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May 19, 2010 12:46 PM

Off to Vegas This Weekend, One Nice Couple's Dinner

I am going to Vegas this weekend with my fiance and 2 kids in tow. Someone will watch the kids on Saturday, so we have a chance to go out and have a nice dinner. Right now I have competing reservations at Sensi and Shibuya. Both tasting menus look good to me, and we both love sushi and other seafood, but anything with very good food and least a semi-romantic atmosphere is possible. I would like to keep dinner around $100 pp with a drink or two, I know it will be a bit over if I go with wine pairings, but that's OK. We are staying at the Hard Rock, so I don't want to go to Nobu,and I have been to Sushi Roku in Pasadena a few times, so that is out as well. I have a car, so the strip is fine, but I don't want to head way out to places like Rosemary's.

So, between these two, which is better, and is there anything much better in the price range? Everything but steakhouses are fair game. I've been to Mesa and liked it a lot, but it just isn't romantic. I've also been to Bradley Ogden several years back (on Mom's casino points, so it was free), and thought it was good but would have been a bit overpriced if it were on my dime. However, looking at the tasting menu, it seems to be in line with the other two, so I guess I can toss it back into contention.

Got to make this count, we get so few opportunities with just the two of us.

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  1. You'd probably get a better response if you moved your post to the Las Vegas board.

    1 Reply
    1. re: xoxohh

      I've seen so many Vegas posts here, plus I didn't see the Vegas board. Posted it there as well.


      1. re: ns1

        At $113 for the 4 course prix fixe, it looks like it is a fair bit more than the other places I had in mind, toss in wine and tip, and I'm looking at $200 pp.

        1. re: ocshooter

          you said specifically "I know it will be a bit over with a drink or two"

          It was actually ~450 after tax/tip for 2 tasting menus + wine pairings

          So cut out the wine and it's 226 + tax/tip.

          The ambience is fantastic, with Picassos everywhere and the bellagio fountains exploding outside the window. Not to mention the chef graciously accepted my request for a tour of the kitchen.

          But yes, it is pricey, however it is the cheapest 2* michelin on the strip

          1. re: ns1

            But is it twice as good? Or half as good as French Laundry. I've recently been to a 1* in the French Alps and a 1^ in San Fran, and I've been to Spago in the past., which is a 2*. I don't think I would go back to Spago if I had pay $450 for 2, it just wasn't that fantastic. Excellent, but not worth that kind of money. In San Fran, I was underwhelmed by the $100+ pp 1*. In France, I had the most amazing foie gras, and the rest of the meal hovered between good and very good. So my track record with the Michelin Guide isn't great.

            I would rather pay through the roof and get the 3*, like Guy Savoy (OK, still 2*, but...) or Robuchon (or French Laundry [been to that one - amazing] or El Buli [on my dream list]), or find something really good at around $100 pp.

            Locally, I loved Tabu when I went there, but it was $100 pp. At $200, I would be disappointed. I wasn't wowed by Watermarc for $100 pp, but would have thought it a great meal for around $75.

            1. re: ocshooter

              I went to Picasso, Craftsteak, L'atelier, and RM seafood.

              Picasso was twice as good as Craftsteak and 1.5x better than L'atelier.

              L'atelier was just as expensive.

              Picasso is home to the best thing I ever ate.


              I dont' wanna sound like a shill for the place, just offering my opinion.

              1. re: ns1

                how did RM rank on your list?

                1. re: raider

                  Above Craftsteak about tied with L'atelier.

                  That said, I rec'ed the place to someone else and they were NOT happy, so ymmv

      2. How about Michael Mina at Bellagio?

        This is one of the top seafood joints in town, but it also has meat and vegetarian menus available as well. And with tasting menus starting at just $55 per person, you should have some $ left over for good wine and other goodies.

        Michael Mina Restaurant
        3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

        3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV

        9 Replies
        1. re: atdleft

          Michael Mina is only in the price range for the pre-theatre at 6:00, and that is a little too early for me. The regular tasting menu is just under $100, toss in wine & tip, and I am at $200 pp again. Plus, I can get his food locally at the Stonehill Tavern. I do like it, I've been there, but I would prefer a place that I can't sample locally, which is why Sushi Roku is out.

