Holstein’s (Cosmopolitan) – Only on the Outside, Not Inside

by Franklin on February 22, 2013

First of all, I want to start off by saying that the Cosmopolitan is starting to irritate me. Everything that is the Cosmopolitan is now obnoxious and boring. The types of people the property attracts is just garbage — the bottom of the barrel. Don’t get me wrong. The building and architecture and design of it all is fantastic. LCD screens everywhere, hip little touches here and there make this property great. I just can’t stand how un-classically Vegas it is. They try so hard to be different, that in the end of it all, they lose themselves. The addition of Holsteins Shakes and Buns to the property is just the cherry on top. I heard ravenous reviews about Holsteins and I was excited to try this place. Things like, “the best burgers in Vegas,” and “I Love Love Love Hoslteins” were some of many glowing reviews. Here is my 2 cents.

The lobster mac and cheese was good, but not great. Surprisingly, the dish had a lot of lobster in it. Unfortunately, the lobster taste was lacking and the texture was not there as well. Lobster usually has a familiarly soft yet firm feeling when you bite it. Theirs was rubbery and lacked flavor. The truffle panko crust on top was nice, but the lack of lobster taste really disappointed me. My favorite part of this dish was the one chip on the side. It consisted of this lobster salad that was full of flavor.

Upon request, which I thought was complimentary, was popcorn. Though it wasn’t your ordinary popcorn, this one was flavored in some weird mixture. I read that it was truffle popcorn. Excited for some truffle infused popcorn, theirs was definitely not so. It was a mixture of a vinegary, buttery flavor that coated the popcorn. This was a weird mix and though not appetizing, I found myself reaching for the popcorn. I ate it, forgot how it tasted like, and then tried it again. The sting from the popcorn seasoning alone was enough for me not to eat it again. I guess my curiosity superseded my palate.

Quite possibly my favorite food, and naturally, the food I am most knit picking about, the burger is a classic. From the bun to the type of meat, and the almost infinite sauces and toppings you can put on, the burger is a great vessel to work with. With such an iconic item, at a restaurant that supposedly specializes in this stuff, you can’t mess it up.

And now, the Rising Sun burger — It had Kobe beef, teriyaki glaze, nori furikake, crispy yam, spicy mayo, & tempura avocado. Their take on a Japanese burger sounds good on paper. The fried avocado alone would make me happy. It was fried and crispy, and velvety smooth at the same time. I just didn’t have enough of it. That probably was the only thing good about this burger. Everything else was a mistake. First of all, what is wrong with this is the Kobe. I hate when restaurants advertise as serving Kobe when we all know most of that is just an American breed, if not, from Australia. Second of all, when you cook a “Kobe” beef burger, it has to be rare. Nothing else will do. What I got was all grey inside. The crust was overly marinated and glazed and turned the meat super dry, and the inside wasn’t any different. That is one way to kill an almost perfect burger. The teriyaki glaze was much too overwhelming and the crispy yam didn’t help with the cloyingly sweet flavors. Did I order the wrong burger? Maybe, but that still doesn’t make up for the overcooked patty.

If anything, the drunken monkey shake may have been the only thing that was considerably good. It had malted banana gelato and peanut butter crunch. The adult version has Frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur from Italy. I opted out and went with just a regular. “You are in Vegas. Live a little!”, you say? In hind sight, maybe I should have made this shake alcoholic. It would have made me feel better about the sub-par meal I just had. Still though, the shake was sweet and the use of gelato made the shave quite delicate and smooth.

Pretentious, and yet casual, the restaurant has no identity. I just can’t associate this restaurant with good food. The same food could be served at a restaurant that looks like, maybe Johnny Rockets, with a lower price, and I still wouldn’t think twice about it. I mean, they have red and yellow squeeze bottles for ketchup and mustard. Come on! The food really needs an upgrade. How awesome would it be if finally, the Las Vegas Strip had a go-to burger spot that was hip, and of course, delicious? I think that is a home run and a much needed thing on the strip. I guess I just have to wait a couple years for that to happen. For now at the Cosmo, I guess Secret Pizza will have to do.

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