Monday, December 06, 2004

Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill - Caesar's Palace - Las Vegas

Newsflash: Vegas April 2006 Booby Flay's Mesa Grill update We have changed our opinion after our second visit to Flay's Las Vegas outpost. Read about the
sorry demise of the world's best burger here.

Visited November 2004
We were wandering through Caesar's Palace some time just after noon when Fred declared himself to be hungry. "Well, lets have some lunch then", I suggested. We turned a corner to see what appeared to be some kind of fairly cool looking restaurant to our left. We struggled to see a name and eventually made out the word Mesa almost hidden in large square panels near the entrance. There was no menu to be seen outside so we just took a chance, marched in and asked for a table. No problem. We were seated in under 5 minutes.

As I opened the menu, it dawned on me, "Ah this is the restaurant of that guy who does Boy Meets Grill, I exclaimed. Fred of course didn't have a clue what I was talking about. Neither did I, hardly. I'd seen the show only once, over 6 months ago. I am not a big watcher of TV. I seemed to remember I quite liked it and that he gave a few good BBQ tips.

The room is lofty and fairly stylish with a palette of woods and colours that matched Fred's shirt perfectly.

The Menu is what I guess might be described as Southwestern. The lunch menu seemed reasonably priced and I already felt confident it would be better and cheaper than our disappointing meal the night before at Circo .


We ordered a glass, each, of 2002 Sea Smoke Botella Pinot Noir . It was delicious, and so beautifully presented. Each serving in it's own little carafe made by Spiegelau.

The Blue Corn Pancake, barbecued Duck + Habanero Chile Sauce $9 was a small but perfectly formed appetizer. Plump, juicy shreds of duck in a slightly sweet sauce with a spicy kick. The only problem with this dish? It was too small... so delicious - I could have eaten two!

Cotija Crusted Quesadilla with Wild Mushrooms, Cascabel Chiles + White Bean White Truffle Hummus $11 This was a disappointment. The cheese and mushrooms were so mild, they couldn't compete with the spiciness of the hummus and chile pepper coating on the quesadilla, which itself was a little bland, dense and dry. The truffle oil was superfluous to the presentation. This quesadilla did nothing for me. I left about half of it and spent the rest of the time trying to concoct ways to get Fred to part with morsels of his amazing burger.

Mesa Burger, with Double Cheddar Cheese, Grilled Viladia Onion and Horseradish Mustard on a House Roll served with Southwestern fries $11 This was honestly one of the best burgers I have ever had. Fred rated it in a separate category above and beyond all other burgers. The meat was cooked medium rare as ordered, and was tasty and delicious. The toppings really worked well together and the horseradish mustard, which was served separately was just the ticket.. Really spicy and tasty. Perfection. We didn't care for the spicy Southwestern fries however. We would have preferred plain fries as a milder backdrop to the other tasty ingredients in the dish. Fred kindly took pity on me and my half-eaten quesadilla and let me have several bites of his own lunch.

Warm Chocolate and Dulce De Leche Cake with toasted pecan icecream $12
Dessert was another disappointment. Everything was too sweet. The cake was mushy and soggy throughout. A crisp outer surface would have improved it no end. I did like its cardamom flavour, however. A little macaroon embellishment was just too sweet to be of any use to the dish. Icecream was ok, Dulce de Leche was hardly discernible. The only really good part of the dish was a little bed of toasted nut praline underneath the ice cream.

Conclusion: Service was very well-meaning, even though it was a little fussy at some points and a little lost at others. The atmosphere is very friendly and despite the classiness, not too serious. This is a place you can go and have a good time. I am certain if I found myself in Vegas again, I would be drawn to Mesa's Grill, if only to experience another one of those heavenly burgers. Even though I chose 2 less than stellar dishes, I wouldn't hesitate to return to Mesa and give this potentially promising new restaurant another try.

See the full Mesa Menu here .
(This menu shows dinner prices, the lunch prices are markedly cheaper)
Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill - Caesar's Palace - Las Vegas


  • At 7/12/04 06:53, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This resto sounds right up my alley - and the prices seem quite reasonable for a restaurant owned by a chef as "televised" as Bobby Flay. Between his shows, his website (, his triumphs in Iron Chef and Iron Chef America and his marriage to Stephanie March from Law and Order he's one hot ticket these days.

