亞洲美食

Translation: Asian Cuisine

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill

Being a restaurant inside of the Cosmopolitan has got to be stressful. Everything in the Cosmo is opulent and of quality; And their residing restaurants mostly match that level. Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill holds up well next to its Cosmo brethren despite some very minor issues.

My first impression after walking in Blue Ribbon was that it was quite small and the bar for alcohol was twice as large as the bar for sushi… I don’t really know what to think of that. But, the room had a good flow and vibe to it, the music was at a perfect level to be there but not overtake conversations, and the service was pretty good. My only issue was that the waitstaff had zero personality. We were a lively table of 6 twenty/thirty somethings for a birthday and the waitstaff could’ve cared less if we were all retired on social security. So, overall a good feel, just could use some tweaks to round out the experience.

Since we were at Blue Ribbon for a friend’s birthday I ordered a little differently than I normally would when out for sushi/Japanese. Instead of quantity, I went for quality.

I started my meal with their take on Miso Soup. I say "their take" because it was served a little differently than I’m used to. I was served Miso… and soup. Interesting, to say the least, but the gimmick presented better than it executed. The concept is purely that you mix your own miso soup. I spooned the miso into the broth and began mixing. What I ended up with was a very cloudy and veggie heavy miso soup. The taste was ok, but nowhere near outstanding. It was also served just above warm. I typically expect miso soup to be served at a decently hot temperature, and this just wasn’t quite there. I was a little a disappointed, with such a pretty presentation, the flavors and end product just didn’t equal up to a satisfying bowl for me.

Blue Ribbon Sushi- Miso Soup

My fiancé and I shared the Fried Chicken. Fried Chicken at a Sushi bar?! I know, right? Prior to venturing to Blue Ribbon, all anyone could tell me about was the chicken: “You have to try the Fried Chicken!” “It’ll change your life!” Well, we’ll see about that. Once again, the presentation was very pretty and the chicken looked amazing.  The chicken is breaded with a wasabi/honey mix and comes with a Asian Chili dipping sauce of the same concoction. The chicken itself was very tender and the cook on it was perfect. The breading was light and crispy and had an amazing aroma about it. The sauce on the side was almost a show stealer, I couldn’t stop dipping the chicken in it. The portion size was also pretty substantial (I’d hope so for $26!). So at the end of it, was it Earth shatteringly good? No. Is it a very different take and taste for fried chicken? Definitely. I would categorize it as different and good, but not life changing good. Is it worth trying for the price? Like I said at the beginning, go big or go home, it’s worth trying and seeing for yourself if it really is “that good”.

Blue Ribbon Sushi- Fried Chicken

Now for the Pièce de résistance! The Blue Ribbon Roll. Lets start here this roll is $30. Let that marinate for a sec OK, good? Here we go. The Blue Ribbon Roll consists of 1/2 of a lobster, shiso (cousin of mint leaf), and black caviar. And, although it doesn’t state it on the menu, I believe there to be some other fish egg inside as well. I’ve had a lot of sushi in my life, stuffed with every possible filler, one even with gold on it, but combining black caviar and lobster in one bite is a first for me. They did not specify which variety of black caviar this was, but I’d have to assume it’s the more pedestrian type given the cost of the roll and the amount used on the sushi. Aside from that, this is one hell of a roll. It’s beauty is really in its simplicity. The lobster is sweet and succulent and each roll is absolutely stuffed with the tasty meat. The caviar was literally like icing on the cake, it added a beautiful depth to the simple bites and added a great rich contrast in flavor to the sweet crustacean. And the addition of claw meat was a very welcomed touch. This roll is now in my memory as one of the best I’ve ever had. Who cares how much it costs when it tastes so good! If you go to Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, do yourself a favor and order this roll.

Blue Ribbon Sushi- Blue Ribbon Roll

My meal really was a good, better, best scenario. As a whole, the food was good and I’d like to try more. From what I can tell, they excel in the sushi department, but  there are a lot of other very tempting options I still need to try. I’m glad I finally tried them out and am looking forward to sampling more and more of their dishes over time.

Rating out
of 10
Description
7 Location

Technically it's pretty equidistant from every single person in Las Vegas, so that helps. Otherwise, it's obviously a destination being inside of a resort on the Strip.

9 The Décor

Refined and simple.

7 The Prices

There are definitely some pricey menu items, but if you don't go too crazy it's moderately priced for where it's located.

N/A The Drinks

They have a full bar, we did not partake on this particular journey.

8 The Food

It wasn't all perfect, but the sushi and the exoticness of the fried chicken kept it fun.

7.75 Overall

There are a lot of options for quality sushi on the Strip, Blue Ribbon is definitely one of the better ones.

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Fin

Fin- Logo

Firstly, I'd like to thank General Manager Connie Chin for her hospitality and graciousness. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.

