Monday, March 8, 2010

The Un-Frugal Foodie: Bradley Ogden

Before heading to Pure nightclub at Caesar's Palace on Saturday night to watch Big Boy perform, we stopped for a bite to eat in the lounge at Bradley Ogden. Since there was a small group of us we decided to share several different things on the menu including; roasted fois gras with macadamia nut crepe, orange curd, and marinated cara cara oranges (we had to get two of those); crispy Florida rock shrimp; line caught black cod fish and chips; and the house ground steak burger and fries.

The presentation of the fois gras ($29) was unusual and appealing (pictured left). The crepe was half rolled making it easy to get a forkful, and the orange curd and cara cara orange segments added the perfect amount of tartness and sweetness to the dish. The only complaint was that the fois was cut too thick, decreasing the surface area available for getting the dark sear that is a must. We agreed if they had cut the piece in half and doubled the surface area, the dish would have been more successful and not felt as heavy. The rock shrimp ($17) were certainly crispy, as advertised, and were tossed in a sweet sauce. Normally this would be something I would devour completely but in this case the cook used too heavy a hand with the salt, making it difficult for me to eat more than a few. Other than that, it was near perfect in execution. The 'fish' was battered well and the black cod they used was buttery and flaky, yet something about it tasted very heavy, and almost creamy on the interior of the batter. Between the five of us we left one piece on the plate, so something about it obviously made it hard to eat more than one. The burger ($19) was excellent, but for the money I'd rather go to Binion's. If you want to sit in a more sophisticated environment while you eat your burger , however, (is that oxymoronic?) then Bradley Ogden would be the better pick and possibly worth the $13 price increase. Possibly. I must say I was dissapointed with the fries that came with both the burger and fish, especially for a restaurant of this caliber. Although they were hand cut and looked great, they weren't super hot and tasted somewhat stale, as if they had been held under a heat lamp too long. I know they would have been a million times better if they were fresh, but imagining what they could have tasted like didn't make me happier.

The only other time I went to Bradley Ogden I had the roast chicken, which truly impressed me. I could imagine someone who grew up on a farm tasting it and saying, "now this is how chicken is supposed to taste." Our lounge meal was very good, but if you want the wow factor from a restaurant with a reputation such as Bradley Ogen, I'd get the chicken.

Tonight's Food Rating: 8
Tonight's Drink Rating: 5 ($17 for a martini, no thanks)
Ambiance: 8.5

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