Mesa Grill, Las Vegas

Bobby Flay is the owner of Mesa Grill in Las Vegas.  I have followed Flay and quickly became a fan.  His cooking was bold, spicy and has a Mexican flare.  What else would expect from a 4th generation Irishman?  I had my doubts too.  But this leprechaun knows how to throwdown some mexican flavor in the kitchen.  Flay asked for an easy bake oven at the age of 8.  Flay dropped out of high school at the age of 17.   Early in his career he seemed abrasive and rough around the edges.  On one episode of Iron Chef, he climbed on  counter and then stood on his cutting board when he thought he won  against Chef Morimoto.  I’m sure he felt a little stupid when he learned he was defeated.  Like a true New Yorker he was not held back by embarrassment and social graces.  He later defeated Chef Morimoto in a rematch and then threw his cutting board on the ground again and climbed up on the counter.  This time in victory.  With this much confidence it was enough reason to eat at his restaurant twice.
Below is what the table ordered, predominately asian we treated this almost buffet style.

Appetizers:
-  Baby romaine lettuce with roasted garlic dressing, warm hominy croutons and a parmesan crisp.
-  Rough cut tuna nachos with mango habanero sauce and avocado crema.
-  Sophies chopped salad, with her special dressing and crispy tortillas

Main Course:
-  Sixteen spice chicken with tamarind barbecue sauce, red cabbage and jicama slaw.
-  Cascabel chile crusted rabbit with toasted cous cous, oyster mushrooms smoked red pepper sauce and queso blanco
-  Grilled lamb porterhouse chops with preserved serrano chili vingar sauce and chorizo.  with a goat cheese tamale topped with cilantro butter.
- Side dish of creamed corn, with achiote manchego cheese with cilantro and lime.  Its not on the menu so be sure to ask for it.  It was the most memorable of our meal.

And now the break down.  We had reservations… and still had to wait 25 minutes to get seated.  Not a good start.  I was getting worried that my second experience at this restaurant was not going to equal my first experience.  Unfortunately I was right…mostly.  The food had good flavor but it wasn’t bold and spicy like before.  In fact our waiter overheard us and brought us a spicy habanero chipotle sauce to put the bite back in the food.

The menu has not changed for the last two years.  Like most, I think the name is selling the food.  I will give this place another chance if the menu is updated and Bobby Flay brings back the heat.  If he doesn’t, I will stand on the counter and demand it, and then patiently wait for security to escort me out.

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