Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Las Vegas--I Think It's Nevada

Tonight I met Jimmy Rooney at the Podtech BlogHaus. Yes--Mickey Rooney's son. But more importantly he is the new Mel Blanc. Remember Mel? The voice of just about every cartoon character you have ever known--"what's up Doc, Tweety-Bird--very entertaining. You can check him out at He is truly amazing.

The Consumer Electronics Show is CRAZY as usual. Tomorrow the Adult Entertainment Expo begins (I will not be attending), which is just this industry's way of showing the geeks what is really driving the sale of all those silicon wafers, plasma screens and universal remotes.

As the porn stars poured into my hotel last night, I had two thoughts:

1. These people are as much like the people I know as the "panini" at Jack-in-the-Box are like real Italian snack food. The women are like Cheetahs. Strangely beautiful, but you are happy they are behind thick glass so they can't bite you.

2. The CES push towards higher and higher resolution is not a boon to the porn industry. High definition is definitely not a positive development for some of these stars--at least not from the neck up.

Anyway, back to food. Linda Furrier of persuaded me to post about restaurants in Las Vegas, while I am here at CES. I have eaten at a great many lousy Las Vegas Restaurants over the years and a dozen or so very good ones. But for now I will start with my Top 6 (really 4 plus 2 special mentions)

1. Bartollota @ Wynn Hotel--The best Mediterranean seafood restaurant west of Barcelona. Think red mullet, langoustine and much much more. They bring you a platter of pre-cooked whole fish for your inspection--the piscine offerings having flown first class from the Med only moments before. Some of them were still wearing their complimentary head phones.

2. L'Altelier Joel Rubuchon @ MGM Grand--Eat off the small plate menu and order everything venison, chestnut, langoustine, or oyster--oh yes--finish with a Hamburger. Sit at the counter so you can see a whole lotta cooking goin' on. The guy who sounded the most French was from Austin--go figure.

3. Mesa Grill @ Caesars--I was prepared for a remote celebrity chef disappointment, but loved the food. First time reservation last year, got bumped when Ellen Degeneres showed up with her entire audience and took the place over--but when we went back the next day they apologized and treated us like celebs. You know flashing pictures and chasing us in their vans--great fun.

4. Michael Mina @ Bellagio--formally Aqua. Spectacular lobster pot-pie. The first time I ate there 4-years ago I met a great couple that actually had their wedding reception at the French Laundry in Yountville. That is soooo cool.

5. Bellagio Buffet--because more than half the people there are fatter than me.

6. Yolies Brazilian Steakhouse--OK, the food is only good, but the way they carry the big hunks of meet around and slice it to your plate just makes you feel like a man.

Places I want to try (let me know if you've been).

1. Guy Savoy

Places not to spend your temporary winnings:

1. Picasso @ Bellagio--Very good vittles, but very expensive, stuffy and nothing special. Many better choices.

2. Nobu @ Hard Rock--OK, but you can do better at his abodes in L.A., London and NY or at Sakae in Burlingame.

3. Noodles @ Bellagio--Service? We don't need no stinking service.

4. Seablue @ MGM Grand. Except for the just OK food, crummy service, and out-of-stock menu items this place was 3-star.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually I wasn't all that impressed with the NY Nobu, either -- I think we're pretty spoiled sushiwise in northern CA. An average meal at Sawa Sushi is much better than what I had at Nobu (and Sawa is cheaper, at least if you count the plane fare...)

But the Bellagio buffet? Oh yeah. I stride in and waddle out. I also like Bouchon in the Venetian.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Paul! Boy, they keep you update late in Vegas, don't they! Nice post. All of the ones I've read are great -- well done! (Just found your blog courtesy of Susan and your Christmas card -- looking forward to meeting again real soon.) Impressive list of food resources too. I suspect you might be a bacon fan...if you're ever up on the Northern CA coast, check out Roundman's smokehouse ( They can't spell, but they can smoke. Yum.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's contagious. I can't spell either! That does count as a toddler-induced typo....Let's try again. "...they keep you up late in Vegas..." D'oh!

4:44 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I agree on Vegas' Nobu - I've had much better meals in the London and Paris branches (neither of which is in a desert, which might be one reason there's a noticeable difference). I found I much preferred Shibuya at MGM Grand.

I'm sorry Picasso disappointed. I went in February, and it was *exceptional* - the only meal I've eaten which I would rate as highly was at Yves Thuri├Ęs' Le Grand Ecuyer. Perhaps you got them on a bad night?

The Bellagio buffet rocks (and makes me feel veeery slim - I saw a guy there load SIX steaks onto his plate once), and I have a soft spot for their breakfast, when they do a pretty darn good congee. Damn, I've got to get back to Vegas!

4:34 AM  

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