Fin is tucked away in a corner of the Mirage's forever busy casino floor. The entrance is very unassuming and subtle, yet refined with simplicity. Upon entering I felt as if I was walking into a very well decorated house in China. The walls are covered in simple designs that look like mountain ranges and clouds. From the ceiling hung strands of glass balls that add a nice flow to the room. Sheer materials are used to enclose two private dining rooms and the rest of the main room has a mixture of small tables, large family tables, and a few booths. We were sat in a (very comfortable) booth that allowed us to be able to view the entire dining room as we ate. I hadn't even eaten anything yet and was already very impressed.

For our dining experience we went with a tasting so I could try the most amount of dishes as possible. Our first dish entailed three appetizers.

Fin- Spring Roll

First was the Spring Roll (Vegetable Egg Roll). These rolls were a great starter to our meal. They had a great crunch to them and the ingredients were very fresh and the rolls were served at a perfect temperature. They are small in size but big in flavor.

Fin- Pork Potsticker


Second was the Pork Potstickers (Pan-Fried Pork Potstickers). I love potstickers and these are some of the best I've had. They were absolutely filled to the brim with pork and were very tender and flavorful all around. The wrapper was cooked perfectly and I liked that each bite had a little bit of spice on the front end. I could eat these all day long. 

Third was the Crisp Shiitake Mushrooms. Whether you're a fan of mushrooms or not, you must try these! They taste more like meat than mushrooms. They're coated in a sweet vinegar glaze and are stunning. These really took me by surprise and I've never had mushrooms taste like that. This is the type of dish I'll keep thinking about anytime I have shiitake mushrooms in the future. The bar has been set.

After our little starters we tried a few entrées. The first of these was the Crab with Asparagus. This isn't on the menu yet, but will be soon, and when it is, get it! The crab was so light and delicious it was like I was eating a cloud. The crab had an excellent mouth feel and was delectable in every way. The asparagus were cooked on point and were buttered expertly. This dish is simplicity at it's best. It is also quite generous in portion size, two people could split this easily if you wanted something light and amazing.


Next was the Orange Beef. Think orange chicken, but beef… and more flavorful. The beef was extremely tender and was a delight to eat. The orange flavoring was apparent but not in your face. I like that it took a back seat to the beef and just added what it needed to be different. The glaze also had a slight kick on the back end of each bite. Once again, a very simple dish with outstanding quality and flavor profiles.

Third was the Szechwan Shrimp (Prawns). These very large prawns were meaty and very filling. The sauce was good with a little spice to it, I just wish it had a little more of a kick. I typically think of Szechwan anything to be a little more garlicky and spicy. Otherwise they were very tasty. I especially liked that they were served with large lettuce leaves so I could use those as a vessel to scoop the prawns up with. (Who doesn't love eating with their hands?!)

Fin- Orange BeefFin- Szechwan Shrimp









And finally, the Pièce de Résitance was the Lemon Sea Bass. This dish is probably the best sea bass I've ever had. This is also not on the menu yet, but coming soon. The bake on the fish was just downright elegant. Each bite was light and fluffy and the fish just melted in my mouth. It was also served with a house made lemon sauce that was outstanding to dip in. If you're like me and have had your ups and downs with sea bass, this is as up as you can get. The Lemon Sea Bass is a winner for sure!

Fin- Lemon Sea Bass

For dessert I had their Mango Pudding and the meal pallet cleanser of a Pistachio and Bailey's shot with a house made Fortune Cookie. Pudding is a stretch of a  word for this dessert. I would more categorize it as a flan. Think mango flan, got it? Amazing right? The chunks of mango atop the succulent mango pudding/custard/flan added a great texture profile and gave an overall fun experience for my tongue to handle. And even though it looks so, it is not overly sweet at all. I really enjoyed this dessert. 

The pallet cleanser was also very fun. The shot was yummy and the fortune cookie really felt and tasted special. After eating metric tons of factory made fortune cookies in my life, it was quite nice to have a hand made, one off cookie just for me! 

Fin- Mango PuddingFin- Shot and Fortune Cookie













Fin is an experience. The décor, the staff, the food. Everything was top notch. Fin filled me up and left me joyful, as every meal should leave thee. 

Rating out
of 10
Description
7 Location

Tucked away in a corner of the Mirage, it's not hard to find, but you wouldn't know it was there if you kept to the casino floor's main path.

10 The Décor

Designed by the same fella who did Shibuya, Fin is beautiful and elegent in it's subtle designs.

8 The Prices

I've read quite a few reviews saying that Fin is overpriced. It's an upscale Chinese resteraunt inside of a casino. It's going to have a little bit of a premium on the price. The food is top notch and is worth paying for on top of the overall abiance and experience.

N/A The Drinks

I had one cocktail and it was stellar, see my Convivial Concoctions section for the review.

10 The Food

My meal was unforgettable. I'll be back for more to try new dishes and order again what I loved.

8.75 Overall

A Sin City Foodie favorite!

