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Looking for the good stuff!!

Canadian foodie headed down for 5 days in Vegas probably in April. The GF and I did 10 days in New Orleans last year and with the help of fellow Chowhounders we ended up with only one bad meal. I was hoping that maybe I could repeat the experience in Vegas with your guys help.

Looking for good food, not too outrageously priced, just well made and damn tasty. Will do just about any cuisine, from sushi to steak, oysters to burgers. We'll be on the Strip and we're pretty much gonna be hoofing it the whole time.

Sing out fellow Hounds!

Thanks.

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  1. How much are you looking to spend per person per meal? Also, you may want to reconsider "hoofing" the Strip. It is about a thirty minute walk between hotels that are next to each other. You may want to consider buying a twenty four hour pass for the Duece bus that stops at each major resort on the Strip.

    44 Replies
    1. re: Eric

      Looking at $50.00 per person per day for food, maybe one or two spurges for a really good dinner. We're not big on breakfasts so just a strong cup of joe and something would make a great start to the day (Unless you recommend a killer breakfast must have.) Thanks for the heads up on the pass, will definitely look into that Eric.

      1. re: bourbonstjoe

        $50 per person per day??

        You may want to locate all the food courts and fast food restaurants along the Strip. Think: McDonalds, Sbarro, Panda Express. $50 a day wouldn't even pay for you to eat at the coffee shops in the hotels.

        Both MGM and Caesar's Entertainment offer a 24 hour, all you can eat, pass to their various buffets for about $50 per person.

        I really hate to burst your bubble but the Las Vegas Strip is easily one of the most expensive places to eat in the United States. Las Vegas is no longer a place to visit if you're on a budget.

        1. re: shamu613

          I seem to be getting that impression shamu613. From what i can glean from the board and restaurant websites things are pretty expensive and in some cases do not justify the level of food experience. A few that don't look too bad are Kaizen, Bachi burger, Raku, China Poblano, Mon Ami Gabi and Lotus of Siam. However I haven't looked into the proximity of them to our Hotel or how much cab fare's gonna be getting us around.

          -----
          Mon Ami Gabi
          3655 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

          Lotus of Siam
          953 E Sahara Ave Ste A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104

          1. re: bourbonstjoe

            Forget cab fare. Rent a car for 1 or 2 days so that you can eat off Strip on the cheap, as well as visit Red Rock Canyon and or Valley of Fire State Park. Those are the only two truly scenic areas that you can visit in a morning.

            1. re: shamu613

              Thanks for the solid advice shamu, do you have any off strip gems to share perhaps?

              1. re: bourbonstjoe

                Hash House A Go Go on West Sahara. Don't go to the one at the Imperial Palace or the M Resort. You can buy a $25 off a check of $35 or more from restaurant.com or diningdough.com. Go hungary. The Orleans, on West Tropicana, has a good steakhouse called Canal Street and also the Prime Rib Loft. On Koval Lane behind Ballys is Ellis Island Casino. They microbrew their own beer and root beer. Their restaurant has an off the menu steak special 24/7. It includes a twenty ounce micro brewed beer or root beer, soup or salad, ten ounce top sirloin, garlic green beans and choice of rice or potato for $7.99. All three locations are an easy bus ride from the Strip.

                -----
                Hash House
                2605 S Decatur Blvd Ste 103, Las Vegas, NV 89102

                1. re: bourbonstjoe

                  The most reasonably priced food in Las Vegas is ethnic, usually Asian or Mexican.

                  Noodle Palace
                  Wendy's Noodle Cafe
                  China Mama
                  Los Molcajetes
                  Rincon De Buenos Aires
                  Bonito Michoacan Mexican
                  Hot & Juicy Crawfish
                  Ichiza
                  Pho Saigon 8
                  Cafe Bleu http://www.chefs.edu/Las-Vegas/Restau...
                  Dessy B's Steakhouse
                  Off menu steak and shrimp special at Mr. Lucky's inside the Hard Rock Hotel.

                  Google them. Most all have websites or Yelp.com reviews.
                  Cheap breakfasts:
                  Tiffany Cafe
                  Hash House (Not Hash House a GoGo
                  )Jamm's Restaurant
                  Egg and I

                  Bouchon
                  Payard Patiserrie

                  -----
                  Bouchon
                  3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

                  Rincon De Buenos Aires
                  5300 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

                  Bonito Michoacan
                  3715 S Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89103

                  Hash House
                  2605 S Decatur Blvd Ste 103, Las Vegas, NV 89102

                  Hot & Juicy Crawfish
                  4810 Spring Mountain Rd Ste C, Las Vegas, NV 89102

                  Ichiza
                  4355 Spring Mountain Rd Ste 205, Las Vegas, NV 89102

                  Los Molcajetes
                  1553 N Eastern Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89101

                  Pho Saigon 8
                  5650 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

                  China Mama
                  3420 S Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

                  1. re: shamu613

                    hey, SHAMU613, now THERE'S a place I had'nt heard of, "DESSIE B's STEAKHOUSE" !!!! So, of course, I just had to google it, and am sure glad I did !
                    Very interesting...... as it is located on the site of the former Sizzler, on Trop & Eastern....(I remember that Sizzler, too) ....the manager said he got 24 hours notice that ALL 4 of the Sizzlers in Las Vegas were closing immediately...

                    And that is such a neat story how the former Sizzler manager (for 27 years !)
                    Arthur Church, fulfilled his dream of owning his own restaurant,
                    and he hired back a bunch of the 130 Sizzler workers that lost their jobs....
                    very moving story ! And I like hearing about a mom & pop joint, as oppposed to a chain, that is likely to get their supplies from "corporate central"....

                  2. re: bourbonstjoe

                    You said you'd be "hoofing" it, places even on and off the strip aren't as close as you may think they are.

                    Where about's on the strip will you be staying?

                    1. re: monku

                      Looking at the Tropicana as our port in the storm monku. I haven't dug deeper yet but there look to be some of the "reasonable" eat places located close to the hotel, though it was explained to me today that the casinos are anywhere between 2-4 blocks in size themselves (What I consider a city block anyways.)

                      1. re: bourbonstjoe

                        LV strip blocks are a little longer than city blocks.
                        From the Tropicana to Caesars Palace which is basically 2 intersections (Harmon & Flamingo) is 1 mile.

              2. re: shamu613

                lol, Shamu613 !! Ain't that the truth !!!

                p.s. And over the course of the last few years or so, my sis & I noticed the quality of food on the buffets going downhill ! (corporate owned casinos taking shortcuts, lol ?!??)
                For instance , the prime rib at the Monte Carlo tasted like a cheaper cut was used...
                and had a "processed" taste... (and we had loved it the couple of times B4...)
                That was just our own personal experience, and taste buds, of course ....

                1. re: ellen4441

                  I don't think buffets are much of a LV draw anymore and I think hotels are realizing it. Many times, the food just seems recycled and old. With so many amazing eats in LV, buffets, IMO, are a last, last, last resort.

                  OP, some reasonable spots include Burger Bar in Mandalay, T and T- Tacos and Tequila in Luxor (no, not the best, but fine for cheaper eats and lots of tequila choices) and Lotus of Siam, which is pretty far off the Strip.

                  As others have mentioned, you're really going to struggle to eat well on $50 a day, especially if you're drinkers. Booze is ridiculously expensive.

                  -----
                  Lotus of Siam
                  953 E Sahara Ave Ste A5, Las Vegas, NV 89104

                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    Booze is ridiculously expensive.

                    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Not if you're sitting at a slot machine "appearing" to be playing....call over a cocktail waitress, order and tip her a buck when she returns with your drink(s).

                    1. re: monku

                      This, of course, is how I pregame Sam Adams before noon. ;)

                      1. re: monku

                        Tip 'em five bucks and they'll usually offer good hooch. Still cheaper than the bar.

                        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                          A. You don't need to tip extra for "good hooch." All you need do is ask. Many bartenders will still pour you a well brand under the assumption that the average idiot can't discern the difference between the "good hooch" and watered down bathtub gin.

