China Poblano – Las Vegas Nevada

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…

Lotus of Siam – Las Vegas, Nevada

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…

Lawry’s The Prime Rib – Las Vegas, Nevada

“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…

Lindo Michoacan – Las Vegas, Nevada

Lindo Michoacan and its three scions strewn throughout the Las Vegas area may be the best gourmet-quality Mexican restaurants we’ve visited in America which aren’t owned by Rick Bayless or aren’t situated in Santa Fe (Los Potrillos) or Albuquerque (Los Equipales). The older sibling, Lindo Michoacan is a storied restaurant which over the years has garnered unprecedented local acclaim and has even been celebrated nationally. For years, it has earned “Best of Las Vegas” honors in the Mexican food category…

Il Mulino of New York – Las Vegas, Nevada

While it may seem that Las Vegas is one perpetual bachelor party with hundreds of drunken frat boys expressing themselves loudly through expletives while leaving a hazy trail of smoke in their wake as they converge upon casino after casino, Sin City does have its pockets of civility.  One such refuge is Il Mulino during the lunch hour when it’s a veritable island of isolation and paragon of propriety despite being mere feet from the maddening throngs.  Perhaps it’s that…

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab – Las Vegas, Nevada

“Stone crab is probably what God eats every night of the year, but in Florida we mortals only have it from mid-October to mid-May…” Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement Whether or not stone crab is really what God likes for dinner might make an interesting literary debate, but there’s no disputing that ordinary and not-so-mere mortals have loved the captivating crustaceans of citrus country for nearly a century.  In 1913 Joe Weiss discovered that stone crabs were…

Bellagio Buffet – Las Vegas, Nevada

Comparing the Bellagio Buffet to the buffets proffered at other casino hotels isn’t quite akin to comparing a Bacchanalian festival to a swinish feeding troth, but it might be close.  That’s because the difference in quality between the Bellagio Buffet and its nearest competitor is several degrees of magnitude. It’s the one buffet in Vegas in which you might actually see the gentrified and the affluent condescend to mingle with the rabble.  It’s also the one buffet in which some…

Bouchon – Las Vegas, Nevada

Thomas Keller is the owner and chef of one of the world’s most highly acclaimed and famous restaurants, but despite all the accolades and honors the French Laundry has garnered over the years, he isn’t nearly as famous or popular as his celebrity protégés. One protégé is a provincial rat named Remy whose aspirations to become a great chef despite a lack of formal culinary training mirror Keller’s own path.  Remy’s focus and fastidious attention to detail are known to…

Amlee Gourmet Restaurant – Las Vegas, Nevada

There’s a Cantonese saying that translates to “anything that walks, swims, crawls, or flies with its back to heaven is edible.” The Chinese diet counts as delicacies some things which would repulse the more sensitive American palate. It’s not just the Chinese who will imbibe, ingest and intake what we might consider sundry strangeness. Each culture, including American, has foodstuffs other cultures find shocking. One culture’s strange and inedible is another’s traditional favorite. Take cheese, for example. Until rather recently,…

Rosemary’s Restaurant – Las Vegas, Nevada (CLOSED)

You might think that a chef and proprietor whose restaurant has garnered almost every conceivable accolade might be almost unapproachable, perhaps even haughty and aloof…that being among the gastronomic glitterati, he wouldn’t make time for admirers of his culinary craft. We learned during a June, 2006 visit that THE Michael Jordan (the other one was a pretty fair basketball player) is one of the nicest, most unassuming and genuinely endearing celebrity chefs we’ve ever met. We had the great fortune…

Ristorante B&B – Las Vegas, Nevada

A pair of trademarked orange Crocs on the reception kiosk was as close to Mario Batali as we got. It’s as close as some of the wait staff has gotten in the months since Ristorante B&B launched. We had expected no less. Batali has parlayed his celebrity chef status into a veritable empire of highly acclaimed restaurants in New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Like many restaurant impresarios, the “Great One” is intimately involved in the development of…

The Paradise Grill – Las Vegas, Nevada (CLOSED)

Americans spent several billion dollars a year on products touting their ability to provide fresh breath.  Ultrabrite toothpaste promises to “give your mouth sex appeal” while Colgate’s Oxygen toothpaste’s slogan is “Pure, Fresh, Clean.”  Fresh breath is so important to our culture that we even insist our pets have it. Milk Bone Dog Biscuits pledge to “freshen breath naturally” so of course, we buy that product in bulk for our four-legged children. Fresh breath, it seems, translates (at least on…

Ping Pang Pong – Las Vegas, Nevada

The complaint I hear most often about the Duke City dining scene is that we have a lamentable lack of quality Chinese restaurants. This is a sentiment that’s been echoed ad-infinitum on Chowhound and other restaurant blogs. In my years of reviewing Duke City restaurants, I’ve deemed only nine Chinese restaurants worthy of taking up space on my Web site. Considering Chinese restaurants outnumber those of any ethnicity other than New Mexican, that’s not a good sign. I’ve tried dozens…

Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop & Soda Fountain – Las Vegas, Nevada

While Ghirardelli chocolate is available worldwide, there are only a few shop locations–mostly in California with outliers in Las Vegas, Chicago and in two Florida cities. Named after Italian chocolatier Domingo Ghirardelli who brought his chocolate from Peru to San Francisco, Ghirardelli Shops are a true chocoholics dream where you can purchase a tempting assortment of chocolate confections and gifts. The San Francisco location on Ghirardelli Square is a historical site near Pier 39 (where the pictures on this review…

Buckingham Smokehouse Bar-B-Q – Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas has established itself as one of America’s, if not the world’s, preeminent dining destinations. Many of the world’s most famous and successful chefs have launched flamboyant restaurants that celebrate their self-aggrandizing greatness in magnificent pantheons of gustatory grandeur. Fortunately for true gastronomes who don’t worship exclusively at the tables of gastronomic glitterati, Las Vegas has also attracted its share of chefs with whom those of us of the common clay can identify–chefs who didn’t refine their skills at…