Jean Georges Steakhouse, Las Vegas NV


Jean Georges Steakhouse

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Yuzu Lemon Drop – Kai Soju, Contreau, Yuzu, Lemongrass

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Pretzel Bread, Baguette, Cranberry Walnut Bread, Spicy Cracker with Butter

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Wagyu Carpaccio – Black Truffle Fritters & Lime Salt, Grated Black Truffles

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Burrata Cheese – Autumn Fruits from the Intuitive Forager, Rice and Seed Cracker

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Foie Gras – Roasted Grapes, Sake Emulsion, Brioche

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Crunchy Organic Chicken – Spinach and Buttery Hot Sauce, Tempura

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Slow Baked Salmon – Black Truffle Crumbs, Smooth and Crispy Parsnips, Coconut Milk, Shaved Truffles

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Diver Scallop – Trumpet Mushrooms & Fragrant Delicata Squash with Flavors of Tom Kha

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Soy Glazed Short Rib – Granny Smith Apple & Jalapeno Slaw and Puree

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Aspen Ridge All Natural Beef, Dry Aged Rangers Valley Australian Beef, Certified A5 Japanese Wagyu with Homemade Hot Sauce, Soy Miso Butter, Bearnaise, JG Steak Sauce

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Baked Sweet Potato – Maple Butter & Seed Granola

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Creamed Kale – Ember Roasted Poblano Pepper

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Black Truffle Mac & Cheese with Shaved Truffle and Brioche Crumble

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Market Apple Pie – Maple Pecan Ice Cream

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Almond Cake – Poached Pear, Fig, Port Sorbet

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Peanut Butter Brownie Sundae – Chocolate Gelato, Whipped Cream, Concord Grape Sorbet, Sliced Grapes, Roasted Peanuts

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Considered by some to be the hipper, younger brother to Jean Georges Vongerichten’s stunning PRIME at Bellagio it may perhaps be a simple case of a saturated marketplace that has seen the New York Restauranteur’s eponymous Steakhouse at Aria overlooked for rankings amongst the city’s best, but recently reintroducing Chef Sean Griffin’s talents to some of the best protein and produce available a nine-course tour of sixteen menu items on Friday showed the sort of creativity rarely associated with restaurants pigeonholed for grilled meats.


Certainly more modern than the soft stylings seen from a fountainside table at Bellagio, the dark interior and wall-sourced lighting adding intimacy to booths while tables near the expansive wine rack are better lit from spotlights up above, music trends a bit ‘bumping’ at times but is never intrusive in the experience, just enough to drown the din of a 400+ person room.


Acknowledging that my menu was part self-selected and otherwise carte-blanche at a discounted tasting-menu price bolstered by a few luxury ingredients and service beyond reproach, it was after greetings from Chefs, Managers, and Sommelier that the meal got started, a $16 Lemon Drop dressing up Soju in citrus beneath a salted rim with herbals greeting both the palate and nose.


Almost empty for the first hour of my meal, but filling to 2/3 capacity by the time 7:30pm rolled around, it was as demi-portions of most of the plates that the menu progressed and with an excellent bread basket featuring warm pretzels and lightly spiced crisps clearly warranting overindulgence the menu evening thankfully started off lightly, two thin slices of wagyu draped delicately over cream-centered fritters with shredded truffles adding a bold and aromatic edge.


Favoring the produce of Kerry Clasby for almost every plate in the place Chef Griffin presented course two as “a farmers basket from the Intuitive Forager,” the smoothness of the cheese playing beautifully off peerless figs, grapes, apples, and pears with nuance and crunch added by a crisp made of rice flour and ground sesame seeds.


Essentially incapable of failing with a perfectly seared slice of foie gras floated on brioche in a bubbling broth of top grade sake with notes described by the restaurant’s Somm, it was onward to a surprisingly even better bird that the evening moved forth, the grilled tempura-fried chicken offering the utmost amount of crunch encircling juicy flesh as hot sauce dissolved in butter found its foil in tender spinach beneath.


Next offering two protiens I’d suggested as ‘dull’ when asked why my self-seleccted menu contained no fish, suffice it to say that although the salmon was well cooked it was completely secondary to the quality of accoutrements including shaved truffles and lightly sweetened parsnips in two forms while the sashimi-grade scallop may as well have been raw at its interior beneath a caramelized sear while light heat accented the aromatic broth.


Acknowledging jokes about ordering short ribs at a steakhouse, but worth tossing that rule out the window for the soy-soaked masterpiece that embodies Vongerichten’s East-West fusion style, it was in three carefully sourced steaks along with sides that savories concluded, each medium-rare strip tender and remarkably different, the nutty dry-aged funk of the Australian hybrid my personal favorite while both the sweet potato and truffle topped pasta were both sides one may wish to hoard rather than share.

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Impressed by elaborate desserts at PRIME, but seeing the menu trend more upscale-comfortable on the Aria’s second floor, one would be hard-pressed to name s better apple pie in the city than the cast-iron masterpiece with a sugar crusted lattice and although the almond cake itself was a bit more dry than one might have wanted despite the sorbet, figs, and balsamic a far better composition was found in the tasting-menu-only sundae, a case of the classic flavors of peanut butter and jelly reinvented with no layer upon layer of texture and intrigue.


FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Undoubtedly underregarded in a city where steakhouses sometimes seem far too common, Jean Georges Steakhouse not only steps outside the tried-and-true formula of success but does so with some of the best ingredients in the city, a fact easily overlooked by the expense account or convention crowd but one that shows the work of a kitchen willing to take the extra steps to provide those paying attention a truly excellent experience.

RECOMMENDED: Crunchy Organic Chicken, Baked Sweet Potato, Dry Aged Rangers Valley Australian Beef, Soy-Glazed Short Rib, Market Apple Pie.

AVOID: The Almond Cake was too dry and the baguette in the bread basket fails to live up to the rest.

TIP: Offering a $69 early evening menu, $125 tasting menu, and daily specials there are plenty of great ways to dine at Jean Georges Steakhouse without breaking the bank…and plenty of good ways to go all-in, as well.

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

Jean Georges Steakhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Dessert, Foie, Food, Ice Cream, Jean Georges Steakhouse, Las Vegas, Nevada, Tasting Menu

Chada Street, Las Vegas NV


Chada Street

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Blue Pea Limenade

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Sai Oua – Northern Style Spicy Herb Sausage

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Moo Ping – Garlic Pork Skewers


Kao Pad Mun Pu – Crab Fried Rice

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Sen Mee Kang Pou – Crab Curry with Rice Noodles

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Duck Panang – Crispy Roasted Duck with Panang Curry

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Kang Kua Supparos – Pork and Pineapple Curry

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Ka Moo Tod – Crispy Pork Hock

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Peak Kai Saap – Spicy Tangy Chicken Wings

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Pad Ped Pla Duk – Crispy Catfish with Chili Paste and Green Bean

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Larb Moo – Ground Pork, Chili, Onion, Lime Juice, Fish Sauce


Moo Tod Nam Pla – Fried Pork Belly with Nam Prik Noom

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O-Aew – Shaved Ice, Coconut Jelly, Palm Seed, Red Bean, Black Jelly

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Kanom-Pung Sung Kaya – Warm Bread with Pandan Custard

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Honey Toast – Chocolate

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Honey Toast – Vanilla


In some ways taking a ”casual” detour from the more traditional cuisine of Chada Thai and Wine on Jones, Bank Atcharawan’s recently launched Chada Street sees the acclaimed chef take on an aggressive menu of items commonly consumed from the vendors of Thailand’s street markets, the results oftentimes resoundingly successful though service still has a long way to go.


Elegantly decorated in a stripmall on Spring Mountain, the bustling plaza unfortunately falling short of parking on Saturday at 7:30pm, Chada Street occupies a footprint nearly threefold the size of Bank’s original restaurant and with a well-appointed bar beneath a photographic mural stretching the length of the dining room the seating options offered are multiple, the leather-clad lounge up front perfect for relaxation while a more proper meal is offered amongst low-lit tables or a private room extending back behind all-glass wine storage.


Prominently featuring Rieslings, though certainly not lacking for well-priced spirits sourced from around the globe, it was with menus presented beneath lightly playing tunes from Chvrches that our party of seven made selections, a total of twelve plates complimented by three more at the chef’s discretion proving an adequate amount of food for all persons present with some actually leaving quite stuffed.

Noting up front that waitresses undoubtedly speak better English than I do Thai, suffice it to say that language barriers played a big part in service issues almost from the moment seats were taken and despite repeated requests to have items paced out it was not once but twice that items were returned to the kitchen, drink refills clearly not on the list of priorities despite the menu’s bold spice profile while other oysters and pandan custard were forgotten until staff was reminded.


Speaking next to the quality of the kitchen it should seem obvious that such a broad menu is bound to occasionally miss the mark, but setting aside pork belly that was surprisingly devoid of flavor and O-Aew that was more snow-cone than shaved ice the rest of the cuisine was well crafted and occasionally quite stunning without once drifting too spicy to be appealing.

Doing our best to experience a wide swath of Chada Street’s cuisine it was perhaps with good fortune that opening plates showed most strongly, and with blue tea that turned purple with the addition of citrus adequately refreshing palates between bites both the housemade pork sausage and duo of crabs were each boldly flavored and nicely presented, a requested side of rice helping sop up the Sen Mee Kang Pou’s sauce while skewers of grilled pork would have better ordered in double to allow for more sharing.

Already seeing the 8-top’s capacity likely to be challenged by sizable service plates and portions defying the low costs it was mere moments after round one that two more curries presented, the slightly overcooked pork shank also allowed to be delivered while four more plates were refused, then sent back once more to be reprepared just ten minutes later so that the crispy skinned fowl and pork in a pool of spicy pineapple broth could properly be savored.

No doubt attuned to his recipes, Atcharawan’s spicier plates saved until later in the meal, it was with a light tingle from the crab and duck sill lingering on the lips that the oft-raved larb was presented, and ‘hot’ to some even though requested medium both the flavor and texture were indeed excellent, the catfish in chili paste equally praiseworthy while the crisp chicken wings got a little lost in a flavor I presume was a numbing spice mixed with tamarind.

Passing on durian based desserts and modestly amused by the mix-ins beneath the aforementioned ‘shaved ice,’ it was perhaps ‘lucky’ that a double order of warm bread beneath sweet custard reminiscing of Ghostbusters was brought forth singular since several in the group were already topped off, the duo of honey toasts forgivingly smaller than those at Hachi or Izakaya and undoubtedly benefited by more honey and creamier ice cream.

