John Curtas is …

This Just In: ELV Spreading Rumors, Settling Scores and Set to Salaciously Sip

Good evening Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships and clippers at sea….

Item: Honey Salt Expanding Empire.

As predicted on these pages over a year ago, the entrepreneurs behind Summerlin’s Honey Salt are set to open two new stores in northwest Las Vegas. If our sources are correct, one will be called Honey Q and will be taking over the old Hops & Harvest space. (Good luck with that.) The other, we hear, will be called Honey Salt Steak and will be located in the new Red Rock Mall. (Another steakhouse in Vegas? What an original idea?)

Here’s hoping all this brand-expansion doesn’t result in another episode of  “Honey, I Shrunk the Profits.”

Item: ELV continues to feel immense sadness for Kerry Simon and Max Jacobson. (But refuses to appear on a red carpet with “celebrities” to show he cares.)

We at ELV were interviewed last week (by Norm! and Fox 5) about rumors that we had been banned from certain restaurants because we dared to criticize those who have sought to exploit these tragedies for personal or professional self-promotion. Part of the interview included a question about which restaurants were now banning us because of our public criticism of these events.

For the record: We know of no restaurants that have officially banned us for our temerity in calling a spade a spade.* However, we are most confident that if such establishments exist, they are ones that we wouldn’t be eating at of our own volition anyway. (cf. Andre’s, Alize, Echo & Rig)

Item: USA Today employs hack writer, embarrasses itself.

USA Today — America’s national newspaper– ran an article yesterday purporting to delineate the “10 Best Las Vegas Spots for Foodies.”

It was compiled, no doubt, by some stringer named David McKee. We say “compiled” because the text consisted of verbatim press release blather from each of the ten places listed.

They were, in order:

1) Scarpetta (A chain Italian restaurant)

2) Heritage Steak (A phoned-in effort from a celebrity chef whoring out his name.)

3) Poppy Den (The only place on the list which even has anything approaching unique, interesting, foodie-centric recipes.)

4) La Cave (Foodies the world over are flocking to Billy DeMarco’s “brilliant cuisine.” Haven’t you heard?)

5) Kumi (Just like Yellowtail, only with less quality, lower prices and more bamboo.)

6) Mon Ami Gabi (Have a fount of Francophilic foodie fun at this Paris Hotel mainstay that hasn’t changed its menu in fifteen years!)

7) Sinatra (A restaurant so tired even the reincarnated Rat Pack would find an excuse to fall back and roll over in their graves.)

8) Olives (“….dishes done in Todd English’s trademark touch” struggle to find those tactile sensations when he only comes to Vegas to pick up a check.)

9) Shibuya (Absolutely, positively the number one sushi restaurant in Las Vegas among conventioneers who can’t find any other place to eat.)

10) Some f*cking food truck (….that is no doubt one missed credit card payment away from going out of business)

ELV is tempted to rant and rave further about such drivel being given currency in a major publication, but, truth be told, the above is only further, conclusive proof that the public relations people have won the war against truth and quality. No longer is it important to actually know anything, or have any measurable standards before you get paid for and publish such worthless information. All that’s important is that you regurgitate whatever the flacks and shills tell you to. Keep them happy and their corporate masters will let you slurp at the trough.

Or just go kill yourself, as Bill Hicks suggests.

Don’t worry, the public at large (and your editors) aren’t demanding anything more.

Item: ELV reveals his Top 20(?) Foodie Favorites.

To counter-balance (in a teeny tiny way more akin to pissing in the ocean) the shite foisted upon us by bought-and-paid-for periodicals like USA Today, SEVEN, et al, our staff hereby offers our Top 20 Vegas Foodie Favorites(in no particular order):

1) Raku

2) Kabuto

3) Sweets Raku

4) Carnevino

5) Spago

6) L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

7) Joel Robuchon

8) Guy Savoy

9) Chada Thai

10) Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

11) Comme Ça

12) Milos

13) Bouchon

14) China Poblano

15) CUT

16) Marche Bacchus

17) Lotus of Siam

18) Julian Serrano

19) Sage

20)  Due Forni

21) Chocolate & Spice

22) Yonaka

23) Art of Flavors Gelateria

We’re sure we’ve missed a few, but equally sure our loyal readers will help fill in our gaps.

Item: ELV heading to Santa Barbara wine country.

