John Curtas is …


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Dumbed Down Ducasse

They come in waves, but it begins as a trickle. First a couple, then another, then a four-top of salesmen in cheap suits slides by. A few curious souls from the bar pop their heads in. “Wow,” you hear them say, “this place is one of those famous French chefs (sic).” Then the elevators expel four, six, eight, a dozen hungry souls in various stages of convention dress: the obligatory Dockers and Rockports —  adorned with the customary jewelry of the day: name tags, badges and lavalieres. Before long a group of twenty streams in — dressed for a big night at the Outback — all ready to spend the company’s money at this hi-falutin’ joint 64 floors above the Las Vegas Strip. “Gol-o-ly,” you can practically hear them saying to themselves. “This place ain’t like nuthin’ back home.” Before too much longer they’re presented with a menu of familiar sounding items that appear at their tables as small Trojan Horse plates of food that sounded like one thing, appeared as another, and tasted like something else entirely, and before they know it, the mind-numbing bill is presented to someone who will willingly pay it because it ain’t comin’ out of his pocket and a rape will just have occurred without the victim even knowing they were penetrated.

Welcome to Rivea.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants Hits the Home Stretch

If you’re one of our loyal readers, you may have noticed that our restaurant reporting has been a bit sparse over the past two months. This is because most of our energies have been going into completing the copy for the next edition of EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants, which, we hope, will be ready for publication in early March.

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Hating Mr. Chow is practically a right of passage for most food writers.

This is understandable because the food at Mr. Chow has always been pretty much beside the point. Because Mr. Chow, for the uninitiated among you, has always been about the scene. But it’s also about a certain slice of social history, and the “exaggerated elegance” (Frank Bruni’s words) of Chinese cuisine. But most of all, Mr. Chow is about status. But that is about to change, at least in Vegas. Allow us to explain.

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John at Work Restaurant reviews, quips, picks and pans-with some seriously salivating history-from the man who eats his way through Sin City every day.
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