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Shibuya

Ever watch a modern movie that takes place in Japan and you always notice a "Times Square" style area? Well, that's called the Shibuya District located in Tokyo, Japan. Shibuya the restaurant inside of the MGM Grand shares it's name and much if it's styling from said area. Shibuya is very modern looking with a lot of eye candy that draws your gaze everywhere you look. The front is sections of all glass pieces that layer each other and give a somewhat bamboo look as you peer through. My fiancé and I were fortunate enough to get a table right next to the glass and were able to people watch as we enjoyed our meal.

Shibuya offers Teppanyaki tables, sushi, and traditional Japanese delights. For our journey, we had some sushi and shared a entrée.

Yet, with any place that has it, I'm going to order it; We started with Edamame. The edamame here had some small details that made it better than most I've had. To start, every single pod was huge! It really seemed like they filter what they serve to makes sure no runts make it to the table. Secondly, there were a ton of them. This picture was taken after we'd gone through some so you could see the third impressive part; the woven basket. I really appreciate when restaurants go the extra mile to make something as simple as a bowl be outstanding and different. All of the beans were meaty and the salting was just right. The bar has been set for my edamame consuming future. 

Shibuya- Edamame

Sushi was next on the table with the Shibuya Roll and RYU (Dragon) Roll

Shibuya- Shibuya and Dragon Roll

The Shibuya Roll consisted of soft shell crab, jalapeño, spicy albacore, and ponzu scallions. This roll falls into a kind of comfort food category for me, it was warm, delicious, not too heavy, and savory. The overall flavor was slightly tangy and was countered well by the excellent crab. 

Shibuya- Shibuya Roll

The RYU (Dragon) Roll was packed with freshwater eel, cucumber, mango, and avocado. I picked this one because you don't typically see mango in sushi and I wanted to see if it works. In short, it does! This is a very well conceived roll. The roll was very rich and filling and the mango really hits a home run! The sauce was decadent and the avocado was fresh and makes itself apparent but not overpowering. And for the protein, the eel was tender and flavorful to round it all out. This is one of the best rolls I've ever had.  

Shibuya- RYU (Dragon) Roll

Now after our sushi there was a significant amount of time before our main order came out. We weren't pressed for time, so I didn't sweat it as we were enjoying people watching so much, but our waiter did know and to make it up to us he brought us both the Kimiko Miso Soup. As a lover of miso soup, I had no complaints about this gesture.

The soup had much more flavor than your usual miso varieties. It had a good body to it and the tofu chunks were large and soaked up the flavors very well. It was tangy on the back end and was very good overall. Also served very hot, but not too hot to begin enjoying immediately.

Shibuya- Kimiko Miso Soup

The Jidori Chicken was the main course we were waiting for and for the most part, twas worth the wait. This dish included organic chicken breast and thigh skewers, satsumaimo croquettes, shishito pepper, and a lemon teriyaki sauce. The chicken was a little over cooked, but not enough to ruin it. The glaze on the chicken was on point and had a nutty and sweet quality to it. The thighs were leaps and bounds better than the breasts. I don't know why, but they were much juicier and tender. The shishito peppers were grilled and looked nice, but really had no flavor to them. The absolute star of this show was the satsumaimo croquettes. When I first bit into one of these I had not idea what flavors my mouth was tasting but I knew I liked it! I had to ask the waiter what exactly they were, he told me they were a bread crumb crusted ginger yam whip, but after looking it up, they're actually a Japanese sweet potato1 And they are awesome! If there was an appetizer of just these, I'd order it in a heart beat! The flavor is so damn interesting!

Shibuya- Jidori Chicken

In all, we enjoyed our experience at Shibuya. We definitely will go back and try some of the more extravagant options soon enough. If you want good Japanese on the South Strip, look no further! Shibuya is the place for you!

Rating out
of 10
Description
6 Location

Inside of the MGM Grand's restaurant row, it's not the easiest place to get to, but the people watching ability almost counter balances the walk and parking.

10 The Décor

The place is beautiful and keeps your eyes busy.

8 The Prices

Easily, you're looking at $50 a person at minimum. But the prices reflect the quality of ingredients properly.

N/A The Drinks

Their selection is quite amazing. They have an amazing varity of sake and Japanese beers. I did not have any on this trip

9 The Food

Everything we had was of top quality. Not one dish absolutely blew me away, but I'm sure they have others that will.

8.25 Overall

My meal makes we want to go back and try more. That's definitely a good thing.

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Chop Chop Wok

There really is nothing like a good ol' strip mall Chinese joint. Chop Chop Wok is a very unassuming place smack dab in the middle of the strip mall on the North West side of Cheyenne and Rainbow. Surrounded by terrible restaurant chains, Chop Chop Wok is a diamond in the rough. The décor is bland and nothing special, the service is decent and speedy, but the one thing that shines brightest is the food. (And the fact that 95% of the menu is under $10!)

