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#301 squidsdc

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:12 PM

The next two days in Vegas, I was eating 4-5 meals each day. B)
The next morning I had a ridiculously sized breakfast of fried chicken and bacon waffles at the Hash House a Go Go .
This was followed by lunch of Hokkaido style ramen (miso ramen with butter & corn) at Monta Noodle House on Spring Mtn.

That night I had an amazing dinner at Aburiya Raku, a Japanese robata grill on Spring Mountain west of Chinatown. Pics
We started with cold apps: housemade tofu with choice of toppings including green tea salt, chile powders, plum deuced soy sauce/daikon, a slimy umami rich bowl of uni/poached egg/okra/mountain yam/mushrooms, Kobe beef liver sashimi, amberjack sashimi, and firefly squid sunomono. The robatayaki we had were tomatoes, Japanese eggplant, Kobe skirt with garlic, Kobe filet with fresh wasabi, lambchop, tsokone, Kurobata pork cheek, pig ear, and Kobe beef tendon. The chef offers a Kaiseki meal if you book far in advance that looks amazing in some blogs I've read.

The next day, I located a few places in Vegas that make malasadas, a doughnut popular in Hawaii, inspired by Portuguese missionaries. I also ate at Aloha Treasures in the California Casino downtown- known for their Hawaiian food including Loco Moco, Saimin, and Spam items. I had the Hawaiian tripe stew with a mac salad.
For my last meal in town, I went to Soyo Korean Barstaurant, a late night joint that is like an izakaya but with Korean cuisine. They had a good Korean fried chicken, the rice dumplings in spicy sauce, a dish with corn topped with mozzarella cheese, potato pancake, and grilled squid. Pics

OMG-That amount of food is just unreal! The California really does cater to Hawaiian visitors and the food I'm told is very authentic. My in-laws will be in LV this fall so I'll mention your other recs in case they haven't been to any of them yet. (They used to go every year to LV for my MIL's high school reunion-she's from the Big Island. They always stay at the California Hotel) Thanx for doing the dirty work and forcing yourself to eat at all those places!
I'm lookin' forward to getting some of those Malasadas (and Cocoa puffs of course) of my own next month :D

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain"--The Great Oz


#302 mame11

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:36 AM

In Vegas for work. Craving sushi, I went to Tao because it is in my hotel and had good reviews on Urban Spoon. I figured at the prices they charge for sushi the fish flew first class to Vegas.

Well, my rolls were fabulous and the seaweed salad by far the best I've ever had. I wish the portion for the seaweed salad had reflected the price (a whopping $10, not on the menu so I didn't know). The rolls were really incredible. The fish was very fresh. It was exactly what I was looking for and exactly twice as much as I would have paid in DC, New York or LA (even at the nice places). Whatever, it's Vegas and essentially a hotel restaurant so I can't complain about prices.

BUT the reason I really felt compelled to post was to share what one of the servers said to me:

"We are not a restaurant, we're a factory. We serve about 25,000 customers during a week."

B)

I'm glad I ordered sushi.

#303 jiveturk21

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 11:24 AM

"We are not a restaurant, we're a factory. We serve about 25,000 customers during a week."

Is that the number of people that they serve food to? I have been to Tao at 2:00 AM, several times, with thousands of other people in that place, but no one was eating any food. If they actually serve 25,000 diners per week, that is almost too many to comprehend.

#304 johnb

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 05:36 AM

Is that the number of people that they serve food to? I have been to Tao at 2:00 AM, several times, with thousands of other people in that place, but no one was eating any food. If they actually serve 25,000 diners per week, that is almost too many to comprehend.

Tao LV has ranked as the highest-grossing restaurant in the US for several years running, so they must be serving quite a few.

#305 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 01:36 PM

Top buffets by Endless Vacations (a RCI publication)

#306 DrXmus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 09:24 PM

I realize this may not quite be kosher, and please move this if it belongs elsewhere, but I trust the opinions here and you all know a hell of a lot more than I do. SWMBO and I are going to Vegas/Sedona/Grand Canyon in October. We've never been to Vegas and don't know where to stay. I've been following this thread for eats, but what about sleeps? We don't want to break the bank, but I don't think we want to stay way off the strip for super cheap, either. This might be our only Vegas trip, so we want the experience, we just want to be able to pay the mortgage when we get back, too!

Thanks for your opinions. Feel free to PM me if non-food posts are verboten.

Gracias!

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#307 Joe H

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:14 PM

I realize this may not quite be kosher, and please move this if it belongs elsewhere, but I trust the opinions here and you all know a hell of a lot more than I do. SWMBO and I are going to Vegas/Sedona/Grand Canyon in October. We've never been to Vegas and don't know where to stay. I've been following this thread for eats, but what about sleeps? We don't want to break the bank, but I don't think we want to stay way off the strip for super cheap, either. This might be our only Vegas trip, so we want the experience, we just want to be able to pay the mortgage when we get back, too!

Thanks for your opinions. Feel free to PM me if non-food posts are verboten.

Gracias!

I've stayed in almost every hotelon the Strip over the past ten years, usually for business. $129 at the Venetian (usually the Bellagio, too) for Sunday through Thursday. Often they'll throw in free tickets for a show (no, not Jersey Boys). Have one meal at Lotus of Siam-you'll have to reserve a couple of weeks in advance for October if there is a convention in town. The Wynn is about $159 a night. All three have free self parking.

#308 johnb

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 09:27 PM

I realize this may not quite be kosher, and please move this if it belongs elsewhere, but I trust the opinions here and you all know a hell of a lot more than I do. SWMBO and I are going to Vegas/Sedona/Grand Canyon in October. We've never been to Vegas and don't know where to stay. I've been following this thread for eats, but what about sleeps? We don't want to break the bank, but I don't think we want to stay way off the strip for super cheap, either. This might be our only Vegas trip, so we want the experience, we just want to be able to pay the mortgage when we get back, too!

Thanks for your opinions. Feel free to PM me if non-food posts are verboten.

Gracias!

LV hotels are a rat's nest of deals and superdeals. They come and go like bedouins in the night, and you never know what you might find. There are many websites where you can get information. I'd definitely do a few google searches and see what I could come up with for the days I want to go. As Joe suggests, Sunday through Thursday are always the best bet (Friday and Saturday nights are filled up with folks who drive in from LA). If you have any choice about the specific week you will go, look at the convention and visitors bureau website to see what conventions will be in town when, and pick the lowest period you can.

#309 DrXmus

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 09:57 PM

We were going to stay at the Bellagio because the cost was something like 169 or 189 per night for Tues/Wed. Suddenly, it became that price for Tues. and 359 or so for Wednesday! As mentioned before, it's a "rat's nest of deals and superdeals". After calling The Bellagio to say "can we have a cheap room for two nights? Pretty please?" we were directed to their sister hotel, Vdara, because there's a convention starting Wednesday. Vdara is in CityCenter and connected to the Bellagio (and the casino) by a sky walk, or a tram for the non-walkers. A pretty large basic room is $149. We booked it, just in case it's $400 tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestions!

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#310 Joe H

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 12:02 AM

We were going to stay at the Bellagio because the cost was something like 169 or 189 per night for Tues/Wed. Suddenly, it became that price for Tues. and 359 or so for Wednesday! As mentioned before, it's a "rat's nest of deals and superdeals". After calling The Bellagio to say "can we have a cheap room for two nights? Pretty please?" we were directed to their sister hotel, Vdara, because there's a convention starting Wednesday. Vdara is in CityCenter and connected to the Bellagio (and the casino) by a sky walk, or a tram for the non-walkers. A pretty large basic room is $149. We booked it, just in case it's $400 tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestions!

Don't forget Lotus of Siam. It's off the Strip in a strip shopping center with formica tables and a really rundown ambience. Still, he won the James Beard award as the BEST CHEF IN THE WESTERN UNITED STATES for 2011 beating out every other chef in Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, etc. (Means he beat Puck, Andres, etc.) the place is legendary. Reserve two weeks before you go.

#311 ALB

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 07:15 AM

Don't forget Lotus of Siam. It's off the Strip in a strip shopping center with formica tables and a really rundown ambience. Still, he won the James Beard award as the BEST CHEF IN THE WESTERN UNITED STATES for 2011 beating out every other chef in Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, etc. (Means he beat Puck, Andres, etc.) the place is legendary. Reserve two weeks before you go.

Do you have recommendations for Lotus of Siam? I'm excited to visit in a few weeks (don't worry, we have a reservation :mellow: .)

#312 Joe H

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 08:15 PM

Do you have recommendations for Lotus of Siam? I'm excited to visit in a few weeks (don't worry, we have a reservation :mellow: .)

Dave Feldman has a number of threads on Chowhound which focus on this. They are worth scrolling through. Dave had a number of trips where he would fly from NY to Vegas to host diners at LOS. My only regreet is that I didn't read his posts sooner. My wife believes that their short ribs Penang have forever changed her life...

#313 Marks

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 02:54 PM

Cafe Elote in Sedona is highly recommended. In fact I'd skip LV and stay in Sedona for a week. We stayed in Enchantment and the SPA was heavenly and the hiking even better.

#314 DrXmus

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 03:19 PM

Notes from our recent trip to Vegas:
-We always try to find non-chain eateries when we go away. It's not so easy in Vegas. We did find The Omelet House on the way out of town heading to the Grand Canyon (the Central location). It's a perfect breakfast joint. Sassy, older servers (all women); basic, non-offensive coffee that keeps coming; amazing omelet selection plus the other breakfast foods and the occasional local tex-mex type specialty; locals filling the joint.
-We had great lunch at Todd English's Olives in the Bellagio. Delicious goat cheese "pockets" (a/k/a ravioli) with a cheesy pesto cream sauce and a wild salmon special, but I don't remember the species. Yum. Crappy beer selection and service was iffy, but we had a great meal.
-This was our first (and probably only) trip to Vegas, so we figured we had to experience a buffet. We did the one at Aria for $30. Interesting and comprehensive. Great food? Nah.
-The Lotus of Siam was all it's been chalked up to be. We had a couple of apps and entrees and nothing disappointed. I remember I had a traditional stew with catfish, which interestingly is the most common fish seen on the menu. The server asked about heat level on a scale of 1-10. We both said 7, but I think we should've said 5-6. Mind you it was great, but we can rarely find actually spicy Asian dishes in NoVA (China Star and Uncle Liu's are the exceptions to this rule) so we're used to asking for spicy but not getting it. Oddly enough, this was the place with the best beer selection! We had Stone IPAs. The wine cellar and selection was amazing. Those Las Vegans love their wines. Or is it the Californians that travel there who love their wines?

I was shocked at how Vegas is a beer wasteland. I thought I'd see some California or Colorado beers that don't get distributed this far. Nope, not one. Fat Tire is the "craft" beer at all the casinos and restaurants, with Blue Moon, Bud, Coors and their respective Lights. Sad.

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#315 Al the Pal

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 08:42 PM

Just got back from Las Vegas. Some dining highlights included the following:
Lotus of Siam - The short ribs penang was probably the best dish I've had at a Thai restaurant anywhere. I thought that LoS was worthy of the hype. Do note when they ask how hot you want a dish 1 - 10, it can get very spicy. I ordered our appetizer as a 5 and it was too spicy for me.
Bouchon - breakfast. Everything was just right. perfect eggs, great croissants, etc.
Sage - Service and food were excellent. Loved my scallop dish and husband loved his short ribs. Also, have an absinthe (sp?) cart. We tried a Pernod which to me tasted like an alcoholic Good and Plenty. It was sort of soothing though. Also had an interesting cocktail called Tea Rose (I think).

