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5 Days in Vegas - help fill in the blanks

Just booked a 5-day trip to Vegas in December (longest time we've ever spent there, but it just worked out that's what I needed to do if I wanted to use miles for the flight). We already know at least some of the places we'll be going ->

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon - one of my favorite restaurants anywhere.
Lotus of Siam - somehow never went on our prior trips - won't miss it this time.
B + B - newly opened since our last visit, eager to try unless strongly discouraged by any responses here (though most comments I've seen on this board seem to be positive).
Bouchon - definitely for breakfast; have thoroughly enjoyed our dinners there too, but may skip this time if there's other good suggestions.

Other places we've already been include ->
Rosemary's - loved the 50% off wine on Sunday but were surprised that we were actually a bit underwhelmed by the food, particularly after all the glowing reviews. Perhaps expectations were too high.
Aureole - thought it was good not great. Love the wine list gadget and the tower.
Renoir - again, good not great (is this gone?)
Sushi Roku - had a pretty good sushi lunch.
Noodles (Bellagio) - great for a dim sum lunch.
Petrossian Bar (Bellagio) - nice for a little caviar or smoked fish snack and a glass of bubbly or shot of vodka.

So ... I'm looking for ->
- 2 other dinner suggestions
- lunch suggestions, lighter food and ethnic particularly welcome
- sushi - what's the best in LV?
- we'll probably take at least one day trip to Red Rock Canyon or Valley of Fire; anything worthwhile along the way?

Not to limit possible suggestions, but my own "not so short list" of places I've not yet tried and am curious about includes Alex, Boulud, Wing Lei, Okada, Red 8, Le Cirque, Picasso, Michael Mina, Fleur de Lys, Guy Savoy, Japonais (have been to the one in Chicago). I should probably note that S.O. probably only has patience for, at most, 2 full-blown tasting menu style dinners, and L'Atelier will be one.

Finally, lodging suggestions. We've always stayed at the Bellagio which I enjoy for its more subdued style and central location. I'm thinking about the Wynn or the Venetian for a change but am concerned that the Wynn is somewhat isolated (we like being able to walk to restaurants in other resorts) and that the Venetian may not be on par with the quality of the Bellagio. Thoughts?

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  1. For lunch, do you have to stay on the strip? Maybe try one of the Asian places on Spring Mountain, or Lindo Michoacan (east on Desert Inn), or, of course, LOS but not the buffet.

    I guess if you have the bucks, then go for Guy Savoy for sure. But it's a lot more expensive than the others that you've listed, even Alex, which itself is fairly pricey (maybe on a par with Picasso? don't know for sure, haven't been to either).

    In the past we have enjoyed Fleur de Lys very much but it's been about 1-1/2 years since we've been there. Okada is a lovely room and the food is very good. I have been less than enthralled with Michael Mina, I think the price:quality ratio is out of whack. If the courses were $5 to $10 less then I would probably endorse it. Also have enjoyed Boulud but haven't been for about two years, that's actually on our "to return" list.

    As to lodging, we like the Wynn and stay there if we get a good rate, but we also stay at MGM. From the Wynn you can easily walk to the Venetian, so that would work if you are dining at, let's say, B&B. You can also easily walk to TI and Mirage although we don't go to either for food, just for gambling. Oh, and Cafe Ba Ba Reeba is fun and it's right across the street at the front of the mall. I also like the central location of the Bellagio and have stayed there before, but if the rates are comparable then I would choose Wynn over Bellagio for sure. Wynn is more subdued than Bellagio. Can't help with Venetian, have never stayed there.

    1. I loved ALEX. It might be too much to hit L'Atelier and Alex the same trip, but Alex was wonderful, a gorgeous space with food and service to match. If the SO will go for two such meals, try Alex. If you want a classy steakhouse, PRIME at Bellagio is terrific, I have had many a meal there and never been disappointed. If you want something a little more 'Vegasy' with just as good food, try N9NE at The Palms. As for a place to stay, theHotel at Mandalay Bay is my favorite. The room is huge, elegant and comfortable, and Mandalay Bay has great restaurants as well. Whether you stay there or not, a cocktail at the top of theHotel at Mix is a must: easily the best view of Vegas. I can stand on the patio for hours, looking out.

      1. Your plan looks good so far, we seem to have similar tastes. We will be there from 11/3-6 and will be trying B&B for the first time. I have heard nothing but raves, so we are extremely excited.

