I finally made it over to Trou Normand the other night with David OG—the new restaurant from Bar Agricole owner and K&L friend Thad Vogler. However, this iPhone photo is about as grainy as my memory of the evening. Luckily, I do remember the one outstanding Jersey City cocktail I had (made with Calvados, as the entire place was inspired by Thad's visit with the Camut brothers and Charles Neal) and the awesome meat board that I stuffed my face with, hoping to soak up some of the high-proof pool of hooch swimming in my stomach. It's a fun place that offers a unique dichotomy of meats and rustic French spirits and you can walk there easily from the Embarcadero, so it's in an interesting spot.
The other place you HAVE to go if you're in Las Vegas is China Poblana, located in the Cosmopolitan, but it seems like I was late to the party on this one. Everyone I've told about it said, "Yeah, I've been there. It's awesome." My wife and I were there a few weeks ago and we can't wait to go back. It's not for everyone, but it seems like it was tailor made for us. Chinese food and Mexican food (not a fusion, mind you) on one menu, and only our favorite dishes cooked in a fancy, yet very authentic fashion. Even the drink menu is divided into two countries.
And I ordered every drink on that menu. No joke. All of them. Even the $18 gin and tonic with cilantro and marigold (it was worth it), and the Empress made with sochi, rice wine, and yuzu (Chinese restaurants, take note). The biggest treat was probably the "air salt" magarita that uses salty air in a canister to create a salty froth on top of the cocktail. Incredible. Salt is apparently "in" right now in the cocktail world, and this drink used it in an effective and creative way.
We also ordered just about every food item on the menu. We stuffed our faces and drank like it was our last night on earth. The twenty-vegatable fried rice was incredible. As were the chilaquiles, the BBQ pork buns, the shrimp mojo with roasted poblano peppers, and the fifteen other small plates we gorged upon.
An absolute must on any trip to Vegas.