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Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Ep. 04 - Chris Palmeri, Chef/Owner Naked City Pizza Shop

This week on Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, I’m joined once again with The Wife where we declare war on restaurants in Las Vegas that serve Bluefin Tuna.  Then we discuss some of our Recent Eats and reveal our 5 Underrated Restaurants in Las Vegas That Can’t Be Missed.  Then I sit down with Chef/Owner of the Naked City Pizza Shop, Chris Palmeri, where we talk about proper Buffalo-style eating and drinking as well as some inside information on the notoriously corrupt Truffle trade.  Then The Wife returns for 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 04

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

Chef/Owner of the Naked City Pizza Shop, Chris Palmeri

Chef/Owner of the Naked City Pizza Shop, Chris Palmeri

Joints We Talked About:

  • Naked City Pizza Shop
  • Lakeside Grill
  • Raku
  • Caribbean Cooker
  • Ernie’s
  • Rare 120 Steakhouse
  • Hussong’s Cantina
  • Hash House A Go Go
  • Fausto’s Mexican Grill
  • Fiamma
  • Paymon’s Mediterranean Cafe
  • Tabú Ultra Lounge
  • First Food and Bar
  • Alex
  • Stratta
  • Bachi Burger
  • Firefly
  • Total Wine and More

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

Follow The Naked City Pizza Shop on Twitter at @NakedCityLV

The Naked City Pizza Shop’s website is at NakedCityLV.com

Buy the Jaw Dropping Documentary The End Of The Line in Tasting Las Vegas: The Store by Amazon

A scene about the Bluefin Tuna Catastrophe from The End Of The Line on YouTube

Raku’s website is at www.raku-grill.com

You can call Chef Endo of Raku and ask him to not offer Bluefin Tuna in his restaurant at (702) 367-3511

Caribbean Cooker and Ernie’s website is at www.caribbeancooker.net

Follow Hussong’s Cantina on Twitter at @HussongsVegas

Follow Hash House A Go Go on Twitter at @HashHouseLV

Follow Fiamma on Twitter at @FiammaLV

Follow Paymon’s on Twitter at @PaymonsHookah

Follow Tabú Ultra Lounge on Twitter at @TabuLounge

Follow First Food and Bar on Twitter at @FirstFoodandBar

Get more information and print out your free tickets to the Vegas Podcast-A-Palooza at VegasPodcastAPalooza.com

—–
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: Halloween Food and Drink Specials Abound In Las Vegas

Want Some Candy Little Girls? (photo: 28.media.tumblr.com)

Want Some Candy Little Girls? (photo: 28.media.tumblr.com)

The best part about Halloween is that now you can dress like a slut in Las Vegas and actually get discounted food and drink because of it!  At what point Halloween turned into an excuse for women to wear skin tight leather and squeeze their tits out of the top of their shirt, I have no idea…but who am I to question the Great Wonders Of The World?  There are some specials happening throughout the valley during this holiday once reserved for children begging for candy with a plastic Superman mask on their face, one of which is at Tabú Ultra Lounge in the MGM Grand. Three cocktails tailor made for the the Halloween spirit will be featured; the Black Widow with Black Cherry Effen Vodka, lime juice and Chambord, a Smoking Zombie with Vodka, Gin, Rum and a float of Chambord, and Vampire Blood with Absolut Acai, Peach Schnapps and Pomegranate Juice.

Good Food and Drink Served Here

Good Food and Drink Served Here

Down the street at First Food and Bar at the Palazzo there will be featured drinks called the Trick or Chai and the Oktoberfloat on this Halloween.  Also they will be doing raffles and since Sunday is Movie Night at First, they’ll be playing A Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride after the football games.

Good Times And The Best Wings In Vegas Found Here

Good Times And The Best Wings In Vegas Found Here

However, to get you in the mood for Halloween day, the Naked City Pizza Shop inside MoonDoggies Bar on Desert Inn and Arville will be doing their Halloween hang on Saturday, October 30th! A Nightmare On Arville St. will feature food specials, drink specials, and the Bacardi Shot Girls will be on hand.  There will be raffles and contests for best costume as well, so ladies, get the girls good and propped up!  The Naked City Pizza Shop hang begins on Saturday, October 30th at 10pm and will probably last until about Halloween Day of 2011.

