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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.