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China Poblano – Las Vegas Nevada

China Poblano, a fusion of Mexican and Chinese Cuisine From the Brilliant Mind of Juan Andres

Mexican history and folklore recount the story of a remarkable woman who would come to be venerated as a holy woman and prophetess.  Born to nobility in India and possessing remarkable beauty, she was kidnapped as a young child and brought to Mexico, an intended gift to the Viceroy of Mexico whose personal harem of gorgeous women was known far and wide.  When she arrived in Acapulco on a Chinese ship, people were in awe of her breathtaking appearance and exotic ensemble, detailed with dazzling sequins and complex embroidery.  Her stye would come to be imitated far and wide by Mexican women who called it and her China Poblana which translates literally to “Chinese Pueblan.”  At the time, China was a term used to describe the entire Far East and all Asians.

Instead of winding up one of the Viceroy’s concubines, she was adopted by a childless couple from Puebla who loved and raised her as their own daughter.  An extremely attractive and capable young woman, she nonetheless opted for a spartan life in a convent. Though she did not take her vows as a nun, she did lead an ascetic life and was reputed to have had visions of angels as well as long conversations with the Virgin Mary. Until her death at the age of 82, she was frequently consulted by the clergy. Her tomb in the Sacristy of the Jesuit Temple of Puebla is still known today as the Tumba de la China Poblana, the Tomb of the China Poblana.

Would Frida Cahlo and Chairman Mao actually eat here?

Celebrated chef, restaurant impresario and television glitterati Jose Andres pays tribute to the idea of East meets West with one of his signature concept restaurants that presents a unique way of preparing and serving Mexican and Chinese foods.  Las Vegas Weekly called China Poblano “quite simply the perfect restaurant for today’s hipster foodie.”  Fittingly, it’s housed in The Cosmopolitan, a 3.9 billion dollar luxury resort casino and hotel on the Las Vegas strip.  The Cosmopolitan lives up to its name; it’s hip, chic and happening, the place to be seen and to espy the hipsters who frequent this Sinatra cool hot spot.

China Poblano is not a fusion restaurant per se in that it doesn’t take Mexican and Chinese dishes and transform the diverse and certainly disparate culinary traditions, elements and ingredients of the two very different nations to form an entirely new genre.  Instead, the restaurant serves Mexican dishes and it serves Chinese dishes and the twain…well, occasionally it does meet.  Jose Andres has pondered “If Mexico hadn’t shared its chiles with China, would we have spicy Chinese food?”  Obviously he’s grateful for that peppery philanthropy.

Chairman Mao watches over the exhibition tortilla and taco prep kitchen

China Poblano is an over-the-top loud and colorful restaurant that presents a stunning visual and olfactory sensory experience most will find fun though some may  find aspects of the experience offensive.  Located on the third floor of the stunning Cosmopolitan, it’s got some can’t miss qualities that grab you as you’re walking toward it.  The entrance is shaped like a fat Buddha in a lotus position.  Flanking the entrance are two take-out windows: “Chinese Food” on the left and “Mexican Food” on the right.  

Behind the Chinese window, you’ll find an exhibition dumpling, noodle and dim sum station on one side with an industrious kitchen staff hard at work hand-crafting and plating exquisite Chinese items.  Behind the Mexican window is an exhibition tortilla and taco prep kitchen where you can watch the delicate practice of creating edible art.   On a wall to the right is a digital photography display which rotates historical figures from both China and Mexico.  The notion of Chairman Mao and Frida Kahlo overseeing the restaurant may not be intended as an effrontery, but we did run into an elderly Asian who found Mao’s countenance offensive.

The noodle and dumpling station

Hanging from the ceiling are a phalanx of bicycle wheels, perhaps a playful recognition of the plenitude of the ubiquitous two-wheeled conveyance in China.  A stair-step wall is dedicated to statues not entirely unlike the terracotta soldiers unearthed several years ago, but decidedly less military.  Other walls are accented with colorful Chinese and Mexican masks.  Seating is rather casual–communal wooden tables, each with a 50s-style metal red napkin dispenser.  The restaurant is not nearly as commodious as most Vegas casino eateries, but you’re also not sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with your neighbors either. 

Servers, dressed in sharp black Mao-styled jackets with Chinese and Mexican symbols, are attentive and friendly, working in tandem to meet the needs of their guests.  You might be surprised at just how well informed they are on all aspects of the restaurant concept.  You might even be graced by the chef (not Jose Andres) delivering a plate or two to your table.  It’s an efficient experience executed flawlessly.

