Case in Point: The Bourbon Room
Comparison is the root of all unhappiness. – Cicero
In a somewhat disjointed but pointed retort to our “My Kind Of Town” post, When are you moving writes:
I think its a bit crude of you to slap Vegas upside the head on your way back in from your reports of Chicago.
You say Vegas Chefs basically dont stand a chance in hell and are second rate and you give no advice on getting forward, to place you deem as good.
So why dont you start with the overall weak beer selections amongst strip and local drinking holes. Vegas needs more pubs with more small batch breweries from amibitious brewers in the NW, California, UTAH, Midwest. IPA’s galore, sour beers.
You’re quite contradictory. what do you want, the best tuna tartar or awesome pig ear salad? You praise places like hash house that serve cardboard and calories.
You want LV to be like Chicago, why dont you take responsibilty as a food critic and a member of the food community in LV (since you’ve earned it) and make Vegas a better dining scene rather than settle your palette on mediocrity.
Dont see you encouraging local bars to get inventive with news beers, drinks, simple yet good menu options.
You are like a non encouraging father to a kid that gives his best, but its not good enough for you. Move to Chicago since its so great, enjoy the terrible weather. Maybe the other food critics will let you play with them.
Vegas is a great place and has great chefs. There is more consitency on the strip than the whole of most major cities. As well LV has fostered many chefs that have moved on to become greater chefs, but Vegas always lives in their heart. For a guy that knows Vegas, you know nothing about about the soul of cooking.
ELV responds: The point is, Vegas isn’t doing its best. It is following (by pandering to the lowest common tourist denominator) not leading — especially in the beer and booze department. And the “consistency” you’re so enamored of on the Strip is no substitute for interesting.
Case in point: The just-opened Bourbon Room in the Venetian. It looks like a snazzy and swanky joint that will soon be filled with middle managers from across America — amazed to find that there are brands other that Jack Daniels and Maker’s Mark. It carries 28 varieties of Bourbon and ELV is looking forward to trying all of them(!) and the cocktails they inspire.
But it isn’t Longman & Eagle — a joint that seats maybe 100 people at a time that has (according to our rough count) over 120 different bottles of bourbon on its list.
120 bourbons. In a 100 seat pub.
We rest our case.
There’s no reason on god’s green earth why the Bourbon Room couldn’t have a hundred labels on its wall….but it’ll do just fine pushing whatever highly-advertised brands its distributors want it to — while pretending to be the end all and be all of bourbon bars. (In other words, while being a copy of a copy of a bourbon bar. “Copy of a copy” being a phrase that pretty much defines our eating and drinking scene, with the exception of our fine French restaurants and steakhouses.)
That’s the difference between a mature, metropolitan food (and bar) scene and Las Vegas.
Here, we are about numbers and nothing but. There, they are all about money too, but they’re making in with thoughful, compelling innovation, not the same old same old, repackaged, recycled stuff.
We’re more in agreement than you think, as it is ELV’s hope that his drawing attention to these things might be a wake up call for people in a position to actually make a difference.
As for praising mediocrity, wethinks you haven’t been following us for long if that’s your opinion.
If you want to hear the mediocrity praised, go to another website.
SEVEN and the Review-Journal online are just as free as we are.