Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Las Vegas >
Jun 5, 2012 07:32 PM

5 nights - need help with unique/different/new for a couple of nights

I'll be in Vegas for 5 nights - already have 2 nights covered: 1) e by Jose Andres, and 2) Raku. So I need help with 3 dinners.

Is there anything new on the strip that's noteworthy? We'd prefer contemporary/unique over old fashioned, and we're seeking a more upbeat atmosphere as opposed to something quiet. But food has to be really good. And it doesn't have to be expensive (would prefer less expensive, if possible). L'Atelier would fit the bill in terms of atmosphere, but been there and thought it was merely good to very good, so not sure we want to return. Is Guy Savoy's bar area still serving dinner? I can't find any internet links . . . what's it like? I might return to Sage because my dining companion has not been and I really enjoyed my first meal there. Also, we probably don't want to go to a steakhouse.

We might also add one more off-strip meal. We're probably going to skip Lotus of Siam - been there many times and we have great Thai in Chicago where I'm from. Since we're going to Raku, we'll skip Ichiza. Is there anything else off the strip that's particularly good for dinner in a Raku/Lotus/Ichiza way?

Finally, anyone been to Red 8 or Beijing Noodle No. 9 recently? Which do you prefer?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You might want to consider Mundo for some upscale mexican food. We have gone there numerous times and would highly recommend it. Not your typical Tex Mex place. Link is below:

    As a side note, all of the restaurants in Aria are offering three course meals starting at $39. (Details in the Coupons and Deals thread under Sticky Topics at the top of the LVCH Board)

    5 Replies
    1. re: Philber

      I'm curious if there are particular dishes you'd recommend. I've eaten at Mundo twice and wasn't knocked out by anything I tried.

      1. re: Dave Feldman

        When was the last time you were there? Our first visit was just OK, but subsequent meals have been quite good.

        I enjoyed the carnitas last time we ate at Mundos, especially liked the cucumber and habanero salad on the side. The pork tenderloin has always been good and my wife enjoys the shrimp diablo with the fresh corn tamale on the side. Daughters favorites are the pork tenderloin and the scallops.

        For starters we like the skirt steak skewers accompanied by the jicima, green apple slaw and the Mundo chopped salad.

        1. re: Philber

          I ate there approximately two years ago and last year during the summer -- the first time for lunch, the second time for dinner. Thanks for the recs.

          1. re: Philber

            Mundo - I agree with Philber - the pork tenderloin and scallop entrees are both excellent.

        2. re: Philber

          +1 vote for Mundo. Love almost everything on their extensive happy hour menu, especially those chicken taquitos with cotija cheese., and the sweet corn tamale !

        3. Having spent 15 years in Chicago myself I am a huge lover of the thai scene there. However, I would argue that Lotus is beyond compare with them all, even Arun. The only reason I say that is I, like you, have been to Lotus countless times and for some reason, in the last 1.5 years I feel that their quality has gotten even better, IMHO (minus the soft shell crab salad which has gone the other way). I am craving my return in Sept.

          As far as other meals, I would skip Guy Savoy (dont get me wrong, it is excellent. In this economy there are other places that I would go before dropping the amt of coin GS commands).

          Red 8 will do to scratch that particular itch. But you have a car so do yourself a favor and drive up Spring Mtn road to China Mama. Earth shattering culinary delight it is not. HOWEVER is it really very good (zero atmosphere) and I will be returning. Also, Pho Kim Long is excellent.

          And finally, last but certainly not least (as a matter of fact, one of my favorites) is El Gordo Taco. It is a MUST!!! Next to the Encore, authentic CHEAP and delicious tacos. From steak to stomach (yum), from spicy pork to head (yum). Eat them all as they are all worthy.

          7 Replies
          1. re: LVI

            We might end up at Lotus just because we both like it quite a bit. Next time in Chicago try Aroy, TAC Quick, Sticky Rice or Spoon - 1/4 of the price of Arun . . . and better.

            Now that I found out Guy Savoy doesn't do bar menu anymore, we will definitely be skipping.

            I've looked at China Mama and noticed that they do XLB which I always love (well, when done right) so that might be an option. Then I read that China Mama's former chef moved over to Beijing Noodle No. 9, which is why I am even considering the latter, but I want to make sure that the quality is there.

            Also, will definitely hit El Gordo . . . sounds like it's right up my alley for a quick bite.

