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24 hours in Vegas: build my food itinerary!

morninglemon May 15, 2012 04:22 PM

catching a concert at Mandalay bay since the band won't go to Phoenix, where I live. so it'll be a super short trip. need suggestions for two breakfasts, one lunch and a dinner.

- I'm up for any cuisine, particularly fond of seafood, offal, ippudo-caliber ramen.
- must be on the strip, since I don't have a car. preferably not too far from Mandalay bay - ill walk but in June heat, Im not likely to go up to say, the wynn, for a meal just to walk back.
- no budget, but would prefer not to spend $100 on just one person's meal (I'm not a big heavyset guy. or even a medium set anything)
- would prefer no buffets.
- I might take a cab to the outlets, so any place there would be ok for lunch.

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    Eric RE: morninglemon May 15, 2012 04:49 PM

    Which outlets? There are two outlet malls. One south and one north of the Strip.

    1. ttoommyy RE: morninglemon May 15, 2012 05:26 PM

      Lunch--China Poblano at the Cosmopolitan. Excellent mix of Chinese and Mexican. Seafood and offal is on the menu.

      For more offal, B&B at the Palazzo. Might need a cab from Mandalay though.

      Who are you seeing?

      8 Replies
      1. re: ttoommyy
        morninglemon RE: ttoommyy May 15, 2012 05:53 PM

        north or primm outlets.

        anything in particular at poblano? I checked out the menu last time I was in Cosmo, wasn't all that excited but maybe I missed something.

        seeing scissor sisters.

        1. re: morninglemon
          Eric RE: morninglemon May 15, 2012 06:22 PM

          FYI, Primm is about thirty five miles from the south end of the Strip. It's going to cost you over $100, before the tip, to take a cab each way. Once you leave town, there are no restaurants for about thirty miles until you hit Primm. The hotels at Primm are not known for their food.

          1. re: Eric
            westie RE: Eric May 16, 2012 03:58 AM

            Border Grill is in Mandalay Bay (MB) and its serves a brunch on Sat + Sun which is receiving rave reviews. Restaurant.com sells discounted gift certificates that you can use for the brunch as long as you meet the minimum purchase requirement.

            Several other restaurants in MB participate in restaurant.com as well including RM Seafood (downstairs) and Aureole.

            The Verandah at the Fours Seasons inside MB serves an excellent breakfast.

            You could take the free tram from Mandalay Bay to Excalibur and then walk to the Monte Carlo. Then catch another tram Carlo to CityCenter for the $20.12 3-course lunch at Milos.

            1. re: Eric
              morninglemon RE: Eric May 17, 2012 12:44 PM

              In that case, I won't go to Primm. So north outlets instead. Any recs around there?

              1. re: morninglemon
                Eric RE: morninglemon May 17, 2012 02:14 PM

                There is another outlet mall south of the Strip that is not far from Mandalay Bay.

            2. re: morninglemon
              ttoommyy RE: morninglemon May 16, 2012 07:08 AM

              We had the langostine tacos, the ducks tongue tacos, the assorted sui mai and the lightly fried, steamed pork buns with condensed milk dipping sauce. All were spectacular.

              Enjoy the show...should be fun! Have you ever seen them before?

              1. re: morninglemon
                Indy 67 RE: morninglemon May 16, 2012 08:36 PM

                The menu entries may not be exciting to read, but they sure taste exciting. Lobster taco. Big yawn on the menu, but we took the advice of our waiter who said that was his favorite and ordered two -- one for each of us. Absolutely the most insanely delicious lobster taco imaginable. Ditto for the carnitas taco. We had other two other types of tacos -- beef and chicken/mole -- that were really good but did not measure up to the extra-ordinary lobster and carnitas ones.

                We also ordered the Lucky Eight shu mai assortment. Our hands down favorite was the traditional pork and shrimp mixture with the beef a close second. Again, these are items you've seen on dozens of menus, but don't taste as good as Andres' version. In particular, the shu mai wrappers were thin and elegant.

                The one dish I suggest you avoid is the scallop ceviche. I live in the DC area and eat with some frequency at Andres' Mexican restaurant Oyamel. I adore Oyamel's tuna ceviche which is a slighly different version of the one served at China Poblano. The shrimp cocktail (at Oyamel called Coctel des Camaron y jaiba) is lovely but doesn't break any culinary ground. Both these DC versions are served in generous portions. The scallop ceviche at China Poblano was dull and overpriced: three scallop shells, each filled with two little nuggets of scallop a drizzle of lime juice and some ancho chili sugar. (Frankly, the ancho chili sugar persuaded us since we'd recently eaten palm sugar in Thailand after eating some incendiary Tom Yum marinade.) Twelve dollars for the dish. That's two dollars per 1/2 inch nugget of scallop.

                1. re: Indy 67
                  morninglemon RE: Indy 67 May 17, 2012 12:49 PM

                  Thanks for the menu suggestion! I do love me some lobster and fish tacos, so this sounds like a good mix. Plus, I'm sure I'll be by Cosmo since I like shopping nearby.

                  But speaking of siu mai - any good places on-Strip for Shanghainese? I'm always in the mood for soup dumplings (xiao long bao) too.

            3. morninglemon RE: morninglemon May 31, 2012 09:43 AM

              Thanks for all the suggestions. I think I've made some decisions, namely skipping the outlets in favor of shopping at the Forum instead.

              Day 1 (a Friday):
              Breakfast: MOzen @ Mandarin Oriental or Bouchon
              Lunch: Joe's Seafood (since I'll be at the Forum shopping anyway)
              Pre-concert Dinner: Monta Ramen (i'll take a cab for good ramen)

              Day 2: (a Saturday)
              Breakfast: Mon Ami Gabi (or any breakfast suggestion in walking distance to mandalay bay, as i plan to eat, walk back to the hotel and check out and head straight for the airport) Alternatives: Sleeping in, Milos for lunch as soon as they open and then running to the airport to catch my flight.

