Upcoming Vegas Trip - Aria restaurants, Raku...

Traveling and dining in other Arizona cities and beyond
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BarbaraToombs
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3 years ago

So I'm going to TRY and get to Raku tomorrow night...BUT does anyone know if you HAVE to have reservations? Working the Barrett-Jackson auction is insane and we never know what time (or even IF) we'll be able to escape for dinner.
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azhotdish
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3 years ago

BarbaraToombs wrote:So I'm going to TRY and get to Raku tomorrow night...BUT does anyone know if you HAVE to have reservations? Working the Barrett-Jackson auction is insane and we never know what time (or even IF) we'll be able to escape for dinner.
You don't have to have reservations if you'll be by yourself and willing to sit at the bar...I got a spot right away mid-week.
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Joel
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BarbaraToombs
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Location: Chandler/Tempe, Arizona

3 years ago

azhotdish wrote:
BarbaraToombs wrote:So I'm going to TRY and get to Raku tomorrow night...BUT does anyone know if you HAVE to have reservations? Working the Barrett-Jackson auction is insane and we never know what time (or even IF) we'll be able to escape for dinner.
You don't have to have reservations if you'll be by yourself and willing to sit at the bar...I got a spot right away mid-week.
Problem is there will likely be at least 2-3 of us.
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azhotdish
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3 years ago

BarbaraToombs wrote:
azhotdish wrote:
BarbaraToombs wrote:So I'm going to TRY and get to Raku tomorrow night...BUT does anyone know if you HAVE to have reservations? Working the Barrett-Jackson auction is insane and we never know what time (or even IF) we'll be able to escape for dinner.
You don't have to have reservations if you'll be by yourself and willing to sit at the bar...I got a spot right away mid-week.
Problem is there will likely be at least 2-3 of us.
Best bet might just be to call before you leave and see what the wait might be like if you head that way.
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Joel
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DesertDoc
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3 years ago

The other thing to remember about Raku is that they are open until 3am...
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BarbaraToombs
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3 years ago

DesertDoc wrote:The other thing to remember about Raku is that they are open until 3am...
Perhaps...but I won't be! LOL
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BarbaraToombs
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3 years ago

Okay, so a colleague and I decided to cab it over to Raku last night...we were exhausted after work, so wanted to go early. Got there at 5:45, only to discover they weren't open until 6, which meant a pre-dinner drink at the nearby dive bar was in order...no problem therr. (Gotta say, as we drove there, I was amazed to see this vast Las Vegas "Chinatown" that I never knew existed!)

We eventually got in there at about 6:15 and there weren't many people there; the bar was open. So we headed straight for that, but surprisingly were told if we didn't have a reservation (even for the bar!), we would have to wait...which we did, and about 5 minutes later they sat us...at the bar. Weird.

The meal was fabulous. Had a bunch of the "small plates" others had recommended, and also went with one of the daily specials (Matsutake mushrooms) and some bacon-wrapped asparagus...both of which turned out to be outstanding. The much-talked-about Foie Gras Egg Custard was mind-blowing. Sadly my colleague wasn't up to trying the sea urchin dish that was mentioned earlier in this thread, but I wasn't all that disappointed considering the deliciousness of everything else. Overall, this place was fantastic...fabulous food, nice people. We were going to try out Raku's dessert place afterwards, but they told us it is closed on Wednesdays. Luckily they had a dessert there that was made by their sister place, so we tried that, and it was awesome.

ImageShishitos with Bonito flakes.

ImageBacon-wrapped enoki

ImageMatsutake mushrooms with a ponzu sauce

ImageBacon-wrapped asparagus

ImageGrilled chicken thigh

ImageFoie Gras Egg Custard, topped with a slice of duck

ImageGrilled pork cheek (this was SO good!)

Image"Fluffy cheesecake" - and it definitely was fluffy...very light, not overly sweet...delicious!
PHXeater
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3 years ago

Great pictures and review! Our one time at Raku was tasty but not overwhelmingly mindblowing, seem to be in the minority though!

I saw you're staying at Mandalay, don't forget to check out the Cut of the Week menu at Charlie Palmer in attached 4 Seasons. We always dine at the bar while eating it because bottomless wine gets refilled a whole lot faster at the bar :D. It's great especially if you're there for work, you can pop in with no reservation and still have a high quality meal (something I find lacking at most Mandalay Bay joints).
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BarbaraToombs
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3 years ago

PHXeater wrote:Great pictures and review! Our one time at Raku was tasty but not overwhelmingly mindblowing, seem to be in the minority though!

