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C Simril

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  1. I think we were both at that event. Some of the dishes were amazing.
  2. John Curtas certainly raved about Esther's Kitchen. I'll check it out next trip, if it's still around. Would certainly return to Vetri and Partage. My whole review of the culinary journey is here: Seem Real Land The maitake dishes were off the menu at both Sparrow and Edo but they made them for me anyway. I worry that dishes I love at any restaurant (except Le Cirque and Guy Savoy) won't be there the next time I visit. I wanted to try the peas at Guy this time, but they insisted it was only a spring dish. Considering the bad weather in mid-Feb, I think a spring visit is definitely the way to go next trip. Would like to try the swordfish at Monzu Pizzeria even though I didn't enjoy its pizza. The fish place wasn't open at Eataly (before noon) so I'd like to try that too.
  3. I had the tomato bread, which was excellent. Also the Maine Lobster Salpicon, not bad. Forgot to have the Bikini, but I would order it were I to go there again.
  4. Best thing I ate: Maitake and shimeji mushrooms on top of cauliflower custard at Edo Tapas. You'd have to go to Spain to find anything this good, and even then, it would be very, very difficult. Best use of eggs ever: Frittata Bianca and Italian Omelet at Veranda in the 4 Seasons. Astonishing breakfasts. Best chicken ever eaten in a restaurant: Jidori chicken at Le Cirque Worth eating: Crab, scallop and lobster dishes at Partage. Crab dish at Mordeo. Lime crab at Zuma. Hamburger at NoMad bar. Still great: Langoustine fritters at L'Atelier Kinda worth checking out: Porceta and gnochi at Vetri. Service is better than food and view is best of all. Maitake dish at Sparrow. Very disappointing: Monzu pizza. Scallop and apricot tapa at Julian Serrano (which was great last year), Eataly food court. Everything but the crab at Mordeo. Cocktails at the Downtown Cocktail Room (which have always been great before) Crime against food: Valentines dinner at Michael Mina Best cocktail: Tiki drink by Jennifer Yim at Vesper bar at Cosmopolitan. Runner up: Yuzu cocktails at Sparrow and Wolf by Alannah and Terry Best tea: Chamomile at Veranda, paired with their two egg wonders. Best things to do when not eating and drinking: Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Bellagio. Gehry-designed Cleveland Center for Brain Research downtown.
  5. Of that list, I've only eaten at China Poblano, which was OK, and Raku which was excellent. The scallop and the agedashi tofu are about as good as those dishes can get.
  6. I'm looking forward to trying Sparrow and Wolf on my next trip to Vegas. I've had great pizza in Vegas before, particularly downtown. I"m looking forward to a pizza place called Monzu. One of the best things I've ever had in Vegas, and something I make at home all the time is the warm grape salad with shiitake, feta, chives and mint at Yonaka. Maybe the best $8.00 I've ever spent on food.
  7. I share your fondness for Milos, Yonaka and Andre's beef. I don't think I've visited any other restaurant on your list.
  8. The best food I've eaten in Vegas would be: Prawns at Mix (predecessor to Rivea), John Dory at Twist along with the mushroom potato dish I had there in Feb. Sea Bass with delicate spices at Guy Savoy. Lionfish at the late, lamented American Fish in the Aria. Also late and lamented, the warm grape salad at Yonaka Modern Japanese Cuisine. The single scallop and the agedashi tofu at Raku. A lot of great food at Le Cirque. I regret not having the langostine fritters at Atelier and the truffled maitaki at Bar Masa on my most recent trip, but will have them again next trip. I always have lunch at Milos and will continue to do so, but my favourite vegetarian baked crepes at the Eiffel Tower is now off the menu so I won't go there again.
  9. Re, Jose Andres. One of the great humanitarians in the world. What he's doing with World Central Kitchen in Haiti, Puerto Rico and other places is extraordinary. I met him once and he was just as great in person. However, his food, not so much. I had some decent tapas in his original restaurant, also called Jaleo in DC in 2005 and he insisted I try his Vegas Jaleo, most of whose dishes I found inedible. His China Poblemo was slightly better but hardly worth going to. The only good thing I can remember about my $300 meal at e was a very good mocktail featuring pear juice, green tea and jasmine air. The food filled me up rather painfully and no memories remain. I've dined at his Bazaar Meat 3 times and his beef is pretty good (although not for anyone who has lived in Japan, as I did for many years). Beef on bread sticks was quite tasty, better if you avoid the bread. His tomato tartare was torture, Brussels sprouts in foam was an insult to my palate (thankfully they didn't charge me for it) and his gin and tonic is good, but not worth the price. Even his olives a la Fernan Adria were a waste of taste. In my recent visit to Vegas in Feb, I had a tasty mushroom croquette and quite tasty sangria at Jaleo, so maybe I'll check it out next trip, but nothing from any of Jose's restaurants compared to the scallop and apricot tapa I had at Julian Serrano's this trip, though Julian's Picasso veg menu was a vast disappointment.
