The Return of ELV

Has it been the dumbest summer on record or what? Heat, humidity, political campaign inundation, the meretricious Olympics*  combined with nothing….and I mean NOTHING of interest happening in an around Las Vegas have made for a mind numbing 3 months of the first order.

ELV has always hated August (it is, after all, the cruelest month) — the month when the atomic bombs were dropped, Elvis died, and WWI started. July this year was even worse. Worse in the sense that nothing happened. Yup, nuthin. Not even the forced-fun “excitement” of the Vegas pool party scene seemed to catch any fire(?) around here. And the food scene? Fuggadibadit. If it weren’t for Gordon Ramsay Steak opening, there wouldn’t have been a single restaurant worth writing about over the past four months.

Even Spring Mountain Road had gotten predictable. Were it not for the excitement brought by the Japanese chefs at Kabuto, Nakamura Ya, Kyara and Cafe de Japon, this once-vibrant area has become staid and predictable. Two meals brought such immense disappointment to me that they put me off my feed altogether for weeks: a return trip to the Greenland Supermarket Food Court (which has become a shell of what it was two years ago), and a couple of lunches at Lucky Fish (where the old Bosa 1 used to be located). Each was so by-the-numbers and boring that the culinary wind was taken from our digital sails — sending yours truly into a month of homemade (in the truest sense) Caesar salads and cheese omelets.

So what are we gonna do? Report on Culinary Dropout? Such drivel might whet the whistle of other scribes in town (considered: such a hackneyed joint might excite some hacks around town), but when all we have to write about is a chain joint that seeks to capitalize on the spikey-haired, over-tatted, badass chef phenomenon, that faux phenomenon has truly jumped the shark. (Memo to all you over-tatted, copycat. “badass” chefs: Your rebel, bad-boy vibe has now been co-opted by a fucking chain restaurant. And your tattoos are now about as hip as a dickey. Told. You. So.

Truth be told, whenever, I see a chef sporting a lot of ink, I immediately tune out on their talent. The best don’t screw around with trying to create or show off an image, they let their talent do the talking. The rest of you are fools. As for Culinary Dropout, think of it this way: the hipster train has left the station, and chain restaurants that sell their hipster vibe are now there for everyone who was late to the party. So go knock yourselves out you conventioneers (who are, after all, who all of these restaurants are aimed at) and those of you who still think the Hard Rock Hotel is a happening joint. And when you’re done overpaying for whatever overdone (as in: to death) gastro-pub grub (or yawn-inducing sushi they’re throwing at you at Nobu) don’t bother telling me how great their sliders are.

So what’s left ELV? Well, we’ll tell you. This blog will now be more about my free-associations about our moribund scene, and less about my daily/weekly dining out adventures. I mean honestly, how many times can I tell you how great a chef Gregory Pugin is at Le Cirque, or how wonderful my steak was at CUT? Las Vegas (well, the Strip anyway) still has several dozen restaurants that compete, amuse to amuse, with anyplace on earth. But I’ve covered them to death. I’ll still frequent them when my muse or belly demands it, but I shan’t be wasting time on whatever testament to mediocrity the casinos are shilling this week. Sorry, all my p.r. friends, but neither my soul nor waistline has the time to give credence to your everlasting, never-changing succession of food factories.

That means there will be less postings, and more musings…and a lot less I-ate-here-and-this-is-what-I-think-of-their-salad-bar shite. ELV will be taking a back seat to John A. Curtas, and the latter will let you know exactly what he’s thinking about all the over-hyped bullshit that passes for food journalism in this town. If you don’t like it, there are plenty of other writers to bore you with their opinions on the creme brûlée. (Actually, with one or two exceptions, most food writers in Vegas wouldn’t know a truly good brûlée if it bit them on their egg yolks. Very few chefs get it right either, as appearance always seems to trump the right texture. A right one will shimmer with that golden-yellow hue, feel like liquid silk on the tongue and barely hold together in the dish. Cracking through the top should be an exercise in restrained violence, with the mere tap of the back of the spoon shattering the burnt-amber glass, so fragile against one’s will to violate the protein-sugar-spice succulence beneath its easily breached armor.) Yeah, overwrought and over-written shite like that….that’s what you’re gonna get more of from now on!

Yup, that’s what you’re gonna get. A view of food, restaurants and chefs the way they ought to be, not the pablum the p.r. folks are spoon-feeding you. And if any chef tries to feed me anything made with truffle oil, he or she is going to get a fork in their over-tatted forearm.

Hold on to your seats, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.


* Did you see enough of women’s fucking volleyball to last five lifetimes or what? Every other minute we were force fed freakish, 6 feet tall women displaying too much ass cheek. Memo to whatever NBC executive has a homo-erotic obsession with these grunting man-girls: They aren’t that sexy to anyone but those of you with homo-erotic obsessions with girls who look like dudes. Wanna get even more viewers? I gots two words for you: Tits Baby!