Miso Soup FTW! Miso soup is simple, yet easy to screw up; Bad miso soups are watery and tasteless or overly salty and pungent. This bowl of deliciousness was right down the middle with a great balance of flavor and texture with the perfect amount of saltiness. Also a bonus for me was that it was served to me hot but not boiling hot. I hate waiting for soup to cool!

Chop Chop Wok- Miso Soup.jpg

My girlfriend ordered a "small" Chicken Lo Mein, but when it came to the table we realized we could definitely share it. The small order had to be a pound of chicken and noodles. As you can see, the noodles looked and were amazing. They were a little greasy, perfectly cooked, and were full of flavor. The chicken was very tender and also had great seasoning and sauces soaked into it. These noodles were legit! Just looking at the picture makes me want it again!

Chop Chop Wok- Chicken Lo Mein.jpg

I was pretty hungry on this outing so I also ordered a sampler platter that contained a California Roll, Tempura Shrimp, and Tempura Broccoli. This odd mash up of items was a little hit and miss. The sushi actually wasn't all that bad, it was nothing award winning, but better than expected. The Tempura Shrimp were very good, mainly because of the tempura batter. The shrimp were kind of small but the batter was light, crunchy, and added good flavoring to the shrimpy shrimps. The Tempura Broccoli were different… They were kind of bland on their own, but really good when dipped into soy sauce. The soy sauce added the right amount of saltiness and body that the broccoli needed to be better.

Chop Chop Wok- Sampler.jpg

For the grand finale I had the Deluxe Broiled Eel Combo. I always get eel when I can and this was one of the best preparations I've had. I know it doesn't look like much, but that slab of Anguilliforme was downright fantastic! The eel was very, very soft and melted in my mouth with each bite. The sauce it was drenched in was rich with a subtle smokiness and was also great with the rice it sat atop of. This is a dish I will go back specifically for. It was that good!

Chop Chop Wok- Eel.jpg

Chop Chop Wok is a hole in the wall worth trying if you're on the NW side of town. So far, it's the best Chinese cuisine I've had on this side of the city. 

Rating out
of 10
Description
9 Location

Right off the freeway, it's easy to park, and easy to find.

5 The Décor

Meh. Don't look at the walls, look at your food!

10 The Prices

I think our total meal price was like $26. That's pretty tough
to beat.

N/A The Drinks

N/A

9 The Food

The food was solid, cooked to order, and had some amazing
flavors.

8.25 Overall

This is my new Chinese "go to" for NW Sin City.

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Sushi Loca

This review is a combination of two trips to Sushi Loca. (No animals were harmed… well other than the fish obviously.)

Irrashaimase! I love hearing that walking into happening sushi joints. I especially love hearing it at Sushi Loca because the chefs really want to welcome you and make sure you have a good time. I've been to Sushi Loca several times for some late night antics and during regular hours and the chef staff is always exciting and intense no matter the hour. The other part of Sushi Loca that is also consistent is the food. They blow my mind each time with something new or strange that I just love. The sushi chefs really own the atmosphere of the place and wheather they're dishing out sake bombs or teaching you about their blades, there's always a good time to be had sitting at the sushi bar.

That being said, let's check out some of the amazing offerings from Sushi Loca. 


One of the latest rolls to knock my socks off was the Final Fantasy 2. Which, if you're a video game nerd, have to order just because. I ordered it because of said reason and the abundance of flavors described on the menu and the dipping sauce. The roll consists of: Inside- Spicy Soft Shell Crab, Shrimp Tempura, and Cucumber with the Outside- Assorted Fishes with Spicy Mayo Panzu Sauce. Doesn't that just make your mouth water?! It did for me and this roll was absolutely delicious! And the dipping sauce took it to another level (no pun intended). The roll is supremely rich and complex with the sauce adding just the right amount of zing to make you say "Wow" after every bite. This is now one of my favorite sushi rolls anywhere.

Just to mix things up, I wanted to try some noodles instead of all sushi on this trip. I make Udon noodles all the time at home, so I took a fancy to their Kake Udon Noodles. Served in a hot, chicken heavy broth, the noodles were very hearty and were cooked properly. Each noodle was thick and meaty and blended well with it's accompanying broth and seasonings. For a break from the norm, these noodles are worth ordering every now and then.

Locally themed, the Double Down is a solid choice on the "Extraordinary Rolls" portion of the menu. Consisting of: Inside- Spicy Soft Shell Crab, and Cucumber with the Outside- Salmon, Yellowtail and Sesame Mustard Sauce. This roll just melted in my mouth. Overall it had a great creamy feel with the cucumber doing its job adding the needed crunch with each bite. The sauce adds a slight kick to it with a bit of help from the spicy crab and the salmon/yellowtail combo on the outside was outstanding and really made the whole roll decadent and filling. If you're presented the option… you better Double Down!

