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The 10 Best Things I Ate In 2010

We ate well in 2010.  I mean….we eat well every year, but 2010 was extra special.  As 2010 was the first year of Tasting Las Vegas, The Wife and I ate in restaurants more than we ever have in our lives this past year…such a sacrifice for my craft, right?  Looking on this list, it seems that 2010 was full of foods I’ve dismissed in the past as being not so great because they were executed poorly elsewhere.  Apparently Northeastern Pennsylvania isn’t the epicenter of Thai cuisine…who knew?!?  In a year full of great food, these are the ten best and most memorable bites I had.

Behold!

10.) Maple Bacon Cupcake from Retro Bakery

Maple Bacon Cupcake From Retro Bakery

Maple Bacon Cupcake From Retro Bakery

When did cake start to suck so much?  These days it seems the norm is to get a layer of cake about 3 grains of flour in thickness and then slathered in some bullshit dense icing.  And don’t get me started on this Carrie Bradshaw induced cupcake craze the world has succumbed to.  Poor innocent cakes topped with heaping gobs of sickeningly dense cream cheese icing. Ick.  But, then there’s Retro Bakery.  A shining beacon of all that was once good in the world of cake.  Deliciously light buttercream, moist and flavorful cake and fun and interesting flavors, none of which better than their Maple Bacon Cupcake.  It’s a bacon and pancake breakfast in a cupcake and it works….really, really well.  The Haskells have made one hell of a destination in Centennial Hills, and may singlehandedly be saving the treasured institution that’s known as The Cake.

9.) Indian Spiced Kobe Short Ribs from CUT by Wolfgang Puck

Indian Spiced Kobe Short Ribs from CUT by Wolfgang Puck

Indian Spiced Kobe Short Ribs from CUT by Wolfgang Puck

One of the world’s great shames is that there aren’t more beef dishes out there exploiting Indian flavors.  Bold spices with a bold protein go hand in hand, don’t they?  Silly cultural beliefs get in the way of good food yet again. But, the good folks at CUT by Wolfgang Puck have thrown such taboo aside and have made a must have plate of food. This dish is not just Indian-spiced meat.  It’s all of the winey-reduced goodness we all love with short ribs that are perfectly complimented with Indian spicing.  Melt in your mouth, richly flavored beef accented with cumin, coriander and cardamom.  Yes.

8.) Kim Chee Fried Rice from Soyo Korean Barstaurant

Kim Chee Fried Rice from Soyo Korean Barstaurant

Kim Chee Fried Rice from Soyo Korean Barstaurant

Kim Chee often sucks.  Fermented cabbage ain’t the most appetizing thing to the American palate, but when it’s done right, it makes you happy.  The problem with Kim Chee is two-fold; it’s easy for it to taste like fart and it’s often too fibrous to chew.  Soyo does Kim Chee right, and it’s never tasted better than in their Kim Chee Fried Rice.  The flavor is bold, yet funk-free and is tender to the chew.  Be afraid of Kim Chee no longer!  Go forth to the corner of Rainbow and Robindale and chow down.  Unfortunately, not even Soyo can do anything with the inevitable rumble in your downstairs after consumption.

7.) World Famous Spinach Salad from Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen

World Famous Spinach Salad from Nittaya's Secret Kitchen

World Famous Spinach Salad from Nittaya's Secret Kitchen

I won’t belabor the paradox of something “world famous” coming out of a “secret kitchen.”  What I will say again and again, however, is this is one hell of a dish both flavorally and technically.  Individually tempura-fried baby spinach leaves acting as the vehicle to deliver one of the most kick ass spins on a Thai Larb Gai that are out there.  The ground chicken among the Kaffir Lime, Thai Chilies, Thai Basil, red onion and all sorts of other goodness make for a remarkably strong, yet beautifully balanced bite of food.

6.) Crema Catalana from Julian Serrano

Crema Catalana from Julian Serrano

Crema Catalana from Julian Serrano

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again;  if there’s a better Creme Brulée out there, I don’t know about it.  It takes a more sophisticated palate with more knowledge of the world than I to be able to tell you what the difference between a Crema Catalana and a Creme Brulée is.  The only thing I can figure is that one is made by a Spaniard and the other is made by a Frenchman.  In this case, The Spaniard kicked Frenchy’s ass…..a richly flavorful, silky smooth ass kicking at that!

