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Monday Mise en Place: Top Chef and Top Chef: Just Desserts Are Casting For Next Season

Padma's Casting Bed (photo: baltimoresun.com)

Padma's Casting Bed (photo: baltimoresun.com)

Think you got what it takes to make Padma quiver with delight?  Do you know someone that could put Tom Colicchio in his place?  Top Chef is now casting for its ninth season as is Top Chef: Just Desserts for its second.  Let’s get the 702 well-represented in both shows, we certainly have the talent!  Send your info, or the chef you have in mind’s info, to casting@magicalelves.com.  Good luck!

Would you buy chicken from this man? (photo: woooha.com)

Would you buy chicken from this man? (photo: woooha.com)

Remember those wings by Flavor Flav everyone was clamoring about a few months ago at Mama Cimino’s on Windmill?  Apparently it was the first step in a new fried chicken chain Flavor Flav is starting.  The very first Flav’s Fried Chicken opens today in the place where all new restaurant concepts should be born……..Clinton, Iowa.  As Flavor Flav’s colleague, Lil’ Jon, would say; “What?”

Professor Sara Steele

Professor Sara Steele

Pastry Chef extraordinaire at Botero at the Encore resort, Sara Steele, will be presenting a Valentine’s Day Dessert class on Monday, Feburary 7th at Whole Foods Market in Henderson.  In this class, Sara will cover Red Velvet Tiramisu and Truffle Pops.  The class will be held from 6pm-8pm.  Space is limited, so make sure you RSVP at 702-361-8183

I refuse to write a "What Happens In Vegas..." line. Refuse!

I refuse to write a "What Happens In Vegas..." line. Refuse!

According to New York Times writer Florence Fabricant, Saipin and Bill Chutima have separated from their partner Roy Welland and have removed themselves from Lotus of Siam in New York.  Also citing family health issues, it seems the bigger issue is a difference in vision between the Chutimas and Welland.  Where the Chutimas want to keep the more homey feel they have developed with their Vegas Lotus location, Welland seems to be going for a bit of a gouge on the customer.  Good for the Chutimas for putting pride, honor and reputation above dollar signs.  Check out the NYT blog about this story 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 Power Of Speaking Up: Bachi Burger Takes Bluefin Off Valentine's Day Menu!

The TLV Army rolled strong late last night as our beloved Bachi Burger posted a special Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu with the unfortunate choice of Bluefin Tuna Tartar on it.  I, along with O.G. TLV Army members Jerry Diegel and Alex Stopa, spoke out about our displeasure with Bachi’s choice of tuna.  This morning, I was contacted by Chef Lorin Watada who regrets the decision and has decided to eliminate the course.  In the e-mail, Chef Watada said;

When I was a corporate chef for Roy’s I banned our restaurants from using bluefin for the last 5 years that I was with the company.   I just did some research and yes I am not as up to date as I was in the past because I am running a burger place.  But it doesn’t excuse that fact.

Bachi Burger: Maker Of Good Food and Good Decisions

Bachi Burger: Maker Of Good Food and Good Decisions

It’s another win for the gravely endangered Bluefin tuna and a fine display that our voices can make a difference. We are not here to hold restaurants hostage, but we are here to hold restaurants accountable for what they put on the plate.  Some restaurants, like Bachi Burger, are man enough to correct an innocent poor decision, while others maintain their defiance on this globally serious issue.  Good on Bachi Burger!

By the way, the other courses look extraordinary on the special Valentine’s Day Kaiseki Menu for Bachi Burger.  A 7-course dinner that includes Lobster & Uni Chawan Mushi, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Miso Broiled Black Cod and Mishima Ranch Wagyu Short Rib.  And before anyone says, “Hey Mike, why did you bitch about the tuna, but not the foie gras?” I say to you, “Hudson Valley is the best of the best when it comes to the ethical and humane treatment of the ducks.” As I told Lorin in my e-mail response to him, “we can’t hug every tree.”

The Kaiseki Menu comes in at a cool $40 and is far and away the best deal for Valentine’s Day that I’ve been notified of thus far.  Many thanks to Chef Watada and the Bachi Burger crew for making the smart and responsible decision to not serve Bluefin tuna on this special occasion.  Here’s to hoping restaurants still serving the nearly extinct fish will follow their lead.

