Wicked Spoon at Cosmopolitan

Wicked Spoon

Wicked Spoon is a top-notch buffet, with a decent selection of great food. In fact, while its selection isn’t as vast as Bacchanal at Caesar’s, the food is as good, and it’s much less expensive at $38 for dinner. What’s not to love?

Well, Cosmopolitan is an independent casino, so your Mlife or Total Rewards card won’t let you skip the line. It’s an obscenely expensive (for Vegas) hotel that always seems to be filled with rowdy, impossibly-beautiful twenty-something partygoers. And, that’s about it, really; nothing else not to love. Wicked Spoon is a great meal.

They don’t open for dinner until 5pm. If you show up ten or fifteen minutes before that, you’ll be seated pretty quickly. Otherwise there could be a line.

shrimp cocktail
Shrimp cocktail in little glasses.

The cocktail shrimp here are peeled, and they’re unusually good: perfectly cooked, tender, and fresh (enough for Vegas; if you grew up at the beach like I did you can tell the difference, but you won’t care because you're in the middle of the desert eating shrimp). But they’re served in little shot glasses, two to a glass, along with some cocktail sauce at the bottom and a tiny lemon slice. This is nice presentation, but makes it difficult to pile up your plate with them. But you still can (trust me). Crab legs are available only cold and pre-halved, sadly, but are big and full of nice meat.

cosmopolitan-27
Appetizer.
Caesar Salad
Caesar salad, with anchovies.

Normally you don’t make a salad at a buffet’s salad bar; it’s a waste of calories. Here, though, they have little Caesar salads, in perfect portions, and they include anchovies. This is more of a real Caesar salad than you can get at most restaurants around here! Usually the anchovies are just an ingredient in the dressing, but this is a bonus.

Wicked Spoon
Wicked Spoon
frog legs
Frog legs—they really do taste like chicken.

Wicked Spoon is big on serving small portions on individual plates, rather than putting food in big bins (though they do that, too). I’m not sure how much difference it makes, but it’s a classier presentation, shared by Bacchanal, that makes you feel like the food is more special.

The illusion wouldn’t hold up for long, though, if the food couldn’t back it up. The food here is great.

Great sausages.

Go to the carving station and the prime rib is decent and medium-rare as the Good Lord intended, but don’t stop there—the Italian sausage I had was bloody fantastic. I love sausage, and this was something special. On the other hand, the leg of lamb was overcooked and so tough it was difficult to cut or chew, definitely the low point of the whole buffet.

cosmopolitan-07
The inevitable Asian section.
Bone Marrow
Bone marrow.

Buffets always have an Asian section, and it’s almost always unremarkable. This one is no exception, though the sushi is better than average for a buffet (not saying much) and there was some pork that was worth eating.

One thing about the buffet: it gets you to try food you might not otherwise try. Here we have a perfect example: the bone marrow with Kimchee glaze. Have you ever tried anything like that? I hadn’t, either, but what the hell, I gave it a shot, and it was really good.

I should also mention that the mashed potatoes and fingerling potatoes were both unusually good. The mashed potatoes are perhaps best described as “lumpy,” though they are lumpy enough that it’s clearly a culinary choice rather than carelessness. I’m not sure the lumpiness adds anything, but okay, they’re good enough that I’ll go with it.

The highlight here, though, is the cook-to-order seafood station.

Seafood
Seafood station

Here, you have your choice of seafood (choose as many as you like; it’s the buffet): Shrimp, salmon, halibut, swordfish, clams, mussels, and more. Choose your sauce, and the chef throws it together and cooks it up right there, just for you.

Places that call themselves a “seafood buffet” are shamed by this barely-advertised, minor feature at Wicked Spoon.

Leg of Lamb
Leg of Lamb—not great.
Kurobuta Sausages
Kurobuta Sausages?

Off to the side were something called Kurobuta sausages. I had no idea what this was while at the buffet, but I ate it anyway and it was amazing. I googled later and discovered it’s basically the Kobe Beef of pork—but not nearly as difficult to come by in the USA. “Kurobuta” is the Japanese name for a particular kind of pig, the Berkshire pig, which is “prized for juiciness, flavour and tenderness.” They’re not kidding.

Dessert

When the time comes for dessert—well, it’s not the greatest selection I’ve seen at a buffet. It’s actually not that interesting at all.

Dessert
dessert
dessert

I’ll be honest: at the buffet, dessert just isn’t that important to me, and I don’t think it’s important to Wicked Spoon, either. And that doesn’t affect my recommendation: eat here. Definitely. This is the second-best buffet in town.

cosmopolitan-26