I'm definitely 'lifting' an ad for STD (sexually transmitted disease, for those "not in the know") testing, billboards that I've seen around town.
It is, however, an accurate description of our trip to Vegas, Saturday to Sunday. A quick trip, but it has had a somewhat lasting impact. Maybe not long-term damages or major regrets, but I've felt completely "off" this week. It doesn't help that we've been dealing with the car and I had a doctor's appointment that included a cortisone shot straight into my knee which knocked me on my ass.
But, back to Vegas, which was awesome but exhausting! It's been five years since we've been to Vegas, so the quick trip over the weekend was, I suppose, overdue. We arrived in time for lunch and ended up at China Poblano, a relatively new restaurant that is the creation of José Andres, a Spanish chef who trained at elBulli, that mecca of molecular gastronomy (now closed?).
As for China Poblana - we had a GREAT experience! And it didn't seem like a very "Vegas" experience (whatever that it). The idea is small plates, emphasizing, obviously, the cuisine of Mexico and China. Some of the plates involved the fusion ethos, but others were pretty traditional. We started out with some drinks that I could have sucked on all day long:
My drink has the corn husk as 'garnish' - it was awesome. I don't know what it was, but it tasted great. Michael's margarita was served with salt foam, and it was a fantastic margarita. The food was also damn good - we had a variety of Chinese and Mexican food: a tamal wrapped in swiss chard rather than a corn husk or banana leaf; a yummy shrimp dish; a duck tongue taco and a beef tendon taco. We definitely went out an a limb on the tacos, and while I can't say that I was necessarily crazy about the tacos, the flavors were interesting, to say the least.
We waddled out of the restaurant, back down the Strip, quite content with lunch. And that was only meal number 1.
Dinner was pretty fantastic too... Lots of courses, probably the best black cod dish I've ever had, an amazing cheese course, and a fantastic Sauternes that accompanied the cheese and chocolate at the end of the meal. It was great to share the experience with my brother and his wife. Also, Vegas on a Saturday night brings out an interesting array of people!
After a too-short night of sleep, Michael and I woke up early, determined to leave by 10:00 am. With that in mind, we showed up bright and early as they were opening the doors to Bouchon, Thomas Keller's bistro in Vegas (yes, they have one in NYC and now in BH). The server asked us about drinks and I went for a traditional cup of strong coffee - no breakfast cocktail for me. As for the food at Bouchon - it more than lived up to my expectation of a great breakfast. I honestly think that I had the best waffles that I've every had in my life - sourdough, light but dense... And I ordered a side of bacon, and they brought something like an entire of PLATE of the stuff! Someone else enjoyed his meal as well!
After stuffing ourselves again, we left Las Vegas around 10:30 and booked it back to LA. However, we did bring a few things back from Vegas. The extra pounds that we must have brought back! And ta-da:
Extra goods from Bouchon! A blueberry muffin that was pretty damn good, some bread pudding thing, and a pain au raisin. I'd give two thumbs up, except for the pain au raisin, which needed more butter.Overall, no complaints about the weekend, although it is funny - as we packed up to leave, a wish to stay a bit longer fleeted through my mind. Once we got in the car, however, I felt nothing but relief about leaving. I also felt exhausted - not that we had a crazy, wild time, but the constant stimulation of noise, crowds, people drinking, shouting, celebrating, gambling, shopping is a lot for me to take. Also, as we left, I realized that I had felt a bit like a lab rat - while we certainly stepped outside to walk down the Strip, it doesn't feel like you are "outside". The crowds contribute to a constant sense of claustrophobia on my part.
So, all-in-all a success. No gambling, so we didn't win or lose, which is fine by me, and we controlled any other impulse that the bright lights might have brought on!