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Mar 4, 2010 07:54 AM

Vegas Return

Returning to Vegas for the last week of March. Our last (and first) visit was decidedly hit-and-miss, with the hits being off-Strip (Lotus, La Mexicana) and the misses (Cut - very disappointing) being some of the higher-end Strip places. However, with the economic downturn and the resulting incentives to get diners back (ie, Taste of Wynn, various pre-theatre deals, Robuchon's prix-fixe) we are going to give it another shot. We have reservations for Raku and Lotus, and are probably going to do lunch at two of Los Molcajetes, Los Antojos, and Mundo (can't get good Mexican in fridgid Canada), and breakfast/brunch at Bouchon and Country Club@Wynn (how is the Sunday brunch?). What I need is help deciding on one, possibly two dinners from a list of: pre-theatre@Le Cirque or Michael Mina, Alex -Taste of Wynn, TGV menu@Guy Savoy, or the three/four course @Robuchon. Cost isn't as much of an issue as feeling it was worth it. We ate at Picasso last time, and while it was very good (beautiful surroundings, excellent service), the meal itself wasn't revelatory - in my experience, I'd compare it to Scarpetta in NY, simple ingredients well executed, but not ground-breaking. The problem was Picasso was over three times as much as Scarpetta. It's just that feeling of "wow, that's it?" after the meal is done and the fare is presented. Recommendations?

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  1. I'm from NYC, and absolutely adore Alex. The Taste of Wynn menu looks very nice. I'm returning to LV mid April and have already made my reservations at Alex (my fourth visit in 2 1/2 years). I had dinner at Picasso 8 years ago, and I wasn't blown away by it either.

    1. I am there at the end of march too (22 - 26). I booked at Robuchon based on all the input I got on the board.

      I am also going to Stripsteak since I got the coupons on Otherwise I probably would have gone to Carnevino. Also on my list are Raku and Bouchon.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nextguy

        Actually, I printed the Stripsteak coupon as well, but I think we're going to skip it because of the so-so reviews. And I made a reservation at Robuchon after talking to the hostess who was very gracious with all my questions and requests. I was a little worried about "attitude" at Robuchon, but she helped alleviate this somewhat. Maybe, if time permits, we'll try the Bubbles and Bites Bar@Savoy

      2. On Strip:

        I just did my birthday dinner at Bradley Ogden at Caesars. (Full review coming shortly!) If you like seasonal menus with everything organic and "farm-to-table", then you'll find Bradley Ogden quite refreshing. They also have an interesting wine list, and the atmosphere is very comfortable while still being elegant.

        Off Strip:

        You mostly seem to be on the right track. I'd just add that if you're down in Henderson, you can't go wrong at Settebello for great pizza and Crazy Pita for great Middle Eastern. (Both are at The District at Green Valley Ranch.) The M Resort (at Las Vegas Blvd. & St. Rose Pkwy.) is stocked full of wonderful restaurants, with Marinelli's being my favorite there. (They have my second favorite gnocchi dish, but behind my new fave Bradley Ogden.)

        1. Since you seemed to have liked two of my faves, Lotus and La Mexicana, we seem to be culinary soul-mates of sorts. Of the Mexican lunch options you mentioned, I'd strike out Los Antojos. For some reason, it has gotten a lot of press recently from food bloggers lately. At one time, it was one of the few places in Las Vegas to eat decent antojitos. The owners are lovely but I think the food is several notches below La Mexicana with more crowded conditions (both inside the restaurant and the parking lot). I haven't been to Mundo yet, and it's obviously more expensive than the other options, but it sure sounds worth a try.

          16 Replies
          1. re: Dave Feldman

            i'm with Dave on Los Antojos - it's one fo the closest mom/pop mexican spot to my office - i've beent here 5 times - i want to love the place - but it gets worse with each visit. Molcajetes is little farther down the road but it's worth the drive but i consider it more of a dinner option then lunch.

            I'm more of a pork guy then beef so give me some al pastor at Los parados on Sahara - go large with the super taco - it's about $2.50 - i've been holding off for warmer weather before i try another so i can wolf it down in 100 degree heat with a cerveza or two - the perfect recipe for a sandy beach mirage !