Crystal Head Vodka. Goes Good With 4 Fried Chickens and A Coke (photo: prweb.com)

Crystal Head Vodka. Goes Good With 4 Fried Chickens and A Coke (photo: prweb.com)

If you’ve been dying all your life to meet Dan Aykroyd (and really who hasn’t, Doctor Detroit, SON!), on Friday October 29th from 4-6pm at the Total Wine and More Boca Park location, you’ll have your chance.  The Ghostbusting Blues Brothers star will be on hand to sign bottles of his Crystal Head Vodka.

How I Don't Have A Picture Of The Cutie Pie Keris, I Have No Idea, But She Made This...

How I Don't Have A Picture Of The Cutie Pie Keris, I Have No Idea, But She Made This...

Big congratulations to one of my favorite Pastry Chefs in town, Keris of Bachi Burger, for landing a new gig with Alex Stratta’s pastry team at the Wynn hotel!  Don’t fear, Bachi Burger lovers, Keris’ signature desserts will still be at Bachi Burger as she’ll be splitting her time between the two locations.  I don’t know if Alex truly knows the talent he’s picked up yet, but all of a sudden the desserts at his restaurant just got a whole lot better!

Know What's Happening In Vegas By Listening To These Guys!

Know What's Happening In Vegas By Listening To These Guys!

Not really food related, but a great event is coming up that I wish I could attend.  Alas, The Man must be worked for and Tha’ Billz must be paid.  But, if you’re free and are looking for a warm-up to the Naked City Pizza Shop hang mentioned above, The Vegas Podcast-a-Palooza is this Saturday, October 30th at the Flamingo hotel’s Go Pool from 4-6:30pm. The peeps from Five Hundy by Midnight, The Strip Podcast and The Vegas Gang will be on hand doing their thing for all the world to see.  For more information and to print out your free tickets, visit http://VegasPodcastAPalooza.com.

Lowering The Standards of Mankind Since January 2010

Lowering The Standards of Mankind Since January 2010

And now for some Tasting Las Vegas news:

A few of you may have already noticed that TastingLasVegas.com has a slightly different look.  Just like its Papa, TLV has gotten a little wider. I added a sidebar on the lefthand side to free up some advertising space, cause Papa has gots to start paying the bills.  What do you think?  Too cluttered or is it ok?

Also, be on the look out later this week of a reboot of my Dish Spotlight Series! Exciting!

Spreading The Filth Worldwide!

Spreading The Filth Worldwide!

This week’s Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast will feature Chef and Owner of the Naked City Pizza Shop, Chris Palmeri where he dishes on everything from proper Buffalo-style eating to the proper way to store White Alba Truffles!  Also there’s a major announcement which you’re not going to want to miss!  All of this and more should be online as Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Episode 04 goes live on Wednesday, October 27th!

Speaking of Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, it has now been listened to by people in over 75 countries! Last week, the first two episodes both spent time on the iTunes Top Ten Food Podcasts! I am amazed and very appreciative.  Thank you so much for bringing this bubble gum and duct tape operation into your home.  Remember, I’m always open to feedback, so fire away!

—–
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 03, Chef Carla Pellegrino of Rao's

This week on Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, I’m joined once again with The Wife where we discuss The Great Bluefin Tuna / Lakeside Grill Controversy of Yesterday, the good times at the Blogworld and New Media Expo, our recent eats, and we also reveal our 5 Cocktails in Las Vegas That Can’t Be Missed.  Then I’m joined with the lovely, passionate and very talented Executive Chef of Rao’s at Caesars Palace, Carla Pellegrino, where she dishes on the big changes at Caesars, being a woman in a man’s world, how she rose from a tiny shop in Liguria, Italy to one of the most popular restaurants on The Las Vegas Strip.  Then The Wife returns for 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 03

Check Out Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast on iTunes!

