The Unvegan

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Steaking Out at Rare 120 Degrees (CLOSED)

Pretzel bread? More like pretzel heaven.

Another fine restaurant I went to in Las Vegas was called Rare 120 Degrees. This restaurant was off the strip at the Hard Rock Cafe, but was a perfect place to stop before seeing Santana there. We had a reservation and got in instantly. It was a good thing we had that reservation, too, because no more than fifteen minutes later, the place got packed. Before I even saw the menu, I heard classic 80s music and one of the greatest movies of all time, Better Off Dead, starring John Cusack, was projected onto one of the walls. I knew I had come to a great place.

The menu had some great options, and as you can guess by the name of the place, a lot of those options were steak. I wasn’t in the hungriest state, so I chose the simplest steak on the menu, the 6 oz. Filet Mignon, described on the menu as “the most tender.” It didn’t come with any sides, like you would usually expect a steak to. Not even a dollop of mashed potatoes. They claim to be revolutionizing the restaurant world with this “a la carte” style of dining, but really it just seemed like they were trying to make more money. When a 6 oz. steak costs you (or the wonderful people that are taking you out to dinner) 30 bucks, you kind of expect it to come with more than just steak. This wasn’t a big deal, since I wasn’t really hungry, but it is strange to order a steak without anything to join it on the plate. It did, however, come with a sauce. The waiter told me that the peppercorn and Bearnaise sauces were his favorites, so I decided to test out the Bearnaise. I ordered it medium well and sat back to wait for my steak.

In the interim, the waiter brought us a cone full of bread, but this was no ordinary bread. Just as the Mesa Grill had offered a delicious twist on the bread basket, Rare 120 Degrees also upped the ante with a cone full of pretzel rolls (above). These rolls were soft and chewy and didn’t go overboard with salt. The spread they came with, which was some sort of sweet butter, also tasted great. I tried not to fill up on these too much before my steak came.

That plate is just so massive.

When the steak did come, I was sad to see that they had wasted a set of cherry tomatoes on my plate. Not only that, but they had even taken the time to saute them or something. Whatever it was, the restaurant had wasted their time. Instead, they could have given me that dollop of mashed potatoes I mentioned earlier. The steak also looked pretty small on the plate they had decided to serve it on. 6 oz. isn’t exactly small, but it looks like it when you put it on a plate about eight times its size. This minor scruple aside, the steak tasted quite good. It was really tender and tasted surprisingly good with the Bearnaise sauce. A lot of the time, sauces are used to conceal bad taste or lack of taste in a steak, but the Bearnaise sauce really did make a good steak taste even better.

Rare 120 Degrees was a great choice for a good meal in Vegas. Although the price is a bit steep compared to the real world, it’s pretty cheap by Vegas standards and the food actually makes it worth it. Especially that pretzel bread.