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Las Vegas Food Report. Good and Bad.

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  • mikey Nov 13, 2011 11:53 AM
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I have to say I was a bit mislead on some things while others were spot on. I posted a simple request for a really fun, chic, happening, see and be seen place with good food, well dressed people, not stuffy but also no shorts either. Sadly, I did not get many responses. I really wanted to impress some clients. Well, I luckily found the place on my own and it fit the description. More on that one later.
First stop was lunch at Central. TOTAL disappointment! First of all, the place is not cheap. I read about it in countless food reviews that it was the hot place to go. Don't even think about ordering lunch until 11:30, it's breakfast only. The wait staff was surly, service slow, and food mediorcre. My croque madame did not come with the fried egg, it was topped with cold and thick bechamel sauce that looked more like country white gravy than anything else. Plus, it was not broiled with cheese on top. I am not kidding when I saw that La Madeleine makes a better one for half the price. I was really looking forward to it but have to admit that I was not overwhelmed.
Dinner at Jaleo was incredibly good. Quite the opposite; excellent service and extraordinarily good tapas. True authentic Spanish food right in the heart of Las Vegas. This operation is top notch. Loved the bartenders and the fantastic wait staff. Had dates with bacon, tortilla espanola, fresh toasted bread with jamon serrano and fresh tomatos, shrimp with garlic sauce. Honestly, each plate had one good dish after the other. We ordered and I swear our first plate came out in 5 minutes. We were a big group and the server was patient and overwhelmingly kind and helpful. Big success
Lunch at Dos Caminos at the Palazzo was quite good. The poor place was almost empty at 1:00 on a Friday which was a bit sad. Still food was nice. Nothing incredible but good. Nice waiter, good tacos, and absolutely excellent guacamole and sauces. Margaritas were wonderful too. I would certainly go back if I wanted Mexican food but it would have to be to satisfy a Margarita craving.
Lunch alfresco at Mon Ami Gabi was also loads of fun. My salad with tuna was mouth wateringly good. The chicken sandwich was fantastic and so was the "tuna melt". It was so good that I really think they need to rename the dish. Service was a bit on the slow side as there was a huge wait. It is a popular place and it is one of the only places with such large outdoor seating on the strip. Loads of fun too. This was my third time going and I still love it every time.
Dinner at Yellowtail was incredibly good. I read good things about the restaurant on this web site and it was all spot on correct. Probably some of the best Japanese food I have had in a long time. Appetizers were amazingly inventive and the rolls delicious. Also, desserts were glorious; chocolate cake with orange foam etc. That kind of stuff. Brilliant and good. It's dark inside so best go for dinner. The bar is fun and the place was crowded so my guess is that it is a popular place.
I am sorry to say that the Atelier de Joel Robichon was kind of a disappointment. I should have just splurged and gone to the beautiful dining room at the signature restaurant next door. I love bar dining too but this was kind of depressing. Everything seemed red and black. The interior was rather unimpressive and institutional looking. Next door, everything was gorgeous and elegant. Prices are wickedly expensive. Painful in fact. I bit the bullet and ordered a bunch of small plates which were definitely small. Don't get me wrong. Food was very good but a little appetizer of eggplant and sardines was about 20 dollars. The "Le Burger" (excellent) was up there too. The onion tart was totally humdrum. I just could not match price with quality. Wine list was sensational. My advice would be to just go to the main place. It is not that much more in price and the atmospthere is so much nicer. I liked 'Atelier but I would probably not go back.
Olives continues to impress me with excellent service and perfectly wonderful, American food. I had a salad with chicken that was absolutely wonderful. This was also my third time going and I would go back every time. Really fun, bustling, and great. Big portions too.
So, my favorite place now in all of Las Vegas and my big gold star and Academy Award goes to STK. What a blast! Now, let me just start by saying that this place is NOT for everyone. It is so popular and so crowded that you have to really be ready for something like this. A friend whom I trust told me that it would be my favorite place and she was right. It was just what I wanted. I had 9;30 reservations and when I walked in the place was overflowing with well dressed and glam people. Everyone was smiling, happy, enjoying good cocktails and swaying the the music. The DJ is the best in Vegas. 80s tunes, 70s tunes, 90s tunes, and stuff from today. All hip, fun, and energized. The place was so fun that people were getting up from their tables to dance with people from other tables. A post-disco dance party seems to form when a good song comes on. Food? Sublime! The best fois gras I have had in a long time. I am still dreaming of the truffled fois gras. My steak with bernaise was exceptionally good and the mushroom tart was exquisite. We did not leave until well after mindnight and the place was still bustling with people. LOADS of fun! People were well dressed and ready for a good party. I highly recommend STK but definitely NOT if you can't take loud, pop music or big crowds. You need patience. Also, STK gets big awards for buying us drinks because the table was not ready. Restaurants never seem to do that anymore. The wait staff must be hand picked because they seemed beautifully equipped to meet the demands of the rich and famous with a smile too. The night I was there, a prince from Dubai was at the other table. I can tell that the place caters to a demanding crowd and the staff accomodates. Plus, they're fun as hell and a joy to chat with. Anyway, I could keep raving but won't. Don't blame me though if you have a miserable time because of the noise and drunk factor. If someone is dancing at your table, just join in with them. Why fight it? Live it up.

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Mon Ami Gabi
3655 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Dos Caminos
3325 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Jaleo
3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

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  1. STK gets a bad rap sometimes, but I love it too!! The one in NYC is also fun.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jbsiegel

      I'm definately hitting STK, Jaleo and Yellowtail. I'm staying at the Bellagio for a batchelor party. I'll report back here!