Eater's Digest: Las Vegas 7

March 2019
sparrow and wolf / the buffet at wynn / esther's kitchen / the buffet at wynn / tacos el gordo / sweets raku / bacchanal buffet / paid in full / the buffet at wynn / bajamar seafood and tacos / bin 702 / b.b.d.'s / the buffet at wynn / ghost donkey / best friend / eataly / the buffet at wynn / secret pizza

Hot Potato (Sparrow and Wolf)
potato pave, smoked trout roe, chive crème fraîche, sichuan peppercorn

^ I expected it to be crispier.

Steak Tartare (Sparrow and Wolf)
shiitake mushroom, kizami wasabi, confit egg

Braised Lamb Neck (Sparrow and Wolf)
scallion pancakes, pickled vegetable
—Served with fabulous pickled apple.

Caramelized White Chocolate Terrine (Sparrow and Wolf)
flourless chocolate cake, ras el hanout pear butter

(Esther's Kitchen) was named one of Las Vegas' 2018 restaurants of the year.

I was not impressed.

To be fair, I informed my server that I was gonna over order and would probably box up a lot of what I ordered to go, and he heard "I want my order to go," so I did not experience (Esther's Kitchen)'s food properly, consuming it inside the restaurant out of to-go boxes.

Housemade Sourdough Bread (Esther's Kitchen)
anchovy garlic butter
—Butter was good, bread was not warm.

Rye Tagliatelle (Esther's Kitchen)
braised duck, mushroom, green, cracklins
—Did the cracklins get soggy?

Blood Orange Polenta Cake (Esther's Kitchen)
candied kumquats, orange sherbet and caramel

Octopus Chicharron Taco (BajaMar Seafood and Tacos)
lightly-battered fried octopus with pickled onions, cream of tomatillo sauce, cilantro, mozzarella
—The texture of the tortilla was odd. Not soft, but not hard, and not stale.

(Paid in Full) is a rare case of a restaurant improving on second visit.

Tuna/Tots (Paid in Full)
wasabi kewpie, scallion, rice cracker

^ Two of my favourites, raw tuna and tater tots, together.

Crispy Tapioca "Cacio e Pepe" (Paid in Full)
aged parm, tellicherry peppercorn

The P.i.F. Dog [100% Wagyu Beef Katsu Style] (Paid in Full)
katsu sauce, garlic kewpie, house kimchi

^ This thing that tastes like a hot dog is wagyu beef?

Tatooine Sea Breeze (Paid in Full)
cranberry pok pok som, cranberry juice, sprite
—I have become someone who enjoys drinking vinegar.

The Jawa Family Reunion (Paid in Full)
apple pok pok som, apple juice, ginger beer

Okinawan Taco Rice (Paid in Full)
seasoned ground chuck, cheddar, border sauce

^ The Doritos were a curveball.

Flamin' Hot Cheeto Montadito (Bin 702)
house spread, white cheddar

^ I'd eat another one.

Flamin' Hot Cheeto-Crusted Pickle (Bin 702)

^ The Cheeto crust doesn't add anything.

Hot Chicken Piña Colada Sandwich (b.B.d.'s)
spicy fried chicken, house-made piña colada mayo, dill pickles on a sesame seed bun

^ I couldn't discern the piña colada mayo.

Passion Fruit Sunflower (b.B.d.'s)
elderflower, black sesame meringue, pastry cream, sea salt

In addition to a secret pizzeria, The Cosmopolitan now boasts a secret bar that offers nachos especiales such as

Carrot Nachos (Ghost Donkey)
carrot "chili," carrot habanero hot sauce, mezcal pickled carrots, cilantro

I love everything about (Best Friend) except its food. I love its liquor store front concealing a dining room that you enter through industrial strip doors. I love the #008000 tracksuits and #CC8899 jackets that its employees wear. I love drinking from what appears to be a #FF0000 Solo cup.

But its food…

Slippery Shrimp (Best Friend)
crispy rock shrimp, chili mayo, walnuts
—A bland version of (Yang Chow [in Los Angeles])' famous dish.

