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Las Vegas - Strip/Downtown Recs
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  • Las Vegas - Strip/Downtown Recs

    Post #1 - November 13th, 2007, 8:01 pm
    Post #1 - November 13th, 2007, 8:01 pm Post #1 - November 13th, 2007, 8:01 pm
    LTH,

    After having spent the better part of the last day or two perusing all the Vegas posts here I have to say they are rather informed and fun to read. However, I noticed a few of the restaurants are gone or have changed names and a number were outside my interest range geographically.

    I know we all differ in what we want to experience in different cities we visit, but for me Las Vegas is really Adult Disneyland and is the one location where I don't really want to do anything "local" or go too far to find secret dining destinations like I would in almost any other city. I want to stay in the "bubble" or "zone" all the time until my head almost explodes and then get on my plane back to Chicago with, hopefully, some of my $$$$ - or maybe some of THEIR $$$$.

    In sum, I wanted to seek LTHers recommendations for mainly dining, but also for nightlife, options within the following guidelines:

    1. On the Strip or within reasonable walking distance Off Strip AND/OR around in the main drag (GN, Horseshoe, 4 Queens area) of Downtown LV.

    2. Any new places or old favs you'd recommend?

    3. Anything much exceeding $250 per couple for everything you can leave off the list. But, not looking for just expensive dinners.

    4. There must be some good deals out there within my geographic parameters.

    5. We will not have a car, don't want to have a car, and will taxi it to any non-walkable destination.

    6. We do not "club" or enjoy uber-modern nightspots where you are expected to wait a few hours to get in - we are just not that cool nor want to be.

    7. I don't mind paying $10-$12 for a top shelf martini or $15+ for a good single malt scotch, but I'm not gonna pay $25 for a bowl of grape juice lined with "Bob Smith's Dogshit Vodka" just because the drink has a cool name.

    I'm really just looking for a "fresh" list of Vegas favorites. It seems some of the posts are a bit dated.

    To sort of lead off, here are some of my favorites:
    Fleur de Lis - Mandalay
    Mesa Grill - Caesars
    Mon Ami Gabi - Paris
    Eiffel Tower - Paris
    Wynn Sunday Brunch
    Wynn Pool Bar
    Caesar's Pool Bar
    Rao's - Caesar's
    Paris Casino Floor Bar (don't ask me why but I really like it)
    Steakhouse Bar (name?) at Golden Nugget
    Pink Taco in Hard Rock
    Lucky 7's (sp?) Hard Rock
    Hard Rock Casino Floor bar
    Burger Bar Mandalay - Good informal place

    I do not like:
    Eiffel Tower BAR AREA (way overpriced and always shitfaced, rowdy clientele - it's like two different words from there 10 feet over to the actual dining room)

    Delmonico Steakhouse - they think it's cool not to advertise this place nor to have any in-casino directions to it. Part of the "lore" I guess. This place was the absolute worst dining experience I've had in my almost 10 lifetime Vegas visits. Bad steak, bad service, bad sides, BIG BILL)

    Oyster Bar on Harrah's - Delmonico service quality and mediocre food

    Aureole Mandalay - terrible attitude, horrendous food, unwelcoming uber-moderno vibe

    Bster
  • Post #2 - November 13th, 2007, 8:21 pm
    Post #2 - November 13th, 2007, 8:21 pm Post #2 - November 13th, 2007, 8:21 pm
    Craftsteak. Go.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #3 - November 13th, 2007, 8:27 pm
    Post #3 - November 13th, 2007, 8:27 pm Post #3 - November 13th, 2007, 8:27 pm
    Bally's Sterling Brunch:

    http://www.harrahs.com/casinos/ballys-l ... etail.html
  • Post #4 - November 13th, 2007, 8:45 pm
    Post #4 - November 13th, 2007, 8:45 pm Post #4 - November 13th, 2007, 8:45 pm
    MBK -

    We had planned to hit Wynn's Brunch as soon as we get there around noon on Sunday but I have to say the Sterling Brunch has been a past consideration but never selection for me. I'm gonna have to give it a hard look this time. Thanks!

