Categories
Features

This Las Vegas Steampunk Restaurant Serves Chicken Pot Pie Nuggets and Squid SpaghettiOs

On one hand, I’m pretty ecstatic about the amount of food embedded within current pop culture and a big piece to that puzzle is due to the rise of the ‘celebrity chef.’ Think Iron Chef. Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. Bourdain. But on the other hand, I’m sick of the general use of the term ‘celebrity chef’ towards any chef that has had a noteworthy experience across any media platform. Yes, it’s really cool that you served a meal to the Royal Family of the United Kingdom. And yes, congratulations on getting to the second round of Chopped that one time. But should anyone (including your publicist) really be adding the moniker celebrity to your name and title? Not so sure.

The reason for my prefacing soliloquy (get to the news!) is because it’s somewhat rare that our team comes across a menu that is noteworthy for more than a few items. And it’s even more rare for us to schedule a ‘celebrity’ chef  interview and actually like the footage that came out of it. Our conversation with Chef Rick Moonen and the corresponding meal that followed at RX Boiler Room at the Mandalay Bay did both. If you, the reader, even made it this far in the written editorial without immediately scrolling to the food pictures – you’re about to come across Chicken Pot Pie Nuggets, Buffalo Fried Oysters, Bacon-Wrapped-Bacon and Squid SpaghettiOs to name a few.

The restaurant itself is themed with a Steampunk design. For those of you unfamiliar, think of the time with steam machinery and how people of the period would build futuristic objects. Think Hugo, or that semi-awful, semi-awesome Will Smith movie, Wild Wild West. RX Boiler Room apparently isn’t the first steampunk restaurant since we’ve found pretty impressive displays in India and Poland. But it is the first we’ve seen in the US.

rx-boilerroom-steampunk-entrance

steampunk-rx-ceiling-fan

steampunk-rx-reindeer

Part of the reason Moonen rose as our favorite chef in Las Vegas was because he sat, ate and drank with us. For almost 3 hours. Rarely do we get the opportunity to sit down with a chef for more than 15 minutes before/after a meal. The result? An evolving conversation across ranging topics versus the rapid fire Q&A that can often be stale, rushed or jammed with brand messaging. Will I just shut up and get to the food already?

_____

Chicken Pot Pie Nuggets

chicken pot pie nuggets RX Boiler Room

chicken pot pie nuggets RX Boiler Room

Make a killer pot pie filling with classic peas and carrots. Pour that into small molds to be frozen. Panko coat and fry them up. Holy shit, is this real life?

_____

Bacon-Wrapped Bacon

bacon wrapped bacon pork belly quail egg

Corporate Menus and packaged food items are still treating bacon like it’s the next big thing. And they’re not exactly wrong. How do you make it better? By wrapping bacon around pork belly of course. If we are gonna perform [bacon] inception than we need imagination.

_____

Squid-e-Os

RX Boiler Room Squid SpaghettiOs

Good news for us, Ms. Moonen has a gluten allergy! Well wait, we don’t mean to celebrate the fact that Moonen’s wife can’t eat his delicious pastas or pizzas (or do we?!). But because he has to constantly create meals at home without that dreaded bread/dough protein, he concocted SpagehttiOs made of out squid and used squid ink for the sauce. Served with N. African based Merguez meatballs.

_____

Buffalo Oysters

buffalo oysters RX Boiler Room Las Vegas

In case you haven’t noticed. Rick Moonen doesn’t give a fuck. You think buffalo sauce and oysters should never be paired together? Come get some. Literally, he would love you to come get some. Texas Pete hot sauce, blue cheese on oysters hilled on the half shell.

_____

Mac + Cheese x Five

mac and cheese times five RX Boiler Room

Why have Mac and Cheese, when you can have Mac and CheeseCheeseCheeseCheeseCheese? Blue, Parmesan, Brie, Cheddar and Blanc all make an appeaerance.

_____

Kampachi Tartare Tacos in Taro Root Shells

kampachi tartare tacos taro root shells RX Boiler room

Taro and Ube are increasingly becoming more popular in savory and sweet dishes alike. Since Moonen’s flagship restaurant in the Mandalay Bay, RM Sseafood, is based around sustainable and delicious oceanic fare – these tacos are no joke.

_____

Pan-Fried Game Hen

Pan Fried Gamehen RX Boiler Room

Chef Moonen was hungry after watching us eat and describing a dozen of entrees. Good thing it’s his kitchen. His preference? The pan-fried game hen. Enhanced with a citrus pepper maple glaze and typically served with waffles.

____

Lamb Osso Buco Greek Style

lamb osso buco greek style rx boiler room

And just when you thought this restaurant could have any less of a theme, enter stage left, the Greek Osso Buco. Served with Toasted Orzo, Gremolata and Ricotta Salata Cheese.

_____

Tiramisu

rx boiler room tiramisu

“So I’m looking up Tiramisu recipes, and they’re all bullshit. Every single one of them. I’m like, I can make this better. So I put in fresh vanilla beans, that’s not in any tiramisu recipe [. . .] I’m not making fun of it, I just take it, tweak it, do what I want with it.” -Chef Moonen

_____

Luna Rossa

luna rosa rx boiler room cocktail

Lead barman Eric Smith took us on a roller coaster ride of great cocktails. When the lighting was just right, you could actually see the excitement excreting from his pores and in every hanging word. Nini Franco Prosecco. Goji Berry Liqueur. Old Fashioned Fee’s Bitters. All combined with Bombay Sapphire Gin, Aperol, All Spice Syrup, Lemon/Lime Juice and Cayenne Pepper.

