above, those taking a more all-in approach are encouraged to next take a look at the regionally famous fork-and-knife Pambazo, a housemade Roll dipped in mild red Sauce and fried in a pan with Potatoes and Pork Sausage, the addition of sliced Lettuce and Fresh Cheese adding just enough levity to keep things fresh, as also was the case with the thick Cornmeal Gordita opened up and stuffed with crispy fried Pig Skin.

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Unfortunately sold out of the Rice Pudding, but still offering three additional Desserts including a daily Gelatin plus a Fruit Parfait sold in two sizes, those looking for something truly unique would be wise to invest $2.95 in the Flan Napolitano, a small wedge of the Cheese Custard served more like a soft Cake than the traditional creamy pudding, a style not seen to this point and explained by the Chef as ‘a family secret’ when he later walked around the room asking diners how they had enjoyed their experience.

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FOUR STARS: Perhaps even more varied than the numerous styles of cuisine found in China or India it would be difficult to name the perfect ‘Mexican’ restaurant, but in terms of dollar-for-dollar value in terms of taste, quality and execution one would be hard-pressed to name spot in Las Vegas outperforming Playa Papagayos in terms of its style, the majority of the food probably a little heavy for some but undoubtedly made fresh from good ingredients and with a lot of thought.

RECOMMENDED: Agua Fresca, Shrimp Tostada, Pambazo, Flan Napolitano.

AVOID: Regular menu items simply should not be sold out. Not here, not anywhere. Also, the three house Salsas are universally thin and not particularly hot.

TIP: 9a-9p Daily. All plates, including breakfast, offered throughout opening hours.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

Restaurant Home

Playa Papagayos Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Playa Papagayos, Playa Papagayos Restaurant, Pork Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chica, Las Vegas NV

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Chica

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Gin & Tonic – Watermelon and Cucumber / Tamarind Guava Colada – Hand Shaken Appleton Estate Signature Rum, Fresh Lime, Tamarind, Coconut Cream and Guava Nectar

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Arepa Basket – Black Bean, Beet, Cilantro and Cheese with Nata Butter

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Mushroom Quesadilla – Charred Wild Mushroom Quesadilla with Point Reyes Bleu Cheese, Huitlacoche, Oaxacan String Cheese, Jalapeno Pesto, Pickled Onions

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Tuna Ceviche – Ahi Tuna, Apple infused Leche de Tigre, Peruvian Corn, Cilantro, Red Onions, Confit Sweet Potato

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Porchetta with Crispy Yucca Hash – Slow Roasted Suckling Pig, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Fried Yucca, Pearl Onion Escabeche, Pork Jus

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Yucatan Halibut – Achiote marinated Halibut roasted in a Banana Leaf with Pineapple, Charred Orange, Sweet Plantains, Habanero Pico

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Pepita Crusted Lamb – Colorado Lamb, Herb Pumpkin Seed Crust, Mole Verde, Squash Blossoms and Grilled Calabaza

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Arroz con Leche – Creamy Rice Pudding topped with a caramelized Crust, dried Apricot, candied Pineapple and Pomegranate Rum Sauce

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Double Espresso on Ice

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Cajeta Crema and Dulce de Leche Ice Cream – Graham Cracker Crumbs and Cocoa Nibs

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Lemon Bunuelos – Crispy Lemon Zest filled Venezuelan Donuts served with Wild Berry Compote and White Chocolate Dulce de Leche

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Churro Fried Ice Cream Pops – Caramel Ice Cream Pops coated in Cinnamon Churro crumbs, served with Vanilla Bean Anglaise and Whipped Cream

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Friends and Family. No words, just photos.

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Opens Sunday, May 14 for Mother’s Day Brunch.