              Any comments or alternatives?

              7 Replies
              1. re: morninglemon
                zippyh RE: morninglemon May 31, 2012 11:20 AM

                How about brunch at the Border Grill or the Verandah in the 4S rather than Mon Ami Gabi?

                1. re: morninglemon
                  cactuschowdah RE: morninglemon May 31, 2012 11:32 AM

                  The walk from Mandalay to Paris isn't exactly a quick one. I would personally cab it up to Bouchon at the Venetian for breakfast- if you spend the cab fare, it's probably a push from a time perspective.

                  1. re: cactuschowdah
                    morninglemon RE: cactuschowdah Jun 1, 2012 08:51 AM

                    you're right, it's not a quick one. i get in on an early flight on friday, so i was thinking about taking a cab directly to bouchon for breakfast (i'll have a carryon bag, but not a wheelie - i guess i can just leave it at the coatcheck?), or see if the hotel would let me check in early or drop my bag off, and then walk over to the venetian. it'll be around 9am so hopefully not 100 degrees out yet.

                    I nixed Border Gill bc I've had all the Mexican I'd ever want in Phoenix. But the Verandah sounds like a better breakfast option than Mon Ami. Anyone know the price for the breakfast buffet?

                    I picked Joe's because I liked the prix fixe lunch (anyone have the crab leg one? is it good?) and I wanted to try this key lime pie everyone's talking about.

                    1. re: morninglemon
                      zippyh RE: morninglemon Jun 1, 2012 11:50 AM

                      Verandah weekend buffet is about $37.

                      Joe's is okay. It's not a bad choice for lunch if you're in the area. I've had the stone crab claw lunch a few times. One time the claws were kind of watery and tasteless but the other times they were fine. I remember the hash browns being really good.

                      1. re: morninglemon
                        kwfoodiewannabe RE: morninglemon Jun 2, 2012 08:37 AM

                        Should probably qualify my Joes experience by saying I have never had the prix fixe lunch (great deal, though) so my comments reflect that. Plus I confess to being a sucker for Stone Crab and their mustard sauce.

                        I generally go with a friend, get a plate of select claws, and ask then to slice up a prime NY med rare. Fried panko crusted asparagus w/ Lemon butter sauce (I know) a piece of Key Lime Pie and split it all up. Have had other stuff on the menu, but I seem to keep gravitating back to the old standbys. Not Joel Robuchon, but always very good.

                    2. re: morninglemon
                      raider RE: morninglemon May 31, 2012 12:13 PM

                      instead of lunch at joe's, consider lunch at pj clarke's. great oysters, drinks and burgers

                      1. re: raider
                        kwfoodiewannabe RE: raider Jun 1, 2012 05:18 AM

                        FWIW... have never eaten at pj clarke's, but was at Joe's in Apr. and couldn't IMAGINE skipping it. Simple. Delicous. A must on every trip for me. Not cheap, but not crazy either.

                        Besides, the wait is simply too long in Miami. LOL

                    3. Beach Chick RE: morninglemon Jun 2, 2012 08:43 AM

                      What concert are you going to?
                      Lotus of Siam....that is a must for lunch, off the menu...one of the best meals in Vegas
                      Cab it up to Palace Station for the oyster bar...friends rave about it.
                      Burger bar at Mandalay with a swim in the wave pool.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Beach Chick
                        ttoommyy RE: Beach Chick Jun 2, 2012 09:21 AM

                        The op already answered that above. Scissor Sisters.

                      2. morninglemon RE: morninglemon Jun 18, 2012 03:39 PM

                        So I'm back from my trip. Ended up straying from my itinerary because of unforeseen circumstances, namely lost track of time while shopping and couldn't make it to some places.

                        Minute reviews:
                        Bouchon breakfast: Egg scramble with boudin blanc; delicious delicious delicious, would go back again in a heartbeat. They seated me without a res on the patio.
                        Joe's Seafood lunch: Was still too full from Bouchon to get the crab leg prix fixe as I wanted, so got the seafood salad instead, with a half slice of key lime pie. The salad was much bigger than I expected and was good but slightly overdressed, which made me suspicious about the freshness of the seafood (shrimp/crab/lobster). Key lime pie was FANTASTIC.
                        Dinner: Original plan was to go to Monta, then was going to go to Tokyo Japanese (off strip, near LOS) on a coworker's recommendation, but made it to neither since I lost track of time. So I opted for RM Seafood since it was so close to the concert venue. My second time there, got oysters and littlenecks at the bar. It didn't taste fresh, but the bartender charged me for less than what I ordered, so I can't complain (and I didn't say anything, so that makes me think the bartender knew the raw bar wasn't good that night). But that will be my last meal at RM.
                        Late night snack: Slice of Vegas pizza - totally unplanned, and not worth the $. But needed somewhere to sit and eat around midnight, so it was fine. Got the pizza w/ the argula and prosciutto; the crust and sauce were subpar.

                        Breakfast: Was supposed to go to MOzen, but slept in owing to late night, so ended up just getting an early lunch at Monta. Tonkotsu ramen was DELICIOUS, the broth was wonderfully complex, though not as milky as should be. Still, $6.95 for a bowl, can't beat that. too bad I paid $26+ for cab fare to and from the strip, so it turned out to be a $50+ bowl of ramen. But I was glad to have tried it.

                        Just got back and already planning my itinerary for my next trip in August! Made reservations for dinners at LOS and Kabuto!

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