5.) Lamb Rogan Josh from Origin India

Lamb Rogan Josh from Origin India

Lamb Rogan Josh from Origin India

I don’t know what else I can say about Chef Kuldeep Singh’s cooking.  He’s good.  Sure, he can throw down pirouettes on the plate just as well as anybody, but it’s when he gets his hands on an old classic is where I feel he is at his most profound.  The level of sophistication in dishes usually featuring cheap proteins slathered in all-purpose curries is where Chef Singh shows us there is more to Indian food than good taste and basic sustenance.  The way he delicately tailor makes each curry so that you get both the flavor punch you’re looking for in Indian food, yet always have the quality proteins he uses in the spotlight puts a smile on my face.  Like I said….he’s good.

4.) Le Langoustine from L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

Le Langoustine from L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon

Le Langoustine from L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon

This was probably the most technically perfect bite of food I had all year. At first looking simple, it’s a langoustine with a basil leaf wrapped in a rice paper type wrapper.  But, then you notice the perfect seasoning to brighten the succulent flavor of the perfectly executed langoustine.  The impossibly thin wrapper perfectly fried to a translucent golden brown, showing off the basil leaf laid atop the langoustine.  The bite, in total, perfectly balanced in flavor and texture.  Guess it ain’t so simple after all.

3.) Roti Panang from Wazuzu

Roti Panang from Wazuzu

Roti Panang from Wazuzu

I hate it when a dish is so good that you have to get it every time you go to a restaurant.  I know it takes the place of some yet-to-be-discovered treasure on the menu…but you can’t help it.  Chef Jet Tila’s Panang curry is so addictive it should come with a syringe and a tourniquet.  I like to consider myself a connoisseur of Panang curries (yeah yeah yeah, I know I’ve never been to Thailand), and this is without question the best one I’ve ever had.  The perfect balance of sour, sweet, salty, savory and heat, the Panang curried chicken is a true Thaigasm.  This is the kind of dish that earns you your own frozen food line.  This is the kind of dish that earns you a much-deserved shiny new car.  This is the kind of dish that makes me want to stop writing this bullshit so I can drive down to Encore and eat me some.

2.) Cioppino from RM Seafood

Cioppino from RM Seafood

Cioppino from RM Seafood

The Cioppino from RM Seafood puts on a clinic on how layers of seasoning make a complete dish.  Every time I eat this dish I’m blown away how each component is beautifully seasoned individually, yet all come together for a harmonious stew of love.  The lemon on the fish, the salt on the shrimp, the clams and mussels adding that essence of the sea, the deep richness of the tomato broth…it’s good for what ails ya.

1.) Banh-Mi Burger from Bachi Burger

Banh-Mi Burger (I think) from Bachi Burger

Banh-Mi Burger (I think) from Bachi Burger

The early bird in what I can only hope is a new phase of unique and well done neighborhood eats in the Las Vegas valley is Bachi Burger, and this is the burger that I think best captures the essence of the restaurant.  Classic Asian flavors in the American-friendly form of a burger.  And what a burger it is.  An gushingly juicy patty of beef, pork and shrimp topped with the pate, lemongrass, mint and pickled vegetables of a traditional Vietnamese Banh-Mi. On Bachi’s signature soft egg bun, this isn’t just one of the most unique burgers around, it’s also one of the best.

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Ep. 13 - 2010's 5 New Restaurants In Las Vegas That Can't Be Missed

This week on the Restaurant News and Reviews Show of Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, The Wife and I talk about our first impressions of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and a bunch of other random bullshit you’ve all grown to love.  Then we talk about some Recent Eats and 2010′s 5 New Restaurants in Las Vegas That Can’t Be Missed.  Of course we’ll have The News With The Wife, The TLV Cheap Eats of the Week and so much more!

Click Here To Listen to Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Episode 13!

Click Here To Check Out Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast on the iTunes!

Julian Serrano, One of the Best Restaurants In Las Vegas. Period.

Julian Serrano, One of the Best Restaurants In Las Vegas. Period.