Cochinita Taco: Yucatan-style pit barbeque pork/marinated onions

The avant-garde menu offers a wide selection of Chinese and Mexican items served tapas style and priced moderately compared to other Vegas upscale establishments.  The menu is apportioned into several sections: dim sum, noodles and soups, tacos and sections called “From China” and “From Mexico.”  Some of the restaurant’s interpretations honor tradition while others are playful and fun–up to and including the names given them. 

Scour the twelve-item tacos menu (one taco per order) and you’ll see a lot of familiar offerings (especially if you live in the great southwest).  The tacos range from simplicity itself (refried beans with chipotle salsa and queso fresco) to the familiar (carnitas: braised baby pig, pork rinds, spicy salsa verde cruda) to the Mexican favorite (slow-cooked pork belly, pineapple) to the Mexican-Chinese fusion favorite Viva China (soft beef tendon, Kumamoto oyster, scallions, Sichuan peppercorn sauce).  You’ll also find a Langosta taco (lobster, salsa Mexicana, arbol chile sauce).  Let’s see Taco Bell come up with a line-up like this!

Scallop Ceviche: bay scallops/key limes ancho chile sugar

China Poblano’s answer to the Old El Paso commercial in which a young boy invents a flat bottom taco so the ingredients don’t spill out is a stainless steel taco holder in which each individual taco is nestled.  The taco holder helps the warm, freshly made tortillas hold in ingredients such as the Yucatan-style pit barbeque pork and marinated onions in the Cochinita Taco.  What it can’t hope to contain are the fabulous flavors of the sweet, tender and juicy meat punctuated by onions pickled pink  Each taco goes about four bites, but you’ll enjoy every one of them. 

Founder Jose Andres has long been regarded as one of the pioneers and foremost practitioners of molecular gastronomy, a term he despises, preferring to say chefs are closing the gap and bridging the differences between science and cooking.  Perhaps culinary gastronomy would be a better term to describe what some of his creations do in maximizing the creativity in the use of ingredients.  The scallop ceviche would fit that description.  You’ll do a double-take when it’s delivered to your table.

Like Water for Chocolate: fried quail/ dragon fruit/rose petals/chestnut and dragon fruit sauce

Perched above a layer of river stones are four bay scallops sitting atop four key limes dipped in an ancho chile sugar (but don’t call it molecular gastronomy).  This is most certainly a play on oyster shooters, meant to be eaten by picking up the key lime and shooting it in your mouth while squeezing the lime behind it.  The tart tanginess of the lemon and the sweetness of the sugar combine with the savory-sweetness of the scallop to give your mouth a burst of contrasting yet surprisingly complementary flavors.  This is a must have!

On the surface, Laura Esquivel’s wonderful 1990 tome Como Agua Para Chocolate (Like Water For Chocolate) is about the struggles of a couple passionately in love but cruelly fated to be kept apart.  Below the surface, however, is a brilliant novel that celebrates the passion food can–and does–inspire.  China Poblano pays tribute to the novel and to its sentiment with a dish aptly named Like Water for Chocolate.  This dish’s most elegant feature is perfectly braised quail which borders a beauteous array of dragon fruit sauce, chestnuts and rose petals.  The quail’s skin is wonderfully crispy, its meat delicate and juicy.  The dragon fruit sauce, which is almost mousse-like, lends a bit of sweetness which pairs very well with the quail.  The rose petals are also surprisingly good.

Gaspacho Morelia: pineapple/ watermelon/ jicama/dragon fruit/ queso fresco/chile pequin

To Jose Andres, even the sacrosanct traditions of his home nation are subject to reinterpretation.  Gazpacho, for example, is almost always a cold, tomato-based raw vegetable soup.  Inventive chefs sometimes incorporate watermelon for a sweet contrast.  China Poblano’s reconstruction, called Gaspacho Morelia, includes pineapple, watermelon, jicama, dragon fruit, queso fresco and chile pequin.  Not a tomato in sight!  When it’s delivered to your table, your server will use an orange juicer to squeeze an entire orange on top of the gaspacho.  The three savory ingredients–queso fresco, chile pequin and celery–provide a wonderful contrast to the citrusy melange.  

China Poblano’s lamb pot stickers stuck on you are a fusion treat that arrives at your table looking unlike any pot stickers you’ve ever seen.  A crispy, lattice-like cover drapes over six pot stickers.  It’s as much fun to extricate them from their crispy lace dome home as it is to eat the pan-fried dough from which it’s made.  More fun–with an appropriate exercise of caution–will be popping the dumplings into your mouth.  They literally burst with the hot liquid flavor of the meaty, cumin-laced juices in which the tender Colorado lamb shoulder is braised.  The lamb is oh, so delicious.

