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vegas: good variety for adventurous eaters

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Mr and I are going to Vegas for 3 days right after New Years. He has been there lots; I have been there once. Last time our dining schedule was:
Lunch at CraftWich (we stayed at the MGM)
Dinner at LoS (awesome)
Lunch at San Marco (which we will definitely do again!)
Dinner at L'Atelier Joel Robuchon (2 kinds of foie! awesome!)
Brunch at Bouchon (just me--we'll do that again too)
Dinner at Tao (meh)

We'd sortof like to do the same mix again...nice, light lunches at non-buffet places, and three dinners with different feels: one off strip, one haute cuisine, and one trendy. no restrictions really--we're very adventurous and the trip also is somewhat celebratory. would alex be a best choice for the haute cuisine? picasso? i can't eat super heavy food in a tasting menu so a place that would be good but not laden with butter--atelier was perfect--would be awesome. and maybe a cuban, vietnamese, or other funky ethnic food off strip? i'm open to all suggestions, and of course will be doing my own searching on the board. thanks!

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  1. Haute: Alex or Guy savoy, or Charlie's. You cant go wrong with any of these.
    Trendy: Mesa grill, Nobu, Social House. Mesa is SW cuisine at its best, the other 2 are great sushi and a lot of cnon sushi choices that are also great.
    Breakfast: Buffet at four seasons: Home made piping hot donuts great you as you enter. What more do you need?

    1. For Ethnic off the Strip, try Rincon de Buenos Aires for their mixed grills.

      1. How about some Pho for brunch after a night of partying?

        5650 Spring Mountain Rd
        Las Vegas, NV 89146
        (702) 248-6663
        http://www.usmenuguide.com/phosaigon8...

        1. awesome! we've decided to do alex, since we wanted to see le reve one night and figured that was a good combo, and we were also thinking mesa grill. so apparently my research has been accurate :) pho also is very enticing, as it's one of my favorite foods...thanks!!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: dianalim

            saigon 8 is one of the better pho spots in the city - the service ain't the best but after they deliver the bowl, what else is needed ? also, in the same strip mall is one of the better banh mi shops in the valley ( dakao )

            just a block down the street from saigon 8 / dakao i recommend Raku for your off-strip dinner - it's amazing ! i read somewhere that Alan Richman named it one of his three fav meals in 2008 - as much as i think Mr. Richman is a little too much of a snob, he does get around.

            1. re: kjs

              I thought of Raku for dianalim, too.

          2. oh wow, well, i am totally sold on saigon 8/dakao, as banh mi is one of my favorite food items currently. raku looks incredible but it looks like it's closed sunday night, which is the one that we have free for eating...we're keeping it in mind for late night noshing though.

            tonight we went to mesa grill which was hit-and-miss but a fun, low stress endeavor. i'll write more later, but would appreciate any further suggestions on the luxor-mandalay end of the strip for sunday night, since we decided to go see a show down there.

            3 Replies
            1. re: dianalim

              the round up.

              NIGHT 1: MESA GRILL. service was decent, margarita was great. the chopped salad was AWFUL...like a salad bar chopped taco salad. they should have been embarassed to serve it, though i was interested to note that the couples on either side of us also ordered it. the standout of the meal was the wild mushroom grits, which were outrageously good. the blue corn/duck pancake was good but the duck and sauce were a little overpowering. the blue corn squid were quite good but not stellar. we loved the tamale and chile relleno, and i loved the brussels sprouts though mr thought they were too sweet.
              DAY 2: brunch at BOUCHON. me: chicken and waffles. transcendent. him: croque madame. good, but nothing compared to the croque monsieur at tartine sf the week before.
              dinner at ALEX. as good as we expected. they got us in and out really fast, which was quite surprising for a tasting menu, but the food was decadent and luxurious and interesting. i had squid-ink pasta with abalone and sea urchin, and the shortribs, though not an exciting dish, were exquisitely prepared and literally felt like butter in my mouth. at the end there was a monty-python-esque scene where they constantly delivered sweets to our table, apparently hoping we'd explode. we were pretty impressed with the reasonable (Read: small) portion size, though, and the service was impeccable and not overwhelming or stuffy like i sometimes find restaurants of that type. all in all, i felt i understood where my money was going and hey, we were in vegas. once a year a splurge like that is worth it.
              DAY 3: NO BREAKFAST (we were stuffed)
              lunch at beijing noodle no. 9 in caesar's palace. it was EXCELLENT! i decided that what i really wanted was dumplings and chinese food, so we headed here. the waiters were all chinese and the chef didn't even speak english--he had to show us in sign-language how to mix our noodles together. we got the noodles with pork and mushroom (my favorite), the chinese cabbage with vinegar (spicy, mr's favorite. the waitress was very impressed that we ordered it), and the soup dumplings, which were less good than some that we had in a strip mall in san diego once, but still tasty. all in all, surprisingly authentic in feel and taste, and delicious!
              dinner at PHO SAIGON 8. THANK YOU for this recc! we had the pho, some delicious coconut/pork/noodle salad thing, and one of the bean desserts. the tea was delicious, and we were totally glad we left the strip for this place. we will definitely investigate more in this neighborhood next time.
              DAY 4: bouchon beignets in bed :-)

              1. re: dianalim

                Thanks for the report, especially the praise for Beijing Noodle #9, a place I wouldn't have thought of visiting.

                I've found all of Bobby Flay's hit and miss (I've been to all of them), not the least Mesa Grill in LV. I'm always struck by the difference between the food he cooks on Iron Chef versus what he serves in his restaurants.

                1. re: dianalim

                  Glad you like the Pho place. It's a great place for lunch after a rich meal followed by a long night of drinking and gambling.