Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Ling

LV suggestions for October

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

I've been combing this section of EG this week looking for suggestions on where to eat. We are coming in late October and we already have the perfect guide lined up--our friend nightscotsman. :smile: We're kind of on a tight budget so our one pricier meal will probably be at L'Atelier. Outside of that, here are some places I've read good things about:

-Olives (although the reports I read were mostly from 2005/2006...has anyone been there lately? My only reservation about this place is that I think Todd English is a tool and a half with zero charisma, and this restaurant seems like a branded chain to me. But maybe I'm just being a snob. Mesa Grill is out for the same reason, although that decision was easy since most people seem to just find it OK/good anyway.)

-Fix (have read good things about the food, but the photos online seem like it's a nightclub. Also, one 'reviewer' mentioned girls throwing up as a "con"...the scene doesn't sound all that appealing to me, but I'll go if the food is good.)

-Bradley Ogden (a chef friend recommended it, and it looks like they change their menu everyday based on what's fresh? That's always appealing. Might be out of our price range, though.)

-Brasserie (Daniel Boulud?) I didn't get a chance to eat at any of his restaurants in NY, and they also have a 3 course prix fixe for $48 before 7pm.

I am hoping Payard will be open by the time we get there, so I can snag some pastries and compare with Jean Phillipe.

Anything else we should consider?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would argue that Las Vegas is lacking in unique B+ quality restaurants that also offer significant value. Obviously there are many choices at the high-end and a plethora of cheap food options, but the middle ground seems somewhat poorly represented. I think the reason for this is that there's not really a demand for great neighborhood-style restaurants. Las Vegas is fundamentally a tourist city, not one of local culture, and the majority of the restaurants reflect that.

I was at Olives a few years ago for a quick dinner. It was fine, probably one star or a very very generous two, but for the price I wasn't that impressed. Mesa Grill, as you allude to, is much the same. It's not that they're bad restaurants at all, it's just that they don't offer unique or particularly memorable food. To make matters worse you are paying a premium for the name and location, not getting a bargain.

So if it was me, I'd really try to go for high-end meals and save in other areas. Don't gamble, don't eat breakfast, avoid unnecessary cabs, spend the time looking for a great hotel deal looking online for promo codes. With those cost-cutting strategies you can easily add another $20-40/pp to each dinner.

The staff at Atelier recommended Aquaknox and Andre's at the Monte Carlo as lesser-know Strip options that deliver a pretty good value for $100-$120 all in. I don't think you're going to be able to do much better than that pricewise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of people argue that Lotus of Siam is the best Thai restaurant in the country. I don't know if it is or not, but I'd like the opportunity to find out. I've considered going to Vegas just to give it a try.

I don't think it's particularly expensive.

Lotus of Siam


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll have to agree with Bryan. Plenty of high-end restaurants but very few B+ quality affordable restaurants, like good local neighborhood restaurants.

Here are some affordable places that I've found:

Lotus of Siam on Sahara Blvd. (south side), west of Maryland. Yes, arguably the best Thai restaurant in the United States, as per Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer prize-winning food critic ...

Memphis Championship Barbecue on Warm Springs, west of Eastern, southeast of the airport. I'm still hoping that they'll open one up in Los Angeles. You can pull the ribs apart with your hands, no knives. They're that tender!!

Settebello on Horizon Ridge, west of Valley Verde, in Henderson. Pizzeria napoletana. All the Italians go there. Italian TV and Italian radio music ... The owner is a former quarterback from the so-called University of Southern California. I've learned not to hold that against him ...

Lorna, if you two happen to "win it big," then all bets are off, right??


Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lorna, if you two happen to "win it big," then all bets are off, right??

If I luck out like you did on the slots, I'm going to Guy Savoy AND Joel Robuchon, despite two friends in the industry who tell me it's hideously over-priced for what you get. :wink:

Memphis BBQ--this I also considered, but I'm going to Austin, TX in November so I might not want to waste a meal here. There is only so much room in my stomach, despite what some people think. :raz:

Forgot to mention Lotus of Siam, although the reports I've read have been 50-50.

I'll have to look into Aquaknox and Andre. Thanks for that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BryanZ is right when he mentions that there aren't a lot of fine dining options in Las Vegas in the price 'B' category. Unfortunately, if you want a good dining experience these days you'll pay for it, especially in any of the fine dining restaurants in the big strip resorts.

I would avoid Olives-even with reservations you still have to wait sometimes for your table. I find the staff overly impressed with themselves and the fact that they are working in a restaurant owned by a celebrity chef. I don't think the food is better than average.

If you don't mind the trendy, young Hollywood crowd, Fix at Bellagio and Mix at The Mirage, both owned by the same company, offer good American fare. It is not as expensive as the finer dining spots at Bellagio, but it's not cheap. There burger sliders, prime steaks and seafood appetizers are pretty good, and the cocktails are really popular.

