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Dec 9, 2008 09:13 AM

Ns1 goes to Vegas! Critique my itinerary

I'm so excited =D

I got a halfway decent camera for this trip so I'm hoping to take great food porn shots.

I'll be leaving tomorrow returning on Monday. Any MUST HAVES would be appreciated

830 res @L'atelier de Robuchon

Lunch @LoS or Bouchon
8 res @Picasso

Lunch @????
930 res @ Craftsteak

Lunch/Dinner @???? Got plans this night so any light lunch/dinner recs would be great (unless I go to Bouchon or LoS again...)

Room service (recovery)

Lunch @???

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  1. I would do something at the Wynn..
    Alex is outstanding but pricey or Daniel Boulud's which is reasonable and good.
    Okada for sushi is some of the best.
    Love the Wynn..have a great time!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Beach Chick

      I passed on Alex in favor of Picasso for this trip. Alex would totally blow my budget out of the water lol

      1. re: ns1

        Last week I had a great lunch at The Country Club at Wynn. The restaurant overlooks the well-manicured golf course and is very classy. The food was excellent. We split the corn chowder as an app which was some of the best I've had. My wife had the crabcake sliders which she enjoyed. I had the chicken pallaird with grilled veges and bacon. Fantastic dish! Service was very attentive. Price was high, but it's Vegas.

        Mesa Grill is another lunch favorite of mine. Have not gone wrong there in a few trips now. Excellent margaritas as well.

        Tableau is an excellent breakfast/brunch/lunch choice. The kobe shortribs and eggs are a don't miss.

        Sounds like a great trip. Have a great time.

    2. You definitely need to squeeze in LOS, just don't get anything from the lunch buffet. If you're watching your budget somewhat but still want some interesting food, Enoteca San Marco in the Venetian would be a good bet for lunch w/o blowing the bank. I like sitting at the bar and just ordering some salumi's and cheeses.

      Your trip sounds very similar to many of mine. A low key relatively inexpensive meal paired with a more upscale meal the same day.

      Another lunch possibility if you want a nice restaurant on a budget would be Rosemary's 3 course pre-fixe. Yes, it's off strip, No it's not a destination restaurant. But I find the food to be pretty good, service very good. And your price to quality ratio is pretty good. The pre-fixe is around $25. I'm not a big dessert person and they gladly let me get two apps and one entree. I love duck confit and being able to order that along with the two apps like the carpaccio and some soup for that price makes a good deal for me on many trips. Deal is only good M to F. I actually like getting away from the bustle of the strip for a meal or two.

      Another low key, much more casual place would be Rincon de Buenos Aires. Service can be cheerfully clumsy. It's more of a casual family place set in a Argentinian market. But I like their meats, the grills are really good. I also like the fact you can get sweetbreads as a side dish. Basically stick with any meat dish.

      Todd's Unique for light dinner if you want to drive off the strip. A lot of the long time hounds here like it. Good takes on seafood.

      I see you on the LA boards, so Sun recovery, you might find a good bowl of Pho to be good medicine. There's Pho Saigon 8 in a vietnamese plaza on Spring Mountain Road right up the street from Rincon. Almost Garden Grove quality. Their cafe su dua is actually delivered in a drip filter over your cup so you can let it sit until you like it. Be warned it can be packed with vietnamese on weekends and wait can be long at peak times. But a 2 p.m. bowl along with a shot of that coffee might be good enough to get you going again for the rest of the night. At least in my experience it has.

      Don't forget to grab some pastries at Bouchon's bakery on your way out of town for the drive home.

      8125 W Sahara Ave
      Ste 110
      Las Vegas, NV 89117
      (702) 869-2251

      5300 Spring Mountain Rd
      Las Vegas, NV 89146
      (702) 257-3331

      5650 Spring Mountain Rd
      Las Vegas, NV 89146
      (702) 248-6663

      4350 E Sunset Rd
      Henderson, NV 89014
      (702) 259-8633

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jase

        Thanks for the rec on rosemary's @Lunch; I wasn't planning to make a dinner trip but a lunch prix fixe would be awesome

      2. Looks good. Just a reminder that LOS isn't open for lunch on Saturdays. I'd go there Thursday night. And then again on Saturday. At least! But if you do go Saturday night, I'd make a reservation.