#316 Adam23

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 11:00 AM

Got back from a Thanksgiving vacation in Vegas and hit up a number of places. Quick run-down:

e by Jose Andres - Fabulous, superb, excellent. I was wowed. There is that thread elsewhere on here on whether Jose Andres is still a great chef. After our meal at e, I can say without hesitation, yes. Everything was great with some items bordering on superb. If you can score a reservation, I highly recommend it.

Holsteins - Burger joint in the Cosmo. Lots of interesting burgers like a Korean kimchi burger and such. Pretty good, but rather expensive for what it is. I still prefer Burger Bar in the Mandalay Bay.

Comme Ca - We went here for Thanksgiving dinner. Nice decor and good service, but food was rather bland. Central blows this place away for similar french-influenced food.

Lotus of Siam - Excellent. Still is the best Thai food I have ever had. Superb stuffed chicken wings, delicious panang curry with short ribs and a lot of other delicious items my guests ordered. Plus a truly outstanding German Riseling wine list.

#317 Marks

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:08 AM

One Friday night in Vegas after a week of hiking. Looking for a great dinner on/near the strip. Considering Craftsteak, Sage .. any others i should consider. I want to keep it around 200-250 PP including wine.

#318 Sundae in the Park

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 11:56 AM

Lotus of Siam was worthy every minute of the wait, which is impressive because that parking lot smells...not good. We went in w/out a reservation on a Monday night and made the last seating after about an hour wait. We didn't peruse this thread carefully but ordered well (short ribs penang, wings, crunchy rice appetizer, sea bass, and fried pork belly with greens) after reading all the reviews posted on the walls and chatting with other waiters. I like the wings at Pok Pok (Portland) better, but overall the meal was amazing, with brisk but kind service, and the piquant but luxurious flavors and textures. Their glory wall is quite a sight, especially for a person used to a DC glory wall covered with politicians. It's funny to think about glamour in such a dumpy setting, but I understand why they go!!!

Hash House a Go Go in the Imperial has ridiculous portion sizes and they are overly fond of sage, but it's a lot of fun and the chicken bacon waffles are glorious (the bacon is cooked INTO the waffles! You have NO CHOICE but to have bacon with every bite! Genius.). My fried chicken eggs Benedict was less pleasing, because I hated the orange chipotle cream sauce (kind of Thousand Islands-ish in execution) and I seriously underestimated how much scrambled eggs suffer in comparison to poached eggs in a Benedict, but the dish certainly delivered on our waiter's promise of "breakfast, lunch, AND dinner on a plate!"

We hit the lunchtime buffet at the Bellagio and now that I've been there, done that, I seriously don't need to return. The food was actually quite a bit better than I expected - great carving stations and decent desserts - but I just can't eat enough for it to be worthwhile and I don't want such a bewildering variety of mediocrity.

#319 DonRocks

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:28 PM

Caesar's Palace Bets Big on New $17 Million "Bacchanal Buffet" written by A. Pawlowski, news contributor to nbcnews.com.

These buffets, which casinos by definition serve to the masses, can be pretty good, especially when there are "cordoned-off sections" with luxury items available to the more high-rolling crowd (fresh, deveined shrimp, for starters). Even when dining at the lowest end of the low end, an intelligent diner can often find ways to circumvent things and have a decent meal. But with something this extravagant, there may be room for all sorts of dining levels.

I wonder if this might end up being one of the busiest restaurants in the world during certain times.

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#320 Adam23

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:53 AM

Quick trip to vegas and had some great food. Two highlights:

1. Pastrami at Todd English P.U.B. - Tender, juicy, spicy - delicious - beats any pastrami i've had in the DC area and up there with the best in NY.

2. Nearly perfect meal at Wolfgang Puck CUT - Wicked expensive but the service was perfect. The tasting of sirloin was quite delicious. Three different sirloins - one prime, one dry aged US wagyu and one Japanese kobe. All three delicious, perfectly cooked and so tender. If all sirloin was this tender and delicious, I would eat it all the time.

One lowlight - Central - We stopped here since it was late, it is open 24 hours and we were in Caesers. Menu is similar to the DC restaurant but the food is clearly toned down for simplified palates and lots of random options - I think there were wings for instance on the meny. I had an onion soup which was bland and a watery broth. Much different than the rich, hearty DC version. Wife had the faux-gras which was the same as DC though.

#321 jandres374

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 07:22 AM

Heading to Vegas next weekend with the wife for 3 nights, first time for her.  We are staying at the Cosmopolitan.  I have been trying to plan some meals and I am getting overwhelmed with options.  Any suggestions that won't break the bank.  Not looking to drop $400-500 for dinner.  Also, my wife is not a fan of the tasting menus.



#322 ALB

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:38 AM

call now- Lotus of SIam.


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#323 tentimesodds

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:31 PM

Has anyone eaten at Mastro's Ocean Club in the CityCenter's Crystals shopping center? I'm trying to find a good spot for a one-on-one business dinner when I'm out there for a conference at Aria. Welcome any suggestions...thanks



#324 DCDuck

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:59 PM

This is probably late for the person asking for recommendations for this weekend, but in the Cosmo I would recommend China Poblano. We had a good meal there on my last trip, and it is a fun place to dine, and quite affordable. The Vesper bar downstairs at that same casino is also worth visiting. It is one of the few casino bars I've been to that actually takes their cocktails seriously.