        We have been to Picasso at the Bellagio and have had outstanding meals both times. I was hesitant to try this place at first for some reason (bad branding maybe), but would highly reccomend it out of your list.

        As far as sushi is concerned, I would reccoment the old stand by - Nobu at the Hard Rock. Last time in town, I tried Okada at the Wynn. I think the fish and preparations are overall slightly better at Nobu. However some do not like the Hard Rock atmosphere. In that case, Okada is fine. I am still looking for more sushi selection and a truly outstanding sashimi experience in Las Vegas, which is on par with it's other restaurants. Unfortunatelty it has not yet happened.

        I can't be much help on lunch etc. We ususally do a light lunch whereever we happen to be at the time, and save the apetite for Vegas dinners.

        For lodging, we are staying at the Four Seasons as we have for our past two trips to Vegas. Previously I frequented The Hotel or Bellagio. While I do miss Bellagio's central location, we have been extremely happy at the Four Seasons. Typical Four Seasons service, including a great private gym and spa, with immediate access to all the Mandalay facilities. We almost tried the Wynn this time, but right now the Four Seasons falls under "if it ain't broke..." for us. I am not a fan of the Venetian, it is more of a convention hotel IMO. The rooms are big, but the service is nothing to write home about. Also, I hate the casino at the Venetian.

        I'll second the reccomendation for drinks at Mix. That is always a must for us. Same view as from out room at 4S, but with an open air balcony.

        Enjoy your trip. Less than two weeks to go for me...

        1. Fleur de Lys is de3finitely worthwhile...i have been to at least 8 of michael mina's restaurants and with limited exception, i've enjoyed them all ( i've made a vow not to eat at his places for a year...there are just too many places to try !! ) I'm so pleased that some good friends of mine from back east are visiting vegas in november - lately i've been eating at mainly "cheap eats " ...they like the high end places so i'm waiting to hear from them on which place we'll try...i'm a little bummed they put the budget at $150/ pp ...that knocks out guy savoy, robuchon...i suspect alex ( i've eaten at picasso twice...last time over 2 years ago...beautiful space, but i found the food to be....boring...sorry !! )
          anyways, you might want to give chinatown ( do you like dim sum ? ) a try on the way to red rocks....or how about stopping at at one of several italian deli's to pick up some picnic items on the way to red rock ? also - there is a michoacan outpost on the westside...decatur and hmmm... i believe also on desert inn...

          i will post a photo review of whatever place we decide on in november....enjoy your trip and please report back !!

          1. I just returned from Vegas 3 weeks ago and reported on the places we visited, B&B, LOS, Picasso and others. What I do want to comment on is B&B. I live in CT and work in NYC. One of my favorite things is to go to Babbo w/out reservations and sit at the bar. Great time and great food. If you are going to B&B based any way on the laurels of Babbo, you will be somewhat to entirely disappointed. The kitchen needs time to season itself. All the ingredients are there yet they have not yet hit their stride. And are not even close to hitting it either. That is not to say that it is a bad restaurant, but for the $ and reputation, it has a LONG way to go before it can be compared to the mother ship.

            1. First, lodging. I like Bellagio a lot, but prefer the Wynn; I think the rooms are a hair nicer. It is at one "end" of the strip, arguably, but it is an end that is convenient to a lot now, including the fashion show and the venetian. I think both the Bellagio and the Wynn are much superior to the Venetian.
              Food: light and ethnic: I echo the comments regarding Spring Mt. Road, where you can get some excellent asian food. Hue Thai, for example, will feed you pho and bahn mi for pennies, and there are a number of other great restaurants in that stretch. You might also consider cafe ba ba reeba for lunch, especially if the weather is pleasant. If you venture downtown, the Golden Nuggest has a decent Italian cafe for lunch or there is the Triple George grill. You might also think about Mariposa, the restaurant in Nieman-Marcus; they do a really nice, civilized lunch.
              On dinners, we really like Okada and go there fairly often. The room is very pretty and the fish is delicious. Service is just okay, but the food and drink make up for it. Nobu is also good but I'd give it to Okada by a nose.
              Red 8 would be good for one of your lighter meals; it's more of a coffee shop atmosphere, but we thought the food was good.

