NOSH & SWIG: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
I’ve been mulling over a review of Nosh & Swig for a couple of weeks now, not so much out of laziness (or rather, not more than any other facet of my life), but because my list of pros and cons is so long on each side that it’s hard for me to know if I even like the place.
On one hand, there will be a dish like the Tiger Cry that takes the “thai jerky” trope to a whole new level of chewy umami goodness. On the other hand, I’ll order a beer and get it near-frozen, in a beyond-frozen glass, so that when I combine the two the whole thing turns into a slushy crime against humanity (Don’t look on a full stomach: beer gore). One great experience, one awful, but so crazy opposed that I doubt I’m in the same restaurant!
I get is that they are doing wildly diverse stuff, neatly applied as about seven items on each themed menu (chicken, beef, pork, dessert, drink, etc.), but without falling into the all-too-common trap of only really doing one of them well. That’s cool in my book. You know the places: they’ll do a good short rib, a good poke, but everything else came off the US Foods truck in 40lb frozen boxes. Sad sad stuff. Luckily, there’s no way something like their amazing Horchata came out of a pre-mixed drum. I usually seriously detest the stuff, just as a reaction from all the nasty half-frozen versions you see, but theirs had a very forward richness to it. It also had a very distinct hit of something floral in addition to the rice and spices, jasmine if I had to put money on it. I downed my giant mason jar with some serious speed.
Even in one single item, there can be things to love and things to jeer. For example, the chef’s namesake Steve-O Grilled Cheese, was a solid grilled cheese. Thick candied bacon, white american cheese, a tomato coulie for dipping, and… enough arugula to choke a horse. There, there’s your picture and leave it at that.
One of the best items: Pretzel Brats. The pretzel bread was just chewy enough, buttered, and sandwiched a split smoky chicken sausage, covered in “cheese gravy” and mustard. This was that perfect level of salty, rich, and flavorful that personifies the overused term “comfort food”. I don’t like that term any more than “foodie” or “flavortown“, but dangit it just fits here.
On the other hand, there are the Dragon Claws, something even the most slip-shod of AYCE sushi places would pass up on. Basically, a halved jalapeno, filled with a spicy tuna mixture, then baked and drizzled with sauce. What you get is a barely cooked pepper, a hard, wet little pill of canned tuna-flavored-tuna, some cheese, panko, and some yum-yum sauce. Seven dollars and fifty cents for that, no one’s a happy camper.
Their desserts are about as spotty as the rest of the food. Cookies, ice cream (you know which three flavors), waffle with ice cream, yadda yadda yadda. Nothing you wouldn’t expect, outside of a pretty interesting warm PB&J. However, there was an item on the cheese menu that functioned as a dessert and blew the rest away: Brie Dawg. It was a little fried ball of brie, walnuts, apple, and a creamy caramel sauce. The brie was complimented, not overpowered at all, and it was just a fun little bite to round out a meal.
If this was in the heart of it all, around your Yonakas and Fat Choys and what-have-you, it would be readily overlooked. However, if you find yourself up by Sandhill and Flamingo (or possibly on the way to Aces and Ales, practically THE beer bar for Vegas), I’d say give it a try, don’t expect TOO much. I am not usually one for judging a place by it’s surroundings, but something can be said for bringing even a little bit of these modern times to that area. I’d say its head and shoulders above the rest, but that’s not saying much when you’re in Munchkin Land.
Nosh and Swig3620 E Flamingo Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89121