The Big E from the O.C. (Best Friend)
kimchi fried rice arancini, ikura, ponzu
—Didn't taste like anything.

Shaking Beef Saltado (Best Friend)
filet strips, fries, onions, peppers, cilantro
—The beef was cooked well…

Bomboloni Gianduja (Eataly)
filled with nutella spread


Wood Fired Lasagna (Sparrow and Wolf)
lamb bolognese, miso, burrata

Chili Cheese Spaghetti (Best Friend)
beef chili, onions, tabasco
—$33 Skyline.

Hundred Dolla Tostada (Best Friend)
kaluga caviar, crema, salsa

Mexican Street Corn Ravioli (Beauty and Essex)
roasted poblano creme, jalapeño, cotija, cilantro

Oxtail Bibimbap (Once)
black mint stew, tacu tacu, plantains, sunny side up egg

Butterscotch Cake (Yardbird)
bacon frosting, butterscotch sauce, vanilla ice cream

Cheesecake Challenge (Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar)
a new york-style marble cheesecake topped with potato chips, pretzels, and hot fudge

Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

11. Guy Fawkes Panel (Kraft Punk's Political Party)

The panelist in the red hat is my friend's brother.

Stray Observations

  • ♫: Brockhampton – "San Marcos" (Shameless, S09E14)
  • Shameless Season Grade: C
  • Crashing Season Grade: C
  • "This is when it pays to have a little dick." (Jon Glaser Loves Gear, S02E10)
  • Jon Glaser Loves Gear Season Grade: C
  • "I'm Harold, the herald of the East River Dragon. I responded to a confusingly-worded 'help wanted' ad." (The Magicians, S04E08)
  • "I met Sean Parker at an Arby's." (The Magicians, S04E08)
  • Top Chef: Kentucky Season Grade: C
  • Directed by Jord (You're the Worst, S05E10)
  • "I don't leave America until I meet the boy, and I come from white country. I have veeeery long visa. Veeeery long." (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, S06E10)
  • "I'm too sad to drink duck broth." (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, S06E10)
  • "Just give him a second. He's doing Call Me By Your Name." (The Other Two, S01E08)
  • "What's the point of a flat Earth, man?"
    "What's the point of a globe Earth?" (Kraft Punk's Political Party)
  • "Just wrapping up a documentary on CBD oil." (Kraft Punk's Political Party)
  • Rachel Dolezal (Kraft Punk's Political Party)
  • Boogie Nights ending (Kraft Punk's Political Party)

Still the AR™TV World Drama Champion: Homecoming
Still the AR™TV World Comedy Champion: The Other Two

See You At Your Funeral

I was supposed to leave for Australia today, but I postponed my flight so I could see Us on opening weekend.

But then Universal postponed Us' release a week to accommodate a world premiere at SXSW.

So now Us doesn't open until next Friday, when I'll be in Australia, where Us doesn't open until the following Friday.

Can I survive a week on social media out of the Us loop?

Fuckin' SXSW…

Dag Mah

Previously on Adam Riff™ [Jan 2008]:
I was carded twice – once in a sports book and once at a roulette table. I wasn't sure whether to feel flattered or dismayed. 25 going on 18…

// Las Vegas, NV

I'm playing Pai Gow Poker at the Flamingo. A cocktail waitress passes by.

Waitress: Drinks? Drinks?
Me: Can I get a Diet Coke?
Waitress: Just a plain Diet?
Me: Yes.

The waitress asks the dealer if he carded me.

Dealer change.

The new dealer asks the departing dealer if he carded me.

I cut through Harrah's on my way back to the Palazzo and stop to see how a spin of roulette plays out, during which time a floorwoman approaches me and asks to see identification.

36 going on 18…

I'm playing Craps at the Downtown Grand when the man to my left cracks a joke that incenses the woman to my right.

The man then spends the next two hours trying to get back in the woman's good graces with me standing between them the whole time.

