Archive for the ‘Rant’

The Hater’s Guide to Football

September 27, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Rant 5 Comments →

ELV note: We ran this item last year, and, if anything, everything we wrote then is even more relevant now. For those of you who will protest with comments like:  “This is a restaurant Web site, why are you writing about other things? Blah, blah, blah…” (and believe us, we get a number of them), all we can say is: This is ELV! He writes about what he wants when he wants, and hopes you enjoy the ride. If you don’t, remember our solemn pledge to our loyal readers: All opinions guaranteed or your money back!


Most professional athletes are assholes pretending to be nice guys. – Mike Lupica

When Oscar Wilde said: “Seriousness is the last refuge of the shallow,” he must have been thinking about Roger Goodell. – ELV

Between its tin-pot nationalism, greedy, billionaire owners, corrupt colleges, and players (who are either absolute assholes or brain-damaged morons) it’s getting easier and easier to loathe everything about football. Below is a primer for those who are either unaware of its idiocies, or who turn a blind eye to the stupefying witlessness of the game, and the shameless arrogance of those who bring it into our living rooms.


Tasting Menu Tyranny

September 19, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Critics, John Mariani, Rant, Travel 2 Comments →

ELV note:  A quick aperitivo of opinion to whet thine appetite for the flurry of essential eateries to come:

(ELV’s worst nightmare)

A few of our ardent Facebook foodie friends (and we have many of them) have asked why we didn’t make it to Coi, Crenn, Benu or Saison on our just-finished, four-day trip to Frisco.

Our answer is simple (and – with apologies – a bit insulting): The last thing ELV wants or needs at this point in his insatiable existence is to be enslaved for 3+ hours by a team of 30 year old cooks assaulting his senses with dozens of “wildly inventive” teeny-tiny plates of overwrought tweezer food.


Bon Appetit Craps Out; Mariani Makes His Point

August 21, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Critics, John Mariani, Rant, Zines 8 Comments →

ELV note: We temporarily interrupt our regularly scheduled programming (i.e., our march through the 50 Essential Restaurants of Las Vegas) to bring you a word (actually 2,193 of them) about a most disturbing development in the food media world.

Two mornings ago, the editor of Bon Appetit magazine, and the restaurant editor of the magazine, appeared on the CBS Morning News to announce Bon App’s “Best New Restaurants of 2014.”

In introducing the segment, they listed their general criteria for determining which restos made the overall list, and how they specifically determined their Top 10 eateries on the list.

Those criteria were, in order:

1) Good Vibe

2) Good Music

3) Good Lighting

4) Good Food

To say that Eating Las Vegas was appalled is an understatement. And we weren’t the only ones.


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.


Chefs Tough As Nails? We Don’t Think So.

August 05, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Critics, Rant, Zines 2 Comments →

Never confuse the size of your talent with the size of your paycheck. – Marlon Brando

All wish to have knowledge, but few are willing to pay the price. – Juvenal

ELV note: Chef John Tesar’s feud with restaurant critic Leslie Brenner of the Dallas Morning News has been getting a lot of traction lately. In response to it all, a certain anonymous Dallas chef posted this missive on line, siding with Tesar (complete disclosure: JT is a Facebook friend and a chef we hold in high regard), and calling out Brenner in a number of ways. Both it and our response are probably a bit over-the-top, but both he (the anonymous Dallas chef, NOT John Tesar) and Eating Las Vegas have some rather strong, contrary opinions which we at ELV thought you might enjoy agreeing or disagreeing with. So, without further ado, for your elucidation and delectation, we give you the following war of words:

Dear Go to Hell,

Chefs tough as nails? Maybe some of them, but you sir are a big baby. A small-minded, fragile little girl who objects to someone’s tone of voice. What are you? Twelve? Man up…and admit that you and your ilk get your feelings hurt very, very easily.

A chef is a craftsman who is trained to put out food, in volume, with a minimum of health concerns to those eating it. That’s all you really are. A cook. Not a humanitarian or a philanthropist. “Anyone can write about food,” you say. Well, I suppose so,  just the way anyone can heat up food. Even an idiot can make a pot of stew and fill people up with it. And you sir, I fear, are a stewcook. If you truly had game, I suspect you wouldn’t take critical words to heart like sappy teenager.


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.


Mother’s Day Memo: Eat at Home

May 09, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Rant, Wake Up With the Wagners 4 Comments →

It’s the absolute, lead pipe cinch, without a doubt, out-and-out, consummate,  worst day of the year to eat in a restaurant.


Letter of the Week – Who’s This Chumlee Fellow?

March 19, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Letter of the Week, Rant 1 Comment →

ELV note: An enraged reader recently wrote:

Dear Eating Las Vegas,

According to, some character named Chumlee from Pawn Stars is now a restaurant critic, and I am flat out depressed about the death of reason and the limitless ignorance of mankind.


This Just In: ELV Spreading Rumors, Settling Scores and Set to Salaciously Sip

March 12, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Rant, Travel, Zines 12 Comments →

Good evening Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships and clippers at sea….

Item: Honey Salt Expanding Empire.

As predicted on these pages over a year ago, the entrepreneurs behind Summerlin’s Honey Salt are set to open two new stores in northwest Las Vegas. If our sources are correct, one will be called Honey Q and will be taking over the old Hops & Harvest space. (Good luck with that.) The other, we hear, will be called Honey Salt Steak and will be located in the new Red Rock Mall. (Another steakhouse in Vegas? What an original idea?)

Here’s hoping all this brand-expansion doesn’t result in another episode of  “Honey, I Shrunk the Profits.”


Letters of the Month – Hospitality Hell

February 19, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Letter of the Week, Rant 10 Comments →

“We (restaurateurs) are not in the food business; we are in the hospitality business.” – Sirio Maccioni

ELV note: We take a few weeks off and things start going to hell in a hand-basket. Not with the food being dished up by some of our favorite restaurants, mind you, but with their service. Submitted for your (dis)approval: three recent tales of woe….

Dear  Eating Las Vegas,

Hello, we are from the Chicagoland area and enjoy reading your restaurant reviews.  Since it’s late (actually early) I’ll get right
to the point.  My wife and I ate at Estiatorio Milos this evening, we shared the snapper, the fried zucchini with tzatziki (the Milos Special) and a baklava.

As of this moment we are both currently in our suite at the Encore throwing up and dry heaving.  The way I’m feeling right now, diarrhea is probably on the way as well.  Hooray!