Archive for the ‘Celebrity Chef Hell’

Masa Would Be Mortified

August 08, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Food, Rant, Reviews 8 Comments →

ELV note: We interrupt our regular programming — i.e., our march through the 50 Essential Restaurants of Las Vegas, in descending order –  to bring you a few words about Bar Masa.

What you mainly feel, after the anger subsides, is a sense of relief. The sort of relief that only comes from knowing you’re free. Free from the pull of perfection. Free from dark thoughts that pull you back in, time and again. Thoughts of passions and pursuits. Chasing the high. Never getting enough.


Summer Doldrums

June 09, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Chefs, Openings, Rant, The List 15 Comments →

It’s not even officially Summer yet and the mercury has already topped 100 degrees for a solid week.

ELV is glad the days are heating up, because that’s the only thing that’s hot in Vegas these days.

Our restaurant scene may seem muy caliente to some — with Daniel Boulud, Guy Fieri, Mathias Merges and Giada What’s-Her-Name all opening new joints in the last two months — but it’s still pretty boring with a capital “B” from where we’re sitting.


7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Line Up to Eat at Giada’s New Restaurant

April 29, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Food, Openings 32 Comments →

Who cares if she can cook?

After reading this bought-and-paid-for piece of public relations drivel today, we at ELV thought the record ought to be set straight about why restaurants like Giada’s should be approached gingerly, if at all, and always with a sense of healthy skepticism about what is really going on.

So, let’s go over the 7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Line Up to Eat at Giada’s New Restaurant:


Top Chump

January 21, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Chefs, Food, Reviews 18 Comments →

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Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak was everything we thought it would be, and less. Calling it a copy of a copy is being kind.


The Beatings Shall Continue Until Morale Improves

October 08, 2013 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Chefs, Critics, Food, Zines 13 Comments →

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There’s a reason we’re leading off with a picture of the crave-able curry at Zen Japanese Curry, but before we get to that, let’s take stock of the continuing moribund state of the Vegas dining scene, shall we?


Celebrity Chef Takedown – OTTO ENOTECA

August 15, 2013 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Critics, Food, Reviews 15 Comments →

ELV note: We’ve been consistently disappointed by Mario Batali’s more affordable offering at the Venetian ever since it opened. (A lunch there a little over a year ago had us longing for the enforced mediocrity of Canaletto — literally a stone’s throw away in the same shopping mall.) After a succession of paltry and pathetic pasta performances, we had a face to face with Molto Mario and his partner Joe Bastianich last fall and gave them details. In return, they made all the right noises and assured us that things would change. By the looks of things, they haven’t. Below, uber-foodie and Official Friend of Eating Las Vegas David Ross explains (in a tone more reasonable and less hyperbolic/venomous than you are probably used to at this web address) why this is just another celebrity chef money machine — to be avoided by anyone with anything but a company credit card and low expectations. (ELV wonders if, with their busy schedules, Mario and Joe ever actually taste their restaurant’s food)

A partnership between Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, (you know his Mother, Lydia, she cooks Italian on PBS), Otto Enoteca should be a soft introduction to guests of the marriage between Italian wine and quality ingredients crafted into familiar, yet authentic dishes. That’s one of the better aspects of what this restaurant should be. Yet the expectations of dining in the restaurant of a former “Iron Chef” is quickly tempered by reality. Otto Enoteca is both the best and worst of the Celebrity Chef culture in Las Vegas.


Bests and Worsts

June 28, 2013 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Chefs, Food, Openings, Rant, Reviews, The List 20 Comments →

Best Night to Dine Out – Thursday

Worst Night to Dine Out – Saturday

Worst parking – MGM Grand

Worst Valet – MGM Grand

Worst Oversight in Posting This List Yesterday – Yonaka

Best Candidate for Best New Restaurant of 2013 (so far): (toss-up) Yonaka/Hops & Harvest


If Ever a Picture was Worth a Thousand Words…

June 22, 2013 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Food Network 23 Comments →

This is the picture posted in the New York Times today about Paula Deen supporters lining up to support her and her restaurant in Savannah, Georgia.

We at ELV hate to get in the middle of racially sensitive issues, but there are dozens of reasons Paula Deen should lose her job at the Food Network, but being a late-middle-aged, racially-insensitive, inarticulate Southern white woman ain’t one of them.*


SIMON Sadly, Insufferably, Stupifies

June 16, 2013 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Chefs, Food, Reviews 20 Comments →

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Alan Richman once gave us the best piece of food writing advice we’ve ever received. “When it’s really bad,” he said, “just report the facts.”

So here goes.


Letters of the Month – The Unimpressiveness of Vegas Uncork’d

May 21, 2013 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Events 9 Comments →

When Uncork'd was headed up not down - March 2008

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ELV note: For the first time in six years, yours truly did not attend a single event at Vegas Uncork’d. In this past half-decade, we have gone from being both a participant and reporter at the event to one whose excitement about it ranks somewhere between our boredom over the interminable NBA playoffs and our disgust about whatever stupid country music award show is in town this week. This makes ELV sad — both for the event and himself — as there was a time he when he felt these four days in May would be the defining event in the history of the Las Vegas dining revolution. Alas, like Camelot, it was a fleeting aspiration that was not meant to be.