The End of An Era
This trip to Vegas was the final blowout trip of my 20's. Decadence is the best word to describe it; a decade of fun ending with a debacle of a party and ridiculous meal.
Not wasting any time, we went straight from the airport to Lotus of Siam. The hope was that it would rival Jitlada but it fell short across the board. Jitlada's Southern Thai specialties and Spicy BBQ's Northern menu both feature tastier dishes packed with spicier spice and more flavorful flavor. The fish cakes were weak, the tom yum was average, the egg noodles were good but not great, the jackfruit was totally disappointing after my last two jackfruit experiences and neither the nua sao renu (beef with tamarind sauce and fried dry chili) nor the nua yum katiem (beef with fresh garlic and spicy sauce) could touch Jitlada's khûa klíng Phat Lung. The trio of sticky rice (sans mango as they said it was out of stock...), coconut ice cream and fried bananas were redemption but far too little too late.
Luckily the crowd favorite Joe's Stone Crab delivered the following afternoon. I could easily eat their hash browns with any meal, any time, any day- with sushi, salsa, soup or spaghetti. Large oysters rockafeller, cool cracked stone crab and college basketball on every screen provided a perfect midday meal. Just a note that the Key Lime Pie was too cold and obviously was kept in a freezer or fridge that made it unenjoyable.
Miss and hit were followed by another miss at Carnevino, where before we even checked in for our reservation I was worried. I should have trusted yelp as the complaints were totally on point. The restaurant is split across a large casino walkway. Slot machines can ring through your meal with billows of cigarette smoke spread like fog machines at a hair metal concert. Cheesy couples parade by like an H&M dressing room webcam come alive. Luckily we got a private room off the main dining room, but it proved to be too small for the service to properly place plates in their proper positions. The prices were through the roof, the food was typical Batali but everything else fell flat. There was a lot of effort put into the service but nothing delivered. The plates were served in unison but not to the right table positions. The meat carved tableside couldn't be seen, and as a result the show was a waste and should have been served whole for us to cut ourselves. The best suggestion of the night was a value bet on El Dorado rum at $15 per glass. $160 per person, however, was too much for the mediocre display and left a bad taste in our mouths.
Poolside days and tableside nights are the standard for our vegas trips. Twelve hours of basketball are the norm and anything else is just icing. So it was out of our element to book a table at Guy Savoy for our final night. The theory was that it was a once-in-a-lifetime 30th birthday celebration and whoever had won big could afford the lucrative prices for the finest French meal most would ever have. It was no surprise that true to Vegas odds no one was up big by Saturday night. As a result the reservation for dinner at Guy Savoy dwindled to three for the only die hards who cared more about their meal than their gambling allowance. What followed was an intensely rich, elaborately long masterpiece of a meal spanning 4 1/2 hours, over 15 courses and almost $500. Stay tuned for the full run down....