Nevada Public Radio Listen Live

"BBC's World Service"
Facebook Twitter Follow Nevada Public Radio

Support Nevada Public Radio
December 16, 2004

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Good Eats 2004


This time of the year you're probably expecting me to give out some MAJOR AWARDS for the best of this and that. But instead I thought I'd highlight specific dishes, at specific restaurants that made this year a joyful one for eating out. Each of these are worth a special trip and picking a number one is impossible so let's just start with:

1) The Koi Soy at LOTUS OF SIAM. This incendiary thai steak tartare is best followed by mounds of sticky rice and cocoanut ice cream with sliced mangoes.....tom yummmm indeed. If you're still grazing downtown, I'd head over to:

2) CASA DON JUAN for the Puerco Por Dos. This giant platter of pulled pork really feeds four and makes First Fridays edibly, as well as artfully, enjoyable.

3) And as long as we're making with meat, you've gotta try the Lamb with Leek and Picked Vegetables at SHANGHAI NOON. There's no better and cheaper Chinese restaurant around, and nothing on the menu disappoints.

4) Too much meat makes me take to the sea, and even though I'm so over the whole tuna tartare thing, and sushay is fast becoming passe--the Ahi with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes at TODD'S UNIQUE CUISINE, is a great rendition of this fighting fish.

5) Now I'm not much of breakfast fan. In my world, breakfast is good for one thing--thinking about lunch. But on most weekend mornings you'll find me chowing down on a Cinnamon Roll at WHOLE FOODS.....then it's over to the Forum Shops for

6) A three pound roasted lobster at PALM. Like I always say, for the best steak in town, I suggest the lobster at PALM.

7) After that seafood ....uh ...appetizer I'd mosey down the casino to BRADLEY OGDEN for a cheeseburger. Now I know that paying Bradley Ogden to make a cheeseburger is like hiring Picasso to paint your house. But if there's a better fifteen dollar burger in our burgh, I've yet to taste it. And as long as we're celebrity cheffing it-- I still can't resist the:

8) Oysters and Mussels at BOUCHON.....where, by the way, they serve the best French Fries this side of Brussels.

9) From there it's back to beef, and the spicy Steak Chico at MARC'S in Summerlin-a place that deserves to be more crowded than it is.....

10) Gosh, all this eating has made me thirsty, so it's back down the strip for a glass of vino rosso or vin blanc at 55 DEGREES. There's no better wine manager around than Shalom Stella, or a better (and cheaper) selection of wines by the glass than at this mega-cool space in the Mandalay Place.

11) Gee I'm a poet and don't even know it. But I know good desserts when I taste them and everyone at SEABLUE (from the Lemon Pudding Cake to the White Peach Trio to the Chocolate Caramel Bombe), is worth trekking through the always annoying MGM for.

But as fast as I can, I can never forget:

The White Truffle Risotto at CIRCO;

The Cold Arrowroot Noodles at Korean Garden BBQ;

Lasagne at Cafe Giorgio;

The cheeses of Aureole;

Bull's Eye Desserts and Chocoate Cake Tres Leches at BaBaReeba;

The Shwarma with Amba at Pita Place;

Thin crusted pizzas at Valentino;

The Hangar Steak at Craftsteak ....and while we're at it, the Roasted Corn, tiny Brussel Sprouts, and English Peas are phenomenal.....

And finally.....the fresh made, banana stuffed sugar doughnuts at FIX-which, as I said last week, are so good they should be illegal.---

Next week----my bombs of the year-------and I ain't talkin' chocolate.

See discussion rules.


Nov 24, 2010 | Thanksgiving 2010 - Another Beanie Reveal
John Curtas delves into family history to discover the real story behind Grandma Schroader's Sour Beans.

Nov 19, 2009 | Valentino -- You don't know the truffles I've seen
According to Food Critic John Curtas, no other Italian restaurant in Las Vegas has performed at such a high level for so long.

Oct 1, 2009 | Blow It Up
In at least one part of town, our dining critic John Curtas says the food used to be a lot better.

Sep 25, 2009 | Social Media Meltdown
For our dining critic, John Curtas, social media has started to intrude on dining out.

Sep 2, 2009 | Discovering LOS ANTOJOS
Our dining critic John Curtas finds a new affordable favorite.

Aug 20, 2009 | Chinois R.I.P.
For John Curtas the recent closing of Wolfgang Puck's first Las Vegas restaurant brings back memories.

Aug 3, 2009 | Food, Inc.
John Curtas turns movie reviewer today - but the subject is in his usual area of expertise. Hear his review of "Food, Inc."

Jul 16, 2009 | The Steak That Saved Las Vegas
Dining critic John Curtas finds some steak aged for EIGHT MONTHS and he tells us how it tastes.

Jul 2, 2009 | Bang for Your Buck
Everyone's food budget is tighter these days. But if you still want to dine out now and then, our dining critic John Curtas has a few tips on restaurants now giving you more bang for your buck.

Jun 19, 2009 | Whassup with Wazuzu
Explore Dining Critic John Curtas' love/hate relationship with Wazuzu. If you want to spice up your dinner go for at least a "4 or 5."

Jun 12, 2009 | Two Farmer's Markets
Fresh, locally produced food has become a big trend across the U.S. Our food critic, John Curtas, says there's more of this trend in Las Vegas than you might think.

Jun 4, 2009 | MandM Soul Food
John Curtas tells us about one of his favorite dining spots - a surpsingly affordable one.

May 28, 2009 | Checkpoint Charlie
While fine dining has seen a downturn in Las Vegas in recent months, our dining critic John Curtas says at least one dining legend intends to stay put. Charlie Trotter is standing pat in Las Vegas. John Curtas reviews Resturant Charlie.

May 8, 2009 | Food Festival Frenzy!
It's a time of many food festivals in Las Vegas. John Curtas has an overview.

May 5, 2009 | Peppermill Coffee Shop and Fireside Lounge
A landmark Las Vegas restaurant gets a visit from John Curtas. He takes you to the Peppermill.

Apr 23, 2009 | Thai Me Up Thai Me Down
Thai cuisine is starting to show up in more places in Las Vegas. John Curtas has some recommendations

Apr 9, 2009 | A Gourmet Corner - In Spring Valley?
Food Critic John Curtas takes a trip to the strangest gourmet corner in town.

Apr 2, 2009 | Pip's is a Pip
If you're looking for good dining near Aliante, our dining critic, John Curtas, has found a new place to go.

Mar 26, 2009 | Stripped to Its Bare Essentials
Dining on steak at Planet Hollywood! John Curtas takes you along.

Mar 19, 2009 | Hachi is absolutely amazing!
John Curtas has a find - a Japanese-fusion restaurant on the west edge of the city.

Web hosting facilities provided by Switch.