Joints We Talked About:

  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
  • Chandelier Bar
  • Fukuburger
  • Julian Serrano
  • Beijing Noodle No. 9
  • Layers Bakery and Cafe
  • Holsteins
  • China Poblano
  • Bachi Burger
  • Naked City Pizza Shop
  • Soyo Korean Barstaurant
  • The Pasta Shop
  • First Food and Bar
  • Nacho Daddy
  • Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina
  • Mama DePalma’s

Tha’ Links:

Check out Crossings by Nathan Tanouye and the Las Vegas Jazz Connection on CDBaby.com

Follow The Wife on Twitter at @TLV_TheWife

Join us on the Facebook at http://facebook.com/TastingLasVegas

Dan Pattee on Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast is here

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

The Weekly Bad Picture Of Good Food: Eggs Benedict From Payard Patisserie & Bistro

I was sitting on the toilet the other day thinking about titles to the world’s shortest books.  I think a lot when I’m on the toilet. It’s what I do.  Anywho, there’s a few that came to mind:  Intelligent Policies by the Republican Party, Instances of Testicular Fortitude by Barack Obama, The Benefits of Organized Religion by Pope Benedict XVI, Quality Journalism by The Las Vegas Review-Journal, Hilarious Late Night Bits by Jay Leno and Wise Relationship Decisions by The Wife.  Unfortunately for those of us in the 702, another one of those titles is Good Eggs Benedicts in Las Vegas.  While the Eggs Benny book might be thin, it certainly contains this mighty fine example of a perfect croissant, topped with perfect ham, topped with two perfectly poached eggs and smothered in a perfect hollandaise from Payard.  However, another title of a world’s shortest book is Professional Photography Techniques by Mike Dobranski, thus making the Eggs Benedict from Payard Patisserie & Bistro at Caesars Palace this week’s Weekly Bad Picture Of Good Food.

Eggs Benedict from Payard Patisserie and Bistro

Eggs Benedict from Payard Patisserie and Bistro

—–

Payard Patisserie & Bistro

Caesars Palace
3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S
Las Vegas, NV 89109

(702) 731-7849

http://www.caesarspalace.com/casinos/caesars-palace/restaurants-dining/payard-patisserie-detail.html

Follow Chef Francois Payard on Twitter at @francoispayard

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Ep. 11 - 5 Las Vegas Restaurants Dan Pattee Thinks Can't Be Missed

This week on the Restaurant News and Reviews Show, The Wife and I have a very special guest, Dan Pattee! You’ll get to find out a little bit on who exactly Dan Pattee is and we’ll also talk about some Recent Eats and 5 Las Vegas Restaurants Dan Pattee Thinks Can’t Be Missed.  Then we’ll have a special edition of The News With The Wife where we have a little preview of the restaurants opening with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, we’ll reveal the TLV Cheap Eats Of The Week and so much more!

Click Here To Listen To Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Episode 11

Check Out Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast on the iTunes!

Dan Pattee (Guinness), Mike (Fat Tire) and The Wife (Newcastle) At Sierra Gold

Dan Pattee (Guinness), Mike (Fat Tire) and The Wife (Newcastle) At Sierra Gold

Please support our fabulous sponsor Vegas Mate!

Get more information about the best app for Las Vegas at http://VegasMate.com

Follow Vegas Mate on Twitter at @VegasMate

Joints That We Talked About:

  • Salt Lake City
  • Sambalatte
  • Wazuzu
  • La Cave
  • Hofbrauhaus
  • Burger Bar
  • Bachi Burger
  • Weiss Deli
  • Naked City Pizza Shop
  • Sierra Gold
  • Fukuburger
  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
  • Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill
  • China Poblano
  • Comme Ca
  • D.O.C.G
  • Estiatorio Milos
  • Holsteins
  • Jaleo
  • Scarpetta
  • STK
  • The Henry
  • Va Bene Caffe
  • Wicked Spoon Buffet
  • AGO

Tha’ Links:

Check out Crossings by Nathan Tanouye and the Las Vegas Jazz Connection on CDBaby.com

Follow The Wife on Twitter at @TLV_TheWife

Join us on the Facebook at http://facebook.com/TastingLasVegas

Follow Dan Pattee on Twitter at @DanPattee

Follow Chef Jet Tila on Twitter at @jettila

Follow Fukuburger on Twitter at @fukuburger

My first thoughts on The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is here

My updated thoughts on The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is here

Follow The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Twitter at @Cosmopolitan_LV

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Ep. 09 - 5 Las Vegas Restaurants We Rarely Talk About That Can't Be Missed

This week on the Restaurant News and Reviews Show of Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, I’m joined once again with The Wife where we talk about a recent trip to Walmart, some Recent Eats and 5 Las Vegas Restaurants We Rarely Talk About That Can’t Be Missed.  Then, of course, we’ll have The News With The Wife, The TLV Cheap Eats Of The Week and so much more!

