In my last LV post, I shared with you our dining adventures to the North Strip restaurants. Today, let’s take a look at what’s worth visiting (and what’s not) on the South Strip!
Hash House A Go Go @ The Quad
Located on the second floor of The Quad hotel, Hash House A Go Go is a 24-hour diner-like restaurant. Walking down the aisle towards the restaurant, you can see celebrities’ autographs, awards and magazine articles it was featured in on the wall. We found out that it was featured on various TV shows, including “Man Vs. Food,” “Martha Stewart Show,” and “Rachel Ray’s Vacation,” and is known for serving twisted farm food in oversized portions. This place is quite famous indeed!
Decorated as an old neighborhood diner, it creates a casual, friendly dining atmosphere. On our visit, there were a birthday party and a wedding reception going on. (Quite interesting, eh?) They are best known for their Sage Fried Chicken & Waffles, but I was tempted by the Big O’ Chicken Pot Pie (USD$13.95). We decided to give it a try.
When the food arrived, I was shocked despite knowing beforehand that the portion would be huge. It was HUMONGOUS! The plate had a cracker crust, overflowing with roasted chicken, sweet corn, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, red potato, veggies and pan gravy. So delicious! The crust was perfectly crispy, chicken was soft and juicy, veggies were very fresh, and the gravy was creamy yet not too salty. Extremely satisfying and filling. Kev and I could only finish 2/3 of it. Too bad we didn’t have a microwave in our hotel room to warm up the leftover.
Overall, this place serves good quality food in massive portions. I would totally recommend this restaurant to budget travelers. After all, where could you find a restaurant in Las Vegas that feeds 2 hungry people at $14?
Lombradi’s Romagna Mia @Planet Hollywood
We received a free pre-theatre dinner at Lombradi’s Romagna Mia- a classy Italian restaurant located at Miracle Mile Shops inside Planet Hollywood. I had never heard of this restaurant and had no idea about the quality of the food, but judging from its decor, I was expecting to be fed with above-average Italian dishes.
We sat outside at the plaza, overlooking the fountain, to keep an eye on the line forming outside the theatre. The pre-theatre meal consists of 3 courses- homemade focaccia bread, salad and an entree.
The focaccia bread was thin, dry and hard to bite.
The salad dishes were pretty so so, nothing amazing.
For the entree, Kev had the rigatoni bolognese. The tomato sauce tasted quite bland and the rigatoni was soggy. The whole dish tasted like microwaved food.
My blackened tilapia tasted pretty bland as well. The mashed potatoes, zucchini and fish were average tasting. After a few bite, I couldn’t force myself to swallow anymore.
It was a very disappointing experience. I don’t recommend this place at all, not worth the price and definitely not worth your precious time.
Lobster ME @ Planet Hollywood
I envied my friends who stayed at Planet Hollywood resort. Just a few steps away and they could be surrounded by so many food choices. One place that really won my heart is Lobster ME, which can be found in the food court at Miracle Mile Shops.
It offers a good selection of lobster rolls and specialty items. Lobsicles, lobsters and chips, lobster tacos, lobster mac and cheese…and many more! Well, there’s only two of us and we couldn’t eat it all, so we narrowed down to the original Maine style lobster roll ($USD 17, large) and the lobsicle (USD$14).
Kev upgraded his lobster roll to a meal (with fries and beverage) for an extra USD$4. The soft, buttery bread was loaded with fresh lobster meat, served with a touch of mayo, lemon and spices. Wow, it never occurred to me that we could have such a delicious lobster roll in Vegas!
The lobsicle (deep-fried lobster tail on a stick) was a bit small though. The batter was fried to perfection, crispy but not greasy. The lobster was extremely fresh and meaty. A cup of butter was provided on the side in case you wanted it more buttery.
Overall, we love this place! It is on the pricey end, but it’s lobster we’re talking about. Tasty lobster. The only complaint we had was that the portion was not large enough to fill us up. It’s more like a snack. Nonetheless, it is worth a visit if money is not a big concern for you.
Julian Serrano @ Aria
People called Las Vegas the foodie’s heaven for a reason. Hotels and casinos hire big-name chefs around the world to help attract guests. Consequently, we find the city turning into a battlefield for top chefs to build their innovative restaurants. One of my goals in Las Vegas was to dine in a celebrity chef restaurant without busting our budget. With that in mind, I searched for restaurants that offer affordable prix fixe meal. Julian Serrano popped up and caught my interest. And that was why we were there!
Julian Serrano is a Spanish tapas-style restaurant. The use of bold, colorful, trendy design creates a lively, casual ambiance. With the creative decor, we knew we wouldn’t be bored with traditional Spanish food here.
The prix fixe lunch (USD$19/person) came with 3 courses.
For the first course, Kev ordered the lobster gazpacho. A chilled spanish tomato soup with lobster meat and cherries. The idea of drinking cold soup was quite interesting to us. (As Taiwanese, I am so used to drinking steaming hot soup) It had a smoothie-like texture. Started with fruity and sour taste, it then slowly gave us a hint of sweet taste on the finish.
My wild mushroom soup came with finely chopped shiitake, crimini and oyster mushrooms, topped with foie gras cream. The soup itself was hearty and minimally salty. The foie gras cream added an extra layer of flavor.
For the entree, Kev had the rib eye steak, which was served with roasted chinese eggplant and drizzled with mushroom sauce. While it was innovative to combine the steak and eggplants, the overall taste was not that special. The steak was in fact quite average. Nothing stood out particularly. On a side note, the fries were over-fried.
I picked salmon as my entree. The Atlantic salmon was served with purrusalda and horseradish cream. I really liked this dish. The salmon was cooked to perfection. The combination of purrusalda and horseradish cream created something that tasted like “mash potato” with a fine, smooth, creamy texture. It gave the salmon a richer flavor.
We ended the meal with the santiago’s cake and flan.
The delicious almond cake had a dense, rich inner core, covered with thick outer layer. Served with turron ice cream. A perfect way to complete the meal.
Equally delicious was the flan, decorated with raspberry cream. The flan had a texture similar to the pudding, but slightly thicker. Yum!
In general, we were satisfied with the good service, reasonable prices, and nice presentation of the food. However, I wish they would offer more unique Spanish tapa dishes on the prix fixe menu. I felt like we weren’t given a chance to find out what this restaurant really had to offer. We didn’t have a “wow” moment and certainly weren’t hooked into it. If you are looking to visit Julian Serrano, I would suggest you skip their prix fixe menu.
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