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May 9, 2009 07:10 PM

Vegas Mexican

After dining at venues such as Cafe Elote in Sedona, El Agave in San Diego and Topolobampo in Chicago, I've had a re-enlightenment in what Mexican food can be. Does anyone know of anything along these lines in Vegas. For those who have not dined at any of the above, I'm looking for high-end, top quality ingredients, attentive service, price not being an option (but open to any price range). What I'm not looking for is combination plates, mediocre food doused in sour cream and cheese, drive-throughs, etc. I think you get the picture. Vegas has so much to offer in other types of dining. I'm surprised that more Mexican places have not been identified. I spend most of my time around the Strip but am willing to go anywhere in town to find this.

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  1. I'd say Dos Caminos at the Palazzo at the Venetian might be along the lines of what you are looking for. It's got a nice atmosphere and I've always been happy with my food and service. The original location is in NYC I believe, and it's got a bit of a more upscale vibe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tear it up

      Diego at MGM Grand is a good choice as well.

    2. La Madonna - only one visit but i was pleasantly surprised.

      a little more daring :
      los molcajetes

      9 Replies
      1. re: kjs

        Yes, La Madonna was going to be my suggestion as well....I really liked Gallerias on Buffalo near Lake Mead (although another hound told me he didn't, but when he told me what he ordered that day I thought to myself "well, of course not...I wouldn't like that either...")...but its a moot point, as the place has closed and become some cheap breakfast joint.

        1. re: janetofreno

          Can you guys tell me more about La Madonna? Sounds interesting.

          1. re: climberdoc

            thought i did a review on it - i'll try to find . may have put it on another site.

            1. re: climberdoc

              it was on another site - not one of my best efforts when doing a review - especially no pics.

              the interesting thing, after i posted the review, i got an e-mail from the owner apologizing for the incorrect charge for the virgin drink - he offered to buy me an app, a drink or something when i return - i will return just not sure when !
              A pleasant surprise. Continuing to reach out to restaurants relatively close to my new home, La Madonna is about 5 miles away -

              Nice looking place. Kinda surprised at the location - it's basically a high-end mexican restaurant. To be honest, not sure if there are too many high end places in town. I question the location since it's on the outskirts of town.

              Roomie and i started with cocktails - i went with the tangerine mojito. she tried a virgin paloma (a grapefruity drink ) - the mojito was very refreshing ( $9 ) , the paloma ok but damn, $9 for a virgin drink - me no likey that ! server brought a nice warm basket of seasoned tortilla chips with 3 different salsas - they all tasted great !

              Started with the tuna appetizer ( $12) - basically a tostada with a crema base then sushi grade ahi tuna - very thin, then a light sauce w/ lime - very good !

              Roomie went with the fish tacos ( talapia - $16 ) i tried the chilean sea bass con cilantro ( $28 ) . Both were very good - the portion for the sea bass a little on the small side. I had a cadillac margarita with the sea bass - very good ! we also got a side of sweet corn tamale. the first few bites were excellent - moist, sweet, flavorful. the remaining tamale was a little on the dry side.

              I like this place. I'm not one to eat mexican food all that often but for sure, if i'm looking for a higher end mexican place, I'm here !
              Edit Remove

              1. re: kjs

                It doesn't surprise me about the email from the owner...he is very nice, and made a point to come to our table when we ate there and talk with us...this was fairly shortly after they opened and he was obviously caring about customer reaction.

                BTW, the margaritas at La Madonna are great..highly recommended. I think I did a review as back in January (DH and I were going to a show for our anniversary, and he picked me up after work and we went there before the show..since it is close to that's how I know it was in January...).

                The sweet corn tamale was dry parts for us. I wished I had ordered one for each of us instead of one to share....

                1. re: kjs

                  Thanks kjf and janetofreno!

                  La Madonna is on my list for my next trip in June.

                  Have either of you been to Dos Caminos? The menu looks interesting, but I know it's a chain of sorts.

                    1. re: climberdoc

                      I wouldn't recommend Dos Caminos -- the food is so-so and it's very inconsistent, IMO.

            2. It's a hole in the wall, but Los Antojos on the southeast corner of Eastern and Sahara has the best tacos in town. Very Gringo friendly, too.

              Five star chef Alex Stratta goes there when he wants tacos.

              3 Replies
              1. re: LaserGecko

                Los Antojos also gets a shout-out for passing the test of time - they were successful in that location even before it became a largely hispanic neighborhood. And right next door is Pupuseria Cabana, which earns a spot near the top of the charts for best pupusa's in Las Vegas. Usually when the choice comes down to one or the other it becomes a little of both, although a couple of tacos and a couple of pupusa's at lunch time almost invariably forces a siesta afterwards.

                1. re: LaserGecko

                  Yes, Los Antojos is definitely worth a stop...I almost never go to that part of town, but its on the list if I do.....that was the first restaurant I ate in when I moved to Vegas (after dropping off the Uhaul...

                  1. re: LaserGecko

                    When there were fewer options in town, Los Antojos was my home base for antojitos in LV, but I just don't think it's as good as many other options. If I'm in the area, I'm more likely to go to Cabana for pupusas. This isn't a knock on Los Antojos -- it has always been a friendly, lively place, and a good value.