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Las Vegas (Mostly) Off the Strip (Long + Pics)

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  • Post #151 - October 14th, 2014, 11:05 am
    Post #151 - October 14th, 2014, 11:05 am Post #151 - October 14th, 2014, 11:05 am
    Image
    Shoyu Tonkotsu (With extra chashu and egg add-ons)

    Tried the shoyu tonkotsu ramen recently at Ramen Monta and the experience has me thinking a lot afterwards.

    This thin, straight Kurume-style noodle (Kurume is a city in the Fukuoka Prefecture in southern Japan) was 90% cooked when served but further cooked while in the bowl to a perfect consistency after just a few minutes. At first, I wondered whether this was intentional or if I just got lucky. But after noticing other thoughtful elements to the bowl as I worked through it, it was clear that this most likely wasn't left to happenstance.

    Initially, I thought the broth here was a tad thin for a traditionally-styled Kurume tonkotsu (bold) but nonetheless was a first rate effort being still silky to the lip. But don’t expect to get an intense flavor bomb like what’s being made these days at a number of high touted LA ramen places such as Tsujita LA or at Ramen Jadaiya. This as an elegant tonkotsu broth and certainly one to be taken seriously.

    The Chashu is also excellent being highly succulent and not overly marinated. But it, unfortunately, was sliced way too thin and ultimately broke apart into the bowl. And like most other places that pre-cook their honjuku eggs and then hold them in an ice bath, it was unfortunately served cold.

    Even with its few shortcomings, this is a helluva bowl of ramen, especially at $6.95. If this place was in Chicago, it would no doubt be a superstar...especially at that price.

    So, I continue to ask myself: why can't anyone make a respectable bowl of ramen in Chicago for under $10?

    Ramen Monta opened up a second location (Monta Chaya) in nearby Henderson last year.

    Image
    Spicy Tonkotsu Special



    Ramen Monta
    5030 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas
    (702) 367-4600
    Open 7 days
    11:30am-11:00pm

    Monta Chaya
    9310 S Eastern Ave, Henderson, NV
    (702) 331-5151
  • Post #152 - October 15th, 2014, 9:11 am
    Post #152 - October 15th, 2014, 9:11 am Post #152 - October 15th, 2014, 9:11 am
    stevez wrote:Despite the somewhat generic interior, Harrie's turns out some really good bagels. They've got a nice crispy crust with just the right amount of soft chew on the inside. I opted for a lox platter for one and they brought out this beauty.


    I've been meaning to hit up Harrie's Bagelmania for years now, knowing that one of the great LTHers of all time (hungryrabbi) once worked there.
    I opted for their decent but not notable corned beef sandwich which had meat that was sliced way too ribbon-y thin and a bowl of kreplach that was comprised of 90% lokshen (noodles), two overly doughy, sparsely filled kreplach, and a broth that was lifeless. Luckily, I decided to carryout a poppy bagel for my flight back to Chicago and, man, if this wasn’t one of the all-time great bagels! I completely agree with stevez that this bagel has a crispy crust as well as a soft chew. Outstanding.

    However, if you’re looking to have a complete deli experience, I’d strongly recommend that you head over to Summerlin in west Las Vegas and hit a deli called The Bagel Cafe. The hand sliced smoked fish platter (sable, nova lox) coupled with their stellar housemade bagels had me swooning. I tried this same platter back in 2010 and it was every bit as great this time around as the last.



    Image
    The Bagel Cafe’s Combination Smoked Fish Platter #1



    The Bagel Cafe (Summerlin)
    301 North Buffalo Drive
    Las Vegas, NV
    (702) 255-3444
    Open 7 Days a Week
    Monday: 6:30am – 5pm
    Tuesday – Friday: 6:30am – 8pm
    Saturday & Sunday: 7am – 5pm
  • Post #153 - October 15th, 2014, 10:49 am
    Post #153 - October 15th, 2014, 10:49 am Post #153 - October 15th, 2014, 10:49 am
    PIGMON wrote:However, if you’re looking to have a complete deli experience, I’d strongly recommend that you head over to Summerlin in west Las Vegas and hit a deli called The Bagel Cafe. The hand sliced smoked fish platter (sable, nova lox) coupled with their stellar housemade bagels had me swooning. I tried this same platter back in 2010 and it was every bit as great this time around as the last.


