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Jan 8, 2012 10:25 PM

Recs for: Near LVCC, Mexican, and one splurge meal

Hello, my girlfriend & I are visiting Las Vegas for CES, and will often be at the Convention Center around lunchtime with a desire for a decent meal within walking distance. Price & cuisine don't matter, we just want something more edible than the cafeteria food we have had at LVCC in the past.

In addition, does anyone have recommendations for the best Mexican restaurants in the city? We will be taking a friend out to eat after the convention is over, and will have a rental car at that time. We would prefer not to spend more than around $20-$30pp, not including drinks, on that meal. If there are no good Mexican restaurants in the city, alternative recommendations (not seafood-centric as our friend won't eat seafood) would be appreciated.

Finally, my girlfriend and I would like to have one splurge meal, and are willing to spend $100pp or more for the right restaurant. Reading this board led me to e by Jose Andres (we love molecular gastronomy), but it is booked solid. What are some excellent alternatives? We have tried both Cut & Alex in the past, Cut was not worth it for us , but Alex was a pleasant surprise. It can be on or off the strip.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. e' can have last minute cancellations or at least that's how I got in there so I would stay on their wait list. If you like steaks & prime rib I can't recommend Lawrys Prime Rib enough. Great service and ambiance with the food to match.

    1. e will cost you $250 each. How about Sage? It's not molecular gastronomy but it is firing on all cylinders - food, service, ambience. Why not persuade your friend to try Thai instead of Mexican and drive to Lotus of Siam? It's just a mile East of the Strip on Sahara.

      1. Lunch options are limited unless you have good walking shoes. Lotus of Siam and Komol, in Commercial Center, may be the two best Thai restaurants in Las Vegas, yet are only about 100 yards apart from each other. If you stroll down Convention Center drive there is the Barrymore, at the Royal Hotel, and just around the corner from there on Las Vegas Boulevard is Tacos El Gordo. If you are near any of the eastern exits of the CC, a bit of a stroll down Desert Inn, just before you hit Maryland Parkway, brings a nice little sleeper - Jammin' Jerk Hut 3333 South Maryland, #11). Authentic Jamaican food in a small out-of-the-way setting.

        In terms of Mexican, there has been tremendous growth in quality "Mom and Pop" places over the last decade, but not a lot of "destination" places. If it is just about the food, without a whole lot of pretense or ambiance, Los Molcajetes (1553 North Eastern) is worth the drive. Note that they are closed on Wednesday's.

        5 Replies
        1. re: QAW

          Thanks for all the suggestions! We have two dinners and one lunch with our friend, one of those meals will definitely be Lotus of Siam.

          Is there a sub-$30 buffet that includes alcohol (or one that does something like unlimited sparkling wine for a bit more) worth tasting?

          It is much more about the food for us than ambiance. Thanks again!

          Edit: This was meant to be a general reply, sorry!

          1. re: khelvan

            Well you can always add unlimited alcohol (beer and wine) at some buffets like the Paris and Spice Market etc. or if you can make your way down the Studio B (M resort though I have never been there has OK reviews) it includes beer and wine. Lunch and Dinner is less than 30$ at all places (though I forgot how much was the add on for booze you can call in to get an idea)

          2. re: QAW

            ok, I am totally blanking on the name, but on Paradise near the convention center there is a steakhouse that a friend swears is one of the best in Vegas. Its in a smaller hotel; maybe a Holiday Inn or smaller Westin? Does this ring a bell to you QAW? My friend tends to have a very good food sense, so I've been meaning to check it out. Unfortunately, although I could drive straight to it I am totally blanking on the name.....

            1. re: janetofreno

              That reference would most likely be to Envy, at the Renaissance Hotel, on the corner of Paradise and Desert Inn. And your friend would be correct in their appraisal.

              1. re: QAW

                That's it, thanks! I work near there on Fridays; if they are open for lunch I intend to try it one of these days.....

          3. Report: My girlfriend and I had the signature menu at Sage, and we were...underwhelmed. It was just good. The presentation was first rate as was the service, but the taste was just above average. At $40+ per plate I expect excellence. We didn't get it, sadly.

            We also took our friend to Studio B, and while a good deal at $25, the food was also unspectacular. Though we did all enjoy the Asian dishes. The other cuisines were ok at best. The buffet at Wynn is much better, but of course is much more expensive.

            Lotus of Siam was excellent as always, and I was happy to see that they've expanded since we last went there.

            Thanks again for all your help!

            1 Reply
            1. re: khelvan

              One note on Los Molcajetes - it is cash only.