 

I agree 100% with the Lotus of Siam recommendation. That was one of the best meals I had in 2012.

 

If you're looking to get a steak, probably the best steakhouse steak I've ever had was the Fiorentina for two at Carnevino. It is not a cheap dining experience, but it is an awesome steak. 



#325 jandres374

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:11 PM

Just returned from a long weekend in Vegas, we stayed at the Cosmo and hit some pretty good places:

 

Milo's (Cosmo) - great value, 3 course lunch menu for $20.13.  Excellent fresh fish.

Gordon Ramsay Steak (Paris) - didn't think it could live up to the hype but it was fantastic.  Very lively and loud restaurant but had great energy.  Not a cheap meal but any means but my prime rib cap was quite possibly the best piece of meat I have ever had.  Also, the sticky toffee pudding desert was excellent.  Highly recommend.

Border Grill (Mandalay) - awesome tapas style all you can eat brunch on weekends for $29.99 plus $5 for bottomless mimosas.

Comme Ca (Cosmo) - only had a couple drink and a few apps before a show, great deal at happy hour.  Very nice hand crafted cocktails.

American Fish (Aria) - stopped in late after a show and ordered a few small plates and an appetizer, very fresh fish.

Secret Pizza (Cosmo) - down an unmarked hallway, they should keep it a secret, not worth the late night calories.

Holsteins (Cosmo) - wanted to try Burger Bar at Mandalay but if was getting late and we were starving.  Really good burger (Nom Nom burger), pretty nice beer list.  Cool place to hang out for awhile and watch the inauguration parade.

Bartolotta (Wynn) - ate that bar here after a show at the Wynn, great service, and very good fish.  we had an octopus appetizer that was excellent, a pasta (can't recall name and menu on line is not the same) and the orata salmoriglio.  Probably the best meal we had although not cheap either, the fish alone was $105.

Wicked Spoon (Cosmo) - we had 2 free vouchers for buffet breakfast and am I glad I didn't pay for it.  lots of variety but I'm just not a buffet person.  skip it unless it is free.



#326 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:32 PM

I had reservation at Todd English PUB for 11:30 Saturday morning.  Much to my dismay, their Open Table system was malfunctioning when I arrived.  They said they will get me seated right away (and they did), but I'm not sure if I got my Open Table points (almost a week later and it's still pending).  Anyhow, I checked out their seafood on ice (always on a look-out for splendid fruits de mer platter) but nothing leaped out at me.  So I started with some steamed clams with chorizo (which were fabulous, but this is something even I can do at home), and then ordered a 1/2 lb of pastrami sandwich ($18).  The pastrami was very thickly cut, as was the rye bread (there were other choices for bread).  My personal preference would be thinner sliced pastrami as well as bread but the pastrami was delicious.  I can't say whether it was better than Katz in NYC, but it was close.  

 

When I was hungry (having woken up at 3:30 a.m. EST to catch the flight and then didn't eat until 2:30 EST), I thought there's no way that was a half pound of pastrami.  But I wasn't hungry as I rolled into Scarpetta for dinner at 6 p.m. (local time).  Nevertheless, that didn't stop me from ordering 2 pastas and an entree.  There were in fact several pastas that looked interesting, such as duck & foie gras ravioli, short rib agnolotti, black tonarelli, and pici.  I ordered the latter two.  The black tonarelli ($40) was served with big hunks of king crab legs (not sure if they were ever frozen), coddled egg & smoked trout roe.  I was told to break the egg and mix everything up.  (Oh, the restaurant was very dark and I didn't have a flash, so the pictures don't look so hot).  I'm not one who cares for raw egg yolks for no good reason.  And in this case, I'm not sure that egg was really needed.  In any event, the pasta was texturally perfect, the crab was plentiful and tasted as good as any king crab leg I've ever had.  I liked the dish but I'm not sure I would've liked it any less without the egg.  The second course was pici with lobster, preserved tangerine & bottarga.  As I wasn't hungry (didn't finish the first course), I chewed the pici carefully and detected some doughiness.  It was a thick pasta - so it was not cooked all the way through.  The lobster didn't add much to the flavor of the pasta, which tasted fine with just the bottarga sauce (another plate I didn't finish).  The lobster was there to jack the price up to $36.  The last dish was one of Scott Conant's signature dishes - Sicilian spiced duck breast ($33).  The duck was cooked to medium rare I believe, very flavorful, perfectly executed I would say.  

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  • Scarpetta Lobster Pici.jpg


#327 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 04:58 PM

Sunday morning I woke up quite early and had a few beers while blackjacking before meeting Steve at Caesar's bacchanal buffet.  I believe it was over $40 per person for breakfast, but included brunch boozy drinks - we had some mimosas.  I mostly stuck to the Asian stuff like xiao lon bao (decent), sticky rice in lotus leaves (good flavor but not much filling such as egg, chicken, Chinese sausage), made to order tonkotsu ramen, wonton soup.  There were crab legs, steamed mussels on ice and shrimp cocktail but I wasn't in the mood for that at 9 a.m.  No raw oysters or sushi though at that time.  Not really worth the money but we wanted to check out the new emperor of buffets in Vegas.
 
Dinner was at Bartolotta.  They wheel out a case full of beautiful seafood.  How can you resist?!  Well, when the lobster is $22 per 100g, it's hard to pull the trigger.  The bad boy in the case was 800g (1.75 lbs).  We decided to go with a Caribbean rock lobster which was only 700g (at a slightly higher price per 100g) - grilled.  But before that we had some fried fish (seppia, tiny fish, two other fish), seared scallops, bavette alle vongole, lasagnette con ragu di crostacei (lobster, shrimp, crab).  I loved the fact they used manila clams instead of little neck for the pasta.  All the food was pretty good.  I would've liked to see more interesting dishes on the menu though.

