Next to watching movies of this gal in her prime, nothing gets ELV’s heart racing faster than a bowl of fresh-made Chinese noodles and some soup dumplings.
So when two uber-foodies and hotel execs (President Gary Selesner and General Manager John Unwin)….invited us to Caesars to sample their newest restaurant, ELV was in faster than you could say: “Boxer Rebellion.”
Now before you say it, we know that we’re not getting anything close to regular treatment when we sit down with two corporate bigwigs at one of their restaurants. But it was a hoot watching them put the staff through their paces and openly critique the food and the service in front of us.
Selesner describes the concept of Beijing Noodle #9 (or BNN9 for short) as taken straight from the cutting-edge noodle parlors and hip cafes that have sprung up all over the Chinese capital. Combining classic Chinese peasant and street food with super-cool design is all the rage over there, and from the day it opened a month ago, this corner just off Caesars’ main floor has been a hit with fellow travelers from the Far East.
The place looks like it’s been draped in a gigantic white, transparent, metal doily, and is meant to resemble either inverted Chinese lace cut into an arabesque pattern, or the inside of an inverted bird’s nest — all very symbolic and all very Chinese. As striking as all that white is when first viewed, it seems to contribute to a sense of calm throughout the dining room, as do the long, cylindrical goldfish tanks that frame the entrance. Feng shui indeed.
As for that food, it is mostly fabulous (although the first round of Imperial Seafood Soup Dumplings were none-too-soupy) — a fact that the Prez and GM were quick to point out to the chef and staff. But they were perfect on a return visit (anonymously, last night), as were the Chef’s Special Beef Pancake (resembling a small hamburger enclosed within its own bun), and the Chef Special Noodle with Tomato and Egg Beijing Style.
Although the menu is round-eye friendly — with concise descriptions of each dish — make no mistake: this is food by Chinese for Chinese (and other appreciative Asians). Chef Yu Li is straight off the boat, as it were, and he aims for that deep, mellow harmony of flavors that this cuisine perfected centuries before all others. Starches and soups are obviously the things to get, but an order of deep-fried duck and braised sea bass in clay pot are perfect ways to round out your meal here round-eye.
Almost everything on the menu is priced well under $20. Our dinner for two with four different dishes came to $82, including a $14 tip.
BEIJING NOODLE #9
In Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino
3570 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109