Bradley Ogden can reach very close into the price range of L'Atelier and nearly into the reaches of Guy Savoy and Robuchon. But it is probably the top restaurant in town for New American style cuisine.

I know that Boulud Brasserie at Wynn recently lost their head chef. I haven't checked with my friend, John Curtas the dining guru of KNPR in Las Vegas, but I know that Bould was closed earlier this summer for remodeling and I believe a bit of retooling before welcoming the new chef. I am sure if Boulud hired the chef they are talented, just something to consider.

You may want to try The Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay. It doesn't sound to fancy, and it certainly isn't in terms of the decor or the scope of the menu. But if you are in the mood for a Kobe burger with a slab of foie gras on it, or a burger of grass-fed beef with a nice cheese on it, you can't miss.

Don't forget the 'Two Hot Tamales' of the early days of Food Network programming, Mary Sue Miliken and Susan Feniger. Their Border Grill at Mandalay Bay is really great. Not too expensive authentic Mexican. And even at dinner, sitting on the outside patio is quite nice.

For a nice dim sum lunch or casual Chinese dinner, try 'Noodles' at Bellagio. It's stuck back in a corner but is very good and not too expensive, certainly not nearly as expensive as the fine dining Chinese restaurants in town.

I prefer the pastries at Lenotre in Paris Las Vegas over Jean-Phillipe Patisserie at Bellagio. The other pastry shop at Paris is also quite good. I always stop by one of these three pastry shops to take a treat back to the room for a very late night sweet snack.

There are just so many different options, take some time to search the web for menus and prices before making your decisions on where to go. You can't go wrong with these wonderful opinions at eGullet about Las Vegas dining. Have a wonderful time and let us know if you have more questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you don't mind the trendy, young Hollywood crowd, Fix at Bellagio and Mix at The Mirage, both owned by the same company, offer good American fare.  It is not as expensive as the finer dining spots at Bellagio, but it's not cheap.  There burger sliders, prime steaks and seafood appetizers are pretty good, and the cocktails are really popular.

Actually, Mix, Alain Ducasse's restaurant, is over in Mandalay Bay on the 64th floor. I had their five-course tasting menu for under $100. The food was delicious. So was the eye candy ... in high heels ... :cool::cool:

Bradley Ogden can reach very close into the price range of L'Atelier and nearly into the reaches of Guy Savoy and Robuchon.  But it is probably the top restaurant in town for New American style cuisine.

L'Atelier, yes. Robuchon & Savoy, maybe, if you get carried away ...

I know that Boulud Brasserie at Wynn recently lost their head chef.  I haven't checked with my friend, John Curtas the dining guru of KNPR in Las Vegas, but I know that Bould was closed earlier this summer for remodeling and I believe a bit of retooling before welcoming the new chef.  I am sure if Boulud hired the chef they are talented, just something to consider.

David, you know John Curtas?? I never met him ... yet.

You may want to try The Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay.  It doesn't sound to fancy, and it certainly isn't in terms of the decor or the scope of the menu.  But if you are in the mood for a Kobe burger with a slab of foie gras on it, or a burger of grass-fed beef with a nice cheese on it, you can't miss.

Burger Bar is pretty good. Unless you want to do In 'N Out ...

Don't forget the 'Two Hot Tamales' of the early days of Food Network programming, Mary Sue Miliken and Susan Feniger.  Their Border Grill at Mandalay Bay is really great.  Not too expensive authentic Mexican.  And even at dinner, sitting on the outside patio is quite nice.

I never tried the Border Grill in Las Vegas, since I usually go to their other place, Ciudad in downtown LA.

For a nice dim sum lunch or casual Chinese dinner, try 'Noodles' at Bellagio.  It's stuck back in a corner but is very good and not too expensive, certainly not nearly as expensive as the fine dining Chinese restaurants in town.

Red 8 at the Wynn would be another Chinese place in that similiar vein. My won ton noodle soup cost $12. It was fine for what it is.

I prefer the pastries at Lenotre in Paris Las Vegas over Jean-Phillipe Patisserie at Bellagio.  The other pastry shop at Paris is also quite good.  I always stop by one of these three pastry shops to take a treat back to the room for a very late night sweet snack.

Vraiment, monsieur?? Ling will probably try them all and give the definitive Las Vegas pastry report ... :wink::wink:


Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops, I meant to say 'Stack' restaurant at The Mirage not Mix, the Ducasse temple at Mandalay Bay.