_____

Smoked Whisky & Cola

smoked whiskey and cola RX boiler room

Without a doubt, this is the best whisky and mixer drink we’ve ever had. Could be due to the fact that this drink has house made cola syrup, bittercube cherrybark vanilla bitters, fever tree soda water and smokey cherrywood chips. I’m glad you know what all this means.

_____

RX Cerveza Paloma

cerveza paloma rx boiler room

cerveza paloma rx boiler room

Just in case you have an 11 ingredient minimum when ordering a cocktail, you’re in luck. Avion Silver Tequila, Stiegl Grapefruit Radler, Pink Grapefruit, Honey/Gomme Syrup, Domaine de Canton, Lemon/Lime Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Aperol, Campari, Peychauds Bitters and Mint.

Categories
Nightlife

DRINK WITH LENIN: This Vegas Vodka Vault Will Lease You a Liquor Locker for $10,000

Don’t tempt me with a good time, Las Vegas.

If you tell me there’s a bar with a Vodka Vault in it…my drunk friends and I will visit you and pretend like we can afford to be there.

On our most recent trip to the city of craps-tables-that-don’t-pay-shit, we shacked up at the super pretty Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino so we could be near all the crazy places our Instagram followers were telling us to check out (protip: there’s a regular-priced liquor store within walking distance of the Mandalay Bay, across the street near the McDonald’s).

First up? The Red Square restaurant, a contemporary American cuisine spot with a ton of Russian-inspired food and design cues:

red-square-decore

Attempting to play-it-cool and not go straight to the Vodka Vault, we decided to grab a few things off their menu that sounded interesting, including our fair share of caviar, and a salmon pizza (caviar, in-house smoked salmon, pickled red onions) mini lobster tacos and some crazy good Siberian Nachos:

red-square-siberian-nachos
lobster-tacos-red-square

Then it was time.

We hobbled over to the glow of the Vodka Vault sign, and a kind, attractive woman (see video above, or just jump straight to 0:48 to see what I’m talking about) helped us find some heavy duty fur coats that would keep us warm while in the vault. Upon entering, our pale faces were met with a gush of ice cold air before we locked in by the freezer door.

vodka-vault

And there we were — inside the vault. Imagine a tall, circular room with sky-high walls lined with clear lockers. In the middle of the room stood a glass case with Vladimir Lenin’s head inside (a headless statue of the Russian communist revolutionary stands at the entrance of the restaurant), and you are encouraged to take a shot off his dome while in the cold vault. Yes, things got bizarre. 

All the lockers open from the vault’s interior, but each locker has a window to the outside so that passerby can gawk over the booze porn. The appeal seems to be that you can build up a gnarly vodka collection, and casino onlookers can peek into your particular collection.

Then I inquired about getting a locker of my own.. .only to find out that lease negotiations might range to the tune of $10,000/year. I nearly spit out the vodka I smuggled in via my Aquafina bottle.

Baller.

vodka-vault-jumpie

 

Red Square

3950 Las Vegas Fwy

Las Vegas, NV 89119 (702) 632-7407

Categories
Adventures

Nutella Mousse Donut Burger, and the Rest of the Menu at Burger Bar Las Vegas

For those familiar with the Vegas lifestyle, the culture demands the grandiose. And for us, that meant a 36-hour Vegas trip with 3 hour windows of eating at different restaurants, all weekend long.

The first stop after our CA to NV road trip (which took 6 hours, thanks rubberneckers) was to Burger Bar at Mandalay Place, a shopping destination in between Mandalay Bay and Luxor hotels. While we expected an array of quality burger plates, what was emblazoned in our memory was the dessert — a Nutella Mousse Donut Burger. Against traditional Adventure storytelling, we’ll start with the dessert first:

burger bar las vegas nutella mousse dessert passion fruit gelatin kiwi

While the official title of this dessert is mediocre at best, the Chocolate Burger AKA the Nutella Mousse Donut Burger, is served with a warm donut (Krispy Kreme-esque), Nutella mousse patty, passion-fruit gelatin (faux cheese), fresh strawberries and kiwi slices (faux pickles).

For those of you who order dessert as appetizers, be wary, as you might spoil a mighty filling dinner on the way. To be noted, we were extremely full before the dessert arrived – but to not be outdid we opened our digestive trap doors to find room for this sucker. And then in a narcoleptic fashion, we immediately fell asleep at our tables. #notreally, #butsorta:

Burger Bar Buffalo Avocado Asparagus Fried Egg Jalapeno Bacon Colby Jack Cheese

There are a multitude of options when ordering your custom burger at Burger Bar including types of meat (angus, lamb, buffalo, wagyu), bun, veggies, cheeses, extra meats, seafood, and sauces. The burger above was a buffalo burger on a sesame bun with avocado, fried egg, jalapeno bacon (tough to go back to regular bacon), asparagus and chipotle aioli. And can’t forget the buttermilk zucchini fries. Yumtown, USA.

The dissected shot:

The next burger: wagyu patty on an onion bun with mozzarella, prosciutto, spinach and grilled onions. Wowee.

burger bar las vegas wagyu prosciutto spinach

You can probably discern our FOODBEAST verdict, but in the Las Vegas realm of perpetual burger-themed restaurants at every hotel and shopping destination (BLT Burger, I <3 Burgers, Le Burger Brasserie), give Burger Bar a fry — err, I mean try.

 Burger Bar
3930 Las Vegas Boulevard South #121A
Las Vegas, NV 89119

Categories
Cravings

Lobster Surf and Turf Burger

A special, rather uppity burger version of the “Surf and Turf” idea. We’re looking at a Black Angus burger topped with a grilled half lobster on a bed of grilled asparagus. Juicy lobster meat on top of juicy beef, sounds like a match made in heaven. This sucker comes straight from our friend Nick‘s dinner at the Burger Bar in Las Vegas‘ Mandalay Bay hotel.