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Max Jacobson

Story Archive

  • Dining

    Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009

    Some like it hot. Fans of J & J Szechuan like it HOT!!!!

  • Dining

    Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009

    Carlos Guia's new brunch is stocked with goodies, like gumbo and French-toast bread pudding.

  • Dining

    Monday, Nov. 23, 2009

    Mexican standout Los Antojos is finally emerging from 10 years of relative obscurity.

  • Dining

    Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009

    Namaste's tandoori chicken is the best in Vegas, a revelation when eaten with garlic naan.

  • Dining

    Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009

    The idea is a fail-safe one: DIY burgers with plenty more to like.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009

    Thick or thin, soft or crispy, sharp or mild, pizza is something we all love.

  • Dining

    Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009

    At this tiny Thai storefront, a bilingual menu reveals wonders like beef salad Lao-style, glass noodles with crab claw and Thai pork stew. Let's put it this way, Max Jacobson is a regular.

  • Dining

    Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009

    What survive in today’s idiom of Ashkenaz—or Eastern European Jewish—foods are pastrami, corned beef and matzo ball soup, although credible versions are hard to find, even in Vegas. See how Tommy Pastrami matches up.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009

    Garfield’s might just be the only place in the city that would look equally at home in Barbados, but the menu is eclectic here, featuring French, Italian and American fare, with hints of North Africa and Asia along the way.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009

    So few Italian places bring anything new to the table, not so at Caffe Dolce.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009

    Coal-oven pizza is something of a religion in New York’s SoHo; the coal oven creates a blackened crust, chewy, bubbly and yielding. It’s really all about the crust.

  • Dining

    Thursday, July 30, 2009

    Update your lunch with RM Seafood's deliriously good Vidalia onion and bacon quiche, esteemed clam chowder and raw-bar done right.

  • Dining

    Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Bosa 1 is a Vietnamese restaurant that doesn't serve pho. But don't let that deter you.

  • Dining

    Thursday, June 18, 2009

    Most of us know what matryoshka are, right? Well, they are those cute Russian nesting dolls as well as Las Vegas’ newest Russian restaurant.

  • Dining

    Thursday, June 4, 2009

    Too much of a good thing is anathema in the restaurant world. So, in spite of the fact that I enjoyed myself at Bar Louie, the place puzzles me.

  • Dining

    Thursday, May 7, 2009

    One thing that differentiates us from larger American cities is the absence of the gastropub, a concept that has already taken root in New York, Chicago and LA.

  • Dining

    Thursday, April 30, 2009

    Another killer—if you don’t mind the metaphor—here is “angry” mac ’n’ cheese, which gets its dudgeon from the addition of jalapeños, and has a nice, bubbly top crust. If you like crab cakes, The Bar does the genre proud.

  • Dining

    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    All the dishes I tried at Thai Pepper were interesting, and some were downright terrific. I started with a beef soup that I’ve never seen on a Thai menu in this country called kao-low - funky in the extreme and definitely not for the faint of heart.

  • Dining

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    Beef is still, apparently, what most people want for dinner. One busy Thursday evening, thanks to a porthole in the wall above my table, I could hear noisy conversation in the bar area, the restaurant was rocking, and juicy, nicely charred steaks appeared to be starring on every table.

  • Dining

    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    Most of the time, if I see an ambitious new restaurant, I pull for it consciously and subconsciously. Rhythm Kitchen is currently our only upscale restaurant with a New Orleans theme that doesn’t belong to Emeril. That makes me pull for it all the more.

  • Dining

    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    Carl’s Jr. has debuted its new Kentucky Bourbon Burger... don’t even think about the calorie count.

  • Dining

    Thursday, April 2, 2009

    Last week, I led with information about a Korean taco truck that is sweeping Los Angeles, so it got me in the mood for Korean food. That led me to Maru, the newest and handsomest Korean restaurant in the city.

  • Dining

    Thursday, March 26, 2009

    Tacos are cheap, versatile and delicious, so there is always an audience for them, on- or off-Strip. The newest Mexican concept in town is called T&T, an acronym for tacos and tequila. Okay, get your mind out of the gutter.

  • Dining

    Thursday, March 19, 2009

    India’s Grill is a dreary-looking restaurant in a dreary part of town. Why then, is my mouth watering whenever I think back to what I ate there?

  • Dining

    Thursday, March 12, 2009

    Man cannot live by tapas alone, newly evidenced by Café Deia, which serves an eclectic combination of French, Spanish and just plain made-up fare, most of it delicious.

