Archive for the ‘ Restaurant Reviews ’ Category

K-Bop Korean Tapas and Bar

K-bop interior
Las Vegas is dotted with a number of Korean restaurants, mostly serving classic dishes or all-you-can eat buffets. K-Bop is different from those places. It joins the short list of new Korean restaurants in town now serving Korean pop-culture food (Korean burritos and bulgogi dogs) , as well as home-style rice and noodle comfort dishes.

A recent early Friday evening dinner was a total hit. Everything we ordered was outstanding. A Bulgogi Dog-an Asian version of a Philly cheese steak packed with tender grilled strips of Korean beef, onions and cheese on a toasted bun, was terrific. We ate every bite of sizzling platters of “Corn Cheese” (a gooey casserole of corn and cheese) and the L.A. Kalbi (thin sliced, Korean style marinated and grilled short ribs).

The highlight of the evening was the takoyaki, a very popular late-night drinking snack in Japan. Six ping-pong ball sized fried fritters were filled with diced octopus and topped with shaved bonito flakes and a drizzle of two sauces. Complimentary dishes of crispy fried pastry strips, stewed sweet potatoes and a terrific house-made kimchi were perfect additions to our meal. We split a bottle of the house soju, the Korean equivalent of Japan’s sake that was amazingly good considering it features that Gangham Style pop singer all the rage now on it’s label.

K-Bop calls itself a tapas bar, but the portions served are generous enough to count as a main dish. Adding to the terrific food is the friendly, upbeat service and the very comfortable, nicely decorated interior. We enjoyed the Korean pop music and videos playing in the background-it was just enough kitsch without being goofy.

Located on the corner of S. Ft. Apache and Flamingo in the Home Depot plaza, K-Bop is open until 2:00AM on Friday & Saturdays making this our number one pick for a late night stop for a bite to eat on the way home from a night out.

K-Bop Tapas and Bar
4235 S. Fort Apache
Las Vegas 89147
(702)740-5267
website

soju

Gallagher’s

NY strip
With roots in New York City that go back to 1927, Gallagher’s is an old school, no nonsense East Coast style steakhouse. You won’t find anything gimmicky on the menu, but you’ll find dry aged steaks, seafood and the side dishes that have been served in classic New York steakhouses for decades.

This comes with a price, of course, but there are times you get what you pay for. In our case it was a $43 dry aged bone-in New York strip steak that was everything a steak should be-beefy, juicy and cooked exactly as ordered. Stellar icy cold oysters, classic Caesar salad and side dishes large enough for two that included a bacon studded five cheese mac & cheese and enormous onion rings were all that were needed to round out an outstanding special occasion steak dinner that hard-core carnivores dream about.

Only one thing didn’t seem right with a recent dinner here. Enormous, serrated steak knives the size of mini-machetes that were not only dull, but out of place for our small table for two. The butter knives on our table were actually sharper. This may not be an issue with a boneless filet, but with our thick, bone-in strip steaks, the steak knives were too cumbersome to be very useful without inflicting damage on the diners seated at the table next to ours.

Service during our meal was spot-on. Our server was personable and efficient which set the tone for a very enjoyable evening. All menu items are ala carte. Dinner for two with appetizers, salads, side dishes and a bottle of wine came to $250 with the tip. Reservations are recommended, but we had no problem getting a table for early dining on a Friday evening without one. Gallagher’s is located on the casino level of the New York New York resort on the Strip.

Gallagher’s Steakhouse
New York New York Hotel & Casino
3790 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 740-6450
line

Nobu Restaurant at Caesars

Nobu
Thanks to an epic royal dealt by a generous video poker machine earlier in the evening, two of us recently dined with wild abandon at the newest Nobu, this one located at Caesars Palace. Pricey, yes, but worth the price of admission if faultless seafood, impeccable service and legendary Nobu ambiance is on your Las Vegas list of things to-do.

Fans of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and his global restaurant empire are drawn to his exquisite traditional sushi as well as his modern twists on classic Japanese cuisine. We enjoyed a couple of unique cocktails (we loved the Cracked Basil), while navigating a menu that required a bit of expertise from a well-informed waiter. The sizable menu with a small, pricey list of exclusive sakes tends to be a bit tricky to sort the starters and small plates from the main dishes. Highlights of our dinner, an assortment of sushi (the toro was divine), shared plates of buttery Kobe “sashimi” and skewers of grilled squid set the stage for the stars of the evening-the legendary Miso Black Cod and a flawless lemony lobster and shrimp combo. We’re still dreaming about the buttery Black Cod.

Would we dine at Nobu again? Sure, especially if we were at Caesars and had another lucky evening in the casino (or dining on someone else’s corporate expense account). With a normal dining budget and with so many outstanding Japanese restaurants in Las Vegas, Nobu may not be our first choice, but it certainly was one of the more memorable meals we’ve had on the Strip.

Nobu at Caesars Palace
3570 Las Vegas Blvd South,
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(Inside Caesars Palace

Phone: (702)785.6628

Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace

charcuterie
The majority of Las Vegas buffets are pretty much the same. Given the nature of a buffet, the food from one to the next is going to be standard, non-descript fare. Reviewing Las Vegas buffets is pointless unless the food is comically bad (like the one at the Rampart Resort in Summerlin), or notably good. The newly renovated and re-defined Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars is notably good. At $45.99 for the dinner seating, it’s not the cheapest buffet on the Strip, but when it comes to buffets, you’re likely to get your money’s worth.