Chef Carla Pellegrino of Rao's

Chef Carla Pellegrino of Rao's

Joints We Talked About:

  • Lakeside Grill
  • Shibuya
  • Fiamma
  • Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak
  • Nobhill Tavern
  • Yellowtail
  • Origin India
  • Rao’s
  • Julian Serrano
  • Presidio
  • Garfield’s
  • Nu Sanctuary
  • Sage
  • RM Seafood
  • Max Brenner
  • Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria and Cucina
  • Atomic #7
  • Payard Patisserie and Bistro

Tha’ Links:

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

Follow The Wife on Twitter at @TLV_TheWife

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

Follow Chef Carla Pellegrino on Twitter at @ChefCarlaPelleg

Visit Carla’s brand spanking new website at ChefCarlaPellegrino.com

The big Lakeside Grill / Bluefin Tuna Bruhaha I started

Follow Wynn Las Vegas on Twitter at @WynnLasVegas

Download the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Guide TODAY!

Follow Babette Pepaj on Twitter at @Bakespace

Visit Bakespace.com and be amazed!

Follow Sara O’Donnell as Average Betty on Twitter at @averagebetty

Check out AverageBetty.com, she’s hilarious!

See Bitchin’ Kitchen on The Cooking Channel!

Follow Jaden Hair on Twitter at @SteamyKitchen

Check out Jaden’s amazing website at SteamyKitchen.com

Follow Manouschka Guerrier on Twitter at @singleserving

Follow Seablue on Twitter at @SeablueLV

Follow what’s happening at the MGM Grand Restaurants on Twitter at @TasteMGMGrand

Follow Shibuya on Twitter at @ShibuyaLV

Follow Fiamma on Twitter at @FiammaLV

Follow Cynthia Inguanzo on Twitter at @CynthiaInguanzo

Follow Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak on Twitter at @CraftsteakLV

Follow Nobhill Tavern on Twitter at @NobhillTavernLV

Follow Akira Back on Twitter at @akiraback and tell him to make sure Bluefin is OFF Yellowtail’s menu!

Follow Origin India on Twitter at @OriginIndia

Follow Max Brenner on Twitter at @MaxBrennerUSA

Follow Chef Rick Moonen on Twitter at @RickMoonen

Follow Project Dinner Table on Twitter at @food4good

Check out Project Dinner Table and the great work they do at ProjectDinnerTable.com

Follow Atomic #7 on Twitter at @Atomic7IceCream

—–
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

Monday Mise en Place: Franck Savoy Named Food and Beverage Director of Caesars Palace

Good Restaurants About To Turn Better Found Here (photo: Caesars Palace Facebook page)

Good Restaurants About To Turn Better Found Here (photo: Caesars Palace Facebook page)

Big changes are abound in the Food and Beverage department at Caesars Palace.  I saw it first reported by Pope Curtas the ELV on Twitter and I’ve since had his report confirmed that General Manager of Restaurant Guy Savoy, Franck Savoy, will be taking over as Food and Beverage Director at the resort.  Taking his place as GM at Guy Savoy will be Alain Alpe.  Franck, son of Guy, will still be very actively involved with Restaurant Guy Savoy.  This comes along with the news of Chef Todd Williams of Bradley Ogden getting a bump to Assistant Executive Chef of Caesars Palace, which was reported here last week.  Obviously it’s too early to tell, but I think this is all a pretty significant step in the right direction for the resort.

The Place With The Big Fake Tree Loses Their Chef

The Place With The Big Fake Tree Loses Their Chef

Looks like changes are also abound at Nu Sanctuary in Town Square.  Chef Brian Howard will be working his last day there behind the flames on Saturday, October 16th.  No word as to who Howard’s replacement will be and if Nu Sanctuary will be making a significant change in direction.  Chef Howard is going to be preparing a special “Last Supper” on Saturday that will be available on that day from 5pm-10pm.  The dinner as described on Chef Howard’s blog is billed as; “a spectacular five course tasting of contempoary global cuisine. this menu will be magical and take you on a journey through my mind as i  use seasonal global  ingredients to arouse your senses, play with your mind and tease your palette.” On Twitter, Howard told me that he’s got some things in the works, but he can’t disclose what those things are at this time.  Best wishes to Brian on his new adventure!

