Mesa Grill

Mesa Grill
Caesars Palace
3570 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89136
(877) 346-4642
www.mesagrill.com

Better late than never – I went to Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill in the Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas last month to finally try out what this arrogant dood is all about. I dislike Bobby Flay for his arrogant attitude but his Mesa Grill was a very pleasant experience. Not that I doubted his skills as a chef, I just don’t like his TV personality, okay? 😉

1. WILD MUSHROOM QUESADILLA (White Bean Hummus + White Truffle Oil) – This was pretty cheese and truffletastic. Can’t really go wrong with that combination
2. TIGER SHRIMP + ROASTED GARLIC CORN TAMALE Corn-Cilantro Sauce – Great southwestern flavors!
3. GALA APPLE SALAD (Baby Spinach, Blue Cheese, Toasted Pecans +Spicy Orange Vinaigrette) – Great combo of sweet, salty and tangy.
4. SOUTHWESTERN SPICED DUCK BREAST (Carrot-Habanero Sauce Chorizo-Goat Cheese Tamale + Thyme Butter) – nice tender duck meat and great sauces. yum!
5. NEW MEXICAN SPICE RUBBED PORK TENDERLOIN Bourbon-Ancho Chile Sauce Sweet Potato Tamale + Crushed Pecan Butter – I found this dish to be kind of dry, but I am definitely biased. I tend to not like pork chops, tenderloins or any thick cut of non-bacon pork product.

Sorry that I’m missing a few pics…. missing some from my picture partner =P
GALA APPLE SALAD (Modified) by cravingsofafatgirl Wild Mushroom Quesadilla by cravingsofafatgirl

Conclusion: Great twist and fusion of the southwest, mexican with asian. Worth another try.

Hue Thai

Hue Thai Sandwiches
www.huethai.com

5115 Spring Mountain Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89146-8717
(702) 256-1900

So, Hue Thai is a Vietnamese based restaurant with a wide variety of not only Vietnamese dishes, but also thrown in are a few Thai and other asian dishes here and there. There is a good variety of drinks. Service is fast and efficient. They take orders through a hand held electronic ordering system.

1. Banh Uot Cuon with gà nuong, instead of the usual seasoned pork. This delicious combination is off the menu, so you have to ask for the grilled chicken (gà nuong), specifically.

2. Banh Mi gà nuong. Supposedly, Hue Thai bakes their own bread fresh daily, and it sure tastes like it. Though it’s not the best bread ever, you can definitely tell it’s fresh and a nice soft but slightly chewy/toasty texture. The slathering of mayo with the grilled chicken and fresh veggies makes this entire combination beat a regular American sandwich any day!!!

3. Banh Canh Gio Heo Tom Cua. This was the most disappointing dish of the meal. The soup was just chicken broth infused with plenty of MSG. Even if I wanted Pho Ga, it was still bad soup overall! For those unfamiliar with Banh Canh’s soup, it’s supposed to be infused with some sort of delicious seafood, either shrimp, crab, or oysters, etc with a meaty infusion of thinly sliced pork and gelatinous pig feet. This bowl of soup was not it. However, the only positive was the noodles. The texture was chewy and not over cooked. Enough to save it from a Fail? Nope! I was severely disappointed because Hue Thai has definitely served it better before.

banh mi gà n??ng banh canh gio heo tom cua Banh Uot Cuon gà n??ng

Conclusion: Hue Thai can be fantastic sometimes and overall, they perform to a satisfactory level with the quality of Vietnamese food. Good for a quick and decent lunch time bite.

p.s. ON our way back from Vung Tau, Vietnam, here’s the best Banh Canh ever. mmmm… i can smell it like it was yesterday….
banh canh thit heo by mdubdub

p.s. 01/22/2010 – Don’t get the Goi Cuon/ Spring Rolls. It’s made with iceberg lettuce? ew….

Fried Cheese Kurds!!!

LBS: A Burger Joint
Red Rock Casino Resort Spa
11011 W. Charleston
Las Vegas, NV 89135
702.835.9393
http://www.lbsburger.com/

[Update: 7/2014, recently closed and replaced by Mercadito. Sad that I can’t have deep fried cheese curds anymore.]

There were two items I really enjoyed at LBS and either was not a burger.

I really enjoyed the fried cheese kurds because 1. I luv cheese A LOT 2. Deep Fried 3. chewy and cheesy breadnessness was fantastic!! The potato twists were also good because the potato chips were seemingly freshly fried and topped with fry sauce (mayo and bbq?), AND we added heart attack style on top, which is chili on top. Other than these two items, I’m not sure my burger was that good (CABOT CHEDDAR + LETTUCE + TOMATO + PICKLE + BBQ SAUCE + SMOKED BACON + ONION
RING). The beef patty was not juicy and pink as we had ordered but I had grabbed the more cooked half apparently. The bacon was decidely rubbery and undercooked. The batter kept coming off of the onion rings that we ordered on the side – tell tale sign that they did not “sweat” they onions enough the night before battering and frying.