Click Here To Listen To Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Episode 09!

Check Out Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast on the iTunes!

Pasticcio from The Fat Greek

Pasticcio from The Fat Greek

Please support our fabulous sponsor Vegas Mate!

Get more information about the best app for Las Vegas at http://VegasMate.com

Follow Vegas Mate on Twitter at @VegasMate

Joints That We Talked About:

  • Walmart
  • McDonalds
  • Bachi Burger
  • First Food and Bar
  • Wazuzu
  • Fleur by Hubert Keller
  • Amore Pizza
  • The Fat Greek
  • Siri Thai
  • Crazy Pita
  • The Palm Restaurant
  • The Cupcakery
  • Retro Bakery
  • Three Square
  • Simon at Palms Place
  • Botero
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Fukuburger

Tha’ Links:

Check out Crossings by Nathan Tanouye and the Las Vegas Jazz Connection on CDBaby.com

Follow The Wife on Twitter at @TLV_TheWife

Picture of fake Twilight characters at Walmart

My post about Three Square is found here

The Communities In Schools Of Southern Nevada is found here

The Center for Biological Diversity’s Bluefin Boycott is here

Rob Mrwoka on KLAS with the lovely Dayna Roselli is found here

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

Monday Mise en Place: Wolfgang Puck Restaurants Partner With Clark County School District To Make Healthier Lunches

Wolfgang Puck Working With a Yout. (photo: wolfgangpuck.com)

Wolfgang Puck Working With a Yout. (photo: wolfgangpuck.com)

Since 2007, Wolfgang Puck restaurants have partnered with the Clark County School District to both educate kids on making healthier decisions and to provide kid tested, mother approved recipes to the school district so the students can eat a little better.  Tomorrow, October 19, this tradition continues as students from Hollingsworth and Cox Elementary Schools will be on hand at the Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria and Cucina at the Crystals Mall to learn about and taste new healthy items created by the Puck team.  A second event will be held for 6th graders from Fremont and Miller Middle Schools on November 17th.  Tasting Las Vegas (that’s me) will be on hand tomorrow to report on what goes down.

Taking the phrase "Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen" to a whole new level

Taking the phrase "Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen" to a whole new level

Chefs Rick Moonen and Adam Sobel Making Sure There's No Suckage at the Jean-Louis Palladin Dinner

Chefs Rick Moonen and Adam Sobel Making Sure There's No Suckage at the Jean-Louis Palladin Dinner

Servers Lined Up And Awaiting Takeoff At Jean-Louis Palladin Benefit

Servers Lined Up And Awaiting Takeoff At Jean-Louis Palladin Benefit

Who Other than Chef André Rochat Should Be Overseeing One of the Foie Gras Courses?

Who Other than Chef André Rochat Should Be Overseeing One of the Foie Gras Courses?

The Eyes of Jean-Louis Palladin Overlooking the Makeshift Sauciers Station

The Eyes of Jean-Louis Palladin Overlooking the Makeshift Sauciers Station

Yesterday, October 17th the Jean-Louis Palladin dinner benefiting the James Beard Foundation happened at RM Seafood.  Twenty of the finest chefs in the city were on hand creating an extraordinary meal from recipes all taken from the Late Chef Palladin’s “Cooking With The Seasons.” The Omnipresent Robin Leach was on hand as he donated his time to serve as MC and auctioneer of the event.  By the way, he also paid for both his $295 tickets and donated an additional $2,000 to the Jean-Louis Palladin Fund which provides scholarships for up and coming chefs to go to culinary school.  I’m broke, so I just hung out in the kitchen after eating my $12 Catfish Sloppy Joe downstairs.  The Catfish Sloppy Joe was tasty.  The event was almost incomprehensibly amazing.  I’m sure Sir Robin will be writing up a full post about the event, and I’ll certainly put out the link on Facebook and Twitter when he does.

Custom Made Ice Creams Made Here

Custom Made Ice Creams Made Here

Atomic #7 has created a fall menu of autumn inspired ice creams, lattes and hot puddings.  The hot puddings will come in array of falltastic (did I really just type that?) flavors that include; cinnamon, chai, chocolate, vanilla, cardamom and rum raisin.  Yes, please!  Atomic #7 is located near the Galleria Mall in The Hendo, next to Panera Bread.  They’re open 7 days a week from noon to 10:30pm.

