Max Jacobson at Vegas Seven says Angelo Sosa, the chef behind the new Poppy Den at Tivoli Village, "?has the chops to inject his own personality into his food, so that almost every dish here has an eccentric, individual spin."
The tuna tartare comes in a glass jar with a rémoulade sauce. The Poppy Den burger gets a fried egg and sriracha. "The tomato soup comes in three tiny cups, swirled with curry cream. Does it work? You bet."
Not everything worked. For example, Jacobson didn't care for The General's chicken wings. "They were nicely spiced, but had too much cornstarch in their crusts, and the Jurassic-size wings lacked any visual appeal."
Save room for dessert. Sosa's take on strawberry shortcake "uses what looks and tastes like tres leches cake without the gooey frosting."
Two corrections should be noted for this story. Tivoli Village is not in Summerlin and Chinita's Mexican Bar & Grill is located in Village Square, not Tivoli Village. Just saying.
John Curtas returns to writing on Eating Las Vegas, where he calls the choice between Honey Salt and Poppy Den a Morton's fork. He calls both "corporate calculations, with all of the personality of an adding machine" and longs for a time when chefs opened restaurants to cook their own food. "Both of these restaurants are probably perfect for these times and the clientele they wish to serve. Both are the brainchild of "name" chefs who have decided to bring their talents and their staffs to the 'burbs rather than fight the corporate (and imagination-free) bureaucracies of the Strip." [ELV]
For the second week in a row, CityLife has chosen to serve up broken links to Al Mancini's reviews. This week, he reviewed Lima Limon, the new Peruvian restaurant on Decatur Boulevard, but readers instead get this: "You don't have permission to access /sections/eat-drink/dining-out/undefined/sections/eat-drink/dining-out/undefined." The same thing happened with his review of Poppy Den. Perhaps CityLife will fix the links. [CL]
Brock Radke at Las Vegas Weekly says Jasmine at the Bellagio is still the best Chinese food in Vegas. "Jasmine is indeed an expensive Strip restaurant, but the setting, refined cuisine and wonderful service make it worthwhile." He recommends lobster two ways, wonton soup with pork and shrimp dumplings or hot and sour with sea cucumber, the steamed Chilean sea bass and Szechuan roasted chicken. [LVW]
Erik Chudy at Vegas Burger Blog ventured down to Henderson to check out the burgers at Hi-Scores Bar-Arcade after a friend recommended the food there. He tried the lone burger on the menu, the Pac Burger. "The patty had great char flavor, but was still a bit too dry and overcooked considering it dripped and made a bit of a mess at first." He gives it a 68 out of 100. [VegasBurgerBlog]
Even a lost reservation after a 45-minute wait and a server overburdened by large tables didn't deter Heidi Knapp Rinella at the Las Vegas Review-Journal from doling out an A- to the Grotto Ristorante at the Golden Nugget. No HKR review is complete without a "that's a good thing" comment thrown in there, and this one referred to the Mahi Siciliano's cappellini "buried (that's a good thing) under a nice garlicky tomato sauce with a number of whole shrimp." Read at your own risk. [LVRJ]
Poppy Den [Photo: Chelsea McManus]