Both Fix at Bellagio and Stack at The Mirage are trendy hip dining spots that attract a younger crowd. The food is good, even though some of the presentations can be a bit overly done. Casual, loud, fun and in the not too expensive range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know that Boulud Brasserie at Wynn recently lost their head chef.  I haven't checked with my friend, John Curtas the dining guru of KNPR in Las Vegas, but I know that Bould was closed earlier this summer for remodeling and I believe a bit of retooling before welcoming the new chef.  I am sure if Boulud hired the chef they are talented, just something to consider.

David, you know John Curtas?? I never met him ... yet.

John is a great guy, very friendly and probably the top restaurant critic in Las Vegas. An attorney by trade, he does a regular show called "Food for Thought," on KNPR, the local public radio station. You can catch podcasts of his shows on their website. John also does a lot of food writing.

By the way Ling, I'd advise against going to David Burke's new place at The Venetian. John did not give it very good marks in a recent column. In fact, he basically told his readers and listeners to shy away from the place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am hoping Payard will be open by the time we get there, so I can snag some pastries and compare with Jean Phillipe.

I emailed Harrah's with this question a month ago. They responded that "Right now we have a tentative opening date of November 1 2007 for Payard Patisserie and Bistro."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the reason for this is that there's not really a demand for great neighborhood-style restaurants.  Las Vegas is fundamentally a tourist city, not one of local culture, and the majority of the restaurants reflect that.

I know that this thread is about visiting Las Vegas, not moving there, but can't help but interject. Visitors do go to LV for the strip and the downtown casinos.

But there are in reality two Las Vegases... People that live there say that they never go to the tourist areas, preferring to spend their time in parts of town that do have actual neighborhoods with neighborhood bars and restaurants and all of the other things that neighborhoods have.

Although it's agreed that Las Vegas isn't an old city with much of a homegrown culture, there is, for one thing, a very large Air Force presence. It probably wouldn't be worth the time of most visitors to get to know the other side of town but for people that are relocating to Vegas, that's what I'd suggest.

For one thing, military Asian wives have established several excellent restaurants and markets. Of course Ling, coming from Seattle, already has access to excellent Asian food, not to mention fresh seafood and other Pacific NW delicacies.

It's been a while since I spent any time in Vegas, but in addition to eating in the famous upscale restaurants, I'd advise a visiting PNW'er to find a few Mexican joints where the casino and hotel workers eat.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was in Las Vegas in May I went to a seminar about the dining scene in Las Vegas that was hosted by Barbara Fairchild, Editor of Bon Apetit, and on the panel were Alan Richman, Max Jacobsen who writes for Las Vegas Life magazine and John Curtas. Both John and Max bemoaned the fact that as residents of Las Vegas, they wish for the day when there are more local, neighborhood restaurants. There are some, but not a lot, which is very unique to a city with a couple of million residents.

Ling-if you are renting a car, you may want to drive over to the Chinatown area. It is to the west of the strip, only about a 10 minute drive from the Wynn/Treasure Island/Venetian area. There are some good Chinese restaurants that have reasonable prices.

Personally, I don't go to Las Vegas to seek out local type restaurants. I go there because it's a playground of fine dining all within a few short miles on the strip.

Like BryanZ mentioned earlier, I'd save my money and do it right by going to some of the better restaurants in the large strip resort hotels. I can't think of anyplace else where you'll find so many great dining choices in such a compact piece of real estate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a good site for checking out Las Vegas menus. Most of the menus include prices to give you a general idea of what the cost might be.

http://www.menusearch.net/lasvegas/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For something more moderately priced I recommend FIAMMA at MGM and SENSI at Bellagio.

If you do hit it big Guy Savoy was a meal in a lifetime experience. Robuchon/major disappointment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not big on burgers...I guess I just didn't really grow up eating them, so I never crave them. And I am so over the Kobe beef burgers...maybe I've just never had a really good one. I don't find them particularly exciting, and definitely not new or creative enough for me to waste a meal on one.

Ditto Red 8 and Noodles--I grew up eating Chinese food in Richmond BC and I still visit once a month to get my fix, so I'm probably not too anxious to pay $12 for wonton, as I can't imagine it being spectacularly better than the stuff I get regularly.

Thanks for the suggestions about Lenotre and the other pastry shop in the Paris hotel. I will DEFINITELY check that out! :smile:

That's too bad Payard is opening in November. Guess I can cross that off my list... Thanks for the info, though!

I've never eaten in a David Burke restaurant, but I'll avoid it, thanks for the tip!

I guess I'll skip Olives in favour of Fix, Enoteca San Marco (any other opinions about this place? I know nothing about it) or Brasserie with the new chef on board. I'm sure Henry wants to hit up a buffet (probably the Bellagio one) and I'll be at the pastry shops or shopping when he's gambling. Thanks for all your help!


Edited by Ling (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think everyone who goes to Vegas should experience at least one Buffet. I thought the Bellagio's was great. The breakfast was very reasonable( 3yrs ago) at 12.99.

eta: to fix spelling and to let you know, I posted this before I saw your plan of hitting up the Bellagio.