THREE AND A HALF STARS: Still finding its footing, the front of house lagging behind the skills of those at the stoves, Chada Street is a welcome addition to a genre that has seen great growth since Lotus of Siam became a destination, the comfortable modern layout and favorable pricepoint more than enough reason for both neophytes and fans of the original to stop in for anything from a small bite to a multi-course feast with wine.

RECOMMENDED: Larb Moo, Sai Oua, Pad Ped Pla Duk, Sen Mee Kang Pou, Kanom-Pung Sung Kaya.

AVOID: Moo Tod Nam Pla, O-Aew.

TIP: Open for lunch as well as dinner on weekdays, dinner only on Saturday and Sunday, the online menu currently only represents a fraction of the plates offered, those interested in specifics are encouraged to call and inquire.

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

Chada Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Chada Street, Crab, Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork

Showboy Bakeshop, Henderson NV


Showboy Bakeshop

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Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Pumpkin Cookie

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Peanut Butter Cookie

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Red Velvet and Buttercream Showich

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Red Carpet Cupcake – Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Wonderland Cupcake – Carrot Cake with Orange Blossom Cream Cheese

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The Showboy Cupcake – Marble Cake with Nutella Mousse

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The Show Off Cupcake – Salted Caramel Buttercream on Devil’s Food Cake filled with Dulce de Leche


Long on my Henderson ‘to do’ list with interest stoked by recent praise from a friend who used the bakery to craft a special event cake, it was just after 3:00pm on Saturday afternoon that a stop was made at Showboy Bakeshop, the small stripmall space all decked out in spooky skeletons, spiders, and pirates for the upcoming Halloween holiday with a bright eyed middle-age clerk happy to chat and recommendations not for lack.

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Voted “Best of Las Vegas” by The Review-Journal and featuring the baked goods of former Strip performer Stephen Lowry while partner Jared Sullivan puts his management studies from UNLV to good use in running the shop, those visiting Showboy for the first time are likely to be impressed by the attention to detail in everything from presentation to decoration, over a dozen varieties of cupcakes routinely offered while fancy custom cakes build the fortress atop a semicircular counter behind glass.

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Certainly a ‘locals only’ sort of place, the Anthem Village Drive address several miles from any sort of tourist destination worth mention, it was after some discussion with staff about recommendations as well as personal preferences that eight items were selected, the $18.25 total not exactly a deal considering the fact that most of the items, at least by modern standards, trend petite.


Taking the boxed and bagged goods elsewhere for enjoyment, the small table at Showboy pretty enough though awkward in full view of the room, it was with a quartet of cookies that tasting soon commenced and although the cream-filled Red Velvet sandwich was soft and pleasant with the white chocolate chips adding nuance, the rest of the $1.25-each trio unfortunately offered little in terms of moistness, the peanut butter particularly inedible without a beverage though the pumpkin did at least offer a nice bit of spice.


Expecting a bit more from cupcakes, the store proudly displaying Food Network credentials on a poster near the door, it was admittedly a difficult process narrowing ‘wants’ to just four selections and balancing personal tastes with supposed ‘best sellers’ both the Red Velvet and Dark Chocolate “Show Off” featured a moist base beneath smooth frosting, the same not to be said of the eponymous Marble Cake that was again far to dry while “Wonderland” made me wonder why anyone would ruin such a good carrot cake with notes of Sunny-D.

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TWO AND A HALF STARS: Unquestionably living up to its name, the showmanship evident in everything from the store’s layout to exquisite cake designs, Lowry’s self-training is unfortunately evident in hit-and-miss execution with the desert dryness doing several items no favors and unnecessary flights of whimsy occasionally getting in the way.

RECOMMENDED: The Show Off, Red Carpet, Red Velvet Showich.

AVOID: The Showboy, Peanut Butter Cookie, Wonderland (unless you really love artificial citrus.)

TIP: Open daily at 10am, Showboy Bakeshop also offers several baking essentials, cake stands, and gifts as well as branded goods.

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

Showboy Bakeshop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in cupcakes, Dessert, Food, Henderson, Las Vegas, Nevada, Showboy, Showboy Bakeshop

Born and Raised, Henderson NV


Born and Raised

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Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes – Salsa Verde, Sour Cream, Pico de Gallo, Avocado

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Con Queso – Warm Tortilla Chips, Chorizo Cheese Dip

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Corn Doggy Dogs – Mini Turkey Corn Dogs, Sriracha Ketchup

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Poutine – French Fries, Melted Mozzarella, Brown Gravy, Shredded Beef

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Stuffed Mushrooms – Spinach, Caramelized Onion, Parmesan, Mozzarella Cheese


JC Crunch Slider – Ground Angus, BBQ Potato Chips, Cheddar Cheese, Jalapeno Cream Cheese

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Chicken Katsu Slider – Panko Crust, Tonkatsu Sauce, Hawaiian Macaroni Salad


BBQ Pulled Pork Slider – Homemade Bar-B-Cue Sauce, Cole Slaw

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Cubano – Roast Pork, Ham, Swiss, Pickles, Mustard


Banh Mi – Sriracha Glazed Chicken, Cucumber, Cilantro, Carrots, Sriracha Aioli

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Breakfast Slider – Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, American Cheese

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Blueberry Pancake – Brown Sugar Whiskey Syrup

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Buttermilk Pancake – Brown Sugar Whiskey Syrup

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Cookie Dough Pancake – Brown Sugar Whiskey Syrup

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Carrot Cake French Toast – Cinnamon Cream Cheese, Brown Sugar Whiskey Syrup

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Fried Chicken and Donut Sandwich – Pepper-Jack Cheese, Bacon, Brown Sugar Whiskey Syrup served on a Glazed Donut


With more 24/7 dining establishments than any other two Americam cities combined, Born And Raised holds a special place in Las Vegas’ most under-regarded niche genre largely as a result of its dedication to local culture and the Runnin’ Rebels but also in part due to a menu that tries a lot harder than it ‘needs’ to, the new Henderson location offering a similar experience to the Southwest original with a significant upgrade in décor.

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Proudly touting its homegrown ownership and featuring large murals of Fear & Loathing as well as Elvis plus a bathroom papered with an aerial shot of the urban sprawl it was with prior arrangements made through Marketing Director Curtis Boldman that a menu was arranged to allow for demi-portions of some plates as well as single sliders when the usual order comprises three of the same.

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Without a doubt a great place for watching sports, the wall of televisions complimented by tableside bluetooth broadcast boxes that can be tuned to commentary over the din of tunes ranging from Hendrix and Seger to Aerosmith and CCR, it was with pleasant, if not attentive, service that the meal took place throughout the first-half of the Wolverines vs. Spartans shocker, requests for courses to be spaced out by the kitchen repeatedly ignored while coffee refills took a backseat to other tables running up a more substantial tab of beer and mixed drinks.

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Offering the whole menu all-day and all-night it was in sixteen items that an opinion of B.A.R.’s cuisine was amassed and although the breakneck pace often led to overcrowding and an ability to truly enjoy the items as leisurely as I would have liked the results were generally occasionally executed, albeit with a several significant fumbles.


Starting out with a corncake that was lukewarm on arrival and really done no favors by flavorless salsa and pico despite avocado that was creamy and fresh, it was onward to miniature corndogs with ketchup that was really no better than that from a bottle that the meal marched onward, B.A.R.’s signature sliders thankfully offering a greater degree of intrigue as the Tonkatsu, Cubano, and Banh Mi all riffed admirably on the sandwiches in which they were rooted, the perfect medium ground beef with chips a surprisingly complex little bite while the pulled pork was unfortunately far too sweet.


Thoroughly turned off by mushroom caps that were rendered rubbery in a pool of butter, the mozzarella put to far better use atop crispy fries with gravy and shredded beef that arrived in an enormous bowl despite instructions from the waitress that portions should be halved, suffice it to say I did manage to enjoy a quite a few bites before an overfilled table saw the cheese coagulate, a small sample of Con Queso not so lucky as it quickly became gelatinous and thick enough to break off the store-bought chips.

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Admittedly most interested in breakfast fare, the slider served earlier on featuring a nice piece of bacon with fluffy eggs and American cheese, it was in a crispy chicken breast atop a grilled donut that savory courses transitioned to more dessert-like items, the light brushing of maple admirably complimenting the briny bacon and melted pepperjack cheese.


Passing on pancakes during visits to the original Born And Raised, but here given the chance to taste all three as singles, those fancying a more fluffy flapjack would do best to search elsewhere for as much as both the bountiful blueberries and melted chunks of raw cookie were indeed tasty all three discs were served without butter and a touch too crispy, the sliced and griddled carrot cake a far better investment with a moist center full of nuts and spice nicely accented by rich cream cheese frosting.


TWO AND A HALF STARS: A flawed showing, perhaps in some ways my fault for not being very specific from the outset that I had no time commitments and wanted to watch the whole game without being rushed, my initial impressions formed at the original Born And Raised were mostly confirmed during a visit to its gorgeous new storefront, the menu far more intriguing than the average “Sports Bar” or 24/7 though service and execution remain a work in progress.

RECOMMENDED: Chicken Katsu Slider, Cubano Slider, Poutine, Fried Chicken and Donut Sandwich, Carrot Cake French Toast.

AVOID: Stuffed Mushrooms, Con Queso, Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes, Pulled Pork Slider.

TIP: 24/7 with Free WiFi, those sensitive to smoke are encouraged to sit as close to the large wall of televisions as possible, or to request the garage door gated private room with largescale theater screen.

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

Born And Raised Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in B.A.R., Born and Raised, Breakfast, Coffee, Dessert, Food, French Toast, Henderson, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pancakes, Pork

Hachi Japanese Yakitori Izakaya, Las Vegas NV


Hachi Yakitori

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Tamago Omelet – Ginger

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Crispy Chicken Skin


Garlic Edamame

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Shiitake Butter – Shiitake Mushroom with butter & soy sauce

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Yamaimo Chips – Japanese Mountain Yam Skin fried with Isobe Style

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Ikayaki – Spicy Mayo

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Juicy Chicken Karaage – Deep Fried Chicken thigh with house special negi sauce

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Ground Tsukune


Cheese Chikuwa Tempura – Mozzarella cheese wrapped with fish cake and deep fried with tempura

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Pork Belly Tare

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Teppan Beef Tongue – Tomatoes and Bean Sprouts

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Kurobuta Sausage – Ketchup and Mustard, Salsa

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Appetizer Trio – Eggplant Mustard, Tuna with Seaweed and Miso, Arugula Negi

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Matcha Panna Cotta – Red Bean

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Honey Toast – Vanilla Ice Cream


Located on Jones, in the same plaza as China Mama and Chada Thai, Hachi is a relative newcomer to the growing izakaya scene in Las Vegas’ Chinatown and owned by the team behind acclaimed Ramen Sora it was with two friends and a four year old that dinner was enjoyed this past Saturday, the results a bit mixed but at times more impressive than Raku at a lower pricepoint and far less of a hassle.


