Reviews

Joe’s New York Pizza

 
 
 
7580 S. Las Vegas Blvd. #105
Las Vegas, NV 89123
702-897-1717
 

I stumbled across Joe’s New York Pizza on my lunch from work a few weeks back, it is located on Las Vegas Blvd in front of the Premium Outlets.  When you walk in it is a small pizza joint and you walk up to the case of pizzas on display and order by the slice for their no delay lunch.  They do have other menu options like whole pizzas, salads, calzones, subs & pastas.  Once you pick out your slice or slices they will put them in their rotating oven and warm them up.  The choices of pizza seem to change per visit so you can always get something different.

On this trip I ordered their lasagna pizza and the super meaty, their pizzas are mainly served on a thin crust, but there are a couple that do have a thicker crust.

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The slice on the left is the lasagna slice.  The lasagna pizza is ricotta, ham, sausage, meatballs, mozzarella, parmesan & oregano.  I really liked this pizza the ricotta was perfectly smooth and added a lovely flavor to the meats & mozzarella cheese.  I personally took off a piece of the crust and spread the ricotta around so that I got a little bit in each bite because it worked so well with this pizza.  My only complaint is that I think it could have used an extra turn or two through the oven, to be hotter, it was warm but needed more heat.  I would not hesitate to order this slice again if it’s on display on my next visit.

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The super meaty on the right is pepperoni, sausage, ham, meatball, topped with bacon & mozzarella.  This was another good pizza all the meats work well together but it did need more cheese.  The sauce had great flavor and the crust is nice and crispy and it too has great flavor, kind of salty & sweet which works well with all the toppings.  This slice could’ve used another turn through the oven too and it would’ve been perfect.

Next up we have the antipasto salad.

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The antipasto salad is made of field greens, tomato, cucumber, red onion, green pepper, mozzarella, pepperoni, ham & croutons.  You get a nice size salad, the only thing that would’ve made it a better was that instead of pepperoni it was salami.  But over all this was a very filling salad and could easily be shared between two people and then get a slice of pizza and make a nice quick lunch.

If you are in the area and looking for a good slice of pizza this is a great place to stop at.  Our bill came to $27.34 w/tax.  This was for three people and we got three slices of pizza, the salad and 2 large drinks, so for me the prices are really reasonable for a lunch meal that is quick and satisfying.

Retro Bakery

 
 
7785 N. Durango Dr. #130
Las Vegas, NV 89131
 
702-586-3740
 
http://www.retrobakerylv.com
 

This is an adorable little bakery out in the northwest of the valley, N95 & Durango to be exact.  You could stop here on your way to Mount Charleston because you have to drive right past the exit, and you would enjoy every minute of it.  It is locally owned and operated by a husband & wife team, which I love because in my experience when you are at a small business like this you get an extra level of customer service than if you are at a chain.  They care more about the people that walk through their doors and it really shows.  They are taking a summer break where they will be closed June 24th – 29th just to give you a heads up if you want to give them a try soon.

They serve a broad selection of cupcakes each day as well as flavors that run just for a limited time or on specific days only.  You can go here to check out their menu directly on their website.  They also have a selection of daily cookies that seem to change up to match their client’s wants.  They can also do custom cake orders with advanced notice you can check out their facebook page for photos of their work here.

Below is a picture of the 4 flavors we got this last weekend going clockwise around the plate starting at the top: Peanut Butter Cup, Big Kahuna (limited flavor), Monkey Tail (monthly flavor) & Chocolate Fountain.  My friend and I cut them up so we could try a little bit of everything and not feel too guilty about eating so many, but really it is a cupcake how can you feel guilty eating a cupcake?

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First up Peanut Butter cup; chocolate cake topped with peanut butter buttercream.  The star of this cupcake was definitely the peanut butter buttercream, it was like eating whipped up peanut butter, it had this deep rich peanut butter flavor that was just perfect.  But when it came to the chocolate cake they lost me, it was dry and lacked any deep chocolate flavor.  I really like in my chocolate cake to be moist and full of chocolate flavor and theirs really didn’t hit that bar, so for me it was all about the frosting.  I ended up just eating the frosting from my section because it really was that good.

Next up the Big Kahuna; coconut cake topped with pineapple buttercream & decorated with a sugar surf board.  The coconut cake was perfectly moist and had a nice texture with just the right amount of coconut flavoring.  The pineapple buttercream was a bit on the sweet side for me, but it paired nicely flavor wise with the coconut.

