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Sep 26, 2008 12:51 PM

5 nights in Vegas - please help w/ steak, Japanese (sushi & omakase), Italian, Chinese and fine dining

I will be in Vegas for 5 nights and I would be grateful for assistance/recommendations for the following:

1) I would like to find the best dry aged beef in town. Sure I like good sides and a decent atmosphere, but my primary focus is on the quality of the beef. My initial thoughts are Craftsteak and Carnevino. Any thoughts and am I missing something better?

2) As far as Japanese food goes, I want to find the place with the freshest, best quality seafood . . . that simple. Sen of Japan? Okada? Shibuya? Or something else? I've been to Nobu in both NY and Vegas so I would like to try something else.

But I might also want a wonderful omakase meal separate from the sushi. Would you go to Sen, Raku, Shibuya or elsewhere?

3) For French bistro, I'm thinking Bouchon. Good choice or DB Brasserie or elsewhere? And is it worth sampling at Guy Savoy's Bubble Bar -- can you have an enjoyable meal there?

4) I'm looking for the best fine dining experience I could have, and have been looking at Joel Rubuchon, but I'm thinking I might prefer L'Atelier de Joel Rubuchon because I prefer a more contemporary dining experience. Is this a mistake? And are there better options in town?

To give you a better idea of my likes, I'm more willing to spend big bucks for a more creative dining experience, along the lines of an Alinea/Moto/Schwa in Chicago (i.e., the trend toward molecular gastronomy). Is there a place in Las Vegas where I can find something along these lines and be wowed by the quality of the food, not merely its appearance?

5) Is Origin of India that good, or is it just good for Las Vegas? And if you highly recommend it, what dishes in particular stood out for you? I'm probably also going to return to Lotus of Siam because I enjoyed it so much on two previous visits.

6) Italian - Enoteca San Marco? B&B Ristorante? I'm leaning towards the more casual Enoteca unless you choose to steer me to another restaurant altogether. I've read mixed reviews of both so I'm curious to hear what you guys say, and if there's a place I'm just not thinking of which would be a better choice. Overall, I love salumi and often small plates when it comes to Italian food.

7) Chinese - authentic . . . can be Cantonese, Szechuan, Hunan . . . love it all. Can be a hole in the wall or it can be on the strip. Maybe some great roast duck? Maybe some Xiao Long Bao if there's a good version? Maybe something fiery? Also maybe some dim sum? And any thoughts concerning Orchid's Garden, Cathay House, Chang's Hong Kong, Sam Woo BBQ, Joyful House, Food Express? And if I want Chinese on the strip, what are the best options (cheap and pricey)?

I know this is a lot to ask but I appreciate any recommendations and with respect to one or more of the above questions. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

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  1. Bouchon is a excellent choice for french bistro. Love everything about the restaurant. Guy Savoys Bubble Bar is more of a pre-dinner or post-diner snack. I was even told by them that many of the Chefs in Las Vegas usually come there for a late night snack. I enjoyed it very much but portions are "MINI" bites. Its a great way to taste the great chefs dishes without spending a fortune. For Italian I can really help you there but I to will be in Las Vegas next month and choosing Fiamma at MGM for my italian as I've heard nothing but awsome reviews about it. L'Atelier is a cool experience just because you get to watch them make some AMAZING dishes and everyone is very nice. Okada gets great reviews for jabanese and Restaurant Charlie is a restaurant you might want to check out as they have some unique dishes that I have yet seen from ANY restaurant.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cgervais45

      Thanks for the clue about Fiamma. I had not thought about it, but after you mentioned it I searched and located much praise. That might be a good option.

      And thanks for the info on Bubble Bar . . . I'll probably keep it in mind for a late night snack.

