Plus ça change, as the French say, won’t explain all the chefs’ changes and new ideas floating to the Strip for adventurous diners.
Strip House (727-5300), the innovative steak house at Planet Hollywood, has a new chef. Dustin Rixey recently replaced longtime resident chef John Schenk. Rixey has created a seasonal menu, available July 11, highlighting the short-lived Rainier cherry, featuring an amuse-bouche of the delicious cherries in a watermelon purée, cherry garlic glaze for his grilled pork chops and a piquant cherry chutney.
Over at Marche Bacchus (2620 Regatta Drive, 804-8008), the new chef, Alex Stratta protégé Joe Swan, is offering a terrific two-course summer lunch available 11-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, including a glass of wine, for only $20. Swan plans to change the menu frequently. Start with your choice of homemade soup or a Caesar salad. Entrées include pan-roasted farm chicken with pomme frites, a half-pound burger with horseradish black-pepper aioli, or a tuna melt on pan de mie. Diners have the option to choose dessert instead of the appetizer, which can be a delicious crème brûlée, or a flourless Grand Marnier cake. The ducks on Lake Jacqueline swim by free of charge.
Meanwhile, colorful tattooed chef Vic “Vegas” Moea has left Addiction restaurant at Rumor (catch him Sundays at 9 p.m. on Food Network Star), the boutique hotel at 455 E. Harmon Ave. (369-5400), but there is also some good news: Addiction is now serving a bountiful Sunday brunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for only $20. It features five stations stocked with favorites such as bacon, sausage and French toast, and there are bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas.
At Luxor, T&T Tacos & Tequila (262-5225) has introduced a trio of new Mexican-style sandwiches, all in the form of the torta: Two slices of thick, sweet bolillos (a Mexican roll) are garnished with shredded lettuce, homemade pico de gallo, guacamole and spicy black bean puree. The sandwich filling choices are carnitas, carne asada and chicken tinga. They make a perfect lunch if you aren’t planning to eat dinner.
Finally, rumor has it that Crêpe Shack & Waffles (10345 S. Eastern Ave., 260-0860) is the new hot spot with food-truck owners, local chefs and sugar freaks. The crêpes are Japanese-style, meaning crisp on the outside edges, spongy in the center. They are hot in the Bay Area, and could clearly be poised to become a trend here. Try the Camp Out S’more with graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. Better get a friend to drive you home.