Chef Stephen Hopcraft Wants YOU!

Chef Stephen Hopcraft Wants YOU!

The power of social media was in full force over the weekend as two chefs in town posted gigs for sous chefs in their respective kitchens on Facebook.  Chef Jet Tila of Wazuzu at the Encore resort is looking as is Chef Stephen Hopcraft of Seablue in the MGM Grand.  I’ve had the good fortune of being able to interview both these guys and I could only imagine they’d both be great dudes to work for. Check out my post on Stephen Hopcraft here and listen to Jet Tila on the very first Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast!

The Sporting House Logo (picture: twitter.com/SportingHouseLV)

The Sporting House Logo (picture: twitter.com/SportingHouseLV)

For all the people out there that haven’t been able to sleep since the ESPN Zone closed at the New York, New York casino, there is good news.  The Sporting House Bar & Grill has taken over the space and has opened a restaurant downstairs and an interactive sports-themed arcade upstairs.  Sound familiar?

MOzen Bistro - Good Food, Empty Spaces

MOzen Bistro - Good Food, Empty Spaces

MOzen Bistro at the Mandarin Oriental has changed up their lunch prix fixe for the fall.  Available until October 29th, the three course $38 lunch now has such items as a Combination of Asian Starters or Roasted Garlic Soup with Carmelized Onion for the first course, Lasagna al Forno or Indian Chicken Curry for the main course and a Chocolate Delice with Passion Fruit Cremeux for dessert. Don’t forget, Las Vegas locals still get 20% off their entire bill, so by my math that brings the three course lunch to $30.40.

To Be, Or Not To Be...on Coronado Center Drive. That is the Question.

To Be, Or Not To Be...on Coronado Center Drive. That is the Question.

There’s a new British pub in town and it is located on the corner of Eastern and Coronado Center in The Hendo.  Shakespeare’s Grille and Pub is now open for business and has most of your British pub food favorites including Fish n’ Chips, Bangers & Mash and Shepherd’s Pie. You can follow Shakespeare’s on Twitter at @ShakespearesGP.

Because There's No Steak That Tastes Better Than When It's Half Off

Because There's No Steak That Tastes Better Than When It's Half Off

In one of those “Holy Shit” deals, Rare 120° Steakhouse at the Hard Rock Hotel may have topped them all.  Starting today, October 11th, Rare 120° will be rolling with Half Off Mondays where the entire food menu is priced at half off every Monday!  Not since the great days of the 2-for-1 entrees for locals at Nobhill Tavern have we seen such a deal. And from the looks of things, this deal is open for everyone, not just Vegas locals.  Rare 120° is open from 6pm-11pm on Mondays.  Call ahead at (702) 693-5000 to make sure it’s still happening.

You can now listen to Michael Jackson, Journey and that Bieber thing along with TLV!

You can now listen to Michael Jackson, Journey and that Bieber thing along with TLV!

Thanks to everyone who tuned in to that big mess of a first Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast last week!  I’ve been officially accepted and approved on iTunes, so you can check out the podcast there at http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/tasting-las-vegas-the-podcast/id396995656. On this week’s show, I’ll be joined by The Wife for the whole show where I’ll name 5 Late Night Eats in Las Vegas That Can’t Be Missed and I sit down with Chef Lorin Watada of Bachi Burger for an in-depth look on moving from corporate chef life to opening your own biz, as well as his view on living with restaurant critics.  Also, there will be The News With The Wife, the TLV Cheap Eats of the Week and so much more!  I’ll try my best to get this one a little tighter. (THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!)

—–
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 01, Chef Jet Tila Speaks!

Holy shit!  We did it!  The very first Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast episode is UP!  Many thanks to Michael Manley, The Wife and Executive Chef of Wazuzu at the Encore resort, Jet Tila for joining me on this maiden voyage.

Three Disclosures:

  1. The first segment with Michael Manley was riddled with audio problems, so please forgive the shitty audio and heinous editing. It gets better. I swear.
  2. This pig is long, coming in at an hour and fifty minutes.  Anybody who listens to the whole thing will win a prize.  Ok…you won’t really win a prize…but thanks for listening!
  3. There’s some potty language. Surprise, surprise!

