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é...it really is THE best!!!

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LVI Mar 28, 2011 11:38 AM

Simply put, é is the BEST restaurant experience in Las Vegas, PERIOD (and let me clarify...if you are reading Chowhound you can generally be considered one of those who "live to eat" as opposed to those that eat to live. There will always be those that love T.G.I.Fs and cannot appreciate a place like é for all it is worth). Nothing, and I mean, NOTHING compares to it. Is Guy Savoy more formal and polished? Is Robuchon more classic? Is Raku more interesting? Is Lotus of Siam more diverse? Maybe yes to some or all of those but no restaurant can compare to the experience that é will give you.

é has it all. From the moment that I walked up to the hostess stand to the moment I left I felt as if had been transported to another world. I will not go through each course with pain staking detail as it has been done many times already. What has not been mentioned all that thoroughly is the service, which in my opinion, was almost as good as the food (sorry Anthony, I will always put food 1st...but you were a damn close 2nd!). The room is very whimsical with two side walls adorned what looks like old library card catalog drawers. Some of them are open with playful objects sitting on/in the drawer that make you wonder if Jose has enjoyed the same college experience that many of us did as youths. Having the 3 chefs and two servers, if you will, allowed for a great interactive evening. Each course, i believe 19 or 20 all tolled, was pure joy. So much so that I found my self giggling with pure delight and astonishment. There are very few meals I have ever had where I felt this way. Some dishes were simple in ingredient components yet complex in their preparation and some were both. Some have said that the place is "gimmicky". I disagree. Whimsical and possibly goofy at time in presentation but NEVER for preparation.

And if I were to have a criticism, it would be the wine pairings. They are by no means bad but certainly lack the depth that the food has. With such a high bar set for the food it is a shame to pair it with wines that are more run of the mill. For comparison sake, Ko in NYC's pairings were stellar compared to the wines we had. The cocktails looked very interesting so maybe I would be inclined to try them next time.

All I can say is for those that have not been, beg, promise, steal...do whatever it takes to secure one of these 8 seats. And for those that do not believe, your loss. And for those on the fence about whether or not you want to go, all I can say is that read the reviews of those who HAVE been...it is simply THE BEST dining experience in Las Vegas at the moment.

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Lotus of Siam
953 E Sahara Ave Ste A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104

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  1. ellenost RE: LVI Mar 28, 2011 12:20 PM

    Thanks LVI for a great report. I am thrilled that I will be dining next week at e by Jose Andres. I also have Robuchon and Savoy on my "dance card". Since I had read mixed reviews of the wine pairings, and since I'm not a big drinker (the wine pairings at Ko, while wonderful, left me too dazed to fully appreciate my first of many brilliant dinners at Ko). I'm interested to see what they will have for the non-alcohol drink pairings.

    7 Replies
    1. re: ellenost
      baron45 RE: ellenost Mar 28, 2011 12:37 PM

      How does one contact the restaurant for a reservation?

      1. re: baron45
        ellenost RE: baron45 Mar 28, 2011 01:12 PM

        Only via email at: reserve@ebyjoseandres.com. They're very nice, and will reply to your email within a day. They accept reservations only a month in advance.

        1. re: ellenost
          seal RE: ellenost Mar 28, 2011 04:15 PM

          Looking forward to your report ellenost.

          Since we lost Alex, this summer's trip will not be the same, but maybe this will make up for it.

          1. re: seal
            ellenost RE: seal Apr 13, 2011 09:52 AM

            e was fantastic! Food was delicious and creative. Service was superb! Special credit to Anthony who made me feel very welcome as a solo diner. I loved the non-alcoholic beverage pairings. Anthony was very kind and gave me a very generous "tastes" of all of the wine pairings (most were not for me). The seats were comfortable (with backs and padded). We had only 6 people at our seating, and it felt like a lovely dinner party.

            Joel Robuchon would be my Alex "replacement" though. Food and service were exquisite. The limo ride to and from the restaurant is great. Even though I wasn't "wowed" by Joel Robuchon on my first visit 3 years ago, I am very glad that I gave it another try. Definitely was "wowed" by it last week.

