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Please critique my dining schedule

A little background about myself and my 2 friends who are joining me, we're from NYC, Chinese and adventurous eaters. We're not necessarily seeking steakhouses and Asian food (I know Lotus of Siam is a must go but my friends aren't interested). Preferred amount to spend per head is $40-50 for dinner (willing to make exceptions if the meal is really *that* great); lunch is preferred to be less than dinner and around the Strip.

We are going to stay at the Mandalay. We are not intending to rent a car but willing to hoof it by bus or taxi, if it's worthwhile.

So far what I have in mind within for my meals 4-day stay (during the Easter weekend) in LV generally goes like this (with visits to Jean Phillipe at ARIA and/or Bellagio and Payard since we love our desserts):

Question 1: What are great lunch options to have near or on the Strip? I'm having a hard time finding what seems like good options on the Strip as most hotels seems to not have prix fixes like they do for dinner.

Question 2: Is Mix at Mandalay Bay good or worth spending?

Day 1:
Brunch/lunch: Bouchon Bistro
Dinner: Raku

Day 2:
Lunch: Need lunch option
Dinner: L'Atelier de Robouchon

Day 3:
Lunch: Bellagio buffet (I know buffets are kind of looked down but I want to try)
Dinner: Something light for dinner

Day 4:
Lunch: Mon Ami Gabi?
Dinner: Need dinner option

Thanks in advance for your advice.
Tina

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

Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV

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

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  1. I always enjoy Mesa Grill for lunch. Last time we were in Vegas we had a very enjoyable lunch at Morels in the Palazzo. They have a very nice outdoor patio and the service was excellent. We really enjoyed it and our salads were quite good.

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    Mesa Grill
    3570 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    2 Replies
    1. re: baseballfan

      There's a Mesa Grill in NYC... I haven't eaten there just because I've heard mixed (mostly bad) things about it. Not to offend your or Mr. Flay, I'm not really interested eating there.

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      Mesa Grill
      3570 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

      1. re: chocokitty

        No offense :). Not every restaurant is for everybody. I have had good experiences there but there are certainly no shortage of restaurants in Vegas.

    2. It would be a bit of a hike from Mandalay Bay but one of my favorite lunch spots is the Country Club at the Wynn, especially if it is nice outside and you can get a table overlooking the 18th green with the waterfall.

      1. the apple brioche dessert bread is amazing at JP

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dapuma

          Oooh...! Any other thoughts as to what's great from JP? Some guidance for the "greatest hits" would helps since his boutique is not remotely close to NYC and I don't know what I would choose since I looked at their website and ogled at everything. :)

        2. I love Bouchon's brunch, since you're constricted to no LOS, no car and near strip, maybe do that twice? The menu is certainly big enough that you can get two completely different things.

          Otherwise, what about one of the upscale burger places such as Burger Bar. Or how about Enoteca San Marco or whatever they renamed that place. It's Batalli's more casual restaurant in the Venetian. I've always found lunch there to be pleasant. Food and service is good. An assortment of their salumi to start the meal and some gelato to end it is almost mandatory for our lunches.

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

          Enoteca San Marco
          3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

          4 Replies
          1. re: Jase

            2nd Burger Bar...one of my favorite stops for lunch. Also, Todd English PUB is fun. Their carvery meats are excellent as is their beer selection. It's a good place to watch a game and snack on a wide variety of items. Their desserts are very good.

            I haven't tried Holstein's in the Cosmopolitan but it looked good when we walked by a few weeks ago. It's on my list for next time.

            1. re: baseballfan

              I was thinking of eating about Burger Bar. Would there be a different in atmosphere between lunch and dinner? Any particular favorite burgers from the menu?

              Thanks!

              1. re: chocokitty

                I love anything with blue cheese so I normally get the Kobe burger with the blue cheese. My husband had a buffalo burger last time that he loved. I prefer the skinny regular fries but a lot of people like the sweet potato fries. The milkshakes are excellent as well.

                No difference in atmosphere between lunch and dinner. We usually hit that for lunch and go somewhere less casual for dinner as my husband is often times entertaining clients and we need the whole wine and dine experience.

                1. re: baseballfan

                  Although the food is fine at Burger Bar, the "atmosphere", such as it is, is essentially music blasting so loud I can't wait to leave, and no possibility of carrying on a conversation.. That seems to be their intent, because tables turn over fast.

          2. one idea for lunch is dim sum at Cathay House. It's off Spring Mountain Rd, which crosses the Strip and isn't too long of a cab ride from the Strip.

            If you're willing to go above your $50/head for dinner, Jaleo is really, really excellent. We were there for dinner and it was easily the best dinner I've had for over a year.

            Bellagio buffet is one of the better ones on the Strip.

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            Cathay House Restaurant
            5300 Spring Mountain Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

            Bellagio
            3600 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV