Enough Already….


>Sous vide (Face it: everything has the same texture. I don’t give a shit what Thomas Keller says.)

>Salmon anywhere but the Pacific Northwest

>Boneless breast of chicken

>Kale (Admit it: it sucks.)

>Foam anywhere but a Spanish restaurant

>Scallops (They’re everywhere and no matter what a chef does to them, they always taste the same and they’re only on the menu because little old ladies who are afraid of seafood like them. Of course, if they ever saw a fresh one, they’d run away faster than a politician from an ethics board.)

>Small tables

>Small plates

>Small portions

>Savory cocktails (Cocktails should be sweet, acidic, citrus-y or herbaceous. They should stimulate the appetite or sooth after it is sated. When I’m ready to eat dinner, I’ll eat, not drink.)

>Overlarge garnishes on anything (see above)

> Ooohing and ahhhing over bacon

>Roasted Brussels sprouts

>Roasted things that aren’t supposed to be roasted

>Barbecue restaurants using industrial, automatic smokers that work with a push of a button that regulates the wood and the smoke for 6-8 hours which allows the owners to then sleep through the entire process and then brag about how great their ‘cue is. (Yeah, I’m talking to you, every barbecue restaurant that’s opened in Vegas in the past five years.)

>Bespoke anything

>Bespoke cocktail garnishes (No, I don’t need Himalayan pine bark dust sprinkled on my drink.)

>Bartenders with sleeve garters or statement facial hair

>Coffee snobbery

>Endless discussions about pour-over techniques

>Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio

>Celebrity chefs who aren’t real celebrities, e.g., Malarkey, Brian.

>Absentee chefs

>Getting a blowjob from Eater about soon-to-come restaurants that don’t have a prayer of opening, e.g., that charcuterie restaurant that was supposed to open downtown six months ago.

>Tony (Mr. Personality) Hsieh

>The Downtown Project

>Endless articles about the success (or non-success) of Tony (Mr. Personality) Hsieh and the Downtown Project

>Concept restaurants designed by committee, e.g., Rivea, Herringbone, Searsucker.

>300 word restaurant “reviews” in free weeklies

>Bad food porn (If you can’t take a tasty snap of a dish, don’t post it.)


>”Are there any food allergies or other problems the kitchen should be aware of?” (For christ fucking sake, if you’re allergic speak up. If you don’t, then that anaphylactic shock is on you. Grow a pair, restaurant owners, chefs and waitstaffs. No one’s going to sue you because you didn’t know they were marshmallow intolerant. Which they weren’t.) And while we’re at it…

>Customer entitlement (No, you’re not entitled to “have it your way.” You have made a conscious decision to have it their (the restaurant’s) way by walking in their fucking front door. If you want to eat your way, stay at home.)


>48 kinds of bourbon behind the bar next to….

>61 labels of vodka  (What started out as cool and curated is now just pretentious, tiresome and tedious.)

>$20 cocktails (I might as well be barking at the moon at this one. Our hotels bend the tourists over with not so much as a reach-around, and no one complains but locals, so expect the beverage raping to continue until the next recession.)

>Cachaça (Face it: it’s just lousy rum.)

>Truffle oil

>Chefs who put truffle oil on dishes and and proudly list it on their menu and think I won’t be offended.

>Modernist gastronomy in any restaurant not run by a Spaniard or someone named Pierre Gagnaire.

>20 course tasting menus (Face it: human beings were not meant to eat for three hours straight)

>Restaurants that brag about their ethos

>All you can eat sushi

>Sushi burritos (Just what America needs: more overstuffed food.)

>Communal tables

>Deconstructed anything

>Quinoa (Admit it: it sucks. Okay, even if it doesn’t suck, it never adds anything to anything. Have you ever heard someone say: “I’m really in the mood for some quinoa.”?)

>Paleo- anything (Brewer’s yeast butter anyone? Anyone?)

>Tipping (It needs to go the way of the Dodo bird.)

>Bad wine lists (Las Vegas is really the crappy wine list capital of America. Most of our vaunted restaurants match their lists to whatever sells to the rubes (hello big-ticket Cabernet!) and never the food. Discovering a small, interesting, well-chosen list in a Vegas restaurant is harder than finding a stripper without a drug problem. There’s a reason I do all of my wine drinking at Carnevino, Marche Bacchus, and a few other joints: because every fucking list in this motherfucking town is controlled by the motherfucking liquor distributors…and the shithead bean counters at the hotels. My solution: have two lists in every good restaurant. One for Mr. Conventioneer Expense Account and his gambling counterpart: Mr. High-Roller-Who-Has-No-Fucking-Clue-What-The-Fuck-He’s-Drinking-He’s-Just-Using-Up-His-Fucking-Comp — and one curated by the sommelier for those of us who might like to drink something other than Central Coast chards, overpriced Bordeaux and Napa cabs.)

>Stunt food presentations in fancy restaurants:

(When we were at Meadowood, The Restaurant — in Napa, The Valley — last week, we were presented a baby chicken (poussin) baked in a sourdough bread bowl (or so we were at first told) for our oohs and aahs and delectation. Upon questioning, another helpful waitron explained that the chicken we were eating was actually not cooked in a bread bowl, and that no chickens were ever cooked in the bread bowl, and that our chicken was cooked in an oven and that another chicken is brought to the table supposedly cooked or stored in a bread bowl to flavor both the bird and the bread, when, in fact, no such cooking or conjugation ever took place. In a great French, German or Italian restaurant, a chef would be appalled at the notion of showing one thing to a guest and serving them another. Not in America, though.)

>Food shows on television (Is there anything lamer than the Food Network these days, with its endless run of stupid competition shows? If you want to learn about food, watch PBS. If you want your IQ lowered by the minute, Guy Fieri is waiting.)

Thanks, I feel better now.

13 thoughts on “Enough Already….

  1. ….did you forget Picasso when it comes to wine lists done right…best in town me think…actually when I want my IQ lowered by the minute I think of anything Mario Batali touches and especially Carnevino…perhaps its just me but I like to be kissed first…just sayn

  2. John, are you trying to lose your gig with CLV? Expletives seemingly are your fallback position to otherwise making good points. Maybe I’m not hip enough anymore but I did fall down once and break my hep.

  3. ELV responds: I would be more interested in Tony Scodwell’s opinion of my opinion about Vegas wine lists (something he’s something of a true expert on) than what he thinks of my foul language. For the record: the City of Las Vegas is well aware of my alter-ego and doesn’t object to it, as long as I keep saving it money and the City Council from headaches. ;-)

  4. I tell all my friends that I agree with ELV “oh about 85-90% of the time”. A classic ELV rant. Thank you.

  5. You’ve stumbled onto a food game here. The next Cards Against Humanity. For every comment You list above, I had an agreement, argument against, or multiple rebuttals. Here’s your big opportunity to make your mark in the opinionated game world!

  6. “In a great French, German or Italian restaurant, a chef would be appalled at the notion of showing one thing to a guest and serving them another. Not in America, though”

    I’ve confirmed this happening quite a few times from some of our great American chefs. JBF and Michelin star winners. In one comical episode, my table was presented with a gorgeous specimen of a porterhouse, crusty and charred with herbs strewn over it, only to be presented minutes later with a few ounces of something that was cooked sous vide. The obvious tell was the fact that the thickness of what arrived on the plate was different than the thickness of the presentation steak.

  7. I’ll add one more for good measure.

    Restaurant names with two names. I.E. –> flour and rye, shitty + unimaginative, dingle and berry

    Just stop already.

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