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Need Las Vegas Advice

I am new to Chowhound and this is an awesome site. We're off to Vegas, and on a budget so, courtesy of this board, we plan to go to LOS and to take advantage of the specials at Rosemary's and Commander's Palace. I need advice on a few places; any recs on any of the following?

Aloha Island Grill, Ambiance Bakery & Bistro, Como's Restaurant, ENVY The Steakhouse, Hannah's Neighborhood Bistro, Lucky Cheng's, Marrakech, Original Pancake House, Osaka Japanese Bistro, Panevino Ristorante (same as the San Francisco/Santa Barbara restaurant?), Pasta Shop Ristorante, Roy's, Soul 2 Soul Bistro, Strings Italian Café, Table 34, Tinoco's Bistro?

I really appreciate your help and will report back.

Best to you and yours for a happy holiday season,


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  1. Lunch is very reasonable at Mesa Grill and it's very good. Some of the best burgers you'll ever have.

    Bradley Ogden serves great sandwiches at their bar seating. Very comfortable and quiet, different from most restaurants' noisy bar area. You can order from the full menu as well-sandwich and dessert, if you're trying not to spend too much but want some great food, this is a good option.

    2 Replies
    1. re: elrushbo

      I was in Vegas recently and we ate dinner at Bradley Ogden. The food and service were excellent. If this is an option to have a reasonably priced meal there, I would go for it!

      1. re: diablita FL

        I just got back from Vegas and Bradley Ogden is undergoing some renovation.

    2. I know you didn't mention Mesa Grill but I'll agree with the above.

      I haven't been to any of the ones you mentioned, except for Como's. We loved it but you do realize that it is out in Henderson, at lake Las Vegas? A bit of a drive from the Strip, about 20 minutes or so without traffic. I wouldn't call it a budget meal either. We were staying at the Ritz there one year which is how we discovered it. Had dinner which was wonderful. Had a delicious Kobe style strip steak - if I remember it was about $40ish, and was not large. My husband had a very good pork dish and we had a very impressive dish plate for desert and the wine list was very nice too - great service as well. I don't know if I'd drive out there on purpose if staying on the Strip for this meal - but would go back if I were off-Strip. Lake Las Vegas is lovely but not exactly a destination unless you're big on golfing or using it as a stop over when visiting Valley of Fire, Lake Mead or Hoover Dam perhaps. Some cute little shops, small man-made lake, small casino, some large hotels and expensive private homes.

      BTW, If Lucky Cheng's is anything like the original in NYC - I'd skip it. If anyone can voice an opinion on that, I'd be interested. I work in NYC, lived there for years too and Lucky Chengs was a "hot" destination when it first opened about 15 years ago, but now I'd consider it to be more of a joke restaurant to take out-of-towners who don't know better.

      1. Daniel Boulud @ the Wynn for the prix fixe dinner before 7pm is a bang for your buck! (3 course dinner) Great Ambiance, food and experience. Had dinner there this past Wednesday and it was fabulous as always!
        Had the Short Ribs.....melt in your mouth !

        Check out the menu:


        2 Replies
          1. re: elrushbo

            The Prix Fixe 3 course dinner is $48....
            There are lot's of entrees that are priced less...the menu is varied,
            lots of choices for all palates.
            The DB Burger is Decadent...stuffed w/ foie gras and short ribs...yummy!

        1. If you want sushi, I would skip Osaka and Hannah's and go to Koto. The drive is the same; Koto's is not as fancy inside as either of the two you mentioned, but the food is better. Hannah's is a very pretty destination type place out in summerlin, and the garlic noodles are very good; it's enjoyable, but there are other Asian places that are less expensive and better IMHO. Like Osaka as well, but the sushi is better at Koto. Panevino is actually pretty expensive; I don't think you save much by going there, and I am not crazy about the food (although the view is good). Tinoco's closed it's location near Table 34, and is now open only on Charleston in the Arts Factory; however, the food is terrific (he is especially good with soups). I'd go to Todd's over Table 34, similarly priced, and I think Todd's is better. ENVY is very good, pretty room; not exactly a bargain, but cheaper than the strip places. I'd go to Ambiance for breakfast or lunch, very tasty, but I'd skip for dinner right now; they've really cut back on their menu. I've only been to Pasta Shop once for dinner, but it was very good; not as big a menu as Panevino, nor as nice or pretty a space, but I thought the food was better; the pasta is just delicious, very tender, and the service was very friendly. Hope this helps...

          1. Osaka on West Sahara was doing solid sushi many years before the sushi craze in the US. Although it's been a while since I've been there, it was always "the real deal" with high-quality fish sliced by traditional experienced sushi chefs.

            1. If you are willing to go off the strip (two miles) and try something local, you will be well rewarded. A recommendation from a business associate had us visit a restaurant called Pamplemousse (like the fruit). It has been there for years, and is chef-owned.

              Atmosphere: cosy Old World/French, not at all pretentious as some of the chef-named properties on the strip can be.

              Cuisine: French, but not overly "haute"; beautiful sauces presented with the meats (I couldn't decide which sauce I wanted for my duck, so they brought the two in which I expressed interest).

              They start with a crudite basket (plenty of beautifully presented fiber and vitamins there!). We followed it with two starters - the foie presentation was delicious - pan-seared.
              We enjoyed a glass of Champagne as an aperitif.

              Duck and beef were the entrees. Quite frankly, we were getting full by this time, but enjoyed the sensory experience of the entree. We each had a glass of wine with dinner.

              Dessert was creme brulee and fresh, tropical sorbet (lilikoi and mango were part of it - my favourites!).

              Total bill: $125. Unheard of in Las Vegas.

              The service was gracious, and we had a very leisurely dining experience. It was worth the short taxi ride.

