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Vegas Specifics

I will be in Vegas in January. This will be my second time, but the only place I recall eating on my previous visit that was even relatively memorable was Rum Jungle. Need some suggestions:

I don't eat meat, though I do eat fish and I would like at least one evening at a restaurant that will provide a memorable experience and money won't be an issue. I am not picky with the whole vegetarian thing, I would just prefer that the whole restaurant not revolve around steak and the like.

I also would like a recommendation for a great buffet and a great Asian restaurant (not my fav, but it is my travelling companion's). I love Mexican/Southwestern fare, so if you have any ideas for that, it would be much appreciated. We will be on the strip and prefer to stay there.

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  1. for fish maybe try seablue or nobhill @ mgm
    southwestern ou gotta go to mesa grill @ caeser's
    great buffet is @ bellagio
    asian if you venture off the strip is lotus of siam thai

      1. re: brisket

        I had a wonderful dinner last month at the Eiffel Tower restaurant at the Paris Hotel. Very nice room with a fantastic view of the Bellagio fountains and Strip. Had the multi-course tasting menu which included meats, but I'm sure they also offered a tasting menu all vegetarian. Terrific wine pairings also offered. Expensive, but worth it.

      2. I second the recommendation of Mesa Grill
        I enjoyed my meal at TAO at the Venetian and Wolfgang Puck's Asian eatery at the Ceaser Forum Shops
        I really enjoy the weekend buffet at Paris and the Wynn has a nice buffett as well

        1. Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn should be the perfect restaurant for you and your group. About as pure and expertly prepared seafood you will find not only in Vegas but US. As far as an Asian restaurant there are 2 inside the Wynn that are excellent. Okada and Wing Lei. Okada is one of the best, if not the best, sushi restaurants in town while being visually stunning to match. Wing Lei is more eclectic approach to Asian fare and very good.

          1. Thanks for the ideas. I think we are definitely going to do Mesa Grill. I went to the website for Michael Mina's and the vegetarian tasting menu looks wonderful. Has anyone tried it or any of his other tastings? What did you think?

            4 Replies
            1. re: carriegoch

              Mina's cookbook tasting menu is definitely worth it. It does include a steak dish, but I'm sure they could do a substitution. My favorite meal at his restaurant is two appetizers: the sweet and peppery tuna tartare, followed by the savory black mussel souflee. Have a great time.

              1. re: carriegoch

                if staying at mandalay, for a more casual setting, the border grill is decent, i lik rm too - it can be a little pricey

                1. re: carriegoch

                  Wifey and I recently did the cookbook tasting menu at Michael Mina. It was very good but we didn't think it was worth the price. Part of the problem is that the price includes an autographed MM cookbook. After we got back, I was looking at the menu on the Bellagio site and it stated that the cookbook was optional ($50). The menu at the restaurant doesn't give that option.

                  Anyway, although I thought each of the courses were very good, there didn't seem to be any harmony as a whole. The menu was tuna tartare (excellent), lobster pot pie (good but perhaps over rated), some kind of fish that I can't recall (very good), kobe beef 3 ways (good but sure was glad there were a bunch of other courses), and a trio of desserts (I especially liked the cookies and mini root beer float). The tuna tartare was my favorite. If we go back again, I think we'll skip the tasting menus.

                  Some friends of ours recently tried the veg tasting menu at Tableau at the Wynn and thought it was very good. I trust their opinions.

                  1. re: carriegoch

                    My wife and I went to Michael Mina last year and it was excellent. We did not do the tasting menu. My wife had the Lobster Pot Pie which she loved and I had the Kobe Short Rib trio which was outstanding.

                  2. I was there last February for a real estate convention at the Mandalay Bay and I stopped at Border Grill for a quick snack on my way back to my hotel. I got some empanadas and they were so yummy. I will be making a stop by there again if I don't find 8 million other restaurants I want to try!!

                    I saw the Mina cookbook tasting and heard that was good. I was just going to go straight for the veggie version...Man, January is just too far away.

                    1. What do you think of Tao or Social House?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: carriegoch

                        I really enjoyed it - I had no complaints about anything we ordered. I also like the vibe and decor in there. My husband and I were given a very private booth... - kind of weird to say private since it's a huge room but we felt like we were in a private booth.

                      2. While in LV you have got to visit Sushi Roku in the Caesars Forum Shops. Phenominal atmoshpere and food is killer fantastic! If money is not an issue - Commanders Palace has fantastic service and Cajun cuisine. Best of luck!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: chowpimp

                          I thought Commanders is closed.