I saw you're staying at Mandalay, don't forget to check out the Cut of the Week menu at Charlie Palmer in attached 4 Seasons. We always dine at the bar while eating it because bottomless wine gets refilled a whole lot faster at the bar :D. It's great especially if you're there for work, you can pop in with no reservation and still have a high quality meal (something I find lacking at most Mandalay Bay joints).
Great suggestion, Liz! Will check it out if I ever get done with work at a decent hour...
DesertDoc
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3 years ago

If you are finishing late, you should definitely head over to Chada Thai or his new place Chada Street. Amazing Thai food with cool wine selections (Bank, the owner, used to be the sommelier at Lotus of Siam). They are open until 3am.

Another place to check out is Gelatology. It is open until 10pm on regular weekdays and 11pm on Fri/Sat. It is way out of the way (head south!), but very cool experimental gelato flavors and amazing quality.

Chada Thai. 3400 S Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

Chada Street. 3839 Spring Mountain Rd

Gelatology. 7910 S Rainbow Blvd #110, Las Vegas, NV 89139
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The Cosmic Jester
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3 years ago

Just so you know, Gelatology is the new place for Desyreé Alberganti, the wildly creative original force behind Art of Flavors. My sources tell me Art of Flavors is still good, but not even close to when Desyreé was at the helm.
artvandelay
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3 years ago

Anyone have any recent experiences with Bouchon? We go every time we are in Vegas but recent reports on Chowhound suggests it may slipped lately. That plus a $50 credit at the Aria is leading me to consider the new Brasserie in the Aria for brunch. Also have a meal at Chada Thai booked replacing the standard LOS dinner.
DesertDoc
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3 years ago

Bouchon has been disappointing the past 2 times I went. Food slightly off from Keller standards, service just average. Would recommend checking out other places. Tableau at the Wynn is a beautiful room with solid food. MOzen at Mandarin Oriental also has a great breakfast/brunch. On the more casual side is Eat in downtown las vegas. Have also heard good things about Veranda at the Four Seasons.

At Chada, definitely check out the SEN MEE KANG POU (crab curry with thin rice noodles).
artvandelay
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3 years ago

Thanks. That is what I was afraid of. I will go somewhere else. I think I am alone in this opinion but I didn't love Tableau. I really did enjoy Mozen though. Also thinking about Yardbird. And need to squeeze in Arepas. Too much to eat and not enough time.
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Dapuma
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3 years ago

heading up for the Rugby Seven's next weekend for a guys trip

Have one dinner at Scarpetta, (staying at Aria)

Besides Vesper and Chandelier Bar, where else is good for cocktails on strip?

Going to head to Frankie's one night...is there anything close to that worth doing dinner at? I saw good things about Herbs and Rye - cocktail menu looks legit, is it worth using a meal to eat there, I ask that bearing in mind I have been on a strict diet and eating chicken and rice for the last 4 months (pool season :mrgreen: ) ...so besides Scarpetta it needs to be good if I am going off the diet

Did Raku and LOS last time - Raku was great, LOS was disappointing - I have been to Sage so that is always a solid backup, and have been to the greek place in the Cosmo (solid and has healthy options) the tapas place in the cosmo was disappointing

Also good use a good hangover spot - perhaps of the burger variety - I will not be eating chicken during this trip!
artvandelay
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3 years ago

I think you'll really enjoy Scarpetta. Try to get a table with a view of the Bellagio fountains. We had brunch at the new brassiere in the Aria and it was quite good. I imagine dinner would be good as well. Also really liked Yardbird in the Venetian.
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BillBuitenhuys
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3 years ago

Cocktails at Herbs&Rye are spot-on. Nectaly Mendoza (bar manager) was just received some national recognition for what they are doing there. I did eat there once, for the half-off steak special after 11(?)pm on Fri/Sat. Steak was quite good and pretty cheap for LV standards but we were really there for the drinks.

SeongHa Lee is at the Mandarin Bar at the Mandarin Oriental. He is pretty fab.
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ScottofStrand
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3 years ago

Just a heads up, I think our favorite mixologist from Vesper Bar, Rodger Gillespie, is now at the Parlor Lounge at Mirage. Might be worth checking out.
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BillBuitenhuys
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3 years ago

ScottofStrand wrote:Just a heads up, I think our favorite mixologist from Vesper Bar, Rodger Gillespie, is now at the Parlor Lounge at Mirage. Might be worth checking out.
Yup, all the good Ro(d)gers, that made Vesper something amazing, have now moved on....Gillespie and Gross.
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Dapuma
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Location: Scottsdale

3 years ago

So Vesper bar is no good anymore? That is disappointing

Is chandalier bar still cranking out fun molecular stuff or did that go down hill as well
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