Friday, May 15, 2015

Gelato Messina - Las Vegas

Proximity to this place is a dangerous thing. I don't care for Downtown Summerlin, but Gelato Messina is enough in reason to venture over. 

When I visited they are more than happy to let you sample as many flavors as you like. I sampled a few and easily made my decision of a scoop of the salted coconut mango. 

The flavor was insanely good. I showed quite a bit of restraint and only ordered one scoop. I tried to make it all the way to my destination before enjoying my dessert but it was just too good to wait. 

I look forward to trying many more flavors now that it's so conveniently located. 

Items sampled: salted coconut mango

Location: 2010 Festival Park Dr, Ste 130, Las Vegas, NV 89135

Searsucker - Las Vegas

Dinner on a Friday evening just a few days after they opened and Searsucker already had a decent amount of people seated, enjoying their food.

We were seated in an awkward table in a walkway on the way to the restroom so my chair got kicked and bumped on a number of occasions. If I were to return I would ask for a more secluded table.

I had the pleasure of enjoying a meal with several dining companions which gave us a chance to order and sample a number of items from the menu.

For a new restaurant service already seemed on point, but that may just have been our good fortune to get the only server in the restaurant that came over from the Searsucker location in San Diego. He was knowledgable, friendly and very attentive. 

Our plates came out in a well-balanced manner. Never inundating us with too much food so we were able to sample at a leisurely pace.

My favorites from the evening were the mahi, pork butt, egg and pork belly and surprisingly the strawberry salad. Each of these dishes were well-cooked and the flavors were on point. 

The rest of the food was good, but didn't leave a lasting impression with me. I love brussel sprouts but these weren't as crispy as I like and seemed drowned in garlic, not really allowing me to enjoy the flavor of the vegetable. I was in the minority in my opinion of this dish, so it might just be a personal preference. 

Of the desserts we sampled, the smores dish came out as a table favorite. Even I, who am neither a huge fan of chocolate or smores, enjoyed it, though I couldn't take more than a bite since it was rich. This dish is best shared. The rest of the desserts didn't really do as much for me, but they were decent. Again, I was in the minority on this opinion, so it may be due to my lack of sweet tooth. 

Searsucker is already ahead of the game after opening so recently. Good service, excellent location and decent food to boot. With their eclectic menu and late night availability I see them being successful in catering to the pre-show and after clubbing crowd quite well.

Location: 3570 South Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Gyu Kaku - Las Vegas

Service was friendly, food was below average, but the biggest redeeming quality of this restaurant is the happy hour specials. 

The drinks we're tasty and cheap, so I give them three stars for that. I'd be back for that alone. 

As far as the food, I would skip most of the items we ordered including the ramen, crispy rice with tuna and even the pork belly. They were pretty stingy with the meat dishes and the flavor on the rest of the food was just disappointing overall. The only items I would order again on the food front was the kabli. 

Yes to the drinks, no to the food. 

Location: 3550 S Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89103

Jumping Rice & Rolls - Las Vegas

Jumping Rice & Rolls is a quick service Asian restaurant with decent food and service.

I arrived here on a Saturday afternoon and they were pretty empty. You order at the counter and they bring your food out to your table. 

They have a variety of fried rides and noodles as well as sushi rolls, salads and appetizers. I opted the kim chee fried noodles and tried the salmon roll.  

The entree serving size was generous for the price. I had plenty left over for a second meal to take home with me. The noodles we're decent and had a nice kick. The salmon roll was not memorable but I didn't expect too much. I would stick with the hot items from their menu and it's great for takeout too.

I'd be interested to check out more of their menu in the future.

Items sampled: kim chee fried noodles, salmon roll

Location: 9484 W Flamingo Rd, Ste 175, Las Vegas, NV 89147

Monday, May 11, 2015

Shave and Lather - North Las Vegas

Vegas is the perfect location to open a shave ice place and Lather and Shave have become another great contender.