              We enjoyed Alex pretty well, but be aware that the chef there is the same one who was at Renoir (which is closed) so if you were underwhelmed by Renoir, then you are may have similar reactions at Alex.
              As far as Picasso goes, I have been there for two very special occasions and despite the positive vibes of the occasions I have been underwhelmed by the food each time. Most recently I was there in May and thought the food was not particularly great. I remember, for example, having the small "turned" spuds on my plate, and they were both luke warm and also not cooked properly (that is, they were still fairly raw in the middle). On the other hand, the room is beautiful, especially fountain side, and the service is very polished.
              I haven't been to Guy Savoy; we went to Joel Robuchon instead and loved it.
              Fleur de Lys was very good and we keep talking about going back but haven't managed it yet.
              If you enjoy a more traditional menu (steak and seafood) I agree with N9ne and would also say that Joe's Stone Crab at the Forum Shops is pretty tasty. A number of people have given positive write ups to StripSteak in the Mandalay Bay, but I haven't eaten there.

              Finally, if you want to go to a high end local restaurant, I'd recommend hitting Vintner's Grill on the way back from red rock for dinner. This is a very pretty place (oddly located in an office park but with great atmosphere once you get there) with really good food. I like it better than Rosemary's.

              1. Just a reminder that discussion of lodging is off-topic for Chowhound - please keep responses limited to great places to eat!

                Thanks.

                1. Thanks to all for so many helpful comments. Rather than respond piecemeal, I'll try to do all my follow-up in one post.

                  Spring Mountain Rd. "Chinatown" - many suggested this, looks like it has great potential for a lunch, particularly if it's in the general direction of Red Rock. I know there's several posts already and I'll do my research, but suggestions for dim sum (especially for good xiao long bao) and good Vietnamese are welcomed.
                  kjs - "cheap eats" are good! Yes I like dim sum. Any particular recommendations?

                  Prime, N9NE - for whatever reason, I'm disinclined to do steakhouses while in LV, at least while traveling with SO. Maybe on a boys' trip I'd feel differently. But it seems there's only so much that can distinguish one high-end steakhouse from another, so my thinking is, why bother spending a meal at one when there's other more interesting options available?
                  lvnvflyer - I'm from Miami Beach so we've got the original Joe's Stone Crab here.

                  Fleur de Lys - interesting that this place doesn't seem to get mentioned often but that when it does, the reaction is mostly positive.

                  B+B - LVI, I've not yet been to Babbo in NYC so I won't have it to compare B+B to. Suspect that's a good thing. (Topic drift alert!) - Is it generally possible to pop in and get a seat at the bar at Babbo w/o reservations? That's always my favorite way to eat anyway.

                  Sushi - looks like Okada will probably make the list (most likely after one of the more gluttonous tasting menu nights).
                  Gabatta - again, we've got a Nobu in Miami so there's no reason for me to go to the one in Vegas.
                  lvnv... - we never really have an issue with service in a sushi place b/c we sit at the sushi bar. There is a sushi bar at Okada, no? (Oddly, the Miami Beach Nobu doesn't have one).

                  Alex, Picasso, Michael Mina - w/ Atelier, B+B, LOS and Okada, I've got one night remaining. If SO is up for it, these would seem to be the most likely remaining candidates for a "fancy" dinner.
                  lvnv... - thanks for the insight that Alex was the former chef at Renoir. That may take it off my list. Not that it was a bad meal, I just can't remember a thing about it and for the $$ it ought to be more memorable.
                  I'm not entirely sold yet on Mina either. The menu with all the "trios" just seems too contrived. It's also sort of weird that (at least on the website) there's multiple tasting menus, but they all have many of the same "greatest hits" dishes with just minor variations.
                  Picasso - Gabatta, I've always had that same hesitation to try it on prior trips. Partly this is because they seem to have a relatively short menu and if nothing really "hits" your tastes, you can have a disappointing meal even if everything is wonderfully prepared.

                  So ...
                  Nobody's said anything about Le Cirque - anyone been recently?
                  Guy Savoy - awfully expensive, but who knows? Maybe we'll get on a hot streak at the tables. It does seem to get a lot of love on this board for an "if price is no object" meal. Has anyone done the $190 "TGV" menu?

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: Frodnesor

                    Frodnesor ~

                    Just back from Vegas - Michael Mina's wasn't so wonderful. It wasn't bad just not as good as everyplace else, Joel Robuchon, B & B, Bouchon & Daniel Boulud.

                    Have fun

                    1. re: Cookiefiend

                      I think I'll pass on Mina. He's supposed to be opening a place in South Florida in the next year, so I'll have other opportunities.

