LA to Zion

warrior: thanks. we went to both Raku and Lotus of Siam in our last Vegas trip (last April as I recall). i thought more highly of the latter than the former, though i would go back to both. we have reservations for picasso and michael mina this trip.

warrior: thanks, @cjoe5 and @J_L . Good to know about.

Picasso is OK but nothing more.

Have you tried the new Toridokoro Raku that’s focused on chicken?

Picasso is fine choice. Their food is always solid since their menu hasn’t changed in 10 years but they play it pretty safe. As for Michael Mina, I wouldn’t recommend it. My recent dinner there was quite uninspiring. Give Partage a try…

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warrior: that’s not inspiring! but i feel we may have tried any other option that is available and potentially could be better than picasso. so we may still go with it unless we get a wave of warnings not to go.

warrior: @moonboy403, thanks for the recommendations. didn’t picasso have two michelin stars? how can it be so dull? i’ve been to michael mina’s restaurant in SF a few times, and it is pretty boring to be honest–boring but good. maybe we’ll change our plans.

Have you tried é by José Andrés at Cosmo? Similar concept to Somni. You also can’t go wrong with Joel Robuchon especially given that they started updating their menu.

They did. No idea how they got 2 stars. Again, solid food with a superb view by the fountain, but don’t expect fireworks there from the food. Here’s my most recent visit.

I would go back to Picasso but not Michael Mina LV. You’ll have a much better time at Partage or go a la carte at Rivea.

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warrior: your picasso pictures are unimpressive. alright, we’re ditching it–and michael mina too. Thanks to both of you.

Michelin has not rated Las Vegas restaurants again since they published the 2008-2009 Las Vegas guide.

Michelin stars don’t necessarily mean that the food isn’t dull provided it’s sufficiently French. Which you might not consider dull if you like classic French food enough.

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warrior: thanks for the Eater lists, which i like. i think we’ve probably already exhausted the michelin debate. personally, i think michelin stars are the most reliable guide to restaurant quality and that they aren’t overly “frenchified” as you put it. pretty much every other list (e.g., Eater) is heavily influenced by “soft factors” unrelated to food quality, which is great when you live in that city and are looking for diversity, but not ideal when you’re on a trip and looking for the best possible meal.

It is not bad on a level that it requires a warning but it is quite boring and we would visit places again like L’Atelier etc. before going back to Picasso (even Bouchon was more interesting and it is not terrible creative cooking)

Michelin stars that are over ten years old are not reliable.

I think Michelin ratings guarantee a certain level of quality, and the Plate and Bib Gourmand lists cover a broader range of cuisines than the stars. Exactly what the stars mean varies with location.

If your idea of the “best possible meal” is the kind of experience you get at a two- or three-Michelin-star place, then you can’t beat their guides.

My visit in March to Lotus of Siam (OG Sahara location) was underwhelming. The newer Flamingo location may be better. At least that’s what the locals said. I shoulda listened.

How many great restaurants have been ruined by expansion? Arrgh.

We went to the new LoS location the last 3 trips and the food was great. Everything was just as good as we remembered. It was mostly out of convenience because we stay at hotels clustered right by Flamingo so its a 7-10 minute drive vs the 20-25 to the OG location from that area.


warrior: sigh. e by jose andres reservations appear to be booked until february 2022. raku only takes phone reservations and they aren’t answering the phone yet. partage appears to be closed for vacation when we’re visiting. l’atelier appears to be closed until january. wing lei is blocked out for big wynn casino spenders according to concierge. it’s not easy making reservations in las vegas! anyway, i canceled the picasso reservation, proving that i value FTC opinion over 10+ year old michelin stars.

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We haven’t tried it yet (and it won’t be the most creative cooking) but we heard very good things about Bardot Brasserie

I’ve only had Bardot’s lunch offerings. Solid stuff like Bouchon.

Warrior: somehow, after all this, we ended up with reservations at Bardot Brasserie and Michael Mina for dinner and Bouchon for brunch (which we’ve been to). Michael Mina has the advantages of being open on Sunday, having a seafood-centric menu, and having a modern computerized reservation system (unlike the annoying Raku restaurants). We will report back.

warrior: some quick reports

Bardot Brasserie - Recommended. Good food, good wine list. What you’d optimistically expect.

Michael Mina - Not recommended. Fake fancy food. Not as good as Bardot Brasserie. Nowhere near Michelin star quality. The only reason I’d eat here again is the wine list.

Banana Leaf Cafe (LV) - Recommended. Solid Singaporean / Malyasian.

Red Fort Cuisine of India (St. George UT) - Recommended. Would be among the best Indian restaurants in LA proper. Better if you order spicy because otherwise dishes tasted too sweet / not right. We went twice, and they declined to bring us Indian pickles on our first visit, perhaps thinking we wouldn’t like them.

El Coyote Charro (St. George UT) - Neutral. Our tacos were decent but I found the chicken too dry.

Cafe Soleil (Springdale UT) - Good base for bathrooms etc. I wouldn’t really recommend the food, which was fine at best. I’d personally prefer to eat a KIND bar. The coffee was decent.

Feel Love Cafe (Springdale) - I liked a vegan breakfast burrito here more than the food at Cafe Soleil (across the street).

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