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Nov 8, 2008 12:11 PM

Las Vegas -authentic and off the strip?

I'm a NY foodie, who is off to Las Vegas for a work trip with 12 others. Looking for authentic dinner places I can take a large group and still get fantastic food. Hole-in-the-wall is fine. Can splurge if the food is good. Any suggestions?

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  1. Could you explain what you mean by "authentic?" And will you have cars or be relying on cabs or public transportation?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dave Feldman

      I had the same problem. Authentic Las Vegas or authentic dinner? For the former I suggest 4Four Kegs sports bar. Off the strip and Guy Fieri said they have great stromboli.

      1. re: Dave Feldman

        "authentic" meaning ie, not contrived mixed cuisine buffet's...or NY style steak houses you would find duplicated in Vegas or Chicago or LA. More "mom and pop" (maybe?) places, frequented by locals, that is true to it's roots and the authenticity of the country of it's cuisine... yes, we will have to rely on cabs.

      2. The problem is that some of the places that might most attract you aren't equipped that easily to handle crowds. For example, Amena, a rare Palestinian restaurant, has only a few tables (but it's definitely worth a call to find out). Likewise, in most towns, it's hard to find a Bulgarian restaurant. LV has only one -- Magura, and it's a good place for a large party. The room is large and the owners are mot accommodating.

        Lotus of Siam is a superb Thai restaurant specializing in Northern Thai cuisine. Lotus is used to dealing with large parties, but it is also very popular. Reservations are a must for a big group.

        Hot and Juicy Crawfish also boast a big space and is great fun, but the menuis limited and will only work for adventurous folks who like spicy food and getting their hands dirty.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dave Feldman

          I recommend "The Tillerman"...on the south side of Flamingo just west of Eastern. They're an excellent place for an intimate dinner or large parties...

          For the best Mexican dinners head to Lindo Michoacan on the south side of Desert Inn just east of Eastern...same general area as The Tillerman.

        2. Is Cafe Wasabi on W. Sahara still around? I really loved it when I went a few years ago for Japanese/Asian fusion. Good, creative dishes, friendly staff, and I thought a good value.

          1. Moving twelve people around via cabs off the strip will be a bit of a challenge, although not insurmountable, but it might be worth looking into rentals or a car/driver set up. Lotus of Siam is very doable by cab, but a lot of other places will be a bit harder.

            One place that we like a lot and go to frequently is Todd's Unique Cuisine on sunset in Henderson; excellent food, decent wine list, and terrific service. The food is new American, with a lot of Asian touches. He always had good seafood and usually a terrific soup. They can handle groups without a problem.
            Origin India would be another option; it's by the Hard Rock Hotel, and is a very good contemporary Indian restaurant. A bit more upscale both in food and decor, and should be pretty easy to get to and from. Also in the same general area are Firefly and Dragonfly, a tapas restaurant and an Asian small plate place, respectively (they are actually a bit farther from the Hard Rock, but still on Paradise). Both have good food (I am less fond of Firefly than some, but the food is solid) and are popular with local folks. They are a bit closer to the strip.
            If you have access to transportation, you might also think about Marche Bacchus, which is a French bistro adjacent to a wine store. You buy the wine at retail and they open for, as I recall, a $10 corkage. Marche Bacchus is on a small lake and has outdoor dining year round....the food is solid and the atmosphere is really pleasant.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lvnvflyer

              Some of my recommendations...Mexican - Viva Mercados, Indian - Origin India, Tapas - Firefly, Steak/Seafood - Todd's Unique & Rosemary's, French - Andre's

            2. Rincon de Buenos Aires. Hole in the wall argentina place set in a deli/grocery area. Service can be a bit inept at times but always well meaning. I've done groups of ten there before. Get the mixed grills.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Jase

                thanks for all the replies.
                Here are my findings: Lotus of Siam. Also a 3 AM sushi place called Ichiza. But the best meal we've had so far is Raku. It's Japanese home cooking, everything is grilled. They make their own homemade tofu (heaven) and it's where all the chefs go to eat when they are in town. In an off the strip, back alley, mini mall type place. Not glamorous. But definitely authentic and while the place is tiny, they accomodated our big group of 13 with no worries.


                1. re: danger jones

                  I keep hearing great things about Raku...I really want to go. It kills me that they are not open for lunch, since they are so close to my office. I'll have to convince DH we need a night out sometime...

                  1. re: janetofreno

                    The chef at Bar Charlie also said Raku is his favorite place. I guess we should put it on our list too.

                    1. re: Debbie W

                      i would post picks of my raku experience but i'm having a hard time doing so lately - not sure why. Raku is a notch above ichiza ( which, btw is not a sushi place, they may serve sushi but that ain't the reason to eat there - you order "off the wall. " )

                      Raku is also open late - 3 am

                      1. re: kjs

                        I just returned from Vegas and had an absolutely amazing 3am meal at Raku. This is legit stuff even by LA standards. We had:

                        -Grilled whole mackeral. Delicious oily mackeral served with a side of grated daikon. Great stuff. The most expensive dish of the night at $30.

                        -Agedashi Tofu. The tofu itself was a bit coarser than other versions I've had but it's topped with ikura and a nice broth. Absoultely delicious stuff

                        -Chicken Kaarage. Fried chicken. It's a fried boneless leg sliced up instead of fried chunks. The chicken was incredibly moist and delicious and the spinach salad that it was served over was also good.

                        -Hot pot. A rich, milky white broth clearly made from the stewing of chicken feet and bones served with chicken meat balls and napa cabbage. The broth is so rich and complex that it's as good as any broth I've had in LA. Second most expensive item at $29.

                        -From the robata- chicken wing, tsukune (ground chicken), pork cheek, and steak. I preferred both chicken skewers to the steak though the steak was pretty good. The pork cheek was good but is more fat than meat...not necessarily a bad thing.

                        We showed up late and they were out of rice and oden. I was craving hot noodles so they did soba and a foie gras chawan mushi for me to dip the soba in. The soba was store bought but the foie chawan mushi was spectacular and rich. A dish like this would easly cost $18-$25 in LA or NYC. At Raku, it's a steal at $9.

                        I was highly impressed with Raku and fully plan on returning on every subsequent Vegas trip from now on.

                        1. re: Porthos

                          Raku sounds amazing. Any relation to the restaurant of the same name in West L.A., which I have always meant to try, but never have?