    Bster
  • Post #5 - November 13th, 2007, 8:58 pm
    Post #5 - November 13th, 2007, 8:58 pm Post #5 - November 13th, 2007, 8:58 pm
    A nice place to grab a snack is Noodles in the Bellagio. It's kind of tucked away behind the Pai Gow tables, but it's one of my favorite spots for a quick bite. Really good roast pork and BBQ duck. They do some decent dim sum as well.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #6 - November 13th, 2007, 10:09 pm
    Post #6 - November 13th, 2007, 10:09 pm Post #6 - November 13th, 2007, 10:09 pm
    A more reasonably priced place I like is Olives in Bellagio, which is Todd English's Mediterranean outpost (original is in Beantown). Food is on the lighter side as well, which is a nice break from the steak-focused meals that a lot of Vegas places offer.
  • Post #7 - November 13th, 2007, 10:52 pm
    Post #7 - November 13th, 2007, 10:52 pm Post #7 - November 13th, 2007, 10:52 pm
    aschie30 wrote:A more reasonably priced place I like is Olives in Bellagio, which is Todd English's Mediterranean outpost (original is in Beantown). Food is on the lighter side as well, which is a nice break from the steak-focused meals that a lot of Vegas places offer.


    Olives is a good call. As much as I went in ready not to like it (I just find Todd English to be a bit on the creepy side whenever he's on TV), the food turned out to be very good. The tuna tartare is a step up from what is usually a pretty pedestrian dish.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #8 - November 13th, 2007, 11:15 pm
    Post #8 - November 13th, 2007, 11:15 pm Post #8 - November 13th, 2007, 11:15 pm
    Downtown:
    Hugo's Cellar in the Four Queens is a very nice high end. Every woman is given a long stem red rose when they arrive.
    The food is very good, mostly American menu.
    For two people the bill with drinks would be between $175-225.

    Strip:
    Try the Steakhouse in Circus Circus
    Prices about the same as Hugo's but some of the best steak you will have.
  • Post #9 - November 14th, 2007, 8:08 am
    Post #9 - November 14th, 2007, 8:08 am Post #9 - November 14th, 2007, 8:08 am
    You could do a lot worse than Bouchon Bistro in the Venetian. Here's a link to their site http://www.frenchlaundry.com/bouchonLV/bouchonLV.htm . The food is simply prepared and quite good. As long as the chef/owner isn't going to be there, you might as ewell make it a Thomas Keller(ish) experience.
  • Post #10 - November 14th, 2007, 9:52 am
    Post #10 - November 14th, 2007, 9:52 am Post #10 - November 14th, 2007, 9:52 am
    I absolutely with a big GO, second, Hugo's. It's the ambiance and the old vegas feel and a delicious meal.
  • Post #11 - November 14th, 2007, 10:29 am
    Post #11 - November 14th, 2007, 10:29 am Post #11 - November 14th, 2007, 10:29 am
    hey Bster, let us know how your sunday brunch goes when you get back, i'm interested to know how the Wynn's is
  • Post #12 - November 14th, 2007, 10:39 am
    Post #12 - November 14th, 2007, 10:39 am Post #12 - November 14th, 2007, 10:39 am
    I found Rockstar Karaoke at the House of Blues (Mandalay Bay) to be a lot of fun. The band is quite good and the talent of the vocalists was far beyond any karaoke I've seen before. It is a far cry from karaoke at the local VFW. And, well, its free minus over-priced drink 'specials'.

    http://www.hob.com/venues/clubvenues/la ... araoke.asp
  • Post #13 - November 14th, 2007, 11:01 am
    Post #13 - November 14th, 2007, 11:01 am Post #13 - November 14th, 2007, 11:01 am
    MBK -

    We actually went to the Wynn Sunday Brunch aorund Easter 2006. It was the best brunch I ever had tied with a place in Aruba I went to in 2004. I t was buffet style but laid out very nicely. Several carving stations. Champagne and mimosas. Ice Cream. Prime Rib. Shrimp. Duck. Lox. I'm not doing it justice describing it.