    It looks like Vegas is blessed with several good deli options. besides the two you mentioned (The Bagel Cafe in Sumerlin is at the top of my list for my next Vegas visit), I posted about Weiss' over on the Southeast side of town earlier in the thread. They are also well worth a visit.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #154 - October 22nd, 2014, 8:40 am
    Post #154 - October 22nd, 2014, 8:40 am Post #154 - October 22nd, 2014, 8:40 am
    Got back last night from 4 days in LV for some much-needed R&R. Usual suspects of restaurants visited were Settebello (Henderson), Mon Ami Gabi (is there any better place to sit and people-watch, with great food, than the outside patio?), In-'n-Out Burger. But a new star was Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak at The Mirage, even though it's ON the Strip... :)

    We had been to Craftsteak at the MGM a couple times before and had seen Tom on Top Chef, so we knew it would be pretty good. But this was top-notch. His restaurants have that clubby, burnished wood look, masculine yet inviting. Our waiter Larry was great, and my wife started out with the baby lettuce salad with avocado and a buttermilk dressing, topped with fried onion strands. My grilled octopus appetizer with cherry pepper slices, roasted red peppers, and two dipping purees--one of roasted tomato with pine nuts, the other with leeks and pepper--was outstanding, a great mix.

    My wife's main course was a grilled sea bass that was among the best fish she's had in her life. Not overly seasoned, the grilling over open fire was phenomenal. My 14 oz. NY strip was firm and perfectly marbled, with a little fat on the perimeter that was tremendous. Sides were a wonderful root vegetable medley of golden beets, parsnips, turnips, and also a butternut squash risotto. Outstanding. We paired this great food with a high-end chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and a California Cabernet by the glass.

    Not much room for dessert, but we did share an apple fritter with bourbon sauce and a couple of espressos.

    We are long-time yearly residents at The Mirage, but have not been thrilled with the dining choices over the years. Heritage Steak definitely classes up the joint, and is by far the best restaurant on the property.

    Tom Colicchio's Heritage Steak
    The Mirage, 3400 S Las Vegas Blvd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89109
    (702) 791-7111


    http://www.craftrestaurantsinc.com/heritage-steak/
  • Post #155 - November 20th, 2014, 4:20 pm
    Post #155 - November 20th, 2014, 4:20 pm Post #155 - November 20th, 2014, 4:20 pm
    stevez wrote:Hungryrabbi R.I.P.

    Harrie's Bagel Mania
    855 E. Twain
    Las Vegas, NV
    702-369-3322

    thanks to stevez + PIGMON for this. Harrie's was literally like Boca in Vegas. What a gem.

    Image

    i ate half, saved it for midnight snack, and ended up eating the rest (while dropping a slice :evil: ) in the middle of the mojave (i15 S, 25 mi west of Primm) while the sun sat, during a 3-hour wait for the tow truck to pickup my scooter which broke down enroute to LA. will never forget that experience.
  • Post #156 - January 12th, 2016, 9:10 am
    Post #156 - January 12th, 2016, 9:10 am Post #156 - January 12th, 2016, 9:10 am
    January 2016, notes

    Chef Marc's Trattoria
    Summerlin
    http://chefmarcstrattoria.com/

    Open since early November, a vibrant Northern Italian restaurant by a Chef who lives and breathes this cuisine.

    Pictured is Chicken Scarperiello, or 'Shoemaker's Chicken'. Half of a Mary's organic chicken, sausage, cherry and vinegar peppers and wine sauce with vegetables in place of polenta. Also sampled on this cold rainy night was Chicken Soup with Escarole, a requisite restorative.

    Chef Marc walks the walk in a way that Carbone fancies but often risks crossing the line into self parody. I was dining solo so couldn't cruise the menu, but we talked about sourcing and he's getting some amazing stuff, such as mussels from British Columbia, organics from the the west coast and so forth.

    Image

    Lotus of Siam
    Packed for lunch, another cold day pick me up of Northern Tom Ka soup (chicken vegetable soup, no coconut milk) and Issan Sausage

    Image

    Image

    Chada Street
    Pro's: very tasty food, strong wine list and engaging and professional service
    Con's: small plate format

    Not sure I would return for a full meal, small plates remain off-putting. Five business guests enjoyed it immensely, however.