Next we have Monkey Tail; banana cake topped with nutella buttercream & decorated with a banana chip.  Out of all the flavors we tried this one was my favorite.  The banana cake was baked perfectly so it was perfectly moist, had a delicate crumb and a balanced banana flavor.  It reminded me of banana bread but a lot less dense.  The nutella buttercream on the other hand needed more nutella flavor, it to me just tasted like buttercream frosting.  But despite the lack of nutella flavor it still paired very well with the banana cake so that does make up for it.

Last up the Chocolate Fountain; chocolate cake, topped with chocolate buttercream & then dipped in chocolate ganache.  I was truly looking forward to this cupcake all week and I have to admit I was let down.  I was expecting this chocolate explosion upon first bite, but honestly for me it was just blah.  The chocolate cake again was dry and lacked chocolate flavor, and the buttercream to me had an odd taste; I want to say almost acidic, like it needed more sugar because there was non-sweetened chocolate in the base.  Then the chocolate ganache was a nice touch but it got lost in the buttercream for me and I couldn’t really taste it.

Despite the few misses here and there this is still a top notch bakery and I wouldn’t let them deter you from trying them.  Because they carry such a wide range of flavors, there are a lot of options and it may just take a couple trips to figure out your favorites.  From a previous trip there I would recommend getting the Milk & Cookies and the Coffee & Donut flavors a shot, these were both very good and were baked perfectly.

I Love Burgers

 

 

6605 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
 
(702) 675-7800
 

I am a huge fan of the cheeseburger, I often joke that if I had to choose one item to eat forever this would be it.  So I was kind of excited to make it over to I Love Burgers, I mean the title says it all.  They are located in the back of Town Square and could easily be missed, since not a lot of things are open right by it.  This is the type of place where you order when you walk in then you pick your seat and the food will be delivered separately, I thought it was an actual sit down restaurant so this was a bit of a surprise for me.

The menu is pretty straight forward, the only thing I found interesting was that they had columns for pricing they had a classic & more to love, I had to ask what the difference was because there was no information.  Turns out the classic is a 5 oz patty and the more to love is a 7 oz.  You would think this would be on the menu and it wouldn’t be something we would have to ask, but maybe that is what they ultimately want for the customer to ask questions.

They did have a pretty decent selection of burgers as well as meat choices, you can get chicken, salmon & veggie.  They also have a variety of shakes, that I was able to watch get made from my seat and they all looked delicious.  I was focused on the burger so I didn’t order one, but if I go back I will give one a shot.

I went for the Inferno Burger; angus burger, pepper jack cheese, roasted jalapeños & habonaro-jalapeño mayo.  I must be a kid a heart because I couldn’t resist getting tator tots on the side.

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If you are looking for a spicy burger this is for you, but I was disappointed that the jalapeños that topped the burger were not actually roasted like they were described on the menu but were actually raw.  I ended up picking off pieces of jalapeño because it was overpowering everything.  I couldn’t taste the meat, mayo or cheese because all I got flavor wise was jalapeño.  Now I know ordering a burger that is covered in jalapeños it would taste like them, but when basically all I am eating is jalapeños it really distracts from the actual meal.  If the jalapeños had actually been roasted this would’ve been better and actually enhanced the burger.  Plus the roasted jalapeños would be a bit tamer and sweeter in a sense which would make it more palatable meal overall.  The tator tots were cooked perfectly and really helped when I needed to cool down my mouth.

My friend went with the standard which was just a basic burger with lettuce, tomatoes & onions with a side of the natural cut fries.

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I didn’t try any of the plain burger but it looked really good, and my friend enjoyed it.  The fries were cooked perfectly also.  But truthfully this place is nothing special.  I wouldn’t go out of my way to go here, but if I was in the mood for something casual I would certainly not be turned off of going here while in town square.

Overall I will say that it is a bit pricy for what you get.  For my 7 oz burger the cost was $7.99 and to add the tots & small soda it was an additional $4.00.  So it made my total meal $12.96 w/tax.  Considering that it is “fast food” I am not a big fan of spending $13 on my meal when I can go to a drive-thru and get basically the same meal for about $5 less and get a way bigger drink.  That being said I do think that I will go back because I would like to try the I Love Bacon burger because it sounded interesting and a bacon lovers dream and maybe it is what I should’ve went with from the beginning and maybe my trip would’ve been better.

