STRIPPED TO ITS BARE ESSENTIALS
ELV loves many things about Strip House in Planet Hollywood….not the least of which is all the eye-candy on the walls. Taking Morel’s one step further in the soft-core, steakhouse porn department, Strip House features lots of photos of lovely ladies in various stages of undress throughout the restaurant. Morel’s, as you know, prefers eight-foot paintings of gals cavorting in the buff.
To hear ELV pronounce these words of wisdom in the learned, erudite, literate and lucubrated voice for which he is known, click here, or continue reading.
Strip House also employs lots of red velvet to give the place a vaguely, bordello-like air, that might cause a curious ten year old to ask a lot of questions…so be forewarned should you consider taking the family here.
In these respects it’s a dead ringer for the New York original. We ate there six years ago when Strip House was relative newbie on the Big Apple steakhouse scene, being helmed by a talented guy named David Walzog, who would later parlay his reputation for steak innovation into his current gig as Executive Chef at SW at the Wynn. Walzog’s successor chef in New York was Rene Lenger – who also came west and is now top toque at the Country Club Grill also in the Wynn.
What Walzog, Lenger and others at the Glazier Group were doing back in the early oughts was developing a template for a high-end steakhouse chain of restaurants that would raise the bar, and revive a tired formula. Much like Laurent Tourondel at BLT Steak, they recognized the potential in jazzing up a genre that had followed the simple, masculine, no-frills format of Palm, Ruth’s Chris, and Morton’s for much too long.
They did that jazzing up by tweaking the appetizers and sides. Because at some level, aside from sourcing great beef, there’s not a whole lot you can do sex-up a steakhouse, (For purposes of that last point, we’ll ignore the placing of pictures of naked girls all over the place.)
As good as the steaks are here (beefy enough, though not dry-aged), it’s the appetizers and sides that will have you swooning. Something as simple as that old ragamuffin, the iceberg wedge, is given a top hat and tails with the addition of marinated vegetables, Stilton cheese and smoked bacon. And speaking of bacon, Chef John Schenk has surpassed his sensei with an appetizer of roasted bacon with Russian dressing that might be the apotheosis of pork. The thick, long strips are crispy to the bite, like bacon custard within, and the closest thing to food as an addictive drug ELV can think of.
From its luscious Gorgonzola fondue, to a simple, sophisticated lobster bisque, Strip House does all the little things extremely well, making it a steakhouse you can enjoy without a cholesterol fest ….Except, of course, for the sexiest bacon on the planet.
Like all Vegas steakhouses, the tariffs here are not for the faint of heart. ELV has eaten at SH five times (twice comped, three times with his own $$$), and our last meal (iceberg wedge, rack of lamb, goose fat potatoes, asparagus and two glasses of wine), came to $150 (including a $23 tip). Vegas steakhouses seem to be the one category of restaurants that aren’t reducing their prices these days — because they don’t have to.
STRIP HOUSE STEAKHOUSE
In the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino
3667 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109