Every so often, we're highlighting a local or regional blogger we think you ought to know about. We can’t be everywhere at once, so we look to these passionate eaters, cooks and writers to keep us tapped into every facet of the food world. Consider this a way to get to know a blog’s taste buds, because, well, you should.
Who: John Curtas, of Eating Las Vegas
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
To be a restaurant critic for traditional media and then decide to blog about restaurants as well, you have to be obsessive, completely in love with your subject, and a little bit insane.
As cookbook author/chef Coleman Andrews has written: “Restaurant reviewing is a lot like being a horse put out to stud; it sounds like a great idea until you have to do it on command, all of the time.” That being said, if you love dining out as much as I do, it never gets boring …even if you’re hitting your tenth different eatery in a week.
By the time Eating Las Vegas started in 2008, I had been reviewing restaurants for Nevada Public Radio and a number of publications in Las Vegas for thirteen years. In that capacity, I’ve had a front row seat for the biggest restaurant revolution any city in the world has ever seen. In less than ten years (1993 to 2003), Las Vegas went from "The Town That Taste Forgot" (known primarily for buffets, prime rib specials and cheap shrimp) to one of the world’s top ten restaurant cities.
It was easy to see that there was a world wide audience for what was happening on our restaurant scene, but no local media was utilizing the Internet to get the word (and opinion) out there, so into the void I stepped. That step wouldn’t have been possible without my webmaster and eldest son, Anthony, (an aerospace engineer by trade) setting up the platform for me to post everything from my radio commentaries to original reviews to videos of my guest appearances on our local CBS affiliate. Along with those, we feature exhaustive analysis of Vegas’ significant restaurants like Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, Joël Robuchon and ALEX, along with short, pithy and (I hope) humorous “quips, picks and pans” of ten-seat ramen parlors to whatever Celebrity Chef Hell is being foisted upon us.
ELV (my alter-ego that writes the blog) even takes the occasional flight of fancy into absurdity when describing a place – all in trying to keep it entertaining as well informative.
Our motto is: The job of a good critic is to educate rather than pander to the lowest common denominator. ELV takes that responsibility seriously, and considers himself first and foremost a consumer advocate with a twinkle in his eye and someone who is trying to make food fun. Yes, we are a little bit touched, but we’re also consumed by cravings that are never quite satisfied and by a stomach that’s never quite full in one of the most fascinating places on earth.
Merci beaucoup to Mr. Harikuri....and to CNN.com for the post and exposure.
Bon appetit to all,
John Curtas (aka ELV)
What a typical woman response from the first person. Vegas is awesome, go with people who like to have fun and dont be scared to venture from the strip for 2 hours to eat. Look stuff up, Vegas has everything.
My very favorite place to get fantastic grub is Hash House A Go Go. In all honesty, I rarely go to Vegas. Too much of a facade everywhere.
Eating Las Vegas is the only place you need to get superb information about Las Vegas restaurants. I've been following Mr. Curtas' culinary insights for years and they are always spot-on. If you think Las Vegas is still a food-wasteland then you either haven't bothered to look very hard (or at ELV's blog) or are willfully subjecting yourself to buffett lines and surf-and-turf specials, for which there is no excuse. Las Vegas' Chinatown is amazing and quickly becoming on par with San Fransisco's and New York's. The ultra-high-end places are jaw dropping though also jaw droppingly expensive (Joel Rubuchon, Craftsteak, Valentino, Le Cirque, Circo, et al). And there are even some great little Indian, Thai, and Sushi places around. Not to mention local favorites like Rosemary's and Marche Baccus.
Please, if you don't know what your talking about don't bother talking.
I have never found any good food in Vegas – where do all these alleged good restaurants exist? Not on the strip – where everyone goes! If I don't know the city, and the strip is the only thing I know about the place, how the hell do I know where to go to get good food? It was the worst week of my life out there – nothing but tits and lousy food. Hate Vegas... overpriced crap city.
Hmm...that is a terrible visit. Vegas has the most amazing buffets on the strip !! Try the bellagio buffet ($40 per person though) or other strip hotels for cheaper, and you will see what good food is !!!!!!!!
To each his own. Try looking on the Internet a little better next time. Every casino has world-class restauraunts.. Off the top of my head, Planet Hollywood has the Striphouse, Mandalay has Striphouse, Caesars has a Mesa Grill, and Spagos. If you cant find good food you aren't looking. BTW dont miss the seafood buffet at the Rio (off strip). Best seafood buffet in LV for $40.
Sorry PH has STRIPHOUSE, Mandalay has STRIPSTEAK.
The best food in Vegas is at the local joints. I've been here 25 years and never go hungry. Try Chicago Joes, Village Pub, Four Kegs, many more. Get off the strip!
You suck at the internet then and you suck at planning Vegas trips if that's all you found on your trip.
Hey now. I happen like boobs.
Anyone that considers women's boobies as sheer hell isn't worth listening too. He should have just gone to san francisco.
You obviously didn't put effort in planning your trip. I went there recently, and had a blast. I had an excellent dinner at Picasso at the Bellagio. We paid over $200 a person, but it was SO worth it (best lobster ever). The Strip has some of the best food in the country, and it's all concentrated in a 4.2 mile stretch of road.
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