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Jan 16, 2007 12:06 AM

Vegas quickie report - Commander's Caveat

Had a reservation for 3 for lunch today. My guests were running late, so I was seated ahead of them. The waiter brought a lunch menu for me to peruse. He returned with my ice water and informed me that there was no 25ยข martini deal because their stocks were running low due to closing. Major bummer.

As he finished up filling the other water glasses I said "Let me guess...there's no 3-course prix fixe deal either." "The $18.80 lunch? No...that's not available anymore".

I ordered a Cherry Choptini which was pretty good, but $9.75 more than I had planned on spending on a drink today. My guests arrived and I gave them the bad news. A diet coke and a Betty Page later and we decided to head for the Spice Market.

Hands down the best LV buffet experience I've enjoyed since the early days of the Paris. Whereas at the Bellagio last month I didn't finish most items, much less desire seconds of anything, I happily plowed through 3 plates.

The selection was lovely, the layout was roomy and overall quality was excellent. Only things I wouldn't get again were the baba ghanouj and hummus, not because they weren't good, but they are nowhere close to the versions we overdose on at Salt Lake City's Mazza.

The Middle Eastern selection still shone with excellent tandoori chicken, a nice biryani and some lamb filled broiled tomatoes among others. I could have gone through copious amounts of any of the dishes I tried...everything was very fresh and very nicely prepared. The roasted baby carrots in the salad area are already calling me back.

Service was really good too...our waiter was outgoing and on top of things. Lunch is $18.85 including tax. If I'm not mistaken that's a dime less than the price for lunch at the Bellagio before tax. Way better chow for less dough? Pretty much a no brainer.

Needless to say I'm way bummed about missing out on Commander's, but given what I observed of the menu, the room and the service, it will be worth the wait for them to relocate. I will have a Tasso Shrimp Henican before I leave this earth...

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  1. Hey! I think you were sitting at the next table! Did you have a knit cap on? We were finishing up when your friends got there. We were bummed that the martinis were no more, but they offered us free mimosas to make up for it.

    Had the catfish, gumbo and bread pudding souffle -- plus the Trouble Tree -- about five foo-fee drinks in a shot format. Good, but expensive.

    We also had brunch there yesterday. It was crowded, but still wonderful. They were out of the Sky vodka, so they were pouring Chopin for the bloody marys. Kind of a waste, I guess, but I wasn't complaining.

    We requested a menu to take home to commemorate the last brunch. I impulsively asked the jazz band singer to sign it (he's very natty) and asked if the chef could sign it, but he wasn't there. Instead, our waiter brought Brad Brennan over, who was very charming and gracious and signed my menu for me...

    "To Helen -- Life's well."

    PS He said they would reopen but wouldn't say where. The Venetian had been a possibility but "the lawyers" were holding things up and they might be going somewhere else.

    1 Reply
    1. re: HelenMS

      That was me, with the goatee. Which table were y'all at?

      Small chowhound world!

      Sounds like you had a much better time than we did...

    2. Happy to hear about Spice Market. It was my favorite buffet before renovations and I'm glad it's doing well now.

        1. One of their special cocktails. With bourbon and cherry liqueur if I remember correctly.

          1. Hi Groovin...
            Small world is right. We were right at the next table toward the center of the place. I was sitting with a very large woman.

            We had a good time. I also went Friday night and had the Tasso Shrimp. I think I tried it the first time on your recommendation on this board! Also had the duck two ways, which was wonderful.

            See you at the new location!