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http://www.chicalasvegas.com/

Posted in 50Eggs, Chica, Coffee, Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Andre’s Bistro & Bar [3,] Las Vegas NV

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Andre’s Bistro and Bar

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Beignets – Powdered Sugar

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House Baked Pastry Basket – Croissant, Pain au Chocolate, Almond Croissant, Peach and Cream Pastry, Raspberry Danish with Vermont Butter and Housemade Jam

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Escargots de Bourgongne – French Snails, Garlic Butter, Herbs

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Brown Sugar Glazed Bacon – Applewood Smoked

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Cheese + Charcuterie Board – Cornichons, House Mustard, Cherry Moustarda, Figs, Olives, Candied Nuts, Grapes, Rillettes, Prosciutto, Country Style Pate, Rosette de Lyon, Sopressata, Aged Cheddar, Maytag Blue, St. Andres, Bermuda Triangle

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Warm Baguette – Vermont Butter

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Andre’s Classic Benedict – Country Ham, Poached Egg, Hollandaise with Breakfast Potatoes

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Croque Madame – Ham, Gruyere Cheese, Bechamel, Fried Egg with Duck Fat French Fries

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Andre’s Salmon Benedict – Smoked Salmon, Poached Eggs, Hollandaise with Fresh Fruit

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Chicken & Waffles – Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Cornbread Waffles, Country Gravy, Maple Syrup

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Seared Foie Gras – Grilled Nutella Brioche, Drunken Strawberries, Sauternes Glaze

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Lobster Roll – Maine Lobster, Fine Herbs, Toasted Bread Roll with Green Salad

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Vegetable Quiche – Peppers, Spinach, Goat Cheese with Fresh Fruit

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Quiche Lorraine – Bacon, Comte Cheese with Green Salad

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Prime Flat Iron Steak Frites – Herb Butter, Over Easy Eggs, Breakfast Potatoes

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Chocolate Walnut Gateau – Chocolate Glazed Caramel Walnut Torte, Crème Anglaise

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Crème Brulee – Vanilla Bean Custard, Caramelized Sugar Crust, Fresh Berries

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Lemon Tart – Lemon Curd, Sugar Dough Crust, Raspberry Coulis

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Saturday Sundae – Layers of Brownie, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Hot Fudge, Caramel, Toasted Hazelnuts, Whipped Cream

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Root Beer Float – Hand Crafted Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Fitz Artisan Root Beer

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Chocolate Pot de Crème – Oven-baked Chocolate Custard, Chantilly Cream, Homemade Vanilla Cookie

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Impressed from the moment Mark Purdy and Joe Marsco first opened the doors to Andre’s Bistro & Bar, the transition from a fine-dining stalwart inside the Monte Carlo to a casual French bistro in the former DW Bistro space originally marred only by music that was both too loud and out of place, a recent return for brunch with out of town guests has shown the restaurant to have only gotten better in the intervening months, a shake-up at Alize necessitating a split of Mark’s time doing nothing to diminish the quality of a kitchen under the guidance of Marty Red DeLeon Lopez.

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Just now approaching the four-month mark, some early struggles to understand a new market expectedly ironing themselves out with time, late-Spring sees Andre’s welcoming guests for both Lunch and Dinner on weekdays plus weekends at Brunch, a party of four met by Mr. Marsco soon after entering with seating quickly offered along a banquette suitable for six, the extra space needed as the decision was made to trust the kitchen carte blanche.

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Originally decided upon based on two Southerners’ desire for French food, their visits to both Bouchon and Bardot favorable on previous trips to Sin City, it was with pleasantries exchanged and Coffee from Las Vegas’ own Vesta Roasters soon flowing that Chef Marty approached the tableside telling the group menus would not be necessary, “I hope your brought an appetite” never as ominous as it seems when the promise is that of twenty different dishes coursed out over a total of just under two hours and twenty minutes.

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Told that Chefs Rochat and Purdy were frequently in and out, the recent hiring of Joshua Bianchi at the top of the Palms likely to see Purdy back at Andre’s on a more consistent basis soon, brunch at Andre’s once again began with a duo of treats from Mark’s wife Tammy Alana, the Beignets dusted in Powdered Sugar still every bit on par with the best of New Orleans while the Pastry Basket yielded a far more crunchy Croissant than last time, the Almond version more like the Danish terms of consistency while the sliced Peaches and Custard replicating sunny-side Eggs remains as clever as it is delicious.