Spacious in layout, a center bar welcoming solos and those looking to experience a limited selection of raw fish cut to order, it was at one of the comfortable booths circling the restaurant perimeter that our group was sat and with service always nearby, pleasant, and happy to answer questions it was after a brief description of daily specials that a bakers-dozen items were selected, several ordered in duplicate with the total bill tallying just under $30 per person.


Unfortunately one of those places to which “coursing out” plates is a foreign concept, despite several requests not to overwhelm the table, it was with a relatively limp and flavorless presentation of chilled omelet that the meal kicked off, but following this up almost immediately with two styles of fried crisps both the chicken skins and house-special mountain yam were lightly seasoned and virtually oilless, the first bold bit of flavor presented by garlic soaked edamame that permeated the air in a ten foot radius.


Underwhelming again with buttered mushrooms that were tender enough, though not particularly well displayed beneath too much salt, it was with the whole squid that grilled items began to arrive, the tenderness of the cephalopod’s flesh found beneath snappy initial resistance as a kiss of charred lemon added ‘pop’ with or without the spicy mayo addition.


Surprised by the thickness of fried chicken thigh that was both tender and immensely juicy on a plate of miso sauce imbued with smoke and onions the evening’s most intriguing bite was soon offered by “Cheese Chikuwa Tempura,” the thinly rolled fish layer not dissimilar to the flavor of salt-cod beneath light batter with a gooey mozzarella interior.


Progressing to three items from the low temperature binchotan grill, all ‘Out-Rakuing’ Raku in terms of smoke profile and tenderness with the ground pork Tsukune particularly memorable amongst the group, it was with a bit less enthusiasm that the daily appetizer trio hit out table – the raw tuna well flavored while the rest were mostly throwaways, the daily special beef tongue marred by being overcooked by tableside searing, a Bill Walton quote-in-waiting about “letting the show get in the way of the game.”


Saddening the little fella at the table by informing us that softserve was unavailable it was nonetheless in two desserts that the evening called it an end and although the bittersweet panna cotta with an unexpected red bean core was a bit meager in portion considering the $6 pricetag, the $7.98 Honey Toast more than made up for it as the half-loaf was presented golden, buttery, and crisp yet at the same time still saturated with sweetness.


THREE STARS: Excelling with some items while fumbling and frustrating with others that seemed slipshod in their execution despite otherwise good ingredients and intentions, Hachi is the sort of place where a good meal can be had at a relatively low investment while a more memorable overall experience would be better sought at Raku for those interested in esoterica or Kyara at a similar cost.

RECOMMENDED: Tsukune, Cheese Chikuwa Tempura, Ikayaki, Honey Toasr

AVOID: Appetizer Trio, Tamago.

TIP: 5pm to 2:30am daily, specials listed on the whiteboard at the door.

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

Hachi Japanese Yakitori Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Dessert, Food, Hachi, Hachi Japanese Yakitori Izakaya, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork

Other Mama, Las Vegas NV


Other Mama

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Kinmedai – Shaved Caviar, Orange Zest, Fennel, Sea Salt

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Live Octopus Carpaccio with Cilantro, Peppers, Onions, Garlic, House Ponzu, Sesame Oil

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Lobster Chawanmushi with Lobster, Lobster Mushrooms, Lobster Gravy, Tempura Shiso

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Blue Crab, Caviar, Asparagus Hand Roll

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Caviar & French Toast – Crème Fraiche

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Oyster Foie Rockefeller

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Shrimp & Jalapeño Hush Puppies

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Togarashi Waffle Fries with Miso Hollandaise

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Pork Belly Kim Chi Fried Rice – Wild Mushroom, Fried Egg

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Japanese Cheesecake with Blackberry Puree

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Miso Honey Ice Cream


Successful in the rare trifecta of wowing critics, Yelpers, and even his fellow chefs ever since opening the doors it was nonetheless with modest expectations that a ‘challenge,’ of sorts, from Chef Dan Krohmer was accepted, his suggestion to sit in front of him at the sushi bar for a tour of Other Mama’s menu showing not only the sort of sourcing and creativity rarely seen in the Southwest suburbs, but also a man truly dedicated to his craft.


Repeatedly praised for elaborate mixology and oysters that outperform their modest price, it was admittedly a general blasé for both that contributed to an avoidance of the spot for so long despite its accolades, and communicating exactly that to the 35-year owner it was with some of the best restaurant tunes in Sin City playing that I sat back in the comfort of a high-backed chair and placed the experience in his hands.


Raised in a small American mining town but finding his passion for sushi in the mid-teens with subsequent training ranging from Northern California all the way to Japan those who are lucky enough to chat with Krohmer will find him to be a humble and straightforward sort with plenty of opinions, anecdotes, and amusing perceptions about dining out and starting with fresh fishes brought in daily from purveyors harnessed through work with Morimoto and others the meal began with meaty slices of Golden Eye Snapper topped in orange zest and compressed caviar, the fattiness of the mild fish providing a silky mouthfeel while the accents rode high on the palate in complimentary fashion as not to overwhelm.


Certainly not an AYCE spot with rolls dripping in God-knows-what, Dan’s most ‘saucy’ plate was a carpaccio of nerve-intact octopus straight from Japan and slicing it razor thin with a warm topping of ponzu and aromatic vegetables the flavor was exceedingly complex yet not at all fussy, a similar compliment due for the steamed jar of custard that simultaneously roused thoughts of lobster bisque with more texture and more traditional chawanmushi with more nuance, the shiso an inspired addition that played well off the mushroom-based umami.


Treated next to a handroll that really couldn’t fail by matching sweet blue crab to caviar with late-season asparagus added for crunch it was onward to demi-portions of some of Other Mama’s signatures that the Omakase marched on, the caviar French Toast a clever little bite that appeals to my well-documented breakfast proclivities while the meal’s lone oyster replaced butter with foie gras in an otherwise classic preparation that had me wishing for another piece of toast to soak up the liver infused liquor.


Rounding out the meal with three fried items, certainly a bit more hearty than the meal’s light start, it serves as a testament to the skill of the staff that each one still far outperformed what might be expected as the hushpuppies were so lightly oiled that they could have easily passed for baked while the crispy hand-cut fries were better than any served at some Strip steakhouse, both sauces also quite memorable, particularly the miso-lightened Hollandaise, as was a sizable bowl of fried rice with generous slices of pork belly set against a backdrop of woodsy mushrooms and modestly heated housemade kimchee.


At first sort of surprising that desserts are made in house, at least until I had talked to Chef Krohmer and realized he’d have it no other way, suffice it to say that those looking for a sweeter cheesecake will likely find the one at Other Mama a bit flat while the texture could stand to be a bit more creamy, but admitting that the ice creams are made with nothing more than at $200 Kitchen-Aid the smarter money is no doubt on one of the four or five daily options, in this case the oft-praised Miso-Honey proving to be one of the very best scoops in the city and a veritable steal at just two dollars for something so subtly sweet and creamy.


FOUR AND A HALF STARS: In so many ways the perfect answer to the question of what sort of restaurant Las Vegas NEEDS it is only the small size of the kitchen at Other Mama and relative limitations of such that are holding Krohmer and his team back from being a true destination sort of place, although perhaps that is actually a good thing considering too much more praise may make it difficult to get a seat.

RECOMMENDED: Live Octopus Carpaccio, Lobster Chawanmushi, Caviar & French Toast, Pork Belly Kimchee Fried Rice, Miso Honey Ice Cream.


AVOID: Admitting a pronounced sweet tooth I would have preferred a sweeter cheesecake and more dessert options in general, though a run through the rest of the ice creams is assuredly going to take place next time.

TIP: Beginning Happy Hour this coming week, starting at 4pm, what more incentive do you need to go?


Other Mama Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Crab, Dessert, Foie, Food, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Lobster, Nevada, Octopus, Other Mama, Pork, Tasting Menu

Pawn Donut and Coffee, Las Vegas NV


Pawn Donut and Coffee

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

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The King

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Raised and Glazed

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Apple Fritter

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Holey Moley! Donut Holes (Red Velvet and Classic)


Located in the recently opened Pawn Plaza, a sort-off “Container Park” concept on South Las Vegas Boulevard near to the Shop that spawned the Show that launched the musical (that bombed) and countless other concepts comprising the Brand, it was midday Friday that a stop was made at Pawn Donut and Coffee, and with friendly attendants offering contests and coupons in the free lot a quick perusal of other eateries showed a number of familiar faces, a familiarity that actually spills over to both the fried carbohydrates and coffee roasted by Illy.


Admitting a bit of predilection to the pastry our country has always defined as a breakfast treat but only recently rediscovered as something worthy of more artistry and attention to detail, it does not take more than a quick perusal of the PD&C website to realize the work is eerily similar to Pink Box or Donut Mania, the later actually producing the goods at owner Ralph Cautela’s request as he feels their donuts are the best in The Valley.


Not particularly wowed by my lone visit to Donut Mania, the pastries themselves good enough but off-put by the owner accosting me at the door for simply snapping an exterior photo before explaining himself and telling his story, suffice it to say that options are a bit more limited at the Pawn Plaza outlet while the nod definitely goes their way for smiling service and outdoor seating, though certainly not for pricing.


Acknowledging the address + fame-based up-sell, though still not thrilled to spend nearly $15 for six selections ranging from $1.50 Classics to $3 for 5 Donut Holes and a $2.50 Special, it was with each item bagged individually that way was made to the patio for indulgence, first bites of the cake-style red velvet a bit light in cocoa while the white version tasted like a top-tier old fashioned with great texture to the dough.


Onward to the brioche style of yeasted donuts made popular at Pink Box, though supposedly developed by Wayne at Donut Mania, a Raised and Glazed ring next proved pillowy and delicious while the layers of lamination beneath a sugary lacquer placed the much improved alt-named hybrid on par with ACE on Tropicana or Press at The Four Seasons amongst the best textured in the country.

Unfortunately finding the seasonal filled donut to be far too much cream cheese and not enough spice or pumpkin puree, it was in two more successful selections that the not-so-modest snack concluded, the fritter well constructed with lots of apples and crispy edges in the soft-centered East Coast style while The King somehow managed to balance what must have been nearly a quarter cup of peanut butter with bruleed banana and plenty of crispy bacon stuck to a dark chocolate layer on top.

