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Everything posted by rjwong

  1. No Raku??!! How could John let this happen? Perhaps it's time to try Asian cuisine on the Strip ... hehehe ...
  2. Put on your safety belt, Steven. John Curtas will take you on a ride more exciting than the ones at the Stratosphere. And yes, you will eat at all those places. The culinary itinerary that John has planned is not for wimps. Of course, everyone knows that when you eat Chinese food, an hour later you'll still be hungry ... When I go to Las Vegas, I don't usually eat at Asian restaurants, since I can do that in the Los Angeles area. I'll be very interested in your reports about local Asian cuisine in Las Vegas.
  3. This sounds like a real winner. I'll just have to plan another trip up north. Why didn't you expect chef Michael to be there on NYE? Is Bottega good when he's not there on his day off (if he does take a day off)?
  4. No one has mentioned this idea: take the spares, bag them in two's or three's, and sell them the next day as "Day-Old Pastries" at a discounted price. Perhaps that's a variation of the 4:00 p.m. discount idea.
  5. If you're flying into SFO, there's Zen Peninsula in Millbrae, about ten to fifteen minutes away from the airport. The dim sum is really good. I enjoyed their jellyfish and seaweed salad. There are other Chinese places near the airport (like Fook Yuen, The Kitchen, et al.), if you don't want to wait until getting to Chinatown. Enjoy!
  6. Vegas Uncork'd 2009 is coming soon! I've been checking when Bon Appetit will give out some information. Here's the basics for now from their webpage: May 7-10, 2009 Big Flavours, Bright Lights and the World's Greatest Chefs NB Notice the British spelling, ehh? Tickets on sale January 10 Check back on December 19 to visit our new website. That's it for the time being. Start booking, if you're interested.
  7. You mentioned Italian. Here's a couple of local Las Vegas places, off the Strip, for you and your group to consider: Settebello is a pizzeria napoletana. They just moved to Green Valley Ranch. I've only been to their original location. The place is sanctioned by the Italian government* with the organization Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN). Very casual, family-oriented place. The owner, Brad Otton, used to be a USC Trojan quarterback, but this UCLA Bruin doesn't hold it against him. The pizza is that good. IMO, Settebello has the slight edge over Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles. Nora's Cuisine is
  8. Oh ... group decisions. Most of the time, this solo diner gets to choose for a certain group, namely Me, Myself & I. That's the only group decision I have to worry about. Trying to get a sense of the group dynamic can be very interesting, ehh? If I come up with some more ideas, I'll let you know.
  9. There are other factors you might want to consider. Network & Support: Keeping track of certain chefs and their culinary careers. One of the main reasons I'm going to Las Vegas this month is to do my part in supporting the chefs & the restaurant staff during this recession. I don't know whether how many people would decide to dine because of those reasons. Location: To add to your questions/comments, I don't mind trying all the restaurants available in one hotel/resort. I remember doing just that at the Wynn Resort. So far, I'll have to say that overall, Wynn's restaurants are very
  10. SW Steakhouse. The time I went there, the steak was pretty good. I might have to double-check my notes. If you decide to go there, please check whether Carlos Guia is working there. He was the former chef of Commander's Palace and the late Louis's Fish Camp. I think he's working as the chef de cuisine at SW. Morel's is a French steakhouse. I've never eaten there, but I've drooled over the artisanal cheeses they have (both domestic and imported). At the time, I only recognized one of the cheeses: Red Hawk. Wolfgang Puck's Cut Restaurant is really good. That's my personal favorite in Las Vegas
  11. I'll be in LV during the weekend before Christmas, plus a couple of days. I'll check out what restaurants will be open then. Well, luck be a lady tonight. Another Italian restaurant with Frank singing in the background and people rolling their eyes far more than dices at a crap table tournament .... With a restaurant named Sinatra and Steve Wynn backing this place, I suspect the expectation levels will be quite high. Over at the Wynn, there are two Italian places already: Bartolotta and Stratta. I'm wondering how Sinatra will be different from the others. It does seem weird to me as we
  12. Ye Olde King's Head is located in downtown Santa Monica. Robin Hood British Pub is located in a suburban neighbourhood in Van Nuys, in the San Fernando Valley. Tam O'Shanter is located on Los Feliz Blvd. in Atwater Village. The Tam is really more of a Scottish-themed restaurant. The prime rib is really good, since the place is owned by the family that owns Lawry's the Prime Rib. Bangers & Mash, Fish & Chips, Steak & Kidney Pie, Cornish Pasties, Scotch Eggs, Sherry Trifle, Bird's Custard, et al. Am I winding you up yet?
  13. rjwong


