Vegas lands a New York classic—and vice versa

New York and San Francisco figure prominently into this week’s notebook, as well as local happenings.

One of New York’s most famous institutions, the watering hole and social epicenter P.J Clarke’s, is slated to open at the Forum Shops at Caesars in early December. Frank Sinatra, Joan Crawford and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis are a few of the celebs who were regulars at P.J. Clarke’s 1884, the original location. The menu will include its classic Cobb salad, French onion soup and Maryland handpicked lump crab cakes.

Meanwhile, at 24 Fifth Ave., a Las Vegas institution, the vaunted Thai restaurant Lotus of Siam, has opened a branch. Call it man bites dog, in restaurant terms. When a New York restaurant opens here, it makes news. That’s what is about to happen at the new Cosmopolitan, where Scarpetta, STK and Milos—all from the Big Apple—will open in December.

But Lotus is the first restaurant that originated in Las Vegas to storm the Apple. The location will be modest and offer a limited menu compared with the one here. New York City can use a great Thai restaurant. Now it will have one.

With San Francisco gaga over the success of the Giants, One Market, a restaurant next to the Ferry Building at 1 Market St., feels more inviting than ever. The restaurant was started by our own Bradley Ogden of the Lark Creek Restaurant Group, and the swank décor and prime location make it the perfect place for a leisurely lunch.

What a deal it is: $22.50 gets you a starter plus a main course. I’d swim back to the Bay Area for another shot at the lightly smoked trout with potato rosti and pancetta starter, Bradley’s Caesar, or mains such as rice-crusted Petrale sole and a perfectly roasted half chicken, cipollini onions and natural jus. Nearly all products here, as at Bradley Ogden in Caesars Palace, are organic and sustainable. Call 415-777-5577 if you’re in the neighborhood.

Finally, the food of Taiwan is ably represented at a new Chinese deli, Ay Chung, at 5115 Spring Mountain Road. Taiwanese street dishes are the ticket here, and the authenticity level is high.

I love a gooey mess they call oyster pancake, really an omelet on top of a sticky rice flour pancake laced with fresh oysters, and topped with a spicy red sauce.

Fish ball soup, Chinese rice dumplings, crispy pork chops, marinated duck wings and various plate lunches are served, along with a variety of fruit juices, exotic teas and yogurt drinks.

Hungry, yet?

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It’s easy to overindulge on East Fremont Street. Despite a naysayers’ reputation that the area is more talk and less reality, the nascent Fremont East entertainment district—the three blocks between Las Vegas Boulevard and Eighth Street—has evolved into a small but effective collection of unique bars and the closest thing Las Vegas has to a proper pub crawl. In fact, forget pub crawl; with art, poetry, live music, food and independent shops, Fremont East is becoming a bona fide culture crawl.



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