THREE STARS: Having now visited every independent doughnuttery in Las Vegas and Henderson, the results ranging from dreadful KD’s to world class ACE, Pawn Donut and Coffee is a good choice for tourists and those who happen to be in the area, though locals would be better served to experience the goods from their South Durango source where each is freshy made and a quarter or two cheaper, as well.

RECOMMENDED: Cronut, Plain Donut Holes, The King.

AVOID: Pumpkin Cheesecake.

TIP: Currently open 8a-8p Seven Days a Week to test the market, deliveries scheduled 1-2 times daily depending on demand.

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

Posted in Dessert, Donut Mania, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pawn Donut and Coffee, Pawn Plaza, Pork

chow, Las Vegas NV



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Kinda Chinese riblets – Bite size, bone in, pork ribs ~ hoisin bbq sauce

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Shrimp dumpling – shrimp shumei with crispy bacon & dipping sauce

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Crab rangoon dip – Fried eggroll skins, ponzu citrus sauce

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Pho-style tofu – Cabbage, carrots, red peppers, enoki mushrooms, vegan pho-style broth, seared tofu


Crispy southern fried chicken – Sweet corn mini muffins, pickled jalapenos (4pc)

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General Chow’s chicken – Crispy fried chicken, ginger, garlic, soy, rice vinegar, sweet & hot chili peppers

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Chi-‘talian noodles – Bolognese-style ground pork sauce, carrots, cilantro, onion, mint over Chinese gamien (wheat) noodles

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Sweet corn mini muffins


Sriracha macaroni & cheese

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Mama’s rice pudding

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Old school banana pudding

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Looking more vigorous than ever since losing nearly eighty pounds following gastric sleeve surgery, though still recognized by many to be one of Downtown’s first true pioneers, Natalie Young has achieved a lot in her career launched at eat, so much perhaps that it was with too high of expectations that I sat down with two ‘industry’ friends at chow, the recently launched “Fried Chicken and Chinese” joint.


Truly a Chef cooking from her heart, the legions of fans still waiting out-front of 707 East Carson each weekend a testament to the longevity of a menu that has never really needed to change, chow sees Young expanding Fremont East towards the sketchy borders approaching PublicUS and with The Bunkhouse soon to reopen plus another intriguing proposition across the street it would seem that she is again ahead of the curve, the repurposed space borrowing from Momofuku as well as Mission Chinese in its décor while still retaining a feel both homey and unique.


Channeling music from Led Zeppelin to Prince with some 80’s power-ballads tossed into the mix, chow’s menu speaks likewise of a cross-cultural mash-up of small plates alongside more sizable mains, the names as well as the concepts at times straight from take-out Chinese menus while other dishes riff on tradition in a tongue-in-cheek hipster sort of way.


Told at the door by a local ‘critic’ that the Pho was not to be missed, it was alongside three additional appetizers that our 6pm meal commenced and with servers thrice mistaking one diner’s Sprite for water while another woman’s sole duty seemed to be walking around stating – not inquiring – how good everything was suffice it to say that the tofu cubes in broth was at the very best forgettable, entirely bland and lifeless on its own and all the moreso when compared to the savory shrimp dumplings and sticky-sweet riblets, the cream cheese dip cleverly presented though decidedly light in crab.


Pleasantly paced with good conversation filling the space in between bites as tunes were thankfully not played overly loud from above, it was next in three entrees and two ‘highly recommended’ sides that palates were entrusted, the Southern Fried Chicken well seasoned straight through to the flesh alongside cornbread so dry that it was virtually inedible while both the oiled up noodles and spicy offering from the General were pronounced ‘perfect drunk food,’ the sobriety questionable of anyone fancying limp macaroni that banks on Sriracha to make its sales pitch beneath a top that is cooked to a leathery tan.


Going old-school Southern with desserts, all three from the menu ordered with Banana Pudding doubled up, those reminiscing of childhood stuff straight from the box are likely to enjoy the thickness offered by ‘Nilla wafers and roughly chopped fruit while the “rice pudding” ate like a more toothsome Jewish Kugel, the ‘dirt’ is a jar mostly just Hershey syrup and crushed up Oreos no better that what can be bought in cafeterias or at the grocery store.


TWO AND A HALF STARS: Only half-successful in execution, though admittedly early in ts run, chow will no doubt garner praise from locals if only for the city’s infatuation with Fremont East and its charismatic chef while the food still has a long way to go – place chow in any other clinical context without the involvement of Downtown Project and you have the mediocrity of M&M Soulfood meets the lesser offerings of Spring Mountain Road.

RECOMMENDED: Kinda Chinese Riblets, Chi-‘talian noodles, Shrimp Dumplings.

AVOID: Pho-Style Tofu, Sweet Corn Mini Muffins, Sriracha Macaroni & Cheese, Dirt.

TIP: Now open for lunch, those tired of waiting at eat may wish to check out chow to experience Young’s cuisine, though its a tough sell with nearby Glutton, Carson Kitchen, and Therapy executing far better at a similar price point.

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

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

Posted in Bread Basket, chow, Cornbread, Crab, Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork

Bardot Brasserie [2,] Las Vegas NV


Bardot Brasserie

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Val de Mer Brut Rose



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La Boulangerie – Canele, Kouign Amann, Croissant, Chocolate Snail

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Warm Baguette

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Seasonal Fruit – Frozen Yogurt-Pistachio Parfait, Buckwheat Beignets

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Charcuterie Board – Pate, Pork Rillettes, Saucisson Sec, Bayonne Ham

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Smoked Salmon – Everything Brioche, Chive Mascarpone, Traditional Garnishes

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Foie Gras Parfait – Ruby Port Gelee, Grilled Country Bread

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Petit Onion Soup Gratinee – Classic Beef Broth, Baguette Crostini, Cave Aged Gruyere

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Hearth Baked Quiche Forestiere with Laura Chenel Goat Cheese and Wild Mushrooms

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King Crab Crepe – Buckwheat Crepe, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Sunny-Side Egg, Cider Beurre Blanc

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French Omelette – Fines Herbs, Gruyere Cheese, Hash Browns, Salade Vert

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Bardot Steak and Eggs – Prime Rib Eye, Two Fried Eggs, Hash Browns, Sauce Verte

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Hunter’s Waffle – Duck Confit, Root Vegetables, Poached Eggs, Sauce Maltaise

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Short Rib Croissant Benedict – Two Poached Eggs, Sauteed Kale, Bearnaise

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Maine Lobster Thermidor – Remy Martin VSOP Cream, Root Vegetables, Bearnaise

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Nutella Sticky Bun – Warm Vanilla Brioche, Brown Sugar, Candied Hazelnuts

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French Toast – Brioche, Vanilla Mascarpone, Almond Brittle, Orgeat Syrup

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Chocolate Macaron – French Chocolate Cookie, Dark Chocolate Mousse

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Camus VS Elegance Cognac


Situated in the upstairs space at Aria that once held American Fish with a layer of polish that has not faded a bit since opening the doors earlier this year, it was with a favorable first impression already formed that I suggested brunch at Bardot Brasserie to a visiting friend from Los Angeles, the end result an absolutely dazzling feast for eight that ranks amongst the nation’s very best.


Benefited by a multi-million-dollar rebrand that starts at the beautiful bar before extending to the lowered floors in back, Bardot offers a sensory experience not unfamiliar from many witnessed during a recent trip to Lyon, but gussied up in casino dollars and the name Michael Mina the feel is at the same time very “Vegas,” meant in the most complimentary ‘high-on-style’ sort of way.

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Not exactly as refined as the eponymous space at Bellagio, but a far better experience than Mina’s money-grab meat-market at Mandalay Bay, Bardot Brasserie features the culinary talents of Chef Josh Smith and with high quality product sourcing treated classically, plus an occasional touch of whimsy, the presentation of each dish is almost as attractive as it is delicious, each of sixteen plates at the very least on par with any in The Valley while a few approached the level of legendary.


Beginning with a brisk glass of rose, an unlimited option available to those with more tolerance than I, and then partaking in a bottomless cup of coffee from LAMill it was with carte blanche deference to Chef Smith that the meal began and although I remain underwhelmed by the oft-raved canele as compared to those served elsewhere both the kougin amann and complimentary baguette are extremely well crafted, the same to be said of croissants that form the base of benedicts and crusty country bread.


In a way starting lightly, at least as much as is possible when presenting unctuous duck liver and a quartet of artisan meats, it was additionally to a platter of fresh fruit alongside a frozen Greek yogurt that the table was treated and yet as good as the cup of buckwheat donuts were they simply couldn’t hold a candle to the miniature loaf of ‘everything’ brioche served next to lightly smoked salmon, not to mention chive infused mascarpone that one-upped the stuff from Philadelphia by several creamy degrees.


Next offered a ramekin of French Onion soup that offers a great degree of beefy complexity without all the salt that often serves only to off-set any semblance of balance, it was next a slow roll-out of seven savories that landed upon the table, the Hunter’s Waffle and King Crab Crepe every bit as good now as they were during my first visit while the Quiche, Omelet, and two offerings of beef spoke to high quality products cooked with attention to technique and tradition, the the Bearnaise and yolk-soaked short rib’s heft augmented nicely by perfectly sauteed kale.


Rounding out savories with the dinner-only Lobster Thermidor thanks to the efforts of Assistant GM Nathan Grates who coordinated the meal, suffice it to say that although the richness of the crustacean in cream and liquor was a bit much at the end of such a tasting not one bite of it was returned to the kitchen, the same to be said of rippling waves of silky whipped potatoes.

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Never one to skimp on dessert, or in the case of Bardot Brasserie’s brunch a few sweets listed as entrees, it was perhaps an overestimation of remaining stomach space that saw the kitchen send forth two decadent trios; the 702’s best French Toast baked golden over a custard soaked center alongside a $16 Nutella Sticky Bun that justified its price both in taste as well as portion while the triple-chocolate Macaron was thankfully far lighter than suggested by its appearance

FIVE STARS: Leaving Bouchon, db, and the view-exploiting tourist trappings of Mon Ami Gabi in the rearview mere moments after opening, Bardot has quickly emerged alongside Yardbird as one of the Nation’s very best brunches, the skills of Josh Smith broadly displayed across a wide range of plates within a beautiful room benefited by truly outstanding service.

RECOMMENDED: French Toast, Smoked Salmon, King Crab Crepe, Foie Gras Parfait, Maine Lobster Thermidor.

AVOID: Always a stickler for French pastry the canele still lacks that perfect crunch to custard ratio, though by Las Vegas standards it is probably the best in town.

