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Day 7: In the End, It's the Quality That Matters

Comments from the Kitchen Office

We wanted to find something different in our final day in Las Vegas. We did.

These three final restaurants were worth waiting for. It was an eclectic bunch. One served Vegas-style comfort food, one was definitely the “it” place to be, and one offered a sharing concept in a high end environment that gave us the flavors, literally, of the world. And, regardless of cuisine or decor, they all had the same thing to say: quality cannot be compromised.

It was a message that came through loud and clear. It wasn’t about the proprietor. It wasn’t even about the restaurant concept. It was about the food: specifically, the quality of the food.

Ellis Island Casino & Brewery is all about old Vegas, including old prices (like $1.50 draft beer and an awesome $6.99 steak special, pictured). But their ideas about how to run a business are far from outdated. Marcus Zavala, General Manager, emphasized that, saying, “We buy the top quality and that’s all we do. I am so proud of what we do.”

As we tasted, we believed him. From the liquor in the eggnog, to the ketchup and mustard packets, everything delivered on a high standard.

And then there was Paradise Cantina, where Lee told us everything was made fresh throughout the day. He said, “Quality is most important. We’re your home away from home.” In other words, it has to be good. We may not be able to say the same thing about the decor (picture The Food Channel’s Christen Nehmer in a sombrero and you’ll get the picture), but we’ll save that video for the full story! In the meantime, feast your eyes on the fajitas!

We can’t wait to bring you the story of China Grill at Mandalay Bay. It’s where some amazingly talented people basically stopped their day to cater to our every whim (now THAT’S quality!). In the process, we talked with Buck Mathias, Western Region Director of Operations for China Grill Las Vegas. He told us, “We spend time on our food, which is exactly where we should be spending it. It has to be about the food. At the end of the day, if the food’s not good, why bother.”

But trust me, bother. These places that keep their eyes focused on the food are worth the visit.

Because at the end of the day . . . or the end of the tour . . . it has to be about quality.

This series is part of our Raves & Faves restaurant tour of Las Vegas, sponsored by U.S. Foodservice Vegas as part of its commitment to local restaurants.

Read the full week of blogs!
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6