Las Vegas recommendations


#61

I hear good things about their sister bar at Southpoint, much nicer casino, and easier in/out access to the Strip.

But you got me on choosing Palace Station for the sole purpose of eating at Oyster bar and passing out. That’s a new one. :rofl:

Have fun!


#62

Hey, the requisite toilet photo is now ever closer to becoming the FIRST photo in all writeups.


#63

Looks like I’ll have a chance to try the Sparrow + Wolf when I roll into town this week. Being taken there by a friend. Menu looks promising.


#64

Me cousin is looking for a French breakfast/brunch tomorrow morning. Is Bouchon our only option? Thanks!
Tea at the Mandarin Oriental was exceptional this afternoon. The experience and food was fantastic.


#65

i used to go to Mon Ami Gabi (Paris Hotel) back in the day. I don’t know if it’s still around.


#66

I think it is, but I’ve already been and prefer Bouchon over that.


#67

If you can go on Saturday bardot brasserie has a good brunch


#68

Arrived into town yesterday and was able to make it to the Mandarin Oriental for tea. The experience and the food was quite good…and the view exceptional. I was quite fond of the local honey they served with the tea. Would totally come back.
Had dinner with some local friends and they took us to Sparrow + Wolf. It’s a small hipster space in Chinatown. Service was friendly and fun. The bar program barrel ages cocktails and the Old Fashioned I ordered was really good. They’re quite cheeky and serve a super refreshing gin-based cocktail called What The Duck in a bathtub shaped cup/glass. Very amusing and good. We ordered an assortment of shared dishes. The standouts were the seared scallops, steak tartare, uni melt (housemade focaccia and burrata used to make a grilled cheese sandwich topped with uni and a side of bacon jam), and the housemade charcuterie. I was not a fan of their beef cheek and bone marrow dumpling…it was boring and didn’t have the flavors I was expecting. Didn’t get any photos because I was busy catching up with old friends.
Lunch today was at Lotus of Siam. And I am now super mad at myself for not getting over here sooner. The food was really exceptional and we had a bottle of Reisling to go with our non-spicy selections (my cousin doesn’t like heat). We ordered the garlic prawns, sea bass with drunken noodles, and panang curry. The garlic prawns is likely the best prawn dish (outside of my Mom’s cooking) that I have ever had. The prawns were perfectly cooked and the shells were really as crispy as a potato chip…delightful! The panang curry was quite nice and, at a heat of 2, was okay for my cousin to handle. I really adored the crispy fried sea bass and I love rice noodles in sauce, so that was an easy winner for me. But those prawns!


#69

Lotus Of Siam is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere. If you go back try the crispy rice sausage salad. It’s excellent. The crispy shrimp is fantastic.


#70

The weekend continued with a trip to Raku. Dear God…why have I waited so long to come here?!? The food here is exceptional…and I can’t believe it comes out of that tiny kitchen. We arrived a few minutes early of our reservation and were seated immediately. The staff kindly ran through the night’s specials and suggested a simple bottle of sake to pair with our meal. Waters were refilled seamlessly without request all evening long.
Using some of @Chowseeker1999 and @Ns1 suggestions, I did most of the item selections with some input from the dining companions. I ordered half orders of the house tofu and the agedashi, the Popeye and Ken2 salads, the kanpachi sashimi, and 2 foie gras chawanmushi. I then proceeded to order at least one of every item on the specials board. We had at least a dozen items that they kindly spaced out during our meal…after they loaded our table with at least 4-5 dishes the first go-around. After that…they would wisely release 2-3 at a time.
Agedashi tofu - the sauce and the accoutrements made a simple tofu to another level. We did try the regular house tofu, too…and I think I really enjoyed that version more. The best tofu I’ve ever had…and I don’t even like tofu.


Yellowtail carpaccio - the selections of fish flown in from Japan is truly amazing. The presentation was simple. The fish itself was so so good. My husband rarely eats sashimi, and he went back for more.

Ken2 salad - I really enjoyed the different tastes and textures in this salad. It was exciting to eat. My companions much preferred the Popeye salad with spinach and bacon.

