Well Dined

10Aug/120

Las Vegas 2012 Pt 2: The Food

The Cosmopolitan Hotel has lots of great food options which was a nice bonus for staying there.  My favorite has to be Holstein's Burgers, which has a huge selection of glam burgers and adult milkshakes.  They also have a good bar with a whole menu of drinks based around my favorite liquor - St Germain.

This was my first meal at the trendy burger spot (yes, I went back) - The Billionaire Burger with Kobe beef, foie gras, port onion marmalade, frisee, and truffle mayo. Fan-freaking-tastic.  I got it with sweet potato fries and the Drunken Monkey Shake (Reese’s, banana, malt, Frangelico).

The next time I went back, I brought Jasper with me.  I told him "You HAVE to try this place!"  He got the Nom Nom Burger with Kobe beef, cheddar cheese, potato chips, and 1000 island dressing.  I had a bite of it and it was super tasty.

I decided to try out their lobster dishes and got the lobster mac with tallegio-mascarpone sauce and black truffle and the mini lobster rolls with chive aioli.  Both were good (the mac and cheese more so), but the burgers were definitely better.  I also got the Brown Cow Float with Smirnoff Whipped Cream Vodka, root beer, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate pop rocks - yum.  Jasper got the oreo shake, but wasn't that fond of it because he though the Bailey's flavor in it was too strong.

The other major restaurant that we tried out in the Cosmo was China Poblano - a Chinese/Mexican small plates joint from local DC chef Jose Andres (they also had a Jaleo in the hotel, but we have a ton out here so we didn't do there).

The first thing we got was some fresh made guacamole topped with queso fresco - OMG so delicious with fresh cooked hot tortilla chips.  Be careful though - the servers will ask you if you want some when you order your drinks and not mention that it is $15.

In the foreground are the papas fritas (a Jaleo classic) with mole, crema, and queso fresco.  Behind those are the fried wontons filled with shrimp and pork (yum).

This was my favorite dish - doughnut like pork rolls with a vanilla condensed milk dipping sauce, sweet meets savory.  They also have the traditional steamed pork buns.

Lamb pot stickers are as tasty as they are beautiful.

The tacos here are ordered one at a time and made with fresh corn tortillas.  This was the chicken mole taco.

Casual restaurants at the Cosmo include The Henry (open 24 hrs), where I stopped for breakfast to get this awesome corned beef hash.

The food at the pool isn't bad either - fruit salad is topped with outstanding papaya sorbet and fried calamari planks are big, tender, and light.

And if you are hankering for a cheap greasy meal post-partying, look for the "secret" pizza place on the 3rd floor for fresh, $4 pizza and boxed wine served til 4AM.

Moving off the strip to our 2nd location at the Palms, there is less to be excited about.  There are fine dining locations in the Palms, but I haven't been to them yet - mostly because by this point in the trip I am tired and lazy and living off room service and dim sum.

There is my favorite room service item - a ridiculously huge breakfast burrito with eggs, potatoes, bacon, and cheese.  And, yes, I said Dim Sum - because the 24 hr cafe type place in the hotel has a back room where they serve Dim Sum.  Weird, I know, but it works for me.

The place where I ate most often during this trip was celebrity chef Kerry Simon's self named restaurant at the Palms Place.  Overlooking the gorgeous pool I posted about in Pt 1, Simon serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner and includes a sushi bar and lounge-y bar area.  It's all I need!

Breakfast was a smoked salmon scrambled with creme fraiche, chives, capers, and a bagel.

Lunch was sushi - a dragon roll and sashimi plate.

Dinner was an amazing shaved vegetable salad (that I have copied and made at home) and a decent gemelli bolognese with ricotta.

Dessert was a yummy strawberry shortcake.

I haven't been able to make it to the Sunday brunch yet, but I really need to next time because I have heard that it is AWESOME.

There is also a food court with fast food off the casino floor at the Palms which includes a frozen yogurt place that makes crepes - yum.

Stepping outside of the hotels where we were staying, we revisited two of our favorite LV spots.  The first was Wolfgang Puck's steakhouse CUT in the Venetian, which I have written about before.

We ordered the burrata appetizer, which was just as amazing as it was last time.  We also tried something new - the bone marrow flan (sorry for the terrible picture...) which was outstanding.  The marrow is removed from the bone, incorporated into a custard, piped back into the bone, baked into smooth, creamy perfection.  Spread on buttery brioche along with a mushroom ragu and parsley salad - so, so good.

Along with our tasty wagyu steaks, we had the potato puree and the decadent mac and cheese.  And even though we opted out of dessert (so full), we were given little treats - a chocolate whiskey bar and a lemon yuzu bar.

Next up on the favorites list was Sushi Roku in the Forum Shops at Caesar's (which I have also posted about before).

In addition to a bunch of fresh sushi (some of it fish we had never had before!), we ordered a couple of special items.  The baked lobster with creamy miso sauce is one of Roku's signature rolls and it is awesome-sauce.  No, really - that sauce is awesome, I practically liked it off the plate.  The toro tartare with caviar and wasabi tamari soy was also off-the-hook good.  Lastly, sea scallops topped with foie gras - I mean, what else can I say about that?  I love this place.

Finally, our big ticket dinner at Joel Robuchon gets its own post.  So keep an eye out!

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