  10. I save up for a couple of years so I can eat wondrous food at Le Cirque, Twist and other places in Vegas. Just back from mostly wondrous experiences there. Not sure if I can post this here, but my Vegas trip is here: http://seemrealland.blogspot.ca/
  11. Just back from 5th trip to Vegas. Some comments: Carson Kitchen : orc food. Eat: Enough potatoes to cover Idaho. Bring an army. Great fruit bowl! Downtown Cocktail Room: Don't know what the first drink was except it had arrack in it and was excellent. The apple of your eye, 2nd cocktail, was too sweet. They don't answer their phone, fax or email. What are they hiding? Payard: The tartine de tomate is wondrous. Your taste buds will dance. Raku: Get the scallop. Nobu: No. Good cocktail, crab tempura makes you wish you were as dead as the crab. Eiffel Tower: Get the baked vegie crepes. Guy Savoy: lobster salad a bit chewy. The lobster in cold steam I had a few years ago was vastly superior.. Milos: Lavraki for lunch. Your palate will thank you. Mandarin Tea Lounge: The Jasmine Tea-off is a variation of a mocktail Jose Andres serves (still? i know not) at his micro-restaurant "e" inside of Jaleo. There can be no higher praise than that. Yonaka Modern Japanese Cuisine: the warm budo (grape) salad is the best $8 I have ever spent in my relatively long life. If I lived another 8 trillion years, I doubt I will ever eat anything better. Get the budo cocktail to go with it. As you lay dieing in the distant future, you will recall this dish and will consider your life to have been well spent. DB Bistro at the Venetian: great heirloom beet salad. Avoid Daniel's pasta like the plague. Rhumbar: good Mai Tai 1944, maybe the worst bar tender in the city. Vesper: Emmett is a great bar tender. Made a cocktail for me full of fruit that tasted like Oolong tea. Petrossian: the fabled Bellagio cocktail only ok, but their infused spirits are almost spiritual. Le Cirque: The Loup de Mer is my new favourite Vegas fish. Le C has climbed over Guy Savoy to become my new favourite Vegas restaurant. Thanks, Ivo. Tea Room Again: Had oolong tea, not nearly as good as the mock oolong at Vesper. Bazaar Meat: Jose;s bread sticks wrapped in beef and dipped in cheese sauce is worth taking the slow bus (The Deuce) from South Strip to the SLS for. Very few things are, if any. The vegies: brussel sprout thingie, super beefy tomato tartare, olives ala Ferran are all to be avoided L'Attellier: they used to offer the langostine fitter as a single item, now you have to order three. They kindly allowed me to have only one. Thank you, Chef Robuchon. I returned to Vancouver last Thursday, Feb. 12, full of health and enthusiasm. That's why you travel in the first place.
  12. I was thinking about a lunch pizza at Spago next trip to Vegas, but not sure. Milos was great the first 2 times I went there, but the Lavraki had definitely gone down hill when I last visited in Dec, 20113. Salad was still awesome. Another lunch favourite, the vegetarian crepes at Eiffel Tower had sadly declined in pleasureabe possibilities. Maybe December is not a good time to go to Vegas. Food has always tasted good in Feb.
  13. Elrushbo, I'm sorry to hear of your cancer. I've survived skin cancer thrice, though streaks of good luck last only so long, or there would not be a Las Vegas. You can probably eat as well in Vegas as you can anywhere. The best food I've ever eaten has been in Vegas, although long vanished from its menus. Listen to everything David Ross says and take his advice. He's into Vegas like ham is into a ham sandwich. If you haven't dined there already, check out Le Cirque. Your palate will thank you. Just riffing here, but I think if I'd said to Robin Williams yesterday, "Hey Robin, put that belt back on your pants. We're going to Le Cirque" he would have said, "yeah. Later Suicide. I'm gonna go enjoy some Food!"
