Las Vegas Trip 6/12 (Asian + Flay)

Traveling and dining in other Arizona cities and beyond
DesertDoc
Posts: 84
Joined: 9 years ago

Post

Greetings!

Just got back from Vegas and wanted to send some love to the places that we enjoyed...

Friday Dinner - Lotus of Siam

Made a res, was told they would hold it for 5 minutes so we shouldn't be late (5 minutes???). Anyways, we thankfully got there on time. Had the Nam Kao Tod (my wife daydreams about this dish), Spicy Beef Salad with Eggplant, and the Sea Bass with Drunken Noodles. Donnhoff Riesling as well. Altogether a great meal, although the lighting is way way too bright. Wish we had gone with a larger group so we could try more things. Maybe we can get there with some fellow PFNs on a future trip.

Saturday Breakfast - MoZen Pool Cafe

Amazingly relaxing environment, not your typical LV pool. Well executed breakfast food. They gave me almost a half pound of nova for my bagel (ridiculous). Wife loved her omelet.

Saturday Lunch - Great Bao

Chef Su is the Cullen Campbell of LV. He left the strip to start a food truck and ended up running a restaurant inside a hair salon. Amazing what he is putting out of such a small space. Definitely put this on your list of place to check out if you are in town. Make sure to check out their facebook page to see when they are open and what they will be serving. Because it is such a small operation, they run out of a lot of their menu as the day progresses, would definitely try to get there early.

Saturday Dinner - Seoul Plaza

Ok, this is going to sound ridiculous, but we did a food crawl in this shopping center on Spring Mountain Road. Started at Kabuto, the new, small, almost private sushi restaurant. It has no sign and is located in the building the west side of the center, next to Big Wongs. Ordered the $48 nigiri sushi course, however didn't realize that in addition to the nigiri tasting it also comes with an amuse, mango sake, a tuna hand-roll at the end as well as dessert. The experience is very traditional Edo style. No dragon rolls, no avocado, no cream cheese. While we were there, a four top came in and were asking why they didn't have rolls and wanting to know what is in Miso soup (wrong restaurant dudes). The main chef was actually very friendly and the fish quality was amazing (similar to NY or LA). This could be the best quality sushi deal in Vegas. Note that there are maybe 14 seats in the whole place (10 at the bar) and 2 seatings a night.

We were feeling full, but decided to press on...swung in to Big Wong's to try their famous fried shrimp dumplings (all shrimp filling, no pork) and felt like I was back in NYC. They had a great crisp and nice shrimp flavor.

Wandered/Rolled over to Monta and ordered a bowl of tonkotsu ramen, held off on the add-ons as this was starting to have the feelings of an epic night that I wasn't sure we would survive. Great broth, crazy busy place, felt like we might be in Tokyo. Waitress recommended Calpico (non-carbonated Japanese soda) which was very refreshing.

Finally, Raku!!! Stuck to the cold tofu and a few items off the robata (asparagus, scallop, shisito pepper, kobe beef with wasabi, chicken breast with skin).

I don't know if I would recommend doing this whole thing to anyone, although I would recommend some smaller combination of the above restaurants. If anything Big Wong's was the odd man out (granted, we didn't try most of their menu). The meal at Kabuto could easily stand on its own. Have happily done Raku alone as well (although preferred eating off the menu as opposed to the Kaiseki). You could definitely load up the ramen at Monta, maybe get some dumplings and make it a meal. Next time, we'll probably do Kabuto and pick our own sashimi and nigiri, then head over to raku for some robata. Or, maybe do Big Wong's dumpings and then Ramen at Monta.

Sunday Late Brunch

Mesa Grill - We normally go to Bouchon for our departure meal, but decided to try out something different. Went with Chilaquiles and the Blue Corn Waffle. Nice flavors, but should have known better than to try chilaquiles when we have such better options for that here in phx. Nice food, but I think we were maybe still too stuffed from the ridiculous night before. It wasn't a bad meal, but I think we'll be heading back to Bouchon the next time we're in Vegas.
themis
Posts: 355
Joined: 9 years ago

Post

Thanks for the report -! I am feeling overdue for a long Vegas weekend. Kabuto sounds right up my alley; I really can't stand avocado or mayo in sushi.

A little funny that the strip mall's called Seoul Plaza but seems have everything but Korean food.
User avatar
Skillet Doux
Site Admin
Posts: 3469
Joined: 9 years ago

Post

Awesome report... thanks, DesertDoc!
DesertDoc wrote:Ok, this is going to sound ridiculous, but we did a food crawl in this shopping center on Spring Mountain Road.
If this is wrong, I don't want to be right. Every trip, I'm torn between doing some upscale dining on the strip and mall-diving in Chinatown. Yet more confirmation that I really need to get to Monta.
Dominic Armato
Love2Eat
Posts: 1
Joined: 9 years ago

Post

DesertDoc,

Love your post about the places you ate in Vegas!
"Ordered the $48 nigiri sushi course, however didn't realize that in addition to the nigiri tasting it also comes with an amuse, mango sake, a tuna hand-roll at the end as well as dessert."
That sounds like a pretty amazing deal. I am planning a trip to stay at the Rio Las Vegas in two weeks, and am wondering if the Seoul Plaza is anywhere close? Also, as one Sushi lover to another, last time I stayed at the Flamingo Las Vegas with the family (the kids absolutely love the water slides by the pool) we were able to take a trip to The Grand Wok at the MGM which serves Korean, Thai, Chinese, and Japanese food. While that sounds like quite a variation, it was great because my husband and I were able to get Yakisoba (great there!) and request our favorite rolls from the Sushi Bar, and the kids could get beef terriyaki, etc. The kids haven't acquired a taste for sushi yet (haha). They also had a great deal with a large beer (Sapporo, Asahi) for 4.99 and a small sake (about 3 shots) for an additional 1.99.
“One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.”
Laurie Colwin 'Home Cooking'
-- Marie
Last edited by Love2Eat 9 years ago, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Skillet Doux
Site Admin
Posts: 3469
Joined: 9 years ago

Post

Greetings, Marie, and welcome to the board!

Everybody's making me jealous with this Vegas talk.

Seoul Plaza and the Rio are actually fairly close... or at least as close as anything gets in Vegas. A couple of miles, tops. Walkable, even, provided it isn't 110. Though I imagine it would be easier to just hop in a cab, especially since you don't need to cross the strip. They're both on the west side.

If you've missed them, we've had a couple of other really good Las Vegas threads that might be useful to you:

Las Vegas 5/2012 Trip Report
Upcoming Vegas Trip - Aria restaurants, Raku...

We'd love to hear how your trip went back when you return!
Dominic Armato
DesertDoc
Posts: 84
Joined: 9 years ago

Post

Marie,

Thanks for the kind words...

Here are the directions...

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Rio+ ... ra=ls&z=14

It looks like a pretty short drive, although that is likely a $20 cab ride.

If you were thinking of Kabuto or Raku, I would reserve as soon as possible.

I would also strongly consider a trip to Lotus of Siam if you haven't been.

While there are amazing high end experience restaurants on the strip (robuchon, savoy, twist, e, etc.), some of the best meals we have had food-wise have been off-strip.

Cheers,
Jordan