Without further adieu, click the link below to listen to Episode 01 of Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast!

Listen to Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast, Episode 01

Chef Jet Tila of Wazuzu and Your Home's Freezer!

Chef Jet Tila of Wazuzu and Your Home's Freezer!

Tha’ Links:

Check out Crossings by The Las Vegas Jazz Connection on CDBaby

Follow Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast at @TLV_ThePodcast

Follow Michael Manley on Twitter at @AgeOfManley

Michael’s new blog is AgeOfManley.wordpress.com

Follow Jet Tila on Twitter at @jettila

Chef Jet’s website is ChefJet.com

Jet’s very own Schwan’s page is here.

More about the RAVE diet at RAVEdiet.com

My props to Wazuzu’s Drunken Noodles is here.

2010 Tasting Las Vegas 7 & 7 Restaurant Picks for Blogworld is here

Follow The Wife on Twitter at @TLV_TheWife

My Original Assessment of Republic Kitchen and Bar 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: Hash House A Go Go To Open At The M Resort

Hash House A Go Go: Home To Big Ass Pancakes (photo: HHAGG Facebook Page)

Hash House A Go Go: Home To Big Ass Pancakes (photo: HHAGG Facebook Page)

Look! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No…it’s a pancake the size of Mars! And yes, you will be able to get that planetary-sized pancake at the M Resort as of October 7th when Hash House A Go Go officially opens its third Las Vegas location.  Sunday – Thursday the Hash House M Resort location will be open from 7am-11pm, and on Friday and Saturday they will sport some late night hours and be open from 7am-2am.  With the M’s 32 Bar packed with all sorts of beer on tap, this will prove to be a very fun, possibly dangerous combination.  Oh, and speaking of big ass pancakes, The M Resort location will have a special M&M Pancake just for it.  M&M Pancake at the M.  Get it?

31 Years of Cuteness! Happy Birthday to The Wife!

31 Years of Cuteness! Happy Birthday to The Wife!

31 years ago today, October 4th, a very important moment in world history happened; The Wife was born!  Please join me in wishing The Wife (sometimes also known as Kerry) a very Happy Birthday! Also, please send presents as I forgot to buy her anything.  Don’t feel bad for her…she’s used to it.

Good Times Guaranteed At the Naked City Pizza Shop!

Good Times Guaranteed At the Naked City Pizza Shop!

Starting this Tuesday, October 5th, there will be a weekly hang geared towards Las Vegas’ restaurant industry folks at the Naked City Pizza Shop!  There will be food, drink and shot specials.  The hang starts at midnight and the kitchen will stay open until at least 3am!  A hang that starts at midnight on a Tuesday (technically Wednesday…let’s say the hang starts at 11:59pm on Tuesday so there’s no confusion)….I love Las Vegas.  And I love the Naked City Pizza Shop.  Remember, the NCPS is located inside Moon Doggies Bar on the corner of Desert Inn and Arville.

I love Beiruts too! (photo: habeeb.com)

I love Beiruts too! (photo: habeeb.com)

Tis the season for ethnic festivals and now the Lebanese are having their turn with The 3rd Annual Lebanese American Festival hosted by the St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Mission from Friday, October 8th - Sunday, October 10th.  All of the food is made from scratch by real live Lebanese people.  Apparently one family is making 1,500 kibbe balls.  That’s a lot of balls.  The St. Sharbel Mission is located at 10325 Rancho Destino Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89183. For more information you can call (702) 616-6902 or visit www.lebaneseamericanfestivallasvegas.org.

