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How to Tell a Good HKR Review from a Bad One

Wing Lei
Wing Lei
Photo: Barbara Kraft

Maybe Heidi Knapp Rinella has been reviewing all those no-name places to save up her shekels to go to Wing Lei at Wynn Las Vegas eight years after it opened. One of the problems, of course, is that since she rarely visits high-end restaurants such as Wing Lei, she is left with no grades to give it other than an A.

For some reason, she was surprised that when making a reservation at a Forbes Five Star hotel, the receptionist would know a thing or two about the restaurant and be capable of offering assistance, even tips on where to sit and what to order. Ah, HKR, get out more often. Your husband is a former casino executive with his own consulting firm now who can afford to take you to upscale restaurants.

"And the food? Oh, the food! ? And wow; wow, wow, wow." Her only quibble was the $5 charge for rice.

For those keeping tabs, last week she reviewed Market Cafe Grille, which she gave an A-, one notch below Wing Lei. There she gave the atmosphere an A, the same as Wing Lei, the food an A-, a tick below Wing Lei and the service a B+, below the A she gave Wing Lei, the only Asian restaurant in North America to receive a Michelin Star. How her readers are supposed to distinguish the difference between greatness and just mediocre one may never know.

Brock Radke went to the FIVE50 Pizza Bar media night at Aria and declares, "In an era when fine dining chefs are unleashing casual concepts left and right, it should come as no surprise that McClain and his team could create a next-level pizza restaurant." He says pretty much everything is good. [LVW]

Max Jacobson heads to McCall's Heartland Grill at the Stratosphere to find "the lowest wine prices of any Strip restaurant." Those low, low prices extend to the dinner menu as well, where he discovered that, "Even the 16-ounce Porterhouse is only $30, about half the average price for this steak on the Strip." [VS]

Erik Chudy heads over to Citizen's Kitchen & Bar at Mandalay Bay in his quest to find the best burger in Las Vegas, although he does admit that now he's just looking for mediocre burgers. "[T]his place is overpriced; you'll notice that just about everything on the menu is about $2-3 more than you'd be willing to spend." He says the burger there tastes as mediocre as it looks. Chudy gives it a 60 out of 100. [VBB]

Al Mancini visits the hole-in-the-wall Weeziana Gumbo in the food court at College of Southern Nevada's West Charleston campus. He ordered his meal for take out and came home to find his weeziecorn missing and the restaurant was out of bread pudding by the time he ordered, but he did enjoy the shrimp po' boy, the N'awlins chicken gumbo and the "swamp meets sea critter" combo. [CL]


3730 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89158 877 230 2742

McCall's Heartland Grill

2000 Las Vegas Boulevard South, , NV 89104 (702) 380-7790 Visit Website

Wing Lei

3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South, , NV 89109 (702) 770-3388 Visit Website