—–

Bachi Burger

470 E. Windmill Ln. #100
Las Vegas, NV 89123

(702) 242-2244

http://www.BachiBurger.com

Follow Bachi Burger on Twitter at @BachiBurgerLV

—–
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. 16 - 5 Restaurants For Las Vegas Newbies

This week on Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, The Wife and I talk about everything from the dust up at the Golden Globes to the dust up at Alex’s final service.  We dish on some Recent Eats and talk about 5 Restaurants For Las Vegas Newbies.  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 16!

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

Requisite Eats For Any Vegas Noob: First Food and Bar

Requisite Eats For Any Vegas Noob: First Food and Bar

Joints We Talked About:

  • Miko’s Sushi and Izakaya
  • Sierra Gold
  • Table 34
  • First Food and Bar
  • China Poblano
  • Bellagio Buffet
  • Bachi Burger
  • Fukuburger
  • L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
  • Joël Robuchon
  • Alex
  • The Country Club at Wynn Las Vegas

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

Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes is here

The girl’s name is Hailee Steinfeld, and she kicks ass in True Grit

Eater’s article on S. Irene Virbila getting the boot from Red Medicine is here

Norm’s column of Pope Curtas The ELV getting the “boot” 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

Monday Mise en Place: Cookin' With Jazz Brunch at The Country Club at Wynn Las Vegas Turns 1

Chef Carlos Guia of The Country Club at Wynn Las Vegas (photo: Becca PR)

Chef Carlos Guia of The Country Club at Wynn Las Vegas (photo: Becca PR)

Congratulations to Chef Carlos Guia and the crew at The Country Club at Wynn Las Vegas on celebrating one year for their beloved Sunday Cookin’ With Jazz Brunch.  On Sunday, January 16th, The Country Club marked its one year anniversary with a performance by David “Mojo” Poe and his Dixieland Trio.

THE UNLVgirl, Lori Cox

THE UNLVgirl, Lori Cox

I’ve got absolutely nothing else as far as Las Vegas Restaurant news is concerned.  Yeah yeah yeah, Alex closed on Saturday. BFD.  It seems like nothing is happening in this town until Valentine’s Day, so I put out a call for news that the TLV Army would like known to the world.  This is what I got….

@UNLVgirl informed me that The Rebels basketball team will be hosting two home games this week.  The Rebs play Colorado State on Wednesday at 7:30pm and New Mexico at 1pm on Saturday.  Hell, even if you hate basketball, just go to see Lori!

THE JerseyGirlMrsD with JerseyBoyMrD at the Tweetup at Naked City Pizza Shop. From across the globe!

THE JerseyGirlMrsD with JerseyBoyMrD at the Tweetup at Naked City Pizza Shop. From across the globe!

In breaking international news, @JerseyGirlMrsD informs me that she’ll be getting together with a few friends and having a Come Dine With Me style dinner this Saturday.  Best wishes to our favorite girl on the O.G. Jersey Shore!

@sirpearce discussing world affairs with Ted Danson

@sirpearce discussing world affairs with Ted Danson

A guy that goes by @sirpearce on Twitter said that he’s going to drink at JET Nightclub tonight.

@Traffic_Flo, complete with fabulous computer generated boobies.

@Traffic_Flo, complete with fabulous computer generated boobies.

@Traffic_Flo took some time away from the streets of Las Vegas to let me know that the NV Arts Associates will be honoring MGM CEO Jim Murren and the late Tony Curtis on Saturday, January 22nd.

There's A New Bitch In Town And She Ain't Happy! (pic: 3fatchicks.com)

There's A New Bitch In Town And She Ain't Happy! (pic: 3fatchicks.com)

Consider this official notice, Las Vegas:  There’s a new bitch in town and she ain’t happy!  As we speak a new blog about Las Vegas is being constructed at bitchinvegas.com.  Aimed at washing away the PR bullshit, the greased palms and the lined pockets that make this city run, bitchinvegas.com will be a breath of fresh air, no matter how dark it may be.  I’m looking forward to reading and hoping I don’t provide any good blog material for her!

