Aria Las Vegas
3730 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Restaurant Type: Chinese
Vegas4Visitors Rating: B+
At a Glance
What is it?
Upscale Chinese restaurant that serves a wide variety of traditional and one-of-a-kind items at costs that seem expensive until you see how much you get.
Where is it?
At Aria Las Vegas on the South Strip.
What kind of food is served?
Lots of choices including appetizers, soups, seafood, meats, rice, noodles, veggies, and more from the uber-traditional (kung pao) to the more esoteric.
What is the atmosphere like?
A gorgeous dining room that is thankfully light on the Asian stereotypes.
How is the service?
What are the prices like?
Expensive but most entrees are big enough for sharing so it makes it a little bit more of a deal on a per person level.
What else do I need to know?
Don’t trust them when they say medium-spicy.
What’s the bottom line?
If you want your Chinese food upscale, this is one of the best places in which to do it.
Chinese food in Vegas – and pretty much everywhere – usually falls into one of three categories. There’s the fast-food/take-out type that most people experience at places like Panda Express and your local hole-in-the-wall joint; the middle-market sit-down restaurants like PF Chang’s; and then the relatively rare upscale Chinese restaurants where it goes far beyond food stuffed into a small white box and takes it to the level of fine dining cuisine.
Blossom at Aria Las Vegas definitely falls into the latter of the categories, but don’t let that scare you away. From a quality perspective it kicks the dumplings out of the fast-food joints and, surprisingly, doesn’t charge exorbitant prices to dine there.
The dining room is gorgeous with a subtle Asian theme that doesn’t hit you over the head with dragons and gongs. High ceilings, delicate woodwork, and lots of booths that provide a semi-private dining experience combine to turn this into a lovely night out. You don’t need to be dressed up to eat here but you’ll wish that you had.
As is the norm for Chinese restaurants, the menu is extensive with six full pages of appetizers like egg rolls, pot stickers, tempura, and BBQ pork; several soups including hot and sour and won ton; multiple fresh seafood options from Maine lobster in ginger and scallion to prawns, flounder, scallions, and more; traditional beef and chicken dishes such as kung pao, Mongolian beef, beef broccoli, and others; hot pots, noodles, fried rice, and several vegetable dishes. Seriously, if you can’t find something to eat here you just aren’t hungry.
Feeling traditional, my table mates and I started with the pot stickers and the egg rolls. The former were less “sticky” than I usually prefer (in other words, not as seared in the pan as you expect) but were still delicious, stuffed with pork and vegetables in a tender dough that was remarkably fresh. The egg rolls were unusual also, packed with veggies that had been finely cut instead of chopped up into an indiscernible mash. Small, crunchy strips of red bell peppers and onions turned this into a unique and wholly satisfying experience.
For main courses we went with two beef dishes and a fish. The Mongolian Beef was described on the menu as being medium-spicy but they have a different definition than I do – I’d call it high spicy or large spicy or whatever is bigger than medium spicy. I like spicy but the heat and the tart flavor were just a little much for me. I still ate most of it, but I’ve had better.
The pan-fried shredded beef tenderloin over crispy noodles, on the other hand, was perfect in every way. Tender chunks of beef tossed in a light soy sauce with chives and onions made this my favorite dish of the night.
It had to battle hard for that title over the crisp-fried flounder filet in a sweet and sour sauce that was deemed “delicious” by the fish fans in our group, of which I’m not one but I trust their opinion.
Prices, at first glance, seem a little high especially if you’re used to $10 getting you a feast of take out. Appetizers and soups are mostly in the $10-14 range; most seafood in the $22-36 neighborhood until you start getting to the crabs and lobsters; meat dishes also around $22-36; and most of the rices, veggies, and other items under $20. The thing to note, however, is that all of the main courses are served family style and are way too much for one person to eat. A table of four could easily order a couple of appetizers and three entrees and have more than enough to feed everyone to the point of wanting to loosen their belts. That means you could get the average cost per person down under $50 including tax and tip.
Yes, that’s expensive for Chinese food but the gulf between this and what you get ladled into Styrofoam containers is worth the difference in cost.