    Chengdu Taste
    Schiff Drive

    A great deal of hype surrounds this recently opened place, ranging from Jonathon Gold in the L.A. Times to Serious Eats--both hailing this as the best Sichuan restaurant in the U.S.

    At a CH supper with like minded chow folk (LVI, QAW and others)-we ordered across the menu. My take: perhaps half to a whole notch better than the best Sichuan food sampled here in Atlanta at Masterpiece by Chef Liu and several months ago at New York Food Court in Flushing. Several notches better than Peter Chang during his first and best tenure here in Atlanta.

    Mung bean noodles: fabulous. Citrus-y, numbing with a variety of flavors. A bottle of Provencal Rose, 13% alcohol slipped into the picture.
    Image

    In addition to wine, some terrific and rare IPA's made their way around the table, especially apt for the...

    Toothpick Lamb. A Chengdu (the city, that is) street food specialty. This was an excellent version-perfect drinking food. As it cooled, a slight note of sugar came through.
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    Diced rabbit in mother-in-law sauce. Much better than Peter Chang's version, this is eaten for its flavor as it's mostly bones.
    Image

    Husband and Wife (aka beef and tendon, cold), Chengdu Taste version. Superb.
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    Sichuan dumplings in red oil. So good that a second round was ordered, however, neither survived for a photo.

    Puffed rice. A tinge of sweet sour comingled with heat. Very good, not sure if I would re-order given so many other compelling dishes.
    Image

    Crab fried rice. A simple dish, several around the table sneered. But the plate was wiped clean, so pretty damn good.
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    Fish and soft tofu. Everyone wanted the Fish in Green Sauce, but early on this Friday night, it was already 86. This substitute met with universal acclaim.
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    Ma Po Tofu. Yes, the best I've ever had. Elemental, perfect, could possibly be improved by a fresher soft tofu.
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    Sichuan Potatoes. Twice fried and addictive.
    Image

    Green vegetable with garlic. A 'choy', not sure which one. Snow pea leaves were already 86 so this filled the bill. Would absolutely reorder, the wok 'hay' was breath taking.
    Image

    So many of the dishes were so good that it was difficult not to order seconds, Even so, we succumbed to repeat orders of the Toothpick Lamb and Sichuan Dumplings.

    It's a small place, reservations are possible if Mandarin is spoken but still difficult, open for lunch and dinner. IMHO, run don't walk.
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #157 - April 3rd, 2016, 8:52 am
    Post #157 - April 3rd, 2016, 8:52 am Post #157 - April 3rd, 2016, 8:52 am
    A few years ago, Saveur ran an issue called "All about Las Vegas." In the issue, they had one page devoted to a place called Los Antojos on the corner of Sahara and Eastern. They had a picture of the matriarch whose recipes are used in the family run joint. It is a little hole in the wall with limited seating (and a kitchen four times the size of the seating area). It is family run and the matriarch is aging and only comes in some afternoons. We had fantastic food. My B-in-Law had the Taquiza, which is a five taco dish (Asada, Carnitas, Tinga, Pollo, Plbl) with great beans and fresh veggies. My wife had the same (Asada, Carnitas, Lengua, Pollo w/mole, Plbl). S-in-Law had the Huarache, which is a flat tortilla spread with beans, marinated grilled skirt steak, Salsa, and crema. This one of the house specialties as many people were having it as I observed. Lucky for me it was a Saturday, when they have lamb. Absolutely excellent. Can't go wrong here. Nice people and great chow.
  • Post #158 - November 18th, 2016, 1:12 pm
    Post #158 - November 18th, 2016, 1:12 pm Post #158 - November 18th, 2016, 1:12 pm
    Not knowing if I'd be taking one for the team or not, wife & I decided to try Giada in The Cromwell, formerly (my favorite casino of all time) The Barbary Coast, at the confluence of Flamingo and Las Vegas Blvd.