                          While you wit the 20-30 minutes for you small drink to come around, you can easily loose several times the cost of simply buying that same drink at the bar.

                          NOTHING IS LAS VEGAS IS FREE. EVER.

                      2. re: invinotheresverde

                        Vegas buffets are as much of a draw as they ever were. Problem is, all these companies want to extract maximum profits from everything. This is why 6:5 blackjack is rampant, and why the buffets aren't as good as they used to be.

                        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                          Eh, just my opinion, but I disagree. I think finer dining is becoming more of the draw. I don't know anyone who eats at Vegas buffets (not saying people don't, simply that I don't know anyone who does) and me/my friends/colleagues/etc. are in Vegas often.

                          1. re: invinotheresverde

                            I hear what you're saying, invino !! (and somewhat even agree, lol !)
                            However, I would sure LIKE to start a little REVOLT....
                            anyone want to join me ?!??

                            I hear you about casinos just not caring, and it's a sad reality...
                            IMO, it's cuz they feel like they can get away with it....(the cheaper cuts of meat!!)
                            and so far, they have succeeded, I am sorry to say...

                            But, meanwhile, we've got those Fast Food "food courts", containing Chiptotle's, etc..... ..I always figure those are for the college type kids that are watching their budgets, etc... ....
                            ...there are certainly plenty of those around now, including food courts inside MGM, etc...
                            so, I know that not everyone WANTS TO and/or can AFFORD to eat at the pricey joints....

                            I am in the minority (perhaps?!?) that go to VEGAS for something "different" !!
                            I am only an hour or so from Philly, and 2 hours from NYC, so I've got plenty of good steakhouses, and fine dining experiences right here...

                            And there are only so many buffets in my Atlantic City home base area ...!
                            So, I am always intrigued by my buffet findings during my VEGAS excursions !
                            (what's gone downhill, and the few that have gone uphill, lol )

                            HOWEVER, I am a Chowhounder that believes in CYCLES , and "everything old is new again" ....
                            so, by my predictions, in about 5 years or so, the trend will be "24 hour buffet !!
                            gourmet buffet !!" ....
                            (a girl can dream, huh ?!?)

                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                :) back atcha, invino... & happy Chowhounding !!!

                                1. re: ellen4441

                                  p.s. it seems to me that VEGAS is a tale of 2 cities ...
                                  1/2 of it catering to the Chiptotle/Fatburger crowd,
                                  and the other 1/2 those who want the trendy, celebrity chef joints !

                                  Meanwhile, us pions in the middle class are caught in the middle...!
                                  I want something different other than a fast food chain , espescially when I'm on vacation...
                                  but yet, I don't feel like getting caught up with all those Bradley Ogden type of joints...

                                  Just give me a real good CHUCKWAGON style buffet, with gr8 prime rib & steak,
                                  and I'm IN !!!

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

                              2. re: ellen4441

                                I've been coming to Las Vegas since 1963 but I can't ever remember a 24 hour buffet. 24 hour coffee shops used to be the norm at all hotels but most of those are either gone or no longer serve a full menu 24 hours.

                                I hate to burst your bubble but Las Vegas is NOT a 24/7 town.

                                o Most shows are dark 1 or 2 days a week. Same goes for some nightclubs and restaurants,

                                o Ever since the Grand Luxe Cafe introduced their time sensitive menu, the 24 hour coffee shop that serves a full menu has all but disappeared. The coffee shops at Rio and Bally's are only open one shift, 6:00AM to 3:00PM. Most other coffee shops serve a menu similar to the Grand Luxe menu... Breakfast from 6:00AM-11:00AM. Lunch from 11:00AM to 4:30PM. Dinner from 4:30PM to midnight. Late night menu from midnight to 6:00AM. The only exception is Jerry's Nugget Famous Coffee Shop. They serve everything 24 hour a day.

                                o Fine dining restaurants are only open 5:00PM to 11:00PM.

                                o Nightclubs are only open 9:00PM to 4:00AM.

                                o Pools are only open 9:00AM to 7:00PM.