I would say that if you are in the neighborhood and want something fast, because in town square there are limited choices on fast food, this would be a decent choice.  Overall it had potential to be a good burger and I would think it is worth a second chance.

Yard House

 
Town Square
6593 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89119
 
(702) 734-9273
 
Website: http://www.yardhouse.com/NV/las-vegas-restaurant-town-square/
 

I should preface this review with the fact that this isn’t my first time here but it is the first time in a long time that I have been here and didn’t order a beer.  Because this is the one place where you want to come to order a beer.  They have over 100 beers on tap in the center bar (I say 100 because there is truly too many to count), and you can see the kegs in the glass enclosed room right by the main entrance, so the beer flows over head to be served up at the bar.  This really is a beer lovers paradise, they have such a wide range of beers that you are bound to find at least one that you enjoy.  And if you would like to take a look at their massive beer listing you can click here.  My friend is big on ciders so she ordered the pear cider in the traditional yard glass that started it all.

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If you would like to read about how it all got started click here and it will take you to their website’s about page.

We got to the yard house at the end of happy hour which runs 3pm – 6pm Monday – Friday & 10pm – close Sunday – Wednesday; during happy hour their drinks range in price from $2.25 – 10.00 depending on the size of the glass and on if you order beer, wine or cocktails.  They also have select appetizers and sliders that are half off.  This is a really good time to come here, their sliders are really good and I will tell you about some of the happy house appetizers that we got, since we took advantage of getting there 10 mins before the end.

But I want to start off with the one item that was not part of the happy hour and that was my dinner.  Coming in I knew that I was craving carbs so I went straight for the (Mac+Cheese)².

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This pasta is a mixture of chicken breast, applewood bacon, wild mushrooms, cheddar, parmesan, pasta and truffle oil; I apologize for the messy looking plate, I stirred it up right as it got me without thinking about taking a picture.  Oh well you can see all the cheesy glory just as well in the above picture.  I really enjoyed this dish, it is the perfect balance of cheese, pasta and chicken, everything just melts together and makes for one delicious bite and hey there is bacon in there and who doesn’t love bacon?  I will admit that the truffle oil is not very prevalent in this dish, truthfully I actually forgot it was in there until I double checked the ingredients.  Luckily for me this does not change the way that I feel about this pasta dish, it is one of my favorites to get here.  Because there is something to be said for the simple dishes, things do not need to be overly complicated to be good, and the fact that this can be accomplished in a busy restaurant is even better.

Next up we have the appetizers, one thing we noted that the appetizers were bigger than we expected, so my friend ordered a total of 3 and her eyes were definitely bigger than her stomach.  First up is the Seared Ahi Tuna appetizer:

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This time the mess was not me, the waiter almost lost the sauce on the table as he delivered the food, I blame carrying 4 plates of food to our table all on his arms to be the problem.  The Ahi Tuna is seared rare, and served with soy vinaigrette, wasabi and pickled ginger.  The tuna was cooked perfectly, often times I have seen tuna ordered and it comes out over cooked, which really takes away the integrity of the tuna, but they got it just right.  I only had one bite of this as this was my friend’s dish and truthfully I was sick the week before and didn’t want to risk anything by eating raw fish.  But I really enjoyed the subtle tuna flavor and the soy vinaigrette was a nice compliment.  I know that it states it comes with wasabi but I didn’t put any on my bite which I wish I did because I think that level of flavor would elevate the vinaigrette up.  I have already mentioned to my mother that she should give this dish a try next time she heads to the Yard House since she is a big Ahi Tuna fan, I think she would really enjoy this dish.  My friend did be sure to tell me that she really enjoyed this and would have this again without question.

Next up are the boneless wings:

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You can get the wings in buffalo, jerk or firecracker and come boneless or bone-in.  We got them plain and they came with a honey barbeque sauce and ranch for dipping.  While I normally am a big fan of chicken wings of all kinds these are definitely a dish to skip.  They were over fried (that isn’t a dark photo they really were that dark) which made them really crunchy and I couldn’t taste any chicken just batter.  The dipping sauces were both really good and had the chicken been up to par this could’ve been a really good dish.  I would tell you to skip right over this one, not one of their bests that’s for sure.