Shima Aji sashimi - another delight from the sea. So fresh tasting and the buttery texture! Again, my sashimi-fearing husband willingly came back for seconds and thirds. The accoutrements were great! I adore fresh wasabi and really liked the pickled chrysanthemum flowers.

Uni sashimi (Aomori) - I’ve never had uni from Japan before. The uni was simply presented. The flavor was bright and super creamy! It was more subtle than the Santa Barbara uni than I’m used to.

Madai - a subtle white fish from Japan served 2 ways. Half of the filet was served grilled and second half was served fried atop king trumpet mushrooms and wheat cake with a umami broth. I loved the grilled version.

Foie gras chawanmushi - glorious…that’s all I have to say about this. Magnificent. We all loved it. I cannot wait to try the West Hollywood rendition…I am in love.

Kurobuta pork belly - braised and topped with a spicy mustard and sautéed spinach…I really enjoyed the gravy it sat in. This was super satisfying to eat as the pork was so very tender.

Iberico pork - so good we ordered it twice. The pork was super flavorful and cooked to a medium rare. It was also very juicy. We ran our pieces along the juices accumulated on the plate. While not along the same lines, we much preferred this pork dish over the Kurobuta ordered above. I think my husband could have eaten 2-4 more skewers by himself.

Soft shell crab - we ordered 2 so each couple would have their own…and what a great decision. It was the BEST soft shell crab any of us had ever had. It tasted of the sea and was super crispy from the frying. With the lightly dressed salad, it was so so good! In my opinion, this is the standard that all soft shell crab should try to achieve.

Washugyu Ishiyaki - Japanese Waygu served on a potato encrusted river stone and then fired tableside. The most tender and flavorful steak any of us had ever eaten. The presentation was super fun. Served medium-rare, but some heathens can leave the slices on longer if they want it more cooked.

The night’s specials board for anyone interested.

Exceptional dinner. For 4 people (and with one bottle of sake), it was about $100 per person. We ate so so well here. I’m so mad that I waited so long to try it. I’m also very grateful there’s a West Hollywood location at home I can try.


#71

Great report, we’re fortunate to have the weho branch that is pretty much identical to Vegas in terms of quality and selection. Next time try the grilled hamachi or salmon belly, hamachi kama, foie gras skewer, pork cheeks, chicken skewers and more sashimi.


#72

Agreed. I’ve been to both branches multiple times and both are excellent. I think its time to visit the Weho branch soon. We have a Honda-ya about 15 minutes away but such a big difference between the two.


#73

We were pretty full and never made it to the many skewers offerings outside of the Iberico special.
Is the pricing for the WeHo location comparable? We were pleasantly surprised at our bill total at the end of the meal, but chalked it off to the fact it was Chinatown real estate than on-Strip property.


#74

Prices are slightly higher in weho.


#75

It was rather late when we finished dinner at Raku, and everyone was looking for something sweet after. We decided to walk 3 stores down and try Raku Sweets. It a lot like Chikalicious in NYC. Dessert counter experience where you see the kitchen work. For about $18 (plus $7 if you want a dessert wine pairing), you get an opening dessert that’s small, cold…and often refreshing followed by a main dessert off the menu. For the experience alone, I think it’s worth it to visit once. Reservations are not accepted here…at 11PM on a Friday night, we still waited about 20 minutes…which was more than okay after our Raku gluttony.
We got lucky and got counter seating while the group of 4 in front of us was regulated to a 4-top table. My cousins and husband loved the experience. I always get a kick out of sitting at the counter and watching the kitchen in action…and you get to see desserts that you didn’t order. This kitchen is run like an efficient assembly line. The pastry chefs don’t have a moment to waste as the tickets for desserts pour in. I didn’t appreciate how some patrons would ask the pastry chefs to stop working just to take photos of them sitting at the counter…they literally had to stop what they were doing. Any of the servers could have easily done that for them without disrupting service for other customers.
Mango sorbet with mint gelee - so refreshing after a meat-centric Raku meal. It was like eating frozen mangos with a nice bit of mint to finish.


Fresh watermelon with Meyer lemon mousse and gelee - my husband loved the pairing of fresh watermelon and Meyer lemon.