Btw, they shelled the lobster at table side. They were trying to do it neatly and cleanly but that took quite a while. By the time I got to try the lobster, it was just lukewarm. I would've had no problem tearing into the lobster myself.
 

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#328 durwoodx

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:34 PM

Can anyone recommend someplace a party of 8-10 can get a top notch Las Vegas Steakhouse experience with the following problematic caveat: we are on a month long tour with a large group and limited luggage. Thus, no access to suits/jackets. All  constructive ideas welcome.


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#329 johnb

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:10 AM

Can anyone recommend someplace a party of 8-10 can get a top notch Las Vegas Steakhouse experience with the following problematic caveat: we are on a month long tour with a large group and limited luggage. Thus, no access to suits/jackets. All  constructive ideas welcome.

 

Generally speaking, formal dress is not needed in LV these days.  As long as you look reasonably clean and neat you should be good to go in most places.  I'd decide where I want to dine then check with them about their dress code.



#330 DCDuck

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:06 PM

Generally speaking, formal dress is not needed in LV these days.  As long as you look reasonably clean and neat you should be good to go in most places.  I'd decide where I want to dine then check with them about their dress code.

 

I agree with this. A group of friends and I do a steak dinner in Vegas pretty much every year, and we don't wear jackets or ties, so I think you'll be fine. And my favorite steakhouse in Vegas is Carnevino, for sure.



#331 durwoodx

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:53 PM

And carnevino is exactly what I had my eye on. 240 day dry aged? Yes, please, and thank you!

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#332 DCDuck

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 02:31 PM

And carnevino is exactly what I had my eye on. 240 day dry aged? Yes, please, and thank you!

 

It is not cheap, but it is delicious. The Fiorentina for two is ridiculously good. 



#333 Gary Tanigawa

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:53 PM

Carnevino lunch on Jan 4, 2013, bone-in ribeye dry aged from May 26, cooked medium rare, sliced by chef and served with bone (along the top) :)

ribeye.jpg



#334 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 03:44 PM

Just returned from a quick 2-day visit to LV for business....lots of places I want to try, but subsequent visits will take me to a few of them. However, I was able to drop in to a few places on my list....

 

Sushi Samba -- I'm not sure what I expected, but I had high hopes. They were dashed. This eclectic place has a strange Latin American and sushi fusion thing going on. The sush is portioned quite small, and priced quite high. The quality was OK, but the quantity to price ratio was not good. I had one of the specialty rolls of spicy tuna with foie gras on top. It tasted like tuna with feces.

 

Enzo's Pizza -- Off the casino floor at the Venetian. I got the tip from a shoe salesman from Brooklyn, who said that they bring in water from Brooklyn to make the dough. I ended up eating three rather large slices, and really loved them. This was the surprise of my visit.

 

Lotus of Siam -- It is easy to get high expectations as you walk into this place, with Beard awards and Best Asian Restaurant awards all over the wall. It was crowded on Wednesday night at 8pm, but the crowd was thinning by 8:30. I ordered the Stuffed Chicken Wings appetizer and the Short Ribs Penang as my main course, heat level 6. I have to admit to some disappointment....the Stuffed Wings seemed like they had been prepared well ahead, and then flash fried when the order went in. This was a really bland dish, and the accompanying sweet sauce didn't rescue it. Two Wings for about $12 didn't seem like a fair deal. The Short Ribs Penang was a delicious dish, and I could have eaten just the sauce over rice. The heat level of 6 was not too spicy -- I should have gone with a 7 or 8 -- and the three short ribs were very tender and flavorful. But again, this dish was priced in the mid-$20s, so I think another short rib or two should have been in the dish.

 

On the way back to the hotel, my half-Vietnamese cab driver remarked that Lotus of Siam has become Americanized and too expensive. He indicated it catered to out-of-towners who didn't know any better. He and his wife prefer a Chinatown place, Thia Noodle House, for their Thai fix.

 

My sense is that Las Vegas restaurants are not held to the same accountability that New York or San Francisco restaurants are held to by the discerning palates of the diners at these other locations. Las Vegas is about transient money, coming to town to be wowed by extravagant shows and the buzz of gambling. Restaurants can probably get away with more transgressions in Las Vegas.


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#335 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:58 PM

my half-Vietnamese cab driver remarked that Lotus of Siam has become Americanized and too expensive. He indicated it catered to out-of-towners who didn't know any better.

 

My sense is that Las Vegas is not held to the same accountability that New York or San Francisco restaurants are held to by the discerning palates that comprise the diners at these other locations. Las Vegas is about transient money, coming to town to be wowed by extravagant shows and the buzz of gambling. Restaurants can probably get away with more transgressions in Las Vegas.

We avoided Lotus of Siam for that reason.  As for dining in Vegas, the reproduced version tends to be more expensive than the original, and not nearly as good.  Still, it's a fun city to visit and it has more high end dining options than DC!



#336 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:39 AM

We avoided Lotus of Siam for that reason.  As for dining in Vegas, the reproduced version tends to be more expensive than the original, and not nearly as good.  Still, it's a fun city to visit and it has more high end dining options than DC!

I agree with you. Since I was staying at the Venetian, I passed up Bouchon to go to Lotus of Siam. That won't happen again.

 

I also passed up CUT, which was the consensus for best steak in Vegas by those of my business colleagues who live in Vegas.


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#337 Joe H

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 02:28 PM

I've been to Bouchon twice and decided the last time that I would never go back.  I've been to LOS six or seven times and while it has been a couple of years believed that it was then the best Thai in America.    The short ribs Penang is a standard for us.  I don't know about the cab driver and his opinions although I personally drove a cab for longer than I wanted to while going to college.  (I also spent more time in school than I had planned...)