            Other than the fantastic service at Guy Savoy, the meal (food) did not live up to my expectation. Definitely was "blown out of the water" by Robuchon.

            1. re: ellenost
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              jsa056 RE: ellenost Apr 14, 2011 03:13 AM

              Thanks for the report!

              Gonna hit up Robuchon in mid-May with a few friends. Any stand out dishes you'd recommend?

              And how was the amuse bouche? I'm a little sad that the online menu shows they replaced the crab/caviar amuse. I was looking forward to that.

              1. re: jsa056
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                TheFoodEater RE: jsa056 Apr 14, 2011 08:53 PM

                i ate their twice, my stand out dishes were the tomato and the duck with foie gras, cherry, almond and cherry jus. these were the culinary equivalent of a first orgasm, or the way hippies must of felt taking acid and listening to hendrix play electric guitar for the first time. i was dumbstruck these dishes were so good, and i've had several dreams where i was eating them again.

                1. re: jsa056
                  ellenost RE: jsa056 Apr 15, 2011 04:04 AM

                  My favorite dishes at Joel Robuchon were:

                  1) soft cooked egg with oscetra caviar;
                  2) lobster and sea urchin with saffron fried rice;
                  3) duck breast with foie gras and plums;
                  4) le sphere du sucre-one of the most amazing desserts that I've ever had (a la carte menu).

      2. rp1760 RE: LVI Mar 28, 2011 04:25 PM

        I am happy you had a great dining experience, LVI. I have read so many great reviews on e. I am so very sad they are not open on Monday night. Sigh. An excuse, I guess, to return to Vegas next year.

        1. DarinDines RE: LVI Mar 28, 2011 04:53 PM

          I'd have to agree with you - I was just there Friday and it was a really unique experience. Surpassed expectations for sure. And the paella pit right outside of e is just as impressive...I heard that alone cost $1M to build.

          Write-up with pics: http://darindines.com/2011/03/28/e-by...

          3 Replies
          1. re: DarinDines
            ellenost RE: DarinDines Mar 28, 2011 05:24 PM

            Thanks very much for sharing your photos. I hope my meal next week is as good as yours. The foie gras dish looks marvelous! Looks like they eliminated the no photography policy.

            1. re: ellenost
              DarinDines RE: ellenost Mar 28, 2011 10:37 PM

              The 'no camera' policy technically still applies, but it's lenient as long as you're quick and ubobtrusive...at least in this case.

              1. re: ellenost
                l
                LVI RE: ellenost Mar 29, 2011 05:26 AM

                No flash. You can take as many as you like. Like the night I was there with my 2 buddies. At times the four guys from Chicago seemed more interested in taking pictures than they did about eating the food.

            2. d
              daantaat RE: LVI Mar 28, 2011 09:36 PM

              how does e compare to Jaleo? We had an outstanding dinner on Sat night at Jaleo. I can honestly say it was the best dinner I've had for over a year. And the service was efficient, friendly and unobtrusive.

              2 Replies
              1. re: daantaat
                DarinDines RE: daantaat Mar 28, 2011 10:40 PM

                They're two totally different concepts. e is a lot more experimental with a lot of "molecular gastronomy" technique, while Jaleo is much more familiar Spanish tapas. Just depends what you're looking for really.

                1. re: DarinDines
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                  daantaat RE: DarinDines Mar 29, 2011 10:23 PM

                  thanks--will definitely hit up e next time!

              2. ellenost RE: LVI Mar 31, 2011 05:24 PM

                Just received my gold Admission Ticket with a lovely handwritten note welcoming me. Very charming! I have such a good feeling that this may be my best meal in LV this year!

                1. d
                  dfwtexex RE: LVI Apr 4, 2011 12:09 PM

                  I got into é last Thursday night. It was spectacular. After reading so much about it, I was worried about a let down. Far from it. It was spectacular. The "experience" was really special, from the greeting and the glass of cava to signing the book at the end. Although I agree that the sherry's weren't my usual thing, they were very good and went well with the meal. They poured all the wines and the beer generously and opened more to accomodate us.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: dfwtexex
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                    sojo16 RE: dfwtexex Apr 14, 2011 12:11 PM

                    How much is a night at e', with and without wines?

