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  1. as a so-called "alcoholic", I find the cheapest alcohol is at South Point. But their selection is miniscule. Second cheapest is The Orleans and Sunset, with the Orleans having more stuff. But for "connoisseurs," the above won't have anything you'll drink. Lee's has a decent quantity of stuff, but I find them so expensive! I've seen them selling stuff for $17 that the other places have $9! If you're going more for the experience than to buy, see if you can get a tour of Southern wine and spirits instead. Can't buy anything, but touring all the booze is definitely happy fun time!
  2. I like the eating part better. Yeah, there's actually two Archi's. I heard the owner rotates between both of them, don't know if it's true though. It's good but Archi's has grown out of its blue-collar roots. The food is a bit dressed up, the portions are small, and that they have Johnnie Walker blue, as I recall. But! I admit, the food is better, maybe even best. Archi's won the Las Vegas Review Journal's staff pick for best Thai restaurant, 2007. My completely unscientific survey shows that 100% of women love Louis's. The cheap one, not the "white tablecloth" one. Actually, I'm not sure what the other one is doing there, considering Town Square is home to Aeropostale, the Apple store, and Santa Claus.
  3. Hello, I wanted to talk about some of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas that I have not seen mentioned! After all my ragging on forum favorites like Lotus of Siam, Sensi, Bouchon, I don't want you all to get the impression that I'm "that guy" who hates everything just to be irritating... I've no especial qualifications, except that I really really really like eating, to the point that I will go to the gym just so I am allowed to eat more. And I used to be a valet (that's not someone who parks cars, that's a man's personal servant) where I had an unlimited budget to buy whatever kitchen contraptions and ingredients I wanted, from the mainstream to the obscure, and then pretend I knew how to cook them. #1 Yoshinoya. I know what you're thinking. "Isn't that a fast food place?" well... yes, but it's my favorite restaurant in the entire southern Nevada! I mean seriously, they have clam chowder. And strawberry cake. Does your favorite fast food place have that? I don't think so, Mr. overrated In-N-Out! I even take my dates there, and no one has complained yet. Useless fact: There is only one Yoshinoya in the entire state of Nevada. #2 Togoshi Ramen. Many people claim this is the most "legit" Japanese restaurant in Las Vegas. I am inclined to agree. I mean, they have a bookshelf full of comics that you can read while you're eating. Does Okada have that? It's so legit in fact, that it's not particularly good. You know, liberal use of seaweed, bonito, and questionable sauces labled "tonkatsu" that come out of a squeeze bottle. It's kind of a joke that you will probably be the only round-eye in there during lunch, and this is 100% true. But they have $1.99 Sapporo draft. I am totally willing to mispronounce their selections just for that one fact. #3 Osaka. The one on Sahara, next to the Statue of Liberty. Their menu claims this is the only restaurant outside of Japan that some weekly magazine no one has ever heard of put in the top 50 Japanese restaurants. This is entirely possible, depending on how much they paid for the endorsement... once again, the "legit" level is high. The curry rice has no meat, the sukiyaki is mirin-heavy because sugar is a great substitute for flavor, the staff shouts at you when you leave and enter, and you get the curious feeling that they think you're a tool when you ask what the non-translated items on the sushi menu are. Speaking of sushi, there is the old guy, the other old guy, the short guy, and the guy from Argentina. But you can write all kinds of silly things on the order sheet that aren't even on there, and that they don't complain. They may think you are a foreign barbarian butchering their cuisine, but only the waitress will laugh. And it's okay. Because it's the best food I've ever had in my life. My partner in crime agrees, tying it with his other "best food ever," Nobu. Warning: Don't order the uni or ikura. But do order the egg sushi. Because nothing turns spongy overcooked yellow stuff into instant awesome like abusive amounts of dashi and mirin once again. #4 Kung fu Thai and Chinese. I know. "What the heck kind of name is that? Thai AND Chinese? Be serious." I am serious. I love Thai, and I say this place beats the mama out of Lotus. Blasphemy, I know. After all, they don't have raw shrimp in lime juice, dry sour sausage, a $7.99 lunch buffet, surly waiters, and other Lotus classics. Just kidding, they have surly waiters. But they also have awesome, awesome Tom Yum and stuffed chicken. You know, where they take the bone out of a drumstick and replace w/ mystery stuffing? Yeah, I don't know how they do that either. And the curry! Take that, Osaka, their's has meat and it comes in colors like white. Edit to add: #5 Freakin' Frog. "Wait a minute, that's not a restaurant, it's a bar!" Well... they have fries, and burgers... okay fine, it's a bar. But this bar is famous, and I couldn't find a single mention of it on egullet! They claim to have the largest beer selection on the West Coast, anywhere from 700 to 900 at a given moment. The de facto hangout spot for delinquents, degenerates, and derelicts, I don't think I have to try too hard to sell it. I mean seriously... 700 beers! I wonder if that's what heaven is like... PS -- they open in upstairs place called whiskey attic that is the same thing as the frog, except for whiskey. But I haven't been up there. You have to be a member.