    Beautiful 2nd floor room, dark, overlooking the four corners.
    Giada33.jpg


    Started with a very nice Tuscan kale tricolore insalata with Prosciutto di Parma, gorgonzola, dates, walnuts, yellow endive & radicchio.
    Giada11.jpg


    Moved on to a couple of primo courses,--homemade spaghetti with shrimp, lemon, basil with fried capers; then also their Fettucini di Amalfi, with a lemon pork ragu. The former was the highlight of the night--simple, exploding shrimp & lemon flavors accenting the perfect toothiness of the pasta.
    Giada55.jpg

    Giada44.jpg


    Finally, we shared the Whole Roasted Chicken for two, cacciatore style. This was somewhat of a disappointment taste-wise, even though the menu bragged that this dish was featured in Food & Wine Magazine. I knew it wouldn't be hunter's style like I am used to, but this was little more than a semi-dry oven-roasted chicken with sage and a peppery compote to spoon over it. Even though I knew it going in, at fifty-eight bucks this was a ripoff of epic proportions.
    Giada66.jpg


    All in all, not a place I'd run back to, especially at the numbers charged. Had a much better dinner the following night for 40% less cost at the tried-and-true, Rich Melman stamp-of-approval Mon Ami Gabi patio at the Paris, with the Bellagio fountains as a backdrop.

    Giada
    The Cromwell Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
    3595 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89109
    (855) 442-3271
  • Post #159 - November 19th, 2016, 10:23 am
    Post #159 - November 19th, 2016, 10:23 am Post #159 - November 19th, 2016, 10:23 am
    i.e. Not the Michael's of yore--home of Dover Sole deboned tableside and all such Cafe Boeuf expense account priced cuisine?
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #160 - November 19th, 2016, 11:03 am
    Post #160 - November 19th, 2016, 11:03 am Post #160 - November 19th, 2016, 11:03 am
    Only thing in the realm of Michael's, although not nearly in the same surroundings, is Hugo's Cellar at the 4 Queens downtown on Fremont Street.
  • Post #161 - January 4th, 2017, 6:50 pm
    Post #161 - January 4th, 2017, 6:50 pm Post #161 - January 4th, 2017, 6:50 pm
    Re: Bagel Cafe, Summerlin, smoked fish.

    Field notes:
    1. Bagels. Puffy H&H style undistinguished.
    2. Smoked fish platter. Sable, whitefish and nova. Hand sliced and superb. Run don't walk.
    3. Breakfast platters going by looked great.

    Re LOS light lunch.
    Tom Ka clear soup, northern larb and pad Thai. Better than ever.

    Re Hearthstone, red rock casino.
    Exc food, big pricey drinks, mostly CA winelist and loud booming music. Farm to fork, fancy imported ovens and surprisingly good food.
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #162 - October 31st, 2017, 12:24 pm
    Post #162 - October 31st, 2017, 12:24 pm Post #162 - October 31st, 2017, 12:24 pm
    A number of associates this past weekend went to Chada Thai and Wine. It is located in a large Asian strip mall at 3400 S. Jones Blvd. (about three miles west of the strip and just north of Desert Inn). The owner is a former manager of Lotus of Siam (which, unfortunately, is still closed). They thought that it was just outstanding, and they all hail from areas with lots of great Thai restaurants/options. I unfortunately did not get a chance to go, simply passing on info.

    Chada Thai
    http://www.chadavegas.com/index.html
    -
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #163 - February 11th, 2018, 11:10 am
    Post #163 - February 11th, 2018, 11:10 am Post #163 - February 11th, 2018, 11:10 am
    Wise LTH -
    Seebee's parents moved to Vegas last summer - something called Summerlin. I gather it's a nice area. The seebee clan is visiting for the first time for a long President's Day wknd next week. (Yes, this is all setup for recs on some eatin places.) I have never been to Vegas, myself.


    The parents will want to show Jr a few sites. They've mentioned some big ass park, and Circus Circus. We'll also go to a magic show or two. They've also said we should visit freemont st to peoplewatch for a while.