                    1. re: sojo16
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                      jsa056 RE: sojo16 Apr 14, 2011 12:21 PM

                      $250 per person, including alcohol and gratuity. As far as I know, that's the price point whether or not you drink. It seems they're willing to make non-alcoholic beverages for you, but I don't think it affects price.

                      1. re: jsa056
                        DarinDines RE: jsa056 Apr 14, 2011 12:32 PM

                        Right - it's $250 regardless of alcohol, but they will make you a non-alcoholic pairing if desired.

                        1. re: DarinDines
                          ellenost RE: DarinDines Apr 14, 2011 01:03 PM

                          I liked the non-alcoholic beverages better than the wines/beer. Anthony gave me tastes of all of the wines/beer. They even made a special first course for me to substitute for the sangria course.

                          1. re: ellenost
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                            LVI RE: ellenost Apr 17, 2011 07:00 AM

                            Anthony is truly a special part of the é experience. Kudos to you Anthony. Hopefully I'll be able to be part of the é experience in Sept...gotta get a job 1st though!

                  2. elvisahmed RE: LVI Apr 18, 2011 11:45 AM

                    jeez all these reviews are making me salivate. Unfortunately I can't get a booking for this weekend. Only opening they have is for Thursday at 5:30 and my partner in crime won't be there till the evening so thats out ad I don't wanna dine alone :(

                    15 Replies
                    1. re: elvisahmed
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                      sockster RE: elvisahmed Apr 18, 2011 03:08 PM

                      Why not...I went alone and had a fantastic time (and meal)!!!

                      1. re: sockster
                        elvisahmed RE: sockster Apr 18, 2011 04:05 PM

                        Jeez I can;t imagine going through a 20 course meal without discussing it with anyone else :)

                        1. re: elvisahmed
                          ellenost RE: elvisahmed Apr 18, 2011 05:54 PM

                          I dined alone two weeks ago at e, and had a fantastic time! Since it's a small group (no more than 8, there were only 6 at my seating), I started chatting with my fellow diners. Everyone was very nice and friendly. And of course Anthony was very attentive to me as a solo diner. You don't feel alone since you're watching the food preparation.

                          1. re: ellenost
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                            AnonymousWaitress RE: ellenost Apr 18, 2011 10:28 PM

                            I just went on Friday and although I did not dine alone we spent most of the night chatting with the people next to us about everything we were eating. Although the food was amazing my only qualm would be the wine pairings - I very much dislike sherry and just did not like that for the first few courses (although if i had said anything I promise Anthony would have given me something else) and I would like a little more detail with wine pairings.

                            I do have to say those comments were more because I was reflecting on the evening and had to find something wrong with the place since everything was so great!! They also did a bourbon/rye pairing for my boyfriend since he is not a white wine fan and it was phenomenal and quite generous as well. They seemed to enjoy doing the bourbon pairings and we very much enjoyed how enthusiastic everyone clearly was about working there and the experience.

                            My only other qualm other than not enjoying the sherry is completely out of their control - the Cosmopolitan is a complete zoo on weekends and not quite my scene even though my boyfriend and I are in our 20's and do a lot of partying in vegas so I can only imagine how much less other diners would like the experience of fighting their way through to dinner (the ambiance inside e is a complete 180 and perfect however).

                      2. re: elvisahmed
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                        csb95 RE: elvisahmed Apr 18, 2011 06:52 PM

                        I went alone, too! There was only one other couple dining, and I enjoyed it very much :-) The courses come quite quickly, so there wasn't much down-time in between anyway.

                        1. re: elvisahmed
                          k
                          kagemusha49 RE: elvisahmed Apr 18, 2011 10:54 PM

                          Dining alone at e (or anywhere else in Las Vegas for that matter) is absolutely not a problem. I went alone and found 2 other chowhounders who in turn brought 3 guests. Basically this is food of the goods served in an 8 seater. Everyone pretty much talks to everyone and everyone respects the food so much and just chats in a fairly laid back way with each other and the chefs and Anthony.

