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Mar 26, 2008 03:54 PM

Vegas rec's (on & off-strip) for 30th birthday celebration

A group of girlfriends and I are heading to Vegas for my 30th birthday. We'll only be there for 2 nights, so we have a limited amount of time to fit good-eating in. Here is my beef with Vegas food (strip restaurants at least)- I feel like every restaurant is a transplant from somewhere else and not quite as good as the original, yet twice as expensive. I'm looking for that hidden gem that is going to make me change my mind. Been to N9NE, Bouchon, Delmonico's, Lotus of Siam, ENVY, Burger Bar and Diego (which I thought was terribly over-priced and mediocre in quality - at BEST). Of these I would visit again, N9NE, Bouchon and Burger Bar. Here is our itinerary for the two nights we're there:

1st - going to a show at the Joint that starts at 8pm, so need to grab something fairly quickly before hand. We're staying at the Monte Carlo so I was thinking either the brew pub or the Hofbrauhaus across the street. Any other suggestions?

2nd - this is our night to do it up. Fun dinner out with dancing afterwards. We're all coming from the bay area so we're looking for something we can't find here (i.e. no sushi). Also our budget is somewhat limited so we can't go crazy (Guy Savoy will have to be for another time). Not opposed to off the strip either, just not so far away that it takes forever to get back and forth. Some place where both food AND drinks are equally as excellent.

I know you chowhounders will help steer me in the right direction! Thanks!

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  1. I always advise to eat where ever you plan of seeing the show. The Joint is in the Hard Rock, eat at the Hard Rock. There's several top notch restaurants of different cuisines that might satisfy your tastes. I'm certain that not worrying about additional transportation issues from dinner to the show will be alleviated.

    Night two, you might want to consider Tao at the Venetian. Again... one venue eliminates transportation issues and allows you to concentrate on dining and having fun afterwards in the nightclub.


    1. First, I share your taste in the restaurants you liked, so this may be a good sign. HofbrÀuhaus certainly isn't across the street form Monte Carlo. As a German, I still like the brewpub a lot better.

      There's no better choice in town for a gourmet restarurant that's not too expensive than Rosemary's, which is unfortunately a bit of a drive from the Strip. It's totally worth it, IMHO, and, most importantly, it's original and not a copy of anything. Their beer pairngs are jusly famous, and they have a good wine list. Some members of a group might quibble about the drive there, though.

      Check out menus, prices and promotions here:


      1 Reply
      1. re: wollwo

        How long would it take to drive from the strip to Rosemary's? That was actually one of the 1st options I thought of and we are renting a car while we're there so transportation won't be an issue. I just wasn't sure if it was worth the drive or not.

      2. I agree with the person who said eat at the Hard Rock before the show. With that said the Hofbrauhaus is across the street and would work but I found the food horrible and the music annoying. Too bad Simon's closed down because that really would have been a great option -- but Pink Taco is ok and doable and I would pick the Veggie Burger at the Hard Rock Coffee Shop over anything on the Hofbrauhaus menu. There is a great little sushi restaurant across the street from the Hard Rock in a Strip mall but you said you didnt wan't sushi.

        As far as your second night...I second rosemary's but its probably going to be out of the way. Where do you think You are going Dancing? If the Venetian then Tao might work or I really liked Enoteca San Marco which isnt that pricey and not so crazy and its semi family style -- allows for sharing which can be fun. If At the MGM i love Craftsteak and there are always a ton of men there for bachelor parties which may be fun. There is so many ...If you could narrow down your dance options it may be easier.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Justjenn

          Let me pile-on: the Hofbrauhaus has terrible food and music. The cab driver who picked us up there said that even the German toursits were complaining about the food. I wrote the manager and complained about the food and music and they sent me a coupon good for two free beers. I went the second time and couldn't stand it even with the free beer.

          1. re: Justjenn

            Hi , yes we're actually planning on going dancing at Tao. I looked into eating there but was irritated by the fact that even though you eat at the restaurant you still have to go, stand in line and pay for cover to get into the club. I would think that after dropping a few hundred on dinner, they could at least give you free admission! So that's why we were looking for other food options. If the food is worth it though, then I can overlook the having to pay cover part. I've never been to the original in NY so at least this would be the first time I'm eating here.

            In regards to the 1st night, I have been to the Pink Taco and found the food to just be ok and fairly over-priced. Any other options in or around Hard Rock that you would recommend? I would even take the sushi restaurant over Pink Taco I think. What is the name of it? Thanks for the tips!

          2. Well I heard the new italian at the Hard Rock is good (it took the place of simons) . I dont know the name but its on the website. I will try to get the name of the sushi place for you -- I just know where it is. I too am not impressed with Pink Taco either but its not taco bell, its the most reasonable besides the coffee shop and its onsite. I have heard good things about AJs too but never have been there and of course there is Nobu which is a tad pricey.

            And as far as dancing at Tao have fun trying to find some space but then again thats the club scene everywhere in vegas. It just annoys me usually. But Venetian has a many good food options -- Like I said I like Enoteca and Bouchon is always a good choice. You guys might like to go over to Social House at the TI and then cross the street for Tao.