 

Assuming the chef is the same (won the James Beard Award a couple of years ago beating out everyone in Vegas and Southern CA) there are several lengthy threads on CH that go into a great deal of detail about various dishes.  If the food hasn't changed in two years I think this is worthy of all of the hype.  And, it was held to every bit of the same standard as NY and L. A.  It was literally judged against L. A.  From memory there are three or four New York print reviews on the wall including Jonathan Gold who reviewed it for Gourmet.  In fact he reviewed it again in April of last year for Saveur where, once again he absolutely raved about it:  "The enduring allure of Lotus of Siam, the best Thai restaurant in Las Vegas — and maybe anywhere."

 

"It was the best Thai meal I had ever eaten. I went back for the next four or five meals in a row, and I almost cried when I had to get on a plane back to New York. I called it the best Thai restaurant in North America in my review for the magazine, and in the dozen years since, it has become probably the most famous Thai restaurant in the United States. The chef, Saipin Chutima (who runs the restaurant with her husband, Bill, and their daughters), tied for "Best Chef: Southwest" last year by the James Beard Foundation, making her the first Asian-born chef to win a Beard award for cooking the cuisine of her homeland. It was a stunning, and overdue, tribute."
 

 

For me Lotus of Siam is one of the few restaurants where I would say that the cost of a dish is what it is.  I like it that much.  I am sorry if you missed it.  I agree with you about Vegas having so many recreations that are not on the level of the originals.  But Lotus of Siam is an original.  And, I think, absolutely not to be missed. I would not go to Vegas without at least one meal there.

 

I would also consider revisiting Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand but not the $425 degustation, rather probably the four or six course tasting menu including an incredible veal "roast."  Robuchon is outageously expensive but you'll end up, with several amuse, at 9 or 10 courses if you order six and I thought worth the $200 or so prix fixe.



#338 johnb

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:39 PM

Anyone who has decided not to dine at LOS ought to consider its spin-off, Chada Thai.  Here is a recent Chowhound thread in which Dave Feldman, who is probably knows more about LOS and Chada, not to mention LV dining in general, than anyone else on earth, compares them.

 

Of course, another recommendation for LV, particularly anyone from the DC area who is familiar with Jose Andres' operations, should try to dine at e, his LV version of Minibar.



#339 PappyVanWise

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 03:34 PM

Anything new and noteworthy to check out in Vegas, on the lower side of the splurge scale?  I'll be there with a ton of extended family, so sneaking of to someplace like Chada definitely appeals to me.


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#340 chaofun

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 09:49 AM

IMHO most of the better food in Las Vegas is on the lower side of the $$ scale and is off strip.  I went earlier this year and the bigger more expensive on strip places are either not my speed, overrated, or too expensive.  Places like Jaleo I find are better in DC than in Vegas, if not for execution than for cost.

 

The only problem was that I could not get away much from my conference.  With the family in tow and no car this made it doubly difficult.  I would highly recommend Monta Ramen which at the time was considered the best ramen in Las Vegas.  Besides In-N-Out burger which we always enjoy, all I can say is check out chinatown.  We went through there a couple times because the kid slurps up pho and there are dozens of them in chinatown many open 24 hours.  There are a handful of places there that looked like they were worth checking out.

 

I had China Mama (soup dumplings, beef roll) and Los Antojos Mexicana (for obviously Mexican) on my short list but without a car it made it pretty tough.   Oh Tacos El Gordo was also on the short list.

 

I guess the lesson learned is rent a car.  With free parking at most casinos it makes sense to.



#341 JimCo

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:22 AM

Made my annual trip to Las Vegas last weekend.  Awoke on Saturday morning and walked by a crowd of about 200 people (no exaggeration) waiting to get into Denny's.  I casually slipped past them and headed to Bouchon at the Ventian, where there was no wait provided you were comfortable sitting at the bar.  I ordered the day's special omelet with spicy bacon and mushrooms.  I don't know what the "ideal" omelet is supposed to taste like, though I suspect the chefs at Bouchon probably do.  This was thin and moist, without being runny or greasy.  The bacon didn't seem spicy, but overall it was still a winner.  The only disappointment was the bread.  I've come to crave Bouchon's bread, but that mornings loaf seemed excessively chewy and without a crisp exterior.  Perhaps it was made the day before?  That'd be disappointing, but it certainly tasted like it.

 

Friday night and Sunday night I enjoyed dinner at Heritage Steak, Tom Colicchio's new steakhouse at the Mirage.  The attraction here is supposedly their focus on wood grilling.  On Friday night I started with the steak tartare.  The steak was overdressed for my tastes and a little too wet, also the steak was chopped a little finer than I prefer.  It was good, but nothing I'd order again.  For the entrĂ©e, I went with the bone-in ribeye.  It was very good, cooked as ordered.  It was here that I realized I can now cook a steak at home that approaches the quality of top-tier steakhouses.  That's not a criticism of top steak joints or a brag toward my own abilities.  Just that with a (newly acquired) Big Green Egg and access to Whole Foods, I'm reaching a point where steakhouse steaks seem a little less special.

 

On my Sunday visit to Heritage, I started with the Bison carpaccio with olives which was probably the best thing I ate there.  The NY Strip was ordered "black and blue" and while the blue part was nailed, it wasn't quite charred.  I recall this tasting pretty good, but at that point my aperitif of multiple vodka-sodas began to kick-in so I won't render any firm opinions.

 

Monday morning I had breakfast at Central at Caesar's.  Their breakfast potatoes are really well done there.  Chunks of potato that are golden and crispy outside, but soft on the inside.  Their corned beef is "homemade" and hit the spot without being anything terribly memorable. 

