Letter of the Week

Dear ELV,

Having personally watched you consistently get comp’d meals by these so called “gems” on the strip – that you have so negatively made clear that local Las Vegas can’t replicate … my conclusion is that you only write favorably when 1) you’re getting a free meal 2) are kissing ass to the people who are giving you these free meals 3) are getting you’re ass kissed by the restaurant in order to get a positive review. It’s so transparent.

For the record, I think Petra is delicious AND their prices are a fraction of Milos’. Also, Grape Street Cafe is a great go to restaurant for people who want to actually support the local Las Vegas community – unlike yourself.


Not A Fan

Dear Not A Fan (of good food),

“Having personally watched you consistently get comp’d by these so called gems on the Strip…” means you must be a waitron, management or patron in many of my favorite haunts. Do tell if you’ve ever heard or read me praise some shite meal or food because I got a freebie (or my ass kissed). Both ELV and his readers would appreciate you shedding some evidence on something you claim is so “transparent.”

We are not here to be a “fan of” or “support” anything. If the food’s good we say so. When it’s steeped in mediocrity (or worse) we say that too. This is the duty we owe to our readers/consumers of restaurants and restaurant news, and a duty we take seriously as a consumer advocate.

The sad fact is, Las Vegas (i.e. Clark County) is populated by a vast majority who, even if they have money, have no interest in, nor desire to improve, the quality of what they put in their mouths. How else to explain why a glorified Olive Garden (Brio) is packed every night, while our handful of hard working, chef-driven restaurants (Todd’s, Rosemary’s, Marche Bacchus, et al) struggle to survive.

The revolution in American food started over thirty years ago, but for various socio-economic reasons, Las Vegas appears to be the last one to the party. (And certainly, this recession hasn’t helped things.) Despite our high-falutin’ Strip restaurants (which only a relative handful of Las Vegans patronize), our food culture is still mired in chain-link, franchise-food hell. A restaurant like China Poblano is no more expensive than many places with vastly inferior food, but locals (who “hate the Strip”) prefer Outback or Applebees.

Our disdain isn’t directed at those poor souls who demand Del Taco (or worse) for their sorry sustenance, but the upper-middle classes of Summerlin and Henderson who seemingly have brains, jobs and disposable income, but prefer to spend it wherever some advertiser tells them to. Sad but true.

The Strip gets D.O.C.G (no more expensive than Bucca di Beppo); we get Hotel California (and the ever-popular Claim Jumper (as pointed out by @npc)). I rest my case.

Sincerely yours in successive, un-successful satiation,


PS: Merci beaucoup to all who commented on the Summerlin Strikes Out post, and for the spirited defense of ELV by several of our loyal followers.

6 thoughts on “Letter of the Week

  1. I can’t say for sure if you’ve ever praised someone who refused to let you pay, but I’m fairly certain I’ve seen you give a thumbs down to people who have refused to let you pay.

    Then there’s that vastly overpriced Strip restaurant you keep slathering over… what’s it called? Settebello? In some casino called The District?

    And Los Antojos, they must have handed you a bucket of cash, right?

    As a sycophant, let’s be honest, you’re totally unreliable. ;)

    For the record, I have had an excellent (really) risotto at Brio, the one time I dined there. I’ve also had a nice experience at Vintner Grill, and think that places like Bachi Burger would be slammed were they in any other city, regardless of the bad address.

  2. I really hope ELV begins to take his duty as the found leader of the Las Vegas food movement serious.

    Serious, Many great chefs and foodies leave Las Vegas because the restaurants suck ass in the neighborhoods. And when your a foodie, having close local eats is important, other than PT’s and Buffalo wild wings.
    And alot of “sit down” joints are over priced and always something wrong. Rather it be the crap quality of ingredients, bad food perperation, shitty tasting water, etc… Basically no motha fucking love. Just there to make a buck.

    you think when I hit the vacation home, I’m going to a local place. Hell NO. More like bouchon for breakfast one day, maybe bump over to milos another day for lunch. Maybe hit up holsteins one night for burgers and skank watch.

    I have to say the last best thing I had off strip myself was a green chili breakfast burrito from carlitos. Delish flavor bombs. Love all over.
    And the last amazing thing I had on strip was DOCG, which for the same money you could go to Pasta Shop and stuff face in Hendo. And get a selection of Shit bag budget wines and mushy artichoke app.
    Maybe go to Settebello for the same money and get a taste of worn out pizza dough recipe that is changing yearly. Maybe go grab some crappy mex food at lindo and by the time you watered up with all those 14 buck marghi’s, You be like, “should went to China Pablano”.

    I’m glad to see ELV take an assertive stance on his thoughts about food and I hope that the people choosing to start up a restaurant “locally” fucking listen and make themselves aware.

    The apocalypse hasnt hit the table yet. Just apocalyptic for the restaurants serving up shit and closing. IS yours next. because it sure aint Claim Jumper and PF Changs.

    Its really up to the local restaurants to start bonding together in a collabortive like most serious cities do, to ensure corporate restaurants dont control outside the strip.

    And diners (eaters), you think you can refrain from taking your friends in family to corporate joints. I mean fuck…. Is BJs, Carrabas, Claim Jumper, PF Changs, apple bees, Chilis, Macaroni grill, Tony Romas, etc all that good. Hell no. They make you feel like shit. Fucking robots.


  3. Mister Curtas,

    I can’t remember or type Attic or Homeric Greek from a few years of classical classwork to translate this:

    “The sad fact is, Las Vegas (i.e. Clark County) is populated by a vast majority who, even if they have money, have no interest in, nor desire to improve, the quality of what they put in their mouths.”

    However, I said it when I lived there, and say it post: Most people with money in Vegas, say re-located doctors, wanted Applebee’s back in Muncie, and they want it in now the Mojave.

  4. I don’t know where to start. Pasta Shop and their overcooked linguine with the insipid sauce and boiled sausage? Every other off Strip Italian restaurant that thinks leftover pasta is the only acceptable choice for lunch? And at close to $20 to boot! And who decided that penne with the all purpose tomato sauce is supposed to be served with Veal Picatta or Chicken Marsala?

    Sure there’s good ethnic restaurants all over the Valley and when I lived in Summerlin it was relatively easy to hit up Chinatown or East Lake Mead Blvd for Mexican, now living near GVR in Henderson, what’s close? China Wok? Roberto’s? It’s a wasteland out here.

    Sure… Carlito’s and Bachi Burger are relatively close but no dim sum, no XLB, no tacos al pastor.

    I’d love to hit up Milo’s or D.O.C.G but a round trip from Henderson, including dealing with parking and navigating the casino, becomes a three hour tour. At best!

    It’s a sad fact of life that in Las Vegas, all family food is only available in bars and all family entertainment must occur in casinos. If you’re going to a movie, you’re most likely seeing it in a casino and if you want to eat affordable food, it’s probably in a bar.

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