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Both starting and ending with Chef Alana’s sweets, the bulk of the meal a steady flow of Rochat classics, surprise items from the dinner menu and several brunch favorites, round two was comprised of two rashers of sweet and smoky Bacon as well as the Escargots de Bourgongne plus Andre’s ever impressive collection of housemade Pates and imported Meats and Cheese, the Bacon-wrapped Pate as chunky and funky as many served in France while the Bermuda Triangle, Cherry Moustarda and creamy Rillettes all went well with a Warm Baguette, still without a doubt one of the Las Vegas’ most impressive complimentary Bread services.

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Attempting to take it easy on the Carbs, though the high quality Butter and housemade Jams made such a thing more challenging than usual, a course most easily described as “Eggs” arrived next, both Andre’s Classic Benedict and one made with Smoked Salmon pitch-perfect beneath thick Hollandaise and soft-poached Yolks while the toasty Brioche at the base of a Croque Madame was thinner than in the past and thus more typical to that served in France, a good thing for those who value authenticity as well as folks who which to save more room for the generous helping of buttery Breakfast Potatoes or Fries cooked crisp in Duck Fat.

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Continuing to put its name into the hat for Sin City’s best Chicken & Waffles, the juxtaposition of soft Cornbread and crunchy Buttermilk Batter plus Country Gravy admittedly more Southern USA than South of France, those looking for something a bit less ‘heavy’ would be well advised to check out Andre’s Northeast-quality Lobster Roll served on toasted Bread with just a touch of Mayonnaise, the duo of Quiches also both well made with good Custard and a clean-edged Crust, the Vegetarian version on this day a bit more balanced as the combination of Bacon and aged Comte in the Lorraine came across a little more salty than some might want.

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Admittedly getting full at this point, though happy to set aside any plans for weekend productivity in exchange for a truly grand finale followed by a ‘parade of Desserts,’ it was alongside an Herb-Butter soaked Steak cooked Medium-Rare that two slices of the dinner-only Foie Gras and Nutella Brioche were served topped in Strawberries and a sweet-Wine Glaze, the carnivorous more than happy to over-indulge while those fond of pastry thankfully held back a little bit, the Rootbeer Float, Saturday-Sundae and Crème Brulee all quite good but difficult to gush over while the rich Pot de Crème, tangy Lemon Tart and elegant Walnut Pie with Chocolate and Caramel were all beyond reproach…and at $8 each a veritable steal for Desserts of such quality.

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FIVE STARS: Offering a menu at Brunch that can go toe-to-toe with names like Thomas Keller or Michael Mina, the prices generally discounted by at least 25% for comparable plates, Andre’s Bistro & Bar has achieved in short-order what many restaurants strive a lifetime for in a city known for rushed openings and fast shutters, a destination spot in the neighborhood that is as impressive to tourists as it is a gift to locals.

RECOMMENDED: Beignets, Raspberry Danish, Country Pate, Chicken & Waffles, Salmon Benedict, Seared Foie Gras, Breakfast Potatoes, Chocolate Walnut Gateau, Lemon Tart.

AVOID: A small quibble, but the Quiche Lorraine was a bit too salty for my tastes and was the only dish that went unfinished aside from a few piles of Leafy Greens and Potatoes.

TIP: Although Sunday brunch will remain unchanged, rumors of a really big idea for Saturdays have begun to swirl. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement early-to-mid June.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://www.andresbistroandbar.com/

Andre's Bistro & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Andre's, Andre's Bistro & Bar, Andre's Bistro and Bar, Bread Basket, Breakfast, Coffee, Cornbread, Croissant, Croissants, Dessert, Foie, Foie Gras, Food, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Lobster, Nevada, Pork, Tasting Menu, Waffle, Waffles Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sugar Factory American Brasserie at Fashion Show Mall, Las Vegas NV

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Sugar Factory American Brasserie at Fashion Show Mall

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White Gummi – Cruzan Peach Rum, Cruzan Raspberry Rum, Fresh Fruit Juice and Gummy Worms

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Country Fried Chicken and Waffles – Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Two Classic Waffles, White Cheddar-Maple Mornay Sauce, Warm Maple Syrup and Butter

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Fish Tacos – Three Corn Tortillas, Fried Fish, Iceberg Lettuce, Pico de Gallo, Cilantro and Creamy Chipotle Sauce