                          1. re: kagemusha49
                            elvisahmed RE: kagemusha49 Apr 19, 2011 07:27 AM

                            I guess I got lucky and am now booked for this Saturday for 2 :) Will report back after I have dine there. Really looking forward to this one as I wanted to splurge on this trip so it was either this or Robuchon. I guess this way we know what the damage is going to be as opposed to Robuchon where its almost no limits.

                            1. re: elvisahmed
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                              cleopatra999 RE: elvisahmed Apr 19, 2011 07:44 AM

                              I cannot wait, 1 week (+ a day) until my reservation!!!!

                              Can you get extra wine (I assume at a cost) if you want it?

                              1. re: cleopatra999
                                ellenost RE: cleopatra999 Apr 19, 2011 08:04 AM

                                I did see people receiving refills of their wine glasses. Don't think there was an extra charge for it.

                                1. re: cleopatra999
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                                  sockster RE: cleopatra999 Apr 19, 2011 08:43 AM

                                  If you finish your glass, they're happy to give you more of whatever you were drinking. No cost at all. And trust me when I tell you this, there's plenty to drink it you want it!

                                  1. re: sockster
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                                    cleopatra999 RE: sockster Apr 19, 2011 12:57 PM

                                    wow, that's awesome!

                                    1. re: cleopatra999
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                                      cleopatra999 RE: cleopatra999 Apr 20, 2011 06:59 AM

                                      Are they still sending out the 'golden tickets' for your reservation? Is it necessary to have it? We haven't received ours yet, and are leaving on Saturday. I am wondering if I should be contacting them?

                                      1. re: cleopatra999
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                                        csb95 RE: cleopatra999 Apr 20, 2011 07:08 AM

                                        They are sending the "golden tickets", but its not necessary to have it.

                                        I got mine before I had to leave, but the other couple I dined with made their reservations more last-minute so they did not get theirs. Anthony made it a point to say that they would still be getting one as a souvenir.

                                        1. re: cleopatra999
                                          ellenost RE: cleopatra999 Apr 20, 2011 07:09 AM

                                          I received my "golden ticket" on the Thursday before my Wednesday reservation. You might receive it today. No one asked for it. If you're concerned, you can always email them to ask.

                                          1. re: ellenost
                                            elvisahmed RE: ellenost Apr 27, 2011 08:27 AM

                                            I can confirm you don't need the golden ticket as they ask for you by name. I will post a review soon but suffice it to say that the sum of whole is greater than sum of parts. Some of the dishes were average some great with one or two standouts IMO. The drinks on the other hand were a ho hum affair.
                                            A great value (everything is relative I guess) considering the personalized dinning experience you get.
                                            Recommended overall if you can get in.

                            2. elvisahmed RE: LVI Apr 28, 2011 12:07 AM

                              After managing to get a last minute reservation at this coveted place my friend and I were really looking forward to dining here. We got a reconfirmation Voice Mail confirming our reservation and the dietary restrictions we had (my friend doesn't eat Foie Gras and I stay away from Pork). Our reservation was done on a short notice so we didn't get the "Golden Tickets". We arrived earlier and were nicely greeted by a glass of Cava. If this was taste of things to come we in for a treat but didn't over indulge as we wanted to keep out appetite and taste buds fresh and no overwhelmed. My friend pointed out the interesting name "1+1=3" which sorta summarizes this place (more on that later)
                              We were handed a keepsake menu with a rubberised seal (kind like makers mark)
                              we had some substitute items.
                              Frozen Sangria with Grilled Strawberries. I think presentation was key here with the liquid nitrogen drawing oh and aah from the table. Nice contract between and warm cold. With a nice a detailed description on why sangria was made that way (doesn't evaporate the alcohol as it remains frozen) I luved the warm strawberries and might try it myself Sangria was nice at first but I couldn't finish it as I am not big on Sangria.

