Friday, July 11, 2008

We decided there was only one meal that was going to be more upscale, high-end. Ms. Lin loves Todd English's Olives and introduced it to me on our last trip out to Vegas. After trying it, I really liked the food and definitely the bread basket. So for this trip, we both agreed that we need to go to Olives. Sadly, Olives did not measure up this time and since I am going back this Saturday... I am very skeptical about going back. Both Ms. Lin and I felt that there was a decrease in quality of the main courses, but the delicious appetizer was still just as good. If I go back this Saturday, I just might get 2 of the appetizers as a meal! ^_^
I arrived first with my Mom to Olives and sat down. Last time I had Moscato d'Asti Rose that was really good, so I ordered a glass. Low and behold, I get carded AGAIN! I know a lot of people say it's a good thing, but I am sick and tired of being carded. >_<## Usually high-end restaurants don't card people, but I guess everyone cards me. **sigh** A great part of Olives is their bread basket. It's a delectable selection of fresh bread accompanied by different olive creations. I really enjoy the flatbread. We all agreed that the cheesy flat bread is the best and asked for a basket purely filled with flatbread. ^_^ My favorite thing at Olives is the Tuna Carpaccio. It's Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes, Crisp Pasta Cracker, Lemon Aioli, Capers, and Parsley. The best part is the mashed potatoes because it's so flavorful and the texture is almost like butter. This is definitely a dish you must try! Very clean on the palette and refreshing. The thinly sliced tuna takes a back seat to all the delectable components hidden under. The crisp cracker only enhances the smooth texture. If I go back next week, I will most likely just get TWO of these and forget the main course! ^_^ Since there were 4 of us, we decided to get a second appetizer. I told Ms. Lin that we should just get 2 of the Tuna Carpaccio since that's the BEST thing! ^_^ She said we should try something different so we looked around on the menu and there weren't any other choices that looked appealing to us. We decided to get a flatbread pizza to share for the table. I chose the Portobello Flatbread. It's Wild Mushroom Puree, Herb-Roasted Portobello, Red Onions, Fontina Cheese, White Truffle Oil. I have to say this was a little disappointing because you could not taste any truffle essence. It was a little bland for my palette and one-dimensional. I had hoped the immense mixture of mushrooms would be more flavor. It ended up being extremely earthy and flat without any special flavor. Our parents both got the Chargrilled Lamb Chops because it's a solid choice for them. I think my Mom and I had this dish the last time we were in Vegas too. It's Creamy Garlic & Chickpea Puree, Baby Spinach Insalata, Pine Nuts, Raisins, and Pomegranate Brown Butter. The lamb was tender and flavorful. Everyone really enjoyed the salad because it had a special twist to it, the chickpea dressing. The components work together in harmony and is very unique. I would get this dish when in doubt because we tried the other dishes this time and I have learned that I should stick with what I like. For my main course, I decided to get the Chargrilled New York Strip Steak. It comes with Crème Fraîche Mashed Potato, Butter Braised Haricot Vert, a Sour Cherry Glaze. I asked for Medium-Rare to Rare and it came out close to Medium. Being a push-over, I decided not to return it because of parental pressures. It was still edible, but I had to force the cooked meat down my throat. Blech! I hate meat that's rough because it's like eating sand paper. For the true meat eaters out there, you know what I mean when meat is cooked to much and especially since it's sirloin... it tends to be rougher and drier. I didn't quite like the sweet glaze because it felt like a reduction gone awry. Word to the wise, get the lamb. Somehow they didn't mess up cooking the lamb... =*( Ms. Lin decided to try their special, Maine Lobster Roll. It's a Cold Lobster Salad, Toasted Jalapeño Roll, Old Bay Seasoned Red Bliss Potato Chips, Bibb Lettuce, and Lobster Aioli. She got the last order as they ran out, which got my hopes up. The presentation was only so-so. There seemed to be a generous amount of lobster in the roll. Sadly the flavor was lacking! I have to give extra props to Asia de Cuba, their Lobster Club was VERY GOOD! I dream about it! O=) Hmm, I wonder if the one in LA has it too. Must plan a trip now! Maybe HoneyBee wants to join me? ^_-
All in all I was a little disappointed with the visit this time. I still need to post about my January Vegas trip and you will see the difference. Maybe I had too high of an expectation now? That should be so, but who knows. I felt the service was a little lacking this time. They are getting cheaper and cheaper. We celebrated our Dad's B-day and they brought out this cheapy dessert of 3 truffles. Last time I took my Mom there for her B-day and they gave her this lame chocolate cake. Ms. Lin said that when she went there one time for a B-day, they gave a chocolate souffle, sort of like the cake at Roy's. My overall experience this time was only so-so. The only thing that was still great was the bread basket and the tuna carpaccio. Those two are great! I would go back just for that! ^_-Word to the wise, come for lunch... your wallet will thank you! ^_^


3600 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 693-8181
Olives (Bellagio) on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

That is so surprising! I have been to Olives several times and it has always been excellent - it's AK's favorite restaurant! Even my mom and aunts really loved it. I wonder if this is just a fluke, or if the quality has really gone down...

Kat said...

I know! I was shocked at how bad it was this time! The first time I went, which is recently, was pretty good and I have been looking forward to come here again. I am going to Vegas again this Saturday and i was so excited to take all my friends there, but now... I don't know anymore. I am so conflicted! The only thing that was the same was the yummy bread basket and Tuna Carpaccio.

I think I like the place enough to give it one more try. Although I am going only 2 weeks after, they better impress me again! ^_^

Anonymous said...

If you're not sure about Olives, have you considered Mesa Grill (Bobby Flay's restaurant at Caesar's Palace)? That is kind of our new favorite for breakfast/lunch. I love their spicy chicken with sweet potato hash, with prickly pear ice tea. Delicious! I think the price points are similar...might even be slighly cheaper than Olives.

Kat said...

Funny thing... I was already planning to go to Mesa Grill ^_^ I will definitely have to try some of the things you recommend! Do you think we need reservations for lunch there on a weekday?

Bobby Flay, he is an @$$hole, but he actually makes decent food I have to admit. Ms. Lin must have told you about his battle/challenges with the Donut Kinng... also, we have been to a couple of his restaurants in NY and they were pretty good. Thanks for the tip! ^_^

Ms. Lin said...

Yeah, I've recommended Olives to so many people and got them hooked and it has never disappointed before... until now. I think their pasta is better than the meat dishes. I think Kat said that it was better when she went back again this weekend. I do think the Lobster Club at Asia de Cuba is the best, which comes with delicious mojito fries! Yum! I introduced that to Kat and I'm glad she liked it (you know how hard she is to please...) ;-p

Kat said...

Hey! That's right! I have a very delicate and sophisticated palette! >=P lol Yes, I decided to give it one more go and this would be the last time if they didn't hit the mark! I will blog about the whole experience.

Not all the meat dishes are bad. I do think the Lamb Chops are prepared very nicely and a great array of flavors. Alright, I really got to head down to SD now. O=)

I still have to pick up McD's Coffee for Ms. Lin!!

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