If you are a meat-eater, you’ll stand a very good chance to get your money’s worth at the dinner buffet. On the evening we dined at Bacchanal, the prime rib was very good, as was the sirloin. Lamb chops were an overcooked, dry disappointment, but there were at least six other grilled, roasted or barbecued meat choices that looked impressive. We actually went back for seconds for the truffled scallop potatoes that were a good choice with our prime rib.

Other notable stations on the buffet line were the Mexican, Italian and Asian offerings (nice little dim sum selection and noodles cooked to order). The bread, cheese and charcuterie sections midway through the buffet were also outstanding, and would have been a great way to begin our meal if they had been closer to the start of the line. We went back for seconds for the raw oyster shooters from the seafood bar, but wished we hadn’t put the crab legs on our plates. They were watery, salty and a few days past their prime.

Any buffet worth its price of admission should end with a memorable choice of deserts and Bacchanal certainly stands above many of the other buffets on the Strip in the desert department. An endless assortment of very fine pastries, brulées, and gelatos was a fun way to top off what really is a outstanding buffet (we loved the creme brulée that we topped with fresh fruit).

The hits outweigh the misses at Bacchanal. To maximize the cost of admission do what seasoned Vegas buffet diners do and cruise down the line to check things out before you grab a plate and start loading up. Very often the treasures in a buffet are near the end of the line.


Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace
Website

Lilly’s Thai and Vietnamese

Lilly's Thai
We were pleasantly surprised by a recent weeknight stop at this small, unassuming, neighborhood restaurant on W. Sahara (between Buffalo and Tenaya). A few dishes prepared by a cook who obviously knows their way around a southeast-Asian kitchen were exceptional. The menu here isn’t expansive, we always take that as a good sign. We’d much rather choose from a short list of well-prepared dishes than an ambitious list of dishes slapped together by someone taking a wild guess at an unfamiliar recipe.

The Thai spring rolls ($4.95) were first-rate. Four crackling-crisp, nicely seasoned rolls filled with vegetables and thin rice noodles were everything a perfect Thai spring roll should be. The menu features several duck dishes (a personal favorite). Fans of Thai basil will love the Ka Pao Duck $16.95, a generous portion of outstanding, crisp-skinned, boneless duck topped with stir fried vegetables and fragrant Thai basil. We were also impressed by the Beef Sam Rot ($9.95), super-tender, battered and fried beef served with broccoli and a light sauce that didn’t overpower the dish. We have been told the pho is very good here, and we plan a return trip soon to confirm that.

We topped things off with an interesting, chunky coconut ice cream served with crisp banana-filled wontons ($5.95). Service was lovely; our server was charming, patient, and efficient. Our only issue was the rice. We don’t mind paying an extra $1.50 for a bowl of plain rice, but ours was either reheated rice from the day before or a low-quality brand. But that won’t stop us from another visit to see what this cook does with noodles and pho, and another order of that terrific Ka Pao Duck.

7365 W Sahara Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89117
Phone:(702) 778-7731
menu

Bomas Bar and Grill

Bomas Bar
With recent legislation banning smoking in restaurants and bars that serve food, Las Vegas has seen the demise of many of our beloved neighborhood 24/7 video poker bars that served some of the best burgers, steaks and bar food known to man. One newer lounge, Bomas, is brilliantly complying with the smoking ban as well as carrying on the video poker tradition Las Vegas locals know and love with a new building that features an attractive, attached, smoke-free dining area with a separate entrance from the smoky classic Vegas video poker lounge area. That issue being solved, Bomas, located on S. Durango also features a menu with a few gems, including a 12-ounce boneless ribeye steak far better those we’ve had recently at posh restaurants (see our prior post, “Flemings”).
Ribeye
For $16.95 this 12 ounce, boneless ribeye steak from Bomas on S. Durango does everything a steak should do. Tender, juicy and expertly grilled exactly as ordered, this was one of the best steaks we’ve had in recent memory. A fine side salad with a terrific chunky, house-made blue cheese dressing was a worthy companion to our steak.

We also loved the hot, crispy, house-made potato chips that were included in an impressive appetizer combo platter ($11.95), and a substantial French Dip sandwich ($8.95) that was very good with side of not-overly-salty jus. The menu also includes a few interesting takes on pasta, sandwiches and burgers.

Service wasn’t the speediest in town, but it’s possible we were dining during a shift change. Our pleasant server happily accommodated our request for a substitution of a salad for the two sides with our entrée. Offering a variety of happy hour and graveyard specials, Bomas is open 24 hours a day.

Bomas
8020 S Durango Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89113
website and menu
Bomas

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar

Flemings
A group of us dining midweek at Fleming’s recently were mesmerized by a lonely petit filet ($39) on a rather large plate served only with thirty-three festive flecks of parsley. Forget that this filet was ordered medium rare and it came out something close to Ash Wednesday. To be fair, we were a large party, and serving a steak prepared as ordered can be problematic when cooking for a group. Much better was the salmon with a light BBQ glaze ($33), served over sautéed mushrooms. Sides are all ala carte, the norm for most classic steak houses. Good choices were the Fleming’s house salad ($9), sides of green beans ($9.50) and garlic mashed potatoes ($9). A loaf of herb bread with two interesting spreads was a hit.

In spite of the size of our group, service was upbeat and friendly. We weren’t exactly wowed by the food, but the service and ambiance made for a generally pleasant dining experience. While it may just have been an off-night for the grill cook on the steaks, there are better steaks at these prices around town. We’ve been told a Sunday Prime Rib special is very good here and worthy of standing in line (reservations are highly recommended). Fleming’s offers an impressive 100 different wines available by the glass.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
8721 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89117
(702) 838-4774

website and menu

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