                              Spanish Clavel. Again presentation was key here taste was not so much. The white petal made from yogurt didn't add anything to taste the centre flower has nice finish though.
                              Beet Jewelry. Looked luvly and the finish was intense. How I would describe the bit of potato chips that are left after you have finished a bad (not the intent I guess but awesome)

                              Caramelized Pork Rinds. I had a substitute course here. My friend did like it though and commented melt in your mouth feel.
                              Apple "Brazo de Gitano". Beautiful presentation. Nice gooey centre kind of like cheese. The shell had granny apple essence I think and centre was kind like a cheese.
                              Jose Taco. I had a substitute course and it was caviar in an asparagus shell.
                              Artichoke with Caviar and Quails Egg. I liked this dish and I am not big on caviar.
                              Membrillo with La Serena Cone. Interesting combo didn't care much for it.
                              Bocata De Calamares could have been favourite dish if it wasn't too much bread and mayo. The uni was the freshest I have ever tasted. This one still made it to the top of my list.
                              Ajo Blanco. Modern version of a Spanish soup made from Almonds and Garlic. Deconstructed soup very interesting IMO. My friend luved it I was ok with it.
                              Cigala with Roses. Good dish with intense flavour of fish heads.

                              Smoky Oysters in Escabeche. Beautiful presentation again very nice flavours.
                              catch of the day with Black Garlic. I luved the black garlic as am a big fan of it. Fish was good I think it would gone better with more buttery fish.
                              Foie Gras Baked in Salt. I was really looking forward to this as I am Foie Gras luver didn't find it amazing I guess I am spoiled by a restaurant that is the Foie Gras Mecca in Montreal
                              Secreto of Iberico Pork. I had the rabbit instead nothing special. My friend luved this course.
                              Orange Pith Puree with La Serena. Very strong cheese reminded of a something I bought in Montreal. Nice combination.

                              Frozen Apricot Coulant. Nice a refreshing. I luved the shell didn't care much for the interior.

                              Apples and Red Wine "Freddy Giradet" nice goblets of wine and apples with ice cream on apple purée.

                              25 Second Bizcocho. A Cake made in microwave from what I was told. More of technology demo than anything else

                              Chocolates. One was with saffron the other was like the fancy version of aero bar. Nice finish.

                              I am tempted to give 5 stars but the wine/alcohol selection could have been better. I did enjoy the beer (I first tried it in Vancouver) from Elli Bulli Chef as it did go well with the course.
                              The Service was excellent and we were all at ease with each (4 fellow Canucks made it easier for us as well)
                              Overall I don't think there were many dishes that stood out but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
                              Its hard to recommend a 250$ meal as value but I guess this one is. Safer than any bet you would make or a show you can see in Las Vegas.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: elvisahmed
                                ellenost RE: elvisahmed Apr 28, 2011 06:58 AM

                                That's great to know that e will make substitutions for people who don't eat pork. Now I can go with my sister next year. Of my 4 dinners from a few weeks ago, my favorites were Joel Robuchon and e; now my sister can enjoy both!

                                1. re: ellenost
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                                  cleopatra999 RE: ellenost Apr 30, 2011 11:15 AM

                                  All the hype was totally accurate. This place was a phenomenal experience. The only disagreement I have is with the drink pairings, I felt that they worked quite well, they were not at all the focus, and I was okay with that. I enjoyed the creativity of each dish, they have been talked about in detail so I won't go into them. It is so hard to pick a favorite, but I think it might be the spot prawn dish.

                                  we did however get to try a couple of dishes that were new. The executive chef was even hanging about to see our reactions to the dishes. One was crispy chicken skin topped with chicken oysters and (I think) a Thyme foam (its been a few days, cannot remember all the details). This was a like a bite of the best flavors of Thanksgiving. The crispy skin was to die for. The other dish was chickpeas with Iberico ham. The chickpeas were actually a spherication of chickpeas, the ham were cubes of fatty, salty ham all of it was served in a delicate Iberico ham broth. This dish was my first spherication experience, I loved it because it concentrated the chickpea flavour, but also made them very delicate and silky.

                                  The only dish I did not enjoy was the Sea Urchin, this was my first sea urchin, turns out it is not to my taste. I also felt that the foie gras was way too big, but other diners at the table had no problem finishing it.

                                  Overall my only complaint was the speed to which the dishes came out, I am a very slow eater, especially when fine dining. There were times I felt rushed, where the next dish was sitting in front of me, while I was still eating. I was also really surprised at how full I actually was off of small bites, it did not feel overly rich at the time, but after wards I felt it.

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