I heard about this place via Instagram from fellow Yelper Amanda M and I was excited to try, despite their location all the way across town from me. Since I'm never in the area, I figured it's worth visiting as many places as I possibly could while I was in the area.

Lather and Shave was the first stop on our outing to North Las Vegas and I have to say it was great. The flavors are made of all-natural ingredeints and who doesn't love shave ice. I opted for the blackberry and pineapples flavors topped with vanilla lather, which is essentially their homemade whipped cream. I was tempted by added some spice, but wasnted to err on the side of caution and not try something too spicy during my first visit. 

The flavors were great. The pineapple overpowered the blackberry as I expected, so I'd likely only get the pineapple next time and try some razor rash on there for good measure. My friend tried the ginger spray and despite asking for more to be added after her first few tastes, she didn't get much of the ginger flavor. Since I'm not a huge fan of ginger, that didn't bother me, but she seemed disappointed, so that's something to keep in mind if you order. 

They are located at the Dinosaur Park at the Aliante Discovery Park. It's a great location where kids and families congregate regularly. There are even several ice cream trucks that park in the same area. I wouldn't drive all the way across town for them all on their own, but if they were located anywhere near where I live, I'd be a regular customer this summer. 

If you are in the area make this place a stop. The owners are really sweet and more than willing to talk to you about their vision for healthy shave ice. Grab a cup and sit by the lake to enjoy your all-natural dessert.

Item sampled: pineapple and blackberry shave ice with vanilla lather.

Location: 2627 Nature Park Dr, North Las Vegas, NV 89084

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Rise & Shine: a Steak and Egg Place

My family and I walked in around 1pm a few days after they opened and we were seated promptly. 

The restaurant is very large, unlike many other breakfast spots in town, so I was already pleasantly surprised. The decor is fun with spinning flowers dangling above the dining area and fun pictures to admire on the walls.

For my entree I decided on the fried chicken breast and waffles while my mom and fella both opted for different versions of the chilaquiles. As a last minute decision we ordered a pot o bread when we saw a bunch of them come out of the kitchen for another table, tempting us. 

Service was slow to start, but I cut them some slack since they just opened and are finding their groove. It got better and more attentive as the meal progressed. 

Our food came out and the portions were enormous, making me wish we had shared. My chicken breast eclipsed my waffle on my plate and I wish they had not places the chicken on top of the waffle since the heat seemed to make the waffle limp and a little mushy. The flavor of the waffle was good but the chicken wasn't as good as I expected. It was cooked well but the flavor of the batter seemed off. It had a spicy kick but still seemed very bland and had a starchy aftertaste that I didn't care for.

My mom and fella raved about their chilaquiles and after sampling them I can't say I agree. The temperature seemed a bit on the colder side and the cheese wasn't entirely melted. The steak that came with my fella's meal was a little over cooked and the seasoning was a bit overdone. He loved his dish, so I guess that's all that matters. The pot of bread was awful, I don't recommend this at all. It was dry and flavorless. I took a bite and left it alone. 

Overall, the service was good and the food was hit and miss. My family loved the meal so we will likely be back, but I will be sure to sample a different dish next time and hope for the best.

Items sampled: fried chicken and waffles, pot bread, steak and chilaquiles. 

Location: 9827 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89147

Island Sushi - Las Vegas

I've heard mixed things about this sushi spot over the years, so I finally ventured over with my OG for some all you can eat sushi action and see for myself.

The wait was pretty long but they were able to seat us quickly if we sat at the bar. The restaurant is very small and cramped. The seating was especially tight at the bar. 

I figured sitting at the bar, service would be better since we had direct access to the sushi chef, but I was wrong. It was hard to get his attention to order anything and there was a number of items we ordered and never received. The service from the kitchen was the same. Slow and on several occasions they brought out what we ordered to another table only to let us know and we were forced to wait a little longer for our items. 

The service issues were enough to make me not interested in returning, but the food didn't really do it for me either. No standouts and almost every dish was something I've had better versions of at other sushi restaurants.

Location: 9400 S Eastern Ave, Ste 103, Las Vegas, NV 89123