    What I'm seeking is some decent eats - drawback - Seebee's mom is not very adventurous when it comes to ethnic. Thai food is not going to happen. Sushi is out of the question. Straight Chinese food is about the dividing line for her. The rest of us will go to town on just about anything. I have 3.5 days, and most of the time will be just visiting, no rushing to shows or casinos, so good food will be high on the list. We are not fancy ppl, we LIKE the dives as much, maybe even more than the fancy places. We all cook a lot, so we do fancy food at home. I've already tiptoed around the threads, and I've come up with a few 'try hard to get theres:'

    Orchid Garden (the parents would LOVE this, they are dim sum folk)

    Lola's (Ditto, for cajun/seafood, they fkn LOVED Papadeaux / Heaven On Seven)

    Memphis or Salt Lick for BBQ (We are all BBQ ppl. My vote will be for Memphis Champ)

    Hobak Korean BBQ (this will be a stretch for My mom, but I think she'll be fine, and it should be fun)

    Also, they are big diner ppl - me too. They are right at home at Cracker Barrel. I think it's their "home" restaurant, as in, they will stop there at almost any chance, when traveling. No question, they LOVE Cracker Barrel. With this in mind:
    Peppermill, and Hash House will be a definite.

    I'm trying to find places to take them to that might become a go-to for them, after we leave. We might sneak away from them, and try to get to Lotus of Siam, or some sushi joint, but we'll probably have chances to do that in subsequent visits.

    I'll look at my list a little harder under the microscope in the coming days, wonder if anyone has any recent intel on casual, not too pricey, everyday spots that are pumping out some good stuff. (And yes, we'll be in&outing for SURE!)
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #164 - February 11th, 2018, 12:20 pm
    Post #164 - February 11th, 2018, 12:20 pm Post #164 - February 11th, 2018, 12:20 pm
    Seebee. Your BBQ decision has been made for you. Salt Lick closed a few years back. Also, Bagel Cafe, which Pigmon posted about, is in Summerlin.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #165 - February 11th, 2018, 5:44 pm
    Post #165 - February 11th, 2018, 5:44 pm Post #165 - February 11th, 2018, 5:44 pm
    Thanks, SteveZ. One less choice to make. Even better.
    Just pinged them. Said they've been to a good number of Dim Sum joints already, but haven't tried Orchids Garden yet. Lola's is high on their list of to do's. They haven't been to Memphis Champ, but, they said they've been happy with some joint called Rollin Smoke : https://rollinsmokebarbeque.com/

    They said we'd probably like Hash House - apparently it's already in their rotation. They also touted a place called Blueberry Hill for breakfast. True to form, they also said they've been happy with their Cracker Barrel.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #166 - February 12th, 2018, 12:10 pm
    Post #166 - February 12th, 2018, 12:10 pm Post #166 - February 12th, 2018, 12:10 pm
    Seebee - I had to spend 8 days in Vegas 5 years ago and I wasn't gambling so I needed to find some other things to do beside eat (and work for 4 days). My parents took my brother and I to Vegas when I was 12 (he was 10) and although that was a long time ago, we did the Circus Circus thing, saw David Copperfield, Hoover Dam and of course I picked numbers for Keno while having dinner (even won picking 6 of 8). :wink:

    A few other suggestions for families (although I try to avoid kids in this life as much as possible! :twisted: ) The Neon Museum aka Neon Boneyard is a cool little tour of the old Vegas hotel signs. You might want to call ahead. There is also the Mob Museum to check out. Both of these are near downtown. Just northwest of town is a 20 minute drive that takes you to the Mt Charleston area - "instant Colorado" by Las Vegas complete with A frame chalet restaurant (with nice outdoor seating) and skiing. There are also two state parks (Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire). I had already seen Hoover Dam a few times, but that's always interesting. There always water activities on Lake Mead. Then again you go old school with the hotel pool if it's warm enough.

    Neon Museum
    770 N Las Vegas Blvd
    Las Vegas NV
    702-387-6366

    Mob Museum
    300 Stewart Ave
    Las Vegas NV
    702-229-2734
  • Post #167 - February 12th, 2018, 12:40 pm
    Post #167 - February 12th, 2018, 12:40 pm Post #167 - February 12th, 2018, 12:40 pm
    Ram4 wrote:Seebee - I had to spend 8 days in Vegas 5 years ago and I wasn't gambling so I needed to find some other things to do beside eat (and work for 4 days). My parents took my brother and I to Vegas when I was 12 (he was 10) and although that was a long time ago, we did the Circus Circus thing, saw David Copperfield, Hoover Dam and of course I picked numbers for Keno while having dinner (even won picking 6 of 8). :wink:

    A few other suggestions for families (although I try to avoid kids in this life as much as possible! :twisted: ) The Neon Museum aka Neon Boneyard is a cool little tour of the old Vegas hotel signs. You might want to call ahead. There is also the Mob Museum to check out. Both of these are near downtown. Just northwest of town is a 20 minute drive that takes you to the Mt Charleston area - "instant Colorado" by Las Vegas complete with A frame chalet restaurant (with nice outdoor seating) and skiing. There are also two state parks (Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire). I had already seen Hoover Dam a few times, but that's always interesting. There always water activities on Lake Mead. Then again you go old school with the hotel pool if it's warm enough.

