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February 22, 2019

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LuckyRice Feast offers (as usual) Asian culinary delights at Cosmopolitan

2014 LuckyRice at Cosmopolitan

L.E. Baskow

Susur Lee features “Daddy’s Best Chicken” with tamarind ketchup during LuckyRice Las Vegas Feast at Boulevard Pool on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in the Cosmopolitan.

2014 LuckyRice at Cosmopolitan

Dulcey chocolates from Rose. Rabbit. Lie. during LuckyRice Las Vegas Feast at Boulevard Pool on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in the Cosmopolitan. Launch slideshow »
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Hopscotch features a Yonsei oyster during LuckyRice Las Vegas Feast at Boulevard Pool on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in the Cosmopolitan.

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Hakkasan features poached Beijing dumpling in homemade vinegar during LuckyRice Las Vegas Feast at Boulevard Pool on Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014, in the Cosmopolitan.

LuckyRice Night Market, aka LuckyRice Las Vegas Feast per the program of vendors and sponsors, returned for a triumphant third year Saturday night to Boulevard Pool in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

LuckyRice is a highlight of the annual culinary calendar, and Saturday night did not disappoint with delectable Asian street food and modern variations. Also, the autumn weather could not have been more cooperative. (Last year was windy, which made it uncomfortable around open-air grills.)

Standouts included Ho Chee Boon’s poached Beijing dumpling in homepage vinegar from Hakkasan at MGM Grand; Khai Vu’s foie and crispy rice lollipop with Asian pear reduction from District One in Chinatown; and Mitsuo Endo’s Kobe beef outside skirt, tsukune (ground chicken), Kobe beef silver skin and Kurabota pork cheek skewers from Raku in Chinatown.

Also: Susur Lee’s “Daddy’s Best Chicken” from Lee in Toronto; Kyle Itani’s Yonsei oyster from Hopscotch in Oakland; Chris Oh’s “Not Your Daddy’s Ribs” from Seoul Sausage Co. of Los Angeles; and Telmo Faria’s Shaanxi-Style braised lamb noodles from Chino in San Francisco.

Chefs and restaurants also included: Andy Yang of Rhong-Tiam in New York; Bank Atcharawan of Chada Thai in Chinatown; Ben Spungin of Rose. Rabbit. Lie. in the Cosmopolitan; Cedric Vongerichten of Perry St. in New York; Chizuru Hojo of Monta Ramen in Chinatown; Costas Spiliadis of Estiatorio Milos of the Cosmopolitan; and Erwin Tjahyadi of Komodo in L.A.

Also: Garrison Price of China Poblano of the Cosmopolitan; Gerald Chin of Stripsteak at Mandalay Bay; Jon Matsubara of Japengo in Honolulu; Miguel Trinidad of Maharlika in New York; Mio Ogasawara of Raku Sweets in Chinatown; Pichet Ong of New York; Stephen Hopcraft of STK in the Cosmopolitan; and Wesley Holton of Rose. Rabbit. Lie.

The libations: Asahi, “East of Eden” (with Bombay Sapphire East Gin) and “Imperial Punch” (with D’usse Cognac) by Adam O’Donnell and Jose Salinas; “Fortunate Feline” (with Bombay Sapphire East Gin) by Alex Penalosa of the Cosmopolitan; “Year of the Horse” by Bombay Sapphire East Gin; “East Zingiber Latte” (with Bombay Sapphire East Gin) by Caio Fuganholi; “Honey Gold” by Corzo (with Corzo Silver Tequila); “Water Lily” (with Bombay Sapphire East Gin) and “Hana’s Haiku” (with St-Germain Liqueur) by Laura Monterossa; “Phuket, I’ll Have Another” (with St-Germain Liqueur), “Who’s Umami” (with D’usse Cognac) and “Thai’d and True” (with Bombay Sapphire East Gin) by Mariena Mercer of the Cosmopolitan; and “The-Quila Tarik” (with Corzo Reposado Tequila) and “Watermelon Negroni” (with Bombay Sapphire East Gin) by Tobin Ellis of Bar Magic.

A few quibbles: The Night Market seemed largely scaled down this year — there seemed to be a lot of empty space at Boulevard Pool, and last year included an opening ceremony and fantastic Sunday brunch led by Susur Lee at Bamboo Pool. Sadly, not this year.

And the signage and instructions for entering LuckyRice this year were awful. The third-floor entrance to Boulevard Pool was closed, with signs saying to take the escalator to the fourth floor (both were going only down in the east tower).

If you entered from the fourth-floor elevator in the east tower, security turned attendees away. And no matter if you entered from the third or fourth floor, walking from the west to east tower was an unnecessary part of the route. Really? (Many people could be heard grumbling about the inefficiency.)

Luckily, the innovative, flavorful, spicy and delicious food and creative cocktails made up for the minor hassle. Thanks to L.E. Baskow of the Las Vegas Sun for his photo gallery of LuckyRice.

Upcoming at Boulevard Pool: Dum Dum Girls (Thursday); Nas: Illmatic 20-Year Anniversary Concert with Fashawn (Oct. 17); and Wiz Khalifa with Chevy Woods (Oct. 18).

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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