Mix 94.1 Bite of Las Vegas (image: Mix 94.1)

Mix 94.1 Bite of Las Vegas (image: Mix 94.1)

The Hash House A Go Go Sahara location will be hosting the kickoff party for Mix 94.1′s Bite of Las Vegas event on Wednesday, October 20, from 6pm-8pm.  There will be tents set up in the Hash House parking lot where you’ll be able to partake in $1 Draft Beers, $5 Mashed Potato and Bacon Stuffed Burgers, $3 Snickers Chocolate Bread Pudding and more.  Mix 94.1′s JC Fernandez will be on hand and there will be all sorts of giveaways such as the first 50 people that show up will get tickets to see George Wallace at the Flamingo!  If nothing else, that makes the trip worth it…George Wallace is HILARIOUS!  I don’t know shit about the actual Bite of Las Vegas event, but I’m sure you can find out all sorts of information about it as you gorge on cheap mashed potato stuffed burgers at Hash House Sahara on Wednesday!

The Wife and I With Chef Julian Serrano

The Wife and I With Chef Julian Serrano

How exciting that John Mariani of Esquire magazine named Julian Serrano at Aria as one of the Best New Restaurants of 2010! This makes me kind of proud, as in the beginning, the other boys in town were on their knees for Sage and going gaga over Gagniare at Twist…but all along I’ve said the best restaurant at CityCenter was Julian Serrano.  Now it’s getting some much deserved national attention by one of their own, and not just as best at CityCenter, but one of the best in the nation.  Congrats to Chefs Julian Serrano, Jose Picazo and the entire crew at Julian Serrano!  In all fairness, Sage was also mentioned in Mariani’s article as one of the “Another Eleven Restaurants Not To Miss,” so the other boys were close, but no cigar!

How the hell this is the only close-up picture I got of Babette of the entire 3 days I spent with her, I have no idea.

How the hell this is the only close-up picture I got of Babette of the entire 3 days I spent with her, I have no idea.

I’m going to do my best to write a full post about all of the happenings at this past weekend’s Blogworld and New Media Expo, but I want to give a major shoutout to one of the most amazing human beings I have ever met, Babette Pepaj of Bakespace.com fame, for putting on one hell of a show with the TECHmunch track at this year’s conference.  I really don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone with their shit more together than Babette.  Like if that wasn’t enough, she’s a total sweetheart, too!  The series of panel discussions and cooking demos she put together was a smash hit at the conference.  I can’t thank her enough for including this little bubble gum and duct tape operation to sit along side some of the most amazing and successful people in food blogging today.  Words can’t express how truly thankful I am and what a spectacular show she put on.  If you like to cook anything in your kitchen, Bakespace.com is a must for you to visit.  Babette has built an online community of home cooks and bakers like none other.  She’s good.

Nadia G. of Bitchin Kitchen on the left talking with Chef Carla Pellegrino on the right (photo: Kevin Stout)

Nadia G. of Bitchin Kitchen on the left talking with Chef Carla Pellegrino on the right (photo: Kevin Stout)

I’ll certainly talk a whole bunch about the Blogworld and New Media Expo along with the plethora of tastings we did on this week’s Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast.  Also on this week’s Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast will be my interview with the beautiful, talented and did I say beautiful Executive Chef of Rao’s at Caesars Palace, Carla Pellegrino!  You can listen to how deep of a hole I dig for myself with The Wife as well as hear Chef Carla talk about what it’s like being a woman in a man’s world.  Carla also describes some Italian food porn so fantastic that you may need to keep tissues at the ready!  Her love for food and cooking is inspiring and you can hear it this Wednesday, only on Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast!

By the way….in my HOLY SHIT moment of the day, I just saw that Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast has only been rolling for less than two weeks, but it has already been heard by people in 56 different countries! Wow!  Much appreciation to you all, thanks for tuning in!