                          1. re: bgut1

                            It's been 18 months or so that I was last there - Alladen Casino Hotel I think? I can't verify the closing. Service - best I've ever had. Three in my party and we had four servers attending us.

                          2. re: chowpimp

                            Commander's Palace did indeed close - nearly a year ago.

                          3. For buffets, you might check out Spice Market at Planet Hollywood. Better price than Bellagio, and I think both the food and service are better overall.

                            Rosemary's is always worth consideration. Their seafood preps are killer, especially the Hugo's BBQ Shrimp and Halibut Lindquist.

                            1. Well, I think that my friend and I are going to do Mesa Grill because we both like the southwest style of cooking. I had a bit of debate within myself about whether we should do Tao or Social House. In the end, I think we will end up doing Lotus of Siam instead (I LOVE Thai) and then go to Social House for the atmosphere (we are 20-somethings in Vegas after all) and maybe a bit of sushi. So many restaurants that I see recommended time and again are probably ones that I wouldn't get a lot out of since I am a veg.

                              I think we will play the buffet by ear. I will be stopping by Michael Mina's for dessert because it looks so good. I'll let you all know how it comes out!!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: carriegoch

                                Everything I've had at Mesa has been good, but one thing to be sure to try is the Raw Tuna Nachos appetizer.

                                1. re: suebro

                                  I agree about the tuna nacho appetizer at Mesa, but it's very spicy (and I love spice).

                                  DO NOT MISS the sticky rice, coconut ice cream, fried banana dessert at LOS - just had it for the first time on Monday night, unbelievable. Mangoes are out of season, sadly. Drunken noodles with sea bass were a standout too (not on the menu with sea bass, only with seafood IIRC, so ask).

                              2. Wow, thanks for the suggestions. I love spicy food so the nachos will be right up my alley. I am pretty excited to try LOS. In Indianapolis, we had a Thai place downtown that I liked, but they moved to the southside and it's a bit of a trip to get there, so I have to settle for a little of this, a little of that. One place has a good Pad Thai, but my favorite is Massaman Curry and there aren't a lot of places that do it right.

                                I guess the question is, how do I choose between the rice, ice cream, or fried bananas OR how do I fit them ALL into my stomach? ha!!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: carriegoch

                                  You can get them all on the same plate, if you wish. Or in any combination (although I've never heard of sticky rice with fried bananas). If you can get sticky rice with mango, I'd go with that and the ice cream. The fried bananas aren't as special to me but I wouldn't reject them if offered, either.

                                  1. re: Dave Feldman

                                    I'm no expert, only having had it once, but it was just this week and I have literally been daydreaming about it, I swear the dish is haunting me. The sticky rice and the coconut ice cream were both sublime. I agree with Dave, the fried bananas were good, but I only had one piece and gave "my" other piece to my husband, because I wanted to concentrate my calories on the other stuff. We had a group of four and they gave us eight pieces of banana, but I don't know if the serving size is adjusted depending on the size of the party. I was very sorry that mangoes are out of season but I guess that's another reason to return again and again.

                                2. Has anyone tried any of LOS's curries? I would love a recommendation.

                                  The thing I am really excited about is visiting the Vosges chocolate store. I don't like paying shipping from their catalogue, so I will literally be like a kid in a candy store (ha) getting to see and touch all of their stuff. I'm concerned too much of my Vegas budget will be spent on chocolate to bring home.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. Well, just for an update, I got back to Indy yesterday and we had some really great food while we were out there. We had dinner at Mesa Grill and split the goat cheese queso fundido, had the mahi mahi and cilantro mashed potatoes. Then, we had the dessert sampler with chocolate cake, fruit cobbler, and flan. Everything was very good, but we left extremely stuffed.

                                    Also went to Lotus of Siam. I had curry and my friend got the chicken and vegetables. We were both really impressed with the food.

                                    I had dinner at the bar at Border grill and my quesadillas were yummy. I love the three salsas. I was also planning on going to Rosemary's, but never made it. Maybe next time.

                                    I was going to eat at Aureole, but nothing really sounded great for the $$, so I had a $17 martini. Ouch!! That is the most I have ever spent on one cocktail. All in all, though, a great trip.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: carriegoch

                                      Thanks for reporting back. I'm glad you had many hits and no strikeouts.