Upcoming Vegas Trip - Aria restaurants, Raku...

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The Cosmic Jester
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6 years ago

Hi, Dave! I'm glad to see you around here now that poor old CH is a frail shadow of its former self. It shall be missed.

You had me at gelato. It's now at the top of my list for my next (hopefully very soon, I'm too far overdue) trip.

Is the al pastor shack in the original Viva Las Arepas location in that little kiosk in the Dino's parking lot? Also: You said al pastor, I'm surprised Dominic hasn't already tried to get me to come along for lunch.
Dave Feldman
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6 years ago

Skillet Doux wrote:
Dave Feldman wrote:But next door is the first great gelato shop in Las Vegas, The Art of Flavor, where Desyree makes superb gelato and sorbets.
Ohhhhhh, man, now that's what I get for trying to hit VLA on the way out of town. If I weren't in such a rush, killer gelato. Next time. Thanks for the tip, Dave... good to see you around :-)
Desyree was pastry chef at Valentino's -- this is a much better use of her talents. I love that strip mall: from south to north -- Viva Las Arepas, The Art of Flavor, S&M lingerie shop, formal wear shop, and a bail bondsman. Across the street: taco stand on one side and right on the other side of Las Vegas Blvd., Olympic Gardens.
Dave Feldman
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6 years ago

The Cosmic Jester wrote:Hi, Dave! I'm glad to see you around here now that poor old CH is a frail shadow of its former self. It shall be missed.

You had me at gelato. It's now at the top of my list for my next (hopefully very soon, I'm too far overdue) trip.

Is the al pastor shack in the original Viva Las Arepas location in that little kiosk in the Dino's parking lot? Also: You said al pastor, I'm surprised Dominic hasn't already tried to get me to come along for lunch.
Hi CJ,

I miss you on Chowhound -- always enjoyed your posts. Desyree is not just willing but EAGER to give you a taste of every darn flavor she has made. Her bill for tiny little plastic spoons must be off the chart.

I've never been to Dino's. The taco place is literally just across the street north of Viva Las Arepas, and near the sidewalk, not in the parking lot itself.
sinosoul
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6 years ago

Dave Feldman wrote:Desyree was pastry chef at Valentino's
Vegas or LA? I'm hoping Vegas.
Dave Feldman
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6 years ago

sinosoul wrote:
Dave Feldman wrote:Desyree was pastry chef at Valentino's
Vegas or LA? I'm hoping Vegas.
Your wish is granted. :lol:
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azhotdish
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6 years ago

So while I was traversing the country last week, I was in Vegas twice and managed to hit Viva Las Arepas. Totally with you guys - this place is great.

I basically hadn't eaten in 24 hrs, so I was starving and ordered two.
vivalasarepas_shrimp.jpg
garlic shrimp
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Really garlicky shrimp, nicely cooked, jam-packed in a steamy, hot arepa. It was quite lovely with the lime / cilantro crema on the side...$4??? What a steal.
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roasted pork butt
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Pork butt and tomatoes - straight-forward and delicious. This thing was dripping with juices and fat.

Totally bummed I missed the post on the cachapas...next time! :D
---
Joel
@azhotdish
DesertDoc
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6 years ago

Posted the following on Chowhound yesterday, but the site has gotten very weak recently...

Going to be in Las Vegas next weekend for a meeting.

Any updates on Sweets? Are reservations necessary/possible?

Was thinking of eating at either Monta or Kabuto and then heading over for dessert...

Other options for pre-dessert were Chada Thai or Ichiza?

Thx for your help.
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Dapuma
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5 years ago

Going to be heading to Vegas in May and staying at the Wynn - have not stayed on that side of the strip before

Is bartolotta ristorante di mare worth going to? It was up there in the Eater top 38 list <-- this or Raku? Not sure if it is worth the trouble to get off strip twice

We are going to make our first stop at Lotus of Siam - my understanding is that don't take ressies? Is that correct? Is there a difference between lunch and dinner or is it the same food / chef / menu? - what is a must order that menu is massive!!

