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Mar 26, 2012 12:20 PM

Need your Vegas Foodie advice for April Convention

Have a limited budget for my April 9th-12th conference so would love to hear your opinions on any of the following food experiences or about some other midrange price WOW food suggestions .

Raku - suggestions off their menu - good place ?/ 10 course Kaseki dinner, worth it ?

Hot 'N' Juicy Crawfish - never had crawfish before, is this place worth going to

Julian Serrano (Aria) - I love cooking Spanish - Signature tasting menu here or just order off the menu

Lobster Me - always enjoy lobster rolls - are there other options near the Venetian

PF Changs - My friend who is joining me wants to try this place - any better options of similar cuisine

Penazzi Oyster Bar (Harrahs) - Raw oysters and seafood - anywhere else in similar price range

PJ Clarkes (Caesars) - Happy Hour $1 oysters / lobster BLT - any other suggested happy hours

Joe's Seafood and Stone Crab (Caesars) - worth the price

Steakhouse - top 3 suggestions - not crazy expensive - Golden Steer?

Sushi on strip - reasonable price

I have 3 1/2 days to enjoy some budget conscious food stops - your CHOWHOUND wisdom
would be greatly appreciated


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  1. How much are you looking to spend per meal? Also, will you have a car? Cab fares in Las Vegas are among the highest in the country.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Eric

      $50-75/meal - could go higher for a unique experience - won't have a car, using transit and cabs I guess...

    2. I would advise skipping PF Chang's. It is like the Applebee's of corporate Chinese cuisine. I would suggest Noodle's Asia in the Venetian for something similar in taste or Ping Pang Pong in Gold Coast. Ping Pang Pong has no atmosphere, crappy service but great food. Noodle's Asia has wonderful noodle dishes and they recently reworked there dining room.

      I highly suggest Sage in the Aria. You can eat casual in the lounge and have a fantastic meal.

      7 Replies
      1. re: A5 KOBE

        Thanks for the feedback - is the lounge menu different from the dinner menu at Sage...

        1. re: Peldog

          You can order from the full menu or the lounge menu.

          1. re: A5 KOBE

            Any suggestions off the menu you thought were good...

            1. re: Peldog

              Loved the Snake River NY and the Day Boat Scallops. For appetizers I really enjoyed the Roasted Beets.

              1. re: A5 KOBE

                I thought the braised oxtail was awesome as were the sweetbreads - both appetizers

                1. re: kagemusha49

                  both are great suggestions - thanks...

                2. re: A5 KOBE

                  Love scallops and anything roasted...

        2. Raku. Skip the tasting (while good think you can taylor to your own tastes, cheaper) and order ala carte. Don't miss the "special home made tofu soup". Holy good God I dream about that dish!

          Highly suggest going to Lotus of Siam. Unbeatable Thai food and for the budget conscious.

          Steaks...nothing cheap although the Steer most reasonable but not of the quality as the tier 1 steak house. The other option would be the Circus Circus Steak House, which is very good but has gotten increasingly expensive, no longer a bargain. Another option for steak would be to go to a place like Bouchon for Steak Frites (still pretty expensive) or a notch below and go to Mon Ami Gabi (LOVE the hanger steak and garlic clams).

          Sushi...skip. Nothing "reasonable" and all highly over-rated (best bet IMHO is Sen of Japan off strip but thats a pretty expensive cab and all said and done you're talking $100+pp).

          Wholeheartedly agree w/A5, PF Changs is pfffft.

          Joe's is very good and very consistant, but you'll have a hard time coming in under budget.

          11 Replies
          1. re: LVI

            +1 for skipping sushi and definitely skipping PF Chang's. Substitute Jaleo for Julian Serrano. +1 for Lotus of Siam (LOS). Not sure where you are staying, so will hold off on any other recs.

            1. re: LVI

              Great tips - I'll keep Lotus in mind - what would be your suggestion for the most reasonable tier 1
              steakhouse... or Italian restaurant...

              1. re: Peldog

                Got to CUT. Avoid Carnevino. Do not discount Bouchon. Others rave about their breakfast (personally think it is over rated for breakfast) but I think it is dinner that is its absolute strength.

                1. re: LVI

                  Thanks, I'll check out Cut and Bouchon's menus...