        1. I don't think Bouchon is technically open for lunch on weekdays. It's more breakfast, maybe into late morning. Check the hours if you're still thinking about it for Thursday. IMO you can't go wrong with either Bouchon or LoS. I'm beside-myself excited about Bouchon opening here in L.A.

          We always drive to Vegas and hit the road back to L.A. after lunch. Sometimes we have that lunch at Burger Bar as the self-parking at Mandalay is pretty easy plus it's freeway-convenient.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Debbie W

            wait wait wait, what's this about Bouchon in LA?

            1. re: ns1

              Opening at the Montage in Beverly Hills. Not sure when.

              Ok, I just looked at the Bouchon website. It says the restaurant will open in late 2009 on North Canon Drive between Wilshire and Beverly Blvds. across from the Montage. That doesn't quite make sense. There was something in the L.A. Times about it awhile ago.

          2. I guess I forgot to update this

            Bouchon - Awesome. The waffles they had that day were epic, although the variety of toppings has not been as good as that one day in followup visits. Still, I try to make a stop by Bouchon for breakfast everytime I'm in LV. Love the coffee, get at least 4 cups + 1 to go everytime. Everything is pretty good, but not mindblowing.

            LoS - Overrated. My 5 year later review: had the soup, larb, sea bass. it was fine, but not spectacular, expensive, and in a dingy ass environment.

            "I'd like to hear your suggestions for Thai food in Los Angeles that rivals the same quality, diversity and affordability of LOS. "

            I found LoS lacking in both quality and affordability. For this hound, LoS = Jitlada LV. Or Jitlada = LoS LA.

            My visit was "awhile" ago, but IMO restaurants get worse as time goes on, not better. Obviously this does not apply 100% of the time, but more often than not...

            Craftsteak - a parade of comedic errors - first, the meat I wanted was sold out. Then, I ordered a $30 glass of wine. First glass was full of cork. Second glass was full of lint. 3rd one was the charm though! Mushroom risotto was mindblowing and I still talk about it today. The steak was weak and I can't even remember the rest of the meal.

            Picaso - 5/5, one of the best meals of my life. A steak of foie gras w/ poached pear + almonds = orgasm in the mouth. Everything was on point EXCEPT for my fish dish, which I did not love. Decent value too, for a 2* michelin joint.

            InO - I dunno if I got the B team or what, but clearly not as good as the SoCal InO guys. Double double animal style both kinds of onions x toast bun with fries well, what's so hard about that?

            16 Replies
            1. re: ns1

              Reply from the LA thread reposted here:

              I don't remember ordering anything under the "chef's special" section, because in general those items tended to be 1) more expensive and 2) "fusiony". That combo is generally the kiss of death for me. If your innovation unnecessarily complicates a well-made, traditional dish, I'm not interested.

              We've always stuck with traditional preparations of dishes. Their crispy oyster omelet is sometimes ridiculously good... it's a crispier, more interesting variation of the Taiwanese oyster omelet. Jackfruit curry was phenomemal. Always love khao sawy (not with short rib, which is not traditional, way more expensive, and gilding the lily), and Issan sausages. Hoh mok with catfish was great.... if you want to pay a lot more, you can get it with sea bass. I didn't. Love the nam khao tod too. There's other dishes but I can't remember. This is what we ordered last time.

              I'd go back and order some of these dishes before committing to final judgment on the place.

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster

                With so many LV gems and so little money/time, I can't afford to have my heart broken again. Next time I make an expedition for thai food, it'll be to buy boat noodles from thai ladies in floating in riverboats in Thailand. Sure as hell aint gonna be to LV for Thai food :)

                The "specials" menu I speak of was full of thai laden dishes that I did not recognize. Basically the same feeling when you get to the last 6 pages of Jitlada's menu.

                Anyway, it's been so long and the bitterness has finally worn off, so imma stop now :)

                1. re: ns1

                  Ah well, that's too bad. I know the "specials" menu you're referring to. We don't touch that part of the menu for reasons I stated above. In any case, I suppose it will make it that much easier for us to get a reservation.