Next and final dish of the night is the California Roll:

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The California roll is not your average sushi roll as you can see; they use as described on their menu, a sushi rice cake with cucumber, snow crab, tobiko, avocado fan and wasabi soy sauce.  This has actually become one of my new favorite dishes from the Yard House, I never ordered it before because I always just assumed it was going to be a traditional California roll that you get everywhere, but I was delightfully surprised when it came to the table and honestly I actually am kind of craving it as I write this.  I really enjoyed the way that it was put together and you got this nice blend of rice, crab & avocado then on the back end there was the wasabi kicker, which I really liked.  It gives the whole bite a level up in flavor and it was not over powering so you still got to taste all the other ingredients on the plate.  My friend wasn’t a big fan of this because of the wasabi flavor, so she barely touched the dish.

Even with the over cooked chicken dish; which truthfully is the first thing I have had that really was under par, I would highly recommend you check them out if you are looking for a place to kick back and sample some beers and get great food to go along.  With over a 100 beers to choose from you certainly won’t be out of choices.  I say give the Big Sky Moose Drool a shot if you like brown ales; the first time I ordered it, it was strictly because it was fun to order after a couple already and then it turned out to be one of my go to beers.  They do have two locations here in Las Vegas the one at Town Square and the second one in Red Rock casino, you won’t be disappointed at either location.  The service we experienced was pretty good our waitress was very attentive at the beginning but towards the end it seemed like it took a long time to actually get our bill, I assume this is because she hoped that maybe we would order more drinks or food while my friend finished her large beer.  The service is the only reason I took off a half star.

Bob’s Eastside Deli

 
 
2900 E. Patrick Ln. #9
Las Vegas, NV 89120
 
702-739-5860
 
http://bobseastsidedeli.com
 

I have been going to Bob’s Deli for quite some time; I was first introduced to this place about 10 yrs ago when I worked right down the street.  We often would go here on our lunches because it was quick, great prices & delicious food.  And about 3 yrs ago my current job moved into this area of town and we have been using them for in office lunches for the whole team or just for a needed break away and they have never let me down with their quality and service.

They are a family run business and that really shows in their service and food.  They know their customers by name and always make people feel welcome.  It is a small place inside of an industrial business park off the beaten path, and truthfully you could easily miss it if you aren’t looking for it.  Since I have been eating here for years there are too many items that I can talk about but I am only going to focus on my last visit here and what we got.

I went here on my lunch break because I was craving their cabo pockets, which is of course what I ordered.

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The cabo pockets have got to be the most basic thing but are just crazy good, they only make a select amount a day so when they sell out they sell out, and honestly there are some days where they just don’t make them at all.  I often have to make sure I have a backup just in case, because of course I have gotten there just a little too late and could not get my fix.

The cabo pockets are 3 tortillas that are stuffed with cheese and a piece of chicken, it isn’t shredded or cubed like most places an actual piece of chicken breast.  I assume this is marinated in some kind of lime and seasoning, but I do not know for sure, but the chicken often has this fresh lime taste to it.  The tortillas are then put on the flat griddle and toasted up a bit to melt the cheese.  But the crowning jewel to this meal is the cabo sauce; which comes on the side.  And I have found out recently is a mix of mayo and chipotle sauce; I love this sauce so much I was trying to make it at home and I can not come close to getting the same sauce.  Also with each order you get a side a fries, and you get all of this for $7.

There is something to be said for a dish that is so simple but has all these components that meld so well together, the melted cheese, perfectly cooked tender chicken & then you add the cabo sauce it is just one perfect bite.  To me this is one of the best things on their menu and if you go there you need to get it at least once.

My mother ordered her favorite thing on the menu which is their veggie sub and added American cheese.

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The veggie sub comes with a mixture of cucumbers, red bell peppers, lettuce, olives, tomatoes & onions on a sub roll.  You can add cheese if you prefer which she does.  We always joke that it is a salad with some bread, because you end up needing a fork to finish it off.  As you can see from the picture they are quite generous with their portions, so you are truly getting your monies worth when eating here, this sandwich is $6.79.  The ingredients are always fresh and just work so well together.

I would highly recommend this place to anyone who is looking for a great local lunch spot, like I said this is just a snippet of what you can get here.  The bob’s favorite & toll’s creation are two of my favorite sandwiches, they have such a large menu that you really can’t go wrong with anything.  My mother likes the egg salad sandwich and the grilled ham & cheese.  Oh and their soda sizes are not for wimps when they say large it is large which is great if you want to take a soda back to the office that will last you through the afternoon.  Be sure to check them out if your in their neck of the woods you won’t be disappointed.

Vegas StrEATs

 
A food truck Festival held monthly at the El Cortez on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 6pm – 1am.
 