On a related subject, ELV will be taking a short, well-deserved vacation for the next few days as he and #1 Son seek some Sideways satisfaction amongst the Santa Barbara wineries — minus the spit bucket, pathetic sex and broken nose.

Translation: by this time tomorrow, we’ll be knee-deep in pinot noir!

À votre santé!


* Anyone who calls a spade a spade should be forced to use one. – Oscar Wilde

12 Responses to This Just In: ELV Spreading Rumors, Settling Scores and Set to Salaciously Sip

  • Yonaka for the top 20, easily.

  • Recently had a terrible meal at Marche Bacchus. Several dinners around us left or sent food back. Don’t know what’s going on there, but the steak Tatar was horrible. The rest of our parties entrees looked like an after thought. Not good.

    Chada, Sweets Raku and Kabuto are always excellent. Thank goodness for SpMtRoad!

  • I like your list a lot better than the one from the The USA Today. I understand what you’re saying about Scarpetta, but they still serve pretty damn good pasta. It may not be new or innovative any more, but I’m certainly willing to eat there.

    What’s your deal with Due Forni? You seem to be bipolar about it. Some times you’re raving, some times you’re talking about bad experiences there. Me, I wouldn’t put it in my top 20 foodie experiences in town, but it has been at least pretty good every time I’ve eaten there. I have to say, though, that IMHO Settebello edges it out for west side pizza.

    Enjoy Santa Barbara. I will never forgive Alexander Payne and his ilk for making it a lot harder for me to get Sanford, Calera, and Qupe wines at reasonable prices.

  • Are you fuckin kidding me? Olives!! Fuckin Olives!! Heritage steak? I am even doubting this person has taste buds considering the lack of flavor exhibited at Heritage steak. Soggy fried oysters (gag) and sweet baby rays flavored pork belly is a foodie dish? The only place I would revisit is Scarpetta and that is if I am out of ideas. Did I mention Olives? Fuckin Olives!! This author must be from another planet or has had one too many Filet o Fish sandwiches.

    1. L’Atelier
    2. Spago
    3. Bouchon
    4. Sage
    5. Jaleo
    6. Raku
    7. Carnevino
    8. Guy Savoy
    9. Picasso

    Great job for calling this hack out and have a nice time on your hiatus.

  • Agree to disagree on the Bouchon v Mon Ami. Yes Bouchon is upscale, yes, Keller, but the menu has changed twice since its inception (and not many items). By the By, how many days does Chef Thomas cook there?….uhm, thought so. Another one mailed in – but executed very well.

    Oh and I got your Olives, I got ’em right here….

  • Mon Ami usually offers a good meal-It’s a corporate restaurant but the ingredients are quality and hey, if it works why change the menu.

  • Glad they finally announced it !! We have been sitting on it for a while ! Enjoy the Sta Rita hills !! Our home away from home ! Cheers

  • Obviously your unbiased list is more appropriate of a discussion point then that PR puff from the USA Today. My question is Lotus at #17? And what is everyone’s fascination with China Poblano? Its bad Mexican mixed with bad Chinese with neither side executed well. Its appearance on your list is only salvaged but the strength of what surrounds it. Please explain why if needing to shoehorn two types of cuisine together than why I shouldn’t just stop at Tacos El Gordo on my way to 1900 or Joyful?

  • ELV responds: Great and thoughtful comments all, for which we are grateful. It’s true we have had an up and down relationship with Due Forni over the years, but the last meal we had there a month ago blew us away. Haven’t been to China Poblano since Shirley Chung left, but likewise, have always found the food interesting and precisely crafted.

    As for Honey Salt “announcing” its expansion — as far we know, they haven’t announced anything…..and the last thing the owners do is share their plans with us (we’ve had a prickly relationship with them for years). ELV has his sources on these things which he values and trusts the way Woodward did Deep Throat, and shares their identity with no one! ;-)

  • Apparently good looks and a background in baseball are enough to propel Todd English onto another media “best list.” The putrid excuse for prosciutto he puts on pizza, (say that 20 times in a row), should be enough for the Clark County Health Department to send out an inspector.

  • The next time you visit Santa Barbara order a chili burger from The Habit and order chicken from pollofino in Goleta. Just a few of my hometown faves.

  • Also have been to China Poblano recently. The dishes and atmosphere were as delicious/fun as when I dined there 2 years ago. The key is to just enjoy both seperate fares and be wary of the fushion items. I don’t think I will ever forget how disgusting a duck taco is with the oyster on top haha. Also drink lots of mezcal.

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