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The Great Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill; STK Doesn't Suck, But Should Be Better

Starting from the bottom up this time, Lee Klein ends his review of Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill with the words, "And it is a great restaurant." The rest of the review's 1,285 words are devoted to proving such, saying "The place's success all but screams at diners as they enter the large space," and comparing that space to "a longtime landmark oyster bar and grill in New York, Boston or New Orleans." Klein makes much ado about the look and feel of the place, too, saying "It feels like a place you want to be in." And eat in. Though sushi "provides safe gustatory satisfaction . . . more unique items are produced in the hot kitchen." Among them: chicken yakitori, which "also yielded an unpleasant surprise: pieces of poultry were too tightly packed onto the skewer, so a couple of center slices were served with raw spots;" and "juicy wedges of skirt steak. But the small plates, of which "there wasn't a clunker among them," showcases chef Timon Balloo's "more creative, New American culinary sensibilities." Appealing to a budgetary sensibility, Klein notes that one can order five items and a beer here for "the cost of a single entree at one of our well heeled spots, or a buck less than a "bargain" three-course Miami Spice dinner of similarly sized portions." Not only is Sugarcane a great restaurant, Klein says, but "a great deal" as well. [MNT]

After explaining how to pronounce its name, Victoria Pesce Elliott digs into STK bigtime, saying "The best things going on here have nothing to do with meat," adding that "STK is thick with more mini-skirted girls than I've seen at cheerleading competitions." As for the menu, well, it's "full of items--- beef tartare, iceberg salad, shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half shell and all manor of beef -- that your daddy’s steak house would most definitely serve." The cooking is "clearly competent," but "relies heavy on butter and salt for flavor." And the ambience is "more nightclub than restaurant." What she liked: the popovers, "succulent and nicely rare Wagyu Lil Big Macs," "fresh and well handled (albeit salty) red snapper," "cutesy shrimp "Rice Crispies," parmesan truffle fries, mac and cheese, "perfectly bronzed" potato chips and "a well marbled, juicy and agressively seasoned dry-aged, bone-in-rib-eye." The not so good included "lump crab salad with a blah" dressing, "a positively scary petite filet mignon served with a pallid exterior and dry, sour, metallic interior," "disconcertingly gray steak tartar," "a pair of fruit flies circling our plate," "a $16 glass of warm newton Cab," and "desserts appropraite for the kindergarten set." End result? "A meal at sexy STK isn't at all bad. It's just that at steak house prices, it ought to be a lot better." Verdict: two stars. []


3355 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 414-2263 Visit Website