—–
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

First Impressions: Jaleo

Chef José Andrés scored the top two restaurants I was anticipating the most upon the opening of The CosmopolitanChina Poblano more so than Jaleo, but only because China Poblano was unique to the world.  China Poblano has turned out to be a lead off home run, thus my eagerness to dive into the Jaleo menu was ramped up even further. That very well could be why this review is going to come across as harsh as I think it will.

Menu at Jaleo

Menu at Jaleo

José Andrés is probably the most recognized Spanish chef in the United States.  He earned his stripes in the legendary laboratory kitchen of El Bulli in Roses, Spain with Chef Ferran Adrià.  This explains Andrés’ leanings to Spanish avant-garde cuisine. By the way, you risk losing your balls should you even whisper the words, “molecular gastronomy,” within ear shot of him.  Avant-garde cuisine it is.  But anywho, Andrés is a master of turning food on its head and presenting it in a way usually not seen before by mortal men.  But what does this mean for the good old-fashioned Mama-Simmering-The-Paella kind of food?

So-so Sangria at Jaleo

So-so Sangria at Jaleo

We started off with a carafe of Red Sangria ($29).  Meh. Nothing special about the sangria.  Not that it was terrible, but the development of flavor from the fruits, spices and various boozes wasn’t there. Perhaps too much turnover is at fault as you couldn’t fit another soul into the place, but still disappointing.  More about the sangria later…

Tile Mural at Jaleo

Tile Mural at Jaleo

As we sat waiting for the first round of plates we ordered, we couldn’t help but admire the room itself.  There are two bars in the room, one that is a standard booze bar and another that looks like where the bread and ham dishes are prepared.  One thing I loved was the tile mosaic behind the booze bar.  A tile mural, complete with color shading, of a chick in bed.  Nothing wrong with that.  The colors throughout the room are bright and vibrant, keeping the mojo at fever pitch for a bustling tapas joint.

Paella Pit at Jaleo

Paella Pit at Jaleo

The centerpiece of the room is the big wood-fired paella pit.  Massive pans with Valencia’s signature dish cooking away, flames shooting up to the stainless steel vent above.  It’s a pretty cool show to watch, but of course, the proof is in the pudding…err…paella.

Valencian Paella at Jaleo

Valencian Paella at Jaleo

While there are four types of paella on the menu, only one is offered at a time for ordering.  To get your choice of paella, you need a party of 5 or more (or at least pay the price) because they have to make a whole ginormous pan of it.  On our visit, they had the Paella Valenciana ‘Rafael Vidal’ ($20) available.  This version features rabbit, chicken and green beans.  For those that bust their nut over the socarrat (fancy way of saying crispy bottom layer of rice), this isn’t the paella for you.  I don’t really care either way about the socarrat, but it still wasn’t the paella for me as the rabbit had bone fragments strewn about in the hacked up pieces and the chicken was woefully dry.  Other than that, the flavor was good.  The artichokes were a nice surprise, but the bone-fragmented dry meat was too much to overcome.

The Almost Top Ham

The Almost Top Ham

While the menu should be commended for having a wide variety of imported Spanish cheeses and hams, it comes with its problems as well.  Although we ordered the Jamón Ibérico de Bellota Fermin ($22), I’m pretty sure we got the Jamóm Ibérico ($15).  Ibérico pigs are of the famed black-hooved variety, but the Bellota (pronounced bay-yota) are the ones in the forest on the hill that eat nothing but the acorns and brush on the forest floor.  It’s regarded as the best ham in the world, and it usually is.  It didn’t look quite like I remembered when it arrived, and when I tasted it, it really wasn’t what I remembered.  Not wanting to fuss and make a big deal, I didn’t say anything, which is my fault, but it was like you thought that you were about to nail Penelope Cruz, but Charo wound up being the one that knocked on the door.  A little haggard, but still not too bad.  Our bill later confirmed my suspicion; the wrong pig was ordered.