    Neon Museum
    770 N Las Vegas Blvd
    Las Vegas NV
    702-387-6366

    Mob Museum
    300 Stewart Ave
    Las Vegas NV
    702-229-2734


    This, and if you're a fan of old school pinball machines, the Pinball Hall of Fame is great. They have hundreds of machines from all eras, and the best part is that they all work and you can play them. It's a mecca for pinball wizards of all ages and levels of expertise.

    Pinball Hall of Fame
    1610 E Tropicana Ave
    Las Vegas, NV 89119
    (702) 597-2627
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #168 - February 12th, 2018, 7:01 pm
    Post #168 - February 12th, 2018, 7:01 pm Post #168 - February 12th, 2018, 7:01 pm
    stevez wrote:
    Ram4 wrote:Seebee - I had to spend 8 days in Vegas 5 years ago and I wasn't gambling so I needed to find some other things to do beside eat (and work for 4 days). My parents took my brother and I to Vegas when I was 12 (he was 10) and although that was a long time ago, we did the Circus Circus thing, saw David Copperfield, Hoover Dam and of course I picked numbers for Keno while having dinner (even won picking 6 of 8). :wink:

    There is also the Mob Museum to check out. Both of these are near downtown.

    And if you want to really feel the whole mob experience you can rent a Thompson Sub Machine gun. $40.00 to spray 50 rounds :)
    https://www.battlefieldvegas.com/collec ... son-m-1928
  • Post #169 - February 13th, 2018, 9:54 am
    Post #169 - February 13th, 2018, 9:54 am Post #169 - February 13th, 2018, 9:54 am
    My couple of pics of this place inexplicably are displayed sideways when posted, so I won't bother. But our trip to Vegas a couple weeks ago featured a surprisingly good meal at an unlikely stop--The Noodle Exchange at the Gold Coast Casino on Flamingo (across from the Rio).

    The Gold Coast holds a warm spot in my heart because 30+ years ago it's where I learned to shoot dice on $1 minimum tables. It was part of Jackie Gaughan's conglomerate that included the Barbary Coast and Orleans, later the South Coast. It catered to locals, eventually fell somewhat into disrepair, but the last 3-4 years, with the some of the downtown Vegas Asian-centric casinos closing, the Gold Coast has not only spiffed up but has made a definitive effort to cater to the Asian clientele, featuring two great Chinese joints, Ping Pang Pong, and the aforementioned Noodle Exchange.

    We had a lunch of a hot & sour soup for two, and it was oyster sauce-y, flecked with egg and bamboo shoots, just full of goodness. Then the horrendously-named Wok-Tossed Diced Skirt Steak with Garlic & Basil, Tomato Onion Fried Rice. Flat-out awesome, almost teriyaki-sticky like, tender and fresh. Simply wonderful.

    The menu is huge, and I don't doubt the quality & finesse of preparation of any of the dishes. Definitely worth a stop in my eyes. Free parking, still $5 dice tables, what's not to like?!

    Noodle Exchange at Gold Coast
    4000 W. Flamingo Rd.
    Las Vegas, NV 89103
    (702) 367-7111


    BTW, Steve--last time I was at the Pinball Museum (probably 7-8 years ago), so many of the machines seemed to be 'magnetized', i.e. from the old days set up so the ball would consistently drain down the middle, and you couldn't score, that it almost wasn't worth playing.
  • Post #170 - February 13th, 2018, 10:52 am
    Post #170 - February 13th, 2018, 10:52 am Post #170 - February 13th, 2018, 10:52 am
    jnm123 wrote:BTW, Steve--last time I was at the Pinball Museum (probably 7-8 years ago), so many of the machines seemed to be 'magnetized', i.e. from the old days set up so the ball would consistently drain down the middle, and you couldn't score, that it almost wasn't worth playing.