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Sugar Factory Rainbow Sliders – Classic Sliders with American Cheese, Crispy Onions and Signature Sauce plus a Rubber Duck to take home

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The Big Cheesy – Grass Fed Angus Beef, Creamy Mac & Cheese, Smoked Applewood Bacon, BBQ Sauce and a Toasted Brioche Bun

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Giggles Snickers Milkshake – Cookies n’ Cream Ice Cream, Peanuts, Chocolate Chips, Caramel Waffle, Snickers, Whipped Cream in a Sprinkles, Snickers and Chocolate Covered Mug

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Caramel Sugar Daddy Cheesecake Shake – Vanilla Ice Cream, Caramel Sauce, Whipped Cream, NY Style Cheesecake, Sugar Daddy Candy, Rainbow Lollipop in a Crushed Graham Cracker and Chocolate Covered Mug

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Twinkie Dinkie Milkshake – Vanilla Ice Cream, Twinkie Chunks, Marshmallow Fluff, Rainbow Rock Candy, Whipped Cream, Sprinkles, Twinkie in a Gum Ball and White Chocolate Covered Mug

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Caramel Brownie Bread Pudding – Brownie Bread Pudding, Caramel, Brownie Chunks, Vanilla Ice Cream, Orange Caramel Sauce, Whipped Cream

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The Brownie – Gooey Fudge Brownies, Vanilla Ice Cream, Candied Walnuts, Hot Fudge Sauce

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Rainbow Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich – Rainbow Doughnut, Cookies n’ Cream Ice Cream, Chocolate Ice Cream, Fudge, Raspberry Sauce, Whipped Cream, Oreo Cookie Crumbs, Fresh Raspberries

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Born out of Las Vegas and now identified as a place to sip gigantic bubbling drinks, eat fun food and spot celebrities from New York to Dubai, it would be hard to say Sugar Factory is not one of the most successful concepts to ever spawn from Sin City, owner Charissa Davidovici somehow managing to turn $30 Lollipops into high fashion frequently spotlighted in Social Media feeds of everyone from Drake and Shaq to a disproportionate number of Jenners and Kardashians.

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Originally launched in 2010 where HeXx now resides, a second location at Town Square also opened and shuttered in the interim, Sugar Factory American Brasserie was recently re-introduced at Fashion Show Mall with a multi-million dollar overhaul and several ‘grand openings,’ a visit on Friday Night showing the space to be every bit as audacious as one might guess, both in terms of the eye-catching décor and the over-the-top menu executed in a kitchen led by Chef Bryan Ogden.

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Without doubt a grand spectacle, the French Brasserie façade and giant Rubber Ducky quickly giving way to walls donned with “Dots” and photographs of Mike Tyson, The Backstreet Boys and Bill Goldberg as Rihanna ‘Shines bright like a Diamond’ at about eighty decibels overhead, it was with pleasant greetings that three guests were met at the hostess podium and led to a sizable six-top facing Las Vegas Boulevard, a young man named Erick providing great service throughout a nearly two-hour evening.

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Focused as much on the concept and environment as the food, a ‘theme’ restaurant in many ways but in general ‘American’ as relates to the bill of fare, it was after a quick visit from Chef Ogden who was most recently seen at Boca Park’s Mixx Grill that a few items were ordered with a request for Bryan to ‘fill in the gaps’ family style, a brief wait spent watching the NBA Playoffs played on LCDs in back as sparkling candles zigzagged through the room as part of at least seven birthday celebrations.

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Attempting to balance Air Conditioning with open doors, a tough task as Vegas neared 100°F for the first time in 2017, it was after a bit more perusal that the decision was made to invest in one of Sugar Factory’s $36 Goblets, the 60oz White Gummi featuring fresh-pressed Juice, dueling Cruzan Rums and a whole lot of Ice served bubbling at the tableside with Gummy Worms laced throughout a concoction that was at first quite sweet before unveiling a more spirit-heavy finish.

