Review of Mini Vegas Foodie Tour
Went for a few days....here's what I found out:
e by Jose Andres - It was nice to meet other folks from the board. The evening was great. The food & wine (plus a beer) was excellent. There really isn't much more to say because everything has been written. And perhaps that's my only complaint. Look...we are splitting hairs here....because this was truely one of the best meals I've ever had. But at times it seemed awfully scripted. I would like to believe the chef looks at ingredients and makes some daily (or even weekly) decisions based on seasonally available ingredients. But at the end of the day, the diner from December will have the same meal as I did last week. And I bet the same menu will be in place for a long time. I would prefer to see them take a risk with a new course or two. It's ok to fail...Peyton Manning does it all the time. But he has the balls to throw away the script and call plays at the line of scrimmage. It's what separates greatness from legendary. Small complaint aside...don't miss this experience.
Hash House A Go Go - A big fail! And I was surprised because it's right up my ally. It was a mountain of poorly prepared crap rushed out of the kitchen. Just a blob of shit to be honest. Oh well....
Burger Bar - A simple dish executed to perfection. Well done. By the way, maybe the only decent item associated with Mandalay Bay. The place is a dump.
Lotus of Siam - As usual....a home run. The continues to be the best bet in town (aside me losing at the blackjack tables). The flavors.....the quality....absolutely the best thai restaurant in the US. That sweet and sour sausage is off the charts.
Nine Steakhouse - Was forced to go with all my friends. What a disaster!! The place cares more about the vibe than the food. Let's just close the book on this one ok?
Bouchon - Jaw droppingingly great!!! Not many meals make me step away from the table and admire what I am eating. I had the Crab Hash special. Three of us split a pastry sampler appetizer and french toast for a dessert. I was completely humbled by the meal.
Bar Masa - Upside surprise. I found the Sushi sampler - 12 nigiri & two simple rolls - to be pretty fresh. The collection of starters and shared dishes were also big hits. We were out of there for $140 per person. Not bad by Vegas standards. Look, I wasn't blown away....but I didn't expect to be blown away. It was just a very good sushi dinner.
Secret Pizza place inside Cosmopolitan - Perfect!!! The folks at e tipped us off. It's an unadvertised, unnamed pizza joint down a long random hallway on the third floor of the hotel. Just a counter and a pizza oven. It's open till 3:00 AM also. It was great being drunk and getting a slice and root beer at 2:00 AM.
The only disappointment (besides Hash House and Nine) was not getting to Raku. Maybe next time.
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109
2605 S Decatur Blvd Ste 103, Las Vegas, NV 89102
Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave Ste A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104
I have to agree with Cutlet on his review of e by Jose Andres - if for no other reason than we were sitting next to each other for the whole meal. BTW his TWO dates were definitely hot!
When we ate at e', we had a garbanzo bean soup that wasn't part of the "standard" menu. It wasn't listed on the printed menu we got either.
We ate at e I think 2 days after you (on Saturday night). We threw a couple special requests (1 diner doesn't eat cheese; 1 doesn't drink wine) and so we had some slight tweaks to the menu:
- the non cheese eater got salmon in the cheese cone and foie gras in the apple jelly roll treat (that's the best way I can describe it). We were all ready to be non cheese eaters for that one :)
The non wine drinker had multiple pairings of highly imaginative bourbon and rye cocktails.
I'd add that we were a party of 7 and had the dining room to ourselves. It was a LOT of fun and the entire staff at e helped make it such a memorable experience. It was definitely a fun and relaxed setting.
We also went to bouchon for brunch and had a decent but not mind-dropping experience. The crab hash was indeed fantastic, but a simple omelette was bland. The bacon, however, was perfectly prepared and a generous portion.
A big thank you to chowhounders for letting us know about e. It was truly an amazing experience and a perfect setting for a group dinner.
BTW since people have asked -- we were allowed to take pictures as much as we wanted just no flash.