Sunday, December 22, 2013

Vegas 2013 Day 5

  Some sort of canned peaches in the wrong century and a cup of tea keeps me from starving when I awake. I've heard Wicked Spoon is good for buffets. I've never had a Vegas buffet. Once in a hotel in Sapporo some years ago but never the city that claims to invent the food spread. Maybe I just took the wrong entrance, but it is exhausting just to find the place. $28.00 and it's only 10 AM. Can I eat that much to justify such an expense while it's too cold outside to do much of anything other than get inside soonest? I'm dubious. Also hungry.
  There are stations one would have to be hungrier than I to explore. Omelet's always a good idea, and the salmon that died for my pleasure here is greatly appreciated. Mushrooms, Swiss cheese as useful as their currency, and more lox with a few adventurous capers. Grilled tomatoes, artichoke thanks itself for becoming a salad, an ambassador from the bacon republic, but the star of the meal is the tomato covered with parsley,  thyme, a tiny quantity of rosemary, and garlicky breadcrumbs spread on a tomato slice, doused with olive oil, and baked until the ingredients are passionate about each other. . Hey, I can make this. I eat well and learn something profound. What a vast reversal from yesterday's bummers.

 Too much salt here, so I went for some fresh fruit. Helped alot, and taught me the great lesson that pineapple can suck the saltiness out of an omelet just enough for them both to have fun. 
  At the Grand Tasting at the Vegas Uncork'd foody event in 2011, I sampled many fine tidbits from many of this city's finest chefs, but nothing was better than a taste of salmon from American Fish. From BC, I've had more great salmon than anyone should, but down in the salmon-less desert, such wonders could occur, a puzzle but a good one. When I had the chicken Jidori at Micheal Mina's selfy restaurant 2 years ago, I did not leave the restaurant with the idea that Mike could cook at all. Stunned by his inability to blend ingredients. I have to spend money to learn that?
 The lionfish dish at American Fish intrigued me. Just the idea. They've intrigued my eyes at the city's aquarium, so can I eat them? Indeed. I ask their flavour and am told they taste smoky. Do you mean they are smoked, I ask. No, they just taste smoky, amplified by a chowder. Yes indeed, sounds good. The LV locals had raved about the cocktail Dark and Stormy, and it sounded like just the right pairing for this novel fish's fierceness. Into the lionfish's den went I. To emerge with a revelation. The best piece of fish I've had in this city, and that's saying a lot.  The ferociously helpful ginger of the stormy darkness brought forth light in my palate previously undreamt of. There were mussels in the chowder. They stayed there. The potatoes, on the other hand, leaped into my mouth to help the lionfish retain its palate enriching crown. I guess Mike can cook after all.

  If I were to die while typing this, the lionfish taste would be at the pinnacle of dieing memory. It kind of makes your palate say, OK, that's why I exist, and if longer life occurs, this is the direction these molecules of enjoyment need to go, eh? While I'm eating, the Gil Scot Heron song Living in a bottle, one of my favourite tunes, explodes on the stereo. What, is there something better than this?
  Actually, yes. I showed up at L'Attelier the previous night at 9, hoping to get in. Come back in an hour, I was told. Was asleep by then. This time, no waiting. I'm ushered into the back and order one of the wonders of my previous Vegas trips, the langostine fritter with basil leaf. A kind of tempura of the mind.  To go with it, keeping with the cocktail pairing exuberance of American Dark and Story Lion Fish, I order another basil infused gem, heavy on the ginger but not tipping over into stormy darklions. Taken together, I am stunned by the vastness of their goodness.


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