And need a good casual or quick spot on that side of the strip near the Wynn if possible

Are there any good cocktail bars over there, the Cosmopolitan is so far away...
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Skillet Doux
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5 years ago

I've never done Bartolotta, but I'd be curious to hear what you think. I almost pulled the trigger on them both of my last two trips. That said, you know how I feel about Raku :-)
Dominic Armato
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5 years ago

Haven't done Bartolotta but love staying at the Wynn, SW is great if you want a steakhouse meal. Sitting on the patio if the weather's nice is a surprisingly good setting too.

We had dinner reservations at Los last time we went, maybe a year or so ago, so unless something's changed you definitely can reserve for dinner.
Dave Feldman
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5 years ago

Dapuma wrote:Going to be heading to Vegas in May and staying at the Wynn - have not stayed on that side of the strip before

Is bartolotta ristorante di mare worth going to? It was up there in the Eater top 38 list <-- this or Raku? Not sure if it is worth the trouble to get off strip twice

We are going to make our first stop at Lotus of Siam - my understanding is that don't take ressies? Is that correct? Is there a difference between lunch and dinner or is it the same food / chef / menu? - what is a must order that menu is massive!!

And need a good casual or quick spot on that side of the strip near the Wynn if possible

Are there any good cocktail bars over there, the Cosmopolitan is so far away...
Reservations are accepted for dinner at LOS, and I recommend them, especially for a weekend or when a big convention is in town. Menu is exactly the same for lunch and dinner -- the only difference is that sometimes waiters don't tell you about specials. I'm not sure if that's because they aren't available at lunch or if they just forget. If you haven't had much experience with Northern Thai food, I'd focus on these dishes (it's a section of the menu) or other dishes you can't find locally. It's often neglected, but the charcoal grill is exceptional. The whole barbecued catfish is great (as are both of the sauces that go with them -- definitely ask for both). The BBQ steak is great and perfect for squeamish eaters (the sauce, despite the description on the menu, is not spicy-hot). The Nam Kao Tod (crispy rice with sour sausage) is their most famous appetizer, and I'd recommend it, especially if you haven't had it before.
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BillBuitenhuys
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5 years ago

D,
Chris Hopkins just took over the cocktail program for all of the Wynn properties. He was formerly manager of Vesper and then oversaw all of the Cosmopolitan bar programs (Chris = rock star).

Here is a recent write up on where he has made changes. Might give you some starting points there.

Chris Hopkins
Property Mixologist,
Wynn Resorts

Age & Hometown:
37, Perth, Western Australia

In November, Hopkins departed Vesper in the Cosmopolitan, where he started as a bartender/mixologist and left as general manager. Now the Wynn Resorts property mixologist, Hopkins inherits a strong program established by Patricia Richards. But there is always work to be done overseeing 25-plus bars and creating new cocktail menus, which Hopkins did most recently for Wing Lei, Allegro, Wazuzu and Lakeside.

Nailed It: Hopkins ushered in the new year—as well as his new role—with a custom cocktail for Wynn VIPs, the Midnight Countdown, with Bacardi rum, Lillet Blanc, Velvet Falernum, fresh lemon juice and citron tea syrup.

Up Next: Taking Wynn’s all-fresh juice program property-wide and making bar syrups in-house. And with pool season just around the corner, Hopkins has already begun revamping the pool menus.
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Dapuma
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5 years ago

Dave,

We have never been to LoS and have zero experience with Northern Thai food

Dom recommended ATK in Chicago and after that we have been craving good thai food because there is so much more to explore, prior to that I had been pretty ho hum about it - we don't have any great thai places in Phoenix so consider us barren for all intents and purposes

All I know is that the Boat Noodles and the Kao Soy at ATK were amazing and I cannot get them here, but if I had to pick one to have again it would be boat noodles

None of us are squeamish eaters however Mrs D does not like catfish (bottom feeder - although I love it)

Bill,

That is music to my ears, thanks

Have you been to Frankie's? Seems to have good reviews, might be worth checking out after LoS since we will be off the strip anyway
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The Cosmic Jester
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5 years ago

Dapuma wrote: Have you been to Frankie's? Seems to have good reviews, might be worth checking out after LoS since we will be off the strip anyway
I've been. It's freaking amazing. The drinks are fantastic, they have a great selection of souvenir tiki mugs, and the atmosphere is perfect, done by Bamboo Ben. Even better, it's the only tiki bar in the country that's open 24/7.
DesertDoc
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5 years ago

A few thoughts on Wynn dining…

Have had some great food at Bartolotta, but it is VERY expensive (fish priced in 100g units). Unless someone else is paying or you have a hefty budget, would recommend eating at the bar and trying one or two of the pasta dishes that involve seafood. The lasagnette is particularly memorable.