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Making a low ceilinged first-floor look much bigger by way of crystal chandeliers and a lot of mirrors, the glass doors looking out towards Wynn and an open patio enough to keep the inside feeling secluded yet still accessible, it was after perhaps twenty minutes that savories came forth in back-to-back waves, the first two plates featuring Sugar Factory’s spin on Chicken and Waffles with a golden half-bird laid across two crisp waffles tinged in Chives plus a sidecar of Maple-Cheddar Mornay and Cinco de Mayo Fish Tacos flawed by cold Tortillas that fell apart almost the second one tried to pick them up, though the lightly battered Fish itself was quite good.

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Not making any attempt to be a ‘serious’ restaurant, but rather a fun place for food and drinks in a City made for such things, round two saw Chef Ogden send out Sugar Factory’s recently launched “Rainbow Sliders” aligned in the same color-order as the restaurant’s signature signage as well as “The Big Cheesy,” a thick patty of Grass Fed Angus cooked medium-rare beneath crispy Bacon, house BBQ Sauce and a big scoop of Mac n’ Cheese – a delicious idea that really isn’t so weird when you think about the ingredients and without a doubt the definition of a ‘fork and knife’ Sandwich.

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Delving into three “insane” Milkshakes, an idea that seems to be gaining a lot of traction recently as restaurateurs put stock in Instagram’s ability to drive short-term traffic, Sugar Factory goes all-in with three pages of choices, each seemingly more decadent than the next with the Twinkie Dinkie not dissimilar to drinking Birthday Cake in terms of its taste while the Giggles Snickers is essentially melt-resistant given the thickness created by Cookies, Peanuts, Chocolate Chips and Candybars, the “Caramel Sugar Daddy” further upping the ante by putting a whole wedge of Cheesecake on top of a Chocolate and Graham Cracker-coated mug full of the taste of a Sugar Daddy infusing a texture almost as smooth as Cannoli filling.

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Fully aware that occupation and fascination were in conflict at this point, Sugar Factory proving as appropriate a name as any for a restaurant with an attached Candy shop and Chocolate Lounge upstairs, the meal came to an end by way of three desserts in two waves, items from the “Gourmet Ice Cream Sandwiches” section including two rich Brownies wrapped around Vanilla Ice Cream while a hemisected Doughnut was essentially a two-person Sundae with a duo of Sauces, Ice Cream, Fudge and Berries, the Caramel Brownie Bread Pudding served last a contrast of temperature, texture and flavor as the piping hot Brioche and Custard quickly melted Ice Cream and Whipped Cream into a pool around chunks of Fudge and Orange-Caramel Sauce that the youngster in the group likened to the taste of Fruity Pebbles.

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THREE STARS: Say what you will about Sugar Factory, it fills a niche, and while ‘serious foodies’ may find items like the Rainbow Sliders or Insane Shakes absolutely ridiculous the majority of the food is as good, or better than it needs to be considering the target audience, the only major flaws from this diner’s standpoint being the Taco shells, poor temperature control and volumes that necessitate shouting to be heard.

RECOMMENDED: The Big Cheesy, Caramel Sugar Daddy Cheesecake Shake, Caramel Brownie Bread Pudding, Rainbow Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich.

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AVOID: Fish Tacos deserve a better shell and the White Meat portion of the Chicken and Waffles was too dry.

TIP: On the second floor diners will find the more elegant and Chef-driven “Chocolate Lounge” complete with a gazebo, more upscale drinks and a Tapas-style menu of unique items including several not found downstairs.

 

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

Sugar Factory Fashion Show

Sugar Factory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Pudding, Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork, Sugar Factory, Sugar Factory American Brasserie, Sugar Factory American Brasserie at Fashion Show Mall, Sugar Factory Brasserie, Waffle, Waffles Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Morimoto, Las Vegas NV

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Morimoto

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Sake Flight – Fukumitsuya Morimoto Junmai Daiginjo, Dassai Otter Fest 23 Junmai Daiginjo, Tatenokawa 18 Junmai Daiginjo, Fukumitsuya Morimoto 5-year

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Oyster Foie Gras – Shigoku Oyster, Uni, Foie Gras, Teriyaki

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Duck Duck Goose – Duck Meatball Soup, Confit Duck Leg, Duck Confit Jasmine Rice with Sunny Side Duck Egg, Seared Duck Breast in Gooseberry Compote

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Ishi Yaki Buri Bop – Yellowtail on Rice Cooked in a Stone Bowl with Daikon, Carrots, Cilantro, Ginger Soy