Lamb Pot Stickers Stuck on You: (six pieces) vegetables/crispy lace

Desserts are as imaginative, maybe even moreso, than the savory dishes.  That may be especially true of the Chocolate Terra Cotta Warriors, a whimsical take on the warriors unearthed in the Chinese city of Xian.  Only a handful of items on the menu are more steeply priced, but splurging will ensure, at the very least, ogling admirers on all sides.  A chocolate statue crafted from an outer shell of Oaxacan chocolate is stuffed with a chocolate-peanut butter mousse. The statue is surrounded by a melange that includes caramelized bananas, ginger ice cream and dark chocolate cookie crumbs.  It’s as pretty as a picture so it’s a pity the only way you can eat it all is by cracking open the chocolate shell and melding all ingredients in each spoonful. 

Dinner at China Poblano could easily set you back a C-note and it might not even fill you up, but you will most certainly enjoy every adventurous bite and look forward to a return visit.  One of the great thrills of your visit is watching food being delivered to adjacent tables.  It’ll give you an idea what you might want to order the next time you visit.  Because of the popularity of this phenomenal new restaurant, you’ll want to make reservations.

Chocolate Terra Cotta Warriors: A shell of Oaxacan chocolate/chocolate mousse interior/ caramelized bananas/ginger ice cream/cookie crumbs

In 2011, China Poblano was a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best New Restaurant award.  Jose Andres didn’t go home empty-handed, however, as he took home the coveted Outstanding Chef award and an episode of 60 Minutes in which he was profiled won a James Beard Award  for best television segment.  Leave it to a Spaniard to start a delicious Mexican-Chinese revolution.

China Poblano
Cosmopolitan
3708 Las Vegas Blvd, South
Las Vegas, Nevada
702-698-7000
Web Site
LATEST VISIT: 11 November 2011
# OF VISITS: 1
RATING: 25

COST: $$$$
BEST BET:Chocolate Terra Cotta Warriors, Lamb Pot Stickers, Gaspacho Morelia, Like Water for Chocolate, Cochinita Taco, Scallop Ceviche

China Poblano (Cosmopolitan) on Urbanspoon

Lotus of Siam – Las Vegas, Nevada

Lotus of Siam, perhaps the very best Thai restaurant in America

In the August, 2000 issue of Gourmet Magazine, multiple-time Pulitzer Prize award-winning writer Jonathan Gold called the Lotus of Siam restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada “the single best Thai restaurant in North America.”  Not a disparaging word was heard or a dissenting opinion offered among the cognoscenti save for those who argued that the word “Thai” should be removed from from Gold’s audacious proclamation.  Lotus of Siam is THAT good!

In the decade plus since Gold’s assertion, every reputable critic from every credible publication has jumped on the bandwagon, essentially echoing or adding to to the validation of the greatness that is the Lotus of Siam.  The superlatives are similar on every review you’ll read of this vaunted restaurant; only the names of the scribes change.  In a media culture which delights in the “time to tear down” portion of Ecclesiastes 3:3, the absence of true criticism for Lotus of Siam speaks volumes.   Lotus of Siam is THAT good!

The best new addition to Lotus of Siam--an expanded dining room with a huge wine cave

First-time visitors approach the Lotus of Siam with high expectations, return visitors with the type of reverence usually accorded only to shrines or holy places.  A visit is akin to a religious pilgrimage, albeit not one of great distance or difficulty to reach (it’s only minutes away from the Las Vegas strip) though the restaurant is situated in a strip mall that’s probably 25 years beyond its time, a strip mall Zagat called “the ugliest strip mall in America.”  Few ever give it a second thought that the peerless purveyor of the best Penang on the planet is located in one of the city’s most unsavory areas.  Lotus of Siam is THAT good! 

In recent years, Las Vegas has earned a reputation as one of the world’s premier dining destinations, much of that apotheosis attributable to many of the world’s culinary glitterati launching a satellite restaurant operation in Sin City.  You no longer have to go to San Francisco, Chicago, New York City or even Paris to experience some of the best restaurants in the world; they’ve all come to Las Vegas.  Lotus of Siam, on the other hand, was in such demand from New York City visitors to Las Vegas, that in 2010, a second instantiation of the Vegas institution was launched in Metropolis.  Lotus of Siam is THAT good!