    But, I have heard that the be all end all Sunday brunch is Sterling at Bally's you mentioned if you can believe. The only thing is price, it seems Sterling is $65 or so a head and I remember Wynn's to be $35 or so. Thats's abig big difference.

    I will file a detailed report upon my return.

    Bster
  • Post #14 - November 14th, 2007, 11:46 am
    Post #14 - November 14th, 2007, 11:46 am Post #14 - November 14th, 2007, 11:46 am
    I also heartily recommend Olives. In Mandalay Bay, Border Grill is a moderate choice for food and has excellent upscale Mexican. Good margaritas.

    In the Venetian, we had great Italian at B & B(Mario's place). We also loved David Burke's.

    If you are a Beatles fan, or even if not, don't miss Love.
  • Post #15 - November 14th, 2007, 12:20 pm
    Post #15 - November 14th, 2007, 12:20 pm Post #15 - November 14th, 2007, 12:20 pm
    nicinchic wrote:I absolutely with a big GO, second, Hugo's. It's the ambiance and the old vegas feel and a delicious meal.


    I second Hugo's. My fiancee and I had a great experience there last month. The rack of lamb was awesome, service was good, and it was reasonably priced. Our total with 2 dinners, a bottle of wine, and tip was less than $200. Stay away from B & B. My post about my experience is in one of the other Vegas threads here. While Babbo was tremendous in every respect, B & B was extremely mediocre. Way, way, way too much salt in virtually everything.

    And I agree with the Love recommendation. Great, unique show. Sitting in the balcony is fine because there is so much going on.
  • Post #16 - November 14th, 2007, 1:04 pm
    Post #16 - November 14th, 2007, 1:04 pm Post #16 - November 14th, 2007, 1:04 pm
    i have NO clue what to rec on actual Las Vegas eats as it's absolutely against my moral fiber to pay for real meals in LV.

    however, i can tell you the Friday afternoon Pool Bar at Palms is not to be missed. Sickeningly beautiful crowd full of dancers, strippers, hostesses and other "industry" locals. Also present were Angelenos wishing they were Las Vegans. (Vegans? WHAT?).

    we also enjoyed one of the Wynn's "ultra" lounges with an outside patio. go earlier. no cover. not a club. no lines. still full of beautiful scenery.

    The only new buffet we had was also at the Palms. Great value, clean and edible.
  • Post #17 - November 14th, 2007, 1:24 pm
    Post #17 - November 14th, 2007, 1:24 pm Post #17 - November 14th, 2007, 1:24 pm
    I have had a great time at Batissta's Hole in the Wall. It is located behind the Flamingo and serves old time red sauce italian w/all you can drink jug wine.

    I know that it is off the strip and you will need to take a taxi but if you have never been Lotus of Siam is a must for great Thai food. As an added plus that have a reasonably priced wine list.

    Peppermill is a great spot for breakfast and late night munchies. From what I hear it may not be around for much longer so if the opportunity arises you should check out this Las Vegas classic.
  • Post #18 - November 14th, 2007, 1:37 pm
    Post #18 - November 14th, 2007, 1:37 pm Post #18 - November 14th, 2007, 1:37 pm
    as i noted in the last thread re: vegas ----

    LOVED LOVED LOVED our splurge dinner at Fleur de Lys;

    also, very happy with dinner at Olives, but that came recommended, so we weren't too surprised by the yummy meal;

    then, we had a fun girls night at Social House (TI-sushi), but it looks like you aren't quite looking for this type of food.

    cheers,
    miss ellen
  • Post #19 - November 14th, 2007, 2:52 pm
    Post #19 - November 14th, 2007, 2:52 pm Post #19 - November 14th, 2007, 2:52 pm
    mousec1 wrote:if you have never been Lotus of Siam is a must for great Thai food. As an added plus that have a reasonably priced wine list.

