VegasEats: Wazuzu at Encore Las Vegas

Pan Asian Samurai With A Side Order Of Kung Fu Girl

Posted by Chuckmonster

Wazuzu Encore Review

Wazoozoo. Wazhuzhu. Wajuju. Three different - yet accurate - ways to pronounce the name of Chef Jet Tila's restaurant at Encore Las Vegas, Wazuzu. It's fitting for a restaurant that explores dishes from at least three Asian culture cuisines would be saddled with a consonant-flexible and sonorously spicy name. All we can hope going in is that Wazuzu's attempt at pan-Asian cuisine is better defined than the 'throw all asian cuisines into a pan and mix it up' that has given eastern fusion a bad name.

Wazuzu Encore Review

We arrived at Wazuzu and were seated immediately at one of the tables in the center of the restaurant. In addition to traditional table seating, Wazuzu offers high tables and booth seating with lay-z-susans for family style dining. My dining companion, Rich jumped on the wine list (which makes sense - he is the official wino tripper) and jumped for joy at the sight of Kung Fu Girl, a 2008 Riesling from Washington based winemaker Charles Smith - and exclaimed that this light sweet wine would be a great companion to a spicy meal. Done and done.

We decided to forego appetizers and jump right into entrees. Rich ordered the Cantonese Style Fried Rice with chicken, and I ordered the Drunken Noodles - fresh rice noodles with Thai basil, sweet soy sauce, chilies and onions, spicy - which arrived in two large bowls, perfect for sharing family style.

Wazuzu Encore Review

The Cantonese Fried Rice (right) was light, fluffy, slightly sweet and tangy. The shreds of egg were like mini pillows of creamy yum tossed about within. The chicken was cooked perfectly - tender and juicy inside with a very subtle crust. A perfectly balanced dish whose subtleties gained in complexity as the meal progressed.

The Drunken Noodles (left) was a bold cascade of flavors, sweetness of the soy sauce balanced by the tangy onions and acidity of the occasional cherry tomatoes driven home by firecracker hot chilies. A perfect counterpoint to the Cantonese Fried Rice and their Kung Fu Girl Riesling accompanist.
Wazuzu Encore Review

Wazuzu Encore Review

Throughout the meal, Rich and I bellowed on and on about every forkful that touched our lips, scooping spoonful upon spoonful of these delicacies onto our plates until both bowls were literally scraped clean of nearly every morsel served us.

Wazuzu Encore Review

Total bill, with wine + tax : $67 + gratuity... which we both felt was a bargain. Highly recommended.

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Comments & Discussion

Definitely looks better than the food I had at Lily's Noodle House @ the GN back in December. That's not too bad of a bill, especially since when I go to the Japanese place by my house, between the food (I'm a fan of teppanyaki, and will sometimes also get an appetizer if it looks like there may be wait for a chef.) booze (Usually a big can [or two] or Sapporo [and or Asahi] and a small bottle of sake.) and tips, I'm spending $50-60.

ps. thats the new camera

Strange. I rarely hear a good word about this place. Curtas calls it Asian food for middle-American taste buds (in other words, inoffensive is more important than authentic) and when I had the option to use my $50 credit here everyone steered me away, complaining of meh food that was served too cold as often as not.

Seems like it's a real gamble, I'm sure at least a few early reviews were swept up in the Encore hype.

I like Curtas' writing infinitely more than I agree with his taste buds and his opinions. He loves Society, which is an overpriced twist of flavorless diner food, at best.

Incidentally, Rich and I were originally going to go to Society so i could get a "third opinion" but after looking at the menu, Rich didn't want to eat there.

yea, i'm not so convinced either on this place having walked by a few times and scoped the menu (it's also always empty when i've passed it).
lovin the new camera's pics... another great update to the site!

Well, it's definitely not authentic: fried rice to the Chinese is the equivalent of funnel cake to an American. But who cares? It looks like it's a spruced-up version of the sort of Chinese food Americans love. Nothing wrong with that!

Chuck and I had a great meal, and a great time. Sometimes good is good. When ordering, Chuck did express that he wanted his served spicy... like, really spicy... not middle-america palate spicy. So I think we got some bold favor that may not show up generally.

If we had listened to what everyone else was saying, we would have eaten at Society, and we would still believe that the Bellagio is the best joint on the strip. We took the gamble on Wazuzu and hit a jackpot.

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