  14. Not much of a beef eater (though had a wonderful corn beef on russian rye with sourkraut, swiss and mustard for lunch) but the only really memorable beef I've had in Vegas was the tiny French burger, usually served as an appetiser at Guy Savoy. From Nebraska, the waiter told me. The teppanyaki austrailian wagyu at Tets was edible at best and his sauces were designed for the palates of people who think sauces come out of jars.The truffled maitaki next door at Bar Masa is why I keep going back there. Had a great Lionfish at Amercian Fish, but it's vanished from their menu. I've eaten better in Vegas (4 trips) than anywhere, and so can you.
  15. The Tea Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel has to be one of the mellowest spaces in Vegas. I'm there for an exotic tea cocktail called a Maple Tree Bird. Thankfully lacking in maple flavour, instead it is steeped in tea goodness and assorted good spirits. The magically dissappearing crab thing of the hour before is washed away by intellectually challenging and palate delighting liquid. I'd heard great things about Lobster Thermidore and Andre's brags about theirs. Must be good, eh? A cocktail called a Willly Nilly: Vanillla infused vodka, cranberry juice and peach liquer pulls the lobster into something resembling taste, as well as mighty efforts by sauced asparagus and mashed potatos, but the meal seems an insult to the noble lobster. Next, it's off to Twist. I am no longer remembered here, or is just a new staff? When I order my favourite drink in the world, Twist's passion fruit cocktail, it has vanished from their conscoiusness. They attempt something and it's not poisonous, but losing that flavour is losing a reason I come to Vegas in the first place. Fish is good. Better than the lobster. I begin the next day with a cab ride to Bouchon. It's spinache quiche is as melty as before, but its' formidable grapefruit has vanished down the same memory hole as the passion fruit drink at Twist. My server seems to think I'd ordered a grapefruit juice. Horrors! Should have gone to Mon Ami Gabi, far more reliable about grapefruit, but it's too late now. More great drinks at the Vesper bar and another, more refreshing tea at the Tea Lounge and then I'm off to Le Cirque. It was pretty good the last time I visited, 2 years ago, but it is vastly better now. Things I would normally refuse to eat, such as liquid eggs, actually become edible with the addition of salmon and caviar. An orange widow remarries. A truffle and a scallop enjoy each other's company. And prosciuto, not a favourite ham form, wraps itself around a monkfish and the result is better than the monkfish I'd eaten at Le Bernardin 3 years ago. Better fish than Le B? Can it be? A wonderous final meal in food town. A very tasty tomato, ham and olive bruschetta at the airport and I'm on my way back to Vancouver. For all the days since, I have been filled with happiness and curiousity about what interesting new things I can cook. Good trip.
  16. Wicked Spoon will be my first Vegas buffet. Will it live up to the reputation of buffets in this flavour-sotted town? I had some fruit and a cup of tea for breakfast, expecting to pig out at WS but my stomache isn't nearly big enough to enjoy $28 worth of food at 10 Am. I tried, though. Lox omelet with more lox, an ambassador from the bacon republic, 3 slices of grilled tomatoes, artichoke thanks itself for becoming a salad. I wish I had an appetite large enough to get more out of this, but it's pretty good, especially the tomatos. Parsely, thyme, a tiny taste of rosemary along with garlicy breadcrumbs and olive oil, Hey, I can make this! I eat well and learn something profound. What a vast reversal from yesterday's bummers. When it opens, I'm in the door and ordering the lion fish at American Fish. I tell the server I was unimpresed by Mina's at Bellagio and he thanks me for giving Mina another chance. I ask what Lionfish tastes like and he says smokey. With a smokey chowder. I think a Dark and Stormy would pair well wtih this, with its intense ginger evocation, intenseness will work for me, whistling while it works its chemical magic. It is the best thing I'll eat in a week of gourmet excursions. The song Living in a Bottle by Gil Scot Herron appears in the back ground as I am eaten by the lion fish. Many appetites are satisfied tonight. After this fish, I go over to L'attelier and have an equally awesome langoustine fritter. Basil leaf in fritter, in cocktail, complement each other like lucky locks They had refused me entrance the day before, claiming to be too full This time I get in. Stunned by the vastness of its goodness. The next day I waste $62 on Joe's Tasteless Crabs. They use another adjective, but it implies how intoxicated one would have to be to hallucinate flavour for these crabs. Squeezing a lemon wedge on them saved them from nothingness. They came with a spicy sauce which obliterated the crab's lack of taste. Unlike this taste violation, their baked tomatoes with spinache puree and cheddar is a wonder to behold, and worth the long walk. The violence of this crab's sauce and rm's murderous ailoli for its tasteless crab cakatrocity combined to make me wonder if anyone here cared about food any more? The trip goes up and down like an earth quake. First its flat, then it flutters