    i'll cast an negating vote on that rec.

    it's barely comparable to what can be found in Chicago/LA. what's a wine list got to do w/ thai food? why do ppl keep on bringing up LoS's wine list? who gives a hoot??

    otoh, in the same strip there is a very interesting KBBQ joint which no one has mentioned...
  • Post #20 - November 14th, 2007, 3:24 pm
    Post #20 - November 14th, 2007, 3:24 pm Post #20 - November 14th, 2007, 3:24 pm
    TonyC wrote:i have NO clue what to rec on actual Las Vegas eats as it's absolutely against my moral fiber to pay for real meals in LV.


    Why would it be against your moral fiber to pay for a nice meal? This town is a serious dining destination these days, you'd be remiss to avoid what we have going on now.

    TonyC wrote:we also enjoyed one of the Wynn's "ultra" lounges with an outside patio. go earlier. no cover. not a club. no lines. still full of beautiful scenery.

    The only new buffet we had was also at the Palms. Great value, clean and edible.


    Wynn buffet is supposed to be really nice. I've also heard Dishes at Mirage or TI is pretty good too.

    And the Wynn "ultra lounge" you speak of that was once Lure, is now Blush, a boutique nightclub with cover and lines.
  • Post #21 - November 14th, 2007, 5:26 pm
    Post #21 - November 14th, 2007, 5:26 pm Post #21 - November 14th, 2007, 5:26 pm
    After seeing the recommendation for Hole in the Wall I remembered a very good locals Italian.

    Bootleggers Bistro on South LVB it's almost to South Point Casino so it would need a car but I guess you could taxi it there.

    We ate there with a friend for lunch and the total was under $90
    It's owned by the Ex Lt. Governor Hunt and if you are lucky you might even get to see an old legend in action. It's not uncommon to see the likes of Tony Bennett show up to sing along with other local entertainers on a whim and best of all no cover because even the owners have no clue when these people will show up.
  • Post #22 - November 14th, 2007, 5:40 pm
    Post #22 - November 14th, 2007, 5:40 pm Post #22 - November 14th, 2007, 5:40 pm
    jpeckinp wrote:It's owned by the Ex Lt. Governor Hunt and if you are lucky you might even get to see an old legend in action. It's not uncommon to see the likes of Tony Bennett show up to sing along with other local entertainers on a whim and best of all no cover because even the owners have no clue when these people will show up.


    Lorraine Hunt, the former Lt. Governor is a great hostess, and attracts an "Old Vegas" crowd. Generally, the food at the Bootlegger (adjacent to the Las Vegas outlet) is reliable, but not real special.

    As for the South Point, it is a SCREAMING bargain with some of the best quality rooms in town at some ridiculous prices. A recent e-mail had them at BOGO at $72/night.
  • Post #23 - November 14th, 2007, 6:06 pm
    Post #23 - November 14th, 2007, 6:06 pm Post #23 - November 14th, 2007, 6:06 pm
    Thanks for the rec! Keppin' comin'.

    With regard to Lotus of Siam, or any other Thai place for that matter, I can't imagine ever having any interest in visiting one in Vegas absent a sudden craving (i.e.: shit-faced drunk and hungry) with extreme convenience. There are too many good Thai places within my neighborhood for me to have any inkling to try Thai in another city absent a visit to Thailand.

    Bster
  • Post #24 - November 14th, 2007, 6:18 pm
    Post #24 - November 14th, 2007, 6:18 pm Post #24 - November 14th, 2007, 6:18 pm
    deesher wrote:You could do a lot worse than Bouchon Bistro in the Venetian.


    I'll second that. In fact for the price you can't do much better in my book. We stopped by for brunch on our last trip and shared the trout with haricot verts and almonds and the roasted chicken. Both were outstanding. In fact, it was the best roast chicken I have ever had. If you want to get a sense of the trout, pick up Keller's Bouchon cookbook and find the picture of it in there. The real thing is an exact replication of that image. The meal with a couple glasses of wine an dessert was well below $100, although prices seem to go up at dinner.
  • Post #25 - November 14th, 2007, 6:45 pm
    Post #25 - November 14th, 2007, 6:45 pm Post #25 - November 14th, 2007, 6:45 pm
    Anybody been to the downtown bar called Sidecar? Or the restaurant next to it by the name of Triple George Grill?