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast - Episode 02, Chef Lorin Watada of Bachi Burger

This week on Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, I’m joined with The Wife and she does a fine job of breaking my balls right from the get go!  We talk about some good and not so good eats we’ve had recently, talk about a recent exchange between me and Haute Living’s Susan Stapleton and reveal our 5 Late Night Chow Spots That Can’t Be Missed.  Also, I chat with Chef and Co-Owner of Bachi Burger, Lorin Watada, where we talk in depth about his beginnings in the industry, moving from corporate life to owning his own private place, as well as the birth of Bachi Burger. We also talk about the value of restaurant critics and discuss the now infamous review of Bachi Burger by John Curtas.  Then The Wife makes her triumphant return for The News With The Wife, we share the TLV Cheap Eats of the Week and so much more!

Click This To Listen to Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Episode 02!

Check out Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast on iTunes!

Chef Lorin Watada of Bachi Burger

Chef Lorin Watada of Bachi Burger

Joints We Talk About:

  • Bachi Burger
  • Pasta Shop Ristorante
  • Firefly
  • Garfield’s Restaurant
  • Lebanese American Festival
  • Total Wine
  • Von’s
  • Fukuburger
  • Ichiza
  • Soyo Korean Barstaurant
  • Peppermill
  • Caesars Palace
  • Nu Sanctuary
  • Wazuzu
  • Seablue
  • Sporting House Bar & Grill
  • Shakespeare’s Grille and Pub
  • Paymon’s Hookah Lounge
  • Golden Nugget
  • Rare 120° Steakhouse

Tha’ Links:

Check out Crossings by Nathan Tanouye and the Las Vegas Jazz Connection on CDBaby.com

Follow The Wife on Twitter at @TLV_TheWife

Follow The Official Twitter Page of Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast at @TLV_ThePodcast

The 2010 Tasting Las Vegas 7 & 7 Restaurant Picks for Blogworld.com

Susan Stapleton’s Top 5 Late Night Eats article on Haute Living

Follow Susan Stapleton on Twitter at @SusanMStapleton

The Behind The Scenes Look at the 7 & 7 Restaurant Picks

Follow First Food and Bar on Twitter at @FirstFoodandBar

Follow Fukuburger on Twitter at @fukuburger

A little post I wrote about Ichiza’s Butter Corn a while back

My take on Soyo Korean Barstaurant

Follow Firefly on Twitter at @FireflyLV

My take on Bachi Burger

John Curtas‘ take on Bachi Burger

Bachi Burger’s website is here

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast Is Coming; The Food World Locks Up Their Daughters

The next phase of Tasting Las Vegas is upon us – Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast!

Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast - The Las Vegas Restaurant Scene Will Never Be The Same

Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast - The Las Vegas Restaurant Scene Will Never Be The Same

From the beginning, the whole idea of Tasting Las Vegas was to work towards a podcast, and after  nine long months of writing, writing, writing… the dream is now coming to fruition!  Hopefully the technology gods will be at our side so that the first broadcast of Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast will happen on October 6, 2010.

Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast will feature news, reviews, interviews and so much more with myself hosting along with a cast of co-hosts that will include a reunion with Michael Manley, as well as Julia Buckley of VegasChatter.com fame, Steve Friess of TheStripPodcast.com and VegasHappensHere.com fame, and of course the one who always keeps me in check, The Wife!

As always, your interaction is the most important, so send in your own tips, reviews and requests to the Official Twitter Account of Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, @TLV_ThePodcast or e-mail them to TLVThePodcast {at} gmail [dot] com.  I know many of you that read this mess are in the Las Vegas Food and Beverage industry, so if you have something to say, say it on Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast!  A big part of the show will be talking with real live people in every aspect of the industry.

I’m so excited to share this new low in Las Vegas restaurant coverage with all of you!  Good times will be had.  More details will be coming in the following days leading up to the very first show.  Make sure you follow The Official Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast Twitter Account at @TLV_ThePodcast for the most up to minute information!

—–
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

Restaurant Week Kicks Off With T & A As Major Sponsors

Wait staff in barely there bikinis, mermaids swimming in the pool, dancers shaking what their mama (with a little help from their surgeon) gave them, Restaurant Week may be benefiting Three Square, but the Wet Your Appetite At Wet Republic kickoff event last night benefited my Spank Bank.  Yowza!

Buy a Key. For Charity.

Buy a Key. For Charity.

If nothing else, it made me happy.  Not in the “Ooh look at that ass shake with each step” kind of happy, but in the sense that I see it as another step in the merciful dying of fine dining as we know it.  In case you were wondering, fine dining is dead.  It died a few years ago, but a couple places keep it on life support to appease the few remaining gourmands out there.  Finally food is getting down to the most important part of eating; the food.  The ivory tower holding the pomp and circumstance of which fine dining sits upon is finally being dismantled and instead of having a different glass for every year and every shade of wine, you can finally relax and enjoy your meal.  Eating food is so much more pleasurable when you don’t have a stick up your ass.

