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Jan 31, 2012 11:24 PM

Gonna be there in March for 6 days...

First time in Vegas for the GF and I. I've Scoured the board, read the threads and I must admit it seems to be.....well confusing. The consensus seems to be to eat cheaper get off of the Strip and to get off the Strip the taxi will cost you and arm and a leg, so what you gain with one you lose with the other. We're going with the Deuce bus option for travel up and down the Strip, is walking to some of the closer off Strip options safe?

Having said all that I would appreciate the local Chower's opinions on that and what I've sorta cobbled together on where we might eat when we're down there (Or where we should eat.) I'm the foodie and the GF sees meals as something that happens 2-3 times a day.

Anyways in no great order:
Mon Ami Gabi
Tacos El Gordo
Milos for the $20.12 lunch
Catfish Alley
Ichiza (If the cab's not too much)
Lotus of Siam (again with the cab)

Your two cents are worth $$!

P.S. I know hotel talk's taboo but we're staying @ the one on E. Tropicana...with the same name.

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  1. I will let others chime in on your choices, but I would say that there is no consensus on eating off the strip. To the contrary, you will see a ridiculous number of posts and recs on strip restos. I say mix it up, have fun with it, and don't miss out on a chance to check out some cool hotels and different areas on the strip and downtown. If you don't have a car, Vegas is a cab town. Even when you are in the middle of the strip you cab it a lot because the hotel blocks are huge and walking is not always the best option. There are trams and certain hotels have convenient and fun walkways, etc. For example, you can't go wrong hitting up CityCenter's Crystals area or the Forum shops. One cab = lots of bars, lounges, restos, shopping, and clubs.

    1 Reply
    1. re: danieli10

      Thanks Dani!

      Just looking for honestly good food whether it's off the Strip or on. Sometimes the extra effort to get yourself somewhere can so outweigh the crap you had to go through to get there. :) Anything you can provide would be gold! You're there, I'm not, but will be soon lol.

    2. Walking on the Strip is probably safer than walking down Bourbon Street, but it shares some of the annoyances (e.g., congestion, a few jerky pedestrians, noise). As danieli10 indicates, distances between resorts are often greater than you'd think.

      If you drive, you might want to rent a car. I booked mine through Costco and it cost less per day than one medium-length taxi ride. Unfortunately, most (but not all) of your off-Strip picks are considerably north of Tropicana.

      I like your list very much. Personally, I'd swap Ichiza with Raku or Monta (very different places in the same strip mall). But Ichiza is a lot of fun and as long as you aren't in the mood for sublime food, you could do much worse.

      Have we had any reports about the quality of the Strip Tacos El Gordo compared to the original Charleston location? It would definitely cost more to take a cab to the downtown location and back than the cost of a massive meal for two.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Dave Feldman

        Fortunately. El Gordo on the strip is a mirror image of the Charleston sister, which surprisingly includes the price point as well. One might have thought that they could have added a surcharge for the Strip location. The Deuce bus will drop you off at Convention Center drive, leaving about a 15 second walk.

        Mon Ami Gabi, Catfish Alley and Milos can all be walked to on a sunny winter day from your location.

        1. re: QAW

          OK so walking is good. As I am the foodie that will be my chore lol! Any further reports on the brain, tripe and other tacos that El Gordo offers? I don't care what I'm eating as long as it tastes great!

          1. re: bourbonstjoe

            The "exotics" at El Gordo can be an interesting change of pace. The key is to get them fully loaded - they have different sauces to accompany each of their tacos, which help to accentuate the flavor profiles. The beef brains have been a particular favorite, which a tart sauce that plays well to their creamy texture.

            1. re: QAW

              QAW do I have to order them fully loaded or do they come all dressed? This could prove challenging as I have absolutely no command of the Spanish language, will the take pity on a a hungry gringo and fix me up? Having googled the meaning of their "exotics" I think I'm up for brains, face and all the rest. Do they carry Mexican sodas as well?