Tod Mun Plar: deep fried fish-cake mixed with curry paste, served with cucumber salad with chopped peanut.

So, just what is it that makes Lotus of Siam THAT good?  Most agree it’s all starts with incomparable chef-owner Saipin Chutima who in 2010 was finally accorded with “Best Chef: Southwest” honors by the James Beard Foundation after  “Miss Congeniality” finishes in 2008 and 2010.   Her specialty is Issan-style Thai food, its genesis being the northeastern region of the country where the chef was raised, a region in which cuisine is more highly spiced than those of the other regions of Thailand. The 150-item menu notes that some of the dishes are influenced by the cultures of Laos and Cambodia and while that menu is also replete with traditional Thai favorites common at other restaurants, they’re prepared better (and spicier) than anywhere else. 

Despite being ensconced for most of its 25 years in an unassuming Lilliputian space,  the universally beloved restaurant with huge flavors has earned Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” every year since 2005.  In 2010, Lotus of Siam expanded, much to the delight of oenophiles and diners alike.  The expansion makes it easier to obtain a reservation and showcases one of the most impressive wine caves in a city which prides itself on its wine lists.

Fried Chicken Dumplings: Deep fried wontons skin stuffed with ground chicken, and vegetables, served with homemade sweet and sour sauce

The wait staff at Lotus of Siam is unfailingly attentive and polite. Even better, they’re on the spot to refill your empty glasses of ice water–and you will empty them if you endeavor to consume the lip-numbing, tongue-tingling “Thai hot” dishes. Even if weaned on New Mexico chile as I was, Lotus of Siam has several dishes that might make many blubber “no mas.” A degree of heat at level eight (out of ten) is piquant enough for most asbestos tongued New Mexicans. That’s not to say all the dishes are incendiary. There are many entrees who will captivate you with the subtle blending of pungently sweet spices.

The 150-item menu includes several “must try” appetizers including nam kao tod, a highly spicy stir fry of minced Issan-style sour sausage seasoned with ginger, fresh chilies and scallions and served with crispy rice. It’s one of the Las Vegas restaurant favorites listed on an unofficial “essential restaurant guide” published yearly.  An appetizer popular in trendy Bangkok, tod mun plar is prepared exceptionally well at Lotus. This deep-fried fish-cake mixed with curry paste is served with a sweet-tangy-piquant cucumber salad with chopped peanuts. With a fragrant bouquet and light texture, these fish cakes will win over even the fish haters among you.

Crispy Duck on Drunken Noodle: Crispy duck topped with homemade fresh chili and Thai basil. Serve on the top of pan fried flat rice noodle. –

The appetizer roster also includes several items sure to please poultry lovers who can spice up the precursory part of their meal with garlic black pepper chicken wings. Several meaty chicken wings are deep-fried until crispy then sautéed with potent black pepper and a wealth of garlic. If you don’t want to wreck your breath (while loving every morsel in doing so), the stuffed chicken wings are a wonderful option. Two pterodactyl sized chicken wings are stuffed with ground pork then deep fried and served with a tangy sweet and sour sauce.  Then there’s the fried chicken dumplings, deep-fried wontons skin stuffed with ground chicken and vegetables.  Better dumplings cannot be found!

Lotus of Siam’s soup offerings are fabulous and offered in cup size as well as in a swimming pool sized bowl. At a level eight degree of heat, the Tom Yum Kai, a spicy and sour soup with chicken, lemon grass, lime juice and straw mushrooms, is as baby bear might say “just right.” It’s also one of the heartiest, most savory soups imaginable–a soup so good you’ll mourn the last spoonful.

Roasted Duck Curry: The combination of roasted duck, pineapple, bell pepper and tomato in red curry base with a touch of coconut milk make this dish very tasty and unique.

Among the entrees, the roasted duck curry (replete with cherry tomatoes, small grapes, pineapple and coconut milk) is the very best curry dish I’ve ever had.  It’s an entree I’ve had during three of my five visits to Lotus of Siam so if the restaurant has a better curry dish, I’ve yet to try it. The concordance of ingredients and the resultant melding of flavors will leave your taste buds delirious with joy.  The first time you bite into a plump cherry tomato which has been swimming in curry is like your first kiss.  The sensation of a curry saturated grape bursting in your mouth may make your eyes roll with carnal pleasure.  If a food item can make love to your mouth, it would resemble feasting on this curry dish. 

