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.