  17. Although the broccoli soup at Schlotsky's in the food court of my hotel was a tasteless goo with the word "broccoli" waved over it a few times, the tomato soup was astonishingly good. So there is a breakfast option in my otherwise foodless hotel? Snow was predicted for the day, but instead it was pleasently sunny so I walked up to Paris, having made a lunch reservation for Eiffel Tower when it opened. Chef's Joho's baked vegetarian crepes are one of my favourite things in Vegas. I'd had a glass of white wine when having the crepes at night and a fine cup of ginger-peach tea when I dined on them for lunch but I'd been hearing great things about the Eiffel cocktails so I ordered a pearish beverage called Autumn in Paris, thinking pear might be a good element to add to the walnutty crepe. Alas. The crepes had fallen off in quality, and the pear drink was too pushy. On my walk back to the hotel, I pick up some cans of Mike's Smashed Apple Cidre, a fine apple beverage we don't have in Vancouver, unfortunately. It quickly erases my Parisian unpleasentness. Dinner at Tetsu. I've had nothing but great teppanyaki in my life, 5 times in Japan and once in Vancouver. Usually the sauce makes the dish. The web menu promises Ohimi beef, which I've actually had in Ohmi and is about as good as beef is gonna get. When I ordered it, I was told it was $34 oz, minimum 9 ounces. I could go to Ohmi for that price. Instead, I ordered the vastly cheaper Autralian Wagyu Filet Mignon. It was tasty, rather than reveletory. Many things I wanted were oddly off the menu, as if they knew I was coming and went and hid. I'd read great reviews of the maitaki in truffled butter and I loved the maitaki with black truffles at adjacent Bar Masa but this dish failed to impress. Maybe the teppanyaki thing isn't for Masa after all. HIs sauces would impress only someone who thinks sauces are things that come in cans. Only the asparagus worked well with one of the sauces, one of four. Batting .250 wont even get you out of the minor leagues. I had Rick Moonen's Jumbo Lump Crab cake on a previous trip and thought it was the best crab cake I'd ever eaten. That was 2 years ago. I had already filled up on Schlotsky's tomato excellence and I knew the crab cake was small, but I still shocked to see exactly how small. The word Jumbo could only be applied by Liliputians. Unfortunately, you can't eat memories. The crab cake was oddly neither crabby nor cakey. The luxuriousness of a well made cake and the proud sea taste of a good crab were no where to be found here. Instead, a blitskrieg of chipotle aioli pounded my palate and was thereafter scrupulously avoided. What to do with this uh, "crab" "cake?" I had had a fine, very subtle and stimulating cocktail when I'd first had this crabcake 2 years before. Quickly, I summoned Superdrink to the rescue. Called The Carribean Dream, surely it would save the day. Yes, a fine beverage indeed. The boring crabcake is brought a few degrees closer to taste and I'm pleased to see it gone. A few nights before, I had a delicous cocktail called a Poire Dakar at RX Boiler Room, the more cockail oriented joint uptstairs. My learned local companions told me Rick was doing well. That's 3 for 3 with the cocktails, but only one for three on entrees. His catfish sloppy joe was curiously devoid of fish. Was it Rick's lesson for his guests about vanishing fish stocks? The crab cake home run of 2 years ago is replaced by a crabcake devoid of virtue, jumbo only in clumsy irony, and finally, just a lump. Mighty Ricky has struck out. Things did not improve when I went to The Top of the World. Funny, it souded like a fun place. I was advised to go to the lounge first to view the sunset from 107 floors and enjoy 2 for one drinks and half price appeys. Ok, the pork belly should really have stayed on the pig. Even at half price it squeeled meatily as I attempted to eat it. The 2 for one sangrias were perhaps Mexico's revenge on Spain. The sun set slowly. I went downstairs to eat. The restaurant revolves. This is a good thing. I could not say that about the branzino. It did not REQUIRE a wine intervention to bring it into the realms of edibility, as did its cousin the lavraki at Milos, but it was pretty much a non-happening in tasteland. Instead, I bathe in the beauty of revolving city lights. Cab back to hotel suprisingly cheap. Back in my room in time to watch The Simpsons. Hi-light of the day. 3 more days to go. This is turning in to a LONG trip.
