Thursday, December 29, 2011

An Indiana Jones Room at Planet Hollywood

The Cruisers stayed at Planet Hollywood, and we were intrigued by their room decor. It included actual props from Indiana Jones.
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Apparently, each room has a different theme. How fun!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bravo to Brunch: Mesa Grill

I love brunching at Mesa Grill. I've blogged about it before, but I'm going to share some more dishes with you from our meal with the Cruisers. More food! More pics!
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The complimentary bread basket was epic as usual. This alone is almost worth a visit.

Tiger shrimp and roasted garlic corn tamale, corn, cilantro sauce ($15).
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Crispy bacon and hash brown quesadilla, fried egg, spicy tomato salsa ($14).
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Spicy beef tenderloin tartare, green onion potato salad ($16).
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Sixteen spice chicken salad, goat cheese, green onion vinaigrette ($16).
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All egg entrees come with your choice of creamy grits or Southwestern home fries.
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Spicy chicken and sweet potato hash, poached eggs, green chile Hollandaise ($18).
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Eggs and aged striploin tortilla, grilled red onions, roasted peppers, avocado relish ($24).
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Everything was as good as it looks. Well, except for the salad. It was a salad. Ms. Cruiser ate that. That's why she is hot.

This meal was comped.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Delectable Dishes, Swanky Setting: Sage

Our besties treated us to dinner at Sage at Aria for my birthday earlier this year.
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The space is modern Vegas. I absolutely loved my farm-to-table four-course meal. At $79, the Chef's Signature Menu is quite the bargain for a fabulous feast by Sin City standards. A nice bonus is that you have your choice of two or three dishes for each course, so you have a hand in crafting your own mini tasting menu.

Amuse bouche.
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First Course #1: Wagyu beef tartare, crushed caper aioli, slow-poached egg, crispy chocolate.
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First Course #2: Market oysters, piquillo pepper and Tabasco sorbet, aged tequila mignonette.
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First Course #3 ($10 addition): Foie gras brulee, toasted cocoa nibs, salted brioche.
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Second Course #1: Maine Dayboat scalllops, braised oxtail, wild mushrooms, salted caramel reduction.
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Second Course #2: Maine lobster casoncelli, glazed spring onions, spinach, mascarpone.
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Third Course #1: 48-hour beef belly, chestnut puree, fig glaze, celery hearts.
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Third Course #2: Iberico pork loin, milk-braised cannelloni, green asparagus creminelli mortadella.
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Fourth Course #1: Warm carrot cake, roasted coconut sauce, candied ginger, cream cheese ice cream.
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Fourth Course #2: Crunchy chocolate and peanut butter tart, blackberry sphere, toasted marshmallow sauce.
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Coffee and mignardise (meringues and a shot of rich hot chocolate).
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We really enjoyed Sage. Standouts for me were the foie gras brulee, scallops, and lobster casoncelli. I had a great birthday, and I'd happily dine at Sage again.

Monday, December 26, 2011

East Meets West: China Poblano

Chef Jose Andres marries Chinese with Mexican at China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan.
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Aguas frescas are $4.88 each. Highway robbery! The steep prices for seemingly simple food are a recurrent theme at China Poblano. Thankfully, the food is fairly tasty, so the sting is somewhat lessened.

Fresh tortilla chips and housemade chipotle salsa ($4).
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Fresh tortillas and guacamole ($15).
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Tacos (one per order) (yes, just one -- WTF):
(1) Pescado Frito: fried fish, salsa Mexicana ($5.50).
(2) Viva China: beef tendon, Kumamoto oyster, scallions, Sichuan peppercorn sauce ($5.50).
(3) Pancita al Pastor: slow-cooked pork belly, pineapple ($5.50).
(4) Lengua: beef tongue, salsa pasilla ($4).
(5) Cochinita: Yucatan-style barbecued pork, marinated onions ($4.50).
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Lamb Potstickers Stuck on You, vegetables, crispy lace ($11.88).
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Rou Jia Mo Street Sandwich, red braised pork. ($8.88)
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Shrimp Mojo -- shrimp, sweet black garlic, roasted poblano peppers ($16).
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Like Water for Chocolate -- fried quail, dragon fruit, rose petals, chestnut, dragon fruit sauce ($15).
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The Unruly Monk -- hand-cut noodles, wild wood ear mushrooms, poached egg, spicy sauce ($16.88).
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My favorites were the potstickers, street sandwich, and fried quail. Skip the noodles. I recommend coming with a group, so you can get a bunch of things to share. The food won't totally wow you, but you'll have a good time at China Poblano.
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