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Mar 31, 2008 11:22 AM

Casual in Las Vegas

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. 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. 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

        $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. 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. 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

            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

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

              1. re: ios94

                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

                  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. 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).