Other than the swine mix up, the only other bitch I have about service was that they all but opened our mouths with a jack and poured the sangria down The Wife and I’s throats.  If I weren’t a guy that writes these reviews, I’d tell the wait staff that we’d pour our own, but I don’t say anything because I want to see how the service is.  My suggestion to any and every diner out there; when it comes to bottles / pitchers of booze, pour your own. Drink at your own pace and avoid the upsell of more drink.  Unless, of course, that you want to get shitfaced on overpriced booze, then have at it.  But, in most circumstances, P.Y.O. (pour your own, get it?)!  While this is standard practice in any restaurant, the burr in the jock strap came when the lovely waitress filled our glasses up from the carafe and then took the carafe away while there was still about an 1/8″ of sangria left in it!  Sure, it was just a sip, but holy shit, did they REALLY need to get that carafe back to the dishwasher at that exact moment?!?

Excellent Manchego on a Decent Pan con Tomate at Jaleo

Excellent Manchego on a Decent Pan con Tomate at Jaleo

None of the food at Jaleo was bad, although some of it was underwhelming.  I found the dishes usually considered as The Spanish Tapas Greatest Hits were the most mediocre.  The Pan con Tomate with Manchego ($8) was decent, but pales in comparison to the offering next door at Aria.  And really….that’s the big question right?  How does Jaleo compare with Julian Serrano?  Well….on this one outing on this one night to Jaleo, as far as the “traditional” tapas are concerned, Julian Serrano puts an ass-whooping on Jaleo akin to what Mike Tyson did to Ricky Spain.  Move over Edward and Jacob!  This Bella has to choose between Team Julian and Team José!

Chicken Croquetas at Jaleo

Chicken Croquetas at Jaleo

A good example are the Chicken Croquetas ($10).  While Jaleo’s version is just fine, the brilliant execution of the Julian Serrano variety has spoiled me for life on the Chicken Croqueta.  Where Jaleo’s version falters is in the texture and the thickness of the outer layer.  Flavor is good and I’m splitting hairs, but I’ve got to call it like I see it.  If you are a chicken chunk fan, you may be on Team José, but the Team Julian version features an extraordinary bechamel infused with even more of a concentrated chicken flavor.

Dates in a Shoe at Jaleo

Dates in a Shoe at Jaleo

Another direct Team José / Team Julian battle comes with the Bacon Wrapped Dates ($8) of which I put a solid win in the Team Julian column as I’m not a fan of the deep-fried rendition at Jaleo at all. Not only does the thick, fried coating take away from the bacon, they come delivered in a shoe, which I personally find heinous.  I don’t like feet.  I don’t like feet at all.  I know the shoe has obviously never been worn, but it still rubs me the wrong way.  Most people probably won’t give a shit and even find the sneaker presentation to be fun, but please put my food on a plate.  The only thing worse would be for the dates to come out in a toilet.  But more importantly than the plating, the thick coating on each nugget makes the bacon component chewy.  No bueno.  At the end of the day, though, Team Firefly puts a whooping on both their asses in the Bacon Wrapped Date department.

Piquillo Peppers Stuffed With Crabmeat at Jaleo. Now we're talkin'!

Piquillo Peppers Stuffed With Crabmeat at Jaleo. Now we're talkin'!

Team José finally came out swinging when we got away from the gold standards with the Piquillo Relleno de ‘Txangurro’ ($14), which apparently is Spanish for deliciously charred piquillo pepper stuffed with Dungeness crab.  A really well put together, well balanced dish packed with flavor.  The char on the roasted piquillo pepper was perfect for the thankfully light crab mixture.  This was the best plate of the outing until we hit the next one…

Extraordinary Sopa de Ajo at Jaleo

Extraordinary Sopa de Ajo at Jaleo

The Sopa de Ajo ($9) was a grand slam.  This dish was at the level I was expecting all the others to be. Extraordinary.  A deep garlic broth was beautifully enhanced with the nuttiness (flavor, not psychological status) of black garlic and then took a ride on the umami bus with the sous vide 63º egg. Oh dear….that sounded like a Fieri-ism….please forgive me!  But this is a destination dish.  Eat this. You’ll like it. A lot.