    That was not the case when I was there last April. They have either fixed the problem, or my pinball-fu is strong...or both.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #171 - Yesterday, 11:09 pm
    Post #171 - Yesterday, 11:09 pm Post #171 - Yesterday, 11:09 pm
    1st trip to Vegas completed. Many more to come. We got in late, 11pm local time, whipped up a turkey and mustard on wheat with a side of pringles at the parents house, and straight to bed. Well, after a few Valentines Day Hershey fun sizes - I mean, damn, they left them out for the taking.

    When I woke up, the sun was out, sky was blue, still desert am cold, but the thought of 65 in the afternoon had me smilin.' Walked out to the couch, saw the local "what's happening in town" mag, opened it up, and saw a full page ad for dispensaries in the area. I had no idea recreational was legalized in Vegas. BEST. TRIP. EVER!!! And I hadn't even left the house.

    Food.
    1st up:
    Brunch at "Feast" at Red Rocks Casino.
    Parents live just a few minutes away. They have stacks of coupons for this place. Was it fabulous? No. Was it good? Borderline. Sushi was decent - (the rice was vinegared!!,) oddly the pork in coconut curry was awesome. I got my fill of really good melon, decent sushi, and curry. With coupons, it came to about 8 dollars per person. Easily worth it. It served it's purpose. I'd go back all the time for 8 bux - and the parents have been going pretty often for that price. I stood in line for a fancy carved to order slice of the top sirloin roast at the bbq station. I asked for the rarer side, and got a perfect medium rare slice. I kid you fkn not, I got a toothache after my third bite of that really nice looking pink slab. It was garbage. I bet if I looked closer, "I could have seen the marks where the jockey was whipping it" (or however the saying goes.) But really, I'm not kidding when I say I got a toothache.

    Evening meal was... I honestly cannot remember, but I'm sure we went somewhere. Wow, that's sad. Must not have been anything decent or noteworthy, good or bad. I know we were in bed early

    Day 2: Early Breakfast at home - family making blueberry pancakes and snausage, then a late brunch at Hash House A Go Go. Massive plates of fair to middlin' food. I will say that they should probably serve most of their fried menu items with that chipotle cream sauce. If I ever go back, I'll remember to get a side of that stuff to make anything more memorable. Nothing was really bad, nothing was really good. Just massive plates of ok food. Not knockin it. It was just ok. I DID get the "signature" sage fried chicken after the server talked me into it. Rest of the table had a burger, the biscuits and gravy, fried shrimp app, and a few fried apps (5 dollar happy hour specials - fried pork strips, and fried chicken strips.) Nothing really noteworthy, just big. The bbq cream sauce served with the fried pork strips was pretty gross - didn't work for me. Sweet, creamy, that just doesn't work too often for me. No need to go back.

    Blueberry Hill for breakfast. This is my parents' breakfast "place." Obvious regulars, they were greeted by name by several of the staff, and were seated in their favorite server's section automatically. This was standard breakfast diner fare, giant platters, (which I gathered is a theme in Vegas,) competently prepared. I guarantee you that I'll be going there once per visit in the future. This is their kinda place, and I'm ok with it. I got the California omelet - bacon, tomato and avocado (course, right?) The star was the salsa. It was bad ass - homemade. Not some crappy 3 gallon jug of foodservice Pace copout. The salsa saved my meal.

    Ok, so here's where the gushing commences.

    Lola's Cajun / Creole.
    I don't even know where to start. This shit was for real, people.
    http://www.lolaslasvegas.com/

    Can I just say that I've never had any "cajun" food that remotely resembled the goodness I experienced at Lola's? I honestly thought cajun food was pretty lame from what I've tried in the past. My mom makes gumbo a few times per year, and I dig it, but I can't really remember ever going to a cajun place, and saying, "wow, that was good," ever. I've had most of the standards, gumbo, etoufee, jambalaya, NO bbq shrimp with all the butter (ok, yum there.) Muffaletta, debris - all kinda yawn. Lola's basically taught me that I'm a douchebag for calling cajun food boring. Go here. Please. It's even a lil gritty. Loved it. Sat next to a cop and his wife on one side, and a couple on a date on the other side, we all eyed each others plates, and I swear if anyone would have been bold enough to ask, I bet we would have all passed our plates around so we could try everyone else's. The table behind us made mention of our moaning over the desserts. The desserts were INSANE. I'm bout to use that word several more times, apologies in advance.

