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Las Vegas Trip #2. Suggestions?

Ok my fellow chowhounds its Viva Las Vegas again. Will be heading out there again in December and ready for some suggestions. Picasso and Andres at the Monte Carlo are two musts for me on my list this trip. I'm hoping Wynns Encore will be open when I get out there as I'm sure Steve Wynn has some fantastic restaurants up his sleeve. Like last time looking for relaxing and peaceful restaurants. I would like a good steakhouse since Craftsteak didn't really do it for me last trip. Of course I will hit Bouchon at least twice for breakfast since thats my favorite so far!! Also would like to hit Nobu or Okada.....preference? Suggestions please!!!!! Also does anyone know what type of weather I should expect in December? I hear it doesn't really get to cold but want to be prepared.

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  1. Nobu versus Okada: if you want traditional sushi, I have a strong preference for Okada. I find the sushi at Nobu to be nothing special; its non-sushi items are the real reason to go there. You also mentioned a preference for relaxing and peaceful restaurants. Okada wins hands down in that department. It's serene and beautiful, whereas Nobu goes for the trendy/noisy feel.

    December weather is pretty cool. Average highs are in the fifties; average lows are in the thirties.

    1. I went to LV last year first week of December. At night you'll need a jacket (it got down to low 40s--maybe even upper 30s). I stood by the heaters waiting for taxis. During the day we had low 50s. I went to Okada, and liked it very much. Haven't been to Nobu in LV.

      1. Yeah Okada does look very relaxing which makes me lean towards it over Nobu but I do prefer hot dishes. Also does anyone know of a restaurant that serves Bone Marrow and crazy dishes in Las Vegas? Thanks for the info on the weather. Thats the kind of temperature I prefer anyways. Do most places close there outside dining that time of year? I'm really looking forward to sitting on the patio at Picasso and Buchon.

        3 Replies
        1. re: cgervais45

          I don't remember whether the restaurants still have outside dining, but the outdoor pools are definitely closed.

          1. re: cgervais45

            I noticed that CUT @ Palazzo has a bone marrow flan on their menu
            http://www.palazzolasvegas.com/assets...

            ...which sounds interesting!

            1. re: ciaogal

              I had that at Zinc Bistro, here in Phx. They serve it as a side on several entrees. Amazing. And a great downpayment on a quadruple bypass.

          2. again......sigh.

            Since you enjoyed Mesa so much, perhaps focus on some less-french/less-haute-food places and focus on places like that?

            16 Replies
            1. re: uhockey

              what does this mean.....

              again.....sigh

              1. re: aztami

                Joking (kinda) since he just posted about ~20 threads last month re: his trip to Vegas for his 21st birthday. I'd imagine he got PLENTY of advice there.

                1. re: uhockey

                  sad, that's what I thought you meant.

                  1. re: aztami

                    uhockey- When are you leaving? Back yet? Yes but theres always new opinons out and would like to know if anyone knows about the restaurants that will be at Encore!!!

                    1. re: cgervais45

                      The opinions are always the same....LoS, Rosemary's, and the heavy hitters if you have the cash.

                      You didn't like L'Atelier and didn't seem wowed by Savoy, yet loved Mesa......IMO, you'd be best served to go with "American" high end. Perhaps Bradley Ogden, Olives, Delmonico, or Restaurant Charlie (not the more eclectic Bar Charlie.) Perhaps one of the Michael Mina restaurants?

                      I leave on the 24th and have decided to go a bit against the grain in that I'm going to do Le Cirque and MiX, two places with fine pedigrees but mixed reviews (seem VERY love/hate) along with Alex and Craftsteak. I also plan to try Payard, Bouchon, and Tableau for breakfasts and sneak in a lunch at Table 10 and Enoteca San Marco.

                      1. re: uhockey

                        Actually was really impressed and really like Guy Savoy. L'Atelier on the otherhand was good and presented well I just so happen to get a little sick at the end of my meal and I had to come back the next night to finish my deserts which they were more than happy to do. I don't really prefer one type of food over another I just like to try new and interested things and L'Atelier defently did that for me. I've actually have heard REALLY good things about Le'Cirque and was tempted to go there as well last time because it look like a beautiful restaurant. As far as MIX I will be hiting it for some drinks to check out the awsome view they have. REALLY think you should try Mesa Grill for lunch though. Really good bargain, really good margaritas, and really good TAMALE!!!

                        P.S.
                        Hook fellow chowhounder up with some Sustain Bars!! Lol.

                        1. re: cgervais45

                          Mesa Grill at lunch is good. I had the smoked chicken and sweet potato hash; it was amazing. My wife had a steak sandwich that was so so.

