This Is How We Do It

Eating a steak dinner before we go clubbing in Vegas. That’s how we roll.

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I eat: Bouchon

When one of the girls suggested dinner at Bouchon, I immediately jumped on board. I became an avid Thomas Keller fan after my trip to The French Laundry last October, despite the astronomical price tag. Thus, I was eager to try Keller’s more affordable restaurant, Bouchon.

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Bouchon, Las Vegas, is located on the 10th floor of the Venetian. Luckily, we were staying on the 12th floor so walking to the restaurant only took a few minutes. So location itself? FIVE STARS! 🙂

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We were seated promptly for our 6:15PM reservation. Being so early, the restaurant was practically empty. The menu was printed on a parchment-like paper and wrapped around the dinner napkin. Cute points! I had a hard time deciding what to order. It seemed like the menu listed everything I love: lamb, duck, salmon, mussels, gnocchi. I was only able to cut my list down to lamb or duck so I pressed the waiter for his thoughts. He told me he preferred the duck since he loves him some good seared duck breast. Well sir, it just so happens that I too, am a sucker for a good seared duck breast so duck I shall have! Three of us actually ordered the duck, two ordered the moules frites (mussels and fries) and one ordered the salmon. We also shared the french onion soup, potato puree and macaroni gratin.

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We started our meal with the usual bread service and I absolutely loved the butter (as I also did at The French Laundry). The french onion soup, though comforting since it was cold and windy that day, was nothing special; it tasted like any other french onion soup.

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The mussels were very plump and juicy. On the menu, the description read: Maine bouchot mussels steamed with white wine, mustard & saffron. Though I’ve never had this combination before, the sauce didn’t taste like what I had imagined after reading the menu. It actually reminded me of the chicken marsala I just made. The frites were a bit… disappointing. You may be right about most things, Anthony Bourdain, but Bouchon’s fries are not the best things I ever ate. Don’t worry though, I’ll still keep you in high regard.

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The macaroni gratin fell flat as well. Yes, it was cheesy enough, but the flavors just weren’t there. I don’t know, perhaps use a more sharper cheese? The potato puree (no picture available) on the other hand, was straight up smooth buttery goodness! I would be more than happy to consume 3000 calories worth of that in one sitting.

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The waiter was right about the duck being seared beautifully. But that was the only thing good about this dish. The flavors didn’t mesh well, mainly caused by the tart-sweetness of the rhubarb. With all of the other components being mild and savory, I didn’t expect that punch. The sauce eventually grew on me by the end of the meal, but not to the point where I could say that I loved it. Nice try, Chef de Cuisine, Bryan Podgorski. I realize that rhubarb is now in season and I get what you were trying to do, but ultimately the flavor combination was a fail. However, I will commend you for such a perfectly seared duck breast!

We ended the meal by sharing a creme brulee. I’m glad it was delicious, or else I would have had to hurt somebody.

Verdict: 3/5
Bouchon
The Venetian
3355 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109

I eat: Bosa 1

While in Vegas, our attempt to eat brunch at Hash House failed, and Bosa 1 was the next best thing. Bosa 1, a Vietnamese restaurant located about a 10 minute drive from the strip, was recommended by one of the girls. Apparently, she knew the owner’s sister and we actually got a little discount! 🙂

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I love Vietnamese food, especially pho. I basically have it about once a week at my favorite local Vietnamese restaurant. The waiters know my order without me having to say anything; they just ask me, “same?”, and I nod. On rare occasions I like to change it up and spice up my life a little bit, so I order a rice place or another noodle dish.

The restaurant was pretty small, probably seating about 20-30 people. The menu seemed limited compared to other Vietnamese restaurants that I’ve been to. Bosa 1 is known for 2 noodle soups: Bun Bo Hue and Bun Rieu. I’ve had Bun Bo Hue before, and although I love the noodles and spicy soup, I won’t eat the pig leg/feet/knuckles. Thus, I decided to order the Bun Rieu.

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The most important thing of any noodle soup dish is the soup itself. The tomato-based broth of the Bun Rieu had great flavor; I also enjoyed the fried tofu and crumbled shrimp paste. I liked this dish so much that I started ordering it at my local restaurant!

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I’ve never had these kind of spring rolls before. Inside each was a piece of grilled pork, lettuce/greens and fried pieces of eggroll skin (for crunch). Interesting.

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The eggrolls were kind of small, but I guess that was for the best since we were all stuffed from eating everything else! They tasted like I expected them to – I liked the outer crunch.

All in all , a great meal at a reasonable price! The total came out to about $15 each (6 girls).

Verdict: 3.5/5
Bosa 1
3400 S. Jones Blvd #2A
Las Vegas NV 89146

March Madness

March is definitely going to be a crazy month! This is what I have going on: Mammoth, Vegas, Mammoth .. in that order. Usually, I really look forward to sleeping in on the weekends, but I realized this morning that I won’t be able to sleep in on the weekends for the next three weeks. And by sleeping in, I do not mean getting into bed at 6am and sleeping until 12pm (likely the scenario in Vegas).

I haven’t been to Mammoth yet this season, so I can’t wait! It’s even more enticing since Mammoth has been getting dumped on these past few weeks (or this entire season practically). The weather has been quite cooperative; with all the snowfall we’ve been getting in So Cal, you can even go as far as to consider the conditions at the local mountains (Big Bear and Mt High) as being “great”. The weather man predicts that a snowstorm will hit while we’re in Mammoth this weekend. The last time I was there during a snowstorm, I was able to board all the way down to the gondola from my condo! AWESOME!!

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Now, I just hope that the Vons in Mammoth has King’s Hawaiian Bread in stock because I’m dying to make my delicious hawaiian bread pudding.