the spot: The X Pot Las Vegas at The Venetian’s Grand Canal Shoppes 3327 S. Las Vegas Blvd Las Vegas NV 89109
the eats: Tasting Menu
the bucks: $$$$ NOT CHEAP EATS $158 per person
the full nelson: over the top, brag worthy, you did it once, but probably never twice experience
It says a lot that I needed two layout montages to cover the spectacle that was The X-Pot Las Vegas. And spectacle it was. There are robots, let me repeat, robots scooting around the dining room floor. There is a buzzing energy in the packed dining room. In fact all of Las Vegas was damn busy. We stayed at the Venetian and save for some wearing masks, it was like Covid was a thing of the past.
Originating in China, Hot Pot starts with a hot pot of broth served warm, actually hot, at the table. Diners then dip various foods into the broth, at varying lengths of time according to taste and type of food. Hot Pot can also be found throughout Asia, like Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and elsewhere. It’s been around a long time, dating all the way back to 1046 BC.
Look, you’re not here for a Wikipedia page rundown, but it is important to understand that this cuisine has a long history and more than a few Chinese emperors enjoyed eating in this manner. Which might help you understand the sticker shock. Tasting menus start at $100+ for lunch per person. Dinner starts at $150 per person. Is it this expensive everywhere? No. But it is at The X Pot Las Vegas where the tab is fit for an Emperor indeed. The question now becomes “does the Emperor wear clothes?”
We will get into that. For now let’s just breeze through the experience in pictures.
You have options like spicy, mushroom or chicken. I went with creamy lobster. At these prices how can you not?
I love foie gras. The goose liver patê is perhaps the epitome of indulgence and it’s been years since I have it. Maybe it is the more ethical way foie gras is made, but it didn’t live up to the memories. Looking good for the ‘gram though.
I wish I could tell you more about this dish other than it was edible. Which isn’t to say it was simply passable but rather art that is miraculously edible. I’d also add it was art that looks more memorable that it tastes. Another win for Instagram but not for my palate.
So this salad wasn’t bad but it was neither that beautiful nor extremely tasty. I guess all that farm to table dining has gotten me to become a bit of a veggie snob.
This is the heart of the spread. Thin sliced Wagyu, plus dumplings, meatballs and vegetables.
When it comes to Hot Pot, mushrooms do a remarkable job of soaking up the flavors of the broth. Plus it’s good to take beef breaks.
You should have some fun testing out how long to cook these razor thin slices of Wagyu. The more you cook, the more the fat renders, the less you cook, the more you get the pure taste of beef. It is a win win. I’d go back for this a la carte.
Yes, the meatballs are raw and you are tasked with cooking it. Beef at these prices mean you shouldn’t fret like a fast food worker. The dumplings were OK, again better for my Instagram feed than my mouth feed. I liked the meatballs though.
The lobster and shrimp were fine, nothing remarkable. However that white fish was magic in the creamy lobster broth. I’d get that fish a la carte for sure.
Wagyu Cap, Wagyu Chuck Roll, Wagyu Nigiri(sushi), Short Rib Cube and more. I wasn’t blown away by Wagyu richness but I was for the presentation. Beef as art.
So we got some Wagyu and bluefin tuna sashimi. Wagyu is on the left, topped with sea urchin. The bluefin is on the right. The meatiest bite of the night was the bluefin tuna.
The Bibimbap is where X Pot shines. They take a Korean classic rice dish, a rice bowl where you mix ingredients upon serving and take it to the nines with edible bling. If you’re smart and hungry you’re probably wondering where the bone marrow is. Right.
There was so much flavor going on here. So satisfying because at its core, this course is peasant food and when up against the context of a non stop flow of indulgent little bites, it satisfies like a taco truck after a long day of wine tasting.
I scarfed this down with reckless abandon. Maybe it was the sake. Maybe it was the Buffalo Trace pregame from the lounge at Prestige floor at the Venetian. Either way I saw the bottom of this glass serving bowl in record time. Despite the gluttony I could taste . . . ice crystals. A sign that this dessert had been made well in advance and sat in the fridge or freezer for far too long.
. . . was embracing the over the top experience that was The X Pot Las Vegas. My wife turned the big 5-0 and she wanted a bling dinner to go with her bling trip for a bling worthy birthday. I can’t say that I would do this again but I am a better diner for having gone for the full ride at The X Pot Las Vegas. Sometimes you gotta treat yourself to see how the other half lives. And the smile on their faces was worth the $500 tab. You only live once.