30 thoughts on “The Return of ELV

  1. This is true, I hate all you stupid tattooed, mohawk, peirced faced, culinary school peices of shit that have been cooking for two years and think your some kind of fucking corporate chef/food and beverage director, fucking molecular gastronomy, foam fucking, faux caviar, microgreens on every fucking dish fucking, gay ass swoosh sauce plate designing, goddamn plates that look like a fuckin raiforest, fucking quotation mark menu writing, fucking san marzano tomato meatball making, motherfuckin lotus of siam lovin, kobe slider, fucking now thats italian saying, stupid ass wine sniffing, wine twirling, gluten free fucking, vegan friendly, fucking fake ass mexican cooking, fucking stupid ass tattoos, and those fucking stupid ass ear plug, gaping hole whatever the fuck you call that shit fuck all you fucking fucks

  2. You reminded me to check on Bosa 1, miss it — Looks like its back as Pho BOSA at 3355 Spring Mountain Rd: From their webpage:
    “Phone No. (702) 418-1931
    New address is 3355 Spring Mountain Rd. Las Vegas NV 89102
    Great News!!!!!! Great News !!!!!!
    We are almost done. We should be open very soon.Thanks for all your support. We look forward to seeing you all.
    Thank you for your loyalty.
    Pho BOSA
    Hours: coming soon”

  3. Thank god for your post, John. As an avid Vegas tourist who lives in Chicago I’m glad you’re calling out Vegas’ mostly fraudulent food scene and it’s “food journalism”.

    Yeah, yeah there’s gems and I’m glad your book points those establishments out (with a few serious missteps), but let’s face it Culinary Dropout is Olives for people who want to be hip. Most people don’t seem to get that.

  4. Sorry, had to post again. I just looked at Culinary Dropout’s cocktail menu. Jesus. How prosaic can you get?

  5. Keep up the good work! My mother used to say “shite” every now and then; she was Pennsylvania Dutch…

  6. Wow! Great post sir.
    After working in Vegas for 14 years i moved to Chicago but still check your blog daily. It’s true. The chefs and restaurant folk in Vegas are all in a sad recession of creativity. A lot of talented chefs are too worried about their labor costs to spend time working and inspiring their young cooks. Does your disdain for the tattoo covered apply to food writers?

  7. To Steve (First comment): LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    How do you REALLY feel?

  8. So really what you are saying is that the legal business has picked up? Or you’re stoking up discontent with your TV co-host so we’ll all tune in to whatever cable channel you’re on?

  9. Dear Steve, please get off the bath salts. You obviously are a real asshole. You sound like a violent femme.

  10. Steve, I feel you! It’s the same here in Los Angeles. Every one patting themselves on the back for mediocre, over priced fare. You have the so called media telling us how great the restaurants are, you wait a month to dine and you end up spending 150$ and it’s just ok.. On the way home you stop at a taco truck drop a couple of bucks on 2 tacos and you’re more satisfied at the tacos than your expensive boring meal…@Diane. I must be an Asshole too…

  11. John Curtas gave us a much deserved break from his alcohol fueled rants, nonsense & inappropriate sexist remarks.
    Crap is crap no matter how you package it!
    Do us all a favor, will you?: Take another break Johnny

  12. It all started with that loser Robuchon LV line cook who lost on that TV show Top Chef. What the hell was his name? Should have shaved his head and put a bar code on it in order to differenciate all the clones from each other.

    In addition, I don’t know anyone who takes these “coolinary” fools seriously who come to the table with a hole in their earlobe, mohawks and tattoos up each arm presenting regurgitated menu items they saw on the food channel the other night. And that’s another thing, That network should be flushed down the toilet now too. It’s turning into another MTV that forgot about the music.

    Bleh, enough is enough.

  13. You know what else pisses off , all you restaurant week fucks trying to act like you really give a shit about charity. Most of you just cant wait to get a meal for really cheap. If any of you gave a shit about these starving kids why dont you just donate that $50.12 straight to the cause. And then some of you bastards have the nerve to split your Restaurant week dinner. If ihad my way I had have all of you shot.

  14. Can we please give Steve his own blog , the guy is spot on. Steve, what are thoughts on douche bag yelpers ?

  15. I think steve and the beast are completely on track. This new breed of mediocre chefs are more worried about their image and how good their tatted sleeves look compared to the other asshole next door. Maybe they need to pay more attention to the quality and treatment of their food and team and less on whether it not they will be media worthy and attention grabbing. FYI-you all look the same now. So u wasted all that money and time trying to look hip and rebellious, but u don’t. The problem is all the new restaurant chefs seem to be these assholes and they are all doing the same food. Very few interesting places right now and I would rather eat some fantastic street food or a great bowl of ramen than walk away, AGAIN, completely disappointed with this”new young talent’s” food. I blame it mostly on the culinary schools just pumping out kids and telling them they are “chefs” as soon as they graduate. It’s bullshit. And yes, I’m talking to u, cordon blu. You used to have to earn that title.

  16. After reading your extreme ranting i have to ask…have you taken time out to actually give Culinary Dropout a chance? To try the amazing food and taste some of the specialty cocktails? Or maybe even to come look around the amazing, eclectic restaurant decor and maybe even try to give a new restaurant from Scottsdale a chance? You may be unbelievably surprised…

    ~Your friendly neighborhood Culinary Dropout bartender

  17. Jessica, if you think you the specialty cocktails at Culinary Dropout are remotely interesting, than you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s full of lousy mass market alcohols that cater to suburban tastes. It’s exactly what John was talking about.

Comments are closed.