John Curtas is …

POPPY DEN Pops Us Off

Good, but not enough for two hungry fressers

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We — the Burger Maven and ELV — arrived at Poppy Den at 12:33pm on Friday, hungry for a Poppy Burger.

We left at 1:25, with a bad taste in our mouth and one tiny crab cake each in our gut, after being told “one of your burgers is ready.”

And therein lies the tale.

When we arrived, place was empty.

Even after we ordered — which we did immediately –  there were no other diners in sight.

“Two Poppy Burgers, one crab cake appetizer, a Dr. Pepper and a Lake Mead with lemon,” was out of our beaks within a minute of the menu being handed to us.

As our waitron left, we were still the only diners in the place.

Shortly before our crab cakes arrived (about ten minutes into our visit) two other pairs of diners appeared and were seated.

The aforementioned crab was polished off with alacrity.

“Very good,” we exclaimed to the waitron.

Then the death march began.

10, 15, 20, 30 minutes elapsed without further food.

Suddenly, empty-handed, the waitron approached. “Have your burgers come out yet?” she asked, as if she would be the last person to know such things.

A manager then showed up and apologized. “We have a party of twenty upstairs,” she said. Along with this contrite, meaningless statement ( 20 entire people? that explains everything!) came a plate of watermelon topped with a few, feckless pieces of feta.

Another ten minutes went by. No burgers.

Then we noticed both two tops — both of which had been seated 5-10 minutes after we had placed our order — were getting their food.

That, you might say, was the last straw.

At 1:25pm the hapless waitron, seeing our frustration, meekly blurted out: “One of your burgers is ready,” but by then, we had had enough of this amateur hour.

As we stormed past the incompetent staff, we heard one of them say something like ” we have taken care of your bill, sir,” as if we ever had any intention of paying.

The point of this anecdote is: each of these new places loves to trot out their dog and pony shows of precision (both in food and service) when they first open. Six months in, you get a much better idea of what’s really going on.

What’s really going on at Poppy Den is the place is being run by a bunch of unsupervised, incompetent teenagers.

On the plus side, the crab cake was darn tasty, but in the future, we’ll be getting our burger fixes at Hops & Harvest.

POPPY DEN

Inside Tivoli Village

440 South Rampart Blvd. Suite 180

Las Vegas, NV 89145

http://www.vegaspoppyden.com/

702.802.2480

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13 Responses to POPPY DEN Pops Us Off

  • No more than twenty feet away at Cantina Laredo, I had the misfortune of sitting down for a dry and lonely 15 minutes, but the fortune of giving the waiter (who I asked for service twice) a stern “You snooze, you lose!”

    One of my finer moments as a slightly miffed diner, only topped by the “Sleuth”-esque battle of politeness between myself and Maurice at Le Cirque, the Frenchest man on the planet.

  • The fact that you felt like you did not have to pay for your drinks or your appetizer is slightly upsetting to me. Yes, you didn’t get your burgers…but you purchased other items that you received. I would hope my bill or items off my bill would comped…but I wouldn’t leave assuming they were. How entitled you sound.

  • That’s a pretty confident vote for Hops N Harvest after only a handful of services under their apron. I experienced quite the amateur hour there last night.

  • I was there last week as well, to get the poppy burger. Mine was lukewarm as if it had been made an hour before and sat there, and it still took them awhile to bring it out. The fries were petrified as well as if they had been made hours ago and then warmed up, and the cheese sauce they came with had that film on the top when its not fresh and made days before.

    I had heard that Angelo Sosa was just there the week before, is he not seeing any of this going on?

  • I’m pretty sure that if burger was made an hour before you got it it would not be warm, it would be ice cold. Why do people that don’t cook for themselves exaggerate so much when they go out to eat and god forbid have to wait over 10 minutes for food. I just don’t understand how everyone is a food critic with platinum taste buds and expectations of being treated like effin royalty when there in the building. Who made you food god? Also have you ever thought of what your paragraph of negative feed back might do to someone’s life? (staff, chefs, owners) are you perfect at what you do at work?? People are so disappointing these days. Think about the effect you have on someone life.

  • Did this critic just admit to dining and dashing?? Wow.

  • He absoultely should NOT have paid for anything – I have had similar experience at PD and this is chronic – not just a one time thing – if more people walked out then perhaps they might get their act together. My only difference was that our server handled things extremely well, but still didnt make up for a 3 hour dinner – which should have been 1 hour. Restaurants are part of a service industry – if you do not provide proper and professional service – you dont get paid. Simple

  • That cheese sauce with the fries is awful.

  • No one dined and dashed. Management waived the bill and the burger maven even left a quite good tip for the server.

  • The help there blows. Actually, most of the server’s in this town suck. Pia Zadora won’t eat there, either. Mr. Sosa will be packing it in. He has no clue what the people are craving. Good food and excellent service.

  • Funny how Poppy Den’s run by “a bunch of unsupervised, incompetent teenagers” that are under the supervision of the same management team as Hops & Harvest.

    If certain people, late of China Grill Management and Mandalay Bay are involved- rest assured the operation will rapidly devolve.

  • Agreed Nate. I’ve been to Hops & harvest twice and it is horrible (2nd visit was to make sure 1st wasn’t a fluke). Their food has no flavor. The most disappointing part is that they claim to be “farm to table” but don’t come close. All Bradley Ogden cared about is schmoozing with critics that come into the place.

  • I also was not pleased by their service either when I dined at PD w/ an aquaintance of mine. Went on the weekend, saturday if I recall correctly for their brunch menu.

    There is not much to recall to the events of PD of my visit other then the atrocious wait times incurred with multiple dishes that were ordered.

    Ordered the poppy assortment bread basket. One of the scones inside had wrapping stuffed in the middle of it. Which, unpleasent for my guest to discover this and how they handled by consistently joking about no further food products to have saran wrap inside of them. (Got annoyed by being reminded again and again.)

    Was notified by the server all bread products are delivered to PD and not made onsite. You can also tell they are warmed up by a microwave device. (Soft inside, hard outside.)

    Another item(s) that did not standout was the “kimchee” cheese sauce. Completely absent of any flavor of kimchee present in the cheese sauce. Watery consistency. Ended up eating the poppy seasoned fries by themselves.

    Alas, the kimchi fried rice was absent of the flavoring of kimchi. However, by itself was fine. Maybe thats the idea. Present a dish without the actual ingredient inside of it. It Def got me.

    There was not a feat lost here, although, one item I did enjoy was the eggs benedict. The polenta cake was different take on the benedict fare for myself. Just not enough of the korean hollandaise was on the dish unfortunately.

    And my party did happen to like her mochi pancakes. But the blueberry compote was the same compote served with the assorted poppy breadbasket.

    There wasn’t a dish that was too exciting or too memorable that I could honestly brag to anyone that lives outside of summerlin. Only summerlites would be offended by anyone snubbing their humble-thingy-township.

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