                                The notion that Las Vegas is a 24/7/365 town is utterly bogus. The only things that are always open are valet parking, check in desk, gas stations supermarkets, slot machines and bars. In most casinos most of their table games will be closed in the wee hours. Some casinos completely close all table games for a few hours when it's very slow.

                                The idea the Vegas is 24/7 is a myth.

                                1. re: shamu613

                                  The Boardwalk (long since imploded) had a 24hr buffet. The idea of being drunk and hungry enough that that sounded appealing boggles the mind.

                                  1. re: zippyh

                                    I've twice stayed at Circus Circus. In the early days when it first opened. They advertised the world's longest buffet. It was breakfast/lunch time and as I reached for the bacon it looked odd to me. Turned out they substituted Sizzlean.

                                    OMG!

                                    Too cheap to serve thin rashers of bacon? Get me out of here!

                                  2. re: shamu613

                                    There certainly were several 24-hour buffets in the past, although no distinguished ones, unless you count the Boardwalk, which was probably the worst Las Vegas buffet ever. The Frontier and the Showboat also had 24-hour buffets. I guess the Frontier was the best option of the three. It had a 11 P.M. to 3:00 a.m. late night buffet (kind of breakfast-oriented) and then changed the far at 3:00.

                                    1. re: Dave Feldman

                                      Ah the "good" old days - I remember the Mint buffet downtown - I think it was 99 cents - wasn't exactly gourmet but I've had worse. Back then those on a budget could pick up free rolls of nickels and lucky bucks all over and the get a free shrimp cocktail at El Morocco and a free steak(um) and eggs breakfast at Mr Sys.

                                      1. re: Dave Feldman

                                        Obviously, the last sentence was supposed to read "and then changed the fare at 3:00."

                                        1. re: Dave Feldman

                                          I definitely remember the Boardwalk Casino 24 hour buffet !!
                                          When I was out late on the strip, I would go up the escalator to look at their
                                          late night "steak buffet" spread, and get a good laugh !!

                                          Yes, probably the WORST buffet ever ! Even worse than the Imperial Palace, lol

                                        2. re: shamu613

                                          looks like we might be in luck ! The casino coffee shop is going to make a
                                          reappearance !
                                          http://www.lvrj.com/taste/station-cas...
                                          Station Casinos wants to bring "homestyle" dining back !
                                          (Why the heck did they ever take it away in the 1st place?!?

                                          )

                                          The article mentioned some casino patrons that have gotten tired of going to DENNY'S inside the Fiesta Henderson......and some who stopped going to the casino altogether once their coffee shop cafe closed ...

                                          Seeing places like Friday's inside the Orleans, (etc) turns me off...
                                          (I don't need to go to Vegas for a Friday's ; there is one only a mile away from me

                                        3. re: ellen4441

                                          ellen4441 sez:
                                          "But, meanwhile, we've got those Fast Food "food courts", containing Chiptotle's, etc..... ..I always figure those are for the college type kids that are watching their budgets, etc... .... "

                                          I live in Vegas, and only wish that the casino foodcourts had Chipotle, so I could get a reasonably priced, decent quality meal when I'm working long hours at one of the resorts. Unfortunately, the "low-priced" food courts are more like the ones at airports, with similar pricing and low quality.

                                          As for the late Boardwalk buffet, it was legendary as the worst buffet in
                                          Vegas. I saw photos on another site -- didn't go.

                                          1. re: Steve Green

                                            hi Steve Green,
                                            agreed that CHIPOTLE'S is one of the better fast food/casual outlets,
                                            (and yes, those food courts (& baseball stadium locations) tend to be
                                            lower quality; something gets lost in translation..

                                            Hope it did'nt sound like I was knocking those food court options, during my polite rebuttal to chowhounder Invino...
                                            I do agree with them that the fine dining seems to be the new Vegas draw... ... but yet, there is still the other extreme; college kids in flip flops , and us casino workers trying to get a good value meal..

                                            Just wish there was still more choices in the middle again, with better quality ......
                                            yes, miss those "real" 24 hour coffee shops !