Puffy Cup - cassis soufflé filled with blackberry compote and crème Anglaise with mango jelly. This was a fun dessert…lots of different flavors hitting each region of the palate. The only complaint was that there wasn’t enough crunch for texture. I got the dessert wine pairing (which they pretty much forgot about) and the dessert wine was a sparkling rose with stone fruit and berries. I wish they had stopped long enough to tell me what it was.

Ma Cherie - crepes Suzette with 3 types of oranges and fresh vanilla ice cream. I am totally going to make an orange-Gran Marnier sauce to top my own vanilla ice cream at home. The sauce with the ice cream was super good.

Overall, it was a fun experience to share with folks who had never had something like this before. It was pretty cheap, too…considering the experience you’re getting. While I thought the pastry chefs were great, I was not terribly impressed with the service. My water glass was half-filled (compared to my other dining companions)…they used the last of the water container for me and never came back to fill it all the way. They forgot my wine pairing and didn’t bother to tell me what I was drinking…I liked it enough to want to know so I could try finding it myself, but I didn’t want to waste anymore time because my dessert was getting cold. Service lackluster. I’m glad I was able to check it out once, but I likely won’t be coming back. My other companions had a good time, and I think they would go back.


#76

For my husband, no Vegas trip is complete without a stop at Bachi Burger. More so now that all of the L.A. locations have closed down. The Windmill location is closest to the Strip. As soon as the France/Argentina match was over, we hopped over and were the first group to be seated with our friend/family. And just in time to catch Uruguay/Portugal. I had skin in the game…and in hindsight, should have bet more and included a halftime bet…but whatever…it was all for fun.
Oxtail chili cheese fries - I had the jalapenos removed. Super crispy fries gently covered with a lovely and rich oxtail chili and cheese. I love the addition of fresh cilantro and the fried egg. This is always a good option.


Steamed pork belly buns - Now that I’ve had Momofuku’s (in NYC and made at home), this version seems less good to me. It still tastes good, but is missing that special something Momofuku offers. All of my companions loved it.

Chicken wings - these were done very well. Very crispy, flavorful, and juicy inside. I liked how their glaze was salty, sour, sweet, and a touch umami all at once. Forgot to take a photo. Everyone agreed that this was a dish we would happily order, again, upon return.
Banh mi burger - the husband was a happy man. I ordered the same, but found that it wasn’t as good as I remembered. Flavors not as pronounced as before. But it tasted good.

I didn’t try any of these as they were ordered by our companions. They were all happy with their choices. My friend thought the Kalbi burger was too big and probably could have done without the bun.
Shogun burger - Waygu patty, unagi-seared Foie gras, poached Asian pear, Miso butter, Yamamoto pear

Kalbu burger - Kalbi marinade, green onions, house made kimchi, gochuchang mayo, added onion rings

We also ordered drinks. The lemonade and Hawaiian punch cocktails were pretty sweet but refreshing considering it was hot and we had some pretty rich food. Service was super nice. They apologized for taking so long to bring out our waters, but we had only been seated for a couple of minutes. Food came out pretty fast considering that the restaurant filled up quickly with as the match progressed.
Side note: we found something odd while we were here. They said they were unable to serve ramen for the next couple of weeks. They also own the ramen joint next door and food for both restaurants can be served within both. None of us wanted ramen so we didn’t question it further.


#77

Rose.Rabbit.Lie. at the Cosmo was our one extravagant dinner of the trip. We were celebrating with an anniversary and a birthday, and wanted a different dining experience. I thought a supper club with entertainment would be both cool and fun. It will try to be foodie, but let’s be real…we’ll be paying for Strip real estate and for the impression that it’s fancy.
We arrived early for our 8PM reservation to be seated right in front of the band. While I’m not in my dotage, I’m no longer a spring chicken either and my companions are in the same boat I am. The band was in full swing with entertainment, and it was simply just too loud. We couldn’t hear each other speak. We couldn’t hear our server properly. We asked to be moved to the back room. The entertainment still roamed the room, so we didn’t miss out on much.
We ordered drinks (various cocktails and wine) from the menu and decided to go for the Rose.Rabbit.Lie. experience…the tasting menu. There would be about 5-6 courses of food brought out in tasting portion sizes with a large main course and a shared dessert course. It was going to run $125 per person.
Chilled egg custard with crab salad - the crab salad was super refreshing and delightful…and a nice foil for the super rich egg custard. It was a nice way to start a meal.