 

I've spent many years hanging out on this side of the Strip, so looking forward to shaking things up next year and staying down at the other end toward MGM and Mandalay.



#342 astrid

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 11:42 AM

Had dinner at Chada Thai last Saturday.  The service was attentive and wonderful - the wait staff is very knowledgeable and happy to steer us to the right dishes (and wines for other tables).  The food was lovely too (though I'm discovering that I just don't like southern Thai / Malay food as much as I like Northern Thai / Lao food) and love the smaller portions that lets us try more dishes.  The costs are quite reasonable, if not quite *cheap* by strip mall ethnic food standards.  It rather sad to see so few customers during a prime time on Saturday night though - frankly, if you have the chance to go here, go now because I'm a bit worried about the long term financial health of the establishment.

 

We also tried China Mama in the same strip mall.  The cumin lamb was very tasty, tender with nice flavors from chile/sansho/cumin.  The soup dumplings were well made but the filling tasted like it spent too much time in the freezer (the restaurant was only 10% filled on a Saturday night).  The fried buns had tasty fillings and a decent crust, but it wasn't the soupy and delicious Shanghai style shengjianbao that I was expecting - it was okay but I would not order again.

 

I really hope Vegas just has a different busy restaurant time than other cities (I believe Chada Thai is open until 3 AM everyday), because it's sad to see good restaurants stand so empty during Saturday evening.



#343 Sundae in the Park

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 09:36 PM

Had dinner at Chada Thai last Saturday.  The service was attentive and wonderful - the wait staff is very knowledgeable and happy to steer us to the right dishes (and wines for other tables).  The food was lovely too (though I'm discovering that I just don't like southern Thai / Malay food as much as I like Northern Thai / Lao food) and love the smaller portions that lets us try more dishes.  The costs are quite reasonable, if not quite *cheap* by strip mall ethnic food standards.  It rather sad to see so few customers during a prime time on Saturday night though - frankly, if you have the chance to go here, go now because I'm a bit worried about the long term financial health of the establishment.

 

We also tried China Mama in the same strip mall.  The cumin lamb was very tasty, tender with nice flavors from chile/sansho/cumin.  The soup dumplings were well made but the filling tasted like it spent too much time in the freezer (the restaurant was only 10% filled on a Saturday night).  The fried buns had tasty fillings and a decent crust, but it wasn't the soupy and delicious Shanghai style shengjianbao that I was expecting - it was okay but I would not order again.

 

I really hope Vegas just has a different busy restaurant time than other cities (I believe Chada Thai is open until 3 AM everyday), because it's sad to see good restaurants stand so empty during Saturday evening.

Agreed on all counts.  Chada Thai has excellent food, warm and attentive service, and a much sleeker atmosphere than LOS, so it is sad to see it so sparsely populated during primetime weekend hours. Our server said it does get busier later in the night, though, and we definitely appreciate the fact that we could come back late night to grab snacks (next time!).  The most memorable dishes were the mushroom and brussel sprouts appetizer (stir-fried in a lightly sweet soy sauce and topped with slices of fried lotus root) and the penang curry (duck, with crispy skin. Sooooo good, but the best part was the sauce, so we would be open to trying the curry with other meats).  I could eat a LOT of these dishes.  The tangy, herbaceous spring rolls also popped unexpectedly with bright, clean flavors.  The chili sea bass, while good (and lovely pieces of fish), wasn't to our taste (we are more glaze or sauce people, apparently, and didn't love the chunky chili paste, even though it was nicely deep and smoky) and the chinese broccoli with crispy pork belly was a good (perfectly tender-crisp greens) version of an ordinary dish.

 

The lines at Monta Ramen were impressive and promising but we opted for the bar at Abriya Raku (be there a few minutes before opening; they have 5 seats at the bar with the chefs and 4 more at the other bar; they basically don't take other walk-ins unless they have a cancellation).  It was my first time having Robata-style grilling and, while I really enjoyed everything we tried (tomatoes, enokis, pork cheek, chicken with chicken skin, duck, beef with garlic, and foie gras, with the last two being the best - if you really like the sauce and glazes, get a bowl of rice to sop up all the fatty, tasty goodness), the house-made tofu is the absolutely the star attraction.  We got a half order of the fresh and tofu of the agedashi and we should have ordered whole rounds of both (for 2 people!).  Even my soft-tofu-hating husband loved it!  The agedashi is an excellent version of the dish but the fresh tofu is outstandingly tender, mild, clean, and almost sweet, like the best, freshest ricotta or marscapone.  We also had the fried chicken (juicy and crispy, as advertised) and shrimp (best value on the menu, though very plain) and some of the fishy specials (all good, though I don't remember the names).  Everyone was very kind and the dark paneling and intimate atmosphere (they have some cozy, perhaps ex-viewing booths in the back) are nice-date appropriate.

 

If you're on this eating itinerary, you probably have a car, so if you have some time during the day pop over and take the 13-mile scenic drive at Red Rock Canyon. It's only a short drive out (20-30 mins from the Strip) from the city and you can use your national park passes to get in.  The visitor's center has some of the best exhibits I've ever seen at a park and the scenery along the drive is fantastic.  There are lots of places to get out and take short or longer hikes and you might even see some burros and mustangs.

 

The Hoover Dam is also a great short trip from the city (40ish minutes out).  We did the scenic Lake Mead lookout, the walk across the Tillman Bridge, and took some fun photos at the dam itself.  Most of the parking on the AZ side (Everything past the first pay lot) is free and the walk is very short (the furthest parking lot is still only about a half mile walk, albeit up a hill) with some good views.  