Potato twists Fried cheese Kurds Burger from LBS
Conclusion: CHEESE KURDS!!! (I’m still craving them 3 days later ^_^*)

Tart and sweet

Tart Frozen Yogurt (CLOSED, probably stomped on by local chain giant yogurtland)
3555 S Town Center Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89135
(702) 242-8278
www.tartfrozenyogurt.com

I have a special place in my heart for sbo/mom pop restaurants and businesses, and Tart is one of them. It is dwarfed by the yogurt giants around them such as Yogel’s, Golden Spoon and Yogurtland. So, I try to visit Tart, rather than the big boys. They taste just as good and have similar pricing. The disadvantage is that you don’t get to do it yourself and they are limited in flavors and toppings. It’s perfectly fine for me because all I get it the original tart flavor, which is oh so refreshing on a hot summer day, and fruits on top. Give them a try… support the small businesses =)

Tart's original flavor + kiwi, strawberry, mango

I don’t fancy real olives but….

Todd English’s Olives ain’t that bad
3600 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas NV
(702) 693-7223

Given the chance to eat a fancy restaurant in Bellagio for cheap, I jumped at it! Yaye for restaurant week by threesquared.org.

The prix fixe combo I chose….
1. Ham and Cheese arancini – nice crunchy breaded shell with warm oozy cheese and ham.
2. A take on a BLT + Salmon – This consisted of two slices of thick cut bacon, baby spinach salad, toasted roll, salmon (slightly overcooked) + tangy tartar sauce. When I carefully constructed my bite to include every component, it was a very nice combo. BACON!
3. Drunk Dark Chocolate Trifle – A dark chocolate cookie and creamy vanilla icecream. Good but not as good as….
4. Banana Foster Cake – This is what I should’ve goten -Slight taste of liquor in moist cake + carmelized bananas.
Drunk Dark Chocolate Trifle Bananas Foster Salmon BLT steak Ham and Cheese Arancini
Conclusion: Prix fixe was good, but not impressive. I think Olive’s has more to offer outside of the prix fixe because our friend’s food outside of the prix fixe was supposedly excellent. Shall we go back? hmmmm

Bubbies has yummies

Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts
1010 University Ave
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 949-8984
www.bubbiesicecream.com

I tried the green tea mochi icecream and the strawberry mochi icecream. The mochi itself comes out pretty firm from the freezer, but starts to soften up as you eat it. The icecream inside is creamy and mild in flavor.
bubbies icecream bubbies icecream bubbies icecream bubbies icecream
Conclusion: Bubbies is good, but I like the fresh soft mochi icecream at Mikawaya Mochi better.

misc hawaiian goodies
McDonald’s – not the standard egg mcmuffin – spam, eggs rice breakfast!!!
Sumo Ramen – had some standard juicy gyoza and cold udon

McDonald's Breakfast! in MCTAB - Military Beach

After L-inner (Lunch+Dinner) Snack

Matsumoto Shave Ice
66-087 Kamehameha Hwy
Haleiwa, Hawaii 96712
(808)637-4827
http://www.matsumotoshaveice.com/

So, Mastumoto vs. Waiola? Now, that I think back on it. I’m not sure either wins over the other. Both had a the nice texture of fluffy shaved ice and all the toppins you could want from icecream, to azuki, to mochi, to all kinds of syrups. We’re all winners! yaye!
Mastumoto's shaved ice
Conclusion: Still same as with Waiola’s – eat faster, no syrup for me, and put icecream on the bottom.

Kiawe’s Chicken
The rotisserie type of chicken had good flavor but kind of dry. I’m pretty sure it’s because we hit them up at closing.
Kiawe's chicken Kiawe's chicken
Conclusion: Give it another chance next time, not at closing time.

Hola, Waiola!

Waiola Shave Ice
2135 Waiola Ave corner of Paani Street
Honolulu, HI 96805
(808) 949-2269

It’s a cute lil’ shack of a convenience store/dessert corner know for their delicious shaved ice and multitude of options for it. For my first concoction, I chose banana and coconut flavored syrup with mochi on the bottom and condensed milk (yes!!!) on top. The first bite of the fluffy sweetness was a bit of heaven, but with me being the texture-whore, the melty-soupiness got to me at the end and was sufficiently grossed out enough to stop.

waiola's shaved ice waiola's shaved ice
Conclusion: Eat faster and get icecream on the bottom to stop the meltiness. That first bite of creamy condensed milk + fluffy shaved ice is dericious. For personal preference, I think I’ll pass on the syrups; they seem to make it melt faster and interefere with the wonderful texture of the fluffy shaved ice.

See After L-inner Snack for notes on Waiola’s rival – Mastumoto’s Shave Ice

Want to see what wonderful chinese/taiwanese shaved ice is about?
Massive FOod Blog! – scroll to Shau Mei at the bottom
Food Adventures in LA, continued… – again, scroll to Shau Mei at the bottom and see the huge plate of fluffy, cream mountain of heaven. =)