TIP: Bottomless Rose service is available during brunch each week for $20 per person while several cocktails, spirits, and wines by the glass or bottle are offered at a wide range of prices.

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

Bardot Brasserie -ARIA Restort and Casino Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bardot, Bardot Brasserie, Bread Basket, Breakfast, Coffee, Crab, Croissant, Dessert, Foie, Food, French Toast, Las Vegas, Lobster, Nevada, Pork, Tasting Menu, Vacation, Waffles

Glaze Doughnuts, Las Vegas NV


Glaze Doughnuts

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Strawberry Shortcake

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Raspberry Jam

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Maple Glazed

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Maple Bacon Glazed

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Chocolate Raised

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Red Velvet Cake

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Cinnamon Roll

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Apple Fritter


Officially opening its doors on Saturday at 5am after a week of unannounced playdates for those happening to stop by, it was just after 9am that a visit was paid to Glaze Donuts, the small shop apparently “seeing a rush” earlier that had depleted all but the Red Velvet cake doughnuts, though several yeasted versions remained.


Owned by a second generation doughnut maker, the hand-crafted bases created by his father in Texas, Glaze features three tiers of fried dough ranging from $1 Classics to $2.25 Fancy selections and reportedly making each in small batches in order to ensure freshness it is thus far mostly classics that compose the glass cases, some whimsical toppings aside.


Offering 15% off and free donut holes to those attending opening day it was after perusing the remaining options and chatting with the doughnut shop’s daughter that a total of eight options were selected, one made-to-order while three were still warm from the fryer, first bites of the raspberry filled pocket making a delightful mess as natural jam loaded with seeds and sweetness poured forth onto the wax paper beneath it.


Waiting on the Strawberry Shortcake for a few minutes as Glaze makes the extra effort to slice and fill them a la minut in order to avoid sogginess, it is unfortunate that the whipped cream used is such low quality as to mar the quality of the fresh berries, a little stiffer cream likely to allow them to not only be stored in cases but also to simply taste less overwhelmed by sugar.


Admittedly impressed by the base, a more traditional yeast ring than the spongecake at Pink Box or supple Brioche at O-Face, Glaze eats somewhere between the texture of Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ and with glazes trending sweeter than some the best bites were of the rich dark chocolate and the maple studded with bacon, the plain maple requested by a friend unfortunately too sweet, almost to the point of cloying.


Tiger Tails sold-out and Bear Claws not available it was next in a ‘cinnamon roll’ that $2.25 was invested, the texture not particularly different from that of the simple rings but the flavor proving absolutely excellent with light notes of spice and interior rings visibly glistening with a layer of melting butter.


Modestly impressed by the soft red cake with a good bit of cocoa that represented the only available non-yeasted ring that morning it was finally into the fritter that teeth were sunk and finding almost no crunch to the exterior with an oily, limp interior that was at least pleasantly studded with cinnamon and apples it was exactly one more bite that was taken before discarding the rest, yet another sub-par fritter in a city where such things are far too common and not much of an impetus to pass the far superior ACE Donuts on the corner of West Tropicana and South Fort Apache just a few miles up the road.


THREE STARS: Using phrases like “Small Batch” as if to justify prices that compare to those at O-Face or Pink Box without the high quality base or housemade jams of the former or unique offerings of the latter Glaze Doughtnuts is more-or-less just another doughnut shop in Las Vegas, a place worth visiting if you’re in the area but not one worth going out of the way for.

RECOMMENDED: Cinnamon Roll, Raspberry Filled.

AVOID: Apple Fritter, Maple Glazed.

TIP: 5a-4p 7 days a week, also offering Kolaches and a few savory options that may be worth a try.

Posted in Breakfast, Dessert, Food, Glaze Doughnuts, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork

Glutton [2,] Las Vegas NV




Iced Tea

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Spicy Pork Rinds

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Brandade Rangoon – Salt Cod, Garlic, Cream Cheese, Honey

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Wood Fired Eggplant Caponata – Goat Cheese Toast, Balsamic Reduction

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Guanciale Flatbread – Taleggio Cheese, Grilled Radicchio, Fennel Pesto

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Shaved Brussel Sprouts – Kale, Dill, Fennel, Parmesan, Tahini Vinaigrette

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Japanese Street Corn – Miso Butter, Furikake, Chives

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Prime Flank Steak – Mushroom Fondue, Blue Cheese Relish

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Beet Salad – Whipped Goat Cheese, Pistachios, Chervil, Frisee

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Cavatelli & Short Rib – Wild Mushrooms, Truffle Mousse

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Butternut Squash Agnolotti – Celery Root Puree, Crisp Potato, Shaved Black Truffle

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Brown Butter Gnocchi – Pork Cheek, Soy, Sage, Pine Nut Gremolata

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Wood Roasted Chicken – Taso Ham & Pickled Pepper Stuffing, Bourbon Sauce

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Turkey & Guanciale Meatballs – Tomato Piquillo Sauce, Soft Parmesan Polenta

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Caramel Corn Profiteroles – Salted Caramel, Popcorn Icecream, Peanuts

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Churros & Hot Chocolate – Cinnamon Sugar Churros, Spiced Hot Chocolate, Marshmallow

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Maple & Mascarpone Cheesecake – Walnut Curst, Blueberry, Preserved Lemon

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Caramel Apple Fritters


More than a little impressed by brunch at Glutton shortly after the Saturday-Sunday menu was launched, it was with four friends that dinner was planned in the small dining room off Carson Avenue this past Friday, Chefs Bradley Manchester and Joseph Kudrak given carte blanche to serve as they like with the exception of a few requests.


Admittedly a bit of a misnomer in terms of name and signage, the small-plates portions and delicacy of the food not really prone to bursting belts or making one feel too-full-to-walk, Glutton represents the vision of a Chef who turned away from the confines of Casino kitchens in order to follow his heart and with a menu riffing on comfort food classics reinvented with interesting ingredients it was in seventeen plates that appetites were invested, all but one succeeding in its premise while several were amongst the very best in class.


Small in space and high in style, the wood tables atop cement floors and open kitchen beneath exposed ceilings following a path traveled by many hip spots in cities across the United States, the pride of Glutton is found in a wood burning oven used in many of the restaurant’s preparations, and updating the menu far more quickly than many of its East-of-Strip brethren it was in the now familiar pig-skins that the evening got started, only one item to follow a repeat from just a few months prior while some were just introduced that night.


Playing to my ears in terms of soundtrack while sending out plates in rounds that never once led to the table being overwhelmed, it was on the heels of a hearty caponata that the evening’s first “wow” moment occured, the delicate taste of creamed salt cod packed into wonton wrappers absolutely delicious with just a kiss of sweetness while the follow-up flatbread was unfortunately less balanced, the raddichio a bit too bitter when paired to the crust’s blister as both pork and pesto were mostly lost in the mix.


Quickly regaining traction with two salads that showed not only the quality of Glutton’s produce, but also the skill of Manchester and team for reinvigorating tired trends, suffice it to say that beets amidst goat cheese and pistachios were every bit as boldly flavored as they were beautiful while the shaved sprouts and ‘superfood’ found new depths of flavor when tinged with dill and the unexpected aromatics of toasted sesame seeds.

Progressing on a trajectory of flavors that grew bolder by rounds the two items presented next comprised the last of the menu’s small-plates, and although the flank steak beneath mushrooms and blue cheese was almost too rich to be enjoyed past more than a few bites it was a sidedish of corn that had the whole table swooning, each roasted kernel glistening with butter while the Japanese accents contributed volumes of umami and just the slightest hint of spice.

A bit saddened to see the brown butter gnocchi finally removed from the menu despite being a hit from day one, it was at the gratuity of Chef Manchester that the dish made one last appearance alongside two new pastas for round five, and although both the springy Cavatelli and Butternut Squash pockets grounded in celery root were absolutely flawless they still could not match the complex flavors of tender potato dumplings tinged in soy beneath supple pork cheek, pine nuts, and sage.

Taking a well calculated risk with poultry in a final pair of savories, suffice it to say that Manchester and Kudrak are not afraid to use one the bold flavors of swine to augment something less rich and although some may say “why bother?” using turkey to craft meatballs if they are only to be blended with guanciale the results were, in fact, outstanding amidst a bowl of creamy polenta, the pepper stuffed roulade no less enthralling with smoky notes finding their foil in a sauce of sweet bourbon.

Again a bit sad to see the rice pudding arancini axed from the menu it was with a ‘one of each’ finale of desserts that the meal would end and although the newly launched brunch-only caramel apple fritters could have benefited from a bit higher center-to-surface-area to circumvent some oiliness both the cheesecake and churros were reference standard in their execution, the signature profiteroles with flavors of Cracker Jack still undoubtedly Sin City’s very best.

FOUR STARS: Willing to take chances while other restaurants seem content to sit back and rely on celebrity marketing or familiarity to push their brand anyone interested in food would be well served to stop by Glutton in order to see what Manchester and his team are doing, the results not quite perfect yet perhaps all the better for it from a kitchen that shows no signs of stopping…or even slowing down to take a breath.

RECOMMENDED: Brandade Rangoon, Shaved Brussel Sprouts, Japanese Street Corn, Cavatelli & Short Rib, Caramel Corn Profiteroles.

AVOID: Guanciale Flatbread was simply too bitter for my palate while the fritters are a work in progress.

TIP: Offering different menus for dinner, weekday lunch, and weekend brunch those planning a visit are encouraged to peruse the up-to-date online menus while daily specials are often announced via Social Media.

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

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

Posted in Bread Basket, Dessert, Food, Glutton, Gnocchi, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork, Tasting Menu, Truffle

Panaderia Y Pasteleria Latina, Las Vegas NV


Panaderia Y Pasteleria Latina

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Carrot Cake

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Guava Cheese Turnover

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Tres Leches


Cheese Cornbread


Continuing to weave a path through Las Vegas’ ethnic pastry shops it was just after 4:30pm that a stop was made at West Charleston’s Panaderia Y Pasteleria Latina, the pastries confirmed to all be made in house by a Spanish speaking colleague but the service as disheveled as the shop itself, a small market with all sorts of novelty items at the left while the bakery and kitchen comprise the other half, no labels found on any of the goods and the ladies behind the counter busy chatting and making themselves coffee while offering the bare minimum of help.

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Thankfully accustomed to some of the items, though further research afterward was necessary to determine their proper names, it was with $9 even exchanged for eight items that goods were bagged before making way to the parking lot, a replacement slice of carrot cake requested when the middle-aged woman decided to spin and flip the plastic clamshell container within the bag.


