I visited one of the world’s great food cities last week, and ate like a Mayan emperor.
Mexico City has great street tacos, bookstores that serve huevos rancheros for breakfast and restaurants from Italian palazzos such as Rosetta in leafy Condesa, to Izote in trendy Polanco, which belongs to the First Lady of Mexican cuisine, Patricia Quintana.
If you’ve never tried tacos with huitlacoche, a fungus that grows on corn (Mexican truffles), or chiles en nogada (mild chilies stuffed with various meats, blanketed in sauce studded with pomegranate seeds), do so.
You won’t find those dishes in Las Vegas, but you will get street dishes at Hussong’s Cantina (in the Shops at Mandalay Place, 553-0123), especially grilled corn with cotija cheese and chili flakes, and Baja-style shrimp ceviche.
In Mandalay Bay, though, is the always amazing Border Grill, our best restaurant for Latino-inspired dishes. The Too Hot Tamales, TV’s Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, are constantly creating, so I was eager to taste some of their new dishes after my trip.
Feniger has added incredible seeded avocado tacos, a Vegan dish; toothsome halibut tacos with pickled onions; and Kobe beef sopes, fat little corn cakes topped with stewed meat. Combine these with dishes such as snapper Veracruz or the fork-tender Yucatan pork steamed in a banana leaf and you have a recipe for one of the best dinners in town.
L.A., meanwhile, is having a hot-dog renaissance with new places such as Dog Haus and New York’s Gray’s Papaya, and the energy is spilling over to Southern Nevada. Pink’s at Planet Hollywood is one example of a gourmet hot-dog joint, but now comes Buldogi’s, Korean-inspired hot-dog fusion at 2291 S. Fort Apache Road (570-7560). The food, I can attest, is delish.
The beef Buldogi dog is an all-beef dog piled with the house Angry Slaw, sesame seeds, spicy mayo and bulgogi, Korean-style barbecued beef redolent of garlic and sesame oil. Be sure to order Angry Kimchi Fries, a giant mound of fried sweet potatoes buried under chopped pork, fermented cabbage, a fried egg and shredded cheese. The prices here are laughably low as well.
Finally, the fourth annual Carnival of Cuisine (414-9000) will take place at the Palazzo, 1-4 p.m. Dec. 10, in the ballroom. It’s one way to experience the cuisine of the Venetian and Palazzo restaurants, all in one spot. Participating restaurants include B&B Ristorante, Bouchon, Carnevino, Delmonico, First Food & Bar, Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro, SushiSamba, Valentino Las Vegas and more. Tickets are $60 all-inclusive, with VIP tickets available for $85.