Olives and "Olives" at Jaleo

Olives and "Olives" at Jaleo

Of course Team José has to get a little molecu….ummm….I mean…avant-garde on the menu as well, and the big tip of the hat to his friend and mentor, Ferran Adrià, is on display with the Aceitunas Rellenas y Aceitunas ‘Ferran Adrià’ ($12).  “Aceitunas” is Spanish for olives, and this dish features olives two ways; the standard, mother nature variety stuffed with a sliver of piquillo pepper and a sliver of anchovy and the other is a reconstituted spherified “olive.”  Basically what happens is they take puréed and strained olives so the resulting liquid is basically olive juice.  Then they add calcium chloride to the purée and drop the olive mixture into water that was mixed with sodium alginate.  A gel forms around the olive liquid, preserving it in a sphere while maintaining a liquid center…think like an over-easy egg yolk.  It’s a fun parlor trick and an interesting way to eat an olive, I suppose.  Molecular….err…umm…avant-garde gastronomy to me is often like a bad boob job; not necessary and diminishes the quality of what was natually there.

Delicious Chocolate Hazelnut Dessert Item at Jaleo

Delicious Chocolate Hazelnut Dessert Item at Jaleo

I think after the Great Battle for the Bluefin Tuna is either won or lost, my next cause I’m going to support is to fight for The Integrity of Cake.  Hardly an isolated issue at Jaleo, as it seems every restaurant in the world right now is making a mockery of cake, but if you’re going to call something a cake…please let it be a cake!  When I order cake, I’m not ordering a slab of dense icing with flecks of flour strewn about.  I’m not ordering a thick wedge of fudge. I’m certainly not ordering mousse pie.  I’m ordering cake.  Good old-fashioned, blow-out-the-candles cake.  Sometimes a guy just wants a nice piece of cake.

While I find it difficult to say the Pastel de Chocolate y Avellanas ($9) was a cake, I will say it was damn tasty.  A chocolate cookie on the bottom center of a ring-molded chocolate / hazelnut mousse with what could very well be the most extraordinary chocolate ganache I’ve seen, on top.  I don’t know if Team José used more of that avant-garde hocus pocus on the ganache, but the sheen on it was so good you can use it as a mirror.  The flavors and textures were superb.  It was a fabulous dessert.  But it wasn’t a cake.  Yeah yeah yeah…I know it’s a matter of semantics and I’m warning you on what really should be expected these days in restaurant dessert eating.  But…sometimes a guy just wants a nice piece of cake.

Should you go to Jaleo?  Absolutely.  Order cautiously, try something new, pour your own sangria and you should be fine.  If you’re in Vegas for a limited amount of time and can only hit up one of the Andrés eateries, there’s no question in my mind that China Poblano should be the one you choose.  I do want to go back to Jaleo at some point to try everything else on the menu, although after this first outing I’m not in a big rush.  However, one thing I am excited to give a shot would be the “secret restaurant”, that’s no longer much of a secret, located inside Jaleo called the E Bar.  Inside the E Bar you get a 20-25 course degustation of what Chef Andrés and crew does best.  It very well could be the most advanced culinary experience in town…and it’s only $150 per person!  There are only two seatings per day for this super-exclusive dining experience.  I want.

—–

Jaleo

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109

(702) 698-7950

http://www.jaleo.com/index.php/contact/las_vegas

Follow Jaleo on Twitter at @JaleoLasVegas

Jaleo by José Andres (Cosmopolitan) on Urbanspoon

—–
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. 15 - 5 Coffeehouses 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 some issues with The Shorty Awards, some Recent Eats and 5 Coffeehouses In Las Vegas 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 15!

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

Siphon Coffee at Sambalatte

Siphon Coffee at Sambalatte

Joints We Talked About:

  • Layers Bakery and Cafe
  • Jaleo
  • Chicken D’Lish
  • Sunrise Coffee
  • Espressamente Illy
  • Caribou Coffee at Krispy Kreme
  • Sambalatte
  • The Beat Coffeehouse
  • Tropicana
  • Fleming’s Steakhouse
  • Alex
  • Stratta
  • Wynn Las Vegas
  • China Poblano

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 Chef Chuck Hughes on Twitter at @ChucksDayOff

Food Category Leaderboard of The Shorty Awards is here

Follow Chef Fabio Viviani on Twitter at @FabioViviani

The VegasBill Tweet – http://twitpic.com/3mtht1

Something almost as douchey as The VegasBill Tweet 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

Monday Mise en Place: Alex To Have Final Service on January 15

Chef Alex Stratta (photo: lastheplace.com)

Chef Alex Stratta (photo: lastheplace.com)

Although it was rumored to be on the chopping block for some time, it still came as a bit of a shock when Vegas.com’s Nikki Neu broke the news of Alex shuttering on January 15th.  The latest victim of the downfall of fine dining, Chef Alex Stratta will stay on at Wynn Las Vegas (for now) to run his casual restaurant, Stratta.  Is this a simple case of economics and evolving trends in food? Is the chef setting himself up to move across the street when a certain former Wynn executive someone buys a certain resort from a certain flailing conglomerate?   Who knows.  In my opinion, the bigger story isn’t the loss of one of Vegas’ finest restaurants, Alex Stratta will be back.  The bigger story is the continued dismantling of the Wynn brand.  I’m sticking to my prediction of Guy Fieri being hired as a resident chef for a T.G.I. Friday’s Wynncore location. I’m not just sayin’, but I’m just sayin’.

Maker Of Good Food: Chef Carla Pellegrino

Maker Of Good Food: Chef Carla Pellegrino

Of course it was Robin Leach to break the story of Chef Carla Pellegrino opening a new restaurant at the Tropicana.  Nothing has been confirmed, nothing has been denied. Whether Sir Robin’s report is accurate or not (methinks it is), I have it on good authority that Carla will be hanging here in town in any event. And that’s good for us because she makes tasty foods.  By the way, for the home cooks out there, make sure you’re following Chef Carla on Twitter at @ChefCarlaPelleg.  There ain’t anybody out there that shares better recipes than her.

Fleming's Steakhouse Logo (photo: flemingssteakhouse.com)

Fleming's Steakhouse Logo (photo: flemingssteakhouse.com)

Available from now through March 29, 2011, Fleming’s Steakhouse on Charleston just west of Durango is offering a 3-course prix fixe for $39.95.  Diners get their choice of Hearty Mushroom Soup or Roasted Pear and Candied Walnut Salad for the first course, Bistro Steak with Ratatouille or Crackling Pork Shank with Mashed Sweet Potatoes for main and then dessert to finish.

—–
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. 14 - The 5 Best Things The Wife Ate In 2010

This week on the Restaurant News and Reviews Show of Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, The Wife and I talk about the holidays, a look back as Tasting Las Vegas celebrates being 1 year old, the worst moment in culinary history and other recent tidbits.  Then The Wife gives nods to The 5 Best Things She Ate in 2010 and later 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 14

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

The World Famous Spinach Salad From Nittaya's Secret Garden

The World Famous Spinach Salad From Nittaya's Secret Garden

Joints We Talked About:

  • Comme Ca
  • Teriyaki Boy
  • Ilopango Restaurant
  • Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen
  • Soyo Korean Barstaurant
  • Republic Kitchen and Bar
  • Julian Serrano
  • Wazuzu
  • Firefly
  • First Food and Bar
  • Smashburger
  • P.J. Clarke’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

Video of the Sandra Lee Kwanzaa Cake is here

FoodNetworkHumor.com’s take on the McConaughey / Fieri Debacle

—–
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: Firefly's Downtown Location Temporarily Closes As Plaza Gets A Facelift

One of the Few Places of Edible Eats in Downtown Las Vegas

One of the Few Places of Edible Eats in Downtown Las Vegas

Although he was hopeful in the to keep things rolling as the Plaza Hotel downtown gets a much needed facelift, Chef John Simmons has decided to temporarily close the spectacular downtown location of the Firefly until renovations are completed.  While this is a temporary blow to anyone with hunger pangs on Fremont St., both the Paradise and West Sahara locations are alive and kicking to fulfill our tapas and sangria needs.  For the time being, those that brave the Fremont Street Experience will need to go back to Deep-Fried Twinkies and Booze Slurpees for proper nourishment.

