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Sep 4, 2008 11:14 PM

Vegas with a ChowTeen?

I asked our 14-yr-old where she'd like to go for Christmas (I'm thinking Disneyland) and she replied, "A food tour of Las Vegas."

What the ---? Who is this kid, and how'd you get into my daughter's body?

Then I remembered that when she was two, she ate my entire fish fillet and my husband's rabbit at one dinner, and when she was eight, she ate my foie gras, even though I tried to discourage her ("Honey, it's liver - you won't like it." "But Mom, it must be good because you won't offer me any.") She's been to several 4-star restos in the SF Bay Area and knows how to behave, even without iPod buds stuck in her ears.

So, can anyone recommend places that won't break the bank (i.e., less than $150/person, aren't too quiet, and the service isn't too formal? BTW: My husband and I have been to French Laundry, Chez Panisse, Manresa, etc. (our favorite is Cyrus) and we prefer value over fancy names. TIA!

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  1. Enoteca San Marco may suit your needs. Food is top notch, not too spendy and an informal and loud setting. It's right in the middle of St. Mark's Square. You've gotta love Vegas! Try the lamb ragu and the veal meatballs.

    Mesa Grill also comes to mind. Bouchon as well. I prefer both of these for brunch/lunch over dinner.

    Hope my kid turns out like yours.

    1 Reply
    1. re: climberdoc

      Really? You want a kid that grows up to steal your foie?

      Seriously, though - thanks for the recs. She's a Bobby Flay fan, so that's a great one!

    2. Bouchon would be good, even for dinner, but since you've been to the french laundry, might feel a bit redundant. You might consider L'Atelier Joe Rubochon...I think you can easily do that for under $150 (esp. since one of you will not be drinking) and it's pretty cool food in a very casual setting. If your daughter is really interested in food, that might be a really interesting experience for her.
      If you are carnivores, I'd also think about some steak places, just as a different option: including N9Ne at the Palm, and Boa at the Forum Shops. Both casual, hip, with good food and sides.
      If you are here more than one night, can't say enough about how delicious lotus of siam is. well worth your offstrip venture, if you are fond of asian food.

      BTW, Cyrus is our favorite restaurant as well. What a terrific place.

      1. Why not Craftsteak? Large enough portions that you can order a variety and share it around for a true food tour in a single restaurant. Similar for B+B, get a variety of pastas and share 'em around. Your daughter can experience lambs tongue, octopus, ox tail, sheep brain, sweet breads, duck liver ravioli, etc all in a setting where they play the Stones, Zeppelin, and the Beatles.

        1. congrats on having a gifted daughter ! her logic on the foie gras - man, i wish my daughter had the same perspective !!

          anyways, Bouchon is a great idea but flyer makes a good point, you probably want to experience chefs /restaurants you don't enjoy in the bay area.

          n9ne, boa, sushi roku, social house, tao, fix and stack are decent food, yet they are cool, hip, lively - maybe a little too much for a 14 year old , but that's your call.

          for non - strip places and i feel are entertaining since it's good food and condusive to sharing - ichiza ( japanese ) , lotus of siam( thai ) , firefly(tapas) , hot n juicy crawfish ( creole - "food served in a bag " - messy, spicy, fun ! )

          you got the food network crowd - batali, flay, the bam guy, etc - and all are decent ( though the bam guy is slipping in my humble opinion )

          be sure to check out the patisserie's - especially payard and jean philippe - i think she'll like them.

          happy eating !

          1. I’m sure you’ll get great recommendations for the well-known restaurants on the LV Strip, but if you’re willing to go off the beaten path, I’ve had four wonderful meals at Rosemary’s Restaurant. Be warned…it’s located in a small strip mall (blink and you might miss it) and about 8 miles from the Las Vegas Strip.

            There’s a Wednesday Ladies Night special (50% off), so that’s when my friends and I usually visit. If you love scallops, I highly recommend them.

            They have a website so you can take a look to see if your daughter might be interested.

            I’m sure your daughter will have a great food tour. I’m rather jealous…I live here but don’t really have to opportunity to take advantage of the great restaurants here as much as I’d like to.

            P.S. They have foie gras on the menu :)

            6 Replies
            1. re: tstanley

              LOL! Thanks to all for these great suggestions - I'll ask her to research all the menus and come up with a short list.

              BTW: All 3 of us love Asian foods, but in the SF Bay Area we're surrounded by good Chinese, Thai, Indian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, etc. Would Lotus of Siam and Rosemary be sufficiently different or delicious to warrant making the short list?

              TIA again.

              1. re: Claudette

                To the best of my knowledge, Rosemary's is not Asian food.


                1. re: Claudette

                  Rosemary's is definitely NOT asian. And I think its further than eight miles from the strip....

                  Lotus of Siam is definitely worth it. IMO, the SF area has great Chinese but not as many great Thai places, and none that I've been to match up to LOS.

                  1. re: Claudette

                    well, I agree with you that the Bay Area has great Asian food. but it's worth your while to head to LoS; it's really terrific. However, it might not be the place to have ChowTeen's big bash, because one of the great things about LoS (in my view) is the terrific pairings with their great wine list, particularly the Rieslings. I love the food and it's very different than standard Thai, but the wines really elevate it a notch further.

                    I am not a huge Rosemary's fan, and I tend to agree that it's a long drive from the strip. Rosemary's is more eclectic american in its menu. For similar food off the strip we generally go to Todd's in Henderson (which has just updated its menu) and think it's very good, but I also wouldn't necessarily make a special trip there from the strip....

                  2. re: tstanley

                    We have posted on several threads regarding our huge level of disappointment with Rosemary's. Although they have decent -- we might even call it good -- food, considering the number of miles out of town necessary to drive to arrive there, and how many GREAT restaurant are within Las Vegas' city limits, there is NO REASON to dine at Rosemary's. Life is too short for mediocrity!

                    1. re: grantham

                      Cafe Ba Ba Reeba (tapas) @ the Fashion Show Mall might be fun for her. Origin India serves excellent Indian food in a nice setting with impeccable service though it is physically located in a small shopping plaza on Paradise Road. Both restaurants offer discounted gift certificates through
                      If you will be renting a car and willing to a little further afield I recommend Todd's Unique and R. E. Tapas (search for prior comments).