                      How do you compare Bouchon and Boulud?

                      1. re: Frodnesor

                        Mina's opening Bourbon Steak in the Turnberry Resort, supposed to be open in December. I think that's what I heard when we stayed there in September. I think you are wise to pass on Mina.

                        I did a post on our trip "Vegas, my kinda town - for dinner anyway" and went into the details on everywhere we went for dinner. It's on the Southwest board, sorry I don't know how to link it for you. But anyway...

                        Bouchon has a more casual French bistro feel, while Boulud is slightly more upscale-ish. If you would like to watch the "show" while at Boulud ask for a table at the window. It's both unusual and entertaining.

                        The wine list at Boulud is better in my opinion (they had Littorai) and the pricing was reasonable.

                        The food at both is great. Thinking back (jeez a whole week!) I think I may have enjoyed my dinner a little more at Bouchon - the salmon rillettes, the lamb (oh that sauce!) and the cheese plate with the honeycomb - it really was wonderful. OTOH - I don't have a single complaint with Boulud. Both really are great.

                        Hope that helps!

                    2. re: Frodnesor

                      on chinatown - check the other post on the board...i forget the title but it mentions "chinatown" in the title ( i posted a few comments last night ) - i'm glad you brought up le cirque...i haven't been in years....i loved it but, it's been too long...my only beef, i do not like places that have a dress code - when i eat at a high-end place, i normally wear a suit, at a minimum a nice sport coat, but i don't care for being told i have to wear a suit ! how about taking one for the team and try le cirque and let's us know how it is ?? granted, i'm in vegas every week, i should do it, but my list keeps growing and with 3-4 mega-resorts opening in the next 1-2 years ...heck...who knows how many restaurants i'll need to add to the list !!

                      some places i did not mention on the chinatown post that i like, pho so 1 for some great...pho ( noodle soup ) kung fu has good thai ( it's a thai / chinese place...i've never had any of the chinese food ) ...i finally tried this nice little coffee shop yesterday...maple tree...and yes...the food revolves ( not completely ) around maple, it's also on spring mountain, also nearby is a jamaican place called ...uh-oh...i believe it was tasty island...it was island something ....the jerk chicken was tasty...funny thing is they had quite a few pasta selections....i'm not well versed in jamaican food but i would not have guessed that pasta was favored on the island....not sure if you have a sweet tooth but there are two new cupcake places on the westside ( not too far from red rocks...both are near flamingo and the 215 fwy ) - i bring "the girls" at my bank sweets once/month - i've brought them sweets from 10-15 different places...the latest was a hit...mad hatter cupcakes - you basically "make-your-own " cupcake - you pick the cake flavor, the filling, the frosting and even a little treat on top ...i've only tried the red velvet with no filling - the cake was perfect, the frosting ( cream cheese ) i prefer a stronger flavor, but it was tasty...cost ...gee...i think it was $3.50. final sweet tooth - also on the westside - tropicana, west of the 215 - glacier ice cream...it's very good, technically it's a chain ( i believe it's origin is in colorado ) .... based on some of the reviews i've seen...some feel it's "the best" i enjoyed it, but not sure i can give it the blue ribbon

                      Enjoy !

                      1. re: kjs

                        The "take one for the team" pitch does indeed often motivate me. Good news is that the dress code now says "jacket and tie preferred but not required". The menu on the Bellagio website for Le Cirque does look more interesting than on previous occasions when I've looked.

                        By the way, we have a pretty decent concentration of Jamaican places here in Miami and I can't tell you I've ever seen much pasta. Can't vouch for the authenticity of your local joint.

                        1. re: Frodnesor

                          the people working there had jamaican accents...they also had some interesting sodas - one was a pineapple soda that my SO and i liked, there was a sweet sugary-can drink ( non-carbonated ) rather thick ( not a shake ) that was also interesting...i was interested in trying this place after reading the review by our local newspaper food critic...especially since it was so close to my house...

                          http://www.lvrj.com/neon/10257212.html

                          i was planning a springtime trip to the bay area with thoughts of returning to the French Laundry...i took a peek at the san fran chowhound board and i chuckled when i saw a recent, thorough review of FL and a portion of the commentary mentioned the jacket requirement there....the last time i ate there was over 2 years ago ( the longest, most amazing meal i've eaten in the US ) and i don't remember wearing a jacket.....