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Mizudako, Kohada, Aji – Ginger, Wasabi, Morimoto Blend Soy Sauce

 

Fiery Chocolate Tart – Marshmallow, Salty Caramel Ganache, Spiced Rum, Dark Chocolate Sorbet

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Doughnut – Vanilla and Whipped Cream

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Chilled Cheesecake Souffle – Orange Cream, Blood Orange Meringue, Strawberry-Red Wine Sorbet

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Tofu Mousse – Black Sesame Air Cake, Coffee Maple Syrup, Apricot Sorbet

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Opened in mid-October, a substantial delay and relocation from original plans for The Mirage to MGM Grand’s old Shibuya spot now a story of the past, Morimoto Las Vegas has been serving tourists as well as locals for just over six months, the man who helped make televised competition cooking a ‘thing’ in America finally joining peers including Flay, Batali and Puck with an outpost in the land of Celebrity Chefs.

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Now nearing sixty-two years old and acting as an Executive Chef since 1980, his interest in America first bringing him west in the private sector and later as part of the Nobu empire before gaining international fame as a competitor on Iron Chef, Masaharu Morimoto opened his first US restaurant in Philadelphia in 2001 before expanding globally through several financial partnerships, his empire now eleven-strong and still growing, many of the locations found in non-traditional spots such as Mumbai or Mexico City as well as destination-dining hotbeds such as Manhattan or Napa Valley.

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Seemingly an odd time to come to Sin City, several recent big-ticket openings going belly up or struggling with nearly every Casino now featuring some sort of Big-Box Sushi concept from Mizumi and Nobu to Roku and Zuma, Morimoto occupies a lengthy footprint directly across from Fiamma and Tom Collichio’s craftsteak, a striped bust of the man himself greeting guests behind a black podium where reservations are collected, General Manager Jim Bibbee overseeing a room with capacity of over two-hundred inclusive of Bars and Main Dining Room, plus three large tables for Teppanyaki.

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Designed in a style best described as ‘upscale zen,’ the Sushi Bar brightly lit while other parts of the restaurant feature an ambient glow arising behind opaque glass or wood, those entering Morimoto during early hours will likely see the lounge and front sections filled with diners looking for small bites before heading off to other forms of entertainment while the back area is reserved for those making Morimoto the evening’s main event, a wide range of races and ages all represented and in for a treat from the educated and professional staff.

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Using mid-tempo music to help drive the mood, voiceless beats mellowing surrounding conversations but never so loud as to be an annoyance, it was just past 5:30pm when a seat was offered at a small two-top booth along the wall just outside the kitchen, greetings offered from a middle-aged man who was clearly well trained followed by a visit from Mr. Bibbee who was often seen circulating the room to make sure everything was in order.

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Not just a sushi-spot, though raw fish is featured across 2/3 of a six-page menu with pricing that at times seems punitive though also offering the occasional deal, it was after a brief discussion that the decision was made to dine plate-by-plate at the kitchen’s discretion, a complimentary Sake flight offering an education in Junmai Daiginjo with the Chef’s signature-style from Fukumitsuya almost as smooth as water with a velvety finish while the version aged for five years in porcelain took on a Straw color and tasted not so different from Bourbon.

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Deciding that a first-visit to the world of Morimoto would be well invested in the Iron Chef’s signature plates, a course of Nigiri sent out gratis before Dessert speaking to good quality as relates to fatty fishes and the silky ‘live’ Octopus, it was with Sake slowly sipped and compared that three West-Coast Oysters topped in Sea Urchin, a slice of Duck Liver and sweet Teriyaki was presented on a bed of Salt crystals and Chili threads, the mixture rich and unctuous yet still ‘accessible’ with each $8 bite the sort of thing that will thrill experienced diners while still offering a good intro to luxury items for those more timid.