      1. re: BRB

        My last meal of the trip was a quick dinner at Enoteca San Marco and I came away generally impressed. A caprese salad was good, nothing unusual, and offered a decent but unremarkable mozzarella. But I was very impressed with my pizza - arugula, prosciutto, mozzarella and tomato sauce. The sauce was very good and the overall ratio of ingredients to one another, and to crust, was perfect. The crust itself was very thin, very crispy (not cracker-like though) and offered beautifully charred portions underneath. There's no wood burning oven at work here but the crust was still very good. For dessert, "pumpkin cheesecake" which was pumpkin gelato, cheesecake gelato and a homemade graham cracker. The flavor of the pumpkin gelato was terrific with the perfect ratio of spice to pumpkin, although there were a few too many ice crystals for my liking. Overall, the dessert was very good although the $12 price tag was steep, even considering the generous portion.

        Otherwise, enjoyed some pretty good dim sum at Cathay House, and took in both the Wynn and Paris buffets for breakfast/brunch (both good but the pastries at the Paris buffet won me over).

        Thanks again to all for the suggestions.

    2. chinese - for spice yun nan / yunnan garden - on schiff ( basically an alley just west of spring mtn ) has an interesting cafeteria style appetizer selection - the kinda stuff for the adventrurous eater. for selection and decent food but crappy service - joyful house. gf and i still prefer orchid's for dim sum but haven't been to cathay house since new ownership/mgt . we are no longer fans of chang's which is a bummer since it's close to our condo. not a fan of sam woo but there is a place below ichiza on spring mtn that has some decent duck dishes ( the name escapes me )

      happy eating !!

      6 Replies
      1. re: kjs

        Thanks for all of the insight. . . very helpful. Is this the website for Yunnan Garden? If so, it sounds like it's right up my alley.

        1. re: BRB

          not sure the website is affiliated with the las vegas location - my guess, no.

          definitely look at sen of japan for the sushi / omakase - it's my fav of the non- strip sushi restaurants - they have a $55/person and an $85/person omakase option.

          also on my radar - Raku - not because of this review, but a fellow local foodie who's opinion i value, recommended it - i'm hoping to hit it this week

          happy eating

          1. re: kjs

            Interesting u mention Raku. I asked one of the chef's (Sean) @ Bar Charlie what his absolute favorite restaurant in Las Vegas was and without hesitation Raku was his answer. I have never been but from what I understand just pure Japanese dishes executed flawlessly. DO NOT EXPECT generic sushi bar-type of restaurant though.

            1. re: LVI

              I hit raku 2 weeks ago - AMAZING ! Low key, non-descript place, but the food : lamb chops, pork belly, pork ears, bacon-wrapped asparagus, couldn't get my roomie to share in the foie gras dishes, blue crab miso, rice cakes, the stuffed mushrooms, the noodles - all good ( exceptioon: the pork ears did not impress either of us )

              relatively cheap - the sapporo draft beer !!

              1. re: kjs

                Not at all happy w/myself as after Sean told us about Raku and we dicided to go to L'Atelier w/our planned reservation. When a chef that talented tells you his absolute favorite restaurant is a place like this, you sould make every attempt to go. Good news is I am returning in March (much to the chagrin of my wife!). KJS, how expensive is Raku?

                1. re: kjs

                  mmmm . . . lots o' pork . . . belly, ears (I would like this) . . . I wish I could have substituted this for L'Atelier. Oh well. I'll keep this in mind for my next visit. Thanks for sharing.

        2. I do think Origin of India is worth a visit....Its unique compared to a lot of Indian restaurants....upscale ambiance but some different dishes. I've enjoyed it a lot the times I've eaten there. The beet halwa is a must-have.

          1. Contemporary and fine, I really don't think there is anyplace that will top Alex. The food, the atmosphere, the service.......sublime. If you were looking more traditional, Le Cirque was above and beyond anything I expected.

            I second Bouchon......after 4 days in Vegas with 2 meals at Bouchon and 4 visits to Bouchon Bakery I can officially say there is nothing that Keller or his staff does less than top notch.

            1 Reply
            1. re: uhockey

              3rd for Bouchon

              I went to Bouchon LV this week for the first time & I can't wait to return.

            2. From reading the replies, I guess Bouchon is a definite and thanks to everyone for the additional recommendations. I've got some time before my trip so I'll wait to see what other ideas people have.