                        2. re: uhockey

                          I don't know about those...maybe Bradley Ogden, though we didn't really enjoy it on our one visit. Have read here that the experience at the bar is better. The only standout dish was the blue cheese souffles and for the money there should've been more excellence. Olives, IMO, is fine for lunch but I wouldn't "waste" a Vegas dinner on it. And there are so many better steakhouses than Delmonico. He says he's going to N9NE or SW, anyway. Perhaps Fleur de Lys which I think of as "American" high end (as compared to French high end like Alex or French brasserie like Bouchon or DB). As to the Mina restaurants, my favorite by far is SeaBlue. I haven't been wowed by Michael Mina (Bellagio) on three visits. There's just something about it that strikes me wrong, though the root beer float dessert is fabulous. Nor did I love Stripsteak (two visits), for that kind of thing I prefer N9NE. The jury is still out on Nobhill for me, having enjoyed one meal quite a lot and another meal (albeit the summer special) not nearly as much. Uhockey, do not miss the almond croissant at Payard. Seriously. Very interested in your review of Mix, we love the bar there for a pre-dinner cocktail with a fantastic view. Oh, another option for the OP might be FIX (Bellagio). We've always enjoyed it there though it isn't exactly relaxing or peaceful.

                          1. re: Debbie W

                            I get the idea Payard is going to be a dangerous choice for me......my sister and I dropped $100 at Bouchon Bakery in NYC in June. :-) I'm planning on going for breakfast, so the buffet will be open, but I don't know that I'll get it as I'd rather get a waffle or something and some pasteries.....I do love almond/pistacchio croissants though.

                            I too am curious on MiX. Admittedly it wasn't my first choice, but my co-diners for the evening (one of which Cgervais may actually know - Dave "Customizer") wanted a place that was a tad more trendy and had a bar scene, plus I can't argue w/ a place with gnocchi, lobster, tiramisu, and foie gras on the tasting menu.

                            Le Cirque has always intrigued me and their customer service has even topped Alex thus far in setting things up.

                            Craftsteak.....what can I say, I've been told the sweetbreads are to die for and we're going to be at MGM for the hockey game that night.

                            Alex......I think that one explains itself.

                            All told, I need a freakin break, then its back on-service and prepping for the boards/fellowship applications.

                            1. re: uhockey

                              Hi uhockey

                              Good luck on your boards. I take my specialty board in November. Stressful!

                              1. re: climberdoc

                                Good luck to you, as well. What field, if you don't mind me asking? Endo here.

                                1. re: uhockey

                                  Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. I finished fellowship in 06.

                                  I'm anxious to hear your opinions of Mix and Alex. Have not been to Mix but am intrigued by it. Alex is the restaurant that I use to judge all others against. The tasting menu is the best I've had. Wine pairings are well-thought and high-end if you are into that.

                                  1. re: climberdoc

                                    Mix is interesting. They sent me the tasting menu via E-mail yesterday and I dig it. A combo of "new" tastes and Ducasse classics. We're going to be talking business at that one, but then hitting the bar afterwards. I'll definitely have full reports on ALL my meals, along with pictures. I'm also curious on Le Cirque as the people on the phone and e-mail have been INCREDIBLE in terms of responses......even better than Alex or Savoy (not quite on par with the people at Bouchon, however, who will surely make Thursday's gnocchi and french toast breakfast on the patio stunning.)

                                    As for Alex, I don't drink, but my friend does so I'll have his opinion. At first I didn't want to go to a 'romantic' place with another guy, but it turns out that through an old connection I actually know someone who works at Alex and he offered to get us on the "VIP" list and I simply couldn't pass it up. Looking at the current menu, I assume I'll be awestruck......trying to choose between the 5 appetizers, 3 mains, and 4 desserts that sound out of this world.

                      2. re: aztami

                        Alex sets a very high bar. The wine pairings were very unexpected, and excellent.

                        Climberdoc...I hope you read this!!! :-)

                        1. re: ejs1492

                          Consider it read ejs.

                          You know I'm just jerking your chain. All in good fun.

                          The narcissist in me can't believe anyone could say anything negative about a restaurant I enjoy so much. At the same time, the realist in me knows that everyone has their own opinions which is what makes this site so much fun.

                          I truly hope that when I pull the trigger and dive into Guy Savoy that I will wonder why I ever spoke so highly of Alex (especially at the prices GS charge).

                          Peace!

                          1. re: climberdoc

                            I like the banter also....you keep me on my toes! And I'm sure your experience at Guy Savoy will be awful since I've hyped it so much!
                            BTW, I saw your comment earlier about your medical specialty. Can you contact me offline? Details under my profile....

