Man The Cosmo is blowin’ up with all these nice restaurants! On a trip to Vegas with Greg, Jen, and Matt in late May, the four of us tried Holsteins at The Cosmopolitan. We figured it was a good place since it’s casual and Greg loves burgers like a Chris Hei loves pork belly. So what better place to try than what is arguably Vegas’ best burger restaurant? We were too hungry, since it was an early dinner (for my sake so I could drive back to LA later that night), so the four of us split three burgers and a couple of boozy shakes.
Just a note on the decor: it’s pretty freakin’ awesome. Very reminiscent of a Japanese pop art store, with in-your-face bright hues via cutesy but badass murals and paintings. Think of a cross between Tokidoki x A Bathing Ape x Giant Robot, with a cute cow as the central theme. If Holsteins was a book store, I could see myself loitering all day reading manga.
The three burgers that we split were: Gold Standard, The Rising Sun, and Big Fat Greek. The first two are their most popular burgers, with the Gold Standard being their breadwinner with regards to various “best burger” honors in town. The construction of this burger is very similar to the gourmet burgers you’d find in LA (think Father’s Office) – aged beef blend w/ bacon, sharp artisan cheese (goat cheddar here), peppery green (arugula obviously), and aioli. It was a good burger, cooked to a good medium-rare upon our request, but I like my patty to have more char (it was quite juicy though), and the aging wasn’t very prevalent here.
The lamb burger, while is only available well-done, was solid, but quite standard (with the requisite Greek flavors). My favorite of the bunch was the Rising Sun, an Asian-inspired burger made with “Kobe” beef (still bothers me that “Kobe” is thrown around so easily in U.S. restaurants, although the Las Vegas branch of CUT supposedly carries it again). Predictable teriyaki glaze, but everything just worked in that burger – glaze was sweet but not overpowering, and the creamy avocado coated lightly with tempura batter and thin strips of yam provided nice contrasts of texture. The same brioche bun used on all the burgers wasn’t too dense, but for some reason was rather forgettable.
Boozy shakes were well-made, and service was casual, yet attentive. Overall, a very fun place to go with a group (the reason Greg brought our bachelor party group here the following month while I sneaked off to dine at e by Jose Andres). LA has spoiled me burger-wise, to the point where I’m nitpicking each one of my visits to said places down to the smallest detail (although I’m sure most of it is just talking out of my ass). And while the variations offered at Holsteins can’t compare quality-wise to the top tier of gourmet burger joints in my hometown, I can see how it’s the star of a mid-market team – like what Joe Johnson was to the Hawks (and yes, that’s a slight knock on the price of these burgers). Definitely a consistent scorer.
Complementary cheese popcorn
House draft (free w/ foursquare check-in)
The Rising Sun ($17) – Kobe Beef, Teriyaki Glaze, Nori Furikake, Crispy Yam, Spicy Mayo & Tempura Avocado
Big Fat Greek ($17) – Greek Spiced Lamb With Feta Cream, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion & Olive Relish, W/Tatziki Sauce
Gold Standard ($17.50) – Dry Aged Beef Sirloin Burger With Smoked Bacon, Aged Goat Cheddar Cheese, Tomato Confit, Baby Arugula & Garlic-Chive Aioli
Campfire Smores ($11) – Smirnoff Marshmallow Vodka, Chocolate, Marshmallow, Graham Crumble
Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake (? – not currently on online menu)
Chris Hei grade: B
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
3708 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109