Monday, December 7, 2009

Las Vegas in SLR Quality!

Courtesy of Running Man, we have Las Vegas in SLR quality AND just 1 day after the trip! So for reasons unclear to me, we decided to fly into Vegas saturday morning. Boy oh boy was it early! We woke up at 5am for a 730am flight. Yeah...ouch. Everyone is pretty tired but we can't check into our room at Planet Hollywood until 3pm. So what does the H.o.P. do to pass the time? Prepare for our next meal. Running Man suggested Pink's Hot Dog. Dumpling Man was not so much a fan, and I was like ehh. I had tried it once many years ago and didn't understand the hype but have been wanting to try it again so I can confirm whether I like it or not. So we just walk around the Miracle Mile Mall shops until Pinks opens. Finally it opens and the cholesterol fest begins!

From what I remember of my last Pink's experience, I didn't want to order anything that had a regular hot dog in it or multiple regular hot dogs. I remember they were dinky, skinny, dry, and unsatisfying. So I opted for the polish sausage variety. This is the Planet Hollywood dog, polish sausage, bacon, grilled onions and mushrooms. The polish sausage is certainly tastey but not the best version of processed meat potpouri. The toppings are all sorta whatevers. Grilled onions and mushrooms were more like steamed onions and mushrooms. Hardly any color or taste.

This was my sister's dog. I don't remember what was in it cuz I never tasted it, but it was just a regular dog so how good could it have been?

What's a hot dog without some greasy accoutrements? The obligatory chili fries. When Running Man first brought it to the table, I was like "It looks like someone took a dump on the fries." After that, everyone just dug in like starving Ethiopians. Honestly, there was something unnatural tasting about the chilli. It had a really gummy texture. Like when it was in your mouth it really stuck to the sides of your mouth and felt really thick and sticky. Not that good, but the fries alone were delicous. Crispy and probably better than McDonald's fries except a tad too salty.

The onion rings were too sweet for my taste.

Now onto some more "refined" food. Five times the price too! Last time we were in Vegas, we went to Michael Mina at Bellagio. This time around we tried to get reservations at L'Atelier De Joel Robuchon, but alas no open spots. So we ended up at Sea Blue by Michael Mina at MGM Grand. It's not as fancy as the other MM restaurant and seafood is supposed to MM's thing so we had high hopes.

Running Man trying to get artistic.

Some buttered flat bread/pita bread. By this time I was pretty hungry so I ate this without much regard for taste and slathered on the following dips.

From left to right: humus, red bell pepper tomato spread?, feta cheese c olive tapanade.

We ordered multiples of the "Raw & Marinated," "Fried & Crusted," and "Grilled" tasting trios.

The "Raw & Marinated" trio was served with some buttered toast and flat bread.

From left to right: tuna tartare, yellowtail crudo, scallop ceviche. I've had better tuna tartare and the ceviche was slightly too sweet and soupy for a ceviche in my opinion. The crudo was DELICIOUS and overall made the dish a winner.

Dumpling Man and I passed on this dish of fried junk. From top and clockwise: lobster corndogs, dungeness crab piquillo peppers, and corn fritters? The crab things were crabby so not so bad, but everything else was just fried junk as I said.

The "Grilled" trio: Shrimp lettuce cups, lamb kebabs, and teriyaki chicken skewer. This dish was just so so, but I did enjoy the shrimp lettuce cups.

I'm still not quite clear what the direction of Sea Blue is aside from seafood. They had a section of "Morrocan Clay Pots" that are invidual sized dishes that come out covered with this dome triangle shaped lid. Whether they are cooked in it or not or if its just for show, I'm not sure. Either way, I'm still not sure if what was cooked in the morrocan clay pot was really morrocan. For instance we have the "Sea Blue Paella" which actually was more seafood than rice! I had a few bites and it was good, nothing spectacular I don't think.

Alaskan King Crab legs. They were hella salty!!! No lemon served on the side either. They were just cut down the middle but a cracker woulda helped out a lot. This dish gets a C for barely passing.

"Dayboat Scallops" Good but I don't think JLin was that impressed.

This was my dish, "bacon-wrapped chilean sea bass." The fish was perfectly cooked, the bacon added a subtle smokey hint, the broth was delicious flavored, and those little sun dried tomatoes were soooo good! There were chickpeas that tasted undercooked to me. Overall I liked my dish a lot, but maybe it was a bit salty too.

On to dessert! It ain't dinner with me at a fancy restaurant until we get dessert! The obligatory "molten chocolate cake." I've had better, but the peppermint ice cream was a nice touch.

Apple tarte tatin. I almost always pass on apple desserts. I think apples just get mushed up in the cooking process and never taste that good. I have to see what the apple dessert looks like before I'd eat it. Some I know might taste good, others will just taste unforgettable. This was my sister's choice and yes, it was forgettable. Some soggy apples on a nicely flakey puff pastry. The ice cream was so terribley melty that I don't think I got a good sample before it ran all over the plate.

Some flavor of creme brulee served with figs and a palmier. It was good but not special.

Overall, the H.o.P. was not that impressed with Sea Blue, but it was certainly more flavorful than the other Michael Mina restaurant. I doubt I'll be returning here any time soon. Michael Mina, please step up your game!!!!!

Pink's Hot Dogs @ Planet Hollywood
3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109-4331
(702) 785-5555

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Sea Blue @ MGM Grand
3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109-4319
(702) 891-3486

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