My beautiful girlfriend ordered the Pearl Special as her first roll from Sushi Loca and she chose wisely. This roll has: Inside- Tempura Shrimp, Cream Cheese, Crab, Avocado, and Cucumber with the Outside- Smelt Eggs and "Crunch" with Special Sauce. As you notice, there are some ingredients that don't often make appearances in sushi, namely the cream cheese and avocado. Those ingredients make this special. The sauce is great, the smelt eggs add a great touch, but the out of nowhere flavors blasting from the cream cheese and avocado really take you by surprise in the best possible way! Each bite has lots of crunch to it with the cream cheese smoothing it out by the time you finish it. This really is a special roll that should be enjoyed by all.

The names of the rolls at Sushi Loca are eclectic as can be. There are "I Did your Girlfriend", "I Love my Ass", "68 and I owe you One", and my personal favorite "Oops she was 17". Oops she was 17 is just outright insane. Look at it! There's sushi under all of that craziness. But….that craziness is god damn delicious! I had to ask the chef what it was exactly, answer: Starch Fried Onions. These things are so good, I wouldn't mind just having a bowl of them with that sauce. I had to stop eating them to focus my efforts on the sushi buried beneath. The sushi was filled with Spicy Tuna, Spicy Yellowtail, Spicy everything! (This roll must be new because it's not on their online menu yet.) The sauce atop and inside was sweet and savory adding even more richness to the already baked and cheesy roll. The spicy tuna was the star inside by being buttery and feisty while still playing nice with the rest of the ingredients. This roll is practically a whole meal, but I cleaned that plate! This is a wild and crazy sushi dish that works in so many different ways, it really embodies Sushi Loca as a whole.

I know everyone has their favorite sushi spot and I'm no different. Sushi Loca is my local favorite, the food is always amazing, the atmosphere is fun and inviting, and after 11pm every night the music gets turned up and the drinks are 2 for 1! I dare you to try Sushi Loca and then say anywhere else is better in Sin City. I double down dare ya!


Rating Description
out of 10
6 Location
Eh, their only downfall. It's on the outskirts of the NW region and far for most, also the entire shopping center is a little confusing overall.
10 The Décor
I'm combining atmosphere with décor here. The décor is cute with red walls and hard wood touches. There are booths, tables, and a sushi bar as well. And the fun level is always at 10.
10 The Prices
Not bad actually. I don't think any roll is over $14. We had three rolls a lemonade and a beer for $51. Not bad for dinner for two.
10 The Drinks
A great sake list, a great Japanese beer list, fountain drinks, and if you order Sake Bombs, the chefs will do them with you!
10 The Food
You could pick blindly on the sushi menu and end up with something amazing.
9.2
OVERALL
A Sin City Foodie Favorite!
(out of 10)

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Bangkok 9: Thai-Chinese Restaurant (Rainbow Location)

舌頭可以描繪出肉眼無法看到。"The tongue can paint what the eye can't see."-Chinese Proverb. 

On a recent trip to Bangkok 9: Thai-Chinese Restaurant our tongues painted for us the source of the texture and flavor that our eyes couldn't see…the microwave in the kitchen that nuked our meals...

Tragedy is a nice word to describe our experience at Bangkok 9 (I really hope there aren't 8 other ones!). When we got there, there were two large groups of about 10 people each and most of the booths were full with patrons. A busy dining room normally is a good indicator of quality food and repeat business. This was not the case here. There was one server. One. She definitely tried to accommodate the entire dining room, but many things were caught in the wake of spinning too many plates. Mainly our time and the feel of the place. She had zero personality when we did see her at our table, but that was a rare occurance. It took about 15 minutes before we were even asked to order. Once we ordered, our food came out within 5 minutes. That scared me because I know that normally means Chef Mike is involved somehow, but I gave them the benefit of the doubt before eating my meal.

I had the Pad Thai Noodles. I love noodles of all kinds and Pad Thai has always been one of my favorites. These Pad Thai Noodles had stir-fry chicken and shrimp with egg, green onions, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts and Thai seasoning. At first glance, I could see my noodles were a little more shiny than I'd like, and that's normally an unfortunate sign of being microwaved. And after my first bite it was confirmed, Chef Mike had stricken! The entire dish seemed very uninspired; The chicken and shrimp were tasteless, the noodles were rubbery and sticky, and all of the greenery was wilted and sad. It's a pretty remarkable feat to make shrimp tasteless, no less chicken. The only good thing on the entire plate was the crushed peanuts! Probably because it seems dielectric heating does not effect their kind. And the Thai seasoning "sauce" was just a watery pool at the bottom of the plate. It was as if I was eating day old leftovers that had be reheated twice.

My girlfriend got the Curry Fried Rice which entailed stir-fried chicken, egg, tomatoes, onions, and scallions. Her dish at least had some flavor to it, but if you dump enough curry powder on anything it's going to have some sort of flavoring to it. And that was the only flavor we could taste, curry. This was a one note dish. The chicken was the same as my order and was absolutely void of any taste. Really a shame.