Bordering on racist in their behavior to my presence after watching the staff of Panaderia Y Pasteleria Latina greet parties both before and after with warm smiles and plenty of help, it was with pictures taken that first bites of the turnover showed the unexpectedly sour cream cheese to complete overwhelm the bright red layer of guava, a distinctly different off-putting flavor marring the 2-for-1 “Peanut and Cream” Cacahuates with dough so dry that two small bites left the mouth completely parched for saliva.


More successful with a block of cornbread that saw fresh cheese enliven the otherwise sweet and toothsome base, and likewise with the familiar Oreja that riffed on a palmier or crispy elephant ear, it was again in pronounced dryness that the granulated sugar Beso did dwell, the half moistened by cream at the very least edible while the other was left for rats or airborn fowl.


Hoping that cakes would at least offer a textural upgrade on the pastries it was finally in two of a half-dozen options that plastic spoon was plunged, and although the carrot cake was serviceable if not memorable the tres leches was actually an excellent representation of the milk-soaked classic, the jam helping to offset a top sweet like fondant while the white cake layers were separated by lightly whipped ribbons of cream and an additional layer of guava.


TWO AND A HALF STARS: Setting aside issues of service that really did strike me as more than just disinterested or rude the bargain basement prices at Panaderia Y Pasteleria Latina simply aren’t enough to justify the general low quality of the product in general, not with better locations just a few miles up the road.

RECOMMENDED: Tres Leches, Oreja.

AVOID: Cacahuates, Beso.

TIP: Tucked far back in a strip mall behind The Chicken Basket, Panaderia Y Pasteleria Latina is not exactly visible from the road, an approach from the West requiring a U-Turn while those coming from the East will not be able to see the doors due to The Chicken Basket.

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

Posted in Cornbread, Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Panaderia Y Pasteleria Latina

Spago, Las Vegas NV




Indian Notion – Bombay East Gin, Pimm’s, Lime Juice, Cucumber Basil Syrup, Ginger Ale


Trampled Rose – Bulleit Rye, Leopold Cranberry Liqueur, Lime Juice, Five Spice Syrup, Bitters

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Baguette, Wheat, Rosemary, Cranberry Walnut, Gruyere and Dijon Bread

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Corn Dashi Custard with Osetra Caviar, Bonito Flake, Lime Zest and Beausoleil Oyster with Yuzu Kosho

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Uni and Sushi Rice with Soy Ceviche Sauce and Chive

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Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi with Fennel, Daikon, Green Apple, Sea Salt / Chilled Maine Lobster Salad with Hearts of Palm, Avocado, Grapefruit, Asian Pear

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Heirloom Tomato Salad with Basil Aioli, Haricot Vert, Micro Arugula, Aged Balsamic with Tomato Water and Basil Oil

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Farmers Market White Corn Soup with Cipollini Onion, Cornbread, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil

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White Truffle Semolina Pudding with Egg Yolk

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Black Truffle Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce, Smoked Burrata, Sorrel Greens

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Surf & Turf – Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut, Summer Squash, Haricot Vert, Cherry Tomato, Basil Oil, Fried Squash Blossom / Snake River Farms Rib Cap, Lyonnaise Potatoes, Bacon, Apple Chutney, Whole Grain Mustard, Sauteed Spinach

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Caramel Cheesecake – Praline Powder, Brownie, Butter Pecan Ice Cream

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Chocolate Passion Cake – Whipped Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate Crumb, Passion Fruit Sorbet

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Warm Apple Crisp – Oatmeal Crisp, Vanilla Ice Cream

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Orange Beignets – Vanilla Sauce, Grapefruit Curd, Tangerine Gelato

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Dark Chocolate Souffle – Whipped crème Fraiche, Hazelnut Ice Cream

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Assorted Cookies – Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Macadamia, Walnut Blondie, Pistachio Butter Cookie


Still holding the original Spago as one of those seminal fine dining experiences, a family meal at lunch in 2008 at that time one of the more refined with both service and food showing the sort of quality not found near my Northwest Ohio home, it was finally on the invite of a friend that dinner was served in the Las Vegas location, a nine course and fourteen plate feast showing similarly skilled waitstaff and Chef Eric Klein to be one of the city’s most under-discussed talents in the kitchen.


Admitting up front that although the ingredients served to us were of the same peerless quality as those offered to the rest of the room, it was in to a carte blanche tasting of small-plates that our table was treated with a few crafted ‘a la minuit’ while the majority at least bore some resemblance to the sizable appetizers and entrees offered on the proper menu.


Particularly impressed by the herbal cocktail at CUT a week prior it was with a similarly infused Indian Notion that the meal commenced, and with Klein now offering his bread at the Downtown Summerlin Farmers Market the rumors of one of the most delicious complimentary offerings in Las Vegas immediately put me on notice that a stop would soon be imminent, the fruit and nut slices as well as the cheese and mustard rolls each amongst the city’s very best.


Constrained in time, at least a little, due to a concert beginning at nine it was with a slower-than-usual roll out of lighter items that the tasting got underway, a strong start of off-menu corn custard crowned in caviar alongside a particularly buttery oyster opening the palate to three seafood-centered bites to follow, a freshly shucked urchin as perfect in taste as it was in presentation while the Maine lobster salad was a little lost in all the citrus, the two ribbons of tuna paired to apples and fennel a far more dynamic and balanced pair.


No doubt benefited by working with Puck’s purveyors and his own ties forged at the locals farmer’s markets, course four saw Klein sent forth a beautiful heirloom tomato salad deftly tinged with acid and yet as good as the composition was its flavor was quickly supplanted in my memory by the late-season corn soup, a rich and creamy potage finding levity in light froth with topnotes tinged in onions and herbs.


Showing off a bit in the penultimate pair of savories it was with a tableside shaving of black Perigord truffles followed by the season’s first from Alba that the meal marched on, the handmade gnocchi each dainty beneath smoked cheese while the semolina pudding somehow managed to outperform even the aforementioned soup, the egg yolk delivering the white truffle essence in an bold, slowly residing wave.


At this point turning away a forth (or 8th) round of bread for fear of falling asleep at the show, a makeshift “Surf & Turf” duo was sent forth from the kitchen, the beef quality readily apparent in a ruby red cut of rib cap while firm yet moist halibut compared favorably to any served in Sin City, the crispy squash blossom replicating the texture of skin an innovative bit of flare.


Never shy to request additional sweets, especially with the name Kamel Guechida attached to the carte, it was to much amusement that a second table was positioned in the aisle to accommodate each of a half-dozen offerings, only my personal distaste for passionfruit denying absolute delightment as everything from simple cookies and fruit crisp to an elegant souffle and cheesecake were perfectly executed, the orange curd infused beignets a ‘best-of-the-genre’ sort of dish that would have been just as good at any time of day.

FOUR STARS: Truly the “Grand Dame” of reinventing Las Vegas dining from AYCE Buffets and Prime Rib Specials to what it is today, the food and service at Spago in The Forum Shops remains destination worthy under the guidance of Eric Klein, my only gripe being a bit of ingredient redundancy in terms of the use of tomatoes as well as corn, obviously both seasonally appropriate and delicious but all-told a bit too pervasive with the appearance of one or the other in more than 50% of the savories served…a first world problem to say the least.

RECOMMENDED: Orange Beignets, White Truffle Semolina Pudding, Tomato Salad, Halibut.

AVOID: The Maine Lobster Salad got a bit lost in the citrus and Passion Fruit simply isn’t something I favor.

TIP: According the Chef Klein the format at Spago is soon to change, a proper tasting menu likely to be part of that evolution as well as a consistent menu unifying patio and dining room, though plans and timetable are far from finalized.

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

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

Posted in Bread Basket, Dessert, Food, Gnocchi, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Lobster, Nevada, Pork, Souffle, Spago, Tasting Menu, Truffle

GlutenZero Bakery, Las Vegas NV


GlutenZero Bakery


Samples – Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, German Chocolate Cake, BBQ Sauce.

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Cinnamon Roll

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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Walnuts

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Brownie and Truffle Icing with Pecans

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Lemon Curd Vanilla Cupcake


Not exactly involved in the diagnosis or management of Celiac Disease, but watching the trend of ‘gluten free’ everything take place from the perspective of a physician charged with assigning treatment to other autoimmune related conditions it was actually at the recommendation of a patient afflicted with both Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and biopsy-proven Celiac that a stop at GlutenZero Bakery off Eastern Avenue was planned, owner Clarissa and her son each busy preparing the days goods but delightful and forthcoming just the same.

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In part a work of passion but also one of self preservation, the owner and her daughter each suffering symptoms for years before their own diagnoses, GlutenZero is a certified gluten free space in a repurposed former gym and admitting a great deal of expense invested in opening the place without yet catching on with the community at large it was with several samples shared that Clarissa discussed her process and practice, everything made in house with top-tier ingredients and even the Lichtenstein-leaning paintings on the wall produced by her hands.


Almost as expansive in selections as the space itself is in size, the front chiller filled with several styles of carrot cake while the rest are encased in glass near the baking area in back, it was first in a small spoonful of fresh, fruity Barbeque sauce that opinions began to form and although the German Chocolate was a bit more dense than some may prefer the flavor spot-on, the same to be said of a citrusy lemon curd cupcake stuffed with stiffly whipped cream that thankfully trended far more light.


Unable to pass up cinnamon rolls that were being glazed fresh from the oven before my very eyes, suffice it to say that unlike the springy curls of Glutton or The Bagel Cafe the version at GlutenZero eats more like a yeasty poundcake not-so-different than Cinnabon, though a touch more toothsome and far less buttery in taste.


Modesty impressed to this point, though still not wowed, it was next into the carrot cake that fork-and-knife were plunged, the first bite flooding the palate with sweetness and spice while subsequent tastes revealed textural variance amidst a substantial amount of moistness, the frosting tangy with cream cheese beneath a light dusting of ground nuts.


Told by both the owner and my patient that the chocolate truffle brownie was perhaps the best in town it was admittedly with skepticism that such a claim was assessed, but setting aside all prejudices related to rumors and dietary restrictions it would honestly be difficult to name any as decadent, both the flourless chocolate base and creamy ball atop it on par with plated desserts at restaurants despite far less expense.

FOUR STARS: Doing very impressive things within the strict limitations of an entirely gluten free space one can only hope that there is a large enough audience to support GlutenZero Bakery through the early opening phases, I know I’ll be back sometime soon to check out the pies and give the brownie another taste.

RECOMMENDED: Carrot Cake, Brownie and Truffle Icing with Pecans.

AVOID: German Chocolate Cake.

TIP: Open 10-7 M-Sat and 10-5 Sunday an early arrival may not be in one’s best interest as warm items emerge from the oven a little bit later, generally finished around noon.

