June 01, 2000
Inside Mandalay Bay
I like everything about the China Grill except the food. You can't beat the ultra-hip entryway and the greeting everyone receives at the end of the small glass bridge is always friendly and accommodating. That same great service also extends to the bar and restaurant. The atmosphere and décor are both relaxing and stunning. Not exactly an easy trick to pull off. Cushy low-lying sofas and mega-cool lighting and paddle fans make the bar at the China Grill one of the most sophisticated places in all of Las Vegas to get a drink. And what drinks they are; tall fruity and perfect renditions of the recipes that made cocktails famous. So good are such classics as the Mai Tai and Singapore Sling here, that even my two best friends, who take their manliness to the ninth degree, you know things like swearing a lot, spitting and killing things, you get the picture. . .ok, I'm joking but these two icons of masculinity were recently seen sucking down girly-man drinks at the China Grill bar like a couple of college girls on spring break.
So there's a lot to like about the place even if you're not hungry. But if you are, expect some rather bizarre creations that push the fusion food envelope. I'm talking about sickeningly sweet lamb spare ribs, lobster risotto with ginger, and steak served with kimchi and orange maple dressing--all of which prove that, in a kitchen at least, too much creativity is not necessarily a good thing. Stick with the more traditional fare like duck pancakes or a sizzling whole fish for more satisfaction and less palette confusion. And when you're finished, check out the Zen experience awaiting you in the modular toilettes. . .they are positively refreshing, which is exactly what they're supposed to be. Too bad I can't say the same about the food.
This is John Curtas.
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.