Supping Away

Nobu Japanese Restaurant at Caesar's Palace
3570 Las Vegas Boulevard S,
Las Vegas, NV
Ph: (702) or Reserve Online
Nobu on Urbanspoon

Nobu Las Vegas restaurant in the Nobu Hotel located within Caesar's Palace is the largest of the 31 Nobu restaurants located round the world from Dallas to Dubai but we were still not sure of being able to be seated when we spontaneously decided to eat there.

We were meeting friends later to see the raunchy  acrobatic show Absinthe in the grounds of Caesar's Palace, and of the several dining options at the massive Caesar's Palace complex  Nobu was our first choice. After leaving the conference hotel where we were staying downtown, we arrived early-ish at Nobu but with no reservation.

There were no tables available but the Maitre d' offered us two seats at the sushi bar where we could watch the line of sushi chefs working nonstop to produce exquisite presentations of sushi maki and sashimi.

Postrio Las Vegas
Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian
3377 Las Vegas Boulevard S.
Ph: (702) 796-1110 or Reserve Online

Postrio Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

As the strains of a Verdi aria filled the air of St. Mark's Square, it was easy to imagine that we were seated at a open air café hearing a gondolier sing as he punted his gondola through the waters of a canal in Venice. But we were not in Venice; just having lunch in the Palazzo along the Grand Canal of  the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

Japonais at the Mirage
3400 Las Vegas Boulevard S,
Las Vegas, NV
Ph: (702) 791-7111  or Reserve Online
Japonais on Urbanspoon

Footsore after a full day of exploring lavish lobbies and displays but exhilarated after our panoramic view of Las Vegas from 550 ft in the air on the High Roller, we were famished as we approached the Mirage Hotel, our last planned stop for the day.

The spectacular Volcano eruptions had just begun as we got there and we watched for a while until hunger pangs drove us inside where we faced an important decision - steak, seafood, Chinese cuisine - it appeared that there were at least seven equally appealing dining options at this hotel alone, but in the end we decided on sushi and wandered into Japonais.

Sensi at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino
Ph: (702) 693-8865  or book online
It was not just the fresh contemporary style food but service beyond our expectations that made our dining at Sensi an experience to remember. Laurence, our server, was bubbling over with enthusiasm about the menu as he handed us an IPad loaded with pictures and descriptions of drink and dessert options.

We each ordered a glass of the Woollaston Sauvignon Blanc 2012. From the Nelson wine district in New Zealand, just west of Marlborough, the wine had the unmistakable grassy, herbaceous aroma with an excellent balance of acidity with tropical fruit flavors.

Lotus of Siam Thai Restaurant
953 E. Sahara Ave., #A-5
Las Vegas, NV
Ph: (702) 735-3033

Lotus of Siam on Urbanspoon

Only the bright neon sign above the entrance hints that behind the non-descript strip mall doorway  is a restaurant that, according to locals, serves up some of the best Thai food in Las Vegas. 

Lucky for us, at the FoodFightWrite 2014 conference, we met up with a Las Vegas friend who writes on SouthEastAsia Cuisine locally and  abroad. For our last dinner before departing Las Vegas early next morning, she took us to Lotus of Siam, one of her favorite local restaurants.

Carson Kitchen
124 S 6th St., Ste. 100,
Las Vegas, NV
Ph: (702) 473-9523

Carson Kitchen on Urbanspoon

A Las Vegas visitor looking for a casual dining spot in the downtown area would likely pass by the logo-free store front of Carson Kitchen with no idea that inside fresh, wholesome food was being served up.

We were lucky to meet up with a fellow conference attendee who lives in Las  Vegas while watching World Food Championship competitors cooking in an early event. She suggested we walk a few blocks to have lunch together at Carson Kitchen, and we almost walked right by before we found the entrance. But lucky for us we did not miss it because we had an excellent lunch there and bonded happily over the food.

Oscar's Steakhouse at the Plaza Hotel and Casino
1 S Main Street, Las Vegas
Ph: (702) 386 7227 or reserve online

Oscar's Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

The aroma of warm sour dough bread with embedded slivers of caramelized onion, rising from the white napkin-covered basket compelled me to erase all thoughts of a bread-free dinner. Lightly buttered, the fresh airy slice tasted as good as its aroma promised, and kept me content while I decided on my dinner choices.

 

p1150716-w500-h500.jpg On a recent too-short visit to Honolulu for a dance competition I decided that the best use of my few free dining opportunities would be to visit some of Honolulu's most highly recommended restaurants in and near the neighbourhood of Waikiki. My picks for dinner were La Mer at the Halekulani Hotel and the Beachhouse at the Moana Surfrider, both a short walk from the Sheraton Waikiki which was the host hotel for the competition;  and Hoku's  at the Kahala Hotel and Resort, a short taxi-ride away. I also managed to enjoy a lunch at the Surf Lanai at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The links in this post will take you to my brief review for each restaurant.

p1150716-w500-h500.jpg

Hoku's at the Kahala Hotel and Resort
5000 Kahala Ave.
Honolulu, HI
Ph: (808) 739-8760 or reserve online

p1150720-w500-h500.jpg

The Kahala Hotel is a luxury resort in the Kahala district of Honolulu, about a twenty  minute taxi ride from the hotel where we were staying in Waikiki. Hoku's is one of about five dining options at the hotel, and offers innovative fusion food melding Hawaiian, Asian and European influences.

We booked for an early dinner hoping for a spectacular sunset. We were warmly welcomed and shown to a pleasant window table. Our view was more north-west than west so I didn't really see the spectacular sunset. I sipped a glass of Riesling from the Weingut Gunderloch winery in the Rheinhessen region of Germany while perusing the menu. As I read, I realized I really need a primer of terms used in the local menus.

 

p1150753-w500-h500.jpgBeachhouse Restaurant
at the Moana Surfrider Hotel
2365 Kalkaua Ave.,
cross street Kaiulani
Honolulu, HI
Ph: (808) 921 4600 or reserve online

Arriving at the Beachhouse restaurant we waited a few minutes to be shown to our patio table. While waiting I enjoyed the view over the garden pub to the sea beyond. We were seated on the Beachhouse verandah overlooking the bandstand in the garden area below. This evening we enjoyed a perfect view to the west so that we could actually watch the sun dip below the horizon. I watched for the perfect green flash but did not see it. Perhaps I was too focused on taking a picture.

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