Duck is the showpiece ingredient in another favorite entree, one of four crispy duck entrees on the chef’s choice menu.  The crispy duck on drunken noodle, pan-fried rice noodles topped with fresh, homemade chili and Thai basil.  This is one of those rare dishes about which absolute perfection can be ascribed.  Everything about it is perfectly prepared.  The duck is mouth-watering–tender, succulent, eyes shut wide with pleasure delicious with a crispy fried skin that may leave you swooning.  The pan-seared basil would have made a wonderful entree on its own while the drunken noodles inherited the saucy flavors of the other components of one of the two best duck dishes I’ve ever had (the other being the roasted duck curry, of course).

Coconut Ice Cream on a bed of Sticky Rice

Despite sizable portions, you’ll want to end your meal with dessert.  The menu lists only  mangoes (in season) with sticky rice, coconut ice cream with sticky rice and fried bananas. These relatively simple desserts are common in street stalls throughout Thailand, but uncommonly good in America–just like this phenomenal restaurant. 

We’ve been visiting Lotus of Siam since the millennium year–within weeks after Jonathan Gold’s anointing of this gem.  It’s on my short list for the proverbial “last meal” and should be on everyone’s “bucket list” of restaurants to visit before all is said and done.  Lotus of Siam is THAT good!

LOTUS OF SIAM
953 E. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV
702-735-3033
Web Site

LATEST VISIT: 10 November 2011
# OF VISITS: 6
RATING: 27
COST: $$$
BEST BET: Fishcakes, Duck Curry, Thai b.b.q. chicken, Mangoes on Sticky Rice

Lotus of Siam on Urbanspoon

Lawry’s The Prime Rib – Las Vegas, Nevada

Lawry's The Prime Rib Restaurant in Las Vegas

“What keeps me motivated is not the food itself
but all the bonds and memories the food represents.”

~Michael Chiarello

Many of my most cherished memories involve the act of eating and quite often those memories don’t involve the food itself.  The memories which sweeten most over time invariably involve the people with whom those meals were shared.  The act of degustation is infinitely more satisfying and the meals so much more pleasing when shared with loved ones.  In part because of the memories it evokes, one restaurant which will always hold a special place in my heart is Lawry’s The Prime Rib.  Every visit rekindles memories of my first visit and creates new memories to be revisited and cherished thereafter. 

My inaugural visit to Lawry’s occurred on August 31st, 1985 in Chicago, Illinois.  I was five hours removed from landing at O’Hare Airport after an exhausting flight from London.  Jet lag had set in and neither my thoughts or speech were as coherent as one would want for meeting future in-laws for the first time.  The jet lag apparently trumped any nervousness I may have had because my in-laws found me perfectly charming, a worthy catch for their daughter.  Over the years, my father-in-law and I grew very close, sharing great conversation, great wine, wonderful food and many loving memories.  Lawry’s The Prime Rib deserves some credit.

The elegant interior of Lawry's The Prime Rib

Fourteen years later–on December 29th, 1999–the entire family gathered in Las Vegas to celebrate my father-in-law’s 70th birthday at Lawry’s.  For a man who had seen and accomplished virtually all he ever set out to do, the outpouring of love came as a very touching and memorable surprise.  Four years later, we gathered at Lawry’s once again only this time without him.  We were there to celebrate his life, cut short prematurely.  Of all the many lessons he taught us, perhaps the most important was that families who share meals together share love.

Lawry’s has been carving out places in the heart and impressing itself upon the memories of countless diners since launching its flagship Beverly Hills restaurant in 1938.  Because of its unique ability to create memories, it has spanned generations and survived the onslaught of rigorous competition despite virtually not changing a thing in more than seventy years.  If ever there was a “one trick pony” it would be Lawry’s, but this is one pony who does that one thing exceedingly well–better than anyone else has ever done it.

An expert carver slices a Lawry's cut of prime rib

What Lawry’s does–as the name clearly indicates–is serve the very best roasted prime rib of beef conceivable.   Sure, it’s an anachronism, but it’s a throwback in the best sense of the word–the sense that implies exceptional service and warm hospitality, a lavish dinner experience, an art deco ambiance and a unique menu so good, it hasn’t had to change much with the times.  Lawry’s is about memories and it’s about tradition.  It’s about parents and in-laws introducing their children and grandchildren to the sharing of great food and the creation of new memories. 