  4. I've eaten at Sensi twice, and both times I consider a serious lapse in judgment. Well, first, a caveat about where I'm coming from. These kinds of restaurants are outside of my caste, so I rarely eat in them. Maybe I just don't "get it." But I found the food to be very expensive and lacking heart, with the portions small. It also seems to lack focus, with the food coming from all sorts of different regions. As I recall, I saw expensive woks -- the ludicrously high BTU kind that's usually imported... but also raw salmon? And weird desserts. Both times I went, I left hungry... when food is good, and you're already at the restaurant, you kind of make up excuses to justify the cost. It's kind worth it, I guess, in a "new experience" kind of way. But at Sensi, we couldn't justify it at all. It's not good, AND the food cost percent is horrendously low. Hate to be a negative Nancy, but I just don't get the Sensi love...
  5. No reservations allowed for breakfast. I went on a Sunday with some friends. Their menu was different than the one I grabbed a few days earlier while doing some recon. Strangely, the prices were different too. I don't have my report in front of me, but it was $4 something on one day and $5 something on another day for the "pommes frites" (which apparently is not pronounced how it's spelled -- who knew?). I very much disliked the food. Enough that I did not even finish it and gave it to my friend, who said, "I don't want this McDonald's ****." Perhaps our low-class palates are not refined for food at "one of those places," but all parties present agreed that it was quite possibly the worst meal in all of our recent memories. I know this is a "food" website and you guys like to talk about food, but as I'm not really qualified to talk more on that point, I wanted to talk about service instead. It was horrible. Blue collar types have a term for the people who man the booth up front. The first word is "door" and the second word starts with a 'w' and rhymes with it. I always found it a bit of a weird term, but I get it now. It seems that much of their staff, with special emphasis on the aforementioned "door [people]," do not understand that they work in hospitality. Merriam-Webster defines "hospitable" to mean "offering or sustaining a pleasant environment" and "given to generous and cordial reception of guests." Bouchon offered the complete opposite. There are drug dealers that are more polite to their customers, because they know that sales is just a form of marketing. I don't have the exact time as my report is on another computer, but at one point, I raised my hand for several minutes before someone came over. I don't mean that I raised it, put it down, and then someone showed up a few minutes later. I mean it was literally all the way in the air for several minutes. As my arm started to grow tired, a man a couple tables over shrugged and gave us one of those, "Yeah, I know how it is" grins, for legitimate reason. The staff had ignored him and his earlier as well. Employees walked by and pretended we did not exist. I wasn't raising my hand for a dumb reason either. For some reason, they had taken all our forks/knives, so when the food arrived, we noticed that we had nothing to eat with. "Thank you," we said to the woman in the booth up front when we left. She didn't even look up from whatever was behind the podium. No response. The family standing in line, perhaps recognizing the oddity of it all, looked at us and gave one of those half-smiles. ... The Venetian is pretty serious about HR. They make applicants take one of those MMPI-style personality tests where you are asked a billion questions like, "Am I awesome" and "do you like the color red?" It's probably to weed out the jerks -- likely some suit wisely figured that having staff who hate people is not a good idea in hospitality. Unfortunately, the Venetian does not own Bouchon. Because I can say with no hyperbole... their staff hates people. A broad stroke, but it only takes one to treat you and your party with contempt to ruin a dozen "Hello, how are you"s.