          And vegetarian? Please... I took a girl I liked out for dinner years back in college to a great little place in Venice Beach that had Dustin Hoffman as an investor, can't remember the name though. Food was excellent, and she ordered a steamed veggie platter. Lost total respect for her right then and there. At least my S.O. isn't a vegetarian. Deal killer right there. Funny, vegans I respect. I don't agree, but I respect. Vegetarians I don't respect, unless it is for religious or legit health reasons.

          Michael Mina Restaurant
          3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

          1. re: ocshooter

            Hey OC,
            Check out the menu at Alex (Wynn). I know you would like this place, based on your OC recs. They have a pre-7:00 tasting for $89. Cutting it a tad close price-wise, but food is really excellent and atmosphere is VERY nice.

            1. re: BubblyOne

              Looks beautiful, but the only menu I see under a $100 is the 3 course vegetarian one. In reality, I would probably be in the $400 to $600 range for the two of us, and I don't want to drop that much.

                1. re: BubblyOne

                  That does look good. I will have to check with the future Ms. on that one, see if she wants to eat at 6:30. Since they hold a $50 reservation fee, I am reluctant to grab a table and make a last minute decision. The others I can call and cancel Saturday afternoon without losing anything.

                  1. re: ocshooter

                    JMHO, but since the economy is so crappy, I'd rather take advantage of excellent places that wouldn't normally offer any kind of deal. If you liked Tabu and TFL, you will like Alex as well.

            2. re: ocshooter

              Then considered Bradley Ogden. They have excellent options in their $59 prix fixe menu, and you'll find good wines on their wine list that won't send your budget into total free fall.

              And with Mina (and Ogden, btw), I was just highlighting the meat and veggie options in case you or the S.O. didn't want seafood that night. Bradley Ogden is more of a red meat kind of place, but you'll still find something you'll want and enjoy it.

              Bradley Ogden
              3570 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

              1. re: atdleft

                Bradley Ogden is still one of my favorites; I've never had anything but excellent food and stellar service there over the past years. OP thought it was over-priced and I find the opposite- I think you get great value in a nice, relaxed setting.

                Bradley Ogden
                3570 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

                1. re: BubblyOne

                  Agreed. I consistently get great food and great service here. And no, IMHO it's not overpriced at all... Not with the $59 prix fixe menu! This place has really earned its Michelin Star and Four Forbes Stars, and the restaurant itself is designed as a gorgeous, earthy hideaway hidden in Caesars Palace.

          2. Consider Todd's Unique in Henderson. You'll find quite few positive comments in this board and the old Southwest board if the moderators have not moved all messages pertaining to Las Vegas to here.

            Todd's Unique Dining
            4350 E. Sunset Rd., Henderson, NV 89014

            2 Replies
            1. re: shamu613

              It looks like an interesting choice for some other time. It isn't nearly as far as I thought, the food looks good and the menu isn't through the roof. I just wanted to stay on the strip though.

              1. re: ocshooter

                How about Sage? We were there last night for the second time, great food, great service, and about $100 pp.

            2. Thanks to all. I ended up at Nobu with the whole group on Friday night and then the SO and I went to Shibuya at the MGM on Saturday.

              Nobu was very good, but too overpriced. There was my fiance, my 21 y.o. nephew and his girlfriend, and two 11/12 year olds. One eats sushi, the other doesn't so I ordered the chicken. It was $30 for about 1/4 chicken, maybe a bit more. Just a hunk of white meat and a hunk of dark in teriyaki sauce. OK, it was organic and good, but it wasn't that good, and it should have been about $10 cheaper at the very, very, very least. I didn't eat much of the sushi, but we did get two sashimi plates, yellowtail with jalapeno and Japanese snapper with miso. Both were really excellent, but 6 pieces of thinly cut fish for $24-30 was a little high IMO. But the black cod with miso was fantastic, I always like this preparation, and at $24 for a huge hunk of fish, the deal of the day. Overall, it was around $450 for the 6 of us with not a lot to drink, and no one really pigged out or got the super high $ items.

              Shibuya was excellent. I ordered the tasting menu, with salad, yellowtail sashimi with a similar presentation as Nobu, and steak, all for $59. It came with enough edemame to share and non-descript mochi ice cream for desert. Something like a green tea creme brulee would have really set this meal apart, even something like fresh berries in a plum wine sauce over ice cream... I buy mochi at Trader Joe's, probably the same stuff. Dinner for the two of us, which several cocktails/wine was around $240, so that worked out well for me.

              3799 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV

              Nobu Restaurant
              4455 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89169