Upcoming Vegas Trip - Aria restaurants, Raku...

Traveling and dining in other Arizona cities and beyond
User avatar
ScottofStrand
Posts: 624
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Mesa, AZ

4 years ago

I did Herbs & Rye right after cocktails at Frankie's on my last trip. If memory serves, it was about a 5 minute cab ride away. I had a really good experience there, and have wanted to go back and delve into more of the menu.
User avatar
Christina
Posts: 386
Joined: 7 years ago
Contact:

4 years ago

ScottofStrand wrote:I did Herbs & Rye right after cocktails at Frankie's on my last trip. If memory serves, it was about a 5 minute cab ride away. I had a really good experience there, and have wanted to go back and delve into more of the menu.
'

I love Herbs and Rye! Great suggestion. I didn't realize it was close. Thanks.
User avatar
The Cosmic Jester
Posts: 228
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: CenPho
Contact:

4 years ago

It so happens that Viva Las Arepas and The Goodwich are about a mile and a half from Frankie's. If you hit either of those, the swoon-worthy Art of Flavors gelato is right next to them.
User avatar
Christina
Posts: 386
Joined: 7 years ago
Contact:

4 years ago

The Cosmic Jester wrote:It so happens that Viva Las Arepas and The Goodwich are about a mile and a half from Frankie's. If you hit either of those, the swoon-worthy Art of Flavors gelato is right next to them.
Thanks JK! Right now he's leaning towards early afternoon cocktails at Frankie's and then back to the hotel for dinner, but I appreciate your and Scott's suggestions. Thanks guys!
artvandelay
Posts: 146
Joined: 6 years ago

4 years ago

Heading to Vegas in a couple of weeks and think I have most of my meals planned but would like some perspective from you all to make sure I'm not missing anything. Right now I don't have a spot for Raku but am thinking about squeezing that in for a fourth meal late one night unless they do lunch. Dinners are Cleo at the new SLS Hotel and Twist. Lunches at Lotus of Siam and Jaleo. brunch at Bouchon and a quick breakfast at Jean Phillipe in the Aria.

Any thoughts?
User avatar
azhotdish
Posts: 650
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

4 years ago

artvandelay wrote:Heading to Vegas in a couple of weeks and think I have most of my meals planned but would like some perspective from you all to make sure I'm not missing anything. Right now I don't have a spot for Raku but am thinking about squeezing that in for a fourth meal late one night unless they do lunch. Dinners are Cleo at the new SLS Hotel and Twist. Lunches at Lotus of Siam and Jaleo. brunch at Bouchon and a quick breakfast at Jean Phillipe in the Aria.

Any thoughts?
Raku doesn't do lunch - they open at 6pm. I had no problem getting in a few weeks ago on a Wednesday night about 8pm by myself - walked in and was promptly seated at the bar which had several open spots. Tables, however, were another story.
---
Joel
@azhotdish
DesertDoc
Posts: 84
Joined: 6 years ago

4 years ago

While Raku does not do lunch, Sweets Raku does. Monta is also available in the same shopping center if you want to do ramen and then sample the amazing desserts at Sweets. Just don't tell Lunchbox that you went there without him!

Another huge hit for us on a recent trip was Art of Flavors, located next to Viva Las Arepas on the strip near the Stratosphere (nb: somewhat shady area). AoF is an exciting gelato shop with some out of this world flavors (the special flavors today are 1) Roasted Beets with Rosemary and Fresh Homemade Ricotta cheese and 2) Pesto Pizza Gelato) and ice cream sandwiches made with a panini press (it involves super-freezing the ice cream). Dessertdoc particularly enjoyed the Chicken Wing Gelato.

Hope you have a great trip! If you are driving, make sure to slow down near Wickenburg and just before Wikieup. Cops there are ravenous.