    A fellow eGullet member calls me this morning and delivers this news bomb from the Los Angeles Times : Joe Pytka closes Bastide, plans another revamp At the moment, I don't know what to say, except ....
  14. Tkrup, Check out the Dining in Las Vegas discussion thread, the last couple of pages to start. Go ahead and add any more questions and posts on that thread. I'll be going to Las Vegas the weekend before Christmas, when it's really quiet (by Las Vegas standards).
  15. My two favorite buffet places along the Strip are at the Bellagio & the Wynn. Mind you, very few restaurants will be open on Thanksgiving, and those that are open will have LONG lines. Depending what time you want to eat, expect to wait at least two hours (you read correctly). I suggest getting there early, more for a Thanksgiving brunch instead of dinner. You might want to check out the Ritz Carlton over at Lake Las Vegas, east of Henderson (away from the Strip). They're serving a "Thanksgiving Feast" (I think it's a buffet, but I'm not sure) from 11-5 for $55 per person. Have a Happy T
  16. I recently had dinner over at L'Auberge Carmel (Christophe Grosjean, executive chef). Very delicious dinner in a small, intimate room (10 tables). I had the tasting menu with a requested dessert tasting menu by pastry chef Ron Mendoza (formerly of Sona & French Laundry). Click here for a full report with photos.
  17. Reasonably priced restaurants? On the Las Vegas Strip? Yes, it's doable in December, in this economy. Just check the last couple of pages of this thread. It depends on what you want. Basically, nothing's really changed that much. If you have access to your own vehicle, there is a great local place in Henderson for pizza (Settebello, new location) or Rosemary's out in the western part of LV. Alex, that depends on Ms. A's response ( or ). Uhh, back to your other questions ... If you want, try the Medici Cafe and Terrace at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas. I go there mainly for the dessert
  18. Alex, I'm surprised! Are you saying that you're going to be a "virgin Vegan visitor" (as in Las VEHH-gan)? As for #1: The RTC bus system is not bad at all. I've used it a few times. $5 for a 24-hour day pass, including "The Deuce" that drives up and down the Las Vegas Strip. As for #2: Take the cab ride to Rosemary's. The cab should drive you from the Venetian, north along the Strip, turn left on Sahara Blvd., drive about 7 miles west on Sahara Blvd., past Rainbow, past Buffalo. Rosemary's is on the south side (to your left), the southeast corner of Sahara & Cimarron. If you go on a
  19. The Encore website mentions a December 2008 opening. I was informed that the building of Encore is behind schedule. Theo Schoenegger (formerly of Patina) will open his own restaurant at Encore. jsmeeker, you're not going to NFR? There are a lot of bargains during the two weeks before Christmas. We'll see if things work out.
  20. tupac17616, When you say great desserts, do you mean plated desserts? Are you excluding bakeries and patisseries? Except for Coi, are you saying you haven't found any places that serve great desserts in San Francisco? The only place I heard of is Tartine, which is more pastries, croissants & other baked goods. There are some good ethnic bakeries in the LA area, like a Cuban bakery in Glendale called Porto's. I've tried some of Sherry Yard's desserts. It's delicious, more on the sweet side for me. Sometimes, she likes to add bits of meringue for texture. I would say Adrian is definitely
  21. kai, I'm glad that you liked your dinner at Providence. I was very happy to meet all of you. As for the little box, Das macht nichts! The "chef's tasting menu" is different from the 5-course tasting menu or 9-course (aka full tasting menu). In the chef's tasting menu, you allow the chef to create a tasting menu for you. The courses are not necessarily listed on the printed menu and can be quite creative. The "dessert tasting menu" is Adrian Vasquez's list of dessert creations, and is separate from any of the other tasting menus previously mentioned. You can double-check that on their websit
  22. Nate, welcome to eGullet California dining forum! I've been to very few SF restaurants except for Chinatown when I was a kid. Mind you, I'll be there about a week after you. Aqua should be really good, since Aqua currently received a two-star rating from Michelin, if that means anything to you. I've heard great things about Quince from my friends and I made a reservation there. I found out that for the 2009 year, Quince no longer has its one-star Michelin rating, again if that means anything to you. If you're in SF on a Saturday morning, go to the Ferry Building & Farmer's Market. It'
  23. First, you need to move out to LA. Second, Philippe's just celebrated its 100th anniversary this month. Apparently, it was a looooong line there, as they were serving French dip sandwiches @ 10 cents. No, I didn't go. I'm partial to Langer's, and it's all JFLinLA's fault. Thank you, JFL. And another oldie but goodie is The Original Pantry, two blocks away from Staples Center on Figueroa.
  24. Carolyn, you forgot the word idiocy audacity. At fortysomething, I don't eat as much as I used to and I'm not young and svelte like some others (okay, I've never been svelte). So, that's why I'm planning this carefully by timing the two meals far enough apart so I can digest in between meals. Besides, it'll be good preparation for all those holiday dinners with family and friends.
  25. rjwong


    I can hardly wait to have dinner at Urasawa. 19 more days. What beverages do they have available? Do they allow corkage? I was thinking about bringing a bottle of champagne. I'm not into sake. To those who already ate at Urasawa, do you order regular water? Does having water help you focus more on the food? And one last question for now: Will Urasawa get that third Michelin star this year?
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