            1. re: kjs

              Nice to see a shout out for the al pastor at Los Parados (diagonally across from Mariana's, 3854 West Sahara) on this board. A true hidden gem. Those wedges of pineapple do wonders to accent the flavor of the meat.

              1. re: kjs

                I don't think I've ever noticed Los Parados. Is it a stand? Anything else you like there besides the al pastor? Is the super taco on a larger tortilla or an overstuffed taco?

                1. re: Dave Feldman

                  Los Parados is a small storefront in a strip mall, and because of having Mariana's across the intersection, and a Tacos Mexico right in front of them on Sahara, they do not have a high degree of visibility, but any time that we have been there for lunch there has been a crowd. The al pastor is so good that nothing else on the menu has tempted yet, although a ceviche tostada for $2.75 will be hard to not try on some visit. Also a variety of tortas, burritos, and several plates, including a carne en su jugo that sounds interesting, but I would like to see someone else order first. Even menudo on weekends. The taco's are done two ways - the regular is $1.19, which is basically the meat (there is a salsa bar where you can garnish to personal taste), and the super is $2.49, in the case of the al pastor with onions, cilantro, some sour cream and the pineapple (perhaps a little extra meat also).

                  1. re: QAW

                    Definitely on my to-do list for my next trip. Thanks!

                    1. re: Dave Feldman

                      Do any of these places have pozole?

                    2. re: QAW

                      the super/supreme is two corn tortillas - i'll post a pic this week - something about the pineapple with the sour cream - it just works - and it's one of those pleasures that you make a mess and yet couldn't care less - it really is a strange location - you don't see the darned place and wouldn't believe it's there given the neon lights of taco mexico in front

                      1. re: kjs

                        i didn't add anything to the taco - not sure if it was due to the time of day ( 7 pm vs. my day time visit ) but felt a lil shorted on the meat

                        1. re: kjs

                          That immediate area may be shaping up for some of the best Taco battles in Las Vegas - Los Tacos is opening across the street, about a half block to the west (the former Wienerschnitzel structure). Have yet to have a single trip to their East Charleston location (street number is 1710, not really visible from Charleston) in which there was not a line at lunch time, so if they maintain the same standards the block around Marianas may became a case of the competition forcing everyone in the game to deliver some good product. It may be time to organize a 2010 Chowhound Taco Crawl, although participants must be brave enough to cross Sahara.

                          1. re: QAW

                            Next time I'm in town, I'm game! I haven't been to Mariana's in a while, and have never been to that location of Los Tacos.

                      2. re: QAW

                        ok, I'm really having a hard time picturing EXACTLY where Los Parados is, and you have me really interested..(There is a branch of my bank in that strip mall where Tacos Mexico is and I stop by there a fair amount...). So is Los Parados IN that strip mall (where Tacos Mexico is) or across Valley View or whatever the cross street to Sahara is?? I've never even noticed it!! Al pastor....with pineapple? Must try!

                        1. re: janetofreno

                          The best reference is to consider it right behind Tacos Mexico, in the strip mall (about the 2nd or 3rd storefront from the eastern end).

                          1. re: QAW

                            Thanks!! Can't believe I never noticed it before...As it happens, I have an errand to run in that very neighborhood around lunch tomorrow....yum!

                            1. re: janetofreno

                              update: Did have lunch at Los Parados today. Was glad to see the spit when I walked in....the al pastor is the real thing. Had two of the "super" tacos...never had it with the pineapple before, but why not? After all, pork and pineapple are a natural together...

                              Also tried a lengua (tongue) taco. The lengua is outstanding there...very tender.

                              Definitely recommended. I also noticed tortas ahogados on the menu for anyone who is a fan...

                              1. re: janetofreno

                                I just read Taqueria Los Parados is the latest victim of economy.

                                1. re: westie

                                  A heavy heart and a sad stomach can report that indeed Los Parados is no more. Truly sad - the al pastor is going to be awfully hard to replace, and the owners and crew were always very friendly and courteous. We wish them well.