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

Posted in Breakfast, cupcakes, Dessert, Food, GlutenZero, GlutenZero Bakery, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Bootlegger Italian Bistro, Las Vegas NV


The Bootlegger Italian Bistro


Ciabatta and Whole Wheat Bread Basket


Italian French Toast – Ciabatta bread dipped in egg batter, crusted w/Captain Crunch

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House Stack Cakes – Three homemade pancakes w/butter & maple syrup

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Eggplant Benny – Breaded eggplant topped w/sliced tomatoes, poached eggs, basil & marinara sauce

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Maria’s panetti breads & tomato basil dip

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Meat Ravioli Fritti – lightly breaded & flash fried w/marinara sauce

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House Specialty Maria’s classic baked lasagna w/meat sauce

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Pizza Basilico with Artichokes, tomato, basil & mozzarella cheese

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Cannoli – Crispy pastry shells filled with Maria’s orange scented cream filling and garnished with chocolate chips

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Located at the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard with a heritage stretching back to an era long past and a location off-Strip, it was with three friends and a smiling youngster that breakfast bridging to lunch was enjoyed at Bootlegger Bistro, the 24/7 space celebrated for late night music and red sauce Italian proving far more sedate so early in the day.


Not particularly well staffed at our 10:30am arrival, one friend left in a lobby that the waitress admittedly “doesn’t really check” since most enter through the bar, it was with all soon accounted for that we were offered a cozy four-top alongside the windows overlooking the an outdoor patio, the rose lighting making for challenging pictures while music from the 50s played from speakers neither too soft nor too loud.

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Admittedly timing the meal to coincide with the eleven o’clock transition from breakfast to lunch it was with both menus presented that eyebrows raised to bargain-basement prices, the pre-tip total of just over $80 a veritable bargain for such a table twice overflowing with food.


Starting off the day with breakfast, myself particularly famished after a late night and early morning run, it was in a trio of plates that opening bites were entrusted, a Pancake and French Toast pairing showing the former simple and fluffy while the latter was sweet with custard and cereal even before adding pure maple syrup from home, the Benny surprisingly excellent with crispy eggplant crowned in perfectly poached eggs and housemade red sauce.


Offering hot bread with each course, the first a basket of toasts from which ciabatta proved lovely for sopping up sauce, it was with a sizable basket of buttery garlic knots that the lunch portion of the morning kicked off, the fried ravioli stuffed with finely ground meat teaming with spices while the doughy pizza was only fair-to-middling compared to the restaurant’s ‘signature’ lasagna, the enormous wedge topped in meat sauce and mozzarella more than enough to share.


Doing a lot of the legwork during on the lasagna when it came for dessert I almost decided to opt out, but spotting cannolis made in the Italian tradition one couldn’t help but order a trio, the crispy tubes elegant with bittersweet chocolate chips playing off cream tinged in orange zest.

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THREE AND A HALF STARS: Far better than many traditional ‘checkered tablecloth’ spots in town with favorable pricing considering the quality of the food, suffice it to say although I’m not sure I’d invest in the crowd and cost of dinner I’d strongly encourage anyone looking for breakfast or brunch in a Vegas Classic to give Bootlegger Bistro a look.

RECOMMENDED: Eggplant Benny, French Toast, Fried Ravioli, Cannoli.

AVOID: Pizzas are doughy and overpriced compared to many others in town.

TIP: Celebrated for their late night shows featuring live music and celebrity sightings The Bootlegger Bistro is also known to be an afterhours favorite of Strip performers who are often coaxed into an impromptu bit of showmanship for those fortunate enough to be in the crowd.

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

The Bootlegger Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bootlegger Italian Bistro, Bread Basket, Breakfast, Dessert, Food, French Toast, Italian, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pancakes, Pizza, The Bootlegger, The Bootlegger Italian Bistro

Mizumi, Las Vegas NV




Green Tea

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Tempura Scallop with Avocado Puree, Osetra Caviar, Micro Basil

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Chilled Shigoku Oysters with Ponzu-Red Wine Mignonette, Fresh Wasabi, Micro Shiso

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Organic Tofu and Shinseki Pear Salad – Furikake Lavosh, Kokabu Turnops, Pomegranate, Yuzu Vinaigrette

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Angus Beef Tataki – Fried Leeks, Ponzu Gelee, Ginger Oroshi, Kimchee, Kokabu Turnips

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Giant Clam, Clam Muscle in Yuzu Butter Sauce, Pink Snapper, Kampachi, O-Toro, Bluefin, Ocean Trout, Bay Scallop with Premium Soy Sauce and Ponzu

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Big Island Abalone and Black Truffle Chawanmushi with Mitsuba Leaves

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Seared Foie Gras with Kabocha Puree, Micro Green and Pomegranate Salad, Chestnut Foam, Fall Spice, Pomegranate-Balsamic Reduction

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Miso Grilled Octopus – Ruby Red Grapefruit, Frisee and Fennel Salad, Crispy Garlic, Yuzu Kosho

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Kami Nabe Hot Pot – Seabass, White Shrimp, King Crab, Scallop, Tokyo Negi, Shiitake Mushrooms, Shirataki Noodles, Mitsuba, Carrots

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Green Tea Panna Cotta – Green Tea Sponge, Pistachio Crumble, Fresh Plums / Liquid Lemon-Yuzu Cheesecake – Graham Walnut Streusel, Sour Cherry Compote, Sugared Walnuts, Morello Cherry Sorbet / Vegan Coconut Croquant – Coconut Snow, Organic Sugarloaf Pineapple, Lime Gel, Pandan Sorbet

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Honey Toast – Toasted Brioche Cubes, Honey-Peach Jam, Brown Butter Ice Cream, Hazelnut Crunch

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Mizumi Chocolate Mask – White Chocolate, Hazelnut Dacquiose, Chocolate Mousse, Praline Puffed Rice, Vanilla Ice Cream

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Long residing on a fine dining ‘to-do’ list that never seems to shorten in a city where change is far more common than a truly classic space it was finally on Friday evening that myself and two friends sat down to dinner at Devin Hashimoto’s Mizumi within the Wynn, the former chef at Michelin 2* Alex serving up modern Japanese cuisine as exquisite in execution as it is high in price.

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No doubt one of the best rooms in Las Vegas, a waterfall view in the main room sure to wow both tourists and locals alike, it was just after the restaurant’s 5:30 opening that all were seated in plush chairs gathered around a spacious marble four-top, the menu presented and perused as forgivingly light EDM pulsed overhead.

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Greeted by the Chef who graciously agreed to cook for the table it was with hot green tea charged at $15 with unlimited refills that the evening commenced, one member of the table instead opting for a modestly priced sake that reportedly proved to be a bargain given the quality as a lightly battered scallop crowned in briny caviar spoke to high quality sourcing and plating intended to impress.


Served in five courses in a time-span just over two hours and a half, the first round saw the kitchen focus on raw presentations including a half-dozen oysters enlivened by fresh wasabi alongside strips of paper-thin beef as well as an ambitious tofu salad, each bite of the later showing a complex interplay of textures as well as flavors while melt-in-your-mouth Angus found balance in ponzu and cabbage aged to ferment.

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Requesting the kitchen ‘go easy’ on sushi, but clearly ignoring such constraints when allowed to offer at their whim, course two saw Devin send out a large sampling of items flown in daily, the tender toro taken from just below the collar perhaps the best piece of tuna to ever grace my palate while the clam and its warmed extras were nearly as thrilling and tender, the snappy pink snapper another memorable bite.


Onward to warm items, all three menu mainstays with slight variance in the accoutrements depending on what is most fresh, suffice it to say that $40 for a small pot of egg custard seems expensive no matter how exotic the ingredients while both the unctuous duck liver and lightly grilled octopus competed to steal the spotlight from one another, the autumnal notes of the former no less lovely despite the warm weather while the bitter grapefruit gracing the latter dazzled in juxtaposition to fennel and garlic fried crisp.

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Light on the stomach, as Japanese cuisine often seems to trend, a hot-pot was presented as the night’s final savory, the admixture of seabass and shellfish all cooked to a semi-firm texture above still-burning flames as the mushrooms, vegetables, and springy noodles all lent textural variance to a broth that was crystal clear but umami rich.


Truly a restaurant worthy its accolades, though the pre-tip bill trumped $350 even with few items offered as gifts, it was with Devin standing tableside discussing Las Vegas dining in general that the meal would end, a trio of molecular-influenced ‘sundaes’ each memorable in their own way while an additional request for cubed honey-toast riffing on a parfait or bread pudding was absolutely outstanding beneath fresh peach jam and brown butter ice cream, the “Mizumi Chocolate Mask” a destination sort of signature as beautiful as it was enjoyable to eat.


FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Only short of the city’s very best meals thanks to the premium charged for prime real estate along the man-made lake, there is no doubt that Mizumi offers a true dining ‘experience’ that extends beyond just sushi or contemporary Japanese dining, the humble chef’s French training coming across in plates reminiscent of Robuchon and at times even more refined.

RECOMMENDED: Toro, Angus Beef Tataki, Foie Gras, Chocolate Mask, Liquid Lemon-Yuzu Cheesecake.

AVOID: Oysters are aggressively priced at $4.25 each while the Chawanmushi, as elegant as it is, seems criminal at around $4-5 per spoon.

TIP: Offering several seating options beyond the main dining room, those interested in alternatives are encouraged to explore the bar, curved sushi counter, Robatayaki station, Teppanyaki room, or even the exclusive private dining room tucked behind a wall of fine wines.

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

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

Posted in Bread Pudding, Dessert, Foie, Food, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Mizumi, Nevada, Octopus, Sushi, Tasting Menu, Truffle

Sunville Bakery, Las Vegas NV


Sunville Bakery

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Date and Walnut Mooncake

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Lotus with Yolk Puff

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Taro Puff

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Egg Custard Bun

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Pork and Corn Bun

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Red Bean with Yolk Puff

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Orange Sponge Cake


Having set out several weeks ago to explore the ethnic pastries of Las Vegas it was Friday evening prior to dinner that I approached Sunville Bakery, to the best of my knowledge the final standalone shop on Spring Mountain left to visit, and with a friendly staff despite somewhat depleted shelves at 4:30 the results were not quite a case of “saving the best for last,” though certainly not too far off.


Larger than some and more spacious than most, with clean floors plus a small seating area providing an added perk, it was after a few walks around to explore the goods that the middle-aged woman behind the counter was approached and able to answer a few simple questions about sliced cakes and unlabeled items behind the counter it was with a plastic tray in hand that seven bagged pastries were selected, none but the flaky Lotus puff served warm but each executing well on its intentions with flavors running the gamut from savory to sweet.


