Little Buddha, Big Taste

Little Buddha in the Palms Resort and Casino in Las Vegas has created a lush and romantic space with deep red silk and velvet. Even the lobby area makes you feel like you just received your membership card to a secret society. There is a Buddha overlooking the dining room area and there is nothing little about him. He is a huge stone statue and he makes you feel like you should bow to him, but don’t. You’re friends might make fun of you, but you might also be able to impress them with your ninja-like use of chopsticks.

I started off my meal with a cocktail named Euphoria, and I really think the name is overstepping a little bit. It was peach vodka but it tasted like strawberry flavored water. However, I did like the bite size fresh strawberries floating around in it so I made sure to suck them out. Then I ordered the Wok Fried Edamame and shared the Tuna Tataki with a friend. The Edamame were very good even though they lit my mouth on fire. The way they were seasoned was sweet and salty, but if you wait a minute, that heat hits you and doesn’t stop punching. I have a very low threshold when it comes to spicy food, so I can taste it right away. The Tuna was more calming. The raw fish was sliced thin and had a tasty dipping sauce that made the whole meal. I was also lucky enough to try the Wok Fried Chicken Lettuce Wraps. My kind friend wrapped the chicken up in the lettuce leaf and dipped it in the creamy peanut sauce for me. It was delicious. I would’ve traded my Euphoria for a plate of it, but behaved instead.

Then, my entrĂ©e came. I chose the Mongolian Style Beef. The meat was very moist and the rice noodles were a nice accompaniment. The menu said it was spicy but after I offered all of the chili peppers to a friend and my mouth got over its anger at the edamame, it wasn’t so bad. I mean, there was a little kick but I was able to taste the subtle sweetness of the meat.

Apparently, Little Buddha was voted Best Asian Restaurant in Vegas three years in a row, and I kind of believe it. Almost everyone I dined with (there were eight) was very happy with their meal, so if 6 out of 8 people liked it, then it is worth a “Best of” distinction. A big Buddha, fresh sushi, tasty lettuce wraps…what’s not to like?

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