Caviar taco - wild caviar, Yukon gold potato shell, uni butter
Oysters on the half shell - soy mignonette
Waygy steak tartare - beef chiccarone, cornichon, savory mayo
Of the three I was most impressed with the taco. There was some complexity in flavors and textures. I found the steak tartare really be too fatty. I really tasted more fat and less of the meat on this one.

Fried soft shell crab with corn pudding - After Raku’s soft shell crab from the night before, nothing will be as good. I felt this was overcooked and too greasy. I wish that there was more corn pudding than the small puddle on the plate. I really didn’t get too much flavor out of it.

Falafel with heirloom tomato salad and vinaigrette - some of the most flavorful falafel I’ve ever had. My complaint was that it was too small. It was already bite-sized, but when you cut it in half to eat with a tomato chunk it seemed less substantial.

Short rib stroganoff - forest mushrooms, semolina sheet, short rib jus
The pasta sheet was a tad on a the dried side. It was really hard to cut. My husband noted that I would probably recreate this dish at home and it would be better. The short ribs were pretty tasty, though,

Crispy pork belly - grilled corn relish, BBQ jus
I think these were too crispy and I felt the meat was dried out. The corn relish was good.

Beef Wellington - prime tenderloin, puff pastry cage, seared Hudson Valley foie gras, creamed spinach, roasted king trumpet mushrooms, black truffle sauce
The presentation is lovely alone. Everything was cooked and plated well. I really enjoyed this dish and it did feel like a Wellington. I was not crazy about the cage, it was more pastry crust than puff pastry and was a bit hard to cut.


Roasted Brussels sprouts - Manchego cheese, balsamic glaze
This was our side to go with the Wellington. They were good.

Chocolate terrarium - chocolate pudding, chocolate buttermilk cake, chocolate soil, puffed wild rice, crispy chocolate tuille, hazelnut ice cream
This is their signature dessert. Really lovely presentation, again. It actually wasn’t too chocolatey. I really enjoyed the pudding and the meringue mushrooms. My companions loved it.

We left thoroughly stuffed. While the food was not as ideal as I had hoped, the restaurant service was excellent and the entertainment was great. Lots of great singers, dancers and musicians. The shows ran for about 30 minutes every hour on the hour. It was truly unlike anything any of us had experienced. But I’m glad I’ve been here and won’t likely come back for a return visit.


#78

We stopped for dessert one afternoon at the Cosmo. My sister had requested cookies from MilkBar, so I brought her a selection of corn and compost cookies. I bought my kids a selection of all the non-chocolate cookies. They seemed to enjoy the confetti cookie the most.
We tried the cereal milk soft serve with the cornflake crunch. I had had this in NYC before and I felt the Vegas location’s version didn’t have enough cereal milk flavor…it was more pronounced in NYC. We also tried the birthday cake milkshake per @A5KOBE’s suggestion. It was delightful, but really really sweet.

P.S. We were in the Cosmo looking to hit Eggslut for breakfast. That line was too damn long at 9AM. We picked up some breakfast breads from MilkBar. An everything bagel bite filled with a bacon-scallion cream cheese and a breakfast roll filled with eggs, Sriracha mayo and cheddar cheese. The breakfast roll with eggs was on the greasy side, but that everything bagel bite (it was more like 6 bites) was really good. And not too heavy. My cousin and I shared one of each and did some shopping at Crystals before a lunch at Lotus of Siam.

Before walking back to Aria, I got a salt air margarita from China Poblano to-go. It was an excellent choice as I did need to walk outside a few steps…super refreshing in the heat. I love that drink.


#79

Hi @attran99,

Yay, so glad you finally made it out to Raku. :slight_smile: great report.

Now that you’ve experienced LV, definitely give the LA branch a try. :slight_smile: