Photo by Anthony MairThe Karmal Pork.
Photo by Anthony MairMac Stix.
There seems to be some sort of movement afoot to turn Vegas into Miami. First there was the Trop revamp, and now there is Rumor, a new hotel that took over what once was the St. Tropez.
Rumor is black and white all over, but the property is no joke. Managed by the Siegel Group, it is a most striking design, and the rooms are hip, sexy and luxe. The restaurant here is called Addiction, a three-meal, indoor-outdoor space with clear plastic chairs, white tables, white leather banquettes and black curtains. Chrome fixtures and beaded room dividers bring an odd Continental touch. French doors lead you to a pool area, where the entire a la carte menu is served, morning, noon and night.
You’ll hardly miss the chef here, either. He’s a colorful character all right. He uses the name Vic Vegas, and he’s ebullient, tattooed and talented. Although he’s a veteran Las Vegas chef, most recently at the Monte Carlo, he’s a native New Yorker, with the accent to prove it.
I could eat a Cuban Reuben ($11) for lunch every day. It’s a Cuban sandwich, roasted pork, ham and Swiss on grilled sweet bread—practically a perfect food. Vegas Vic actually improved it by adding a layer of pastrami and pickles, plus the bonus of a small potato pancake.
There are a few hits at breakfast, too, such as indulgent silver-dollar Butterfinger pancakes ($8) with pieces of the candy in the batter, and the Meaty Scramble (sausage, bacon, diced pork loin, green onion, gravy and a mess of melted cheddar) for $10. Tapas such as Five Spice Seared Tuna ($11) grace a special menu that begins at 3 in the afternoon and stays through dinner. You’ll want to try more of them.
I began my dinner here with sliders from the tapas menu. They’re made with filet mignon and fresh mozzarella cheese, and garnished with Roma tomato and fresh chopped garlic. It was fine, but in step with the parade of sliders you get anywhere within a mile or two of the Strip.
Better was the menu’s Frisée and Pecan Salad ($9), spiced up with Serrano ham, sliced pears and Gorgonzola cheese. I didn’t try the Coco Shrimp ($32, $14 tapas) because the menu description made them seem too sweet. I’d say a tendency toward sweetness is the chef’s one weakness.
So I didn’t much care for my Sticky Chickie ($22), a breast and wing, nicely cooked with crisp skin on, because of a cloying ginger chili sauce and the accompanying sweet-potato hash, with cubes of the potato in garlic mashed potatoes. But the Karmal Pork ($32), a center-cut Kurobuta pork chop, was one of the best pork dishes I’ve eaten this year, thanks to the roasted shallots and garlic potato puree on the side. And speaking of sides, I love the fingerling potatoes, leek and crispy Serrano ham hash. Just think of them as the world’s greatest hash browns.
Vegas Vic shows off his Italian roots with a chocolate-chip cannoli at dessert, but better is Good ’Ol Bundt ($6), sort of a flourless chocolate cake inside a chocolate Bundt cake made with flour.
Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it, too?