In 2004 it won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in America.
As such, it was the first Las Vegas restaurant to win a James Beard Award of any kind.
In its heyday (from ‘o3-’07), it boasted a more top young talent in its kitchen than almost every other restaurant in Las Vegas combined.
It was the first restaurant we took John Mariani to after his infamous “Las Vegas is all smoke and mirrors” article in Esquire.
It was also the first restaurant the F & B mavens of the MGM and Caesars took Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy to in 2004, when they were trying to convince them to take Las Vegas seriously as a food and restaurant destination.
Both Savoy and Robuchon have told ELV it was the place that convinced them there was both a market for, and kitchen talent in town to support their exalted visions of fine restaurant dining.
Rick Moonen also told us he probably wouldn’t have come to Vegas, had he not been blown away by his meal at BO in ‘o4.
Almost all of those hot young chefs: Adam Sobel, David Varley, Gerald Chin, Sven Meade, Bryan Ogden, Todd Williams, et al, are still making their serious mark(s) on American gastronomy.
Its butter-and-red-wine-basted sirloin burger was, and will forever be, etched in ELV’s brain as the ne plus ultra of ground meat sandwiches.
And finally, its blue corn muffins are the only food ELV has ever stolen from a bread basket.
But all good things must come to an end, and Bradley Ogden, both the man and the restaurant, has played out its string in our humble burg….soon to be replaced by a Gordon Ramsay gastropub.
And even though the restaurant seemed to have lost its mojo over the past few years, and even though we were predicting its demise long before the official announcement came, many of us in the food community are mourning its passing, as well as a time when the possibilities for food and chefs and restaurants in Las Vegas seemed limitless.