    And that burger looks's 10am and I'm suddenly craving a hamburger. Uh oh. Your fault, entirely!

  • At 7/12/04 06:54, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oops. That was me:
    Jennifer -

  • At 9/4/06 22:22, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I really enjoy reading peoples comments on food especially when they have no idea what restaurant that they are in. If you take a look at what was said, the pancake was to small, it is an appetizer not a meal. Also, if people know the chef before they enter then they would know the type of food. Mesa Grill food is not for everyone, there are alot of different flavors and spices that are involved in the preperation of the food there. Booby Flay is a unique chef and his style of cooking is not for everyone. One more thing, I believe the cake is a floorless chocolate cake, it is suppose to be that way.
    I personally work here in Vegas and am so tired of people coming to town and complaining about everything. People get over it, there are 40 million of you coming here every year. One persons opinion does not really count for that much in this town.

  • At 9/4/06 22:54, Blogger Sam said…

    Anon - funny you should stop by now when i am thinking about writing about my revisit to bobby flay's mesa grill.

    When i said it was too small I didn't mean I was complaining it was too small - I meant it was delicious and so good I could have eaten more. That was a compliment. I wasn't complaining.

    secondly - we admitted we hardly knew the chef and I don't see why we should have to, especially in vegas where the restaurants lure in with their glitz and a promise of something. We were casual drop ins the visit wasnt planned.

    You obviously havent had the cake. No cake is supposed to taste crap - even a flourless chocolate one (Believe me I have had plenty of experience both eating and baking those kinds of cakes myself, and they are always better with a crust)

    So you work in Vegas and I pay through the nose to visit at least once a year and keep the likes of you in business. All fool me.

    I revisited Mesa last weekend and reordered the burger, and was completely disapoointed to find it had gone completely down hill. It was awful and we shan't be returning there again, though our server was fabulous.

    It doesn't bother me that you don't care what I think, my opinion isn't going to go away anywhere just because you are fed up with critcism of your Vegas.

    If you think a review where I say the burger is one of the best I have tasted in my life is a complaint, then you should come back and read me when I am really complaining.

  • At 10/12/06 10:27, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I visited Mesa Grill for the first time in July of 06 while staying at Caesar's. I totally enjoyed the atmosphere as well as the superb food. I had a white wine that was served elegantly and the trio of breads that accompanied the wine were too delicious to choose from. I did have the blue corn muffin and the hint of green chilis in it was an amazing tease of the tastes to come. I ordered the shrimp and corn tamale as an appetizer and found it to be more than ample size for one. The sauce that was served over the tamale was the most subtle yet tasty I have sampled yet. My entree was the southwestern pork tenderloin with sweet potato tamale and steamed spinach. Once again the cook was flawless in my opinion. The pork was cooked to my requested medium -vs- the medium rare they suggested. The drizzled sauces on the pork were spicey and not overwhelming at all. The sweet potato tamale was unbeliveable. I cannot say enough about the great service of this restaurant. many in Vegas have let me down in the area. I had no room to enjoy a dessert this time but will definately go again next time I am in Vegas.

  • At 10/12/06 10:34, Blogger Sam said…

    that's good to hear -we hope they don't diappoint you on your second visit like they did us.

  • At 24/1/07 18:13, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    After saying I do to my husband we went to Bobby's restaurant in Las Vegas. The Shrimp tamale and the Mai Mai was wonderful. The ribeye was full of grisel. I wish it would have been better for my groom because he took me there because it was all I had talked about.

  • At 30/4/09 09:46, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My sister recommended Mesa grill to my boyfriend and I when we went to vegas and that we had to eat there. She told us to order the pork tenderloin, shrimp tamales and a black widow mojito. The food was absolutely amazing!!! Half way thru our meal we found out it was Bobby Flay's place. He is my boyfriend favorite chef and that made his trip!!!! The black widow mojito is a must compliments to George the amazing bartender who invented it!!! Must try all his awesome mojitos!!!!!


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