Michael Mina’s newest Vegas restaurant, Pub 1842, is in the heart of MGM Grand district — a long hallway with an odd combination of high end restaurants, shops, and a food court. It took over for Sea Blue, Mina’s former establishment. The place was loud. Like night club loud. And, due to its location it attracts the pool/day club crowd so you’ll see plenty of drunk dudes in tank tops.

The menu is full of stuff you’ll be familiar with. But there’s a twist with most, if not all, dishes. An ingredient or two that has been added to those comfort dishes to make them new and exciting. Like peanut butter on a burger or popcorn on a lobster roll. I couldn’t pass up the peanut butter crunch burger ($14). The combo was so odd that I had to try it. And, you know what? It works. The peanut butter lightly coats the underside of the top bun. There isn’t a lot of it, but there’s no mistaking the taste when you take a bite. In combination with the crunchy, salty chips and a perfectly well seasoned beef patty with a crispy char coating, it makes for a great array of flavors and textures that are unexpected yet pleasing. It may not be the best burger I’ve had, but it was certainly memorable.

The other food was decent, but a step down from the burger. The jumbo lump crab cake ($19) was tasty, especially with the garlic basil dressing. It’s a single fried crab cake topped with tomatoes and greens. The avocado kale caesar ($14) was an unnecessarily large portion that tasted good after the first few bites but was so rich that we left the rest of it untouched. They took what should have been a healthy and light dish and fattened it up needlessly. We also ordered a side of chicken ($14) that my kid had for his dinner.

The one side dish we got was the mac and cheese ($9). It was as creamy, smokey, and cheesy as we had hoped but what ruined it for us was the broccoli. I’m not a fan of broccoli in mac and cheese and if they had bothered to list that ingredient on the menu I probably would not have ordered it. We didn’t stick around for dessert, although those options all sounded delicious.

Service was spotty, as can be expected from a newly opened restaurant. They’ve got a few tables with their own beer taps where customers can swipe their credit card and pour their own beer. Those might be some of the best tables around for drinking and people watching.

I may not have enjoyed everything, but the menu has plenty of attractive sounding dishes and I’m sure I’ll be back eventually, but I know which dishes i won’t be ordering again.

3 Stars

MGM Grand
3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 891-3922

Pub 1842 by Michael Mina on Urbanspoon