Vegas Seven

Social House

  • Jonah Vongdala at Social House

    Tall, dark and strong is how we like our drinks. Mustachioed and ice-pick-wielding is how we like our mixologists. But sober and wise is how we like our baristas—coffee is no laughing matter! Whether you want it quick and dirty (well, as quick as a Bonmac Hikari siphon brewing system can go, anyway) or you want the full treatment complete with discussion of terroir and extraction, Vongdala has your espresso or latte well in hand. And probably with a little leaf or hummingbird on the foam. We also like our coffee attractive.

  • On-Strip Party Dinners

    Chef André Rochat crafts a five-course meal, including sea scallops, veal and lobster done to its finest at Andrés at Monte Carlo. 5:30 p.m., $175 per person, 798-7151. Obey the restaurant rules of “Sushi, Sake, Socialize” at the glamorous, pan-Asian Social House with a seven-course meal and unlimited champagne and sake for $125 per person. In Crystals, 6 p.m., 736-1122.

  • Dining

    A World of Thanksgiving

    By Lindsey Leger

    Grazi! Danke! Merci! However you say it, you can celebrate all kinds of Thanksgivings in Las Vegas: Italian, French, even Japanese-Brazilian fusion! Here are just a few of the restaurant specials we’re thankful for.

  • Next-Gen Chinese

    By Grace Bascos

    Peter Woo and his family have been striving to change the American perception of Chinese food for more than 30 years. Now at his new post as executive chef of Social House in Crystals at CityCenter, Woo has yet another opportunity to demonstrate the beauty of Asian cuisine.

  • Dishing With Grace

    Crispy Pata at Social House

    If there’s anything Filipinos do well, it’s fry the hell out of something. Social House’s atmosphere refines the presentation of crispy pata, but the flavors are all there. A bone-in pork shank is fried crisp so that the skin is like crackling chicharron, while the meat remains tender. Each crunchy, salty, fatty bite should be dipped in the accompanying chili vinegar, or followed by a bite of pickled vegetables to cut into the richness. $24, in Crystals at CityCenter, 736-1122.

  • Dishing With Grace

    Maguro Tataki at Social House

    Ladies, wanna know if he really loves you? Watch closely the look on his face as the server drops off this gorgeous plate of spicy, delicious and pungent things with flavors that were meant to last. The dish delivers: Slices of maguro tuna are layered and topped with a zingy chili-ginger sauce. Next comes the crispy shallots, raw onion and a garnish of micro-greens for color. Lastly, a little negi oil is drizzled on top. Polish it all off and, before popping so much as a Tic Tac, whisper, “Come here, baby. Give me a little kiss.” His move.

  • Diner's Notebook

    Our man Fusco, Elevado departs and Tivoli arrives

    By Max Jacobson

    RM Seafood has been one of the top restaurants in Vegas since it opened almost a decade ago in the entrance to Mandalay Place (632-9300), largely because of visionary chef Rick Moonen’s ability to attract top talent and get his message out. The restaurant suffered a severe hiccup when his team, chef Adam Sobel and his pal, Gerald “the G-Man” Chin, decamped for new opportunities. But now it appears the restaurant has landed on its feet. The new chef de cuisine, Anthony Fusco, is manning the stoves and cooking with gas.

  • The Latest Gossip

    Girls Night Out

    Musician (kind of), risque-cell-phone-picture-enthusiast (certainly) and High School Musical-stress Vanessa Hudgens took to Pure at Caesars Palace on Dec. 18 for her 22nd birthday, rolling with friends after her recent Zac Efron-ectomy. Hudgens and Musical co-star Efron, who had been dating for more than four years, were confirmed to have split Dec. 13, a day before her birthday. (Good call getting out before you have to go in for two gifts less than two weeks apart, Zac.)

  • Cocktail Culture

    The Socialite

    By Xania V. Woodman

    A former world champion flair bartender turned world-class mixologist, Social House bartender Christian Oldan knows precisely what to do to get—and more importantly, to keep—his patrons’ attention. Whether by deftly tossing his mixing tins around as he constructs Social House’s signature cocktails, or by combining the subtle sweetness of Sailor Jerry rum with the sneaky heat of Serrano peppers, all eyes are on Oldan.

  • Drinking

    The Perfect Cup

    By Xania V. Woodman

    To watch Social House barista Jonah Vongdala toil over the intricate designs in his silken latte foams is to watch a craftsman at work. But while the 26-year-old self-proclaimed coffee fanatic from Hawaii is perfectly at home in the driver’s seat of Social House’s La Marzocco—“the Bentley of espresso machines,” he calls it—the real horsepower comes from the Bonmac Hikari siphon coffee system, one of six of the Japanese imports operating in the U.S. and the first in Nevada.

  • Drinking

    The Perks

    By Xania V. Woodman

    Nicaragua Rio Coco: A mild, single-origin coffee. Like all of True Beans’ specialty coffees it is 100 percent organic, roasted in an environmentally friendly way in Long Beach, Calif., and either Fair Trade- or Rainforest Alliance-certified. Nose: strong citrus fruit zest up front with mild, wild nut essences. Palate: familiar and homey with a sweet honey finish.  Related story

  • Man of the House

    By Max Jacobson

    Photo by Anthony MairDropping your corks off at Double Helix can help to create a pair of flip-flops by Sole. It would be tempting to call Joe Elevado the best Japanese chef in the city, were it not for the fact that his food is pan-Asian and his ethnicity Filipino-American.

  • Meet the Sake Somm

    By Xania V. Woodman

    At the newly opened Social House at CityCenter, manager and sake sommelier Michael Humphrey divides his small-format (300 milliliter) sake menu into seasons for ultimate approachability: clean, mellow and sometimes floral for spring; fruity and with a sweet, smooth finish for summer; big-bodied and dry for fall; and cloudy, thick and cool for winter. Humphrey, who studied under acclaimed sake sommelier Eric Swanson, recommends the following sake pairing mates from the Social House menu: