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Las Vegas Mid-Range?

Hi. My wife and I are going to Las Vegas for her birthday next weekend. Another couple is meeting us there and I'm trying to plan two dinners with them. We'd like to keep one of them in the $75 per person or lower (not a lot of drinks, the woman of the couple is newly pregnant). The other we're likely to do even less expensive owing to their budget, so that's likely to just be a cafe of some sort...I'd appreciate any suggestions for that as well.

We're staying at the MGM Grand and would prefer something walkable, though the monorail would be ok, too. We tend to lean towards Asian or French foods when we eat out with them. Thanks in advance!

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  1. I love L'Atelier at MGM Grand. Since the menu is comprised of small plates you can try as many or as few dishes as you like, helping to keep the cost down. $75 each will get you a lovely meal.

    4 Replies
    1. re: hrhboo

      I too love L'Atelier, but the price is likely to be well in excess of $75/person. The MGM Grand web site specifies an average of $125/person; I'd estimate higher still.

      1. re: Larry

        You're right, it does say that. That's an average check, which probably factors in quite a bit of alcohol (it is Vegas, afterall!). Since Ccbweb's party won't be drinking much it probably won't be that high. I don't recall the individual dishes being expensive at all, but I could be wrong.

        1. re: hrhboo

          Each of my four meals cost more than $125 - a couple of them much more - and limited alcohol was involved. The tasting menu will definitely blow the budget, but so will a typical meal. My most expensive meal was a three course meal that came to $160, excluding drinks; with two glasses of wine it came to $200.

          1. re: hrhboo

            I think they'd really be pushing it within their budget since the dishes can be very expensive and the portions can be small.

      2. As for the MGM itself, you could do pretty well within your budget at SeaBlue, if that menu appeals (it's neither Asian nor French).

        You could dine within your budget at Bouchon (French, at the Venezia Tower in the Venetian), I think it would be very memorable. If you want you can take the monorail there although I'm pretty sure you have to walk through Harrahs and over to the Venetian. If there are four of you it would probably be less expensive to take a cab, depending on the current monorail ticket price, and also weather considerations as it may be too hot for your pregnant friend to walk very much. Maybe $10 for a cab, we stay at MGM a lot and while we normally drive to Vegas from our home in L.A., my husband prefers to cab around at night when he's having drinks. We've cabbed between the MGM and Venetian lots of times.

        There's a free monorail from just outside Excalibur (a 5 minute walk from the upstairs strip entrance to MGM by the Rainforest Cafe) which runs to Luxor and Mandalay Bay. Maybe see if any of the restaurants at Mandalay appeal to you.

        I'm sure others will make some recommendations in Vegas' ever-growing Chinatown which you'd definitely have to cab to (it's on Spring Mountain but west of the I-15), but you'd probably make up your cab fare in less expensive dining.

        1. mon ami gabi at the paris has good food and will fit your price range.

          1. best value in vegas for great meal are off the strip imo. just came back from 6 days business trip and two of the best meal i had was off the strip. take a cab to two of the best restaurants vegas has to offer at low to mid price range.

            rosemary's: 3 course pre fix meal @ $50 or 5 course tasting course @ $75. i took 11 people and they all order 3 course meal which you can pick any 3 items from their menu..great deal and for the price you pay food is better or as good as any high profile
            joint that i have gone which includes picasso, joel robuchon, nobu etc...

            another place that is worth the taxi trip is:
            lotus of siam: not a fancy place...in fact its on the divey side but best thai food you will ever have next to being there! you will see most of the high profile chef's picture on the wall who dine there on their off time...ming sai, joel robuchon, wolfgang etc...as well as tons of celebrities.
            12 peoples and 18 dishes, 3 bottles of german riesling, 2 corkage for my bottles cost me $450. best deal in vegas! and they have killer wine list

            and these two places are the only 28 rating from zagat in vegas

            1. Lotus is a great recommendation if your friends are fond of thai food; it's great. Also very nice is Okada at the Wynn...it's a sushi place but has small cooked plates and some excellent sort of fusion-ish appetizers. It's a very pretty room and b/c of the small plate nature of it, you can control cost pretty well. Bouchon is great, especially outside. You might also think about Burger Bar at the Mandalay bay passage shops...kind of nice, upscale burgers; also Cafe ba ba reeba in the Fashion Show has pretty tasty tapas at a reasonable price. You may have to cab to some of these places, but with 4, the cab is pretty reasonable. Although I like Rosemary's, if you don't have a car, I think it is just too far in a cab, especially in weekend traffic.....also, I'd recommend reservations at all these places, including LOS and you may want to reserve now. Tables are harder and harder to come by on the weekends, it seems.

              3 Replies
              1. re: lvnvflyer

                I would not recommend Seablue. When we ate there it was not that great, overpriced and very bad service.

                1. re: lvnvflyer

                  yeah...LOS is a must everytime i go vegas. and i do agree rosemary's is little out of way but really good.
                  heard good thing about tood's?
                  i really want to like many of the high profile places on the strip but they always come up little short for the $$$. joel was good but was it $400 pp good? picasso was good too but is it worth $250pp? NOT
                  i did have decent meal in downtown vegas, 2nd st grill in freemont which has asian fusion food that was really good and price was very reasonable. nice room too.

