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Casual in Las Vegas

ios94 Mar 31, 2008 11:22 AM

I was in Vegas last May and will be there again this May. Last year the wife and I stayed at Treasure Island, we enjoyed our dinner at the Mexican and Japanese restos at TI although I found the Japanese one slightly overpriced (I am fully aware that everything in this city, especially in the hotels is over priced).

Anyway, this May we are staying at the MGM and are are looking for other suggestions. We enjoy every type of cuisine, especially authentic Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine. I know there is no "authentic" Mexican in the resort hotels but like I said we enjoyed the mexican at TI last year and we know what we're expecting. Overall the quality and taste of the food was fine and the price was consistent with what we were getting.

On that note does anyone have any good suggestions for restaurants that fall into the "casual" category as defined by most hotel websites. i.e. main dish not more than $20. Total tab not more than $60-$70 (we're not big drinkers, I may have a beer at most)

How are the casual spots that are under the big chef names, are they worth a visit? i.e Mario Bartoli, Wolfgang Puck, Emerils?

I also noticed a lot of the hotels have in house Mexican restos like TI, I see MGM and The Venetian also have Mexican. Do other hotels on the strip have Mexican and which one is worth a visit, or better yet are there any nearby on the strip, whether in a hotel or not.


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  1. l
    LVI RE: ios94 Mar 31, 2008 11:52 AM

    Border Grill across the street @ Mandalay is very good. B&B in the Venetian (Mario Batali) is subject to many different opinion. IMHO, it is not worth going to. Inconsistant and highly inflated prices. Not to mention the inflated egos.

    1. j
      Justjenn RE: ios94 Mar 31, 2008 01:10 PM

      I agree with LVI on Border Grill but I also liked Diego at the MGM (which you are going to hear differeing opions about) I found Diego's menu interesting and the food I had was good. If its an event night at the garden its going to stink though -- they are usually too slammed. Instead of B&B you might want to try Enoteca San Marco -- Mario Batali's other restaurant... you can totally get out of there for 60-70 bucks a person if you don't drink.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Justjenn
        ios94 RE: Justjenn Mar 31, 2008 02:08 PM

        $60-70 total before tax and tip for the 2 of us is what I meant, not each. That's pretty much what we spent last year at Isla at Treasure Island. Figure 2@ $20 main plates plus a $10 or so appetizer and a beer and soft drink.

      2. j
        Justjenn RE: ios94 Mar 31, 2008 03:45 PM

        YOu could go to Cafe BaBaReeba on the strip and get out for that. Its tapas. Great Sangria. Doable food. Nothing thats going to bowl you over but its solid

        1. p
          preacher RE: ios94 Mar 31, 2008 05:05 PM

          i found the taqueria canonita at the venitian was very good and in ur price range,with drinks it was $75 great view of the indoor canal my wife and i will be out in vegas in the first week of may, also i heard of a new place just opened last month, at the . monte carlo called diablos have fun in vegas

          4 Replies
          1. re: preacher
            janetofreno RE: preacher Mar 31, 2008 11:40 PM

            Diablos got panned in the newspaper a few days ago. I figure if the newspaper dismissed it as touristy and nothing special, it probably really is nothing special.

            OTOH, I have eaten at Border Grill a couple of times and been pleasantly surprised. And the margaritas are good.

            1. re: janetofreno
              ios94 RE: janetofreno Apr 2, 2008 05:44 AM

              What about Emeril's, Wolfgang Puck, etc...

              1. re: ios94
                Kari RE: ios94 Apr 2, 2008 09:24 AM

                We did Emeril's for lunch at the MGM, it didn't feel casual to me at all even though we were in casual attire. I do think lunch is always more casual of an affair. It's been a few years, but I think we paid around $100 for lunch. My husband had a diet coke at $3.00 and had 3 of them, they charged us each time. No free refills here. I don't know if all high end places are that way.

                1. re: ios94
                  climberdoc RE: ios94 Apr 25, 2008 05:54 PM

                  A short cab ride would be justified by dining at Lotus of Siam. If you are into Thai, this is a must-do. Prices are within your range. Don't do the buffet!

                  I love Verandah at Four Seasons for breakfast and lunch. Without alcohol, you could probably get out of there for the prices you stated.

                  Mesa Grill at Caesars has a great lunch and dinner menu. You could probably get out of there within your price range for lunch without alcohol.

                  I wholeheartedly agree with the rec for Mario Batali's Enoteca San Marco. There is much controversy about his B & B but there is little doubt about Enoteca and prices are reasonable.

                  I can no longer imaging fine food without wine. Neither is not nearly as good without the other. To each his own.

          2. m
            mrsmonroe RE: ios94 Apr 26, 2008 01:05 PM

            I love the Wolfgang Puck Cafe in the MGM. It's relatively inexpensive and the food is fantastic. Try the truffled blue cheese chips and any of the pizzas or calzones. I have not eaten at Diego's in the MGM but heard pretty good things about it. I like La Salsa Cantina in the Caesar's Palace Forum Shops. Spago (Wolfgang Puck) in the Forum Shops is one of my favorite restaurants. You can eat either in the cafe or in the dining room (significantly more expensive).

            1. j
              JoeyH RE: ios94 Apr 26, 2008 06:48 PM

              The Palm (at the Forum Shops) has a great prix fixe lunch special...soup or salad, bread, 2 sides, beverage, and your choice of about 5 different main courses. One of the main courses is a filet mignon. Another is a fresh fish. I think it's about $20 now, which is a steal for this caliber of steakhouse food. I like to sit in the patio section watching the shoppers in the fake outdoor street scene.

              Spago, across the "street", from the Palm, is another lunch spot to consider.

              Someone mentioned Enoteca San Marco. I dropped $50 there on a lunch of salumi and three cheeses, a gelato dessert, and some lambrusco. But it was excellent, the service as good as I have ever had anywhere, and worth the fifty.

              You could stay under $60-70 for two at Mon Ami Gabi in the Paris if you don't go overboard. It's one of my favorite places in town, especially if you get a patio table with views of the Bellagio fountains.

              You can't quite do Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill for dinner, but the lunch prices are more reasonable. Since you like Mexican, you might like his southwestern cuisine. (at Caesars)

              Yes to the Lotus of Siam rec. Totally rocks!

              1. g
                Grebby RE: ios94 Apr 29, 2008 04:19 PM

                I really like Diego's at the MGM, though it may push your price limit. Border Grill at Mandalay Bay is good, and I like Pink Taco at the Hard Rock though it's a raucous crowd.

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