NITRO “BLACK DRAGON” DRAFT COFFEE – nitrogen infused cold brew made in-house
PENNY BENNIES – poached eggs, ham, garlic toast, hollandaise
CHAI LATTE FRENCH TOAST – chai spiced caramel syrup, whipped cream
CINNAMON SWIRL PANCAKES – buttermilk pancakes, brown sugar cinnamon swirl, cream cheese icing
BUFFALO WINGS “ELOTE” – crisp fried chicken wings, bleu cheese sauce and crumbles, shaved celery and carrots
PANUCHO – black bean stuffed corn tortilla, pulled chicken, cabbage, avocado crema, cotija
GYOZA – pork, shrimp, green onion, chinkiang dipping sauce
OLD FASHION CHERRY BOMBE – cherry ice cream, maraschino cherry, chocolate ganache swirl, chocolate shavings, cordial cherry
FAT ELVI – peanut butter, banana, chocolate, vanilla, whipping cream, chocolate dipped bacon
ALMOST BONELESS FRIED CHICKEN – honey kissed chicken, waffle-pressed biscuits, orange marmalade syrup
WALNUT SHRIMP – batter-fried shrimp, sweet and tangy sauce, candied walnuts, rice
KUNG PAO SPAGHETTI – chicken, hoisin, peanuts, chiles
CHOPPED KALE & APPLE SALAD – belgian endive, grapes, candied walnuts, miso-lime vinaigrette
WAFFLE-GRILLED CHEESE – cheddar, swiss, parmesan, monterey jack, tomato soup
MARGHERITA PIZZA – san marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil
STEAK FRITES – bistro steak, garlic herb fries, tarragon aioli, pickled onions
RED VELVET LAVA BROWNIE – red velvet chocolate cookie, double chocolate brownie, molten chocolate ganache, vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream
INVERTED KEY LIME PIE – fresh key lime custard, graham cracker crust, meringue, lychee chocolate truffle
CHOCOLATE PENNY CAKE – chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, hazelnut puff cookie, chocolate sauce, chocolate shavings, chocolate bubble garnish, whipped cream
MIXED BERRY DANISH
PAIN AU CHOCOLAT
When it was made known in mid-2016 that Station Casinos planned to purchase The Palms it was with a watchful eye that changes were gauged at a distance, suggestions that Alize would not be affected thus far holding true aside from Chris Bulen stepping down as Chef and rumors that the Buffet would be closed largely irrelevant, the biggest news since the takeover coming when newly promoted Corporate Executive Chef Joseph Kudrak announced that Lucky Penny had been born from the previous 24 Seven Café Space.
Breaking with tradition for Station Casinos nomenclature, each of their prior properties including Red Rock labeling the all-day and all-night dining option as simply “Grand Café” with the majority of these locations executing better than necessary, Lucky Penny shows a lot of forward thinking in terms of both branding and décor, the formerly dark space now open widely to the gaming floor with plenty of televisions, gold chandeliers and marble plus several unique touches including neon affirmations and cute creatures made of discarded household items.
Not hiding its ‘everything to everyone’ aspirations, a necessity for any Restaurant intending to keep up with the likes of HeXx, Grand Lux or Mr. Lucky’s, it was just past 6:00pm on a Friday that five diners sat down at a large table toward the back of the space where Chef Kudrak was currently helping cooks dial in a menu featuring no less than fifty items, everything from Pancakes to a Lobster Roll and Mongolian Beef offered alongside specialty Cocktails and Shakes, the meal divided into four courses and starting out with Breakfast that featured lemony Eggs Benedict served with crispy Potato squares plus Custard-soaked Chai Latte French Toast flanked in Whipped Cream and a big stack of fluffy Cinnaroll Pancakes dripping with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Part self-selecting the menu and part allowing the kitchen to fill in with some of their favorites it was after some debate as to just how much of the triple-stack to enjoy that servers reset the table for a round of appetizers, two big Shakes with a creamy base and carefully crafted balance soon joining soft-drinks and an unfortunately flat Nitro Coffee as the group received Mexican, Chinese and American favorites; the Pot stickers fairly dull in terms of their filling while both the Tortilla topped in spicy Chicken and the skewered Buffalo Wings fared far better, the former particularly noteworthy as it eats lighter than one would guess with the stuffed Tortilla fried up crisp yet virtually oilless.
Serving Entrees and Sides as a slow roll-out over the course of thirty minutes it was here that Las Vegas gained yet another entry in the race for best Chicken and Waffles, the “Almost Boneless” Breasts pounded out and perfectly tender in golden Batter atop Drop Biscuits taken to the Waffle iron while the Walnut Shrimp and Kung Pao Spaghetti were both on par with any similar plate on Spring Mountain Road, though the later would potentially benefit from a thinner style of Noodle.
Lightening things up a bit with some Greens, the chopped Kale and Apples tossed with Endive, Grapes and Walnuts taken up a notch by bright Vinaigrette, those thinking that Lucky Penny would go ‘boring’ in its American offerings will be surprised to realize that both the dunkable ‘Waffle’ Grilled Cheese and Steak Frites with Paprika Fries and herbal Aioli are the sort of thing one might see on the lunch menu at Delmonico, the Margherita Pizza bubbling up with a good blister and leopard spotted underside topped in hand-crushed Tomatoes and imported Buffalo Mozzarella.
At this point well sated with several unfinished plates boxed as leftovers Chef Kudrak once again stopped by to explain how he did not want Lucky Penny’s Desserts to be ‘generic,’ the decision to instead bring on a full-time Pastry Chef paying immediate dividends not only in terms of the to-go case up front but the menu’s opening lineup of Triple Chocolate Cake served with a spiral of Mousse, a piping-hot Chocolate Brownie served with Vanilla Ice Cream and Red Velvet Cookie spokes and the “Inverted Key Lime Pie” that would not look out of place on the menu at Yardbird, CUT or even perhaps L’Atelier.
FOUR STARS: Fulfilling a promise to update The Palms to modern times, and taking a chance in breaking tradition with an entirely new 24/7 concept despite the obvious success of Grand Café across several venues, Station Casinos appears to have a winner on its hands with Lucky Penny, the ‘necessary’ Hotel dining option doing more than just satisfying its role and actually presenting several dishes on par with restaurants nearly twice its pricepoint in an environment that is both casual and inviting.
RECOMMENDED: Cinnaroll Pancakes, Panucho, Old Fashion Cherry Bombe, Almost Boneless Fried Chicken, Steak Frites, Inverted Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Twist.
AVOID: Nitro Coffee lacked any head or bubbles, Gyoza filling needs a lot of work and the Mixed Berry Danish needs more filling.
TIP: Menu photos attached as it is not currently listed online, all options available 24/7/365.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.