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Short trip report

c
cortez Dec 9, 2011 02:57 PM

Just returned from a 3 day trip to Vegas. Stayed in the City Center area and had time for just a few restuarant visits spaced between visits to family in the area.

Hits:

Bar Masa: post show (Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil) nibbles at Aria. Exquisite. Wagyu skewers, spicy tuna roll, Peking duck with fois gras in mini pancakes, sizzling octopus. Spare presentation of top ingredients. Terrific sommelier with surprisingly deep wine list. Elegant minimalist space. Very repeatable.

MOzen Bistro: top breakfasts prepared us for the day. Customized omelets and Japanese bento box presentation of salmon, tofu, poached egg, fruit and miso were excellent. Pristine, intimate space in the Mandarin Oriental.

Julian Serrano: afternoon snack of Spanish tortilla omelet, ahi appetizer and fried pardon peppers. Cozy comfort food in the late afternoon.

Misses:

Twist by Pierre Gagnaire: big expectations not met at this beautiful space above the strip. Recommended deer (venison) entree comes three ways, like all the featured main courses. Spare, tasty filet was balanced with a plate of darker cuts in fois gras and a martini glass of chilled venison sorbet. Although inventive, this arrangement came off as overwrought where the wonderful ingredients were lost in the theatre of it all. Excellent service. Did not mind the high price but was disappointed that the menu shows off the imagination of the chef rather than the quality, shape or style of the foods themselves. Too precious to be repeated.

The Cosmopolitan: toured the hotel for a possible drop in at China Poblano, Jaleo, etc. Opted to leave hungry as the hotel smells musty and looks unkempt in comparison to its City Center neighbors. Signage was cheap and confusing in the poorly organized spaces. Although new, whole place looks old and on the decline already. Big disappointment.

Had a great trip. Shopping and spas were top. Fun visit as always.