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The LVH has certainly seen better times. It was built in 1969 by Kirk Kerkorian (MGM Resorts) as The International Hotel and was the largest hotel in the world. (DYK: The International appears in the 007 flick "Diamonds Are Forever" as the "Whyte House") Ownership changed hands to Hilton Hotels in 1970 and the name changed to the more familiar Las Vegas Hilton. (I read that at one point, the Las Vegas Hilton took in forty percent of profits for the entire Hilton chain!) In these early days, the LV Hilton was the setting for Elvis' famous Las Vegas performances, the Spinks-Ali fight, and a long-running show headlined by Liberace.
Today, the LVH is a ghost town. Although it has the biggest sportsbook in town, the rest of the hotel - casino, bars, lounges - was virtually empty while "P" and I were there. I think there was a nightclub on premises that was never open. The Pizza Hut Express was never open either, which was super funny to "P" and I. The most pathetic thing I witnessed was two attractive female DJs playing to an empty room. But I dwell too much on the hotel: this is a blog about food, right?
What I ate:
1. Plate #1: (clockwise from bottom) A buttermilk biscuit with house made country gravy, "crispy" breakfast potatoes, link sausages, crispy bacon (it's hiding under there somewhere), sausage patties, chargrilled pork chop, "petite NY strip", and scrambled eggs with lox. The breakfast potatoes weren't crispy and the petite NY strip was more like a strip of unmarinated galbi (Korean short rib). Everything else on the plate was okay.
2. Plate #2: A made to order Denver Omelet (ham, bell pepper, onion, cheddar) with salsa on the side. It's pretty hard to screw up an omelet. The only bad thing is, in the photo above, that's not the omelet after I split it open: the cook plated the omelet poorly. I still tipped the fellow, though. (Man, I'm a suck up!)
3. Plate #3: (clockwise from left) Chicken fried steak with house made country gravy, grilled green onions, some sort of cylindrical pastry (not a cannolo), and more sausage patties. The CFS was terrible: it was dry and insipid. The pastry turned out to be a kind of uninteresting mille feuille.
4. Plate #4 (no photo): If I remember correctly, I picked up some sliced Atlantic smoked salmon with garnishes, a glazed blueberry cake doughnut, and some strawberry yogurt. I was so full from the previous three plates (not to mention the previous three days), I managed to just taste each item. Very commonplace food.
Good service this morning. (What a relief!) Dishes were cleared in a timely manner, silverware was replaced as appropriate, and - most important of all - the servers were friendly.
Funny story: "P" and I needed some ketchup and hot sauce. I thought the party across from us had finished breakfast and departed, leaving their condiments behind on the table. So I went over to grab them and the server who was clearing the table at the time agreed that I could take them. Whadya know, not a minute later, those people returned for another round! WHAT THE #1! I was so embarrassed but I had to do the right thing: I took the pilfered condiments back and dumbly apologized for my mistake. Thankfully, our neighbors were gracious enough and they told me that "P" and I could keep the Heinz, Cholula, and Tabasco. Apparently, they weren't using them. "P" and I continued with our meal and just as we were leaving for the omelet station, we saw that the people who didn't want their condiments back had new ketchup and hot sauce at their table! WHAT THE #2! What happened? They never gave a hint that something was wrong! I hope - I really do - those folks didn't think that "P" and I had cooties!
Parking: The easiest way to approach the self parking ramp is to enter the hotel-casino property from Joe W Brown Drive: the ramp is on your immediate right once you turn in to the hotel. From Paradise Road, enter the main drive and follow the signs to the self parking ramp.
The Bill: Our meal was complimentary - part of "P"s bargain booking. It would've been around 35 USD for the two of us if we had paid (14.99 × 2 + tax).
My Rating: out of four stars (satisfactory to good). It's hard to screw up breakfast. I have a feeling Yelp's rating of the cuisine overall is probably accurate (two and a half stars). The LVH buffet's saving grace are the friendly staff. Open every day. On weekdays, breakfast is served from 7 AM to 11 AM, lunch is served from 11 AM to 2:30 PM, and dinner is served from 5 PM to 10 PM. On weekends, brunch is served between 7 AM and 2:30 PM; NO DINNER SERVICE ON WEEKENDS. Credit cards accepted. www.thelvh.com/Hotel/dining/casual/buffet
Last Word: That's it for my 2012 Vegas Vacation. Thanks for hanging in there. (This last review was particularly wordy!) Now it's back to our exceptional dining scene here in L.A.
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