But notice I said the “dying of fine dining as we know it.”  There will always be “fine dining,” it will just be done in a more casual atmosphere.  The food will always be “fine.”  That concept will probably never be accepted by the old stodgy gourmands out there, as they’ll yearn for the days of tableside preparation, white tablecloths and a different sized fork for every bite, but who gives a shit.  The casualization of fine dining makes good business sense and it makes good cultural sense.  We are a people that are rapidly getting the ceremonious bullshit out of our lives, so why should restaurants go against the stream?

Ok…I’ll get off my soapbox now and get on with the event.

It's a party, so dance! For charity.

It's a party, so dance! For charity.

The Wife With A Tasty Watermelon Mojito. Think Watermelon Jolly Rancher That Makes You Drunk.

The Wife With A Tasty Watermelon Mojito. Think Watermelon Jolly Rancher That Makes You Drunk.

The Wet Your Appetite At Wet Republic event was a true celebration.  Think of it as a miniature version of the Vegas Uncork’d Grand Tasting with a whole lot more boobs.  It was great to see such a big turnout to enjoy the good times and to raise some dough for Three Square.  The restaurants represented at this event were a bunch of Restaurant Week participating restaurants that are housed in MGM properties; Olives, Sensi, Circo, Fleur de Lys, Burger Bar, Sage, Jean Georges Steakhouse, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, Fiamma, Joël Robuchon and Craftsteak.

Sensi: Makers of Tasty Foods

Sensi: Makers of Tasty Foods

Pork Belly Steamed Buns from Sensi. Amazing.

Pork Belly Steamed Buns from Sensi. Amazing.

Not even I am that much of an asshole to rag on any of the dishes presented.  It’s an outdoor catering event and it’s for charity for shit’s sake.  Mostly everything there was quite good, but the Pork Belly Steamed Buns offered from Sensi moved all of the aforementioned chicks down a spot in the Spank Bank and took over as CEO.  I’ve professed my love for Chef Martin Heierling and his crew’s food many times, and I will continue to do so many times.  A perfect choice for the event.

I make a motion to have these as the new uniforms in Burger Bar. Made a motion. Get it?

I make a motion to have these as the new uniforms in Burger Bar. Made a motion. Get it?

The Wife’s pick of the evening came via Burger Bar in the Mandalay Bay resort.  It was a mini-dessert burger with a donut bun, some kind of chocolatey / Nutella-y thing for a patty, I think passion fruit to look like cheese, maybe kiwi to look like lettuce and a strawberry to look like a tomato.  I could be completely wrong about all of that, but that’s what I remember tasting.  It was served with a Strawberry Beer which The Wife enjoyed quite a bit.  Obviously, I have failed as both a food writer and a husband in my attempts to make her understand that you don’t fruit the beer.

From Sage: Tasty Beer in the Foreground, Delicious Chilled Corn Soup in the Background

From Sage: Tasty Beer in the Foreground, Delicious Chilled Corn Soup in the Background

Another top choice for me was a Chilled Corn and Saffron Soup with Dungeness Crab from the fine folks at Sage in the Aria resort.  You can’t go wrong with good corn and crab, and doing a chilled soup in a plastic shot glass is a smart move for an outdoor mingling event such as this.

And yes, why I’d like to paint this event as nothing more than eating good food amongst the backdrop of finely tanned titties, there was, of course, something much more important going on, and that was raising money for a great cause, Three Square.

Chef Matt Seeber (2nd from Right) with the Craftsteak Crew

Chef Matt Seeber (2nd from Right) with the Craftsteak Crew

I got to chat a bit with Matt Seeber, Executive Chef of Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak at the MGM Grand. I asked him about Craftsteak’s relationship with Three Square outside of Restaurant Week and he said, “we work quite a bit with Three Square both in-house and with the hotel.”  He went on talking about different seminars the hotel puts on getting the employees involved with the Las Vegas community.  Seeber added about Three Square, “they do great work here in Las Vegas.”

