Like a few other time-worn and treasured eateries, Delmonico has been around so long we tend to take it for granted. (Eating Las Vegas is gruntled by the fact that our food revolution has now been going on for so long that we actually have excellent restaurants that can be considered gastronomic treasures. When we moved back to Vegas in September 1990, the town’s idea of a gourmet landmark was Piero’s and the Alpine Village Inn.)
I’ll never forget the day the music died. The day the magic left. The day I realized that great food, restaurants and chefs in Vegas was just a big p.r. game, being played to the hilt by our big hotels. The day I realized that it was no longer about the food, it was all about celebrities shilling for that food.
Unfortunately, it was Emeril Lagasse — the man who put the “celebrity” in “chef” — who taught me that lesson. For it was Emeril who first seduced and then disappointed me, and therein lies a cautionary tale that I have yet to tell until now.
Eating Las Vegas doesn’t like to brag (well, actually, we do like to brag), but we foretold our current sushi revolution over three years ago.
That’s when Kabuto opened up next door to Raku and, almost overnight, validated our prediction that down-market, mayonnaise-laden, all-you-can eat sushi bars were about to become the Long John Silver’s of uncooked fish.