    Starters:
    Gumbo, char grilled oysters, and garlic bread. you get to see an oyster or two. Jr ate the shit out of the gumbo, QUICK.
    Image

    Butter, garlic, lemon, and GASP! Parmesan cheese. I'm one of the "no cheese with fish" ppl. These were good as hell. The parmesan added an acidic sharpness, and it worked. I begrudgingly loved these. And you know how some restaurants take butter, lemon, and garlic for granted? Lola's did NOT. There was much garlic bread sacrificed for sopping up garlicky, lemony oyster liquor remains. I'm sure many an eye was turned watching us mop juice out of an oyster shell with a piece of bread. They obviously have never ordered them. And yes, a few oyster shells had the juice sucked out of them. We can get ghetto, ya'll. Believe that.

    So, tablemates ordered red beans and rice entree - came with andouille. I only had a taste, and it was very good:
    Image

    The mixed platter with a soft shell add on. few shrimp, few oysters, a slab of fried catfish, and big crab cake, few sides:
    Image
    (The tartar sauce was too sweet for me, and I was not a huge fan of the greens' flavor.)

    I don't know what the shit this was - etoufee, maybe? Methinks it was an entree portion of the Gumbo tho. I didn't try it, sorry, but dad loved it:
    Image


    And now, the first multiple "HOLY SHITS" of the night. I couldn't decide what to order, so I went stewy, to offset the wife's fried platter, and went with gouda grits, simply because nobody else ordered them. Behold, "BRONZED catfish, with gouda grits, and andouille sausage:"
    Image
    People, please listen to me, when I say you need this in your life. I have no idea what "bronzed" means. I thought it was a gimmicky way of saying "blackened," but they ALSO have blackened dishes on their menu. THIS WAS NO GIMMICK. This shit was for real. The best way I can describe this is cajun mole. Holy shit. 3 tablemates tried it, and said, "holy shit." It was like if Sol De Mexico figured out how to serve grilled catfish with andouille sausage, and made it SPICY, spicy. The grits were decent enough, but they could have been flavored with Elmer's glue, and nobody would notice. I can't even describe how delicious this sauce and fish and sausage was. I literally can only tell you that it was like cajun mole in the best sense of the term. Holy shit.

    Ok, so dad LOVES figs. I don't give a balls about figs, and I would probably never order anything with a fig in it, just to have figs. Since this was all about trying this place for the first time, I ordered their fig dessert for dad, and also... Listen to this: Bananas Foster...Bread Pudding. Yeah, you heard that right, and right was an apt way to describe it. Again, several holy shits were uttered inbetween putting this in our faces. Warm, ultra moist cake foundations, homemade butter pecan and vanilla bean ice creams, and the sauce was about a 3 on a sweetness scale up to 5. ABSOLUTE PERFECTION.
    Fig Cake:
    Image
    Impossibly moist, and just buttery A.F.

    Bananas Foster Bread Pudding:
    Image
    All of that sauce was NOT sickeningly sweet. Bothe desserts were just insanity on a plate.

    This place has insanity on a plate several different ways. Holy Shit!!
    Please go to this place. We went to the one on Charleston, there is another one in Summerlin (which is actually closer to the parents' house - it goes immediately into their rotation.) Our server said the food is the same at both, but the Summmerlin location is "nicer."

    This place is a gem and a half. I will dream of that bronzed catfish until we go back for a visit. There is not a chance we won't go there next time we're in town.

    Ok, back to reality - we stayed at the Flamingo for a few nights, and the breakfast buffet was pretty decent. Eggs Benedict had a decent hollandaise, but could someone tell them to toast the GOTT DAMN English muffin? Sheesh. Again, parents had coupons for the buffet, it was easily worth the 15 bucks per head. Decent fruit made to order omelets/eggs, and the sausage wasn't salty greasy garbage.

    I'll probably be updating this thread a few times per year from here on out.

    GO TO LOLA'S!
    HOLY SHIT!
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.

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