-desertdoc

Sweets Raku
5040 W Spring Mountain Rd #3, Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 290-7181

Monta Ramen
www.montaramen.com/
5030 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89146
(702) 367-4600

Art of Flavors
1616 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104
(702) 676-1027
artvandelay
Posts: 146
Joined: 6 years ago

4 years ago

Wow!! You had me at pesto pizza gelato and then again at chicken wing gelato.

Thx
sinosoul
Posts: 126
Joined: 6 years ago
Contact:

4 years ago

The Cosmic Jester wrote:my last stop before heading out of town was The Goodwich. It's in the little stand that was the original home of Viva Las Arepas, which is now across the street in a full-size space (yes of course I went there, and it's even better now that they aren't in that tiny little stand). The Goodwich's menu changes on a regular basis, but this time I went with their most luxe offering.
Image
That smear in the sandwich is pâté de foie gras. Price: Nine bucks. How could I not go right for that? The pâté was accented with a cabbage slaw (providing crunch and acidity to contrast the soft pâté) and some of the most wickedly crunchy chicken skin I'd ever seen. It snapped when you broke off a piece.
wish I'd seen that sandwich before this week.... what a banging bargain for ALL THAT FOIE (which of course is banned in Cali.)

db brasserie is on the Eater Vegas hot list, and they're running a $32 lunch prix fixe of DB's french standards. I think it's a banging bargain: http://www.dbbrasserie.com/menu cept I didn't make it there for lunch. The $19 "Frenchie" burger, OTOH, was a total rip. Really should've asked for the prix fixe dinner ($48).

Also, Monta was tasty enough, but the lunch wait, if you're not a solo diner, can be FRIGGIN BRUTAL. Not worth it, IMO, but really depends on what city you're coming from. I keep seeing it mentioned and it's still a good notch below the top of the class in LA.
User avatar
Skillet Doux
Posts: 3435
Joined: 7 years ago
Contact:

4 years ago

sinosoul wrote:Also, Monta was tasty enough, but the lunch wait, if you're not a solo diner, can be FRIGGIN BRUTAL. Not worth it, IMO, but really depends on what city you're coming from.
Coming from LA? No. Coming from Phoenix? Yes.
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
User avatar
azhotdish
Posts: 650
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

4 years ago

Just a quick report from my trip last month...

Finally made it to Raku but didn't take any pictures because the camera on my phone didn't like how low the light was at the bar. Anyway, had some tasty stuff - a bacon-wrapped asparagus (good), chicken thigh (good), juicy fried chicken (really good), half agedashi tofu (so delicious, by far the best I've had) and a sweet shrimp sunomono (completely delicious and so sweet). The service was kinda slow, it took forever to get the food, and once it came it almost all came at once. Not really sure what they were thinking, but that's what happened. Overall I enjoyed the food but it didn't blow me away like I had hoped.

I did, however, love this: hanger steak frites @ Comme Ca at Cosmopolitan. Perfect fries and perfectly-cooked steak.
commaca_steakfrites_1200px.jpg
steak frites
commaca_steakfrites_1200px.jpg (79.04 KiB) Viewed 5426 times
I watched the bartender screw up my Revised Whiskey Cocktail, but they fixed it. After a few oysters, the steak frites and a 90-minute IPA, I'd definitely come back here. Everyone was super nice.

Speaking of nice people and delicious food...
secretpizza_white_1200px.jpg
white pizza
secretpizza_white_1200px.jpg (113.37 KiB) Viewed 5426 times
The Secret Pizza white pizza. Killer 1am food. My only complaint is that I only got one slice.

