Short Trip Report - Weekend in Las Vegas
Another too-short visit to Las Vegas, another visit with notable and enjoyable food.
Drove in from Los Angeles and arrived hungry. We were staying at Palazzo, so we met my parents at Table 10 for lunch. We've been a few times before, and always had good food, this time was no exception.
A couple of newer things on the menu were very good - Candied Bacon (which arrived in a small metal pan, and was amazingly good), Sriracha Chicken Wings, and my Dad opted for midwestern nostalgia by ordering the Fried Smelts. The smelts were a good sized order that came in a small metal bucket, fried crispy, not too heavy on the breading, and with a lemon tartar sauce.
Dinner that night was my Mom's pick, and she opted for Julian Serrano at the Aria. I went with some of the suggestions from Chowhound and Yelp, and most of the tapas were very good. The pitcher of sangria (white, with a peachy flavor and a good kick) helped wash everything down well. Our favorites were the black pork and the pan manchego - simple yet delicious. The padron peppers was a large order, but most of them were too spicy for my parents to eat. So I got most of the order!
Dessert there was okay - the churros and chocolate were a little dull on the churro part, but the chili-spiked dark chocolate sauce was very good.
The next morning, we opted for the Jazz Brunch at the Country Club at the Wynn. Interesting concept, and we had heard the food was good. I liked parts of the buffet a lot - the shrimp, both chilled and creole sauteed, were huge and tasty, the gravlax cured in-house was delicious. The carvery station gave out crispy sausages and slices of small pork chops along with the rib bones, all very good.
The brunch was also an order-service as well as a brunch, though most of the order dishes were only okay. The french toast bread pudding was so-so, as was the shredded pork benedict. My Dad ordered, of all things, a hot dog, which looked great, and must have been good, since he didn't share.
Desserts at the buffet were decent, they had a nice fresh strawberry shortcake, little wrapped salted caramels, and lots of fresh fruit. The band was great, though I felt bad that they played completely surrounded by the buffet, couldn't have been that comfortable for them. They played jazz, blues and zydeco, and that helped to elevate the whole experience.
Dinner that night was at Lotus of Siam, which my parents had never tried - they may have been a little wary when they saw the outside, but the restaurant quickly lived up to all of our expectations. We ordered a good amount of things, our favorites including the Crispy Duck on Drunken Boat Noodles, the Soft Shell Crab Salad, Khao Soi (couldn't get the short rib since my wife and my mom don't eat too much beef) and we ordered a whole fried catfish with spicy basil. I had never gotten to order a whole fish there before, and it was great!
I definitely enjoyed Lotus the best of all of the meals I had over the weekend, and even with a bottle of wine, the check was very reasonable.
On the way out of town on Monday morning, we decided to try out Bread and Butter Bakery in Henderson - I'm glad we found this place, it was amazing. We ordered quite a few baked goods to go, I think my favorites were the frosted Nutella and Banana muffin, and the pecan-intense sticky bun. We ordered the Waffle Sandwich, which had cheddar cheese, ham and scrambled eggs inside two fresh waffles, covered with a rosemary bechamel sauce. I got their special flatbread, which had chorizo, potato and scrambled eggs. Both were hearty, delicious and well made. We're putting it on the must list!
Thanks for your great report. I was especially interested in your report about the Country Club. It veered away from the New Orleans brunch but I guess it's back. I love the idea of the combo of buffet and made-to-order items, but your experience was the same as mine. I ran into the same situation at Simon's brunch at the Palm. The buffet is smaller than CC's, but there is a bigger selection of made to order items, and we weren't too impressed by the dishes we tried.
If you like the fried catfish, may I suggest next time trying the barbecued whole catfish? And be sure and ask for both dipping sauces (a tamarind sauce and a chili-lime sauce). One little secret -- the sauces are delicious mixed together.