Hang with Audrey at First Food and Bar! Mercy.

Hang with Audrey at First Food and Bar! Mercy.

YES!!!  The Greatest Week Of The Year in Las Vegas is upon us!  The AVN Adult Entertainment Expo is here and Vegas is chock full of surgically enhanced titties and professional penetrators (penetratees?)!  A few of the lovely seed receptacle film stars will be on hand at First Food and Bar at the Palazzo resort to take pictures and meet with their fans Thursday (01/06) and Friday (01/07) for a Happy Hour that runs from 4pm-6pm with the porn stars hanging at 5pm-8pm.

Smashburger Logo (photo: twitter.com/smashburger)

Smashburger Logo (photo: twitter.com/smashburger)

For the month of January, Smashburger will donate $1 from every Sin City Smashburger sold to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is the worldwide leader for research to cure Type 1 Diabetes.  The Sin City Smashburger is an Angus patty (or you can get chicken) with a fried egg, applewood smoked bacon, grilled onions, haystack onions, Smash sauce and American cheese on an egg bun.  Smashburger has multiple locations throughout the city, visit http://smashburger.com for more information.

Vegas Says Goodbye to One Hell Of A Chef, Adam Sobel

Vegas Says Goodbye to One Hell Of A Chef, Adam Sobel

My wish of Adam Sobel opening a slamming neighborhood restaurant in Vegas (preferably Henderson) is totally shot out the ass today as he bids farewell to our Little Twinkle in the Desert and heads out to Washington D.C.  Best wishes to Chef Sobel on his new venture, although I’m still holding out that he’ll be back.  It’s a simple equation: Cooking For Strippers > Cooking For Politicians.

P.J. Clarke's Logo (photo: pjclarkes.com)

P.J. Clarke's Logo (photo: pjclarkes.com)

On Saturday, January 8th, P.J. Clarke’s makes its Las Vegas debut at The Forum Shops of Caesars Palace.  P.J. Clarke’s will offer all sorts of traditional fare such as Burgers, Chili, Fish and Chips, Crabcakes. Yay.

Is it restaurant talk or sparkly vampire talk? You decide!

Is it restaurant talk or sparkly vampire talk? You decide!

Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast is back this week with the Restaurant News and Reviews Show.  After an unexpected break due to disease and holiday hubbub, The Wife and I are making our triumphant return with The 5 Best Things The Wife Ate In 2010, a look back as Tasting Las Vegas celebrates its 1-year Anniversary, a telling of The Worst Moment In Culinary History and the usual bullshit and banter we’ve all grown to love.  Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Episode 14 should be available on the internets for your listening pleasure on Tuesday!

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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

The Weekly Bad Picture Of Good Food: Spinach Linguini With Shrimp, Artichoke Hearts & Sun-Dried Tomatoes From Our House

As 2010 comes to a close, there are millions of resolutions made around the world. Eat better, drink less, swear less, exercise more and be a better person are all promises usually broken by the time Phil gets molested by the guy in the funny hat. 2011 is bringing in a major addition to the Tasting Las Vegas family that involves one of these resolutions; to cook more.  As The Next Phase of Tasting Las Vegas comes upon us, I’ll be cooking with the chefs, I’ll be cooking on my own and the goal is for all of us to be cooking together.  The good thing about cooking is that the pictures should be better (by TLV standards).  However, if a guy wants decent pictures, he should probably know where he put the god damn camera charger, thus making my Spinach Linguini with Shrimp, Artichoke Hearts and Sun-Dried Tomatoes this week’s Weekly Bad Picture Of Good Food.

Spinach Linguini with Shrimp, Artichoke Hearts and Sun-Dried Tomatoes by Moi

Spinach Linguini with Shrimp, Artichoke Hearts and Sun-Dried Tomatoes by Moi

P.S. – Yes, I know the shrimp are a little over cooked. I’m still practicing and getting back in the swing of things, damn it!  Have a Happy, Healthy and Overall Kick Ass 2011!

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The Tasting Las Vegas Kitchen

Our House
Henderson, NV

http://TastingLasVegas.com

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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