Chef Robert Moore of Jean Georges Steakhouse

Chef Robert Moore of Jean Georges Steakhouse

Also at the event was Executive Chef of Jean Georges Steakhouse at the Aria resort, Robert Moore.  While Jean Georges Steakhouse is a relatively new joint on the scene, Robert recently celebrated his sixth year in Vegas, three of which was spent at Prime in the Bellagio before he got tapped for his current position.  Through the time he’s been here he has also developed a good relationship with the charity of the evening.  Moore told me,  ”Three Square is an amazing charity, everything they do is to help people. How can you not want to help these people out?”

From the Pages of GQ to the Floor of Fleur de Lys, Owen Deignan

From the Pages of GQ to the Floor of Fleur de Lys, Owen Deignan

While his boss, Chef Hubert Keller, was spinning discs up in the DJ booth, General Manager of Fleur de Lys at the Mandalay Bay resort, Owen Deignan, was on hand looking his GQ self and handing out some lovely Sashimi of Hiramasa with tasty foam. Owen told me that, “Restaurant Week is a great way to celebrate, getting together with other restaurateurs in the valley, but most importantly to help out the community in the passionate way that we find ourselves working in the day-to-day.  It’s a nice way to give back.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Restaurant Week is indeed a great way to celebrate.  Our restaurants in this valley should be a source of pride for our community.  These people, our neighbors, work their asses off day in and day out and present some of the best food that’s found on this planet.  How lucky are we to live among such talent and be able to sample the things they do?  Most importantly, how great is it that we have an organization like Three Square to get behind?  Their dedication to helping the less fortunate is inspiring. To be able to help out in some small way makes you feel good inside.

I’d like to thank the good folks at MGM for inviting me and The Wife to come to this event.  I’m sure there will be something of this nature every year for Restaurant Week, so if you missed it this year, make sure you go next year.  You can’t beat a night out like this for the price of admission.  And it’s for charity.

For more information about Restaurant Week, check out my recent post; Restaurant Week In Las Vegas Approaches, Happy Dance Ensues.

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Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

If Not For Me, Vote For The Hang That Will Be Thrown Should I Win! You Can Vote Once Per Day From Now Through 09/30/10! Thanks!

If Not For Me, Vote For The Hang That Will Be Thrown Should I Win! You Can Vote Once Per Day From Now Through 09/30/10! Thanks!

Restaurant Week in Las Vegas Approaches, Happy Dance Ensues

One of the greatest weeks of the year we have in Las Vegas will be taking place between August 30 through September 5; Restaurant Week! I think only behind the week the Porn Convention is in town, Restaurant Week features over 80 of the finest restaurants our Little Twinkle in the Desert offers, each preparing a special three-course meal with a portion of the proceeds benefiting our favorite charity, Three Square.  Learn more about Three Square by checking out our post back when Vegas Uncork’d was rolling along.

Message Above Entrance Way to Three Square Facilities

Message Above Entrance Way to Three Square Facilities

There are three different price levels for the three course meals, $20.10, $30.10 and $50.10, with each restaurant donating $4, $5 and $6 of that price, respectively, to Three Square.  Three Square says only $1 in donation pays for three meals for people in need, so think about the impact we can all have by eating some magnificent food while supporting an outstanding charity!

Kicking off Restaurant Week will be “Wet Your Appetite At Wet Republic”. From 8pm to midnight on August 30th in Wet Republic at the MGM Grand there will be a blowout party kicking off Restaurant Week that will feature Chef Hubert Keller manning the DJ booth for a bit and a whole slew of entertainment that spans from synchronized swimmers to Recycled Percussion.  There will also be complimentary food and drink provided until 10pm from several of the MGM Resorts restaurants participating in Restaurant Week such as; Joël Robuchon, Craftsteak, Fiamma, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, Jean Georges Steakhouse, Sage, Burger Bar, Fleur de Lys, Sensi, Osteria del Circo and Todd English’s Olives.  Tickets for the Wet Republic event can be purchased for $30.10.

To find out what restaurants are participating in Restaurant Week and to check out their special three-course menus, check out: http://www.threesquare.org/events/event-calendar/restaurant-week/. I’d love to hear where you go for Restaurant Week, so be sure to let me know!  Enjoy!

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Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.

Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

We're Getting Closer Each Day Thanks To You! Remember, you can vote once per day from now through 09/30/10!

We're Getting Closer Each Day Thanks To You! Remember, you can vote once per day from now through 09/30/10!