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Rick Moonen Returns To Food Criticism, Taking on Pamplemousse

Plus reviews of Searsucker, Republic Cafe & Kitchen and Isabela's Seafood, Tapas & Grill.

Amelinda B Lee

Chef Rick Moonen continues reviewing classic restaurants with a stop at Georges La Forge’s Pamplemousse. He would prefer more garlic with his escargot ("I mean, nobody really wants to eat snails") and the French onion soup with the torchon of foie gras "had really creamy texture and was seasoned properly." He says the osso bucco stacks up to his own version and he stole his guest’s skin on the duck two ways. "My only complaint? Lack of customers. The value you get at Pamplemousse is incredible. You would pay four times as much somewhere else for this food, without the unique atmosphere." [LVW]


Searsucker [Photo: Amelinda B Lee]

Jim Begley heads to Brian Malarkey’s Searsucker at Caesars Palace. "Nothing is as it seems at Searsucker, which appears to be the way they want it." For example, he says the duck fat fries aren’t fried in duck fat and the cowboy caviar "has very little to do with caviar." He recommends the "mushrooms + burrata + toast" and eggs and pork belly, and says the cookies and milk "might be the most irresistible chocolate chip cookies outside of your mom’s." [LVW]


Isabela's [Photo: Amelinda B Lee]

Al Mancini checks out Beni Velazquez’s two restaurants in Desert Shores — Republic Café & Kitchen and Isabela’s Seafood, Tapas & Grill. "Isabela’s does not live up to what Velazquez did at Bar+Bistro. In fact, everything seemed to have at least one major flaw." For example, the Honduran Fire & Ice Lobster seemed like "the contents of a cold lobster roll simply plopped in the middle of a bowl of sweet coconut curry that lacked any of the hints of jalapeño and ginger the menu promised." The crab cakes "were far too mushy in texture." Even the paella was "something closer to broth with rice and seafood than a proper paella." As for Republic, Mancini recommends the flan French toast ("one of the best breakfast dishes I’ve had in a very long time"), and a Cubano with an Italian spin, although the turkey loaf sliders were "a bit dry." [VS]


400 E Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 733-2066

Searsucker Las Vegas

3570 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 866-1800 Visit Website