                                            1. re: ellen4441

                                              ellen4441:

                                              I agree with you completely about the lack of middle ground. I don't see a lot of independent mid-priced places in Vegas, either on or off the Strip. However, I _am_ knocking the Strip foodcourt options -- at least (mostly) the chains. :o) Then again, anything is better than the $12 sandwiches and burgers at the convention center.

                                              On the other hand, I was working a convention at the Riviera a few months ago, and was surprised to find decent non-chain cheesesteaks at their food court, and a reasonably authentic English pub as well.

                                              1. re: Steve Green

                                                good point about the Riviera food court, Steve....!
                                                They are less chainish in there!
                                                Always a treat to find a good cheesesteak out there , huh ?!?
                                                We've got plenty back here in my Atlantic City area...
                                                (and you've got your Pop's cheesesteaks, across from Arizonas Charlies!!)

                                                1. re: ellen4441

                                                  As much as I do not like anything about the NYNY Hotel, it does have one of the nicest and most varied food courts in town. Shame that virtually all the eateries in that food close at 9:00PM.

                                                  It's located close to the Zumanity Theater. If you want to eat before you see the early show at 7:30PM, you're okay, but if if want to eat after the early show, before or after the late show, the food court is already closed. Stupid timing. If they kept the food court open an hour longer, it would be so convenient. But I suppose the resort is intentionally trying to steer hungry customers to more expensive options.

                                                  1. re: shamu613

                                                    I can think of worse things to get than a salt beef on pumpernickel sandwich at the deli there (or get pastrami if you wish). Reasinably priced and if you have a less than gargantuan appetite you can split it with someon else.

                                                    1. re: shamu613

                                                      good point , shamu613, regarding the NYNY early 9 pm closing of the food court!
                                                      I am a tough pastrami critic; their Greenberg's Deli pastrami did'nt do it for me.
                                                      I miss the pastrami in the Binions Horseshoe, by the sports book...
                                                      that "deli" is gone ...

                                                      1. re: ellen4441

                                                        The Canter's Deli LV outpost (really just a counter and some tables) in the Mandalay sportsbook has IMO a better pastrami sandwich than NYNY's Greenberg's, although not great by any means. They take pastrami out of the fridge and warm it on a flattop, and the bread is occasionally a bit stale. However, the pastrami itself is pretty tasty, although not quite up to the standards of Katz, Langer's, Junior's et al.

                                                        There's also a Carnegie Deli outpost in the Mirage, but I haven't tried their pastrami. I wasn't terribly impressed with the original in NYC. On that subject, I finally got around to trying the pastrami sandwich at the Bagel Cafe in Summerlin -- meh.

                                                        Having never had a cheesesteak back East, I don't know what's authentic, but Pop's didn't strike me as anything special. I do like the cheesesteaks (and other sandwiches) at the various Capriotti's around town -- they now even have an outpost out on the show floor in the convention center (but I don't think they do cheesesteaks -- just Bobbies and the like.

                                                        -----
                                                        Capriotti's
                                                        324 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89102

                                                        Canter's Deli
                                                        3300 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

                                                        Carnegie Deli
                                                        3400 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

                                                        1. re: Steve Green

                                                          I wanted to like the Canter's Deli in Vegas, but it was no measure for the original Canter's in L.A. ..! Langer's is my favorite in L.A , though!
                                                          (bakery wise, Canter's gets the nod !!)

                                                          I have'nt tried the Carnegie outpost in the Mirage, (yet?) cuz I'm only a few hours from the NYC location...
                                                          I've had much better pastrami "taste experience" at the Carnegie, NYC than you did, Steve, .....(well most of the time, anyway....as occasionally I do get a sandwich that is a little "off".....) (like earlier this month, when they seemed to mix the newer pastrami in with the "drech" older, tougher stuff ...)

                                                          -----
                                                          Canter's Deli
                                                          3300 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

                                                        2. re: ellen4441

                                                          I never had the pastrami at Greenberg's which is why I parenthesised it. I'm strictly a salt-beef man myself. I'm sure I'll be getting it there again.

                                                          1. re: kagemusha49

                                                            Just what is "salt beef" , kagemusha ? It sounds intriguing, enlighten me !