  18. It was as cold in Vegas as it was in Vancouver, and I was there for the hot food. Cheese souffle at Payard, one of the things I'd most regretted not having in previous trip, finally experienced. Like the greatest omlette I've ever eaten. Minor league sparkling wine that worsened preciptously as it warmed, and when the omelet is consumed, nothing more for the wine to do so it trudges off into unpleasentness and soon paid check. Next up, Rao's Uncle Vincent's Chicken. Whose uncle asks my inner George Carlin. He could get in. The gates to America's most exclusive restaurnat open in Vegas. I'll get some great chicken, right? I'd gambled on MIchael Mina's Jidori chicken a couple of years ago and lost to vegetable imperialism. Can the man even cook? This chicken was so intimately involved with the lemon you'd tell it to get a room, if your tongue weren't oohing and ahing. Too much work getting meat off bones made it further from the best temperature, my only criticism Next morning, orange creamsicle French toast at the Pyramid Cafe. Too sweet but the pearls of orange juice felt like El Bulli had moved into my mouth. I'd heard the lavraki at Milos was now hit and miss but was surprised how fishy it was, only mitigated with a glass of wine almost the price of the cheap lunch. Predatory marketing? Salad not as good, fruit even better. Every time I return from Vegas, customs asks me my favourite restaurant there and I always say Guy Savoy. I'd asked for the chestnut dish before, only to be rebuked that it was the wrong season. This time, it's the right season, right? A great foam, a pleasent blend of textures and the porcinis eventualy evoked pleasure. I'm asked if I wish to know the answer to the surprise, and I decline, and then to no great surprise, its fois gras and duck confit. But Guy still has it. The turbot with a hint of pineapple evokes Gagnaire as subtly as only a great knowledge of food could produce. His micro French Hamburger is as good as any hamburger I've ever eaten, A perfect antidote to the rodeo fever. The cow's revenge. Hey, I can taste better than you can imagine, but only a few of you will pay attention. The town can still cook. Something... More to come.
  19. I know as much about Japanese food as I can fit in a good metaphor.
  20. How were the mini-sandwiches? Also, I've read that the people behind Le Cirqure popularized the now ubqiutous Pasta Priamavera Sauce. I've also read that it was someone else. Do they care?
  21. Thanks for vicariosly allowing us to share the meal at Valentino's.
  22. It's a delight to see David Ross on Vegas food once again. I'm chagrinned at the poor service at Grimaldi as I had intended to try their pie to compare it with the "crust imported from Boston" pies at my VVN friend's new place Wicked Pizza. I normally limit starch consumption in Vegas to concentrate on what proteins/vegies and intelligently conceived ingredients can tantalize my palate without filling my stomache. Due Forne really doesn't seem worth the cab ride. Had pizza for dinner tonight and there was a time when ( I think Gerald Ford was your president) I lived on pizza but it's not why I go to a city where some of the planet's best chefs come to play. Alas, I won't get to Vegas until after Valentino closes, but I thank you for turning me on to its exquisiteness and in a city where superior service seems ubiquitous, that was something I'll never forget.
  23. I grew up on frozen/canned food in the 50s/60s as my mother was not into cooking and my dad and I were not into being poisoned.Local Indian star restaurant Vij's has take out food which I hear is identical to their restaurant fare. In a Q and A for Eating Las Vegas 2011 I attended at Vegas Uncorked last year, someone asked the authors where to go to get good Indian food in Vegas and the author (I'm guessing Asian food expert Max) said "Vancouver." He was proabably talking about Vij's. A recent poll listed his restaurant as the best in Canada, not just Indian but any kind of food. HIs lamb kabobs are amazing, and I'm not a fan of lamb. Vij's food is available at local Vancouver cheesery L'ami du Fromage, which also has frozen entrees better than most restaurant food in this city, which has a lot of great restaurant food.. The frozen culinary universe is a lot different than it was half a century ago.
  24. You can even have bad Japanese food in Japan. But you have to try.
  25. I dined at Robuchon last Feb when I was staying at the Imperial Palace. I was told a gold cadillac labelled MGM Grand would pick me up, but it didn't appear. The attendant asked who I was waiting for and I said the Robuchon vehicle. He directed me to a black SUV, no labelling whatsoever. Felt like I was in a spy movie. Food was good, although the atmosphere was more Versailles than one would expect in Vegas in this era. I kept expecting Marie Antoinette to come out and offer me some cake.
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