 

If you're driving back to Los Angeles, avoid driving on early Sunday night if possible.  We thought the 11+! hours of  hell we spent on the road was due to Thanksgiving travelers, but apparently it's a lot like that most weekends.  Leave early or stay late, or be prepared to lose all your vacation bliss on the road :(


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#344 Free Wilma

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 11:33 PM

Just spent three nights in Vegas as a plus one for my husband's work trip.  There was plenty of mediocrity and a couple of highlights.  For some reason I was with folks who were interested in going to "old vegas" style restaurants.  But "old vegas" was just tired vegas.  We went to Piero's italian restaurant and I was so bored by the menu that I had a difficult time choosing even one dish that interested me.  I ended up with the linguine with seafood...which was fine.  My husband got the HUGE prime rib.  Also fine.  They just seemed to care more about serving us HUGE portions rather than mildly interesting food.  I don't care that they filmed the movie "Casino" there or that Pia Zadora entertains in the lounge on the weekend.  blah blah blah! We also went to Hugo's Cellar at one of the downtown hotels/casinos.  It was a dark, dank steakhouse which had terrific tableside salads and decent steaks.  But the sides were banquet quality mashed potatoes and a herb crusted baked tomato.   

 

As for the highlights, we greatly enjoyed Samba/Sushi at the Palazzo/Venetian.  We stuck with the more standard sushi fare and didn't delve into the Samba-type items.  It was fresh, slightly inventive and we were quite pleased.  We enjoyed Bouchon's terrific Sunday brunch at the Venetian. the beautiful stacked apple french toast was almost a bread pudding..and I loved it.  Light, gooey, beautifully cooked apples with just the right crust.  Highly recommended; as was the the side of smokey, thick cut bacon.  I'd go back again tomorrow!   

 

Our last night was spent at the National Finals Rodeo...and I recommend dining somewhere else.  Even for event, arena food...it was awful.  But the cowboys were amazing!  


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#345 bettyjoan

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 04:39 PM

I'll be in Vegas February 3-6 for a conference.  Staying at the Tropicana Doubletree, down on the south end of the strip.  I get in after 8 PM on Monday - any recommendations for beer/snacks not too far from the hotel?

 

Otherwise, Tuesday and Wednesday nights are free for dinner - what are the most reliable hotel restaurants these days?  Not looking for anything super fancy or spendy, but I don't think I want to venture off the strip for this visit.

 

Any lunch spots of note?  I'll be at the Convention Center.

 

Thanks!


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#346 bettyjoan

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 09:11 AM

Due to some flight issues, my trip to Vegas seemed like a whirlwind.  I had an early dinner on Tuesday night at China Poblano in the Cosmopolitan.  I enjoyed it - the duck tongue taco was awesome, as was a special of XO sea scallops and green beans.  The prices are steep, but it's Vegas, so under the circumstances I don't think they're too far off the norm.  Good cocktail selection and some nice wines by the glass.

 

Wednesday night dinner at the Pub in the MGM Grand was not so good.  Beer selection was surprisingly good, but food was mediocre and service was ATROCIOUS.

 

I stayed at the renovated Tropicana, which I enjoyed - it is very bright and has a nice South Beach feel.  Room was quite large.  Pretty far down on the Strip, but close enough to the MGM Grand monorail stop that I didn't take cabs at all except for to/from the airport.


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#347 MMM

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 05:37 PM

My husband and I will spend 2 days in Las Vegas next week.  My first time there - just curious to see what it's like.  After checking all sorts of sites to select places to eat, have decided maybe to just go Thai,  and do Lotus of Siam one night and Chada Thai the other.  We prefer to avoid super expensive big name places.  Will have a car so can go anywhere in the area.  (In case anyone has any other suggestions!)



#348 Sundae in the Park

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 03:45 AM

My husband and I will spend 2 days in Las Vegas next week.  My first time there - just curious to see what it's like.  After checking all sorts of sites to select places to eat, have decided maybe to just go Thai,  and do Lotus of Siam one night and Chada Thai the other.  We prefer to avoid super expensive big name places.  Will have a car so can go anywhere in the area.  (In case anyone has any other suggestions!)

 

If you like Asian food, the plaza with Monta Ramen and Abriya Raku is a possibility, and China Mama is in the same strip mall as Chada. All are a few miles off the strip and none are big deal $$$, though you can run up the score at Abriya if you go crazy. 


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#349 johnb

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 10:14 AM

If you want a taste of old Las Vegas, a stop at the Fireside Lounge at the Peppermill woud be a good choice.



#350 MMM

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 01:44 PM

We got into Las Vegas at 6 pm, picked up a rental car, checked into our hotel and called Chada Thai to see if they had room for us.  Luckily they did, so we drove right over and had a lovely meal.  My husband loves Haw Mok  (steamed, custardy fish curry often served in a banana-leaf cup).  It was on the menu at Chada and at Lotus of Siam, where we went for lunch the next day.  We liked the version at Chada Thai better.  Both were served in ramekins.  The Chada version had discernible pieces of fish and whole shrimp nestled in the custard and was really outstanding.  The same dish was tasty at Lotus of Siam, but not as elegant.  We also had Tod Mun at both places.  Once again the version at LoS was traditional and good, but at Chada it was made of ground shrimp and coated in crispy panko, a more unusual and tasty version.  We liked both restaurants, but found the cooking at Chada Thai to be more innovative.

 

Our second night we decided to have dinner at Mon Ami Gabi, on the Strip, right across from the Bellagio.  We asked for a table near the front by the windows and had a very pleasant meal and as a bonus, could watch the Bellagio fountain show while we ate dinner.

 

The following day, we had time to drive to Hoover Dam before our afternoon flight, and stopped in Henderson at the Omelet House for a great breakfast.  Best Corned Beef Hash and Eggs ever!


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