Photo Courtesy of Vegas StrEATs

I have been trying to attend this event since it started, but something always seemed to come up and I missed it.  But this month my friend and I made a conscious decision to attend on May 12th.  You can follow them on twitter @VegasStreats for up to date information of which trucks are signed up to be at each event, this is kind of nice if there is someone in particular you want to try.

The downside to this festival is that it is down town on 6th street, which means you have to pay for parking at the meters or Neonopolis because the El Cortez Parking garage was closed to everyone but hotel guests.  But this isn’t a direct reflection on their event it is just a black mark on downtown Las Vegas in general; as locals we hate having to park down there because it is a nightmare & we are spoiled with not having to pay for parking anywhere.

We got to the event a little before six which is when it starts so we had to wait in line to get in, which wasn’t too bad.  Once we got in my friend and I took a tour around the place to see all the food trucks that were there.  We noticed that not everyone had a truck that their were tents set up for other food vendors; like a cupcake stand, funnel cakes & a tent with curry dishes.  We did have a hard time deciding what we wanted, because there is a lot of choices and at the time we weren’t sure what we were craving.  First thing out of the gate it would’ve been nice if each truck ran a special on a signature item, so that maybe you could go to more than one truck  for the cost of one or two meals.  It seemed to me that the prices were the same as if I just came across the truck on the street.  I understand that it is a business and they have expenses but at an event that focuses on diversity of food choices I would think that they would want you to try all the trucks not just one or two.  So I am gathering that if you go with a group and people are willing to share this would be the only way to really try all of the trucks on a friendlier budget.  You want to get your monies worth and not feel like it was a waste.

We ended up choosing WTF – Where’s The Fire truck, it is a pizza truck and they even have the fire oven in their truck to cook the pizzas.  This was a nice addition, but I do feel sorry for the cooks because that has got to be uncomfortable in there.

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My friend went with the Margherita pizza; red sauce, fresh mozzarella & fresh basil.

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From the looks of this pizza it could have used a lot more cheese, it was mainly crust and red sauce.  Which I gather the margherita pizzas normally have less cheese than a traditional pizza, but this was really lacking for the personal size pizza.  But it was still a good pizza, the crust was nice and crunchy yet soft and chewy; the perfect balance.

I decided to be a bit more daring and went for their special pizza for the night that was called Slidin Thre – Pep Pep Burger; it was a pizza that had in-house russian dressing, provolone, cheddar, ground chuck, bacon, red onion, pickles & finished with oregano, yellow mustard & crushed chips.

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I figure it is go big or go home kind of night.  Despite how interesting this pizza looked, it was actually quiet delicious.  The crust was cooked perfectly, the mixture of cheese (which honestly I couldn’t taste the cheddar), beef & bacon all blended perfectly together then you get the bite of pickle, mustard & crunch of the chips and it was another pleasant texture and flavor level.  I think the pickles & mustard were the two extras that really held this pizza together and if I saw this on their menu again I wouldn’t hesitate to order it.

Back to the festival itself, I would say overall if I really wanted to try these food trucks I would hunt them down on twitter and go see where they are in the valley, and not make a special trip down to Vegas StrEATs, for me it just wasn’t all it is cracked up to be.  Maybe I came to early and I should’ve waited until the night time when the DJs really start going, but I was bored after only being there for just over an hour.  There is only so many times you can walk up and down the food trucks before you have seen it all.  My biggest complaint was that the trucks weren’t running any specials like I said earlier it would’ve been nice to see smaller portions & prices so you can try more than one truck with out feeling like I just emptied my wallet on the ground.  So for me I don’t think I will be making the trip down there again unless someone I knew really wanted to go.  But I would say if you are in the area and come across it, it wouldn’t hurt to take a look around.  It is free to get in and who knows you may just find a new favorite food truck.

A view of the truck line up.

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Bob Taylor’s Original Ranch House

 
 
6250 Rio Vista St.
Las Vegas, NV 89130
702-425-1885
 
http://www.bobtaylorsranchhouse.com
 

Bob Talor’s is an old school rustic steak house, in the north side of the valley.  I remember when there was nothing out there but this place, but the city has grown right around it, you can see the 215 right from the parking lot these days.  The parking for this restaurant is limited and you may end up parking on a gravel lot if you come when it is really busy.  This is not a typical Las Vegas strip type steakhouse, the decor is old and hasn’t been updated in awhile, so if you are looking for a modern, updated & high-end place this is not it.  They are definitely on the down home casual side.  The nice part of the decor was that you can see the grill that they cook the steaks on upon entering, you walk right past this to be seated.

