Trip report, Feb 10-14
Just back from a four day trip and frankly, not thrilled to be back in the snow, but that's beside the point.
So we arrived on Feb 10. Our flight was supposed to get in at 5:30 but we had a pretty solid delay and it was almost 10 before we got checked in and settled. We'd been looking forward to our reservations at China Poblano, though, and decided to go anyway and just have a light meal. I started with the margarita with salt air, which I loved - the salt foam was so interesting and I kept wanting to drink more because it surprised me every time. We decided to have chips and salsa, the carnitas, and 2 things from the Chinese New Year menu - the 18 Wheat Noodle and the Lions Head..something (sorry, can't remember the exact name and can't find the seasonal menu). I was unimpressed with the carnitas - the flavours were good but they were so incredibly oily, oil was pouring out of them when I bit, and I couldn't set it back down because there was a puddle of oil on the plate. The Lions Head was pork meatballs on a bed of slightly pickled cabbage, and it was very good - the meatballs were incredibly light and juicy. The 18 Wheat Noodles was my favourite, though, rich and dark and soy-y with a variety of hearty mushrooms. It was so good that we went back and had it again a few days later for a pre-dinner snack.
Monday morning we had plans to go hiking in Red Rock Canyon so hit Payard for what we thought would be a quick breakfast. Maybe it was our fault for ordering crepes, but it took almost a half hour to get through the lineup and have our crepes made. Once we got them they were very good, but considering that for a few dollars more we could have eaten at Bouchon, I don't think I'd go again. The chocolate croissant that we got was delicious, though, flaky and light.
Grabbed a pre-show snack at Taqueira Canonita, and was unimpressed there. We'd been a few years ago and really enjoyed it, but both their happy hour menu and their quality seemed to have gone downhill. The chips and salsa and margaritas were good but we got the taco sampler and they ranged from fine (fish, mushroom) to pretty bad (beef, chicken - both just big chunks of dry meat, very little seasoning).
After seeing Love we had late reservations at American Fish. We were still feeling full from our pre-dinner tacos so skipped apps and went straight to mains - the mustard marinated black cod for me, the branzino for my husband. My black cod was wonderful - moist and flaky and perfectly seasoned. I'm not a big fish eater and when the waiter said it was an oily fish I was a little worried, but I loved it. My husband also very much liked his branzino - it was a little fishy for my taste but very good with the crispy skin and he really liked the sides. For dessert we split the beignets and very much enjoyed them.
Tuesday morning we had breakfast at Bouchon. I had Les Oeufs and my husband had the Omelette du jour, which had short rib and carmelized onions, among other things. Both delicious, and after a few days in Vegas, seemed to be surprisingly good value for money. As usual, my favourite part of the meal was the incredible butter they serve, and we ordered a plain baguette to be able to enjoy more of it.
Got caught up outlet mall shopping so decided to have a quick snack at Todd English to tide us over. 2 sliders and half a dozen chicken wings hit the spot - the sliders were medium rare and yummy, and the wings were really spicy but in a good way.
Followed that up with dinner at Scarpetta, a restaurant we'd visited on our last trip and wanted to return to. I started with the squash soup, which had a delicious crunch provided by the croutons, although I could have done with a few more goat cheese dumplings. My husband had yellowtail which he really enjoyed. For mains he had the chicken which was good, and quite a bit portion - two giant pieces of chicken - and I had the spaghetti, which was as wonderful as I remembered. The problem with Scarpetta is that there are a number of things on the menu I'd like to try but I can never convince myself to order anything other than the spaghetti. Stopped at Jean Philippe on our way back to our room for some mango gelato which was really really delicious.
On our last day we started with a quick breakfast at Jean Philippe in the Aria - a egg sandwich for him, yogurt with granola for me as all the food was starting to catch up with me. I also had a chai latte which I don't recommend - it was somehow too sweet, or too caramelly? And a chocolate croissant which was good, but not as good as Payard. Later we hit the Chandelier bar for an afternoon drink, and was impressed by their varied and interesting drinks menu. For our last dinner we went to Sage, and were blown away. Even their bread (a choice of either sourdough or a bun with bacon in it, with whipped butter with chives and sea salt) was incredible. We skipped appetizers to be sure to save room for dessert. I had the short rib, which was sticky and sweet and so tender, and my husband had the skirt steak, which was so juicy and flavourful. They were both so so great (and I paired my short rib with a Cote du Rhone recommended by our waiter that was delicious). To finish up we had the Arancini Dolci, which was so good I found it hard to believe. Banana gelato, chocolate crunch, horchata foam, and deep fried arancini balls - it was the perfect way to end our best meal of our trip. Can't wait to go back to Vegas to try Sage again.
Hope this helps somebody make a decision about their trip - I get so much help from this board that I'd like to be able to pay it back.