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vegas...4 days and 8 meals

i will be in vegas next month for 4 days. i have most of the restaurant picked out, but need some help with our last dinner. so far...

lunch:
day 1: cathay house for dim sum
day 2: penang for malaysian food
day 3: pasta shop ristorante
day 4: lotus of siam

dinner
day 1: mon ami gabi
day 2: B+B
day 3: firefly
day 4: ??

i have already been to bouchon, daniel boulud, picasso, rosemary's, okada, bartolotta, mesa grille, and spagos

the budget is $200 or so for two people...

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  1. Nobhill? Fiamma? N9NE? Craftsteak?

    1. I'm afraid Penang might qualify for a serious downhill alert, unless something has changed for the positive in the past couple of months. This is a real disappointment to me, because I raved about it after my first meal there, especially the fish dishes. I had one bad meal afterwards, and the place is a ghost town now every time I've passed it (perhaps it livens up after midnight, as karaoke runs after midnight).

      Have any Chowhounds been there lately?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dave Feldman

        i was there late summer - the service was terrible - the food...nothing to rave about....but i can't give it a thumbs down based on one visit

      2. This place hardly ever gets mentioned on CH but has gotten great reviews on yelp.com. It's a Chinese restaurant called Food Express. Don't let the name fool you, they're really good. They're located on Decatur Blvd. between Sahara and Oakey. If you like seafood, this place is a must. I love the following:

        Salt and pepper crab: Dungeness crab fried and stir fried w/ garlic, jalapenos and other spices. The crab is deliciously moist and infused w/ the other flavors. The crispy garlic and jalapeno bits are yummy and addictive.

        Walnut shrimp: Lightly battered shrimp cooked w/ candied walnuts and glazed lightly w/ a creamy sweet sauce. I've had this dish in many Chinese restaurants in NY, LA and Las Vegas. This place does this dish the best.

        Steamed fish: Choose a fish from their tanks or have them do it. Have it steamed and prepared w/ ginger scallion sauce.

        Pan fried noodle w/ beef: The beef is so tender and goes so well w/ the crispy noodles. It's my comfort food.

        Pea pot leaves or Spinach: Have it stir fried w/ or w/o garlic.

        The best thing about this place is that they're cheap for what they're offering and the quality they're offering it in. They're also open till 2:AM every night! Try them for lunch or dinner and you'll still come under budget.

        The only negative is the ambience. It's a small nondescript place located next to a giant flea market (The Fantastic Swapmeet). But who cares if they're food is really good. They can get crowded during dinner time (after 7pm).

        3 Replies
        1. re: liv2eat2008

          From health inspection report article in the LVRJ:

          Food Express, 2003 S. Decatur Blvd., received 51 demerits Nov. 9. Violations included condensation leak in walk-in freezer and two-door cooler draining into an overflowing bus tub. GRADE: Closed

          It may have subsequently reopened.

          1. re: westie

            They've been upgraded to an A as of Nov. 13th.

            I wish I could say something in their defense but it's true that they were closed for their health code violations. It's also true that they've cleaned up, been allowed to reopen and been upgraded to an A from the health inspectors in a short time. And it's ALWAYS been true that their food has been good. Now's probably the best time to go to Food Express since they're on their best health inspection behavior!

            1. re: liv2eat2008

              liv2eat2008 said "Now's probably the best time to go to Food Express since they're on their best health inspection behavior!"

              I was thinking the same thing. When I initially read the report I took it off my schedule for our December trip, but decided Food Express probably would be the cleanest place in town by the time I arrive.

        2. I would venture off the strip and go to Rosemary's if you can get a reservation. I always think its well worth the trip.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Justjenn

            One more piece of advice . YOu should go to Lotus for dinner -- they have a buffet at lunch which is not so great -- I am sure you could order off the regular menu but its pretty crowded at that time and I dont think you will have the same experience. Also Cathay House is great but not during the week..the selection is sub par and not as fresh. If you really want to experience Cathay House the way it should go on a Sunday at 12:30 and be prepared to wait a bit.

            1. re: Justjenn

              Actually, the food off the menu is at least as good at lunch -- at least that has been my experience. Sometimes I think it is better. This might be because the kitchen loves cooking anything other than the same dishes over and over again. But I agree completely not to eat the buffet (although the wings are a non-guilty pleasure).