LAVO – Tacky with a Chance of Meatballs

We just read somewhere that the owners of the Tao “concept” restaurant are planning on opening their LAVO “concept” in New York to take advantage of the smashing success this “concept” has been in Vegas.

We at ELV don’t know what’s more depressing: the fact that mediocre southern Italian/American food is still considered a “concept”, or the idea that megalithic, over-designed, impersonal “concept” restaurants are still considered a viable business model.

We do know this however: the food at LAVO ain’t nuthin’ ya cain’t git at hundreds of other places — albeit at higher prices here — and the public’s appetite for the over-designed, overpriced restaurant-cum-nightclub seems insatiable. Especially in Vegas.

Whether this holds true in the Big Apple is another story. Spaghetti and meatballs were practically invented there after all, and hayseeds don’t flock quite so quickly to mediocrity in mid-town Manhattan as they do in our humble burg.

But perhaps we are wrong. Perhaps faux Bolognese pasta, giant polenta fries and preternaturally glossy chicken Marsala are just what Manhattanites are clamoring for. And perhaps we’re denying the charms of faux Mediterranean bathhouse decor, 200 seat dining rooms, $20 Kobe meatballs (a waste of good steak) and garlic bread served in aluminum foil.

Our first and (we hope) last meal at the “new” LAVO didn’t cost us a thing…thanks to uber-food writer Grace Bascos.


In The Palazzo Hotel and Casino

3325 Las Vegas Blvd. South

Las Vegas, NV 89109-1414


16 thoughts on “LAVO – Tacky with a Chance of Meatballs

  1. That’s why good chefs like sam hazen, josh thomsen & mark andelbradt left the company. Owners like Richy Wolf, Marc Packer & Lou “Cheat on my wife” Abin now nothing about good food!!

  2. Donde los yikes??!! I can get better stuff at any of the “Ma & Pa” dives all around my dad’s house here in “Real Housewives Land”. In fact, my fave lil’ pizza & pasta outpost, Sweet Basil in Costa Mesa, serves better looking and better tasting stuff for much less.

    Even back home in Henderson, I’ve had better pasta at Enzo’s… My fave for pizza DELIVERY! Lavo is such a waste of money, and they don’t even serve decent food. Why, oh why, did a chef with as much promise as Ludo Lefebvre agree to “slum it” at this glorified “D-list celebrity” party shack?

  3. Lefty: hate to start a running battle, but can you cut down on the “Dad” references? Those, combined with your unabashed out-of-the closetness is really pretty creepy.

    Thank you.

  4. dave-

    Too late. It seems you already have started a running battle with me, but I’d rather not hijack this thread and take your bait. This thread is about Lavo and this site is about food, and last I checked LGBTQ people with families do eat and sometimes do like to eat out. It’s too bad that you have a problem with me for whatever reason, but I appreciate Mr. ELV and everyone else who lets me rant about Las Vegas dining in the comments here.

  5. clue-

    Hehe. Nope, it’s OK. What’s done is done. I’d much rather hear your thoughts on Lavo. Come on, we need to get back to the usual cat fight of you and Mr. ELV arguing over restaurants. :-p

  6. exactly my point, all i care about is food and service, screw the rest.

    as far as LAVO, ive never been and dont plan on it. its a tourist trap, cash cow, was never intended to be a culinary ‘tour de force’

    so with that said, i have no comment!!!

  7. Thanks for writing exactly what it is, instead of the fluff piece the Las Vegas Weekly wrote. The price does not meet the quality of the food and experience LAVO provides.

  8. Jason-

    Yep, yep, yep… But the ultimate problem at Lavo is that they don’t even care, since the quality of the food always takes a backseat to the ultimate priority of “HOT, HOT, HOT!!!” celebrity “nightlife”. As long as they keep getting Fergie to come to their NYE bash and Jay-Z to their VMA after-party, they expect us “dupes” to come for the party and not notice the lousy grub.

    That’s the ultimate problem with these “restaurant-nightclub fusion” joints. With rare exceptions (rumjungle… Can anyone else think of another success story?), they just don’t do food well, as they’re always more focused on booking big celebrity party nights and getting you drunk on their WAY OVERPRICED booze.

  9. Working as a server at Lavo , the food was a after thought, terrible sized portions that know one finished, looks like a sloppy mess on the should see the confusion in the kitchen.I work there as i make a living, but not proud to say where I work, as my friends who work as servers laugh at the lavo food

  10. LV server-

    Don’t feel ashamed, as it’s certainly NOT your fault. I’m just so sorry your place of employment has become such a silly joke. It’s just too bad the Tao/Lavo bosses won’t pay nearly as much attention to the food as they do attracting the ill-informed masses just going to catch a glimpse of their favorite celebrities behaving badly.

  11. now that we had a server tell how I always felt, if I did not need my job I would have left a long time ago, this place is a joke, we are treated with no respect, the food is a joke,its tasteless, and they make everyone of the staff feel it better, we all joke about hao bad it is for the price, the buffet at the worst casino is better,please get me out of here.

  12. Oh Uncle ELV (I should also have had as family), tell me the meatballs aren’t that bad!??? Whipped ricotta? Like to learn more. Dessert looks good too, but deserving of a new, wider belt notch position. I’ll avoid if you all say so. ~SoCal.

  13. TIP: Famous LAVO Club LV to get into web war
    LAVO Club at Palazzo of Las Vegas to get new website?
    Confirmed! LAVO.COM website is for sale.

    The coveted domain name LAVO.COM has come to the market, and I wonder for how much it could go, but anticipate that it will be a hefty chunk of change. Lets hope the guys at Tao Group will be going for it, otherwise there are rumors that someone is planning to put up a blog site all about the LAVO Club insides, parties, celebs bloopers, gossip, cell phone pics, etc (Specially the BAD things that happen in there out of the public eye).

    This will be interesting to see, to break the “Remember… What happens at TAO never happened!” mantra. Stay tuned, this should be fun! And be sure to keep an eye on for any developments.

    As of now the web name is still for sale, and given the celebrity status of the LAVO Club, experts say the deal should easily fetch at least 5 figures. Can’t imagine either the Tao Group, or any competitor being foolish enough to pass up on this opportunity.

    Jeff M

Comments are closed.