Photo Courtesy of Bob Taylor’s Ranch House

The tables in the dining area are crammed together, which I think made it difficult for the waiters to serve the tables.  Our waitress kept having to squeeze past on her tip toes to get to around.  Because of this closeness I could’ve joined the conversation at the table right behind my chair if I wanted to.  I pretty much heard every detail anyway.

On the walls you will find what looks like old movie posters, black & white photos of all kinds and cowboy type memories.  To me they didn’t seem to have an overall theme for the decor, just a mix match of western type items.

Each of the entrees come with your choice of soup or salad to start.  And then a choice of one of their potatoes, rice or mixed veggies with your meal.  I went for the soup of lobster bisque which I was excited for since it had been awhile since I have had it.  I apologize for the dark photo below – downside to a dark restaurant and cell phone camera.

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My opinion the soup was bad, it tasted like a canned condensed soup with no lobster pieces or flavor and had this vinegar sour taste to it.  The consistency of the soup was gelatin like, almost as if they did not put enough cream into the mix while cooking.  I took a couple bites hoping it would get better but it didn’t, it was very disappointing.  On top of the bad flavor & consistency it was luke warm to cold, maybe this is why it was on the thicker gelatin consistency but if you are serving soup it should be hot.  Why cut corners and not use the freshest possible ingredients that you can when you are charging roughly $30-50 a plate.  The other disappointment of the dinner was the cheesy garlic bread that comes out, it was plain white bread topped with garlic flavoring and some kind of cheese.  I found this to be almost stale and cold, it was hard to chew I had one piece and that was it, and I am bread person.

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This is how my 12oz filet was delivered to me, it took up half the plate and the other half was empty, so if you are looking for presentation this is not the place to go.  I ordered my steak medium-rare and got really rare, which meant it was undone in the middle and cold.  I had to ask for them to take it back and cook it a bit more because I prefer my steak medium-rare, so the center is warmed through.  When I did get my steak back it was still on the rare side but it was warmed through.  My mother ordered her filet medium rare and it came out perfect.  And my step-father’s ribeye came out a bit on the rare side but it was ok for him.  So it seems they have a bit of inconsistency on cooking temps.  It did have a nice beef flavor and was really juicy, you did not need any sauce to enjoy it.  The seasoning on the outside tasted mainly of salt, it was not overly salty but I did not pick up any other flavors.  The reason they are getting 3.5 stars is because their redeeming factor was their beef, it was juicy, tender and a nice cut of beef overall.  I had the twice baked potato as my side and it was good, nothing that special, but as I left I realized I should have just gone with the baked potato because they really good as I passed them.  And this is something I don’t thing the restaurant wants you to think when you leave, that you should’ve ordered something else.

The only non-steak dish we ordered was one of their chicken entrees for my god-mother, Chicken Marsala they were nice enough to make it for her without any sauce, and she said that it was tender and juicy.  I did not taste any of this but it looked and smelled really good.

For the four of us to dine here and 3 of us had one cocktail each our total bill with tax was $150 before tip – so for approximately $38 a person; the dinner was just OK.  I think if I was going to spend this money again I would go back to Ron’s Steak House this place is a little bit more per person, but the service, ambiance and food make up for the difference in price.

Coconuts Beach Bar & Mexican Grill

 
 
Town Square
6605 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89119
 
702-675-6000

I was at Town Square the other night and we were looking for something to eat that was on the lighter side and if possible something different, when I saw the sign for Coconuts Beach Bar & Mexican Grill.  Before making our decision to eat here we decided to check out the menu first before going in just to be sure there was something on the menu that sounded appetizing.  The prices didn’t seem too bad ranging from $8 – $16 depending on the the entree.  I will fess up that I am not a huge fan of mexican food; I have a few items that I really like and I can almost find at every restaurant, tacos or tortas, doesn’t get much simpler than that.  They had a couple taco plates that looked good so we decided to give this place a shot.

We were greeted quickly and seated immediately; which I can see why there was only 4 parties excluding us in the main dining area, and this was around 6pm I would say on a Wednesday.  I guess the emptiness should’ve been a sign.  The dress code was certainly on the casual side which fits with the beach theme, the girls were in short shorts wearing tank tops & bikini tops this dress code showed off the hostess’s lower back piercing so they obviously go for the fun & casual dress at work.  The male waiters were wearing life guard themed outfits white tanks that said coconuts and red swim trunks.  The decor was cheesy beach cabana.  The place felt like a dive bar to be honest, but maybe that is what they want it to feel like, considering at night this place turns into a club with dancing, drinking and partying.

