29. BAZAAR MEAT
29. BAZAAR MEAT
“In the lexicon of lip-smacking, an epicure is fastidious in his choice and enjoyment of food, just a soupçon more expert than a gastronome; a gourmet is a connoisseur of the exotic, taste buds attuned to the calibrations of deliciousness, who savors the masterly techniques of great chefs; a gourmand is a hearty bon vivant who enjoys food without truffles and flourishes; a glutton overindulges greedily, the word rooted in the Latin for ‘one who devours’. … After eating, an epicure gives a thin smile of satisfaction; a gastronome, burping into his napkin, praises the food in a magazine; a gourmet, repressing his burp, criticizes the food in the same magazine; a gourmand belches happily and tells everybody where he ate; a glutton embraces the white porcelain altar, or, more plainly, he barfs”. – William Safire
If we had to define the local food writing establishment, we at ELV would classify Max Jacobson as a the ultimate gourmet (may his palate and wit return sometime soon), Heidi Knapp Rinella as a gastronome, and Brock Radke and Jim Begley as gourmands.
FYI, BTW, ELV is AOTA.
What are you?
We have run hot and cold about Bouchon over the years. We’ve had stupendous meals here; we’ve had pedestrian ones. Service has been terrific on occasion, sloppy and slow on others. We wanted to kiss all the cooks after one brunch…and felt like strangling them at another — when scrambling eggs seemed to challenge their skill set. A certain “critic” in town (who knows as much about French food as he does about ELV’s bunghole), once complained of being served a cold breakfast of (supposed to be) hot food and, for once, we had to agree with him.
(Photo by www.kevineats.com)
When Wolfgang Puck and his troops opened this offshoot of his Beverly Hills steakhouse in ’08, they probably didn’t know they were creating the perfect Las Vegas restaurant. It’s a steakhouse (natch), but also a cool and groovy bar/café where you can soak in the vibe and not get soaked in the process.
26. MICHAEL MINA
25. LOTUS OF SIAM
“That place is so crowded no one goes there anymore.” – Yogi Berra
Truer words were never spoken about a restaurant. Since Bill and Saipin Chutima took over this space in 1999, the gourmet world has beaten a path to their door. So popular has LOS become with the fiery foods crowd that a table is almost impossible to score on a weekend evening — when you’ll see taxi after taxi dropping parties of four off every five minutes — as tourists make their pilgrimage here to sample our most famous 0ff-the-Strip eatery.
Spago has been so good for so long we now take it for granted. It’s like the furniture — always there, always comfortable — but unlike the furniture, it can still surprise and dazzle you with whatever Executive Chef Eric Klein has decided to whip up that day.
Carson Kitchen is a small place (only 46 seats as of this writing), that reminds us of Le Pigeon in Portland, Oregon, or Bar Jamon in New York City. The open kitchen is framed by an L-shaped bar, and you are so close to some of the action you can practically quiz the cooks on what they’re making as you wait for your plates. There are four tables at the front and then another large bar, on the other side of the small room, which doubles as a cocktail venue and communal seating for an array of drop-dead dishes the likes of which will shock you with their intensity and perfection.
Yusho is the only restaurant in Las Vegas that would have made a bigger splash (and been a bigger hit) had it opened off the Strip, instead of (literally) on the Strip. To be more precise: on a Strip-facing corner of the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino, where tourists seeking another artisanal beverage stroll on by (oblivious to the mastery before them), and locals wouldn’t venture if the beer were free and Joël Robuchon was the sous chef.
The first time I went to Rose.Rabbit.Lie it was late; I was drunk and liked the space, but hated the music. (But all the other drunks seemed to be having a whale of a time.) The second time, I was sober, liked the food, and still hated the music. The third time, I got as far away from the music as possible and learned to love it. So you might say the best way to appreciate your meal here is sober and in silence, and the best way to enjoy RRL is high as a Georgia pine.