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Always happy to see Fowl on a menu, Chef Morimoto’s Duck Duck Goose offered from his earliest days in Philadelphia and standing alongside the Angry Chicken and Tuna Pizza as his most famous East-West Fusion plates, fans of Duck as well as those uninitiated would be well-served to investigate four different presentations offered on one plate, the long-grain fried Rice topped in a Sunny-side Duck Egg fragrant and full of diced Meat while the Meatball is undoubtedly infused with Offal amidst savory broth served clear as a bell, the confit Leg slipping off the Bone with almost no effort while the rosy Breast is barely seared atop Gooseberries that start of sour but finish faintly sweet.

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Firing up the first Teppanyaki table just past seven o’clock, the others soon to follow as two large groups and one family sat before Chefs displaying several cuts of Beef, it was mere moments before the poignant scent of Ginger, Scallions, Garlic and Soy permeated the atmosphere, a dish of sliced Yellowtail cooked in a stone bowl tableside at first mingling well as crisp rice danced with Cilantro and julienned Vegetables but later even itself overwhelmed by the pungent scent poorly cleared by outdated ventilation hoods.

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Always overzealous for Dessert, a lowlight of many “Asian” restaurants as they focus on more traditional flavors such as Taro, Red Bean, Matcha or Fruit, Masaharu‘s time in North America has seen the Chef adapt to local palates by way of dishes such as airy Doughnuts with pipettes of Custard and a cone of Whipped Cream made for dipping while both the Tofu Mousse with Black Sesame as well as the fluffy Orange Cheesecake are nicely balanced by fresh Citrus, the $20 “Fiery Chocolate Tart” immediately drawing eyes from all over the room as the dark sphere is doused in flames revealing a center of Marshmallow, Dark Chocolate Sorbet and Salty Caramel Ganache, though even this decadent dish tinged in booze proved no match to umami-infused air around it.

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THREE AND A HALF STARS: Rare to go out of my way for Sushi on the Strip, my desire for raw Fish generally served by Ceviche, Tartare or Crudo, all three savories, Nigiri and four Desserts at Morimoto Las Vegas speak to a high quality establishment run by people that care, though the overpowering smell of Garlic and Soy from Teppanyaki Tables is so strong that one cannot help but wonder why the designers did not invest in better equipment as a beautiful meal quickly turned into a rather unpleasant experience overwhelmed by air so pungent you could actually taste it.

RECOMMENDED: Oyster Foie Gras, Duck Duck Goose, Fiery Chocolate Tart, Tofu Mousse.

AVOID: Sitting anywhere near the Teppanyaki Tables. Would also think twice about the Sushi prices as compared to several off-Strip spots.

TIP: Dinner only, Sunday through Thursday 5pm to 10pm, Friday and Saturday 5pm to 10:30pm. Online menu is poorly representative of the Restaurant’s full selection.

WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.

https://www.mgmgrand.com/en/restaurants/morimoto.html

Morimoto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Herringbone [5,] Las Vegas NV

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Herringbone

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Coffee

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Fanny Bay Oysters with Kimchi Cocktail Sauce, Nori Chips, Pita Chips, U-12 Shrimp, Lomi Lomi Salmon, Tako Poke, Ahi Poke, Lobster Tail

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Kale Smoothie – Avocado, Date, Banana, Almond Milk / Greek Yogurt – Market Berries, House Granola

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La Jolla Fish Tacos – Mahi-Mahi, One Grilled and One Beer Battered with White Sauce, Shredded Cabbage, Pico, Lime

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Asian Soft Shell Sandwich – Cabbage Slaw, Wasabi Aioli, Pickled Vegetables with Boardwalk Fries featuring Old Bay, Malt Vinegar, Herbs, Devil Sauce, Ketchup

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Jicama Watermelon Salad, King Crab Legs, Panzanella Salad, Deviled Eggs, Herb Ricotta stuffed Eggplant and Peppers

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King Crab and Lobster – Scampi-style, Drawn Butter

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Bacon and Egg Ravioli – Grilled Bread, Pancetta, Parmesan Cheese

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Smoked Salmon, Tomahawk Ribeye, Porchetta, Herb Cream Cheese, Bagel Chips, Lavosh, Pickles and Vegetables

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Loco Moco Benny – White Rice, Truffle Gravy, Spicy Sesame Hollandaise

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Wings – Sriracha Glazed, Pickled Cucumber and Carrots, Chili, Cilantro, Peanut Sauce, Chipotle Ranch

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