Tempura Green Beans – Spicy Aioli, Unagi Sauce, Togarashi, Toasted Almonds
Gyoza – Pork, Shrimp, Ginger, Cilantro
Bang Bang Broccoli – Crispy Broccoli, TRUFF Aioli, Scallions
Okonomiyaki Pancake – Cabbage, Scallions, Mountain Yam, Kewpie Mayo, Bonito, Nori
Crispy Chicken Bao – Cucumber, Daikon, Sweet Chili, Jalapeno, Cilantro
Singapore Noodles – Shrimp, BBQ Pork, Curry, Vermicelli Noodles, Onion, Scallions
Dan Dan Mein – Ground Pork, Tofu, Cucumber, Shiitake Mushroom, Peanuts
Ramen Mac-n-Cheese – Ramen Noodles, Cheddar, Smoked Gouda, Cream Cheese, Spicy Rice Cracker
Mango Sticky Rice – Sweet Coconut Cream, Rice, Sesame, Mango
Sesame Balls – Adzuki Beans, Glutinous Rice, Sesame Seeds
Nutella Honey Toast – Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Ice Cream, Honey, Nutella, Strawberries
So far making up for the closure of Alize with an impressive makeover of their 24-hour Café and Buffet it was alongside six others that a seat was taken at Send Noodles inside The Palms on Saturday, ages from Children to a Senior Citizen represented including a Chef and Assistant General Manager from elsewhere with all coming away a bit confused by what turned out to be a hit n’ miss meal.
Created by Station Casinos under the direction of Joseph Kudrak and Francis Mo, the former’s oversight a big part of A.Y.C.E. and Lucky Penny’s success with the latter operating as the Noodle Bar’s top toque, Send Noodles is described as featuring “a robust menu with influences from Mandarin, Cantonese, Szechuan, Japanese, Korean, and Thai cuisines as well as creative takes on American and Italian classics using Asian ingredients” and although no menu is yet posted online the concept proves true to its word with seating inside for perhaps fifty at most.
Open now for just four weeks on the north edge of The Buffet, its narrow profile and sparkling-clean bar catching eyes behind neon signage and a hostess podium, it was shortly after getting settled in that beverages including $28 Sake and $6 Thai Tea from a Can were served in addition to Water, Chef Mo stopping by with an associate to say hello and then turning the night over to servers unafraid to upsell more expensive items like Duck and Lobster but otherwise sufficient in their role.
A bit busy to begin but settling down by 7:30pm, an order placed in three rounds coursed out as anticipated save for one forgotten item that was brushed away with excuses rather than an apology, it was while chatting that dinner got started with crave-worthy fried Green Beans topped in Eel Sauce and bright spices while flavorless Gyoza identical to those at Lucky Penny disappointed for $10, the $12 “Bang Bang Broccoli” next proving to be the night’s most polarizing selection as some found the heavily truffled Hot Sauce off-putting while others felt it worked well in the plate’s context.
Intentionally inauthentic but occasionally sticking to tradition, the Japanese Pancake as fluffy and funky as expected beneath dancing Bonito, those looking for excellent Bao would be well-advised to check out crispy Chicken painted in fermented Chili and dressed in crunchy Vegetables while rumor has it the Beef Cheek version is less than stellar, one youth refusing to eat anything but the steamed Bun and his father confirming the Beef was too sweet and unpleasantly textured.
Moving onward to Noodles, a bowl of house Ramen and Mapo Tofu fulfilling the needs of a Gluten-free member of the table, it was in the opinion of one that Singapore-style Vermicelli could have used a bit more Curry that others found fault in overcooked Shrimp, the Dan Dan Mein on the other hand performing very well and appropriately spicy while $11 “Ramen Mac-n-Cheese” was sticky, rich and full of textures that were appealing to all.
Rounding out the evening with Desserts, all three from Send Noodles menu served in double portions, suffice it to say that fans of Adzuki Bean Paste will happily devour Sesame Balls featuring a crispy exterior and almost no oiliness while no one particularly enjoyed Mango Sticky Rice that was thick, pasty and nearly devoid of sweetness, the exact opposite situation as found in $10 Nutella Honey Toast that is every bit as delicious as it sounds but definitely best shared by two or more.
THREE STARS: Certainly not mailing it in with a menu of high aspirations and prices far lower than on-Strip competition it seems as though Send Noodles still needs time to dial in their recipes before being fully recommendable, though those selecting carefully and dining with a group can easily sample a lot of good stuff without spending more than $30-40.
RECOMMENDED: Ramen Mac-n-Cheese, Crispy Chicken Bao, Tempura Green Beans, Dan Dan Mein, Sesame Balls.
AVOID: Gyoza, Beef Cheek Bao, Mango Sticky Rice, Canned Thai Tea.
TIP: Open 11a-11p daily.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.