On to the food we pretty much knew what we wanted when we walked in since we had been debating the menu outside.  The waiter came over shortly after we had been seated took our drink order and then came back for our food order.  We went with the grilled fish tacos and the al pastor tacos.  While we were waiting for our food we wondered if we got chips and salsa with our meals like most mexican restaurants and that would be no, you have to order this as an appetizer which I found out was $5, on the menu it does not say unlimited and the basket was about average from what I could tell at the neighboring table.

First up the fish tacos:

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To our surprise both of our dishes came with rice and beans, since the menu didn’t list that they came with anything so we were only expecting the tacos.  The grilled fish tacos are grilled mahi-mahi with baja slaw topped with cabo sauce & their 3 cheese blend on a flour tortilla.  This was a really nice taco, not greasy and the fish was cooked perfectly.  The spicy cabo sauce was a nice element and really blended well.  I wasn’t sure what the difference between baja slaw and normal slaw because it tasted like normal slaw to me nothing special.  Over all I liked this taco it wasn’t the best fish taco I ever ate but it wasn’t the worst either.

Next up the al pastor tacos:

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The al pastor tacos is roasted pork with a Achiote marinade on corn tortillas, since I am not a fan of corn tortillas I asked for them to be made with flour which they did for me.  I did not expect pineapple on top since it wasn’t listed but due to a conversation with a friend she had mentioned to me a couple days beforehand that al pastor comes with pineapple normally.  You can see from the photo that they were a little greasy from what I can assume was the marinade.  I am on the fence with this taco dish, first off my food was luke warm it really could’ve been a lot hotter so this was a disappointment.  These are not a spicy pork despite their orange coloring, most of the time this eludes to spicy.  There wasn’t a lot of flavor actually to the taco most of what flavor I recognized was from the pineapple.  Which you wouldn’t think would be good; kind of like pineapple on pizza, but it did work well with the pork.  Overall it was just a taco not bad but not fantastic either kind of right down the middle, if someone gave me a free one I would still eat it but I wouldn’t crave it.  I didn’t care for the rice & beans that came with my dish, the rice was bland and the beans were a weird texture almost like they had started to mash them up to make refried beans but changed their mind, and actually they were on the watery side.

I would say that being in town square there are a lot of other choices which I think you would enjoy more than this.  I would not go out of my way to come here again, even though together our total bill was $23 without tip; the waiter did not add our drinks on to the bill which was just a soda & ice tea.  I am not sure if it was an oversight or he was just being nice.  The service was so so we waited a bit for our food but the waiter did check on us a couple times throughout the meal which is good.  So for the price it was fine especially since we had the surprise rice and beans, but I know the next time I am in Town Square this place will be last on my list for food.  Especially when as we walked around we both said that we should’ve gone to Tommy Bahama or Brio instead as we walked past them.  Also afterwords I mentioned to a friend I went there and the first thing she asked me was why?  I guess that sums up this place, and since this use to be a place called Lolitas I can honestly say it wouldn’t shock me if it became something else in the future.

B.A.R

 
 
7260 South Cimarron Road
Las Vegas, NV 89113
 
(702) 685-2058
 

If you are looking for a good local place to kick back and have a drink with some friends this is the place to go, you wont be disappointed.  I have had the pleasure to eat here at B.A.R = Born And Raised on a couple different occasions, and I know I will be back.  This is a lovely place owned by locals and for locals and when you walk it you know this is a bar for locals and the food is delicious.

On my last trip here we had the Chicken Parm (left) sliders & Monte Cristo Sliders (right).

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My friend and I gave each other one of ours so that we could taste them and both slider orders came with french fries, you can get onion rings or sweet potato tots for an upcharge.  I’ll start with the Chicken Parm that she gave me to try, this was really good it was a parmesan encrusted chicken breast smothered in tomato sauce and topped with melted mozzarella cheese & basil.  This was the perfect combination and I would go back and order this as my meal.  The flavors melded really well together into a perfect little bite.

I ordered the Monte Cristo which is turkey, ham & swiss cheese on texas toast dipped into batter and pan fried.  It is then drizzled with maple syrup & powdered sugar.  It was like having lunch and breakfast all in the same meal.  I will definitely have this one again and I will take them up on their offer of some maple syrup on the side to dip it into.  Because i will admit that it needed that extra bite of sweetness.  Also I will say that I didn’t taste the cheese that much I think it was lost in everything else, but it didn’t hurt the overall appeal and taste of the dish.

I can’t talk about a bar and not show you at least one picture of a cocktail.  I ordered a gin & tonic, which I have to say is one of the best ones I have had in the valley.  It was the perfect balance so the bartender knows how to pour.  My friend had a vodka water and she said the same thing that it was a perfect mix and a great way to end our day of moving.

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The do have a happy hour which I have not attended but it runs Monday – Friday 4pm – 7pm & 3am – 6am; they have drink specials and food specials ranging from $1 beer to $5 appetizers.

My only critique about this place was during this visit our waitress was a little aloof, I am not sure if it was because we were getting more food than drinks but it did put me off.  But luckily my first visit there the waitress was on point so I am going to chop it up to just a busy day for them.

Kabuki Japanese Restaurant

 
 
 
Tivoli Village
400 S. Rampart Blvd., Suite 190,
Las Vegas, NV 89145
 
Webiste: http://www.kabukirestaurants.com
 

I ate here over the weekend on a girl’s day, we decided that we had a craving for sushi and remembered that Kabuki had opened recently in Tivoli Village, and this would also give us a chance to check out the farmers market that is held at Tivoli on the weekends.  We got to Kabuki a little after 11 am I would say and the place was pretty empty, so we were seated quickly.  Someone came over right away and got our drink order, and shortly after our waiter came over to see if we had any questions.

To start our meal we decided to go with the garlic edamame.  Before this came to our table our waiter brought us complimentary edamame to the table because we had ordered sushi, we were a bit disappointed that he did not tell us that edameme came with our sushi because if he had we wouldn’t have ordered it as an appetizer.  Granted they were different one is cold the other is warm with garlic, salt & spices.  Maybe we would have ordered something different.  But it was the principal behind it; it would have been nice that he said something.

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We decided that we would get 4 rolls to share, the downside to sharing with me is I for some reason can not stand the consistency of spicy tuna, I blame it on a hand roll I had at a charity event it was just too much for my pallet and I haven’t been able to eat it since.  So I am constantly trying to find rolls that do not have it in , which I will admit is a lot harder than you would think.  It seems to be the default ingredient for a lot of places.  We eventually decided on the Lotus roll, AAA Box roll, Alaskan roll & Smokey Philly roll.

First up the lotus roll: Baked premium lobster meat on top of California roll served with eel sauce.

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I really liked this roll the lobster was cooked perfectly and they gave you plenty on top so you don’t feel as if you paid too much for just a California roll.  I would for sure order this one on my next trip to Kabuki.

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The AAA Box roll is albacore tuna layered with asparagus between rice and topped with avocado, with what we assume is eel sauce and some kind of mayo sauce.  These were not listed on the item description but both were a nice addition to the roll.  My only critique of this roll is that I really didn’t taste the asparagus, which if I am ordering a roll with it in it I want to feel like I am getting asparagus.  It was just lost in everything.  Also the layer is a nice presentation but really was kind of difficult to eat since it made the pieces twice the size of a roll.

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The Alaskan roll was a California roll topped with basked salmon, while I really enjoyed this roll my friend was only kind of on board.  It was a nice flavor with the baked salmon, but really because it was another California roll I could see how it was kinda just blah.

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The last roll we had was the Smokey Philly roll, this seems to be a pretty standard roll no matter which sushi restaurant you go to.  The only difference is that it had smoked salmon inside instead of just plain salmon; and to be honest it could’ve been plain and I wouldn’t have known.  It didn’t  have an abundant smokey flavor that smoked salmon has which is one of the reasons I enjoy getting rolls with smoked salmon.

Overall the service was very good despite our waiter having a cloud of cologne following him, the bussers were quick to clear out the empty plates and refill our drinks.   The sushi was very tasty and got to us quickly, my major critique as a whole was that the rice was extremely soft, meaning the rolls didn’t stay together and fell apart easily, especially the AAA box roll and Smokey Philly.  This is the main reason I removed a star, because if you are a sushi restaurant your rice should be on point.  The rolls did come with 6 – 8 pieces depending on the roll, which was good for sharing.  Our entire meal was a total of $52 including tax, so for basically $25 a person we had a nice sushi lunch.  I would recommend them whether you are at Tivoli or Town Square if you are looking to fill your sushi craving for the day.