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Yet another Vegas Vacation...

Hi everyone, I'll be going back to Vegas next month for a week. I pretty much know where I'll be going, but have a few questions, though I might not be able to think of all right now.
1. I've read on some threads here that Sage isn't what it used to be, is it even worth going to? It seems like I've read so many reviews where it didn't live up to expectations. Don't want to waste a prime dinner slot if I don't have to.
2. Comme Ca, worth checking out for a dinner/snack? Or just stick to Bouchon?
3. Jaleo- worth going to by yourself? I've already been to e, but wondering with the small plates theme, will it be too much for one person if I order a bunch of things...Is Julien Serrano better/as good/worse?
4. Why do so many restaurants not let you make table for one reservation online? I pretty much know the answer to this, just wanted to vent lol...
5. Anyone going to the Great Vegas Festival of Beer downtown on April 26th? I believe the Mortons Group is doing the food, so it should be pretty good.
I think that's all for now, but will probably think of more later.

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  1. I thought Jaleo was fine for just myself. I ordered four items, but could have ordered more had I avoided some of the larger portions -- or used some self control and left some of each dish! You won't get as much variety as with a group, but it's still more variety than a standard meal.

    I've only been to Jaleo and Julian Serrano once each. Based on that small sample, I sightly preferred Jaleo -- but they're both very good.

    1. Here is a promotion from Comme Ca that was announced this week, and might be a way to change the pace a little bit over the course of your stay -

      "Comme Ça launches Brasserie, Burgers and Oysters on Wednesday nights from 5:30 to 8 p.m. starting April 9 on the patio. This backyard barbecue features three rotating, made-to-order burger specials on the patio's grill. All burger orders will be paired with one of Comme Ça's 18A cocktails or two beers for $19. Add oysters, hand-shucked table side from the head of a wine barrel for $1.25 each."

      3 Replies
      1. re: QAW

        That sounds like a lot of fun, but I'm not sure I can get there between those times on the Wednesday I'll be in town. The show ticket I have for that night starts at 7. Truthfully though, I'm more looking at the bone marrow and fun things like that. Do they still do the crispy pig ears I used to hear about? I know it used to be during happy hour but not sure if you could order it at other times of the night.

        1. re: LongIslandChef

          You are in luck - both the "Crispy Pig Fries" and "Bone Marrow & Oxtail Jam" are available from 5-10 PM. And they actually pair pretty darn well together.

      2. I would take a shot with Serrano.....it's really a flip of the coin; but feel that JS is really trying to put this place "on the Vegas map" and the effort is top notch.

        1. Haven't been to Jaleo here but loved the one in DC - would never go back to Serrano - the service is awful, and friends who've been recently say it is no better.

          1. I last ate at Sage in January 2013 - party of four. We had a spectacular meal with exemplary service. It was a really relaxed meal in a classy space.

            I had dinner at Comme Ca in October 2013. I would not return there for dinner - I think it's better as a lunch/snack destination. Cocktails were the one stand-out - really some of the best I've had on the strip. Our waitress was also quite friendly and knowledgable. However, the food was hit or miss...nothing truly memorable. I would return for the great view and the drinks.

            Bouchon - love it for brunch. Also - if you are a solo diner - they have a nice bar to sit at and have oysters. I was there one afternoon, hanging out with a friend and having oysters and talking with the waiters. It was a nice way to get the evening going...

            I'm a huge Julien Serrano fan but the trick is you have to eat there for lunch not dinner. Dinner is insanity. Lunch however is quite civilized and calm. The servers are less crazed. I've eaten lunch there about 3 times and it's been consistently excellent. I highly recommend it. Note that I have not eaten at Jaleo yet.

            1. In response to item #4: I've started booking tables for 2 on OpenTable, and then calling the restaurant to change the reservation to a table for 1 (works so far).

              3 Replies
              1. re: ellenost

                I always consider that, but if I have to call anyway, I might just book it right through them. Bouchon, for example, definitely has my info on file.

                1. re: LongIslandChef

                  There are a few restaurants in NYC that I find it easier to book through OpenTable so I don't have to sit on "hold" for too long. Also there are a few restaurants that are less than "thrilled" with a reservation for one, but I think/hope they'd be too embarrassed, after the reservation was already made, to tell me that they will cancel my reservation if I change it to a party of one.