Jean-Louis Palladin (photo: grapeseedoil.com)

Jean-Louis Palladin (photo: grapeseedoil.com)

It’s not this week, but just a heads up, on October 17th, RM Seafood is hosting one hell of a sick dinner to benefit the Jean-Louis Palladin Fund for the James Beard Foundation.  The whole menu will be cooked from Palladin’s book, “Cooking With The Seasons.” Here’s who’s cooking the food:  Rick Moonen, Adam Sobel and Gerald Chin (Rick Moonen’s rm seafood), André Rochat and Gary LaMorte (André’s and Alizé), Mark Hopper (Bouchon), Luciano Pellegrino (Valentino), Vincent Pouessel (Aureole), Barry Dakake and Geno Bernardo (N9NE/Nove), David Werly (Le Cirque), Martin Heierling (Sensi/Silk Road), Hugo Coudurier (Restaurant Guy Savoy), Jean Joho and Joung Sohn (Eiffel Tower Restaurant), Michael and Wendy Jordan (Rosemary’s) with desserts by Megan Romano (Aureole) and Michelle Lee (Rick Moonen’s rm seafood) and wines provided by Wirtz Beverage.   That’s pretty sick.  Tickets for this amazing event roll for $295 a person.  For more info about the Palladin Fund for the James Beard Foundation, visit http://www.jamesbeard.org/index.php?q=education_jlp_about. For more info about this extraordinary dinner call RM Seafood at (702) 632-9300 and ask about the Palladin Dinner.

The Other Good Part About Football (photo: whitemeat.wordpress.com)

The Other Good Part About Football (photo: whitemeat.wordpress.com)

I don’t really give a shit about football, but I’m sure glad for the specials it brings to just about every restaurant with a TV and a barstool.  RM Seafood is sporting some nifty specials, such as; select half-priced sushi rolls, $5 Stella Artois and Asahi Drafts and a $12 RM Burger special which I have now had three weeks in a row and I can’t get enough of it.  Easily one of the best burgers in town…yes…at RM Seafood.  Also rolling with footyball specials is Rao’s at Caesars Palace.  Rao’s is doing something cool where they are taking some of their classics on the menu and transforming them to tailgating food.  Uncle Vincent’s Lemon Chicken Wings, Meatball Hoagies and a Flatbread Steak Melt to name a few.  Also joining in on the fun is the Vin Bar and Lounge at Valentino’s in the Venetian.  They’re putting together antipasto platters of all sorts of charcuterie, salumis and cheeses.  Also, there are crudo platters where you can choose from a number of raw items like Blood Orange Lobster Tail or Green Apple Scallops. For the crudo plates, you can either order a la carte or have your choice of three for $12 or six for $24.

A New Low In The History Of Eating Out

A New Low In The History Of Eating Out

Hopefully with the technology gods at our side, the very first Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast will be online and ready for your enjoyment sometime in the afternoon on Wednesday, October 6th! Yes, I have polluted your eyes enough with this mess…now it’s time to get to work on the ears!  Joining me on this momentous occasion will be Michael Manley (remember him?) and, of course, The Wife! I’m also very excited to announce that that very first interview was with the one, the only, the fighter and the lover….Executive Chef of Wazuzu, Jet Tila! Jet has had, and continues to have, an extraordinary amount of shit going on, so we had plenty to talk about.  We covered everything from Schwan’s to Wynn rolling vegan-style to cooking for James Beard’s groupies to his thoughts on Vegas in general.  Good times were had, you’re not going to want to miss this one!  Make sure you also follow The Official Twitter of Tasting Las Vegas: The Podcast at @TLV_ThePodcast!

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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

Behind The Scenes: How My 2010 7 & 7 Restaurant Picks Were Picked

I don’t know about you, but when I see Top (insert number here [that's what she said]) Lists, my blood usually starts boiling.  I often find myself thinking, “Are these people fucking stupid, corrupt, or a little bit of both?”  Whether it’s a Top 5 Greek Restaurants in Vegas list that doesn’t have The Fat Greek (yes, I’m still breaking your balls on that, Vegas Chatter) and a restaurant that hasn’t opened yet in a hotel that hasn’t opened yet, no less; or, a Top 5 List of Late Night Eats that have places that close by midnight at the latest and/or serve utterly heinous food (yes, I’m looking directly at you Haute Living)…it usually takes all my willpower to not throw my laptop across the room when I see these awful lists.

Oh…and while I’m here…..can we PLEASE get rid of the word, “haute”?!? Enough is fucking enough with everything being haute.  First of all, the god damn word is pronounced “oat,” so trying to be clever by substituting “haute” for “hot” either means you’re ignorant or you sound like a retarded Scotsman.  Balls, that just irritates the shit out of me.  Yes…I know…I’m an angry man.  Ok…back to the subject at hand…..

