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Monday, October 3, 2011

Secret Pizzeria at Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

I will start this review with the following disclosure: The following Pizzeria does not exist. It has no menu, it has no website, it has no signs advertising a family meal deal. It is also not down a long hallway lined with old music album covers on the third floor of the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It is not one of the best deals on the strip. It is also not the Best Pizza on the Strip. I HAVE KEPT THE SECRET.

Now onto the food review... for the best pizza and best pizza deals in Vegas you need to find the secret Pizzeria at Cosmo. The cost is almost two dollars less per slice then any other pizza joint on the strip ( including my other favorite at the Wynn) and the super thin crust , fresh taste and general New York ambiance just can't be beat. Although thin , the crust is still sturdy enough to bend without breaking and strong enough to hold any toppings. Speaking of toppings... unless you order ahead of time ( is there an actual number to the place?) then you will be having your pizza topped with whatever the chefs whim is. There is no formal menu.

On this day Simone and I had our choice of 5 different pizza pies. We both choose for our first slice portabello mushroom pizza with red sauce. With meaty fresh thin sliced mushroms, sweet fresh tasting marinara creamy mozzarella cheese and a crispy blistered crust this one was a winner. Savory till the last bite it leaves you wanting more... so I obliged.

This time when I went back to the counter looking me in the face was a white pizza with fresh roasted garlic, Ricotta Cheese and Olive Oil. This one may have been better then the mushroom. The crust was sauce less and had even more crunch. The garlic was sweet, the Ricotta Creamy and slightly melted and the Olive Oil was the icing on my pizza experience. 

The Pizzeria does not seem to offer any sides and I didn't ask because none were needed. They do have fountain drinks and beer. Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes can be found at the stand up bar that you can eat on. Without any other choices, The pizza definitely stands alone (although three days later we went back and tried a cannolli for dessert and that was delicious as well).

New York thin crust pizza is what its all about here at The Cosmopolitan, and these guys are experts. Hands down, this is a 5 Star place. Just remember, you didn't here the secret from me.

China Grill- Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

The China Grill at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas is not a Chinese food restaurant.  As it was explained adamantly by my waiter , it is a global fusion that brings together the flavors of Japan, Thailand, Chinese and American cuisine ( I guess that meant no Pu-Pu platter for two).

With our no Chinese food explanation at the fore front of our minds Simone and I set upon the task of looking over the not so Chinese menu.  All items on the menu are meant to be eaten family style and shared -much like in China (oops). At the suggestion of our waiter we started our fusion journey with the not Chinese Beef and Scallion Dumplings. The dumplings were soft and pillow like, filled with minced tender beef and chopped scallions and served with a micro green salad on top and of a pool of spicy sauce. Alone, they were bland but eating them in a 5 alarm pool of soy, ginger chili sauce took care of that problem nicely. After downing an entire glass of water to ease the fiery pain , we then decided to choose our entree.

Our entree choice was the not Japanese Sake Marinated Drunken Chicken, served with a sweet Hoison laced Ponzu sauce and Bok Choy slaw with crispy onions, and for our side a not Chinese Duck Fried Rice.  The chicken arrived whole, but already cut for our convenience. It was excellent,  the sweet Sake marinade combined with the natural juices of the chicken kept every bite moist and full of intense flavor. The slaw was crunchy and vinegary and was a great compliment to the dish. The side of duck fried rice was good also. The rice was very lightly fried with sesame and soy but not overwhelming in salt or oil. The shredded duck was rather dry, but the overall flavor of the rice was excellent.

We finished the entire bird and rice and still had some room for Deep Fried Cheesecake for dessert. Cream Cheese filled fried wontons arrived with  a five spice chocolate dipping sauce, assorted fruit and Mango Raspberry puree. The chocolate was rich and spicy with ginger overtones, and the Mango puree was fresh and sweet.. Both were great with the wontons. Overall this was a very good "fusion" meal at the Not so China Grill in Mandalay Bay. 3.5 stars.