Edited by CaliPoutine (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Payard Patisserie will not have the "Bistro" part, like the New York one. It will have a 30 or 40 seat dessert bar though. The Executive Pastry Chef will be Gregory Gourreau formerly of MIX, Le Cirque, Daniel in NYC, and the St. Regis Monarch Beach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Payard Patisserie will not have the "Bistro" part, like the New York one.  It will have a 30 or 40 seat dessert bar though.  The Executive Pastry Chef will be Gregory Gourreau formerly of MIX, Le Cirque,  Daniel in NYC, and the St. Regis Monarch Beach.

Has this changed? Caesars' web site still says:

"Coffee/liquor/panini bar serving breakfast, lunch, dinner; and late-night offerings will be served to guests on the go. Guests will have the ability to enjoy more traditional table service in the restaurant’s dining room that is centered by an open-air kitchen. [my emphasis]"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Payard Patisserie will not have the "Bistro" part, like the New York one.  It will have a 30 or 40 seat dessert bar though.  The Executive Pastry Chef will be Gregory Gourreau formerly of MIX, Le Cirque,  Daniel in NYC, and the St. Regis Monarch Beach.

Has this changed? Caesars' web site still says:

"Coffee/liquor/panini bar serving breakfast, lunch, dinner; and late-night offerings will be served to guests on the go. Guests will have the ability to enjoy more traditional table service in the restaurant’s dining room that is centered by an open-air kitchen. [my emphasis]"

I could be wrong, but when I talked to someone involved in the project I was sure they said no hotside food at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I know that Boulud Brasserie at Wynn recently lost their head chef.  I haven't checked with my friend, John Curtas the dining guru of KNPR in Las Vegas, but I know that Bould was closed earlier this summer for remodeling and I believe a bit of retooling before welcoming the new chef.  I am sure if Boulud hired the chef they are talented, just something to consider.

David, you know John Curtas?? I never met him ... yet.

John is a great guy, very friendly and probably the top restaurant critic in Las Vegas. An attorney by trade, he does a regular show called "Food for Thought," on KNPR, the local public radio station. You can catch podcasts of his shows on their website. John also does a lot of food writing.

By the way Ling, I'd advise against going to David Burke's new place at The Venetian. John did not give it very good marks in a recent column. In fact, he basically told his readers and listeners to shy away from the place.

Hmm...wonder what was wrong with David Burke? Oh well, I think I can find somewhere else to eat next time I'm in Vegas. I wanted to like that place

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't get specifics from John Curtas as to why he didn't like David Burke at The Venetian.

John's got a piece that he's written about Burke that should be appearing on John Mariani's site soon-with a pointed review of Burke's place in Las Vegas. I do know that they have made some changes in the kitchen staff and the place is only a few months old so that isn't a good sign.

There are plenty of other good dining rooms in Las Vegas so maybe let the dust settle and then give Burke a try next year-if they get the bugs worked out. When I find out more I'll let everyone know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way Ling, I'd advise against going to David Burke's new place at The Venetian.  John did not give it very good marks in a recent column.  In fact, he basically told his readers and listeners to shy away from the place.

6 of my girlfriends and I just ate at Davidburke earlier this month and LOVED it! I had eaten at davidburke & Donatella in nyc which is why we decided to check it out. From the decor to the excellently priced wine menu, flawless service (even making us the signature nyc dish that was not on the menu, of ostrich scrambled eggs with lobster served back in the huge egg shell with creme fraiche and caviar). Since we were a large group we decided to order5 starters, 3 salads and 4 entress plus the cheesecake lolipop tree for dessert. add 1 bottle of white burgandy and 2 bottles of very nice CdP and we each paid $145 including tax and tip.

I would absolutely go back, I can't imagine why your friend would be so turned off about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way Ling, I'd advise against going to David Burke's new place at The Venetian.  John did not give it very good marks in a recent column.  In fact, he basically told his readers and listeners to shy away from the place.

6 of my girlfriends and I just ate at Davidburke earlier this month and LOVED it! I had eaten at davidburke & Donatella in nyc which is why we decided to check it out. From the decor to the excellently priced wine menu, flawless service (even making us the signature nyc dish that was not on the menu, of ostrich scrambled eggs with lobster served back in the huge egg shell with creme fraiche and caviar). Since we were a large group we decided to order5 starters, 3 salads and 4 entress plus the cheesecake lolipop tree for dessert. add 1 bottle of white burgandy and 2 bottles of very nice CdP and we each paid $145 including tax and tip.

I would absolutely go back, I can't imagine why your friend would be so turned off about it.

Thanks, a first person restaurant review is the best kind of review. Once I hear John's comments on Burke I'll let everyone know what he thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...