Mix – Las Vegas (Mandalay Bay)

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

The Astronomer and I had a quintessentially Vegas evening on our final night in town. First, we attended a mesmerizing Cirque du Soleil show at The Mirage, and then we dined at a trendy restaurant at Mandalay Bay. After taking most of our meals in low-key spots off the beaten path, we were looking forward to experiencing all the glitz and glam The Strip had to offer.

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

Located at the top floor of THEhotel, Mix is the vision of Alain Ducasse. The restaurant serves contemporary and classic French and American fare, as well as signature dishes from the chef’s restaurants in Paris and Monte Carlo.

I was inspired to dine at Mix after reading a glowing review from fellow L.A. food blogger Weezer Monkey. It wasn’t until I made the reservation online that I learned the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2008 and 2009. [The red book abandoned the city in 2010.]

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

A stunning 24-foot chandelier made of 15,000 hand-blown glass spheres was the highlight of the thoroughly modern and stark white dining room. As we walked toward our booth near the window, I secretly wished that I had reserved one of the hooded pods for novelty’s sake.

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

Feeling festive and indulgent, The Astronomer and I both ordered tasting menus. The Astronomer chose the five-course “TasteofmiX” menu created by executive chef Jason Arbusto ($90), while I ordered the four-course “Alain Ducasse Grand Tasting Menu” ($120). We were gonna go out with a bang!

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

A bread basket was brought to our table as soon as we placed our orders. On hand were slices of “cereal,” sesame, baguette, focaccia, walnut-raisin, and sourdough, along with butter and peanut “butter” for slathering. The breads weren’t as warm or memorable as I had hoped, but the playful peanut “butter” made up for all shortcomings.

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

Before the tastings officially began, the chef sent out an amuse bouche—a scallop tartare with an apple gelee. The presentation and composition didn’t look very enticing, but I went ahead and took a bite anyway. This amuse was definitely not amusing. The florescent green gelee was flavorless and unnaturally colored, while the diced up scallops were bland and questionably fresh. Grossest amuse bouche ever.

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

The first course from the TasteofmiX menu was a spicy crab salad with guacamole, cucumber, and green papaya slaw. It was an adequate starter, but we were expecting something a little more elegant and interesting at an establishment like this.

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

Fortunately, my first course was pretty close to perfect. The flawless little gnocchi were served with a sunchoke puree, Parmigiano Reggiano, veal jus, and beech mushrooms.

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

The Astronomer was much happier with his second course—a dish of butternut squash ravioli bathed in a brown butter emulsion. It was topped with a crunchy Parmesan chip.

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

The best course of the night was my roasted Maine lobster “au curry”, which was served atop coconut basmati rice dotted with pineapples and golden raisins. The hunks of lobster meat were tender, well-portioned, and paired extraordinarily well with the rich and creamy curry broth. I was thoroughly impressed with the dish and made sure to savor every last bite.

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

The Astronomer’s third course was a seared diver scallop with Swiss chard, green onions, and tomato. It wasn’t the most thrilling dish, but everything on the plate was prepared well.

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

My final savory course was a filet mignon served with a lobe of seared foie gras, black truffle, and a side of mashed potatoes. The plate was stacked with decadence, but didn’t contain anything to balance out the richness. Without a little something sweet or tart to provide further interest, I could only muster a few bites of the steak and liver.

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

The Astronomer’s lamb was served with a shitake gratin and stuffed piquillo peppers. The meat was chewier than expected, while the side items were tasty enough but seemingly out of place. The plate felt more like three different dishes rather than one cohesive entree.

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

To ready our palates for the taste of sweet: a tall martini glass filled with a mango-laced piña colada. It was frothy, refreshing, and the perfect anecdote to our heavy entrees.

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

The Astronomer’s tasting ended on a bright and light note with a lemon tart and mandarin sorbet. The tart was prettily adorned with grapefruit and orange segments and topped with a large slice of candied lemon.

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

My tasting didn’t end on such a successful note. I was instructed to assemble the baba au rhum “Monte Carlo style” by pouring the rum over the two slices of cake, and to top it all off with whipped cream. I did what I was told and didn’t like the results one bit. The moist and spongy little cakes soaked up the rum nicely, causing the entire concoction to burn on its way down. I like booze and cake individually, but not so much in this fashion. In retrospect, I should’ve just taken a shot and chased it with whipped cream covered cake—baba au rhum “college style”!

Mix - Las Vegas (THEhotel at Mandalay Bay)

And finally, madelines served with a thick chocolate sauce. I appreciated the dish’s straightforward sweetness, and how it didn’t burn at all going down. It’s the little things.

Our meal at Mix was mixed at best.

Mix at THEhotel
3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Phone: 702-632-9500

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15 Responses to “Mix – Las Vegas (Mandalay Bay)”

  • At least we agree on the lobster au curry?

    So sad your experience wasn’t awesome! 🙁

  • Sounds like a place I don’t need to bother with. I loved that “Grossest amuse bouche ever.” I originally read “greatest amuse bouche ever.” Paying $100+ for a mixed results meal wouldn’t make this Panda very happy!

  • Sounds like the restaurant stayed true to its name!

  • going to a restaurant with the name of Alain Ducasse attached to it would, 15 years ago, meant an impecible dining experience; sadly the master has done as many “super-chefs” and just put his name on the marquee.
    Glad to read this as an upcoming trip to Vegas would have been spoiled eating there.

  • Lobster with curry might be one of the best combinations Nick and I ever had. It was at Chef Mavro in Honolulu.

    On a side note, that scallop with apple gelee amuse looked really gross.

  • Wow, sounds like the restaurant missed quite often on many of the dishes, presentation too. I can’t get over the fake color of the green gelée and the baba looked like breakfast at a Hilton (is that harsh?)…hard to believe Ducasse missed the mark on a filet mignon with foie gras. Enjoyed reading your review, and sorry it was disappointing. Also liked seeing all the glistening bits that your camera captures very well 🙂

  • I had a really good dinner at Mixx in the summer of 2005. I remember that lobster curry (and remember loving it). It sounds like your dinner was more of a miss than a hit. That’s unfortunate.

  • hhhmmm…don’t think i would head in there. how can that dessert make it to the menu? thx for the play by play though;)

  • Self-constructed desserts baffle me. I’m at a restaurant for a reason – I don’t want to do the constructing!

    Bummer your final meal in Vegas wasn’t so stellar – guess that’s what happens in Vegas right? You win some, you lose some. 😉

  • Bummer! I too have heard fantastic things about Mix, but have yet to go. This makes me a bit wary as your tastes tend to coincide with mine.

  • Baba au rhum college style .. you could be on to something there 😉

  • I second KFP’s love for “Grossest amuse bouche ever.”

  • at least the chandelier was awesome? 🙁

  • that’s so sad to hear! i’ve been to MIXX for drinks, and sadly, they weren’t that great for the price. did you at least get to enjoy the view?

  • What a bummer… I ate here a few years ago and felt the same way. The pluses were the ambiance and view.

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