Other than reheated, horrible food, and terrible service, "What else could be bad about this place?" you may ask. I'll tell you, the water. Yes, they found a way to screw up water. Our two glasses of water shared probably an entire half a lemon. The wedge was so big, and served already inside the glass, that it tasted like watered down lemonade. "Why didn't you ask for a new glass with no lemon?" you may inquire, answer: it took 15 minutes just to get this glass, I didn't feel like dying from old age in this place. It also took 15 minutes after we were done eating to even be acknowledged to take our plates away and then another 10 minutes to get our bill. On top of all that, the place was filthy; The front windows were streaked of dirt, the large fish tank you encounter as you first walk in was filthy, and the carpet was pretty bad as well. 

I would almost put all the aside if the food was amazing. Trendy hole in the wall Chinese places are awesome. Unfortunately for Bangkok 9, they are just a tragic bore in a strip mall.

Rating Description
out of 10
4 Location
Located in a strip mall with lots of speedbumps and nothing else near it other than Pier 1.
4 The Décor
Laughable at best. A few Asian pictures on the wall and the filthy fish tank. There was a TV propped up above the entrance that seemed like it was there for the staff to enjoy.
6 The Prices
Our dishes were $8 each, for the portion size, not bad, for the horribleness of the plates, not good.
5 The Drinks
The usual Boba, Teas, and sodas. They showed they served beer up at the hostess counter, but there was no beer on the menu.
0 The Food
Just terrible. There's no excuse for microwaving food.
3.8
OVERALL
Stay clear of Bangkok 9.
(out of 10)

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Zine Noodles Dim Sum

First, I'd like to thank Executive Director of Paiza Club Operations, Ken Wong, for his hospitality and providing me the opportunity to try what Zine Noodles Dim Sum has to offer.

Zine Noodles Dim Sum is hidden gem inside the Palazzo. Honestly, I've been to the Palazzo hundreds of times and didn't even know Zine was there! But I'm sure glad I know now. Zine Noodles Dim Sum has a very simple entrance on the Southwest side of the casino floor. They recently opened it up a bit so it's much more noticeable and definitely worth looking for.

The dishes that were served to us were completely chosen by the chef, so each one was a pleasant surprise. (The pictures may not represent the entire dish when ordered regularly, as we were given a "chef's tasting") 

We started off with a bang with the Peking Duck (Oven-Roasted Duck on the menu). This appetizer was prepared and carved table-side. The duck was caramely brown and looked like the skin was going to be very crispy and amazing. I was excited because I love duck in all forms. This one was served in the form of a Bao. Laughingly, I've only had Bao before from food trucks, so it was quite an experience to see the duck prepared at the table and assembled to perfection at an authentic Chinese restaurant with it. The duck skin was as crispy as I had hoped, the bao was über fresh and doughy, and the sauce inside won my stomach over. This is one solid offering and a great way to start a meal!

Neon green soup? Sure! Next up was the Spinach Seafood Soup. One of my favorites of all time is egg drop soup. This was like a kicked up version of that old classic. Served nice and hot; The crab was very good, the spinach flavors were subtle but tasty, and the shrimp was great. The color contrast between the crab and the soup was very eye catching as well. If you enjoy egg drop soups like I do, this is definitely not one to sleep on.


See a trend yet? These dishes not only tasted great, but looked good too! The Potstickers (Pan-Fried Chicken Potstickers on the menu) were arranged in a star and were begging to be devoured. I think I may have eaten all but one of these. The potstickers had a great outer crunch to them and an overall good mouth-feel. And the sauce provided to dip them in added to their savoriness and was slightly tangy and matched perfectly with the delicate potstickers.


The Baked Sea Bass (Baked Chilean Sea Bass on the menu) was a gorgeous plate to look at. The fish had such an beautiful char and glaze to them I almost didn't want to eat it….but I did. And it was phenomenal! The bass melted in my mouth and had a stellar texture to it. I took my time with each bite because it was so good. And the mushrooms that were hiding under the fish were great and very hearty with the fried tofu also being a star with an orangey, mushy taste and texture. Everything on this plate works together and is one of the best Sea Bass dishes I have ever had.

As if I wasn't already blown away by the sea bass, it was not to be out done by the Beef Tenderloin (Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Golden Garlic Flakes on the menu). These little cubes of goodness were perfectly medium rare with a great char and were extremely tender. They were very flavorful and I wanted more!

I love walnuts. I don't know if that's a typical thing for 'Mericans, but I pretty much love all nuts (Insert joke here). Walnuts that have been honey glazed and paired with prawns? Now we're talkin'! The Walnut Prawns (Honey-Glazed Walnut Prawns on the menu) were golden morsels of delight. The crunch of the walnuts with the contrast of the soft and lightly battered prawns made for a great combination with the honey glaze really tying everything together. I thoroughly enjoyed this dish.