                          personally, i prefer that you share your experiences on the CH board when you return your trip - that is of greater importance then "taking one for the team ."

                          also - if interested, more local opinion about the vegas food scene...you'll notice some "chain" restaurants make the lists...sad ...very sad

                          http://www.reviewjournal.com/bestoflv/

                      2. re: Frodnesor

                        Frod - fancy meeting you here. I hadn't checked this board in a few days but after the Michy's discussion got reminded of it. Go figure.

                        Re: Guy Savoy, he apparently took over a bar near the main restaurant and transformed it into Bubble Bar. From what I've read it'll be serving dishes from the regular tasting menus but you can order them in groups of 2, 3, or 4. They're not open for lunch, but it sounds like a perfect place for a "happy hour" type fix.

                        http://www.zagat.com/buzz/Detail.aspx...

                        1. re: lax2mia

                          L2M - yes I've got Vegas on the brain as we just booked a trip for December.

                          Here's another interesting note on Guy Savoy and the Bubbles Bar - they're offering the menu that their executive sous chef Hung Huynh won the Bravo Top Chef competition with (from Gayot):

                          Top Meal from a "Top Chef"
                          "Top Chef" fans now have the chance to taste some of season three winner Hung Huynh's cooking. Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace, where Huynh is executive sous chef, will be offering the winning menu that wowed judges and resulted in his being crowned "Top Chef," available exclusively in the newly redesigned Bubbles Bar. “My father prides himself in sharing his passion and nurturing rising star chefs,” said Restaurant Guy Savoy general manager Franck Savoy. “We are excited, but not surprised, to have one of our own rise to the top and win this competition.” The four-course menu ($130 for all four courses or $120 without dessert) includes hamachi, potato chips, tomato vinaigrette & olive oil powder; prawns with a palm sugar-coconut glaze, cucumber radish salad and ocean-scented rice; duck with truffle-scented broth and mushroom ragout; and chocolate cake with raspberry and nougatine tuile.

                          1. re: Frodnesor

                            I too spent five days in Vegas this past August and I am also in need of filling in some blanks! Friday and Saturday are a complete blank!

                            Enjoyed Todd English's place and spent a lot of money at some places that I will not go back ....Bobby Flay's for instance.
                            Got adventuresome and here are two recommendations: Mempis Championship BBQ - GREAT RIBS and don't pass on the battered and fried dill pickle chips!

                            Had a hoot at Slots of Fun..next to Circus Circus $99 frozen margaritas and $99 1 lb. Hot Dogs!!!!! Got to dig into the sofa for some spare change if you want some great chili, cheese and onions, thats extra!!! In ten years I will have forgotten all of the other dinners, including English's, but not the afternoon dinking margaritas, eating a huge chili dog and playing slots at Slots of FUN!!

                            1. re: NitroGen

                              Nitro, I think you can do better than $99 for hot dogs and Margaritas at the Slots o' Fun ;-). Do they still have the 75 cent Heinekens and Coronas? Do they still have the craps table out on the sidewalk? Something about playing dice outdoors on the Strip I found strangely,,, exciting, in a surreal way.

                              1. re: Andrew Gore

                                Andrew – Unfortunately, I did not see if they were playing craps at an outside table. It was so hot in August that not much was moving outside, including the traffic.
                                I stand corrected, as the 1 lb. hot dogs at Slots of Fun are not $99 but $.99 as are their great margaritas!
                                Serious as a heart attack on recommending Slots of Fun for an afternoon of fun, as it will probably be torn down soon so some giga-casino can be built that has restaurants with big name chefs that have TV shows, cookware, books and sauces for sale.
                                Congrats to your bro!

                            2. re: Frodnesor

                              Frod, this months Travel and Leisure magazine has a guide to Vegas and lists Bubble Bar as among the better values in town. It appears you can get 4 plates for $40.

                              1. re: Sobe

                                Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately Guy Savoy and Bubbles Bar are going to be closed the time that I'm out there (right before Christmas).

                        2. Follow up question on Okada ->
                          We will probably plan to go there either before or after a show at the Wynn on a Friday or Saturday night. Our usual preference is to sit at the sushi bar. Is this place so busy that we should reserve a table as a backup, assuming we'll be getting there either pre-show (7?) or post-show (9:30ish)?

