Brock Radke doesn’t think Las Vegas has "properly freaked out at the prospect of having neighborhood restaurants by Alex Stratta," and he’s "not sure why." He suggests trying the roasted eggplant, Manchego cheese (a "fine a rendition of the classic Catalan pan tomate as you’ll get in Las Vegas") and charred Spanish octopus at Tapas by Alex Stratta at Tivoli Village. As Radke notes though, "Stratta is already cutting dishes that aren’t resonating with diners, even if he likes them." [LVW]
Al Mancini rounds up some of the new Japanese restaurants in town. He says he hasn’t tried the ramen at Itsy Bitsy Ramen & Whisky. "Full disclosure: The joint belongs to the owners of this magazine—but they don’t pay me enough to lie. So believe me when I tell you that I love the layout, the locale, the hip artwork, the staff and most of the snacks I’ve sampled so far." He calls the Kurobuta sausages "bursting at the seams with spicy flavor," the vegetable pot stickers "yummy" and the sushi rolls made with soy paper "pretty darn good."
He says Japañeiro from Kevin Chong, who worked the teppan grill at Nobu in Caesars Palace, "was outstanding." He recommends the black cod lettuce wraps and the Angus gyoza and notes, but didn’t try, the hairy crab done three ways or live abalone for $80.
As for the shabu shabu Yojie Japanese Fondue, he spends more time complaining about the name ("are Las Vegans so stupid they need it spelled out in the name of the restaurant?"), but he "still really like[s] their food." [VS]