                  1. re: rickym13

                    Todd's is terrific. The food is great, it's family owned, and you can byo on Wednesday's with no corkage. It's quite a bit closer to the strip than Rosemary's particularly the south strip.

                2. I like Fiamma Trattoria at the MGM. I'm sure you could do it for $75/person. I have eaten there several times when in Vegas and am always pleased. They do a nice homemade stuffed pasta and their ribeye is stellar.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: cowateni

                    We did Fiamma Trattoria last night (just me and my wife). The service getting to the table (with reservations) was awful and if it weren't clear that we'd never get in anywhere else we would have left. Fortunately, the rest of the service ranged from quite good to downright excellent and we enjoyed the food. The cold lobster salad and the Johnnie Walker Scotch Zabiglione for dessert were outstanding. The wine list is robbery in a book.

                    I'll write more about all of the food after the weekend. I should point out that we're not having a good time here at the MGM (the level of cigarette smoke in virtually all areas of the place is both surprising and hard to navigate as I've got a lung disease...so that's not helping much) so my view of the food is not going to be a pristine one, unfortunately.

                    But, bottom line, Fiamma was a good recommendation, (and right at $75 per, by the way) thanks! Tonight is Pearl.

                    1. re: ccbweb

                      The MGM is one of my least favorite strip hotels. It is way too large, it's poorly laid out and the ceilings are way low, which has the unfortunate impact of holding in the cigarette smoke. Although there are some good restaurants at the property and they get good acts in the Garden, I avoid it as much as possible. Hopefully next time you come you will be able to stay elsewhere.

                  2. Thank you so much, everyone, for all of the great suggestions. We're from SF, so I think I'll probably skip the Michael Mina places, simply because we can get his food here. The menus look quite good, though. L'Atelier does look a bit expensive for these dinners, though my wife and I will have at least one on our own and I think its a very good bet for us that night. Fiamma Trattoria looks fabulous, so I think that may well be one of the options for dinner with our friends. Thanks for the heads up on that one.

                    Has anyone eaten at Pearl, the rather upscale looking Chinese restaurant in the MGM? It reads like it could be pretty good, but who knows; good marketing can do a lot for how something reads.

                    Lotus of Siam keeps popping up no matter where I look, so a cab ride may also be in our future in Las Vegas. If they were only open a bit later, we'd take a cab from the airport the night we get it, alas we'll be there a bit late for that.

                    I'll be sure to report back once we've dined!

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: ccbweb

                      LOS is definitely worth the cab ride (which will probably be around 15 to 20 with tip), but do make a reservation for dinner....its very popular on weekends. And I wouldn't call it a dive, although the shopping center its in has that divey feel. Its a must-go when we're in Vegas. Its a fun place to go with a group, so you can try various dishes.

                      I've eaten at Pearl and wasn't all that impressed. I do agree with the suggestion for Mon Ami Gabi. If its summer consider eating outside in the evening (when its cooled down somewhat....)....lovely views of the Bellagio fountains for entertainment!

                      1. re: janetofreno

                        If you don't mind....what did you feel was lacking at Pearl?

                        As for LOS...dive or not, it sounds fabulous...I'm pretty sure we'll end up there.

                        Thanks for the tip on outside at Mon Ami Gabi, that definitely makes it a bit more appealing!

                        1. re: ccbweb

                          You know, I can't even remember much about my meal there....which is my point. It just didn't stand out and was totally unmemorable. I can remember everything I ate at a dozen meals at LOS, OTOH. And btw, make that reservation at least two weeks in advance for a weekend. My son wanted to go there when he was in Vegas in October, called a week in advance, and it was already booked (admittedly it was a holiday weekend....Halloween weekend is also Nevada Day so its a three dayer and a big one for Nevadans who want to see the lights of the big city.....).

                          You might also consider lunch at Commander's Palace. Lunch is less pricey than dinner, and the drinkers can enjoy those 25cent martinis (do they still have them?) I have always enjoyed my meals there.

                          1. re: janetofreno

                            sadly, Commander's Palace is closed.

                            1. re: lvnvflyer

                              When did that happen???? I hadn't heard.....

                              1. re: janetofreno

                                It was a few months ago. They're looking for somewhere new to go, the current most likely place is the Venetian. Their space at the Planet Hollywood (nee Aladdin) is being taken by a Hawaiian Tropic theme restaurant.

                                  1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                    Most of this is rumor, of course (and there's nothing I like spreading more than rumors!), but I read somewhere on CH that the move to the Venetian wasn't working out. I guess we'll see what happens when it happens, though I hope it happens quickly.

                        2. re: ccbweb

                          I have tried Pearl as well, and wasn't impressed. It didn't taste very authentic. I remember eating there, but it certainly wasn't memorable. I think for Asian I'd stick to LOS (which I am dying to try). The sushi place at MGM is good, too.

                        3. So, its to be Pearl on Saturday night (we're doing a show at the MGM and the group wanted to just stay close that night). Still sorting out Friday and/or Sunday.

                          1. Try Pamplemousse just off the strip near the Hilton. Been going there for years and has yet to disappoint. Menu changes daily but website shows typical offerings. Much more personable than the casino restaurants.