    I heard great things about these places and they are about a block or two off the main Downtown Las Vegas Freemont Street drag. When In was last there in May, I tried to go to these places but they were not open on Monday.

    Bster
  • Post #26 - November 14th, 2007, 8:00 pm
    Post #26 - November 14th, 2007, 8:00 pm Post #26 - November 14th, 2007, 8:00 pm
    mousec1 wrote:I have had a great time at Batissta's Hole in the Wall. It is located behind the Flamingo and serves old time red sauce italian w/all you can drink jug wine.


    They still pack them in so they won't suffer from my dissenting opinion but I find Batista's to be simply dreadful. I am glad that you enjoy it (and, obviously, many do) but my wife and I are in agreement that we absolutely refuse to ever be dragged there again.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #27 - November 14th, 2007, 8:36 pm
    Post #27 - November 14th, 2007, 8:36 pm Post #27 - November 14th, 2007, 8:36 pm
    Hey! I stayed at the Wynn a few weeks ago. I am not sure where you are staying, but for a quick afternoon bite I would also recommend strip burger outside fashion mall! They had some great burgers. You sit outside and people watch. Very laid back, causal and good! It is owned by Lettuce Entertain You and uses Cafe Babreeba's kitchen.
  • Post #28 - November 14th, 2007, 11:14 pm
    Post #28 - November 14th, 2007, 11:14 pm Post #28 - November 14th, 2007, 11:14 pm
    My most "Unmemorable" Vegas Meals. I have been to Vegas 30 times in the past ten years. I have never seen a show but i have eaten at a lot of bad restaurants (and lots of good ones too) and have had horrible luck trying to get a cab at the In-N-Out off the strip at 1:00am more times then i can remember. Here is a list of places I would never return:

    Emeril's Fish House (MGM) Worst restaurant in Vegas IMHO. Id rather eat at Red Lobster.

    Bradley Ogden (Caesars) $700 for 4 people and I had to order room service afterwards. The highlight was a Maine Diver Scallop entree that was so small (3 half dollar size scallops) that I actually asked the waiter if they split the plate for us because they assumed we were sharing. I think it was close to $50. Nothing else on the plate...just three grilled scallops and a sauce squigly

    Chinois/Postrio/Spago - (Caesars/Venetian/Caesars) Wolfgang Puck has become a parody of himself. You can get just as nice a meal in the United terminal at O'Hare where puck has a concesssion.

    Craftsteak (MGM) - 10oz Filet, $56 served sliced and cold. Tough and stringy . Asked the waitress about the poor quality of the beef and she told me that it was difficult to find high quality meat suppliers in Vegas as it wasnt really a cattle producing region.

    Commander's Palace (Aladdin) This place didnt really stand a chance with me as the original is maybe my all time favorite place on earth.
  • Post #29 - January 18th, 2011, 10:49 am
    Post #29 - January 18th, 2011, 10:49 am Post #29 - January 18th, 2011, 10:49 am
    So it appears that we will be in Las Vegas in mid-June for my mother-in-law's 75th birthday. As of this moment, my plans for dinner include Mix (the Ducasse outpost) and RM, Rick Moonen's seafood place. (Please: I am not looking for other suggestions of where to eat or explanations why these may not be the best places to go. My selections were dictated by a number of factors that are not relevant here.) Do any of our peripatetic posters have recent experiences with either restaurant that they'd be willing to share?
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #30 - January 18th, 2011, 10:59 am
    Post #30 - January 18th, 2011, 10:59 am Post #30 - January 18th, 2011, 10:59 am
    I ate at Mix once and wasn't terribly impressed. Is Ducasse still involved/attached (I thought I had heard he wasn't)?
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat

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