I never planned on going to Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cocina (inside Crystals), however, I wasn't feeling great and didn't want to travel far from the Aria for lunch...
wolfgang_porchetta_1200px.jpg
porchetta
wolfgang_porchetta_1200px.jpg (89.87 KiB) Viewed 5426 times
Solid porchetta. Perhaps not a great value given the price to pork ratio, but really nice flavors here.
---
Joel
@azhotdish
sinosoul
Posts: 126
Joined: 6 years ago
Contact:

4 years ago

secret pizza may be my favorite restaurant in all of Cosmo ... :lol:
User avatar
Skillet Doux
Posts: 3435
Joined: 7 years ago
Contact:

4 years ago

I'm in the midst of some meal planning for the stereotypical guys' Vegas outing... eight old friends finally managed to finalize the Vegas trip we've been trying to pull off for six years. There's strong interest in LoS, which I'm not going to fight (desperate for a Northern Thai fix), but I'm trying to nail down a splurge dinner. It's a fairly savvy food crowd, but all the same, it's eight guys in Vegas, so steak+ seems like kind of a gimme. My go-to the past few trips has been Carnevino, and I'd suggest that except that A) while this isn't a rowdy bunch, something a touch livelier might be in order, and B) man, the tag can get heartstopping in a hurry if you aren't careful. All of which is to say, is there anything in particular I should be looking at for steak+ these days?

Also, did anybody who was thinking about Jaleo ever actually end up at Jaleo? 6+ says paella to me. And that could be a fun alternative.
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
User avatar
The Cosmic Jester
Posts: 228
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: CenPho
Contact:

4 years ago

I've been hearing nothing but raves about Andiamo at The D downtown. It's red meat meets red sauce. Apparently the meatball appetizer is quite impressive both for taste and size. And they do a tableside Caesar, too.

http://www.thed.com/wp-content/uploads/ ... moMenu.pdf
User avatar
ScottofStrand
Posts: 624
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Mesa, AZ

4 years ago

I was in Vegas for a wedding last week and managed to hit up a few places, though not as many as I hoped to.

The first night was a revisit of Herbs & Rye, Frankie's Tiki Lounge and a dive bar called Double Down, which had a very scary all-you-can-eat hot dogs and punk Rat Pack band.

Herbs & Rye had some killer cocktails and my ribeye with Chimichurri was perfectly prepared. I tried a few other dishes including the LittleNeck Clams, Tomato Bisque w/Grilled Cheese, and Spinach Pappardelle as well as some other cuts of meat, and all the dishes were super solid. We even got a couple complimentary liqueurs and a bunch of desserts on the house due to a wait that ended up with the groom not getting any service for 20 minutes. Good recovery.

Frankie's Tiki was a bit too packed and tiny for the group of 12 we had, so a quick cocktail and we were out of there.

Double Down was a dive bar which used to have Punk Rock Bingo on Wednesdays, but sadly no longer. We still had good times in a dive bar kinda way.

Other stops along the way include:
Honey Pig BBQ
BBQ.jpg
Honey Pig BBQ- Combo Platter #2
BBQ.jpg (156.32 KiB) Viewed 4822 times
Really solid BBQ and service from Honey Pig. The combo #2 was supposed to be for 2-3 people, but I think 4 would have had trouble finishing it all. It included Beef Brisket, Pork Belly, Pork Neck, Bulgogi and Beef Sirloin, as well as kimchi, black bean soup, sprouts, rice, tea and soju to drink. By the time we got to the end the waiters combined the rest of the bits of meat and kimchi with the rice and fat and cranked up the heat. I was stuffed, but I had to manage a few more bites.
Black Bean Soup.jpg
Honey Pig BBQ- Black Bean Soup
Black Bean Soup.jpg (104.75 KiB) Viewed 4822 times
They forgot until then to bring out the soup, also. Which is a total shame because it was really good. Slightly sour, and full of umami goodness. I could only manage a couple spoonfuls, sadly. Make sure to save room for this.

That night we went by Fremont street and enjoyed some cocktails at The Commonwealth and The Griffin(both cool places to have a drink) and then went around the block to Carson Kitchen, which i'd read was a current hot spot. It must have been hot since I put in our table request at 6 and we were seated at 10:30.

