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Aug 8, 2006 04:23 PM

South Lake Tahoe - Ciera, Opal, 19 Kitchen~Bar?

Hi, L.A. hound headed to South Lake Tahoe for a couple of days next week - will be there Wed. and Thurs. 8/16-17, staying at Harrah's but we'll have our car. Last visit was 2 years ago. That time, we had dinner one night at the seafood buffet at Harvey's and liked it quite a bit, and more recent reports here indicate that it's good, so I think we will do that one night. I remember they weren't open every night so I'll check by phone, as the website doesn't specify.

Couldn't find anything on the board on either Ciera or Opal at the MontBleu (ex-Caesars) - how new are these, and does anyone have feedback? The menu at Ciera looks ambitious but obviously it's all in the execution. What about 19 Kitchen~Bar at Harvey's - there isn't an online menu.

Anything else worthwhile?


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  1. try blue water bistro... it is out on a pier only about 10 minutes away from harrahs... amazing views and wonderful food...

    1. next to the embassy suites (in the California portion, just like half a mile from Montbleu) there's or there was a restruat i think it's still there called Echo. The old chef, who has now moved to LA made an amazing meal, and i used to go every thanksgiving to eat there. The new chef i've had one meal by him, and it wasn't bad, it's a quiet place, it might be worth a visit.

      1. 19 at Harvey's is a beautiful restaurant with a gorgeous view. The menu is quite inventive and expensive. However, I didn't feel the execution was there and it wasn't worth the price. It's been a year since I dined there so maybe things have improved. It's well worth checking out the bar for a drink and enjoying the scenery. I would give Echo a pass. It has a truly pedestrian menu now that their chef has left. I had an excellent meal at Opal, in the new MontBleu. Sushi and fusion cuisine. They had some very interesting and tasty versions of sushi. I recommend it if you enjoy what I would call nouvelle sushi. If you just want a regular sushi restaurant with great fish and excellent rolls, try Naked Fish. Imo, it's as good as any sushi in the Bay area. Be sure to get fresh wasabi for an extra dollar. You'll be amazed how good it is. I also recommend Blue Water Bistro and Evans, for good California cuisine.

        2 Replies
        1. re: RevrendAndy

          We went to Evans and enjoyed it quite a bit. It's on the west side of Hwy 89 about a mile north of the Y (intersection with Hwy 50), 15 minutes or more from the casinos depending on road conditions. Evans is small scale and quaint, sort of the opposite vibe from the large scale of the casino places mentioned above. If I had my way those casinos would simply vanish, so you know where I am coming from.

          1. re: RevrendAndy

            Hi, thanks for the response. Unfortunately I didn't see it until after the Tahoe portion of our trip, which was last night and the night before last. I neglected to check back here on a regular basis once a few days had passed since my original query, and I should have checked. We ended up at 19 at Harvey's on the first night and last night we had the seafood buffet at Harvey's.

            We went up to the 19th floor at Harvey's on the afternoon we arrived, and were beguiled by the view and also by the menu which is very reminiscent of the menu at Fix at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, which we really like. We made a reservation for that evening. We made an effort to arrive early so as to have a drink in the bar, which was really enjoyable. Sadly I have to agree with your assessment of the food at 19. The room was beautiful and the view from our table was superb, but the food was really lacking. Nothing that we tried was very special - we had some Mexican-inspired appetizer platter, then fried oysters, calamari and shrimp, then we had the Kobe sliders and the "very adult" mac/cheese. By turns blah, heavy and greasy, flavorless, and more heavy and greasy. Blech. We didn't even think about ordering real entrees. Skipped dessert. Next time we would stick to drinks at the bar, definitely worth a ride up the elevator.

            The seafood buffet was the same as we remember from our last visit two years ago. Fine for that sort of thing, although I stuck to sushi, sashimi, Dungeness crab legs and shrimp so I really can't comment on the hot food. Probably would have been more worth it if I'd been hungrier. I was sort of hoping they'd have installed fresh ice cream/gelato, as some of the buffets in Las Vegas are doing. It would be a nice touch, especially at a $30/pp. buffet. Alas, the same old sad soft serve machine and otherwise flavorless desserts. Raw yellowtail was pretty good though.

            No other meals were had at Tahoe except breakfast this morning at the Red Hut on 207 on our way to drive to Mammoth, where we are now. I like Red Hut, and it was ok as usual.

            We did take a short walk through the MontBleu and were overwhelmed by the air freshener/perfume/whatever. I am glad we didn't dine anywhere in that hotel, as I was about ready to hurl just by spending about 10 minutes in the casino!