              1. re: bourbonstjoe

                At the 2 San Diego locations I have been to at least one of the workers spoke some English. The Lengua tacos were delicious.

                1. re: JRSD

                  They will communicate easily with you - if you are on the Las Vegas Strip, you develop a way of understanding whatever language your customer is speaking. The option will be plain or dressed, since they also have a salsa bar that many use to dress them up the way that they prefer. You will also find Mexican sodas, and also make note that the grilled spring onions and chile's that they serve on the side are complimentary, and they have not minded at all when we asked for extras.

        2. re: Dave Feldman

          Dave I hear you.

          Having said that I was kinda nervous about prowling the FQ till I actually arrived in NOLA and figured out it was 8x13 (Blocks) and you could walk it with ease. I just wanna have good food when I'm in town and love to lap up the local knowledge. I managed to find Yuki's izakaya in NOLA and I hope Ichiza may have the same kind of quirky charm that the other place had for me. I'm not a Ramen hound and looking at Raku's menu I might favor the randomness of Ichiza more!


          Inform me!!

          1. re: bourbonstjoe

            I don't think anyone would argue that the food quality at Ichiza is superior to Raku's, but it does indeed have a scruffy charm. It's full of hipsters, Japanese and not, and the waiters are also young, so the vibe is much more casual at Ichiza. it is great fun.

            1. re: Dave Feldman

              Checked the Raku menu and the numerous reviews here on CH and I think I need to add it to my list of MUST do's! The Kobe tendon, and the various uni dishes are calling my name I think! I've also looked into the Deuce Pass for when we'll be there to try and mitigate the cost of cab fares.

              1. re: bourbonstjoe

                The menu is only menu is part of the story at Raku. There's a large list of daily specials (some of it is pricey seafood). And even if you don't think you want to try it, try the tofu two ways.

        3. Walking up and down the strip is definitely safe - at least until you get North of Sahara. If you don't need the exercise, renting a car can easily work out cheaper than cabbing it everywhere. (Even if you need exercise - you can use the car to drive out to Red Rock Canyon state park - and have some great hikes there.) I suspect that you are staying on Tropicana blvd because you wanted a cheap choice on the strip - so adding the car shouldn't bust your budget. I see you have Lotus of Siam listed - definitely agree with that. How about Firefly (two locations) for great Portuguese influenced tapas? If you do head towards Red Rock Canyon on Charleston, you can always grab some cheapo fish tacos at Baja Fresh (I know it's a chain - but it's cheap and good). Back on the Strip what about Julian Serrano or Jaleo.

          4 Replies
          1. re: kagemusha49

            Thanks for the recs kage! I'll confer with the better half about the possibility of renting a vehicle while we're down there to skimp on the cab fare. Firefly looks interesting and Jaleo quite frankly looks damn dangerous for someone like me! Anywhere where I can blow well over $70.00 just eating ham and cheese...yeah, dangerous. Any other local faves? And yes, we're @ the Tropicana.

            1. re: bourbonstjoe

              Back to Julian Serrano - I love their eggs with potato and chorizo sausage - kinda like a comfort food brunch - that won't bust your budget. I agree Jaleo can get expensive.

              1. re: kagemusha49

                Took a second look at Julian Serrano and yeah $9.00 for the eggs with potato and chorizo is a good deal! I admit to making that myself some mornings when I feel like something "comfy". And $28.00 to snack on the cheese and meat platters isn't much of a stretch either, couple of glasses of wine and you have an impromptu picnic dinner going on...though the baby eel dish has peaked my intereset. Aw hell who am I kidding?!? I see good food and my wallet starts hemorraghing.

                1. re: bourbonstjoe

                  Since I sorta have everyone's attention I forgot to ask are any restaurants serving bottarga there in Vegas? I meant to ask when I posted this thread but forgot. Thankfully I had a Food Network induced flashback.