John Curtas is …

YAGYU, MARU and GARFIELD’S – An Eating Odyssey

I know, I know, we swore off beef eatin’ entirely a week ago. But then we cruised by Yagyu Yakiniku:

… and that’s all they serve. So we hunkered down with some spectacularly marbled cuts of sirloin and rib-eye, had a cold brewski or two, and then hightailed it over to Maru: …where it’s practically an insult not to partake of bulgogi or some falling-off-the-bone beef ribs.

Enough is enough…we said to ourselves.

But then the next day, we found ourselves at Garfield’s, and wouldn’t you know it, Chef Jean-David Groff-Daudet puts out some beefy chuck top blade steak before us (plus some lamb in a pastry crust):

…and it would’ve been downright unneighborly to refuse.

Of all that meat, we’d have to say the meltingly tender cuts at Yagyu were the most memorable, Maru’s bulgogi (plus some marinated pork bulgogi) the spiciest and most fun, and sadly, the Garfield’s steak and lamb, the most forgettable.

Which brings us to this spanking new venue in Desert Shores. We’ve been three times now, love the space, like the decor (with the exception of the massively uncomfortable chairs), are wild about the lakeside patio, and have had nothing but top drawer service from the staff. And as you know, we’re big fans of Chef Daudet, and have also found ourselves smitten with the reasonably-priced wine list.

Unfortunately, it’s the menu that gives us pause. It’s too big, too all over the map and so unfocused it might as well be in a convention hotel. Six soups, seven salads, six fish, five pastas, four steaks, burgers, pizzas, omelets, crepes, Alsatian tarte flambee, leg of lamb, miso-glazed fish, quiches, croquettes and a kid’s menu all make this the busiest read since we last looked at a Japanese magazine.

To call it unfocused is the understatement of the decade. We fear it’s also a recipe for disaster, since the kitchen is trying to do so many things, it can’t possibly succeed at all of them.

We don’t blame the chef, we blame the owner.

From our perch, this menu has the fingerprints of an owner (wanting a little of this and a little of that), all over it. And it’s bound to fail since the kitchen will never find its niche, and the waste and expense of trying to be all things to all diners will eventually take its toll.

Daudet is a fine chef, and he’s cooking in a beautiful venue, but if he doesn’t adjust his menu (cut it in half?), the quality compromises will sink this ship before it raises its spinnaker.

YAGYU YAKINIKU

4355 Spring Mountain Road

Las Vegas, NV 89102

(No phone and no website that we could find)

MARU

2025 Village Center Circle

Las Vegas, NV 89134

702.360.6278

www.marulv.com

GARFIELD’S

2620 Regatta Drive Suite 116

Las Vegas, NV 89128

702.925.8333

www.garfieldslasvegas.com

Share this post:

6 Responses to YAGYU, MARU and GARFIELD’S – An Eating Odyssey

  • welcome back ELV. You were missed.

    BTW, have you been to “off the strip” in Southern Highlands?

    Eagerly awaiting your review.

  • Welcome back, Mr. ELV! I wish my recent culinary adventures were as fun. My dad wanted to go to North Las Vegas this evening to meet a friend who owns a bar up there, so I figured we could at least try Pip’s at Aliante. But alas, they’re closed on Mondays! So instead, we went to Camacho’s… Which can very well compete with Dos Caminos & Isla for most forgettable Mexican food in The Southwest. Next time I’m up there, I think I’ll just stick with the taquerias on Las Vegas Blvd.

    And btw, I’m sad to hear you didn’t enjoy Garfield’s. I was thinking of trying it next time I’m in Summerlin. I’m a HUGE fan of Slow Food, and was eventually hoping it would make a splash in Vegas. Hopefully by the time I have a chance to try it, they will have figured out a saner and more coherent menu.

  • Using a little local produce does not make you a Slow Food restaurant. Slow Food requires using products indigenous to your ecoregion. Just saying that phrase in relation to any Las Vegas Valley restaurant is a slap in the face to the entire movement. Using organic and/or local product is responsible and desirable but that doesn’t a Slow Food restaurant make. I have met Monsieur Daudet and I think he is a nice man, but he should tell the restaurant owner to do some Wikipedia research before trying to sell a place here as Slow Food. Jackrabbits, cactus and cicadas don’t really make for a well rounded menu. Interestingly, ELV, your friend Steven Shaw is an outspoken critic of the Slow Food movement itself, although I’m sure he enjoys eating local as much as you and I do when in areas that support it.

  • bwdining-

    Yep, that’s the curse of The Mojave for us. Slow Food isn’t as easy to do here, but I guess I was hoping for at least some attempt to utilize the desert around us. After all, what were people eating here before we could have produce flown in and trucked in with the snap of a finger?

    And btw, my schedule and family drama got the best of me last week… But I’m more determined than ever to practice what I preach this week and support local business this week. I’m thinking I need some falafel… And no, I won’t ask if it’s “Slow Food”. ;-)

  • Speaking of Beef —-EVERYONE READ THE NEWEST LA TIMES REVIEW OF THE BRAND NEW BOA STEAKHOUSE IN LA!!! PRICELESS

  • Heh. Here’s the linky. Now why can’t our newspapers hire a real critic like Mr. ELV or S. Irene Virbila? Oh yeah, they don’t want to offend their advertisers.

Latest Tweets
John at Work Restaurant reviews, quips, picks and pans-with some seriously salivating history-from the man who eats his way through Sin City every day.
Flangas-McMillan
Attorneys at Law
Follow eatinglasvegas on Twitter Follow eatinglasvegas on Twitter