  6. rj, though the question is simple, the answer is rather complicated. The short answer is, "yes, but not in the way you're thinking." They don't normally take stuff that's been sitting in the hotel pan over the steam table for 5 hours and take it downstairs to us. That would probably be a health code violation anyhow. They do order the same stuff for us that they order for upstairs, though. It comes from the same suppliers, through the same receiving dock(s), through the same inspection. EDR pretty much raids the storage rooms and takes whatever. People say the EDR is essentially the same as the buffet, but I say the EDR has more stuff. EDR get the shrimp and stuff like that upstairs gets too, but we also get stuff the buffet think is lame, like tangerine slices out of cans, hard boiled eggs, etc. When you have an event and you get those weird round things of meat with asparagus served in that cartoon thing with the round silver lid, we get those too. They're just hidden in the fridge because there are not enough for everyone, and the EDR cooks could only gaff a few extra. A lot of stuff is "centralized" for efficiency. Like one internal butcher shop will supply everybody with the meat. Or one hotel's kitchen will make all the soup, and send it out to the other hotels [this is only true for hotel owned restaurants like the buffet, cafes, etc. Not for outsiders, who actually own most of the restaurants... so if you're wondering why the hotel owned cafe has the exact same soup as the hotel owned restaurant at the property next door, now you know -- albeit at a different price]. "Yeah but for stuff that is not cooked earlier by some upstairs guy that you guys gaffed, buffet cooks are different from the EDR cooks." Well... yes. But the same F&B director is in charge of both. They are hired to the same standards, and they get paid the same. I always found that interesting. EDR costs are billed to "payroll," but managed by "f&b." Disclaimer: I do not work in F&B, have never worked in F&B, and don't work in hotel/casino/etc at all. Not sure why I used "we." Each casino/hotel in general operates as a wholly independent subsidiary, with some minor exceptions (such as the aforementioned centralization of some food stuff between hotels) and each F&B director can therefore run it however the heck he wants.
  7. Dunno if buffets can be considered "low class." My friend and me went to Rio the other day for the seafood buffet. It was $38 a person! Needless to say, we beat feet. Anyhow, one of my friends is a contractor for the hotels and eats in their employee dining rooms every day. In general, we consider EDRs to be an excellent representative of the buffets. I called him and he said the best EDRs are Wynn, Bellagio, and Mirage. So.. those are probably the best buffets too.. at least, in his opinion. =}
  8. Hey, thanks all for posting your experiences. Ok, so if I understand right, it's open for breakfast and dinner every day, but lunch only on weekends? Also, me and my friends wanted to go. We've never been to "those" kinds of places before. We aren't really part of that social class. Can we go, say, for breakfast, order one thing of fries for the three of us, and then leave? They are supposed to be the most awesomest fries, so... very excited about trying it out. Thanks. P.S. My favorite fries are Burger King. I believe they buy the "stealth" fries that Lamb Weston and other companies make that's coated in the starch, so they stay crispy longer. I hate soggy fries. =[
  9. Sorry to be a Negative Nancy, but I really don't recommend doing that. It's too damn hot during the day, and too damn dangerous at night. That place is a serious hole, and walking around that area alone is a bad idea. I don't recommend taking a cab there either. It's too expensive, and I think the food is overrated. I used to eat there several times a week with my friends back when I was in dealing school (it's in the same complex), and it can be scary good, but it can also be scary below average. For the price of the restaurant, the lack of consistency I think makes it not worth it.
  10. I find that Nobu is not generally considered to be a good sushi place. It's a good place for Matsuhisa-style food -- in fact, I often hear people say it's the best food they've had in their entire life, but for sushi... Osaka and Hamada of Japan are usually at the top of the list, with Osaka being the higher of the two.
  11. The famous Fatburger vs In-N-Out debate. I gotta go for In-N-Out on this one. My friend ate a 12x12 (12 patties, 12 cheeses) in one sitting, the fat bastard. I myself think a 4x4, xtra onions, animal style, with fries is perfect. =D Way better than Burger Bar.
  12. I don't have much in the form of recommendation (maybe Wing Lei), but I strongly recommend against Okada. In my opinion, the front staff is unnecessarily rude and abrasive. They, more than anyone else, seem the busiest and the front staff is no doubt exhausted from customer after customer bugging them -- but that doesn't excuse treating guests in the fashion they do. This is not merely my experience. Two friends of mine went restaurant hopping independently, and the words "stuck-up" and "wow, talk about snobby" were used regarding that place in particular. Japanese food is traditionally very high-profit, and they certainly have enough business that purposely losing some will not cause them any heartache, but I nevertheless hope the day comes when they realize that "lots of money for not a lot of food" can be gotten anywhere in this city, and it is atmosphere and service that raises some above the rest.
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