              1. as to the original pancake house - it almost goes without saying, go withe the pancakes - the dutch boy is unique - not your "normal" pancake...i liked it; i also like the baked omelets...sometimes they overcook them but 2 out of 3 times i've been there, they got it right....i did not care for there standard breakfasts because they do not include hash browns. and the hash is really good. can i make another suggestion for breakfast - give hash house a go go a try - it's just a little farther away from the strip then the pancake house and let me tell you, i doubt you have experienced a more unique breakfast menu - especially good with a group so everyone tries something different and you share...the portions are huge so be careful !!

                1 Reply
                1. re: kjs

                  FWIW, Original Pancake House is a nationally franchised chain with about 90 locations in about 25 states, so it's not exactly a Las Vegas thing. I ate at one in Maryland once I didn't think it was anything special, although I only had regular pancakes, not one of the "signature" items. Your mileage may differ. Hash House a go go is only a two location operation, with the other (original) being in San Diego. I haven't been myself, but it certainly sounds more interesting. Another breakfast possibility that I have tried is Verandah in the Four Seasons. Not cheap, but great food in a really lovely, serene setting and as a bonus you get to rub shoulders with the moneyed set. Go on a warm morning and sit out on the......, well, Verandah.

                2. i looked at your list a 2nd time - i'm in vegas virtually every week and i try to hit at least one new local place when i visit and i tell ya...i didn't recognize half the places you've listed...how did you come up with this list ? i've been to roy's, i previously commented on the pancake house, i ate at table 34 when it was wild sage - i believe the same chef is there...i doubt it is cheap eats - it was good food when it was wild sage, i believe i drove by strings once...is it in henderson/green valley on sunset ?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kjs

                    The only Strings I know of is on Tropicana right around Eastern Ave. I ate there one time for lunch about 8 years ago or so. It was pretty good from what I remember.

                  2. For a Great Vegas Breakfast go to the Peppermill. It is Kitschy Old Time Vegas.....lots of Fun, Huge Portions and a Classic!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ciaogal

                      From what I can tell, the thing to get at the Peppermill is the fruit salad. It will make for a generous light breakfast for three easily. The coffee is utterly wonderful, one of the best cups I've had anywhere.

                    2. Thanks so very much everyone! Sorry about the late reply. We were traveling from CT and just got to Vegas late last night. We’re staying at THEhotel and, so far, had a good late dinner in The Café: shrimp cocktail with the biggest shrimp I’ve ever been served as a cocktail. I had a lobster salad appetizer, which was delicious and very fresh, with steamed vegetables and roast garlic, with a side of asparagus. I had requested the sesame spinach but, apparently, since the CA E. coli scare, they stopped serving spinach. My husband had twin Croissant sandwiches, one chicken salad and one tuna, which he really enjoyed.

                      We rented a car this trip and plan to explore beyond the Strip. We’ll probably go to Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon.

                      kjs asked “I didn't recognize half the places you've listed...how did you come up with this list?

                      It was from a combination of articles about Vegas as well as some coupon offers.

                      Thanks again for the help. I'll post updates.



                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Red Rock Sue

                        definitely don't forget to try some items off the northern menu at l.o.s. other than that, i love the grilled whole catfish and the lobster special (not on menu).

                      2. I am obviously a little late with my opinion, but have been to a number of those listed:

                        Ambiance - This is a 32-seat restaurant and the menu has always been limited, but supplemented by very good nightly specials. I am not sure if this restaurant has changed hands or not since our visit in September 2005. Is the owner/chef sitll Jean-Pierre Giron? If so, you will enjoy your dinner. Since we were there, a $24.95 three course menu has been introduced - choice of baked salmon or bistro steak.

                        Como's in Lake Las Vegas is owned by Joseph Keller whose brother Thomas owns several world class restaurants including the French Laundry and Buchon. We were very disappointed with our meals.

                        Hannah's Neighborhood Bistro is upscale Vietnamese and premises are worth the drive. The food underperformed on our one visit with the exception of the garlic noodles, but we will probably return in the not too distant future.

                        Original Pancake House has several locations so choose the one closest to where you are staying. Prices for their baked pancakes are excessive. There is a senior special on the menu called the Grand Treat that is quite bountiful for the price.

                        Roy's is an upscale chain that originated in Hawaii and emphasizes fresh fish. We just visited Roy's in Las Vegas and felt the 3-course prix fixe meal was well worth the price.

                        Soul 2 Soul - Many reviews mention slow service which was not a problem when we visited in September 2005. We were, however, disappointed that our salmon was overcooked.

                        Strings Italian Cafe - a nice southern Italian restaurant that serves typical fare. The meal won't be memorable nor will it disappoint.

                        Table 34 - we tried 2 different entrees and both were good, but just not good enough.

                        Tinoco's Bistro - the Chilean sea bass over mashed potatoes and spinach in a lobster curry sauce was outstanding. The decor and location were not a draw for us.

                        A few restaurants you did not mention that offers similar discounts include:

                        Todd's Unique - I prefer it over Rosemary's. The owner/chef is particularly good with fresh seafood though carvivores will not be disappointed. BTW - there is no corkage charge is assessed on Wednesday nights.

                        Sapporo - this offshoot of the original located in Scottsdale, is enormous with a large bar area peopled by the young and restless. The restaurant offers the obligatory sushi bar, several teppanyaki grills and Pacific Rim cuisine. We shared an appetizer of coconut chicken skewers with a sweet chili sauce. The plate was quite attractive with the skewers imbedded in a large pineapple segment. We ended up both ordering the crab crusted mahi mahi artfully arranged on top of lemon jasmine rice in a black bean buerre blanc sauce and accompanied by grilled asparagus spears. Everything was delicious though I would have been happier if the fish was a little less well done. Highly recommended.