Odds, Ends and Veal Parmigiana

(No one can beat Enzo’s meat)

A few things as we head into the stretch run of this holiday season:

1) O-Face Doughnuts announced it’s closing at the end of the month, leading our staff to ask: If downtown can’t support a freaking doughnut shop, what gastronomic chances does it have? Answer: We haven’t a clue. Every time we were in O-Face (and that was dozens of times) it always seemed to have customers. Not wrapping-around-the-block numbers mind you, but a fair amount of folks ready to make their own O-face after biting into the pastries. Were they the best doughnuts we’ve ever had? No, but they were a damn sight better than any others in town. And the coffee was superb. Pity all around, and a real head-scratcher when it comes to predicting what, if anything, this signals for the future of downtown dining. Speaking of which…

2) The Smashed Pig is now open, on East Fremont Street, right across from the failed experiment that was Radio City Pizza. It’s another Downtown Project-funded operation, but initial visits have been very positive, with chef/owner Martin Smith firmly in control of a tight, controlled menu of the English pub food he has in his veins. Don’t miss his fish and chips:

…served with superior mushy peas, or his steak and ale pie, or the sticky toffee pudding:

 

The burger and beers are also top notch, and only the noise level gives us pause. (Tip: eat at the bar if you want to hear yourself think.) All and all though, TSP is a flat out winner, and a nice addition to your downtown dining options. Eating Las Vegas loves restaurants that are so much better than they have to be.

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Hot Hostess/Change of Ownership Watch: RADIO CITY PIZZERIA

ELV — the man, the myth, the inveterate gossip — knows way too much about the sturm und drang of Radio City Pizza’s family restaurant melodrama* to report on it objectively.

Suffice it to say that Kayla (pictured above) was in line for another Hot Hostess Watch posting, until we found out on Friday that the business had been sold.

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RADIO CITY isn’t just a PIZZERIA anymore

Calling Radio City Pizzeria a pizza parlor is like calling Edward Snowden a problematic employee — both statements may be true, but they don’t tell you the half of it. Like Citizenfour, RCP is about to make some major waves; unlike America’s most prominent ex-pat, the only problem you’re going to have with this place is getting into it.

Before we dive in for your delectation, a little history is in order. RCP began its restaurant life in Tivoli Village a few years ago. It was a middling pizza joint at best, and disappeared quickly from that venue. It resurfaced on East Fremont Street a couple of years ago to a collective yawn. (A few bites of its so-so fare — a month or so after its opening —  was all we needed to write the place off altogether.)

Late last year, Jake Leslie — one of the brains and brawn behind The Goodwich — took us aside, said he was planning something big downtown, and swore us to secrecy. (We didn’t have to swear much since he revealed almost nothing to us at the time.) Around New Year’s we noticed renovations going on to the interior of Radio City, but thought to ourselves: “They must be trying to put a silk hat on a pig,” and that was that.

Two weeks ago, a foodie friend* implored us to go with them to check out the food. “You’ve got to be kidding?” was ELV’s incredulous response to their entreaty. “Radio City Pizzeria? Why on earth would I waste my time and calories there?”

“Just wait,” they told us.

And so we went. And we waited.

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