Bon Appetit Craps Out; Mariani Makes His Point

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

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.

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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.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 17. MIZUMI

August 20, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Reviews

17. MIZUMI

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If Mizumi had an advertising budget like Nobu or Bar Masa, Devin Hashimoto would be a household name by now. As it is, he toils in (relative) obscurity in one of the most beautiful restaurants in Las Vegas, seemingly content to kick the ass of his more famous competition, beating them at their own game, night after toothsome night.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 16. CHINA MAMA

August 19, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Critics, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Reviews, Spring Mountain Road

16. CHINA MAMA

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China MaMa has settled comfortably into its skin of being our best Chinese restaurant, but that doesn’t prevent it from being the constant target of slurs and rumors along the lines of: “It’s not as good as it once was” or “No one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”

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Technical Difficulties Fixed

August 18, 2014 By: The Staff Category: Miscellaneous

Thanks to all who pointed out the broken links. The server maintenance changed a setting and rudely did not inform us. Those responsible for the temporary outage will be sacked, or at least forced to eat Hot Pockets washed down with some Yellow Tail Merlot.

EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 15. ALLEGRO

August 18, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Critics, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Reviews

15. ALLEGRO

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‘Tis a pity what’s happened to upscale, authentic Italian food in our humble burg of late.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 14. SAGE

August 12, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Critics, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Reviews

14. SAGE

I’d like Sage a whole lot more if it weren’t so hideously expensive. Everything on the main dish menu — meats, fishes and pastas….yes, pastas — tops the forty dollar mark, which means you’ll top a buck fifty a head here without breaking a sweat.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 13. JULIAN SERRANO

August 11, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Critics, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Reviews

13. JULIAN SERRANO



Five years ago, Las Vegas went from having no good tapas in town to having two of the best Spanish restaurants in the country. This one just keeps getting better and better.

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Masa Would Be Mortified

August 08, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Celebrity Chef Hell, Food, Rant, Reviews

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.

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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.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 12. CHINA POBLANO

August 07, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Critics, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Reviews

12. CHINA POBLANO

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From the moment you glimpse the groovy-cool interior, you know you’re in for some mind-bending Chinese and Mexican food, provided by a mix-and-match menu created by Chef Jose Andrés. To be fair, José Can You See (Vegas)? comes around about as often as I go to Madrid these days, but give him a break. He’s got a restaurant empire to run, and run it well he does.

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EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – 11. YONAKA

August 07, 2014 By: John Curtas Category: Chefs, Critics, EATING LAS VEGAS - The 50 Essential Restaurants, Food, Reviews

11. YONAKA

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Yonaka is the type of restaurant that couldn’t have existed in Las Vegas ten years ago.

Like all upscale Asian joints, it owes a debt of gratitude to 2013 Chef of the Year Mitsuo Endo for educating the minds and palates of the fledgling restaurant consumer. Without Raku paving the way six years ago, the appetite for intriguing Japanese food would remain but a tiny niche in our local food world. As it is, Yonaka took a page from Raku’s playbook, and tweaked it according to Ramir DeCastro’s own playful (and fruit-friendly) sensibilities – making Yonaka’s food even more fun and accessible than Raku’s.

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