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!