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Frodnesor

                            I am going out to Las Vegas from the Sunshine State during the same week. Thanks for asking about some of the places we have not yet tried! Just one word of advice that you asked initially-----skip Japonais in Vegas. We went expecting the Chicago vibe and found the food and atmosphere to be sub par. Its a totally different experience and unlike Chicago.

                            1. re: Debbie

                              I just was there and found it to be great. The lounge area is a pretty cool place to sit and meet. The night we went we were the 1st in the dining room (we were there @ 5pm because of an 8pm poker tourny that we wanted to catch) so granted there was no "vibe". However when we left things were certainly hoppin, and it was a Sunday. I found the food to be some of the better sushi/Japanese cuisine I have had in Las Vegas (I have NOT been to Okada) and found it better than Nobu and not as expensive, but by no means cheap. If you are in or around the Mirage I would certainly not avoid it.

                              I used to live in Chicago for 15 years and have been to Japonais Chicago just once and found it to be very good also. More clubby no doubt but as far as food quality, I would acyually give the edge to the LV outpost. The person w/whom we went to Japonais has lived in LV for the past 4 years but is a Chicago native and Japonais is one of his favorite places.

                            2. re: Frodnesor

                              yes, you should reserve a table, okada gets pretty busy. i've had to wait for a good long time once because i walked in. i've sat at a table and at the bar and i enjoyed sitting at the bar a lot more.

                              as for bouchon, their breakfast/brunch is awesome but i enjoyed the verandah at the four seasons a lot more. if you look on other boards, most ch'ers would agree.

                            3. Leaving tomorrow, here's the itinerary so far. Any further comments welcome!

                              - Wed - arrive in the evening, if early enough will try to squeeze in a visit to Lotus of Siam; if not, will probably snack at Petrossian or Noodles in Bellagio. If we don't make it for dinner, is LOS for lunch still worth doing?

                              - Thu - dinner at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon; lunch open

                              - Fri - post-show dinner at Okada; lunch open

                              - Sat - pre-show dinner at B&B; lunch open

                              - Sun - dinner at Le Cirque; lunch open

                              Lunches will likely be some combination of off-strip Chinese or Vietnamese (I've got Cathay House, Emperor's Garden, Ping Pang Pong and Hue Thai on my possible hit list), In-n-Out Burger, Noodles @ Bellagio, Red 8 @ Wynn, Cafe Babareeba.

                              Any final words of wisdom?

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Frodnesor

                                Lunch at LOS is great, but do not get the buffet. Order off the menu. Try to get there before noon as it gets very crowded with folks chowing down on the buffet. I don't think they're open for lunch on the weekends.

                                Mesa Grill is also great for lunch.

                                My final word of wisdom is go to Burger Bar and don't go to In-N-Out. Why have fast food?

                                1. re: Debbie W

                                  We don't have it in Miami and my wife is curiously obsessed w/ In-n-Out Burger. Who am I to deprive her?

                                  1. re: Frodnesor

                                    I guess. :-)

                                    As a wife, I agree it's a good idea to keep your wife happy, especially on vacation. My husband never has to do any of the trip or restaurant planning so your wife is lucky indeed. OTOH my husband always eats wherever I suggest and is generally very happy with my choices and never complains that we spend too much on food. So I'm very lucky too. Have a great trip.

                                2. re: Frodnesor

                                  Right on !!!! really hope you'll share the experience post-trip ...really interested in hearing about Le Cirque...i ate at ping pang yesterdary for dim - sum ...it's closing in on SO and I fav...orchid's...but larger selection at orchid's...Hue Thai is nice but for almost half the price on banh mi, i would go with Nhu Lan ...it's a much more low key place - for pho...i prefer pho so 1 but the hot pot at hue thai was great...noodles at bellagio...it's convenient for late nite but man...if you got the time stick with chinatown....might be 1/2 the price for the same quality ( well...maybe not 1/2 the price ...but close ! ) ....

                                  i was at dragonfly last nite ( next to firefly ...another tapas place similar to babareeba ) ....if you want an asian infused small plates venue...this place works !!! btw firefly was hopping !!! i still prefer it for BaBa..

                                  Happy Eating !!

                                  1. re: kjs

                                    thanks so much for the tips. We did squeeze in LOS last night, and very glad we did - will report more later. Renting a car tomorrow and will try to get Mrs. F to do chinatown. Off to L'Atelier!

