Archive for the ‘Food’

EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 45. KU NOODLE

October 16, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Openings, Reviews No Comments →

45. KU NOODLE

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Chinese restaurants in Las Vegas come in two sizes: on-the-Strip and overpriced, and off-the-Strip and down and dirty. The holes in the walls are stuck into seedy shopping centers up and down Spring Mountain Road. They are generally excellent, but also, due to their being the genuine article, off-putting to most round eyes. Strip Chinese joints usually charge double for dishes remarkably similar to ones you get a mile to the west, but at least you’re not afraid to look into the corners, and the ingredients are usually better.

Ku Noodle is Jose Andres’ attempt to bring some balance to this equation, by offering up dumplings, soups, noodle and rice dishes that are by turns hyper-authentic, uniquely creative, and palate pleasing to the timid as well as the intrepid.

Anyone familiar with the menu at China Poblano knows José  knows his way around a shumai. The four versions here (called siu mai)  won’t disappoint; in fact, they may be the best versions of these tried and true dim sum dishes in the whole damn hamlet…with the lamb with cumin being the most delightful darlings of the bunch.

As good as they are, the things to get are the Ants Climbing a Tree (cellophane noodles flecked with pork and chilies):

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…or the Ku Monk (hand-cut noodle soup):

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…or the simply spectacular Hakka Fried Rice Pot:

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“Andrés does Chinese paella,” is the way Epicurious food writer Andy Wang put it, and we can’t think of a better description.

Salad and sandwich lovers will find the Watermelon and Watermelon Radish Salad as intense and  perfectly dressed as watermelon-y things can get, and the Crispy Bao Bun — really more like a pork belly sandwich on a burger bun — the apotheosis of   fatty pork. There’s also a concoct-your-own Tawainese Shaved Ice menu, and the obligatory, labor-intensive, “behold our craft cartwheels” cocktail list.

But those aren’t the reasons to come here. The reasons are to experience  brighter, fresher, more interesting versions of Chinese starches than you’ll ever find in a hole-in-the-wall, at prices that will make you think you’re in one. Andres and his team obviously love playing with their Asian food, and to our amazement, they do it better than most natives….without sacrificing an inch of authenticity.

Favorite dishes: All Sui Mai; Snow Pea Leaf Salad; Fried Wonton; Superior Wonton Soup; Watermelon and Watermelon Radish Salad; Ku Monk Noodle Soup; La Mein Lo Mein Hand-Pulled Noodles; Ants Climbing a Tree; Crispy Bao Bun; Dan Dan Mian; Hakka Fried Rice Pot; Taiwanese Shaved Ice.

KU NOODLE

SLS Las Vegas

7902.761.7615

EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 43. MINT INDIAN BISTRO

October 13, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Critics, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Max Jacobson, Reviews 1 Comment →

43. MINT INDIAN BISTRO

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Calvin Trillin once wrote that the average Italian restaurant gets more customers in a day than the average Indian restaurant gets in a month. ELV — the man, the myth, the yogurt-yogi-spiritual-advisor — used to agree with him. These days the tables have been turned (somewhat) and from the lines out the door at Mint Indian Bistro, it appears the Indians (dots not feathers) are giving the Italians a run for your money. ELV also thinks every vegetarian restaurant in Vegas is a joke. They should all close up shop immediately, and every vegetarian in town should start frequenting this place  instead.

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My Food Film Faves on My News 3

October 10, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Downtown, Events, Food, Wake Up With the Wagners No Comments →

Finally, a Food Film Festival Featuring Fabulous Folks Festively Feasting Freely on Fiction

October 10, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Critics, Events, Food, Liquor/Liqueur/Libations 1 Comment →

 

The only thing I love more than great food is a movie about great food.

This Friday night you are welcome to share my passion for the finest in food fantasia at the first, fabulous foray into his fount of feedbag film fare fodder.

Or something like that.

Finally….it’s all FREE….in the cozy little Black Box theatre, with the purchase of a cocktail at the exquisite Scullery bar.

See you tonight, fellow food film fans.

EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 42. NAKAMURA-YA

October 09, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Reviews, Spring Mountain Road 2 Comments →

42. NAKAMURA-YA

ELV’s comely young assistant was hungry.

“I’m hungry,” she said.

“Let’s go to Nakamura-Ya,” we said.

“But I don’t know anything about wafuu pasuta,” she responded.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 41. MONTA

October 09, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Reviews, Spring Mountain Road 3 Comments →

41. MONTA

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Monta is still Number 1 among the righteous ramen revelers in town, and with its no-nonsense 10-item menu and only 26 seats, it proves less is more when it comes to regularly revealing the royalty of this remarkable repast.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 40. B&B RISTORANTE

October 08, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Chefs, Critics, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Max Jacobson, Reviews No Comments →

40. B&B RISTORANTE

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Mario Batali simplified Babbo’s menu when he and partner Joe Bastianich brought B&B to the Venetian six years ago. They slightly modified the format to best comport with the middlebrow tastes of the average Vegas conventioneer, rather than challenge the pasta hounds as they do every night  their flagship in Greenwich Village. The good news is the bold flavors that put that flagship on the map made it out here without losing much in the process, and this kitchen still manages to crank out Vegas’s most interesting pastas half a decade later.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 39. SEN OF JAPAN

October 06, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Reviews 4 Comments →

39. SEN OF JAPAN

Hiromi Nakano‘s Sen of Japan has been humming along for years now, so sometimes we take it for granted. Shame on us for forgetting just how spectacular his food can be.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 38. I-NABA

October 05, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Reviews, Spring Mountain Road Comments Off

38. I-NABA

Yoshi Honda’s I-Naba is more than just a jewel box of Japanese cooking; it is a state of mind: a peaceful retreat, practically hidden, difficult to find, that can soothe jangled nerves and calm finicky waters.

There is nothing fancy about it. A dozen or so tables, some simple art on the walls, and a wine cooler about the size of  a household fridge give scant indication of the subtle perfection coming out of this tiny kitchen.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 37. CLEO

October 02, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Openings, Reviews 6 Comments →

37. CLEO

Eating Las Vegas loves to hate “Mediterranean” restaurants. ELV — the man, the myth, the Greek god — considers that catch-all appellation to be synonymous with mediocrity.

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