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Weekend review- Aria hotel, Julian Surrano, Bouchon, Aria Buffet

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I spend in the last weekend in Las Vegas. We ate brunch Saturday and Sunday at Bouchon. It could not have been better. We started Saturday off with the pork belly app. It was luscious and fatty and perfect to fend off a hangover. I followed that with the Croquette Madame which was perfect. Sunday I had the steak and eggs- a prime sirloin with perfect eggs and some yummy garlic potatoes. My boyfriend had the bread pudding style french toast the first day and the sourdough waffles the second. We enjoyed every bit our meal from the fresh orange juice to the bread. Both days we spend $60 before tip which I thought was a bargain considering the service and top notch eats.

We also tried out one of the Aria hotel's new restaurants, Julian Surrano. The restaurant has just a low wall separating the casino from the restaurant, so it's louder than I would have liked, but it wasn't distracting. The decor is stunning and there were tourists taking pictures of it during our meal, which was a little distracting. The restaurant specializes in a large tapas menu. They recommended 3-4 plates per person, which was just about right. All of the dishes we tried were absolutely delicious. The standouts were the house made chorizo sausage over mashed potatoes and the beef and cheese. The "beef and cheese" doesn't begin to tell you how good this is. Tenderloin beef slathered in brie on toast topped with demi glase and walnuts. O.M.G....so good. The shrimp ceviche was also good, the avocado adding a nice fatty balance to the citrus. the shrimp ceviche was definitely better than the white ceviche, which was nothing special. If you have a hankering for Spanish ham- this is the place to go. They had several imported varieties including the "best in the world" hazelnut fed kind. Our meal- 6 tapas plates and 3 glasses of red sangria was $102 before tip. As a side note, there were locals sitting next to us that proclaimed it the best tapas in Las Vegas, beating Firefly and Baba Reeba in their minds.

We also ate at the buffet at the Aria hotel. They have a range of different cuisine from all over the world. They had a small selection of Indian food which was actually one of the highlights. Their naan bread was very tasty and fresh. They had different proteins represented- prime rib, duck, lamb, oysters on the half shell, sushi and snow crab. Everything was decent, clean and kept to the right temperature. Some dishes missed, some were pretty good, nothing all that outstanding. Given the choice of buffets in Vegas, this would not be my first choice. It's not a bad meal, though and the price was fine at $22 a person, I believe.

I have to add this: I stayed at the Aria hotel. It was the worst hotel experience I've ever had. Some of the low lights: We had the change rooms 4 times for various issues like paint splatter all over the carpet, no bedding, carpet that was soaking wet... The worst was that we did not have hot water in our shower until Saturday evening (more than 30 hours after we asked for it to be fixed). The hotel itself was not mind blowing and is much more inconvenient of a location being set off of the strip much more than we thought. Even when the kinks get worked out, I doubt I'll ever stay at Aria again.

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  1. Great report and I agree on many points! I always love reading a good Bouchon review. I'm going back in April and am planning a brunch and dinner, i'm finally going to try the french toast!

    I couldn't agree more about Aria. We had a large group and there was virtually no cell phone reception and they wouldn't accept our debit card for some reason. Overall, just not a good experience. I did really enjoy the buffet, though... might even be my favorite in Vegas.

    1. Thanks for the report. Huge fan of breakfast/brunch at Bouchon. We're going to hit Michael Mina's American Fish at Aria in a few weeks. Might hit Serrano, but probably not on this trip.