                2. I don't think the Encore is slated to open until the end of December. But don't take my word for it. The weather in December can be quite cold (well, I live in L.A. so anywhere's cold) but you'll need something like a leather jacket.

                  We enjoyed DB Brasserie at the Wynn quite a lot on our last trip in August. Had a charcuterie platter that was off the charts amazing. You didn't like Craftsteak and that's perhaps my favorite steakhouse in Vegas, but we also like N9NE at the Palms quite a lot and are going there on our next trip in October. It has a nice combination of scene and good food. We also enjoyed CUT a lot, though not quite as much as the Beverly Hills original. Still, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Mesa Grill is one of our favorites so maybe our tastes are somewhat similar, the Craftsteak issue aside. Will you have a car? There are so many places off-strip, and we've been doing quite a lot of exploring on our trips. What about Lotus of Siam? It's not too far off-strip.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Debbie W

                    Yeah I wasn't to sure on Encore. I knew I read somwhere it opens in December but wasn't to sure. Its not that I hated Craftsteak because they treated extremely well and I still have yet to have a better Fois Gras than theres but the Stripsteak I had was disapointing. As far as steakhouses go I do plan on hitting one and I think its between N9NE and SW. Won't have a car unfortunatly. Thanks!

                  2. So heres my line up. Still have trouble deciding on SW or Cut...Recs? I will be seeing Blue Man Group at 7:00 so those to are the closest for a post show dinner. SW has the Lake of Dreams but Cut has American Wagyu Beef...Hmm but anyways
                    1. Picasso
                    2. Andres at the Monte Carlo
                    3. Fleur De Lys
                    4. SW or Cut
                    5. B&B

                    What yall think? Will defently be hitting Bouchon twice for breakfast and Mesa Grill for Lunch and Burger Bar as well for early lunch.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: cgervais45

                      i just drove by Encore this afternoon - they are gonna have to put in some serious overtime to finish the front entrance to the place. if anyone can do it, it's Wynn.

                      i missed your explanation on Andre's at MC vs. the original Andre's. I hit CUT on Tuesday - decent, but i wasn't wow'd but i did not try the wagyu. i stuck with the good ol nebraska corn-fed - i asked for medium rare, i got RARE ! i found the starter to be oversauced ( pork belly ) the cream of spinach too runny , but enjoyed the fingerling potatoes with bacon and onions, the breads were very good but is that why you hit a steakhouse ? SW - not a fan but haven't been there in awhile.

                      happy eating !

                    2. I was actually going to do Alex over Picasso but they raised there prices yet again. $165 for the pre-fixed and $210.00 for the tasting. Andres at the MC was one I wanted to hit last trip but there under a renovation until the end of November. The whole feel of the restaurant looks my type and have heard nothing but postive reviews and my $25.00 gift card there helps the decision to (Restaurants.com) :) But wasn't to sure with Encore. I read there pushing for the end of the year so maybe I'll get lucky and be able to check out the restaurants he has up his sleeve. As far as steakhouse I still don't know with that.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: cgervais45

                        all this talk makes me hungry. this sucks ill be going to vegas for a company trip this coming week. but since the people i work with are either cheap or cant really appreciate better food, im gonna be stuck with buffets...>=/

                        1. re: AGENT FOODIE

                          Dump 'em for at least one good meal! ;-)
                          I did love the Paris breakfast buffet, though.........I felt horrible afterwards though as I ate ~6 desserts on top of the crepes.

                          1. re: uhockey

                            can't most of them work under me. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

                      2. I just got back from Vegas and we stayed at the Monte Carlo. Andre's is currently closed for remodeling. The sign out front didn't give any other info. I also tried Mesa Grill for lunch and my burger was excellent. One of the best that I have had in a long time. I am anxious to go back and try some of the other menu items.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: baseballfan

                          Yeah Andres is scheduled to reopen until November. Mesa Grill is still one of my favorites. Try the Tamale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          1. re: baseballfan

                            The smoked chicken sweet potato hash at Mesa Grill is heavenly.

                            1. re: jpc8015

                              2nd favorite dish there!!! Tamale is still #1! There margaritas are a must as well. I still have cravings for the food I had there!

                              1. re: cgervais45

                                Alize at the Palms is under the same ownership as Andre's. It's more pricey but that's mostly a result of the great view at Alize.

                                1. re: climberdoc

                                  Yeah I've been depating on Alize or Andres at Monte Carlo but I think the ambiance at Andres is more my style and I can go to Mix for a great view. Well see though once I get out there. Eithier way I want to try one of the Las Vegas legend Chefs places.