There are few things in this world I love as much as brunch. On my second morning in Las Vegas, drunk on happiness and teenage dreams realized (at the Backstreet Boys concert the night before), my travel buddy and I were in search of an extra special place to dine. When we were at the hotel pool the day before I noticed that one of the restaurants has outdoor seating and overlooks the pool deck. Since it was a gorgeous day, I suggested we claim chairs at the pool and check it out.
The restaurant I spied from my lounge chair the day before was called Herringbone and it serves "California-inspired coastal cuisine."
We arrived at 10:30am and the hostess let us know it would be about a 30 minute wait. Undeterred, we soaked up the sun at the pool until my phone rang with the news that our table was ready.
The Herringbone patio is a beautiful oasis. The back wall is lined with couches, each one sprinkled with vibrant, patterned pillows.
The reason there is always a wait for a table is because who would want to get up for this spot?
In the center of the patio are long wooden tables, clearly meant for family-style meals.
I freaked out when I noticed the red-dipped legs of these chairs. Such a fun touch.
On the right side of the patio is a bar, a great place to grab a drink while you wait for your table (if for some reason you aren't in the mood for the pool).
Like the dining room chairs, the bar stools are also dipped. The white paint gives them that California airiness.
We were seated at the coziest table. We were both in shock when the hostess walked us over. We felt like we hit the jackpot!
As we settled into our star table, my friend said, "This feels like you are in someone's beautifully decorated backyard."
Though our table had two chairs and a bench, we decided to share the bench because it was the most comfortable and it had the best people watching view.
We couldn't get over all the pretty touches from the furniture to the silverware to the glassware. Our silverware was a copper color that you don't usually see in restaurants.
Our water glasses were a Caribbean blue. I loved them so much I considered asking where they source them from.
While we were gushing over the view and the decor, our waiter came by to introduce himself. The staff at Herringbone all wear white and navy gingham shirts, which we both thought were adorable and perfect for the coastal vibe.
He walked us through some of the most popular brunch cocktails and menu items. The Herringbone drink list has libations with funny names like Better Mules & Gardens, Kiss My Bubbles, It's Still Hot in Mexico, The Drifting Mistress, the Patio Crusher and the Umbrella Not Included.
I decided on a Bloody Mary and my travel buddy went with a mimosa. I still think the best Bloody Mary is at The Sinclair in Harvard Square, but this was a valiant contender. The tomato juice was delicious and the mix had just the right amount of kick.
While sipping on our drinks we formulated a game plan for our food order. We had seen one particular plate go by that we knew we had to have (more on that in a minute) but we also knew we wanted an egg dish. After peeking around at all the neighboring tables, we decided to share two dishes - the California burrito and the orange ricotta chocolate chip pancakes.
The California burrito was the first to arrive. It was scrambled eggs, avocado, crema, salsa and French fries, all wrapped up into a deliciously fresh burrito. It typically comes with carne asada as well. When I asked if the meat could be served on the side (so my friend could still enjoy it) they said, "No problem!"
The burrito was pressed, which gave an awesome crunch to the tortilla. The eggs were fluffy and tasted super delicious with the avocado and the fries. Yes, people - fries inside the burrito. If this isn't vacation gluttony, I don't know what is.
My brunch date said the seasoning on the carne asada was really yummy. On the side, we also enjoyed home fries, tossed with onions and red peppers. I wish the potatoes had been crispier, but the veggies cooked in with them was a nice surprise.
Our second dish, the one we started lusting for as we watched it sail by to another table, was the orange ricotta chocolate chip pancakes. I don't know if you can tell from this photo, but these were massive!
The stack was five pancakes high and topped with a strip of chocolate-covered bacon.
My friend admitted, "I haven't seen a plate of food that has ever made me smile this wide!"
We cut into the stack and the ricotta topping began to melt down the center. It was a glorious sight!
Though I am not usually a fruit person, the citrus flavor in these pancakes was incredible. It added a brightness and tartness to each bite that helped cut through the richness of the batter, ricotta and chocolate. As we kept cutting, we discovered there were chocolate chips layered in between each pancake in the stack. My friend declared, "These could be the greatest pancakes I have ever had. They are so fluffy! This is definitely a plate that you lick."
When we finally tapped out and our waiter took our pancake plate away, my brunch date said, "I am a strictly savory brunch person, but when I saw those pancakes, I knew immediately I wanted them. They superseded my expectations."
Our brunch at Herringbone was exceptional. From the gorgeous outdoor patio to the pool views to the attentive service, we were blown away. Both the breakfast burrito and the pancakes were A+ choices. We will both be recommending this restaurant to family, friends and co-workers who are planning trips to Vegas. Even if I don't wind up staying at Aria again on a future trip, I will be sure to make time for Herringbone.