Service Interruption!

Last week I was poking around the internet looking for ideas on places to eat in Sin City. I ran across Larry’s Las Vegas Restaurant Guide, which has reviews of many of the foodie favorites there. The reviews are generally useful but one of Larry’s quirks is that he’s a stickler for service. In many reviews he has notes like, “Service Interruption–15 minutes!” I was amused enough that I related this to Nicole on our plane ride down to Vegas. This must explain the poor service we got from several restaurants that I expected better from.

It started the morning we arrived. We had a 6 am flight on Saturday so we were at our hotel by 9:30 and our room was not ready. We decided to head over to the Venetian and have brunch at Bouchon. I had been to the Napa Valley original last year and looked forward to checking this one out. Everything went great through the beignets and then the wait began. About 20 minutes later they brought out my food but not Nicole’s. I started eating so it wouldn’t get cold and hers came maybe 10 minutes later. Pretty odd for a place of Bouchon’s caliber, though I will add that the chicken and waffles Nicole got was truly awesome. My eggs with boudin blanc was good, but not in the same league.

Sunday night Hal joined us for a trip to Seablue, one of Michael Mina’s places. The restaurant wasn’t all that busy but seemed understaffed. Our waitress was very nice when she was around, but she routinely went MIA for 15 minutes at a time. We had told her we were in no hurry (“This is our show,” we said), but that didn’t mean we intended to spend the whole night there either. When the food arrived though, it was excellent. The lobster corndogs were not as great as they sounded (the batter overwhelms the lobster a bit), but the paella was hands down the best that I’ve had anywhere. It was just stuffed with high quality seafood of all sorts, as well as quail and rabbit. So no problem with the kitchen; only the service needed help.

I must therefore give meal of the trip to Wing Lei at the Wynn. The service was excellent all around. Our waiter was attentive but not obsequious and he had ample assistance. Nicole and I had the Imperial Peking Duck tasting menu, which was five courses of heaven. It started with a whole Peking Duck brought tableside. Choice bits were carved out and rolled into delicious crepes. They then took the rest of the duck back to the kitchen and used it to create the rest of our dishes. Fantastic and no service interruptions!

You can see why I don’t gamble when I’m in Vegas. I save up my money to eat above my means, not to lose it shooting craps.

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