  • Dining

    Thursday, March 5, 2009

    Most of my Chinese friends have one drop-dead criterion for eating in a Chinese restaurant: The menu must have some of the dishes written in Chinese characters.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009

    Last week I found myself in the United Kingdom, ushering four Chinese friends on a mini-tour.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009

    Perhaps you just have to be French, like star chef Laurent Tourondel, to get this wacky with burgers.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009

    For anyone heading up to Brian Head, Zion or points north in Utah, a stop at the wild-game restaurant the Gun Barrel is a delightful surprise.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009

    Take one highly seasoned food and wine professional. Then add a brilliant young chef and a sleek modern design. The result is Pips at the Aliante Station Casino, so far one of this year’s big surprises.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009

    I've been reviewing restaurants since 1984, and if one great cuisine has been sorely absent from my columns, it is the glorious cooking of Turkey.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009

    Where does one go for a decent goat curry? I hear you cry. Taza, Henderson’s first Indian restaurant, has one every day on its bountiful lunch buffet.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009

    Fans of hearty sit-down breakfasts, take heart. The popular Cracked Egg has opened in the mall housing Smith’s, on Green Valley Parkway adjacent to the 215.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009

    I hate brunch, but the way I feel right now, I wouldn’t mind eating one at Simon Restaurant & Lounge every week for the next 10 years.

  • Dining

    Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008

    Suddenly, there is a wealth of churrascarias, or Brazilian-style barbecues, in the city, none more unabashedly authentic than Via Brasil, which spells Brazil as it is in done in Portuguese.

  • Dining

    Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008

    Despite lots of glitzy local openings, 2008 wasn’t a banner year for Vegas restaurants. But in this down economy, it seems fitting that lower-priced entrees such as sandwiches and Asian dishes ranked high on my yearly list. Nothing here costs more than $20.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008

    There’s no denying that the wine bistro, a yuppified version of the gastropubs now springing up in major American cities, is having its day. Which brings us to The Grape at Town Square.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008

    The new China Mama, a boxy, freestanding place with lime-green walls and garish red light fixtures that resemble Slinkys (if they had been made out of Lucite), does the best xiao loong bao in Vegas, and maybe anywhere between here and New York City.

  • Dining

    Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008

    It’s been long reported, and oft lamented, that the state of authentic Mexican cuisine isn’t sufficiently robust in our town. Last year, I toured northeast Las Vegas in search of one great Mexican dinner, and failed in my quest.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008

    I’ve been to Yellowtail twice now, and both times the place seemed to be firing on all cylinders. Chef Akira Back, a personable sort, is comfortable in the fusion genre, and many of these creations are tasty and original.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008

    The charming little hamlet of Boulder City has a historic downtown, lots of resident cheerleaders and, believe it or not, more than its share of decent places to eat.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008

    Looking around at the throngs eating giant slabs of meat with fervor at the new Texas de Brazil, my thoughts turned to Nero, who allegedly played the lyre while Rome burned.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008

    This comely little place does breakfast, Mexican specialties and American-style sandwiches, so the kitchen is quite ambitious. And to quote Marc Antony, when he eulogized Julius Caesar, ambition can be (in this case only sometimes) a grievous fault.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008

    Let’s call the menu eclectic; the chef, a passionate young Hawaiian, Don Espaniola, literally does foods from all over the planet. And he’s quick to tell you he makes virtually everything from scratch.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008

    My first reaction to Raku, a Japanese pub restaurant on the western edge of Spring Mountain’s Chinatown, may have been undeservedly restrained.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008

    Transplants love to bring their native comfort foods with them, as witnessed by the proliferation of restaurants in this Valley from places such as Hawaii and Chicago. I can say that in general, most of them are shadowy approximations of the originals, Xeroxed Xerox copies without a soul, poseurs with faded flavors, made with dodgy ingredients.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008

    Seafood paella Velazquez is surprisingly good, even if it does take a full 20 minutes to arrive. The rice is moist and chock-full of shellfish and chorizo. Cuban bites are like sliders in the form of three pint-sized Cuban sandwiches.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008

    I had two very different experiences at Basil ’n Lime, a charming newcomer on the west side, advertising “Authentic Thai Cuisine” on its outside sign. If you’re not Thai, you’re not a favorite to get much of it, even though the kitchen is capable of producing it.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008

    The food at McFadden’s, a self-styled Irish pub that originated in New York City before expanding into a national chain, is quite good, although only marginally Irish.

  • Dining

    Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008

    Some have been touting the cooking of Peru as “the next big thing.” I don’t know if this is true, but I can say that Mi Peru, a South American grill housed in the Henderson space once home to Barbecue Masters, serves the best Peruvian food I’ve yet eaten in Vegas