                  1. re: ellenost

                    That makes sense. Never been a fan of waiting on hold. I just can't stand that attitude against tables for one. I know they feel they're missing out on revenue, but then why not just offer them at slower times of the night? I'd think a full table is better than an empty one. But as i like to say, common sense isn't too common anymore lol

              2. Ok, a few more questions to add...
                6. I don't see much talk about Sinatra on here anymore, is it still good? Worth going to?
                7. What would be the top 5 bone marrow preparations in Vegas?
                8. How is Carnevino for lunch? People mostly talk about their experiences at dinner but I might only be able to fit it in at lunch.
                9. If I can only fit one in, should I go to Gordon Ramsay Steak or his pub at Caesars?
                Thats all, for now lol...

                10 Replies
                1. re: LongIslandChef

                  7. The Bone Marrow Flan at Cut needs to be on any list.

                  8. At Carnevino they make their own pastrami, which can make for one of the better lunches on the strip.

                  9. A pretty significant gap between Gordon Ramsay Steak and the Pub, with the latter being rather forgettable (and maybe one of the worst strip options of "Quality for Price Point").

                  1. re: QAW

                    Completely agree. Ramsay Steak = World Class. Ramsay Pub = Rip Off.

                    Contact Carnevino by E-mail; often times they'll happily prep dinner items at lunch if you arrange in advance.

                    http://endoedibles.com

                    1. re: uhockey

                      I like Gordon Ramsey Steak too. Fun environment for good steak.

                      1. re: jbsiegel

                        Plus I just discovered that GR Steak serves a rib cap. Reason alone to go!

                        1. re: jbsiegel

                          The rib cap is probably the key reason why I'll select GR Steak over Heritage Steak (also like the apps and desserts better too).

                          1. re: ellenost

                            Looks I'll be going there on the 24th. Reservation made and I'm excited to try it.

                    2. re: QAW

                      I've been to Cut before and how in the world did I miss that flan? Definitely trying that, even if I just stop by for an app or two.
                      I definitely will be going to Carnevino for lunch at least once. The menu looks good. And based in what uhockey says about emailing in advance about the dinner items, might have to go a couple times.
                      I cancelled the pub reservation based off of pretty unanimous recommendations, thanks for that. Sounds like it would've been an expensive mistake. Still have the GR Steak reservation.

                      1. re: LongIslandChef

                        Look forward to your report on GR Steak since I am strongly considering it for my visit to LV later this year.

                  2. Also wanted to add, do any chowhounders want to have a lunch at LOS when I'm there? If we can get a bunch of people together we can go crazy with the amount of dishes. Since I haven't been there yet, would love to try all sorts of things but there's only so much one person could order. Pretty much any afternoon from the 21st through the 25th is good for me.

                    8 Replies
                      1. re: QAW

                        Great start!!! Anyone else? We can figure out the exact day and time over the next couple weeks.

                        1. re: uhockey

                          Could possibly do the 26th if that would be better with yourself and others. The craft beer festival I have a ticket for doesn't start until 3 that day, thought it was 2pm...

                          1. re: LongIslandChef

                            Unfortunately, Lotus is dinner only on weekends.

                            1. re: QAW

                              Ah ok, so we're back to a weekday then.

                              1. re: LongIslandChef

                                Ah well. If you're looking for a breakfast or lunch dining pal on 4/26 I can likely accommodate, as well.

                                1. re: uhockey

                                  Sounds good. Maybe meet up at Bouchon on the 26th for Brunch. Hard to pass up another chance at the Chicken and Waffles.

                      2. Almost ready to go...I currently have reservations at Yusho, Gordon Ramsay Steak, Sage and Sinatra. The rest of the nights I'm going to go with the flow and make last minute reservations. I will be going to the Brooklyn Bowl restaurant, but not sure if it will be for lunch or dinner on my first day in town. Still torn on the order of activities that day.
                        QAW and anyone else who would like to join our proposed lunch at LOS, I'm thinking either the afternoon of the 23rd or 24th. Could also do(if necessary)the 21st or 25th. Lets get this nailed down over the next few days.

                        uhockey, I'm still open for Brunch on the 26th, so let me know if you want to meet up, and anyone else of course.

                        Speaking of last minute reservations, Ill never forget last year at Public House in the Venetian. The woman at the desk told me it would be a 45 minute wait. I walked 10 feet outside, went to opentable on my phone, made a quick reservation and walked back over. They look at me, check the computer and lead me right to a table. Still makes me laugh when I think about it.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: LongIslandChef

                          This sounds like an awesome trip. We are going in June, though we have not finalized our dining plans. Yusho is on our short list so I am looking forward to your trip report.