Always Thinking Of A Way Out...

Always Thinking Of A Way Out...

So obviously these lists, more times than not, piss me off…and now here I am, doing one of my own.  Oh boy.  I was ready to take the heat as karma was cracking its knuckles getting ready to do work.  However, much to my surprise, the overall reaction to the list was overwhelmingly positive.  People really dug the list.  The restaurants picked (obviously) REALLY dug the list.

By the way, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a direct link to The 2010 Tasting Las Vegas 7 & 7 Restaurant Picks for the Blogworld and New Media Expohttp://www.blogworld.com/2010/09/21/the-2010-tasting-las-vegas-7-7-restaurant-picks/ If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out first and then come on back.  A few of you have asked how I settled on the restaurants I settled on and the thought process behind it, so I thought I’d try to share what was going on in my brain when I put it together…

Tasting Las Vegas Panel Discussion is on October 16 @ 2:45pm!

Tasting Las Vegas Panel Discussion is on October 16 @ 2:45pm!

As an invited speaker to the 2010 Blogworld and New Media Expo to be part of the “Tasting Las Vegas” panel discussion along side the Queen of Buttercream, Kari Haskell of Retro Bakery, The Strip Podcast himself, Steve Friess and Ms. Vegas Chatter, Julia Buckley; I was asked to do a post for Blogworld’s blog as well as a dining guide.  I decided on killing two birds with one stone.

My goal with the 7 & 7 list was to come up with as diverse of offerings as I could that really showed off the special culinary offerings we have here in Las Vegas.  I wanted to show off our different cuisines, price points, locations, meal times, etc. and approach the whole thing from a visitor’s perspective.  If I’m a visiting a place, I want to have an experience that I can’t have at home.  Originally I was going to do 5 restaurants On The Strip and 5 off, but I couldn’t narrow it down that much….and technically I didn’t really narrow it down to 7 and 7 either with all of the little bonus mentions…but I did the best I could.

Some people have asked why I included Off The Strip restaurants on the list if it’s intended for visitors.  My answer is that I think there’s enough people out there that want to stay away from the resort corridor and drive through the neighborhoods to see where us locals eat.  It’s a weird town.  Visitors need to know that there’s good eats off The Strip, and locals need to know there’s good eats on The Strip.

The two most difficult things about putting the list together was (obviously) deciding on the final 7 & 7 and also not using dick and fart jokes.  It was a self-imposed ban on my trademark dick and fart jokes with varying degrees of foul language.  I don’t know how real writers do it.  I figured without my dick and fart jokes, people won’t even get past the third suggestion!  I suppose that’s why I rarely get through an entire restaurant review in a “legitimate” publication. So boring.  Oh well…here’s to hoping…

Lobster Pot Pie from Nobhill Tavern: Tastes A Lot Better When It's 2-for-1

Lobster Pot Pie from Nobhill Tavern: Tastes A Lot Better When It's 2-for-1

Settling on the final list was agonizing.  There were restaurants that were on the list until I slept on it overnight, then took them off.  Two On The Strip joints that didn’t make the final edit was Nobhill Tavern at the MGM Grand and Payard Patisserie & Bistro at Caesars Palace.  I wanted to find a place on there for Nobhill Tavern, but if I put them on, then why not all of the other Mina restaurants, Bradley Ogden, Sage and the list goes on and on.  What ultimately decided why Nobhill Tavern didn’t make it, is because I see it more as a restaurant on The Strip that is better for locals.  The 2-for-1 entree deal they used to run for locals upped its appeal and since the true extraordinary nature of their service is seen on multiple visits, it stayed off this list for once-a-year convention goers.