                                3. I had reservations at B&B for Saturday but based on some recommendations I changed it to Enoteca San Marco. Still Mario Batali but not as fancy or expensive (which really wasn't an issue for me) but I heard much better reviews about it. I loved it and had a great time. THe only thing is they serve everything at once apps and main dishes family style -- you might want to tell them not to put the main dishes in until you are done eating the apps.

                                  1. Once again, my thanks to everyone for all the helpful comments and suggestions. Here's the report (still a work in progress) ->

                                    Wednesday dinner - we did make our way to Lotus of Siam after getting in early evening, and I'm so glad we did. Report is here ->
                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/44751...
                                    As Mrs. F put it, "I wish we had a place like this locally." It's definitely the kind of restaurant I could go back to repeatedly to work my way through the menu, and would be a regular for me on future LV visits. Of course, Mrs. F's comments also carry the implicit meaning of "I'm not sure you're going to get me to go out to a dumpy little Thai place in a strip mall every time we go to Vegas." We'll see how this one plays out.

                                    Thursday lunch - light snack at Petrossian Bar in the Bellagio in lieu of lunch. One plate with a generous serving of smoked salmon and a smidgen of Alverta Caviar, another plate with king crab, smoked sturgeon, and another little smidge of the same Alverta Caviar. Pricy ($25 and up; the real caviars are shockingly expensive) but a nice little bar area to hang out in for a drink. Their home-infused vodkas can be very yummy.

                                    Thursday dinner - Atelier, which I thought was great (again). Report here ->
                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/45716...

                                    Friday lunch - field trip day, rented a car and drove out to Red Rock Canyon. Tried to tempt Mrs. F with the allure of Spring Mountain Road, but she wasn't going for it and was fixated on an In-n-Out Burger (we don't have such things in Miami). For fast food, it was quite good I went with a cheeseburger animal style and some animal-style fries. Burger was solid, fries definitely could have been crispier, though having been slopped with grilled onions, cheese and "special sauce" they still went down easy.

                                    Friday dinner - post-show dinner at Okada, report here ->
                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/45714...

                                    Saturday lunch - Noodles in the Bellagio, unfortunately they were not doing dim sum (they usually do dim sum on the weekends at Noodles, but during the holidays they instead do a dim sum buffet at the other Chinese restaurant, Jasmine), so we instead had a grab bag of other stuff - kim chee, century duck eggs seasoned w/ sesame oil and scallion, soy sauce chicken, BBQ duck (both delicious but either done off the bone or taken off the bone before serving, and a little less succulent as a result), and shrimp & pork shiu mai (they still have a few dim sum items a la carte). I know you "Chinatown purists" sneer b/c this place is in a resort, but I have never had a disappointing meal there.

                                    Saturday dinner - B&B, report here ->
                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40121...

                                    Sunday lunch - tried the dim sum buffet at Jasmine in the Bellagio. Pricy at $50 per. Fairly broad selection of dumplings - in addition to the usual shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings, pork buns, etc., they also had a good bit of more exotic stuff - fish maw dumplings, abalone dumplings, braised sea cucumber dumplings, cold sliced beef tendon, etc. Most of the other usual suspects as well - sticky rice in lotus leaf, chicken feet, beef short rib, spring rolls, taro shrimp, etc. Also had a raw bar, a carving station with beef wellington and another roast, several other prepared chinese dishes, a whole dessert tray, fresh fruits, etc. All in all, quite an intruiging hodge-podge. Done as a buffet, the dim sum were all in steam table pans which, sitting around, does compromise texture some. Nonetheless, quite good, and it was quite amusing to see the older gentlemen sitting next to me practically eat his weight (and surely at least $50 worth) in fresh rambutans.

                                    Sunday dinner - Le Cirque, report to be posted shortly.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Frodnesor

                                      I'm loving all your reviews. I know how hard it is to do while distracted by all the fun to be had in Vegas, so it's doubly appreciated (at least by me). Keep 'em coming. How many more? I still suggest Burger Bar, doesn't seem like you've had too many burgers on your trip. Now that you've satisfied the wife's In-N-Out itch, how about something for yourself? Since you're staying at Bellagio, have you had the gelato at Jean-Philippe yet? The stracciatella (sp?) rocks.

                                      1. re: Debbie W

                                        Le Cirque was actually the grand finale, we caught a red-eye out last night and am now home, bleary-eyed, in Miami. Already planning the list for next visit though.

                                      2. re: Frodnesor

                                        For crispy fries at In-n-Out, you;ve got to order them 'well done' next time.