                                                            1. re: ellen4441

                                                              It's what Americans call corned beef.

                                2. Saigon 8 on Desert Inn was outstanding and the service was extremely attentive and hospitable. Food is fantastic and a great value. We tried fresh spring rolls, two different kinds of noodle soup (the basic and legume with side of raw steak and beef stock) and Banh Xeo which is a crispy crepe filled with sliced pork, shrimp and sauteed bean sprouts and served with lettuce, mint, cilantro, fresh bean sprouts and a sweet, vinegary sauce. It's huge, enough for 4 to share. No need to get large bowls of soup, the small are more than adequate, even for big eaters like me. They serve beer and very limited selections of wine. It is difficult for two people to spend more than $40. Best advice to chowies staying on strip and looking for off-strip dining is to rent a car, the savings on taxis, parking and aggravation will be worth it.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: globalevent

                                    Thanks for everyones advice!! I Just wanted to announce that I'm cheating and a friend of mine will be heading to Vegas in the next few days with a list compiled from your recommendations. :)

                                    Raku, Lotus if Siam, Ichiza, Bachi Burger, China Poblano, Pho Saigon 8, Hot and Juicy Crawfish, Rincon de Buenos Aires, Mon Ami Gabi, Kaizen, China Mama...

                                    If you happen to see a big, Greek guy at the Lux make him feel welcome and tell 'em Joe sent him! Lol.

                                    -----
                                    Mon Ami Gabi
                                    3655 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

                                    Ichiza
                                    4355 Spring Mountain Rd Ste 205, Las Vegas, NV 89102

                                    Hot and Juicy Crawfish
                                    Las Vegas, NV, Las Vegas, NV

                                    Pho Saigon 8
                                    5650 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

                                    China Mama
                                    3420 S Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

                                  2. We haven't been to LV in a couple of years, but there are some must do foods to get. Nothing gourmet or fancy, just good and inexpensive. Be sure to make a visit to Fremont street. Free shows and entertainment, but most of all, get to Binions Snack Bar for the burgers. At about $5 or $6 they're very good. Also in Binions is the Horseshoe Deli. The pastrami is great as well as the corned beef, about $6 or $7, potato salad and picle included. They rival Katz's or Scwartz's. Both these are located in the back of the house (of course) so you have to pass all of the tables to get there. Be aware the wait can be long if you go at busy times.

                                    Also on Fremont street is the Golden Gate. A Vegas institution for shrimp cocktail. Different size cups start at $2. And these are not the 60-70 count minis, they're real shrimp Also in the back of the house.

                                    Another thought along the line of inexpensive is In-n-Out Burger. Numerous locations not for off the strip.

                                    And oh by the way, I believe recent surveys have found that cab fares in LV are the highest in the US. Use the pass, DO NOT USE CASH IF YOU DON'T HAVE EXACT CHANGE. The drivers cannot make change. The machine will take your money, just not give any back. I made that mistake once, and ended up making a dozen new friends who were in line behind me.

                                    Good Chowing!

                                    3 Replies
                                      1. re: Eric

                                        Eric, forgive me for not being more specific. I should make it clear that passes can purchased for the Deuce Line buses. I refer you here for more info:
                                        http://www.lasvegas-how-to.com/cat.php

                                        Again, it's about good value chow without paying an arm and a leg to get to it.

                                        Caio!

                                      2. re: teflontom

                                        Hey, teflontom ! .....sad to report, but that "deli" in Binion's closed ...(RIP !) ....
                                        It was a nice little carving station, out in the open, right by the sports book...
                                        closed over a year ago ....

                                        My sis & I really enjoyed their pastrami sandwiches, and we are VERY tough pastrami critics !
                                        (we measure our pastrami to the ones at the Carnegie Deli in NYC)

                                        -----
                                        Carnegie Deli
                                        3400 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

                                      3. Not far away is a great little italian deli on Maryland called Cugino's. Wonderful sandwiches and supposedly the pizza rocks.

                                        -----
                                        Cugino's Italian Deli
                                        4550 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89119