I’m way behind on travel posts. I’ve been meaning to post Vegas pics since January, so that I can post Raleigh/Durham pictures from June, and eventually Japan pictures from May. It’s going to be tough to cover everything I want to say about Japan. For now, there’s Vegas, which the last few years has become a recurring destination with pals, this time to celebrate my friend Angie’s birthday. We had a blast, eating and playing well. I have a ton to cover, so I will do my best to move quick, and won’t bloviate upon every dish. The whole photo set is here if you are bored.
My Vegas visits from February 2012 (l’atelier, Stripsteak, China Poblano) and May 2012 (Raku, é, Kabuto, Blue Ribbon) are here.
We stayed at Encore at Wynn, which is my new favorite Vegas hotel if you can swing it. Normally it would be beyond what I would want to spend on a hotel in Vegas, but it was a slow weekend so rates dropped 60%. Maybe not the best view on this side of the hotel, but I can’t get over how perfect their golf course is, in the desert.
First stop – Lotus of Siam. A favorite of every visit, it is some of the best and most varied Thai food I’ve seen. Winos know about their beverage list, which specializes in German wines at more than fair prices. Love the Thai jerky.
Favorite dish there continues to be the fried shrimp with crispy shells still attached.
But there’s a new Thai restaurant in town, which had been open for maybe a couple months (weeks?) when we visited – Chada Thai and Wine. Chada is owned and managed by Bank Atcharawan, who for years had been with Lotus of Siam.
Bank’s a young guy, and very into wine. I wasn’t super hungry when we stopped by for second lunch, but I’m extremely glad I did once he offered to cook up some dishes for us. Oh yeah, he cooks too. Really, really good food.
Crab curry with noodles is seriously excellent.
Creatively adorned oysters – I tend to eat oysters plain but like trying something new.
Beautiful, fragrant shrimp.
Moo Khum Waan pork.
Bank also blinded us on this superb Sancerre. I was fooled and thought it a beautiful Pinot.
Moving on. We checked out Le Rev at The Wynn. A great, athletic show. Impressive.
Next lunch was the unbeatable deal at Milo’s in the Cosmo. The New York and Montreal transplant Greek restaurant has a three course lunch for $22. Some fun wines to try too.
Octopus ($10 supplement)
We made a few trips for some serious beer at Public House in the Venetian. It was here I really started to discover sours.
iPad beer menu.
Dinner was at Wing Lei in the Wynn, the first Michelin starred Chinese restaurant in America. Yes, more wine.
Prawns. Wing Lei is quite expensive, and this was the most expensive dish of the trip. I want to say this plate was $120 or something nuts like that. I thankfully didn’t see the receipt myself, but the charge to my room was something like $600 for two.
Tableside presentation of peking duck.
A whole plate of fried lobster, in the shell.
Next meal was at The Country Club in Wynn, which has a fun jazz brunch. Views of the golf course are pretty, huh?
Shellfish on the first go round sounds good.
They cook paella to order, and on Sunday evenings (as it were) they offer a special of suckling pig.
Pan con tomate with Spanish ham. So simple and amazing.
Rossejat with shrimp.
Bikini de jamón Ibérico, queso manchego y trufas. One of my favorites.
The best gin and tonic ever. A must order.
Ensaladilla rusa con atún en conserva. Mayo, potato, tuna, salmon roe. Some people weren’t into it, but to me it’s the richest, best potato salad ever.
Bread topped with urchin and butter. So rich and delicious. $26…
Our lobster paella
Jaleo was my favorite experience meal of the trip. I’m most eager to hit Chada again, but the variety and fun of sharing at Jaleo is tough to beat. The Cosmo has Milo’s, Scarpetta, Jaleo, E, Blue Ribbon sushi, China Poblano, and Comme Ca all right there. A really great collection a few steps from each other.
I just booked travel to Vegas for work a few months from now…I may be sneaking away for some grub if I have my way. Until next time, Vegas.