"We good?"


Didn't help that the woman was chain-smoking.

Simon Gotch Buries Enzo Amore

// Las Vegas, NV

The dude who played Raymond's brother on Everybody Loves Raymond has a comedy club with nightly performances by naked magicians.

[reading about Criss Angel's new show]

Angel's sinister alter ego, Xristos, stops by to cut a woman in half with a giant industrial buzzsaw.

I assume that's Xristos on the right.

Criss Angel is 51.

Ben: I hear that Park MGM is trying to assemble a 2020 Rat Pack: Justin Timberlake, Seth MacFarlane, Bruno Mars, and one other. They would perform both together and separately.

Jon: Has JT reached the Vegas residency stage of his career?

Ben: Hey, Drake and Cardi B have Vegas residencies…


// Las Vegas, NV

"Suggested attire: Desert festival inspired costumes and arid climate survival gear."

Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino is a closed Asian-themed boutique hotel and locals casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

Developer Andrew Fonfa had initially purchased the property as part of a five-acre parcel in 1987. At the time, Fonfa planned to build a hotel on the property, as he expected Circus Circus Enterprises to construct the Excalibur Hotel and Casino nearby, thus increasing tourism for the northern Las Vegas Strip. The Excalibur was ultimately built at the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip.

In 2008, Fonfa and his sister, Gudren, revealed plans for a potential hotel-casino on the property. The $1.2 billion resort would be called Q, standing for "queer," and would cater to gay and lesbian people.

None of Lucky Dragon's phone numbers contained the number 4, and its granite sidewalks were designed to imitate dragon scales.

Imagine how Q would have catered to gays and lesbians. Iced coffee makers in every room. The pool deck is a PokéStop.

Adam Riff™ Clip of the Week

10. First Kiss (PEN15, S01E08)

Honourable Mention

  • Thong Struts (PEN15, S01E05)
  • Killing Paul F. Tompkins (You're the Worst, S05E09)

Stray Observations

  • "No more 'thon." (Jon Glaser Loves Gear, S02E09)
  • ♫: Peter Oren – "Pictures from Spain" (You're the Worst, S05E09)
  • "I'd be jealous too if someone was better than me at everything their whole life."
    "Oh, no."
    "Not everything. I have more allergies than you."
    "Not the best brag."
    "I have so many allergies, I just found out I'm allergic to chia seeds."
    "But apparently effective."
    "I'm allergic to chia and acai berries!"
    "Yeah? My throat gets scratchy when I eat stone fruit!"
    "What, afraid to use your forearms?"
    "Pretty good. You're not using enough elbooooow!"
    "Guys, those aren't the parts people feature when they dance." (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, S06E09)
  • "Oh! Here comes Selleck's groin." (Fresh Off the Boat, S05E17)
  • "I'm the former cha-cha king of Taipei." (Fresh Off the Boat, S05E17)
  • "Why is your grandpa saying 'clit'?" (PEN15, S01E03)
  • PEN15 Season Grade: B

Still the AR™TV World Drama Champion: Homecoming
Still the AR™TV World Comedy Champion: The Other Two


// Las Vegas, NV

The PIT maneuver, or Pursuit Intervention Technique, is a pursuit tactic by which a pursuing car can force a fleeing car to abruptly turn sideways, causing the driver to lose control and stop. Other names include pit block, pit stop, and blocking.

Choose to ride in the police car performing a pit maneuver or drive the getaway car and get spun out. [source]

In the garden of evil, I'm gonna be the greatest

[browsing SXSW's 2019 short film line-up]


Sam is a reclusive, anti-social young man who has been absorbed into a toxic web forum.


It's Not Custard

The darkly comic story of Louise, a teenager suffering the dual blows of unrelenting acne and continual bullying.

She wishes to quiet those who bother her and is presented with such an opportunity when she awakes to find her acne gone.

This magical gift has a bizarre consequence that grants her the most delicious of revenges.

Does she feed them pus? It's Scott Tenorman?