Heidi Knapp Rinella has flan on her mind after dining at Jaleo at Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. She gave the restaurant from José Andrés A’s across the board for the food, atmosphere and service.
“Jaleo is a tapas restaurant; in fact the man at the helm, Jose Andres, is widely credited with bringing the tapas tradition to America. Tapas had been in Las Vegas for a few years before Andre's arrival, and while each tapas spot puts its own stamp on things, there's enough commonality that I really wondered just what Andres did that was so different.”
She goes on to describe the dishes such as carne asada with poquillo pepper confit, pan con tomate with Manchego, dates and asparagus, for example.
The only negative? The noise level.
Max Jacobson calls East Ocean Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant a “compelling option” for celebrating the Chinese New Year. He navigates the 200 menu items and steers readers away from “shark’s fin. Because it involves the barbaric killing of sharks, such dishes were banned in California, effective Jan. 1.” Instead, he finds cold dishes such as sliced pork hock, wine-marinated beef flank, baby cucumber in garlic sauce and spicy pig’s ear. “Invariably, fresh fish are steamed. We opted for red cod with black-bean sauce. The flesh was moist, tender and sweet, but my guests looked a tad uncomfortable pulling it from the bone.” [VS]
Brock Radke loves the Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese foods at Lilly’s Thai & Vietnamese Restaurant. “Any place that makes me choose between wonton, pho and tom ka gai is where I want to be.” Pick a fish then choose your fave sauce. [LVW]
Radke also checks out STK at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and discovers the restaurant is not what he expected. “Educated assumptions about Strip restaurants are usually right, but I’m glad I took a shot at STK. It’s doing strong business, and the great food justifies the attention.” [LVW]
John Curtas found Double Helix Bottles and Burgers at Tivoli Village confusing. “Am I in a groovy-cool, wholesome throwback diner, or an adult burger joint with serious beer and wine pretensions?” [Eating Las Vegas]
Curtas hit Chef Marc’s Pastavino & Deli (or whatever it’s called) Tuesday night to find a packed house and pasta flying out of the kitchen. “From the prices (everything priced in the teens to low 20s — i.e. a serious bargain) to the wine list (limited but also quite reasonable), everything about this place is designed to keep you happy. Except the name.” The good? A "pristine red snapper over squid ink-infused polenta, a spaghetti cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) and a skirt steak." [Eating Las Vegas]
Curtas makes a habit of dining on Asian food on Sundays, and last weekend he checked out Cathay House at the Palms. Finding it inside a 24-hour coffee shop was no easy task. “Upon being handed the menu we saw it contained the usual coffee house fare — omelets, burgers, sandwiches — and started looking around. Only then did we notice the back room — with no hostess stand of its own, mind you — where we wandered and waited until a person of vaguely Asian persuasion came up to us.” The dumplings? Not so good either. [Eating Las Vegas]
Nikki Neu tries out the steaks at Old Homestead at Caesars Palace. “Old Homestead doesn't reinvent the wheel, they have just tried to perfect it, and I must say, they've come pretty damn close.” [Vegas.com]
THE BLOGS — Elaine and Scott Harris check out Mr B’s Bar & Grill Ristorante with its centerpiece red piano and Italian fare. “The menu was simple and very Italian,” they say, picking the antipasto and chicken parmesan for dinner. [The Cuisineist]