The Seafood Fried Rice was a nice rendition of one of my favorites too. The egg whites were plentiful and the little bits of seafood added a great sweetness to help cut the savory fried rice. I liked how light it felt compared to many places heavy/greasy fried rice. A very good choice if you like fried rice.



Two is better than one. Fact. So we had two desserts. First was the Mochi which came in chocolate and strawberry flavorings. Unfortunately, the Mochi is outsourced and not made in-house and it was apparent. They were good, but they just weren't anything special.

Our second dessert was one I've never seen before, Sesame Seed Balls (Crispy-Fried Sesame Balls on the menu). These were served hot and had an outer layer of crunch and and inside vastness of soft dough of sorts. They were very interesting overall and kind of tasted like a Chinese iteration of churros… 









This meal was fantastic. I loved pretty much everything. The funny thing to me though, was that at Zine Noodles Dim Sum, we were not given noodles nor dim sum! I guess the chef wasn't feeling it that day, fine with me, gives me something to look forward to the next time I go!

Rating Description
out of 10
7 Location
It's always hard for me to score restaurants inside of hotels. If you're staying there, it's convieient. If you're a local, it's a destination and a lot of walking. So it depends…
9 The Décor
High ceilings, red overtone, beautiful booths and scenery, definitely eye pleasing.
9 The Prices
It's an eclectic menu, you could easily just share a few appitizers and stay at a reasonable cost. Or you could go crazy and get all kinds of decident meals. I like the ability to do that.
10 The Drinks
Fully stocked bar and an extensive wine list. Also, Lychee drinks, soy milk, and even fresh carrot juice!
10 The Food
The Mochi aside, everything had great flavors, textures, aromas, and looked beautiful. The abundance of quality is also a good thing.
9
OVERALL
If you're looking for off the charts authentic Chinese cuisine, you've found your promise land.
(out of 10)

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Sushi Samba (At the Bar)

The best you've ever had. What image begins to form in your heard with such a sentence? A kiss? A night out? A car? I like to reminisce about bests all the time, and I do love when I can expand upon my lists. I can now update my sushi list with a recently experienced roll… 

I can rattle off all of the best meals I've ever had by price, genre, and location. What I can't do is expect when any meal will be trounced by a new champion. This particular evening I was pleasantly surprised by a roll called the Yamato.

The Yamato is a sushi roll that I believe was made for my pure entertainment. I love ordering ridiculous items off menus and when I see tuna, foie gras, ossetra caviar, and GOLD LEAF as ingredients for a roll, how do I not order that?! And to top it off, the bartender asks me if it's OK that the roll is only three bites… It has Gold on it! I don't care if it's one! 

For starters, it's just damn beautiful to behold. It's one of those plates that's such food porn, you don't want to touch it… but you do. You don't wan't to ruin its structure…but you must. The picture does not do this roll justice. The audaciousness of having Gold on your sushi does not translate to digital form. This is something to be witnessed in person. 

I picked up the first bite and placed it into my mouth like a gift being offered to an emperor; delicately and with full motivation to impress. The first taste was awe inspiring; rich, warm, smooth, and perfect. The flavors are so complex yet so simple. The sauce binds it and blows you away with its aroma and taste with absolutely no need for wasabi or soy sauce, this is perfection. Each layer presents its own texture and gusto to make this the best sushi I've ever tasted. I know there's some Japanese master out there making better sushi than this, but he's not in Las Vegas, he's not accessible, and he's not working seven days a week, but Sushi Samba is and does. The Yamato is now engraved in any of my "bests" conversations until proven otherwise.

I had the Pacific roll too, but who cares? It's better than most rolls and most sushi places in town, but it pales in comparison to the Yamato. Unfortunately for the Pacific roll, it's like driving a BMW M5 after driving a McLaren F1, sure it's nice, but it's not even in the same league.







Rating Description
out of 10
7 Location
It's a destination for sure. Sushi Samba is out of the way, yet a trendy out of the kind of out of the way.
8 The Décor
It's fun and fancy inside and out. The outer bar stools could use a once over though.
8 The Prices
For most items on the menu, the prices are actually pretty reasonable. The Yamato was $19… Go big or go home.
10 The Drinks
Amazing specialty cocktail selection with a full bar and Sake!
9 The Food
Just for ordering two sushi rolls at the bar, not bad. I will sit inside and give them a full course review in the future.
8.4
OVERALL
Even though it's a semi-chain joint, It's definitely a go to place on the Strip for great food and atmosphere.
(out of 10)

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Yummy Sushi (Lake Mead Location)

To put an adjective in your name describing your food is hard thing to do. I immediately think that Yummy Sushi is going to have yummy sushi when I walk in. What I ended up finding was Yummy Sushi has yummy sushi with a not so yummy atmosphere.