Payard Patisserie and Bistro: Good Macarons Made Here

Payard Patisserie and Bistro: Good Macarons Made Here

Payard was tough.  They have a fabulous 3-course prix fixe for lunch that hovers in the $20 range.  They also have the best macarons in town, and also would have given the Harrah’s empire some recognition on the list.  If Silk Road wasn’t so damn magnificent, it would have been on there…but by limiting myself to 7-ish picks on The Strip, there wasn’t enough room for two Breakfast and Lunch joints.  Also, having Silk Road on there gave me an angle to throw out a bonus shout out to Sensi with the Heierling connection.  I almost said fuck the whole 7 & 7 angle and included Payard, but with this being Vegas, 7 being lucky and 7 & 7 being the well-known adult beverage that it is…I couldn’t pass it up.

Yes, a few pointed out that while the individual properties were diversified on the list, MGM Resorts had a landslide victory.  That’s because MGM Resorts have better restaurants.  I can’t help that.  Take away Caesars Palace and Harrah’s is a steaming pile of shit when it comes to restaurants.  I can’t put Guy Savoy on there when there is Robuchon. Rao’s is decent, but the prices are too jacked for me to send a bunch of bloggers there, and while Bradley Ogden is fine and dandy, I can’t have a restaurant on there just because they make the best burger in town.

Fabulous Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chop from Sirio Ristorante

Fabulous Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chop from Sirio Ristorante

Another glaring omission is that there was no On The Strip Italian joint.  This was more due to a diversity in property rule I tried to adhere to, and there was no way in hell I wasn’t going to have Julian Serrano on the list to make room for Sirio Ristorante.  Sirio is fabulous, though, and when people ask me for a suggestion for Italian on The Strip, that’s always where I send them.  The Goat Milk Ricotta Ravioli with Sage Butter and Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops are out of sight.  If it wasn’t for Silk Road, Sirio would be the must underrated restaurant in all of CityCenter.

Funky Toro from Raku

Funky Toro from Raku

Off The Strip was just as agonizing, if not even worse.  I could have easily put Ichiza, Archi’s, Raku and Soyo on there, but four out of seven slots be Asian (five if you include Bachi Burger)?  That ain’t right.  Some may argue that Raku deserves to be there over Ichiza, to which I say this;  Raku is overrated. There, I said it.  Yes, the guy has brilliant knife skills and is an artist when it comes to presentation, but sometimes the best, most fresh ingredients aren’t used.  I’m not saying that Ichiza does either, but Ichiza never pretends that it does.  And I’m not saying that Raku is bad by any stretch of the word….but I think it’s about time to stop giving Chef Endo the neverending blowjob that so many in our restaurant community give him.  Give your tonsils a break, boys!

Fukuburger: Good Food and Good Times Served Here Nightly

Fukuburger: Good Food and Good Times Served Here Nightly

Another tough call was if I should give a nod to a food truck on there or not.  Fukuburger is most deserving and does wonders considering they’re cooking that shit in a truck, but comparing flat out burger-to-burger, there’s no contest between Fukuburger and Bachi Burger.  Like I said, it was a tough call.  It really comes down to personal values in dining out, and I guess when it comes down to it, for me….food trumps the hang.  Fukuburger is indeed made of awesome.  Great hang, great guys working it, great prices, certainly one of the best burgers in town.  Like I said…tough call.

Marche Bacchus: Good, but there's probably Better

Marche Bacchus: Good, but there's probably Better

If I have one regret on the list, it’s putting Marche Bacchus on there.  It’s another overrated place.  Don’t get me wrong, the food is good there, although inconsistent.  I’ve had a perfect pork chop there and I’ve had a raw one.  If the setting wasn’t so nice and if there was anything else in the vicinity that I knew better, it probably would have been on the cutting room floor.  It’s my own fault for not knowing the non-Asian restaurants on the west side enough to be able to recommend something else.  Yeah yeah yeah…I’m working on it, damn it!

Like I said, I’m surprised more people didn’t give me shit about the list.  Maybe this post just opened up the can of worms…who knows.  I’m glad it was so well received and that it went viral in a hurry on Facebook and Twitter.  I hope the people that read it eat well from it.  Many thanks to Babette Pepaj of Bakespace.com fame for including me in on the fun.  I’m looking forward to this Blogworld and New Media Expo and getting to hang with Kari, Steve and Julia.  Good times are inevitable!

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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

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!

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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