Monday, July 28, 2008

Another Pleasant Surprise (Todd's Unique Dining, Henderson)

Yet another pleasant surprise in the Las Vegas area. Conventional thinking would say that the best restaurants are on the strip. I am now convinced that this is not the case. Todd's Unique Dining provided me with more supporting evidence that the best dining is found off the strip. Just like Lotus of Siam and Rosemary's, Todd's is located in the middle of nowhere in a non-descript strip mall. We were in Las Vegas for a trade show and we were dining with one our clients. And let me tell you he is quite the comedian. He gave the perfect description of how far Todd's seemed. While driving out there he asked "where are you guys taking me? I think we're almost by my neighborhood". Keep in mind he's from Michigan. It truly seemed like it was in the middle of nowhere, but definitely worth the drive. Chef Todd did not disappoint.

Appetizer Sampler
We started off with an appetizer sampler. The food seemed to have a little Asian influence as evident in the sampler. The sampler consisted of pan fried Pork Dumpling with a soy dipping sauce, Scallops, Dungeness Crab Cake, and Malaysian BBQ Shrimp. All the sauces had a spicy Asian flare to them. My favorites were the scallop and the dumpling.

Kobe Skirt Steak on Fire
This dish was recommended by the waiter. He said that this was his personal and then, the entire staff's favorite dish. So you know I had to order it! It was a Kobe Skirt Steak served with a type of chili. The chili was comprised of Chinese fermented black beans and Togarashi (Japanese spice). This dish was definitely on fire. The meat was fork tender and the explosion of flavors were at the forefront.

Copper River Salmon
Luckily for me, it happened to be that the Copper River Salmon was in season. From what I was told, the Copper River Salmon is only in available for a week or two. So to my delight, I was able to sample some of the most highly prized salmon and it did not disappoint. The salmon was rich, moist, and delectable!

Braised Boneless Short Rib
From what I can recall, the Braised Boneless Short Rib was definitely delicious, but obviously not overwhelmingly memorable. I can't recall the flavor composition of the dish. I do, however, remember that it was very tender and moist. Perhaps, I can't remember because the flavors were a lot more subtle compared to the Kobe Skirt Steak on Fire.

Killer Chocolate Cake
With a name like 'Killer Chocolate Cake' it'd better be the bomb! Unfortunately, it was not even close to being the best. In my humble opinion, the Killer Chocolate Cake did not live up to its name, although I did like the presentation.

Chocolate Crunch Mousse Cake
No.... You are not seeing doubles. And No... I didn't post the same dessert. The Chocolate Crunch Mousse Cake looks similar but it is definitely different. This should have been the dessert named Killer Chocolate Cake. This dessert was far superior compared to the fore mentioned dessert.

Banana Foster
I would have to say, the only disappointing thing about this dessert was that this dessert was not prepared table side. Otherwise, the Banana Foster was excellent!

Loquat Cobbler
Now, this was the dessert that intrigued me the most. As a kid I remember climbing my Uncle & Aunt's loquat tree and grabbing the biggest loquats and devouring them. It has always been one of my favorite fruits, but I have never come across a dessert that incorporated these delicious fruits before. This cobbler was absolutely delicious!

Todd's Unique Dinning seemed like a quiet local place, but when we arrived the noise level went up several notches. At one point, even Chef Todd himself came out to see what all the noise and laughter was all about. Our stomachs were definitely sore from laughter that night, not to mention our full and satisfied stomachs. Chef Todd takes pride in his cooking and it shows! Yet another excellent restaurant that's off the strip. Oh yeah.... I forgot to mention. If you eat here, don't forget to order the Lyonnaise Potatoes. You definitely will not be disappointed. I guarantee!

Todd's Unique Dinning
4350 East Sunset Road
Henderson, Nevada. 89014

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