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ISO fun, must-try Las Vegas restaurant to celebrate 24th birthday!

My friend and I will be going out to dinner to celebrate our 24th birthdays and I have no idea where to start! We’ll be doing Okada (at the Wynn) with a larger group on Saturday night, but are in search of a good spot to celebrate on Friday.

There will be three people in our party and we’re all young and overly energetic girls so my fear is going someplace with incredible food but a STUFFY atmosphere. I’m ISO a fun, young atmosphere that can still feel like fine dining.

Ideally I’d like a place with delicious food that can make both a FOODIE (me) and a couple of PICKY EATERS happy.

My budget is fairly limited - $75/per person including drinks.

Places I’m curious about include any of Michael Mina’s spots, Emeril’s NO Fish House, etc.

Please help! I’d like to reserve within the next couple days.

Thank you!

P.s. We'll be staying at Caesar's - although we're not limited since we'll have limo transportation around town - I'd like to keep it close. Even at Caesar's if that's possible. Already been to Mesa Grill so that's out!

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  1. I've eaten at Michael Mina a few times, and thought the food was very good. Service isn't always the greatest, and it's a bit noisy - but the noise could be a plus in your case!

    I'm not fond of the idea of huge food empires, but Emeril's food is pretty good - not as good as Michael Mina, but not bad either. The atmosphere is is pretty relaxed.

    Another possibility is FIX, next door to Caesars at Bellagio. FIX is a very trendy place that serves surprisingly good food. Based on your description of your group, I'd consider this place stongly.

    At all three restaurants, your budget will be an issue. It's possible to get away for $75/person, but if you order three courses it will be tricky, and if you order several drinks it will be trickier still (drinks tend to be very expensive). Michael Mina is likely to be the most expensive of the three, followed by Emeril's and then FIX.

    For details of my experiences, see my reviews at http://home.comcast.net/~lasvegasvaca... .

    1. Would you say $100 is more feasible? 2 of us will have a drink and 1 will abstain. Dessert will be shared. So it would be a first course and entree for each followed by a shared dessert.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Larali

        Based on replies below, it looks like you're going to FIX. In that case, you might do just fine with $75/person for first course, dinner, shared dessert, a drink, and tax. Bump it up to $100, and you can have a lot of drinks!

      2. Tao @ the Venetian is a lot of fun......Great night life, fun atmosphere, beautiful people. Very Festive.
        Also try Social House @ TI , a young, hip fun crowd.

        If you want inexpensive Pink Taco or Simon @ The Hard Rock......

        1. Forget Emeril's Fish House, poorly executed renditions of "Emeril's BAM food". Not stuffy, just a noisy tourist trap. The only saving grace of our dinner there were the two bottles of German Riesling for our table, that I almost single-handedly put away.

          10 Replies
          1. re: ChinoWayne

            Reviews of Emeril's restaraunts are always mixed. I'm not particularly enamored of him as TV personality, but it's the infamous banana cream pie that is luring me in.

            1. re: Larali

              The banana cream pie at Emeril's is great but you don't have to have dinner there, although we like to from time to time. You could go there just for dessert or you could make it a shared afternoon snack (check hours though) - one slice is big enough for 3 people, easily. Emeril's is not a particularly young, hip restaurant although it is crowded and lively, not stuffy.

              I strongly second FIX as I think you could eat very well within your original budget especially if you limit your alcohol. At FIX you don't need to do the appetizer-entree-dessert format, you can skip entrees altogether, stick to the smaller plates, they are more than enough and probably more interesting. Plus the atmosphere is fun, lively, young, loud. Really perfect for what you want, picky eaters would be ok too.

              On our last trip to Vegas a couple weeks ago we ate at Stripsteak, and while I didn't love it, I think the atmosphere would meet your needs. If you don't have steaks you can eat within your budget - we didn't have steaks, instead we had some appetizers and dessert, and drinks, and two of us were out of there, stuffed, for $150.

              1. re: Larali

                I think it is a problem of his success, he certainly can't be in all of his kitchens every night, or that often, for that matter. While some of his recipes appeal to the masses as sort of "over the top" up American comfort food (with liberal pork products, sugar, salt, cream, "essence"), his subordinates fail at executing his vision, so that what may be appearling on a base sort of food glutton level, is not delivered as promised.

                1. re: Larali

                  Are you from L.A. Go to Pie n' Burger in Pasadena and have a much better banana cream pie or go to Clementine and get a comparable one. Did you see the article about b.c.p. in Los Angeles in the New York Times? I have to agree with Wayne that Emeril's in LV is only O.K.

                  1. re: Dave Feldman

                    Dave -

                    I am from LA! Thanks so much for the tip! I think I'll hit up Pie 'n Burger after work tonight...I've always passed by the place but never stopped. Is this a generally decent place all around?

                    1. re: Larali

                      I'm sorry to rain on your parade but personally speaking, I think Pie 'n Burger is an awful joint. I've never understood the fascination with this place. I believe most go there because they're told to go there and they're told it's the best so they go and out of fear to disappoint, they pretend they enjoyed it. Their pie's and some deserts are good but not great. Their food, down right atrocious and no better then any other greasy hole-in-the-wall coffee shop. If that’s your cup of tea, then you’ll love it.

                      I've lived in the area all my life and I think I'm qualified for such an opinion. Even so, it's just my 2 cents worth. One mans dump is another mans castle. I.E. my ex loves is, still to this day and I can’t stand it.

                      1. re: Joe

                        Have you ever had fresh peach pie or ollallieberry pie? Where have you had better? In my case, nowhere. I don't think I've ever had any pie better than their fresh peach.

                      2. re: Larali

                        One warning. The default b.c.p. at Pie 'n Burger comes with meringue, not whipped cream. So you have to ask them to scrape off the meringue, and put on the whipped cream (for an extra charge, I'm afraid). The custard at Emeril's is completely bland and there is too much whipped cream, so that you can barely taste the bananas. It's the custard that makes Pie 'n Burger's b.c.p. As I wrote in my reply to Joe, the fresh peach and ollalieberry pies at P&B are even better, but you'll have to wait for "in season" for them. Also, if you like Coca-Cola, they still make 'em from scratch, and they are excellent. I can't recommend either of the apple pies, but the cinnamon rolls (available only at breakfast) are excellent.

                        1. re: Dave Feldman

                          I've only ever been to Pie 'n Burger once, within the last couple of years, and I'm pretty sure I had the b.c.p. with the fresh whipped cream. (I definitely would have had them remove the meringue in favor of whipped cream, that's a no-brainer.) But I don't remember for sure, although I do remember liking the burger a lot and not liking the fries (ordered crispy) at all. In contrast, and IMHO, the b.c.p. at Emeril's is memorably delicious. The texture of the crust interacts perfectly with the custard, and I don't think there can ever be too much whipped cream on anything. I will concede that once it had a spent-too-long-in-the-refrigerator taste, but the other times it's been pretty great. Maybe we'll have to run over to Pasadena for pie sometime in advance of our next trip to Vegas in a couple of weeks, although we hadn't necessarily planned on going to Emeril's but we are staying at the MGM so maybe... A comparison within close time frames might be in order. Sadly my jeans are getting too tight as it is.

                      3. re: Dave Feldman

                        apple pan's bcp is soooo much better than pie n' burger's.. clementine's is good, and so is urth caffe, surprisingly :)