My friend and I sat at the sushi bar inside of Yummy Sushi's "dining room". I say "dining room" because it's more of a hallway that happens to have tables and chairs in it than a true dining room. But I digress… We were hungry. Promptly after we sat down the sushi chefs presented us with their Cucumber Salad with Crab, of which, I was surprised to see crab on as most places just give you the veggie alone. The sauce used on this small starter really worked for me. The cucumbers were fresh, and the crab was excellent, but I really want more of that sauce! So far, a great way to start our meal.

Along with the cucumber salad came a mystery starter. I tried asking what it was, but no one there could give me an answer I could quite grasp. I'm thinking it was some sort of flat bread, but it could have been fried tofu. It really was a strange consistency…..but it was great! They gave us a few slices of it and I wish I had an entire bowl of it. I still don't know what this scallion and sesame seed covered delight was, but I hope someone will help fill me in eventually.

Even though we had two small plates already, it's hard to not order Edamame at a sushi joint for me. We ordered it, it came, we ate some, it was ok. Nowhere near mind blowing, but overall it was good. 

Now for the rolls! The first roll we had was the Ichiban. This was one good roll. The avocado was great on it with a perfect temperature and consistency and went well with the sweet lobster that was also cooked just right. The eel sauce held everything together nicely and the rice was sticky and fresh. I would definitely order the Ichiban again.

Next up to bat was the Spider Man Roll. Stunning to look at, pretty damn good to consume. The soft shell crab was amazing and the yellowtail was very tasty. The many sauces on the roll didn't really do much for it though. I would rather it have less sauce on it to allow the crab and yellowtail to really shine. But other than that, this was equally as yummy as the Ichiban.

The food is the winner in this place. The loser? The atmosphere. The sushi chefs had zero personality, the panels in the drop ceiling were warped and discolored, and there was no energy at all inside the restaurant as a whole. I knew we were inside of a strip mall, but it felt like we were eating inside a cave with people forced to make sushi all day. 

I'm torn. I do like the food that was given to me at Yummy Sushi, but the overall look and feel of the place is depressing. They could use a remodel, or pep talk, or something… good thing their sushi is actually yummy.

Rating Description
out of 10
6 Location
It's in a strip mall. But easy to get to for anyone in the NW side of town in the mood for sushi.
4 The Décor
Hideous on the inside, and shows signs of aging.
10 The Prices
I don't think I saw one roll over $10.
7 The Drinks
Typical Japanese beer offerings, some cocktails, sake, and I think I saw a sign for boba.
8 The Food
The food was solid. Nothing really took my breath away, but it's good enough to back.
7
OVERALL
If I'm in the area and wanting sushi, I'll go, otherwise, there's better out there.
(out of 10)

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Teriyaki Boy "Healthy Grill"

Today I ventured into Teriyaki Boy kind of on a whim. I didn't bring a lunch to work and I've been curious to try this place. It is in a fairly new location; they replaced Bonzai Bob's that served essentially the same menu. 

The first thing I noticed when I walked in were the prices! The offerings, for the most part, are the same as any teriyaki bowl place, but $7-$9 for a rice or noodle bowl was not expected. I assume they're banking the premium prices on the "Healthy Grill" part, but if there's no MSG, salt, or frying oil, shouldn't the prices be lower? *shrugs shoulders* The usual suspects of rice or yaki soba noodles with chicken, veggie, and steak options are there with the nice addition of salmon and mahi mahi as well. They do have a good selection of sides like edemame and fried tofu also. The place was clean and simple. Chinese lanturns hanging from the ceiling and red walls for accent. The menu is large and ledgible. And they have the same TV on the wall from Bonzai Bob's just playing whatever.

I decided on the Mahi Mahi Yaki Soba Bowl despite it's $8.60 price just because in the back of my mind I was thinking of the $5 shake from Pulp Fiction; it's a regular menu item with a prestige on the price, it's gotta be amazing right?! Nope. I mean a total nope. Just look at the picture! Where are the noodles?! This "Large" (Only size option for Yaki Soba) was half filled with veggies, a quarter Mahi Mahi, and bearly a quarter of noodles underneath. The carrots, cucumber, broccoli, and cabbage were bearly steamed, and nowhere near cooked. The Mahi Mahi was probably the best part, it was cooked well and the teriyaki sauce they use isn't overbearing and salty like most. The fish was a little dry, but probably because it's frozen and not fresh. The noodles were subpar at best. They were cooked right, but there just wasn't enough. I expected much more noodle in my noodle bowl. For $8.60 I could go to Fresh & Easy and make 4 bowls like this with twice as much noodles and non-frozen fish.

Rating Description
out of 10
6 Location
It's a destination if you're not going to work out.
7 The Décor
Basic, but gets the job done.
3 The Prices
Prices are high for the offset portion sizes and ok flavors.
5 The Drinks
The boba tea option is the star. Otherwise it's just sodas.
4 The Food
Tastewise, it was nothing amazing. The portion size of the noodles was very lacking.
5
OVERALL
I've had better
(out of 10)

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