Eating Las Vegas has often wondered whether Vietnamese food in America is the ultimate revenge for that little dust-up we caused there in the 60s. They could never hope to outgun us, the thinking goes, so the expats figured they’d bore us to death with their cuisine.
Archive for the ‘Openings’
(Hard to find but worth it!)
The Blind Pig - 4515 Dean Martin Dr.
Chef Flemming’s Bake Shop – 7 South Water Street, Henderson
Fat Choy – Inside the Eureka Casino, 595 East Sahara Ave.
Rock ‘N’ Noodle – 1108 South 3rd Street
Secret Pizza – Inside The Cosmopolitan
ELV — sporting more chins than a Chinese phone book — discussed our recent (neighborhood) restaurant renaissance and ramen revolution with Kim Wagner yesterday on KSNV TV – My News 3, and announced his top picks among these notable and noshable newcomers.
The Commissary – Downtown Grand Hotel, 206 N. 3rd Street
Cornish Pasty Co. – Commercial Center, 953 East Sahara Ave.
District One Kitchen & Bar – 3400 South Jones Blvd.
The Goodwich – 1516 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Fat Dumpling – 3959 W. Spring Mountain Road
Hiromaru – 5300 W. Spring Mountain Road
Stewart + Ogden – Downtown Grand Hotel, 206 N. 3rd Street
Damn man, damn. I have been so consistently wowed by this place, that I’ve been going back about twice a week. It does help that it is five minutes away from my hip (and only slightly dangerous) digs in “The Downtown”, but I would drive from Summerlin consistently and even bear slumming it in Dino’s (and I REALLY don’t like Dino’s) to enjoy these seriously bad-ass sandwiches.
In the plaza that is host to Lotus of Siam, about a dozen other pan-asian restaurants, and even a few places where you might find local politicians and religious leaders. But the newest opening isn’t a Thai place, a swingers club, or an alternative lifestyle independent theater at all! It is the first Las Vegas location and fourth overall location of Cornish Pasty Co.
Yes, once again the Brits have started colonizing, straying from their conquered home-turf of Arizona.
Ah, the dulcet tones, the violin solo, the sweet as hell music video of some Utopian jazz club. I was very excited to see the new joint in the MGM (taking over the Nob Hill spot) is named after my favorite song from one of my favorite bands, Dave Matthews Band (I call them DMB). ”Crush” is a totally great song with good music in it, but will this tapas/wine bar be worth the square footage?
It’s a venture of Michael and Jenna Morton (of La Cave, La Comida, and the Morton Steakhouse Group [but only via familiar relation, not business]), but an interesting one. The space itself is unusually cozy. I was thinking it would be all bistro seats and techno music. Yes friends, I am glad to tell you there is a semi-casual restaurant that isn’t pumping out Teen Disney or geriatric-core rock, but rather simple and soft jazz piano covers.
The interior here is cool, but cool in that way where you make a normal space and put a ton of vintage laboratory equipment in it to make it “hip”. Like all darkened tapas/wine bars, it has already started to attract every lady over 30, probably by way of some kind of pheromone or emitting an extremely low frequency.
The menu, in a very uncharacteristic move for such concepts, is actually NOT a giant unfocused mess! Twenty-three items are tapas (seven of which are pizzas, just thin enough to skirt the entree category), eight are “full-size” dishes. More on the suspicious quotations around that term later in the article.
Some items, like the hamachi or the kale salad, are a bit phoned-in or could have benefited from some simple tweaks or additions. These sour notes only punctuate an otherwise very unique menu. The executive chef, William DeMarco, has taken the next logical step from his La Cave style with pizzas that leave his own flat breads in the dust. The Thai coconut curry shrimp pizza, with asparagus and smoked bacon, is complexly spiced and surprisingly creative.
We’ve taken our time with Desnudo Tacos.
We didn’t rush to go there when it opened back in early December, and have taken our good sweet time in taking the measure of the place.
Maybe it was our inherent anti-taco temperament, cynical street food snobbishness and predisposition to dislike endless south of the border permutations that made us more circumspect. It was those, of course, combined with our (usual) quick draw readiness to dismiss yet another trite, hipster, downmarket “joint” that promises more than it delivers.
So you might say we were lying in wait for it. Ready with sharpened keyboard(?) to vivisect everything from the recipes to the lighting fixtures.
If you want to know what’s wrong with the Las Vegas restaurant scene, look no further than the unexplainable, head-scratching popularity of SkinnyFATS — an office-park, hole-in-the-wall, “concept” operation off Dean Martin Drive that serves junked-up, under-seasoned and over-thought food that mimics the faux-industrialized interior and fake tastes of its customers.
It is food perfectly geared to a generation that thinks it’s smarter than it is.
It is food that doesn’t have a clue about quality.
It is food that gives the clueless poseurs of the Millennial Generation the cuisine they deserve.
Where oh where to begin?
Let’s start with the customers, shall we?
An opening down on the Eastern/215, of a unique, rustic pizza place leaves everyone asking the same question, “This isn’t the first location?”
Opened about 10 months ago and a good 25 miles away, Novecento the First is nestled far, far, far, far further than anyone should consider driving for a slice of ‘zah. Hence the limited audience, until Novecento the Second opened a few weeks ago. Good word after good word got me in there, and I’m really glad I did.