Food critic Max Jacobson of Vegas Seven looked right in the eye at the Todd-Avery Lenahan-designed Andrea's at Encore Las Vegas to check out the pan-Asian fare from Joseph Elevado. He says the Kumamoto oysters "stand proudly alongside the oyster dishes at Sage and Guy Savoy, as the Strip's best."
He found the Wagyu beef and lobster roll more of a gimmick, but gave a rave review for the hamachi sashimi. And while $65 for a Japanese Kobe rib cap seems pricey, he calls it "worth the indulgence" and plans to come back for the five-spice garlic lobster. "[I]t looked and smelled great."
Bad news for the Poppy Burger at Poppy Den, based on Angelo Sosa's Bibimbap Burger, voted the Greatest Burger in America by Eater in 2011. Vegas Burger Blog's Erik Chudy ordered four of the same burger for his table, and each came out differently. "Two of our burgers were ordered medium rare and two of them medium, yet none of them looked similar to each other and my unevenly cooked medium-rare burger was cooked a bit more than that in spots." He gives the burger a 60 out of 100. [VegasBurgerBlog.com]
More bad news for Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace. CityLife food critic Al Mancini can't help compare the fare here to what he's tried at Gordon Ramsay Steak — and it doesn't come close. He calls the Scotch egg wrapped in beer sausage "overcooked, dry and bland;" the duck confit poutine "disappointing;" and the shepherd's pie "so bad, I actually asked my waitress to bring salt and pepper to provide at least some modicum of taste." He did like the complimentary pretzel breads with cheese spread. "It was the best part of our meal." [CL]
Brock Radke at Las Vegas Weekly calls Marc Sgrizzi's Novecento "the west-side's answer to Settebello." He says the flavor of the pizza crust is "light, allowing traditional toppings like slightly sweet marinara, fresh mozzarella, and rich olive oil and balsamic vinegar to grab the spotlight." And if a diner doesn't want to go with three toppings they should order a second; they're sized for one person. [LVW]
Jim Begley at Las Vegas Weekly revisits M&M Soul Food to find "one of the Valley's best free treats:" complimentary cornmeal griddle cakes. He recommends the baked and barbecue chickens as well as the oxtail, "rich meat smothered in hearty gravy." Save room for the sweet potato pie. [LVW]
Finally, Heidi Knapp Rinella at the Las Vegas Review-Journal revisits Todd Clore's Todd's Unique Dining in Henderson to hand out A grades across the board. She says she was "slightly taken aback (but in a good way) by how polished the service was." She ordered the pork tenderloin and beef tenderloin and declared them both "meltingly tender and suitably moist." [LVRJ]