Nevada Public Radio Listen Live

"Morning Edition"
Facebook Twitter Follow Nevada Public Radio

Support Nevada Public Radio
April 07, 2005
Podcasts

Listen

RM Seafood
3930 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas NV 89119
632.9300
RM Seafood

What makes a good meal go bad? There can be any number of reasons, but bad service would have to be the number 1 culprit. To such things did my mind wander recently as the Food Gal and I waited twenty minutes for our dessert menu at RM, the classy seafood emporium at the Mandalay Place. But before I recount my litany of service offenses, let's accentuate the positive.

RM is the eponymous restaurant named for Rick Moonen, long one of New York's premier seafood chefs. To his credit, Moonen moved to Las Vegas to run this restaurant, not just lend his name to it. I had the privilege of dining at Oceana many years ago, when he was first making his mark. He liked to play with sauces and presentations sure, but foremost in his style was a firm sense of letting the flavors of the sea come forth and stand on their own. And for years, his was one restaurant that demanded and got only the best and freshest bounty from the sea.

I'd been to the café downstairs several times by the time I wandered into the small, tasteful dining room on the second floor. The vaguely nautical themed room is just the right size (85 seats), and hits just the right balance between relaxed and formal. It's quieter than SeaBlue, and smaller and not as frenetic as Michael Mina so the décor had me from the get-go.

The food never disappointed either. An uninspiring soufflé of brandade (really just a cold hard pudding of salted cod), was okay, and didn't come close to the rest of the meal. When the waiter correctly pronounced taramosalata, it falsely boosted my confidence that the service would be a cut above. That's just what this addictive fish roe dip was, but it was also about the last thing that showed up on time. In sporadic order we then tasted superior grilled prawns with an oh-so-subtle lobster-miso consommé, a slightly overcooked, but otherwise excellent single sea scallop atop a corn veloute-the sweetness of each complimenting the other; a beautiful filet of rainbow trout that could've been overwhelmed by the braised artichokes, smoked bacon and balsamico around it, but wasn't; perfectly grilled wild salmon in a deceptively spicy green cocoanut curry; olive oil poached halibut and butter poached lobster....topped with crispy sweetbreads in the ultimate surf and turf of flavor and texture.

All of this superior stuff showed me that Moonen hasn't lost his fastball. The front of the house was another matter. No refills on wine without asking, no bread refills at all, the water was there for me to pour and so I did, and (as I said), and the dessert course took so long (even after I told the waiter we were in a hurray), that we insisted on the check and left before we even saw what the offerings were.

Looking around the dining room I noticed the culprit. No adult supervision. No maitre 'd, no manager, no front man or lady, kicking butt, taking names, and making sure the service was running smoothly. Just a bunch of twenty-something waiters running around , sometimes hitting their marks, and often not.

Memo to Moonen: get a manager who spends a few nights walking around Circo, MIX or Fleur de Lys to see how a busy, smoothly run operation works. Otherwise, despite your ab-fab food, prepare to start losing customers.

See discussion rules.

Archives

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.

© 2014 NEVADA PUBLIC RADIO   
Web hosting facilities provided by Switch.