Attempting best to sample the products in a progression of light to heavy with a focus on not flooding the palate with sugar too soon it was first to the interesting pork and corn bun that fork and knife were turned, the texture not unlike most Asian buns with the enriched flour base soft and spongy around a creamy mayo emulsion speckled with good pork and what one can only assume to be kernels straight from a can.


Moving onward to a similarly textured bun that saw sweet egg custard replace the previous savory center before delving into a light sponge reminiscent of my childhood favorite orange Hostess cupcake suffice it to say that those looking to experience Sunville at its very best are encouraged to invest in the housemade Moon Cakes, no less than seven versions offered with a $3-$6 range in price.


At this point growing more impressed as the taste of date paste and butter lingered on my lips, it was next to three “puffs” that remaining appetite was invested, both the egg yolk iterations offering plenty of natural sweetness to balance out the salty richness while the dainty pastry surrounding smooth taro was something like a lightly sweetened knish, the sort of thing around which any return visit will be planned.


FOUR STARS: Slightly more limited than other bakeries on Spring Mountain Road, but at the same time executing better with service that tries its best to help, Sunville Bakery is a worthy contender for the best Asian bakery in all of Las Vegas, and to the best of my knowledge the only one offering housemade moon cakes year round.

RECOMMENDED: Taro Puffs, Moon Cakes, Egg Custard Bun.

AVOID: A late arrival as many items were unfortunately already sold out.

TIP: Whole cakes can be preordered while slices apparently change on a rotating basis I was not able to decipher despite the server trying her best to explain.

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

Sunville Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Dessert, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pork, Sunville Bakery

Bob Taylor’s Ranch House, Las Vegas NV


Bob Taylor’s Ranch House


Lobster Bisque

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Garlic Cheese Bread

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Half-Smoked Chicken with Twice Baked Potato

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16oz NY Strip with Twice Baked Potato

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12oz Filet Mignon with Vegetables

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16oz Smoked Prime Rib with Ranch House Potatoes

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Carrot Cake

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Warm Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream

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Serving Las Vegans since 1955 and apparently a dirt road destination for locals before The Valley extended in all directions towards the burbs, Bob Taylor’s Ranch House was chosen for an eveningtime meeting for friends discussing the current boom in local dining, the juxtaposition ironic in how unintentional it actually was when taking into account a setting that has not changed in decades.

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Located on the verge of Las Vegas and its neighboring city to the North and the sort of place where feral cats are free to roam on premises decorated with grass and a loose-gravel lot, it was just after 7 o’clock that our group of five was seated on the cusp of a dining room that reminisces of days long before most of us were born, the open kitchen to the left with a team of chefs searing a number of steaks, chickens, and chops.


Predating the era of artisan purveyors, outlandish sourcing from overseas, and even meats served singularly with sides to be ordered a la carte, it was with conversation and cheap cocktails from the bar that the evening commenced, and soon to be served a basket of Wonderbread topped in cheese and garlic the presentation was actually better than one may have expected, a second basket later delivered free of charge and arguably one of the three best items to arrive on the table that night.


No doubt a place more celebrated for its heritage than the items that appear on the plate, it was after an included low bowl of bisque flavored something like lobster that entrees arrived, each offered with a choice of a starch, both the creamy twice baked potatoes and bacon imbued Ranch House iteration competent with the former actually on-par with pricy versions on the Strip while the latter compared favorably to a good breakfast hash.

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Moving onward to the meats, suffice it to say that the two bites of New York Strip tasted were sinewy enough that fork was subsequently kept to myself and as much as the half smoked chicken may have seemed like a good option for those seeking something lighter, the actual execution was so dry that even dark meat saw one of my tablemates nearly choke when attempting to swallow without water, a veritable disaster of a dish with 2/3 left to waste.


Told by a friend that Smoked Prime Rib was really the only thing to order at Bob Taylor’s it was in a 16oz cut that $34.95 was sank and although certainly not much to look at both the flavor and texture were complex and ind indulgent, each bite seeing the tender flesh thoroughly permeated with perfume from mesquite that helped offset the heft of melting fat.


A lot of food for the dollar, though not exactly a bargain unless one puts a monetary value on experiencing a “classic” in its almost original form, it was in a duo of desserts that remaining appetites were invested, the brownie and ice cream combination really no different than any diner classic while the huge wedge of carrot cake was enough to share around the table, the moist base chock-full of nuts and raisins with cream cheese frosting that came across tangy and only modestly sweet.


TWO STARS: Perhaps a poor choice for dinner the week after doing CUT and Carnevino on back-to-back nights it still warrants mention that the quality of Bob Taylor’s Ranch House is really no better than any number of low-to-mid-range chains, the price too high to justify anything other than the smoked prime rib and perhaps a dessert no matter how historic the space.

RECOMMENDED: Smoked Prime Rib, Garlic Cheese Bread, Carrot Cake.

AVOID: Smoked Chicken, New York Strip.

TIP: Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, those looking for a bargain sort of Bob Taylor’s experience may be interested in the midday Steak Sandwich, two friends independently claiming they enjoyed it enough to warrant checking the Ranch House off ‘the list.’

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

Bob Taylor's Ranch House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bob Taylor's, Bob Taylor's Ranch House, Bread Basket, Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, Las Vegas, Lobster, Nevada, Pork

EllaEm’s Soul Food, North Las Vegas NV


EllaEm’s Soul Food

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Cornbread Muffins

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Fried Chicken, Chicken Gravy, Fried Okra, Mac n’ Cheese, Candied Yams

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Sweet Potato Pie

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Red Velvet Cake


Tucked away in a strip mall on West Craig Road in North Las Vegas, but frequented by locals and those within the proper city limits for what some consider to be the best Soulfood in The Valley, it was just after 5pm that I entered the stripped down confines of EllaEm’s for a bite before dinner and although several take-out orders unfortunately caused a rather lengthy delay from the kitchen one would be hard-pressed to name another place offering a more authentic experience, particularly at such a price.


Not at all billed to be the upscale experience of Yardbird and far less often discussed than either location of underwhelming M&M Soul Food Cafe found further South, it was at a four-top surrounded by a crowd of all ages and ethnicities that I was seated mere moments after entry and perusing the menu it a young Hispanic hostess offered smiling greetings before filling water and presenting the first of two rounds of complimentary cornbread muffins, each bite tinged with sweetness amidst a delicate yet toothsome base.


Offering a la carte options, but generally a far better deal when ordered as a combo or traditional “Meat + 3,” it was in rejecting temptation offered by fried pork chops as well as several other entrees that my original target of EllaEm’s signature fried chicken was selected and although attempts to add-on a waffle were thwarted by poor kitchen timing the nearly thirty minute wait was rewarded by two legs and a thigh of crisply breaded brined bird, the spice profile well represented straight through the skin and into the flesh while sides of yams and fried okra were reference standard in execution, the man & cheese largely forgettable with overcooked noodles plus a soupy thin sauce.


Apologies offered by the young server for the missing waffle and delays that were in no way her fault, there was little doubt that a meal at any Southern eatery was likely to end without a sampling of dessert, and although the lack of banana pudding would seem to be a serious menu oversight both the small slice of warm red velvet cake and one of Sweet Potato pie were far better than one may have expected, the former far sweeter than other cocoa-laden iterations while the latter atop a crisp and flaky crust impressed by taking the traditional savory route.


FOUR STARS: No doubt one of “Hidden Gems” of North Las Vegas, an area oft lamented for a dearth of quality places to dine, EllaEm’s offers not only a relative bargain for the dollar but also some of the city’s very best fried chicken and Red Velvet Cake, no small praise considering the omnipresence of each on menus throughout town.


RECOMMENDED: Fried Chicken, Red Velvet Cake, Fried Okra, Sweet Potato Pie.

AVOID: Macaroni and Cheese.


TIP: Closed on Mondays, 11a-9p Tuesday through Saturday and closing at 7 on Sunday.

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

EllaEm's Soul Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Bread Basket, Cornbread, Dessert, EllaEm's, EllaEm's Soul Food, Food, Las Vegas, Nevada, North Las Vegas

Amore Taste of Chicago, Las Vegas NV


Amore Taste of Chicago


Thin Crust – Half Cheese, Half Pepperoni

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Deep Dish – Sausage and Mushroom

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Said by some to be the best Chicago Style Pizzeria in Sin City, or perhaps just the one most decked-out in Windy City swag, it was for lunch on Saturday that a party of three stopped in to Amore Taste of Chicago and inhabiting a table in front of a mural of the 2013 Blackhawks a ‘taste’ of two pizzas plus a pair of Cannolis was fine, if not memorable – certainly not a spot worth going out of the way for unless one is completely inexperienced or overly curious to verify whether the rumors are true.


More sizable than one would gather from the exterior and brighter than many places of its ilk as a result of large windows exposed to the strip-mall parking lot out front, it was to an empty dining room that we arrived as doors clicked open and remaining that way throughout the duration of our 60 minute stay the service was expectedly attentive, pies requested to be delivered as completed with thin crust presented after a mere ten minute wait.


Admittedly benefited by a Midwestern upbringing, not to mention a sister who lives minutes from Wicker Park, suffice it to say that the circle cut into rectangles was far less novel to me than it may be to others while tomato sauce seemingly straight from a can did little to improve rather flavorless crust, the mozzarella not particularly impressive either while Pepperoni was the typical oily store-bought stuff.


Not really expecting much from the deep-dish considering the overall quality of the traditional pie it was with a medium-thick version removed from the pan and served atop cardboard that the meal progressed, the same ingredient quality generally marring crust that would have been better off with more butter left to caramelize though the sausage and mushrooms were a touch more successful than pepperoni as toppings, each cannoli perfectly serviceable with a shattering shell filled to order, though far from the best available in town.


TWO STARS: Generally not the sort to assume that Las Vegas should meet or exceed the quality of signature dishes from cities a thousand or so miles away, Amore Taste of Chicago simply is not as good as any of the classics offered within the confines of The Second City, a more substantial search necessary to see if it is even the best in the (702.)

RECOMMENDED: Snowbirds in need of a fix may find some use for the Deep Dish.

AVOID: Expectations or exclamations that this is anywhere near on par with Pequods, Lou’s, Burt’s, Gino’s, or even the original Uno or Due.

TIP: No doubt a place for Chicago Sports, those interested in catching a game may wish to check the place out on Sundays or during Cubs, Hawks, or Bulls games throughout the year.

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

Amore Taste of Chicago Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in Amore, Amore Taste of Chicago, Dessert, Food, Italian, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pizza, Pork