Really loved the breakfast at Tableau. A little on the formal side, but beautiful setting and very well executed.

Had some nice apps and wine at La Cave. Not life-altering, but a cool place to hang out.

Not sure where to hang out for cocktails, although Parasol Down is a nice setting if the weather is ok.

Another side bonus is that it is a short walk to the Venetian/Palazzo and BnB and Carnevino if you are in a Batali mood.

In regards to off-strip. Cannot speak highly enough about LoS, Raku, Chada Thai, Sweets, EAT, and Monta.

We are heading back in March and looking forward to Art of Flavors, Viva Las Arepas, and Nakamura-Ya.

Hope that helps :)
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ScottofStrand
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5 years ago

I hit Frankie's four times in the last year.
Tiki Drinks.jpg
Frankie's Tiki Drinks
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Such a killer place for the atmosphere and amazing tiki drinks.

I forget if I ever reported back about Herbs and Rye, also.
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Herbs and Rye interior
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Sweet prohibition speakeasy feel inside, with textured red wallpaper and leathery booths. The happy hour runs 5-8pm and 12-3am, I think. It turns parts of the menu 50% off, which is a killer deal considering the food was really good.
Herbs and Rye Clams.jpg
Littleneck Clams
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I'd definitely suggest these littleneck clams. Ask for extra broth and bread and you're in the money.

Also agreed that Monta was a solid bowl of Ramen.
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Monta Ramen
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It felt like a genuine Ramen shop in Japan, albeit a bit more spacious. I went straight tonkotsu and it was light, sophisticated and complex. Soul satisfying.
Last edited by ScottofStrand 5 years ago, edited 1 time in total.
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BillBuitenhuys
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5 years ago

Scott,
Good call on Herbs and Rye. Fabulous drinks and the happy hour food prices are really good.
I think HH started at midnight when we were there. All I know is that my 2nd dinner of the night was a ribeye at the bar and some super cocktails.
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ScottofStrand
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5 years ago

Ah, right you are. 12-3am.. I'll give that an edit.
DesertDoc
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5 years ago

Dave, Uhockey, et al.

Ok, I'm going back to Vegas at end of March for a conference. Will have several lunches and dinners available.

Will be staying at Caesars for the first time (its where the conference is located) and am not really familiar with their restaurant offerings.

Any places that I should check out?

Am planning on getting back to/checking out
Chada Thai
Monta
Viva Las Arepas
Fat Choy
Raku Sweets
Art of Flavors

Thanks!
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The Cosmic Jester
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5 years ago

DesertDoc wrote:Dave, Uhockey, et al.

Will be staying at Caesars for the first time (its where the conference is located) and am not really familiar with their restaurant offerings.

Any places that I should check out?
At Caesars... Sigh. Middle America will be absolutely wowed by everything. We, on the other hand, will find the selection a bit lacking. I've heard great things about the burger at Mesa Grill. Of course, there is Guy Savoy if you get on an especially impressive run at the blackjack table. Apparently Payard Patisserie has some of the best pastries in town.

Serendipity3 when it first opened was whimsical, fun, and quite delicious. In the years since, they pulled their punches. The menu is now a shadow of what it once was, more resembling the safe little-bit-of-everything menus at a fancy-pants sports bar. And the kitchen has become quite lazy since they've long ago realized that almost none of their business comes from repeat customers.

Beyond that, I'd cross over Flamingo Road to get to the stuff on the other side of Bellagio at The Cosmopolitan and CityCenter.
Last edited by The Cosmic Jester 5 years ago, edited 1 time in total.
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