                  We skipped the boat noodle ladies when we were in Thailand because it's super touristy, and you have to get up at some ridiculously early time to visit. There is a much less touristy floating market, I believe it was as you travel down the Mekong Delta as you cross from Cambodia into Vietnam. If you're traveling that way, you might want to check it out.

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: ns1

                    Also, the restaurant went through a major expansion a few years after your visit (2010, I think) and now has an extensive wall o' wine and is double (or more) the size it was before. It's not dingy anymore-- the interior, anyway... the outdoor remains ghetto chic. (Well, ok-- maybe just ghetto.)


                    Mr Taster

                    1. re: ns1

                      ns1, I'm not clear what you mean by "thai laden dishes"

                      1. re: Dave Feldman

                        thai dishes with names that aren't printed in english and/or are not on common thai menus.

                        1. re: ns1

                          I'm pretty sure there has never been anything on the menu that hasn't been translated into English. If you are referring to "Chef's Specials" and the Northern menu are what you are referring to, they have always been in English. But this isn't really important -- I just wanted to understand what you meant.

                  2. re: ns1

                    I'm sorry that I am doing the one thing I hate to do on this site (contradicting) but I have been to Lotus a bare minimum of 10 times in the last 5 years. It has been outstanding 98% of the time and very good to excellent the remaining 2%. I know restaurants have off nights and each person is different but to say "...IMO restaurants get worse as time goes on, not better. " is silly. Also saying that it lacks affordability (not to mention quality), especially in Las Vegas, is almost laughable.

                    I will take the multitude of positive comments and awards its has won over the last five years to almost any restaurant in Las Vegas.

                    1. re: LVI

                      Those same accolades drew me to LoS in the first place, so I'm just one of few dissenting opinions. Obviously they aren't hurting for my business.

                      I'm comparing LoS to other thai restaurants, not to other restaurants in LV.

                      1. re: LVI

                        LOS is one of our favorites and we eat there at least once every trip to Vegas. It won't stop me from going, but we were just there 2 weeks ago and ordered Thai beef salad with no cilantro or ginger. The salad arrived laden with cilantro. I spent a good 15 minutes picking all of the cilantro out of the dish. I know, I should have sent it back.

                        Our nam kao tod appetizer, also ordered with no cilantro, arrived after the salad instead of before, and also had a ton of cilantro in it. This time, I sent it back.

                        The new nam kao tod arrived before the other person's entree, so the whole timing was off - I received my entree, then our appetizer arrived, then the other person's entree. I was done eating before the other person had received their food.

                        Will that stop me from going there? No. I love them. But, it will make me be extra sure that I get what I order...

                      2. re: ns1


                        "I'd like to hear your suggestions for Thai food in Los Angeles that rivals the same quality, diversity and affordability of LOS. "

                        Very highly recommend Renu Nakorn, 13019 Rosecrans Ave #105 Norwalk, CA 90650
                        (562) 921-2124

                        1. re: Michelle

                          I assume you know it, but others might not: Renu Nakorn was the Chutima's restaurant before they opened Lotus. They consulted with the restaurant for many years after they sold it, and Bill used to visit on a weekly basis.

                          1. re: Michelle

                            Renu Nakorn is great. If they still have the Thai sausages (I believe it was an app.) get them. Personaly I think our meal there was better than LOS but memory is selective.

                            1. re: chris2269

                              Have either of you gone recently? They used to be in our rotation but a few years ago we thought they declined tremendously. We haven't been back since. We used to love their mussel omelette and green chile dip but those last visits were bad. Wonder if they got better again.

                            2. re: Michelle

                              Renu Nakorn hasn't been good since before they closed (2006).

                              Cancoon Thai, also in the (562) when ordered with care after conversing with VJ, blows LoS out of the water. And it's cheaper. And there's no wine pairing. And it's not on any blog.

                              email me if you need translations of the menu (I'm unrelated), or, don't email me, because I don't believe in getting "Thai beef salad with no cilantro or ginger".

                              1. re: TonyC

                                email? or just post up what we should get...