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Epic birthday trip TR, Omae amazing food, hand pay, epic craps roll

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by ballagio, Jul 4, 2015.

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  1. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    My Trip Report

    Long time lurker. First time poster. After reading all of the epic TR on this board, I have been inspired to write my own TR. Most of my previous trips to Vegas have not been TR worthy. This past one takes the cake for me and wanted to share. I will try to post a few photos at the end if I can figure out how. I am doing this TR off of memory and will finish over the next few days. The highlights of this trip are dinners at Raku, Robuchon, Nobu, and Japanese Cuisine by Omae. Two of the four were amazing. One disappointed. One was good but not worth the money. Restaurant review to follow as well. On the gambling front, several hand pays for a profitable trip with a dandy at the end. Ended the trip with a first solo roll to the craps table that lasted over 20 minutes. Very profitable trip.

    Bear with me as details to follow as time permits.
     
  2. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    Trip started out great. Plane was early. No line at the car rental. No traffic to Palazzo. High floor with Wynn golf course view. First night's dinner was Nobu on TotalRewards comp. My wife and I both had the $175 pp tasting menu. The food was good but was not memorable. No complaints. Nothing stood out as amazing that we would have to come back to sample again. We left satisfied but not full. Had I had to pay out of pocket for the meal, I would have not been a happy camper. I am not saying I did not enjoy the meal. It was just that the meal did not meet the $175 price tag. Expectations are so high in Vegas that it takes a lot to meet them. No gambling the first night.

    Woke up early the next morning. Got massages from Canyon Ranch. We were relaxed and ready to enjoy our trip now. I will leave lunches out because we did not do any memorable lunches. Next up was dinner at Robuchon. The MGM limo picked us up and whisked us away to Robuchon via The Mansion entrance. It was nice to see a separate side of MGM where the high rollers hang that Nate and JDVegas have been nice enough to give us mortals a glimpse.

    Apparently, they stopped allowing you to order off of the Degustation Menu if you did not want to do the full menu. We were disappointed that we could not do the partial Degustation Menu. We ended up ordering from the Prix Fixe menu. We both chose the $250 menu with additional upcharges. For my appetizer, I chose La Caviar and La Homard. Both were perfectly cooked and gorgeous for the top restaurant in Vegas. The flavors were so well composed. For my two main courses, I did La Langoustine and La Spaghetti. The Langoustine was perfectly cooked in ravioli. I wanted more bread to mop up the foie gras emulsion. Isn't it why they invented bread? The La Spaghetti was perfectly al dente. Again, I have no shame in cleaning my plate with the bread. I guess it was better than picking up the plate and licking it clean. At this point, I don't know what my wife ordered. I don't think I even acknowledged her after the food came out. Actually, I don't think she even made a point to converse with me when her food came out. I don't even know what she ordered. I usually would want to know and take a taste of her dish and vice versa. We were so happy and content that it didn't bother us. Dessert came out with Le Litchi. What a great and refreshing way to end such a decadent meal. The final tab did lighten the pocket book up quite a bit. I wondered how much money I could have generated at the BJ tables with that tab? Oh well, you only celebrate your birthday once a year. More to come.
     
  3. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    After a nice meal, it was time for some gambling. The wife said she ate too much and needed a nap. She ended up sleeping the entire night. No gambling for her after almost 36 hours in Vegas. I think that is a record. I decided to hit the BJ tables. The Venetian only had 6/5 BJ. I refuse to play that game. After reading about Free Bet BJ, I decided to play some quarters. First hand of the trip was a 50 bet. I got 8's. Free split. Got another 8. Next card was a 3. Another Free bet. Jack. Boom. Next card, 6. No good. Next card 2. Another freebet for a King. What a great way to start the trip with 250 right off the bat. I only need 3 more hands like that to pay for dinner. I played for the next 2 hours at this table varying between 25 and 150 a hand. The dreaded 22 only came up about 3 hands during the two hours. Fortunately it came up when I had terrible hands. I thought this was a good omen for the trip. I cashed out up 800. Almost paid for dinner. That is a win in my book. At this point, I was pooped from dinner. At times during my two hours, I didn't even know what cards I had. It was time to call it a night and book the win. This was a marathon trip and not a sprint.
     
  4. VegasChic-

    VegasChic- VIP Whale

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    Enjoying the read and looking forward to more details!
     