Lawry’s is also about making its guests feel special, as if they all deserve an exceptional dining experience–one that comes to you.  Not long after your drink order is taken, an expert carver nattily attired entirely in virginal white wheels a stainless-steel cart to your table where you can select the cut of roast prime rib of beef you want.  The prime rib is carved tableside before your very eyes and to your exacting specifications.  It’s food porn, a tantalizing visual show that will make your mouth water and arouse your olfactory senses.  The beef is dry-aged and roasted with the famous Lawry’s seasoning blend.  There is no better beef anywhere!

The Lawry's Cut of Prime Rib Destined For My Plate

There’s a prime rib of beef cut for every appetite. They range from the “California Cut,” a smaller cut for lighter appetites, which at about eight-ounces, is still an intimidating hunk of beef to the “Beef Bowl Cut,” a double-sized cut with the rib bone as served annually to the Roast…er, Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl football teams. It’s roughly the size of an air conditioner. The most popular cut is the Lawry cut which probably tips the scales at about twenty-four ounces.  As with any prime rib, there’s a bit of marbling here and there, but it only lends to the flawless flavor profile.  Lawry’s whipped cream horseradish is as powerful as tear gas so unless you’re into shedding tears with every bite, it may not be for you.

The prime rib dinner includes Lawry’s famous original spinning bowl salad with mixed greens, shredded beets, chopped egg, croutons and a unique dressing you won’t find anywhere else.  The salad preparation is unique.  Waitresses–attired in an old-fashioned outfit complete with a Nurse Ratchet type hat (cap?)–don’t toss salads; they spin them in a stainless-steel bowl atop a bed of ice.  Then with the pomp and ceremony of a knighting, the waitress will present a chilled salad fork so you can apportion the salad onto your plate.

Lawry's Prime Rib (the Lawry's Cut), Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Creamed Corn, Spinach and Yorkshire Pudding

Lawry’s Idaho mashed potatoes are superb–whole potatoes whipped with milk and butter to give them the creaminess  diners crave!  You can have the mashed potatoes with or without gravy.  In either case, they’re standard with your prime rib as is Yorkshire Pudding (not actually a pudding by American standards) which is baked in small skillets until puffy and golden brown.  A number of a la carte dinner accompaniments are available: jumbo shrimp cocktail, sizzling skillet of mushrooms, a baked Idaho potato, fresh asparagus, buttered peas, creamed spinach and creamed corn.

The latter two are absolute must haves, reasons by themselves to visit Lawry’s! The creamed spinach (subtly seasoned with spices, bacon, scallion, onion and more than a hint of garlic) might explain Popeye’s affinity for spinach (didn’t Gilligan love it, too?). It is simply outstanding, a buttery-rich tangle of beauteous greens.  Be ever vigilant and don’t leave the table or you’ll be risking your dining companion reaching over and taking some.  The creamed corn will inspire similar covetousness.  It’s sweet, buttery and delicious to the nth degree.

Lawry's famous salad

There are other options on the menu including ribeye steak, fresh fish of the day and Atlantic lobster tails, but when in Rome, most do as the Romans do.  That means a prime rib of beef dinner you’ll long remember.  Now, if you’re thinking that in Las Vegas you can have a prime rib dinner for a pittance at any number of casinos, remember you get what you pay for.  In most cases that’s a fatty slab of tough beef prepared by a nameless, faceless cook in the confines of a hectic kitchen.  If there are any memories to be gleaned from this experience, they’re bound to be memorable for the wrong reasons. 

There are seven items on the dessert, but most diners don’t have room for a post-prandial sweet treat unless they ask the wait staff to box remaining items. The coconut banana cream pie has a rich, butter crust, an old-fashioned vanilla cream center and is loaded with ripe banana slices and topped with a generous amount of toasted coconut.  The fact that I’d prefer a second serving of creamed spinach is certainly no indictment of the pie, but a testament as to just how good the creamed spinach is.

Banana-Coconut Cream Pie

Today aside from its Las Vegas, Chicago and Beverly Hills locations, Lawry’s The Prime Rib is creating new memories in Dallas, Jakarta, Singapore, Tokyo and Taipei.  Dear memories of my father-in-law revisit me every time we dine at Lawry’s.  They’re fond memories of great times we shared at a restaurant we considered our special place.

Lawry’s The Prime Rib
4043 Howard Hughes Parkway
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 893-2223
Web Site

LATEST VISIT: 9 November 2011
1st VISIT: 31 August 1985
# OF VISITS: 4
RATING: 26
COST: $$$$
BEST BET: Prime Rib, Lobster Tail, Spinning Salad Bowl, Yorkshire Pudding, Idaho Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Spinach, Creamed Corn, Banana-Coconut Cream Pie

Lawry's the Prime Rib on Urbanspoon