The kitchen was clearly hurting from a long night. After we ordered our food, I walked by the kitchen and I heard the expediter say, "Ok guys.. take a deep breath. We're gonna get through this, just focus." I gotta say, the food didn't disappoint. I tried bites from Gyro Tacos(which had a great grilled tortilla), Bacon Jam w/baked brie(flavor bomb, though a bit too sweet),Devilled Eggs w/pancetta and Caviar(Nice textures together), Rainbow Cauliflower w/lemon and garlic(A bit plain and wet), Buffalo Chicken Flatbread(straightforward with a great crunchy crust), Chili Cheese Dog flatbread(a step up in flavor from the chicken).
Carson Kitchen Sliders.jpg
Carson Kitchen- Bison Meatloaf Sliders w/Spiced Tots
Carson Kitchen Sliders.jpg (125.13 KiB) Viewed 4822 times
The star of the night were these Bison Meatloaf sliders w/crispy onions. The BBQ sauce was dark and deep and right on the money. I would go back for just these and be a happy man.
BLT Burger.jpg
BLT Burger @ BLT Burger
BLT Burger.jpg (129.86 KiB) Viewed 4822 times
We also hit BLT Burger again on the way out of town, since a friend wanted to stop by. I think it's a better end burger than Ramsay's BRGR, though the sides at BRGR were a step up. The BLT Burger wasn't overwhelmed by too many flavors the way some of their others may be. Solid double smoked bacon and a perfectly cooked med-rare patty. Great.

The milkshakes(boozy and non-boozy) were super stellar at BLT Burger. We tried the Mother Fluffer w/Vanilla Ice Cream and Toasted Marshmallow and the Grandma's Treat w/Maker's Mark, Caramel and Vanilla Ice Cream. Both were showstoppers.

Never can seem to make time to hit all the foodie places on my list, but at least I hit a couple good meals this trip.
User avatar
Lunchbox
Posts: 1073
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Gilbert
Contact:

4 years ago

Nice write up Scott. Lots of good ideas for my trip next month...

BTW - I dig BLT Burger... It's been solid every time I've been there... Anybody know if Laurent Tourondel still involved in the "BLT" restaurants? Didn't he lose control of the BLT Steak Restaurants?
-- LBX

Instagram: @zachary.garcia

Twitter: @zach_garcia
User avatar
Skillet Doux
Posts: 3435
Joined: 7 years ago
Contact:

4 years ago

Guys' trip to Vegas a few weeks back was sort of a greatest hits trip -- I wasn't going to drag nine guys to a bunch of mysterious new places. But some updates on old favorites:

Lotus of Siam
Dinner our first night in, and the big disappointment of the trip. I know sinosoul has been sounding the downhill alert for years, and while I'd assumed that was just a function of "sinosoul hates everything," I'm forced to agree after this visit. They're phoning it in. 99/100 people walking in the door will have no idea, and I suspect they're banking on that. The menu's great, but so much of what we had wasn't nearly as sharp as it should have been (or used to be). Khao Soi didn't have nearly the intensity that it used to, Naem Khao Tod was kind of haphazardly assembled and the sourness blew all of the other flavors out of the water, sausages hadn't developed the mature, sour depth they should, half the plate of Nua Kem really was inedible (and I'm a fan of chewy, tendony bits)... the list goes on. Really disappointing meal. And to be clear, I'd click my heels if they said they said they were opening a joint down here. But relative to what they used to be, this was kind of embarrassing.

Viva Las Arepas
Awesome as always. Love introducing people to this place. (Thanks again, JK.)

Carnevino
Again, awesome as always. It's so funny... I keep hearing weird anecdotal stories from other people about strange, nightmarish experiences here, but they keep rocking my world every time.