  5. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    I hope these pics turn out right on tap stalk.
     
  6. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    Sorry. Still learning to post pics. His that button a little early on tapatalk [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    Here was the dessert from Robuchon. [​IMG]

    I forgot the other entree. [​IMG]

    Are the caviar appetizer before I had a chance to take a pic. Doubt anyone wants to see an empty plate. The meal was truly magnificent. Aesthetically perfect. Perfect marriage of flavors. You leave with an understanding of French cuisine. I would pay for this meal again. Maybe not this year but I would pay out of pocket again.
     
  8. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    I wonder why my pictures are not uploading? Try again. [​IMG]
     
  9. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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  10. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    I give up trying to attach a picture from Tapatalk. I replied and attached but it is not posting for some reason.

    On to the next day. No gambling during the day. It was just shopping and enjoying our time away from the real world. Dinner the next night was at Raku. We have eaten here many times and have never been disappointed until this trip. The food was still good but not up to the usual par for Raku. We ordered the grilled langoustine from the seafood display. I should have known better to order a dead piece of shell fish on ice. The wife thought it was like the live langoustine from Bartolotta. This langoustine had seen better days. When we got it, it kind of smelled but didn't think to send it back. The meat was mushy. The claws stuck to the shell. Not a good sign but we ate it anyway. In hindsight, I should have sent it back but we had already eaten half of it. Oh well, no more shellfish unless it is still moving.

    Everything else we ordered was great with the exception of the scallops. While it was still good, the scallop was way overcooked to our liking. The scallops were perfectly cooked the previous 5 times we had been there. Maybe it was an off night for the kitchen. Dinner was good. Not spectacular like usual. A bit disappointing but still better than the vast majority of the Vegas restaurants on the strip for the same price.
     
  11. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    After dinner, more gambling. Freebet BJ was not as good tonight. Lost 300. Onto slots. I started slowly on $5 Wheel of Fortune. Got some bonuses. Took my $400 from the previous night up to $1k over the next few hours. From there, decided to go big on the $25 pinball in the Palazzo HL room. It took my first $500 with nothing in return. I decided last $100. Got a bonus on the last $50. I got 4 shots. First shot landed on 25, second on 60, third landed 40, and last one on 15. I ended up with 140 credits on the bonus. Got a hand pay for $3500 in check. I wanted to lock in the win and not give any back as I had a few more days. I am fine with not gambling on the last day to lock in my win. Time for bed. I was content with my check.
     
  12. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    Woke up to a scorching June morning in Vegas. Despite the heat, it was all good after last night's hand pay. Another day, more shopping, gambling, and dinner at Japanese Cuisine by Omae. While the wife shopped at the Forum Shops, I played slots at Caesars. I proceeded to lose $1k over the course of an hour in the HL room playing $5 slots. That was my limit for the session. I decided it was cheaper to go "shopping" than to donk any more money at Caesars.

    We then decided to grab lunch at Milos in the Cosmo. It was an expensive lunch. Lost another $500 in 15 minutes. No more gambling during the day. I keep forgetting. Dinner is up next. Japanese Cuisine by Omae. I was so excited to go eat here. I know there are not very many reviews online for this place. Omae's website leaves a lot to be desired, including spelling. For those that don't know. Takeshi Omae is a Michelin starred chef from Japan. He was Executive Chef for Morimoto in Japan and has been on Iron Chef Japan with Morimoto. We were so excited to be eating at a place where the Michelin starred chef was in the kitchen actually preparing our food. I cannot think of any other place in Vegas with such a chef. If you are a foodie and enjoy food, read on.
     
  13. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    I guess there is a delay with Tapatalk for pics. They did post after all.

    Omae did not disappoint. If you want to feel like a judge on Iron Chef, go make a reservation at Omae immediately. We opted for the 7 course meal from Omae for $150pp. That is right. 7 courses in Vegas for only $150. He did not skimp on the ingredients either. I feel so privileged to have eaten here. We have eaten at e very early on when they first opened as well as last year. I can honestly say that e is still good but the caliber of ingredients from when they first opened and now is not the same. Still amazing but you are not getting a whole black truffle. I think Omae will ultimately raise his prices as he gets more customers. It is a hidden gem as there are only 4 tables in the entire place. There are 2 tables for 2 and 2 tables for 4 customers. I don't think he can do a party larger than 4. I digress. Back to the food.

    There was no menu. I am doing this off of memory and pictures from my phone. Because there are no reviews/descriptions on Omae on VMB, I will go in a little bit more depth. First dish was a homemade cone of celery root puree, salmon roe, uni, and topped with a generous dollop of caviar. Did I mention that we only paid $150pp? I am not usually an uni person. I have never had such amazing uni. I wished that there was a truck that went around town selling this cone. I would be push any kid out of the way to have another one of these cones. I was tempted to ask them to charge me twice so we could have seconds of our dinner tonight.
     
  14. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    Second course was asparagus soup. That was the only description from the wait staff. This was so far from basic asparagus soup. It was basically Japanese Chawan Mushi (steamed tofu custard) with a konbu asparagus broth and a dried bonito fillet to balance the softness of the soup. Wow. The flavors went so well together. I am not an asparagus fan but can say that you do not taste asparagus in the soup. He somehow masked the smell of asparagus but highlighted the crunch of the asparagus in the soup. I kept having flashbacks of the judges raving about the food on Iron Chef Japan. We were only 2 courses in and I can honestly say, this was better than Robuchon. He did not disappoint. I apologize in advance if I sound a bit snooty describing this meal. Words cannot do it justice.
     
  15. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    Here are the pic from pinball. [​IMG]
     
  16. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    I will go ahead and post pics from Omae. Details to follow. [​IMG]

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  17. PayTriple

    PayTriple The Cucumber King

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    Thanks for the report! It made me hungry.
     
  18. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    Alas, no cucumbers for dinner at Omae. Where was I? Third course was Japanese fondue, which was a red miso based fondue that you dip toasted bread and vegetables in. I was wishing I had sneaked some bread from Robuchon in from the other night. It was a good dish. Nothing life changing like the next dish.

    Next up is his sushi offering. On top of the bento box is his fresh fish direct from Tskiji Market in Japan. It is served with fresh grated wasabi from a shark skin grater. Soy sauce is not low sodium variety. It is a house brewed soy sauce that was chocked full of umami flavor. If I remember correctly from the pictures, we start with salmon sashimi, squid sashimi with fish roe, mackerel, uni and halibut sashimi, kinmadai sea bream, and some type of Japanese oyster that I can't pronounce. There is a paint brush for you to paint on the soy sauce so you don't overpower the sashimi. I will take Omae's sushi against any sashimi on the strip. I have never had a better piece of fish anywhere in Vegas.

    Once you are finished with your sashimi, you get a surprise underneath as it reveals some King Crab Chirashi. It was basically sushi rice with King crab and salmon roe. I don't remember what else was in the rice, but I savored every bite like it was my last. Iron Chef worthy. At this point, I was pretty stuffed but would have been willing to pony up another $150 for another round of sashimi.
     
  19. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    Oh, I forgot to talk about the wasabi. We did not get the wasabi powder that clears your sinuses. They brought out a whole wasabi root. Grated it on the spot for you to taste before the sashimi. You will know when you have real wasabi as opposed to 99% of the stuff served in Japanese restaurants. It is flowery with a light spiciness. It does not clear your sinuses. It just opens your taste buds enough to allow you to enjoy your sashimi. No mixing in your soy sauce either. A couple of morsels with each piece of wasabi and a drop of house soy sauce was amazing.

    Our fifth dish was a light soup to prepare us for the main course. We were treated to a dish shrimp dumpling soup with miso marinated black cod. It was the perfect dish to transition from sashimi to Wagyu beef. The soup was perfectly balanced and cooked with the dumpling and cod. How can you go wrong with black cod?
     
  20. ballagio

    ballagio Tourist

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    We were then brought a certificate for the next course. Just when I thought dinner was almost over, we were told that we were going to get some A5 Wagyu beef from Japan. :woohoo::woohoo:

    Sorry. I needed a moment to clean myself up after reliving this memory. We were served a duo of A5 Wagyu beef and Filet Mignon. The Wagyu was served with wasabi mashed potatoes and fried peppers. The filet mignon was served with a sweet potato mash that was so creamy and paired perfectly with fried sliced garlic. I don't remember the sauce because I didn't need any. It tasted like a garlic ponzu sauce. I didn't want to adulterate my Wagyu.
     
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