There is but one difference between what you crave and a cave. The ravenous letter R.
Caves and hidden hideouts are not what come to mind when you think of the adult playground and Alice in Wonderland style stimuli that attack your every sense on the Las Vegas strip. Having dined and fashionably graced several icons on this slice of a rather familiar desert oasis, I came across one place which prided itself in being a hideaway.
Tucked into the center of the Wynn was La Cave, noted to be a wine and food hideaway. Casual to the core, I strolled in with a bling cap and a dork sweatshirt, and was welcomed by fit finds of the city, dissimilar to the bouncer clad misfits that would’ve turned me away had I not been clothed from Milan.
For really, in a party filled day, all I really craved was a nibble. And since Wynn had been vegan himself, there were vegetarian options aplenty at any of his restaurants.
I walked in to low ceilings and quiet corners, all hidden behind a glace facade reminiscent of speakeasy bars of cosmopolitans. I chose to soak in the heat in the sun splashed balcony that overlooked the water and pool gardens, backed by an ornate, too perfect display of florals. Nonetheless, it was perfect for one of my favorite sports, people watching, and that too from behind my sunglasses.
The menu was fairly ordinary, comprising of Los Angeles style standards in the vegetarian department: beets, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, you name it. Chef Billy DeMarco prided himself in going grassroots with menu labeling, calling things from sea, farm, oven, garden,grill and butcher.
I started with two small plates, the first being a cauliflower and potato mash with chanterelles and mushrooms. Baked and grilled, it was at first the opposite of what would constitute a heated day and a boy in a tanktop, but I am a man of juxtaposition. I gobbled away at the potato, loving every bite of it’s heat and starch, knowing that it would turn me into a gym machine later. Potatoes are after all, close to my heart, literally in my stomach.
Next was my favorite vegetable and my favorite nut in combination with my favorite cheese. Truly a threesome of new proportions, I enjoyed the grilled beet, goat cheese and pistachio salad for more than its lively colors. Sizzling off the iron brisket, it was succulent, juicy, not at all salty, giving way to the goat cheese flavors and the crunch of the pistachio. This was one dish that I could eat all year round, heat or cold, fit or fat, hungry or not.
Saving the best for last, the sultry waitress also insisted I must try the seasonal desserts. I opted for the sweetest and chunkiest of them all, owing to my solid regimen and snack proportioned meals. What arrived was a huge, out of proportion s’mores flatbread platter with melted dark and white chocolate, with graham crackle crumble. Modeled to look like a pizza, it was definitely as big as my entire abdomen, and made me wonder how I would swallow it whole.
I did manage to eat half of it, though. With a crusty, crispy layer which is a benchmark in my books, I appreciated the underwhelming amount of gooey, melting baked chocolate, which would have rendered it soggy. While not the best of bites, owing to its saccharine sweetness, it was well made, and would definitely constitute a hangover snack a few hours later.
And as they say, an oasis never really disappears, but rather swallows you up with it.