                  1. re: LVI

                    +1 on advoiding Carnevino. Thought it was ok, just very expensive

                    1. re: fitzpth

                      thanks for the tip - what do think of this CUT steakhouse...

                      1. re: danieli10

                        Any suggestions off the CUT menu...

                  2. re: LVI

                    Would you go to Joe's to have a drink and some Stone Crab - are they that good...

                    1. re: Peldog

                      Definitely go to Joe's and get stone crab, a drink, and key lime pie.

                      1. re: A5 KOBE

                        Thanks, I'm looking forward, love key lime pie...

                  3. All suggestions and recs above are pretty solid.
                    I'll add...
                    Skip hot n juicy crawfish. It's overpriced, wait is usually long, and service is spotty. The three times that I've been there, the crawfish have been really, really small. I love crawfish, but can't see the why people like that place so much. I'd wait until you take a trip to the south (or anywhere else) to try crawfish.
                    As mentioned, the Circus Circus isn't the deal that it used to be. Plus, you have to walk through a lot of mess to get there. There are countless steakhouses in LV that are perfectly acceptable. Depends on where you're staying. Golden Steer is not just food, it's really an old-school experience with the tuxedo shirts, pianist in the lounge, and red booths. I've eaten there several times and it's not bad, but there might be a better match for you.
                    I'd suggest the Barrymore. Defoinately one of my new favorite restaurants in town and in line with your price range.
                    For Chinese food, there are quite a few restaurants along Spring Mt. that are excellent. Let me know if you'd like additional suggestions on that.
                    Skip Joe's stone crab. It's not a bad place, but way overpriced.
                    Maybe Firefly on Paradise? It's a tapas restaurant on Paradise behind Harrah's/Venetian (shor cab ride). In that same plaza is Musashi. Teppan steakhouse and sushi. The sushi's pretty decent and they have great lunch/late night specials (regular dinner can get pricey there).
                    The Harrah's oyster bar is okay. Not great but not bad. Very convenient for a light meal if you're closeby. Most of the locals places (Station and Coast casinos) have a comparable oyster bar with lower prices, but they're all off strip in the suburbs.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: fledflew

                      Thanks for the recommendations - I am staying at the Venetian - what would you suggest in the reasonably priced range for seafood and Italian restaurants
                      Opinion of Jaleo vs Julian...

                      1. re: Peldog

                        I haven't eaten at Jaleo yet (but I have eaten at e by Jose Andres and that was amazing). I have eaten at Serrano - loved the potatoes and eggs with chorizo sausage - worthy of eating for a quick late breakfast. In the Venetian(Palazzo) one overlooked possibility is Sushi Samba - do NOT have the sushi there - instead focus on the Brazilian/Portuguese seafood dishes.

                        1. re: kagemusha49

                          Thanks - I'll check out the SS menu and see what they offer in the Braz/Port zone...

                          Can I better spend the $ I would be putting out at e - or is the food experience that fantastic that I need to find budget for the e experience...

                          1. re: Peldog

                            In terms of awesomeness per dollar - it's tough to beat Lotus of Siam. e is great but you could get 3 pretty darn good meals for the same price. A lot of people look down on Sushi Samba - I mentioned it because it is on the Venetian turf and IMHO if you skip the sushi you can find some good stuff there.

                            1. re: kagemusha49

                              Thanks - maybe I'll win big at the tables/slots and be able to do both...ha,ha,
                              Great information - good direction for some choices to be made...

                    2. I would like to say thanks to everyone who shared their culinary experiences in support of this foodie request. Your suggestions on which restaurants to engage and which ones to avoid will help me fine tune my stay in Vegas. I will take your suggestions and plan well my food experiences about Vegas during my convention. Can't wait for the Vegas fun to begin...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Peldog

                        I hope you report back. Have a great trip.

                        1. re: Dave Feldman

                          To fit in all the culinary stops I want to make during my 4 days in Vegas (between many beverages/a convention & gambling) I think my theme is going to be small plates - can't wait for my Spanish stops - Stone Crabs - Raw Oysters - Fish Tacos - Foie Gras somewhere - crawfish - something Cajun - Caviar - Lobster Rolls - Risotto - Crab Cakes - a great bisque - Sashimi - Tao Beach snacks - Happy Hour specials - Lagasse Stadium creole Shrimp while Sport Betting - and much,much more... - i guess I can expect to experience some sleep deprivation on this trip... my oh my - where to begin???