Crispy Baked Berry French Toast – Sliced Bread Pudding, Berries, Sliced Almonds, Powdered Sugar, Bourbon Glaze
Parfait Pancakes – Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes, Berries, Whipped Cream, Greek Yogurt, Honey Granola
Apple Pie Tempura Pancakes – Diced Apples Sauteed in Butter, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Walnuts with Tempura Fried Apple Slices, Whipped Cream, Powdered Sugar
Corned Beef Bread Pudding Benedict – Marble Rye Bread Pudding, Corned Beef Hash, Poached Eggs and Hollandaise with Crispy Potato Nuggets
Corned Beef Hash Taco – House Corned Beef, Crispy Potatoes, Sunny Side Up Quail Egg, Peruvian Beans, Thai Fried Rice
Shrimp Tempura Taco – Crispy Tempura Battered Shrimp, Citrus Soy Mirin Slaw, Yum Yum Sauce, Peruvian Beans, Thai Fried Rice
Longanisa Taco – Sweet Filipino Sausage, Sugar Cane Vinegar Slaw, Atchara, Fried Garlic, Peruvian Beans, Thai Fried Rice
Wellington Burger – Certified Angus Beef Patty, Roasted Wild Mushrooms, Swiss Cheese, Crispy Potato Strings, Foie Butter, Sunnyside Egg, Brioche Bun, Crispy Potato Nuggets
Kabocha Curry – Tempura Kabocha Squash, Bell Peppers, Spinach and Garlic Fried Rice in Curry Sauce
Asian BLAT – Marinated Roasted Pork Belly, Arugula Salad with Miso Vinaigrette, Heirloom Tomato, Avocado, Texas Toast
Previously quite fond of Kitchen Table during Antonio Nunez tenure, the website now basically a wasteland and infrequent tweets of new plates from Javier nowhere near as exciting as the items created over a year ago, it was largely a matter of the similar location and aged reports that the menu was “all over the place” that prevented a visit to Served from Chef Matthew Meyer until Saturday morning.
Operating under the idea of “Cultural Favorites Redefined,” and featuring the skills of a Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Matteo’s Gourmet Food Catering and Personal Chef Services, Served is hidden in a small mall directly adjacent to the one containing its aforementioned competition and with a long, narrow dining space with humble décor plus medium-level rock music the space itself is clean and pleasant, a few paintings placed for color with textured white surfaces, Roman blinds and comfortable wood chairs accommodating perhaps fifty persons.
Told that the Chef’s menu had recently turned a corner, the vast array of influences and techniques admittedly a source of worry on any menu if the strength of the kitchen is in question, it was with a brief e-mail sent to Matthew that the Chef agreed to size-down several plates into a make-shift Breakfast Tasting Menu at a fixed cost, all but one of the ten dishes tasted setting a high standard for the genre.
Featuring only one waitress on this particular day, no other patrons yet present at 7:30am but several tables sitting down around eight with two large parties slated to arrive around ten o’clock, it was with a glass of water poured as music played that Chef Meyer presented the first dish, Served’s frequently Instagramed ‘Crispy Baked Berry French Toast’ that sees housemade Bread first baked, then soaked in custard and then Deep Fried with a golden exterior that crackles and gives way to semi-solid sweetness nicely paired to reduced Berries and sliced Almonds plus gentle hint of Bourbon.
Continuing sweet with two styles of Pancakes, the texture perhaps a bit compromised by the size as they did not look as fluffy as the Buttermilk rounds displayed online, Matt’s new Parfait Pancakes were largely a combination of two menu items including a side dish made from Greek Yogurt and Honey Granola plus Berries while the “Apple Pie Tempura” style was far more impressive, the combination of skin-on diced Apples sauteed in Butter and battered slices a great one-two punch of texture amidst Brown Sugar, Cinnamon and Walnuts that likened a Praline in flavor.
Informed that full-sized portions are substantially larger than what was being served, the Marble Rye Bread Pudding base of “Corned Beef Bread Pudding Benedict” quoted at a pound itself, those who enjoy the flavor of the Cured St. Patrick’s Day classic will be happy to know that Served’s is both moist and robustly flavored, whether beneath a ladle of housemade Hollandaise alongside crave-worthy Breakfast Potatoes or atop double Tortillas as one of the menu’s many styles of Street Tacos.
At first remorseful that a full order of French Toast had not been requested, but quickly realizing that the number of ‘small’ plates was still going to be quite a bit of food, two more Tacos were served next with both the overloaded Shrimp Tempura and Filipino Sausage even more impressive than the Beef, the former nicely balanced by acid and umami from slaw and sauce, respectively, while the latter trended a bit more sweet thanks to the Sugar Cane and Papaya.
Impressed enough by the Beans and Rice that 2 out of 3 servings were consumed, it was by way of a specially made Slider Bun that one of Meyer’s Burgers was plated in a portion that was still quite substantial, the Medium-Rare Angus with a smooth grind topped with woody Mushrooms, Swiss plus the characteristic sapor of Duck Liver and a lightly cooked Egg every bit as rich as the ingredients would dictate, and in its full-sized portion undoubtedly more than a full meal for most.
Rounding out the morning with two more plates, a small corner of the Asian BLAT speaking volumes about the sourcing at Served as each Organic ingredient rang through, those looking for a touch of heat – or a completely Vegetarian selection – would be well advised to take a look at the lightly battered Kabocha Curry that features the sweet Gourd complimented by Bell Peppers and Spinach atop Rice with just a hint of Garlic in a vibrant and creamy Red Curry Sauce.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Making its way in a city of Public Relations Firms and ‘Spin’ on the back of little more than the Chef’s skills and the quality of his ingredients Served is held back only by its location and the what the local market dictates, the name Matthew Meyer largely unknown amidst the culinary community but one that is outcooking many of the guys on the Strip at a fraction of the cost.
RECOMMENDED: Kabocha Curry, Corned Beef Bread Pudding Benedict, Crispy Baked Berry French Toast, Shrimp Tempura Taco, Wellington Burger.
AVOID: Pancakes were a little flat for my liking, potentially an effect of the sized-down portion that I assume is the Kids version on the menu. Toppings were top-notch, though.
TIP: Open 7a-4p Weekends and until 3pm on Weekdays. Call-ahead Seating or reservations via Yelp! are available. Social Media Check-In saves 15% on total bill.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.