Border Grill
I was a fan of The Tamales a long time ago, then kind of fell out of love with Border Grill. Not sure whether they changed or I did. But I'd heard the new location in Caesar's had a very different menu with a lot of new stuff, so I was excited to check it out. And it was... pretty much the same.
bordersampler.jpg
Border Classics
bordersampler.jpg (110.98 KiB) Viewed 4724 times
Quinoa fritters were kind of fun and crunchy. Nice plantain empanadas on the right. Green corn tamales were fine, and I'm completely baffled by our sever's edict that the way to eat them was to mix them up with the accompanying sour cream and chopped tomato. I tried a couple of bites that way and it was... not good. Leave 'em alone, and they're decent tamales. Still, nothing to get too excited about anywhere here.
borderenchiladas.jpg
Short Rib Enchiladas
borderenchiladas.jpg (118.12 KiB) Viewed 4724 times
Great flavor on the beef within, but kind of a tame sauce. Disappointing, given that color... you're ready for smoke and fire and it's just a little flat. But not bad.

Take home message seems to be that if you're a fan of Border Grill, you'll dig the new one. But this is not a revolutionary reworking of the concept.

Honey Pig
honeypig.jpg
honeypig.jpg (143.97 KiB) Viewed 4724 times
Best possible place to do a last, chill night with a bunch of guys. I love this place. And yes, the "2-3 people" easily feeds four or five. I'm reminded of Ga Hyang's "two person soups." I'm also reminded just how great Ga Hyang's banchan are anytime I go someplace else.

Ramen Sora
On the way out of town, the line at Monta was looking a little onerous, so we decided to hit Sora. Better than I remembered, actually, and I remembered it being pretty damn good.
soracurry.jpg
Curry Bowl
soracurry.jpg (115.08 KiB) Viewed 4724 times
Couldn't help myself. Got a little curry bowl to start. It's a brick, and I don't care. It's a great brick.
soraramen.jpg
Miso Ramen
soraramen.jpg (129.67 KiB) Viewed 4724 times
Ooooooo, yes, that's really nice. It's Sapporo ramen, so miso is kind of the gimme. Great broth, really deep. I really, really enjoyed this.

A fine trip had by all. I'm headed back in a month and a half and hoping to cover some new (to me) ground on that pass.
Dominic Armato
Dining Critic
Arizona Republic | azcentral.com
User avatar
The Cosmic Jester
Posts: 228
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: CenPho
Contact:

4 years ago

You're welcome. No post-Viva bonus round at Art of Flavors next door, though?

A month and a half from now is... quite close to my birthday. Perchance we could arrange concurrent trips.
J Live
Posts: 60
Joined: 4 years ago
Location: Phoenix, AZ

4 years ago

A fun late night guilty pleasure (is there such thing as guilty pleasure in Vegas?) that my wife and I enjoy....the wings at Blue Ribbon Sushi in the Cosmopolitan. I've had to convince a few friends that a sushi joint really does have the best wings but everyone we've taken now makes it a regular stop on their trip. They are a little pricey for wings but are on happy hour which I believe was going at 1am last time I was there. Or maybe it was 3am? Is there even such thing as time in Vegas?

The wings come with three sauces, a chili sauce, a killer wasabi honey one and I forget the third. Also can get a ridiculously large order of Hamachi Kama for cheap....or at least cheap compared to what we pay here when we can find it. I have a couple pics with the wings although very dark pics.
james wings (640x629).jpg
My son loved em when he was one...not a 3am trip I promise.
james wings (640x629).jpg (70 KiB) Viewed 4475 times
megan wings (640x621).jpg
Pic of the wings...wife wasn't thrilled she had to wait while I took a pic.
megan wings (640x621).jpg (96.28 KiB) Viewed 4475 times
User avatar
Lunchbox
Posts: 1073
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Gilbert
Contact:

4 years ago

I just ate at the Shake Shack outside the New York New York Hotel and Casino... It lives up the hype. There was no line and the food was f'n awesome.

The view from the street.


The fries are perfect. I can't say enough good things about them. This is everything I want in a french fry.
-- LBX

Instagram: @zachary.garcia

Twitter: @zach_garcia
Post Reply