                          1. re: LongIslandChef

                            From this end, the 23rd and 24th for Lotus fit equal well. Your layout for the week has a nice balance to it.

                            1. re: QAW

                              As of now I'd say lets go with the 23rd. Because that night could turn into a really late one and i might not be awake in time for lunch on the 24th lol...

                            2. re: LongIslandChef

                              Strongly consider Yonaka for a dinner if you can get off strip - it was mesmerizing.

                              Not particularly keen on doing Bouchon yet again, but if there are other spots on your checklist for lunch/brunch on Saturday I can likely make it work. Shoot me an e-mail or get at me via the blog.

                              1. re: uhockey

                                Doesn't have to be Bouchon, I'll have to think of a few others, maybe Tableau? I'll contact you in a couple days to figure it out.

                                I have never even heard of Yonaka, I'll look it up right now, although if I'm going off strip it'll likely be to Raku, but you never know.

                              2. re: LongIslandChef

                                Had dinners at both Sage and Ramsay Steak last week.

                                Both were very good. Don't miss the Sticky Toffee Pudding cake at GR. Served with a "stick" of burnt butter ice cream. Might be the best dessert I have ever had.

                                That being said, I didn't try the Foie Gras Chocolate Bar at Sage... (I know, I should have)

                                1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                  Do they still do the Hells Kitchen tasting menu at Gordon Ramsay Steak? Was thinking about doing that, if they allow it for one person...

                                  1. re: LongIslandChef

                                    sorry LIC... didn't notice if the HK tasting menu is still on. I was eating late (post 10pm) and just opted for the smallest steak (filet) on the menu. (though I suppose I could have ordered a few ounces of A5 at $35 per...) Normally not my cut of choice, and not super funky dry aged (I think it's 30 days), but I must say that everything (their take on shrimp cocktail, breads, sides, dessert, and the steak itself) was very good. Would definitely return, although a trip to Carnevino is on the sched next time.

                              3. Here is a bonus review from my last trip which I forgot to post. I call it......

                                The Tale Of Two Bouchon's:

                                So my last trip I became really sick on Saturday morning but started to feel a little better by Sunday night to eat at Scarpetta. However I wasn't well enough in the morning for Brunch, so I was kind of bummed I wouldn't get to try the Chicken and Waffles.

                                Monday morning I decide to go for breakfast at Bouchon and to my luck, as I'm walking in, the blackboard has Chicken and Waffles as a special. I couldn't be happier, the exact reason I wanted to come on Sunday in the first place.
                                They seat me at the bar, the bartender was very friendly and helpful. The meal was delicious. I admit, my taste buds weren't quite up to par because of what I was getting over, but could still basically taste all the little nuances to the dish.
                                Grade: A to A+

                                I loved my lunch so much on Monday, I decided to go back on Tuesday. This time they seat me at a table. I wasn't starving so I order a burger rare and crispy fries.
                                The dish arrives and everything looks great. After eating a few fries I was happy, delicious. And then I take a bite of the burger.....Have any of you ever thought of what an over abundance of white pepper smells or tastes like? One Chef I worked for earlier in my career compared it to horse dung......I couldn't smell it, but my mouth was hit with a blast of white pepper like I've never had before in my life, EVER, and I love pepper.
                                I call the waitress over and tell her about what just happened. She says to me "I'll go talk to the chef about it". About five minutes later she comes back and says that "he'll be more careful in the future" Never once offers to take it back or get me something else. I deconstructed the burger at that point Gordon Ramsay style and figured out the pepper was all over the lettuce and tomato. I took them off and it was sort of edible, but completely disappointing.
                                Grade: F (not sure I've ever given an F to anyone before)

                                1. I leave in about 9 hours and I can't wait. All the plans are pretty much set, so I'm ready to go.
                                  QAW, I'm still thinking the 23rd would be best, maybe about 1pm? Let me know.
                                  uhockey, I'll email you and hopefully we can figure something out for early afternoon Saturday the 26th.

                                  Glad I didn't book a reservation for every night, this way I can go with my mood on some nights.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: LongIslandChef

                                    23rd at 1 PM it is. Just ask for "Mr. David" at the front.

                                    1. re: LongIslandChef

                                      Shoot me your agenda - we can likely make something work.