            1. re: BRB

              I am a XLB junkie and went to CM after reading others post aboutit. DO NOT get your hopes up. They are ok, but really not worthy of a trip just for them. The spicy wontons on the other hand...

              1. re: BRB

                If you are really into Thai food, I think you owe it to yourself to go to Lotus, and order some dishes that are unavailable in Chicago. As far as I'm concerned, Chicago is only behind L.A. in its depth and quantity of Thai food (although I'm not arguing necessarily that any one restaurant in L.A. is superior to the best of Chicago). I haven't been to Chicago in several years (hope to remedy that this summer), but I was very impressed with Spoon and especially TAC (I don't consider Arun close to their class in food quality), and have never been to Sticky Rice. But I do feel that Lotus is much superior to any one of them, especially for its sauces and grilling. If time were limited, I just couldn't imagine going to, say Bouchon or Comme Ca for lunch or dinner when LOS was an option.

                I haven't been to LV since Kabuto opened. I've heard good things.

                1. re: Dave Feldman

                  No arguments on Lotus here Dave . . . and I'd put Lotus well above Arun. In my opinion, Arun is at best the 6th best Thai restaurant in Chicago . . . no insult to Arun's . . . more about the state of Thai food (and impressively northern Thai food) in Chicago.

                  By the way, since you've been to Spoon and TAC, put yourself in the hands of Aroy next time in town.

                  1. re: BRB

                    My apologies, I didn't notice that in your reply to LVI you indicated that you have been to Lotus before. No reason for my post then!

                    I've eaten Polish many times in Chicago, but never had Bulgarian or Russian there. Bar Forte is a cool place, open until 3:00 a.m.. Not fine dining but great fun with a pan-European menu with an emphasis on Eastern Continental. I tend to eat a lot of Thai, Japanese, and Mexican food when I"m in LV, so Forte fills a niche for me.

                    1. re: Dave Feldman

                      Thanks for the Bar Forte rec - looks very interesting and that might just fit the bill for another night. Definitely along the lines of what I am looking for.

              2. You may want to try china poblano in the Cosmopolitan near Jaleo.
                It is very delicious and a fun atmosphere and reasonably priced.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jamtart12

                  Thanks for the China Poblano rec. I actually late there last year while staying at the Cosmo. Although I was not thrilled with the food, I think it had just opened so maybe they were still getting things in order.

                2. Let me ask for opinions of a few other places I have come across:

                  Kabuto - anyone been? How good is the sushi? How hard is it to get into and do they take reservations?

                  DOCG - considering for a casual meal, maybe pizza - any good?

                  American Fish - menu looked interesting.

                  Might opt for Comme Ca or Bouchon - been to Bouchon in Vegas once and thought it was decent. Not sure if it was an off meal . . . I know little about Comme Ca.

                  As you can see, I'm a little bit all over the map here, but appreciate any help you can offer.

                  e and Raku are still definites, and LoS a strong possibility . . . maybe Sage and then 1 or 2 others depending upon your thoughts.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: BRB

                    Completely disagree with you on E, unless it is your 1st time at E. Please do not get me wrong as if you read my review of E I think it is an absolute FANTASTIC experience. But that was then...@ $250 for all...$450 I hear now and they are not NEARLY as generous as they were in the past. I sent 2 of my best friends recently and they loved it...lamented the $ but LOVED. But that is my beef. For $450 I would take Joel Robuchon or Guy Savoy. E is an experience to do 1 time. The experience has not MATERIALLY changed and therefore I would find it very hard to spend >50% more to return, unless it were comped.

                    1. re: LVI

                      Not sure if you were addressing this to me because I haven't said much other that I'm going to e, but I have not been to e before so this will be my first time . . . and curious how it compares to Next's El Bulli menu that I recently enjoyed in Chicago.

                  2. Okay - off to a great start with 3 dinners booked for end of June, beginning of July: Sunday at e, Monday at Raku and Tuesday at Kabuto. We're still undecided about Saturday and Wednesday. Sage is a strong possibility. Also considering Comme Ca, Bouchon, DOCG and American Fish . . . and of course Lotus of Siam. The only reason we might not go to Lotus is that we've both been there a few times - I couldn't possibly say anything negative about the food.

                    At this point I think we're considering places in the price range of the ones I mention as possibilities above, so if you've got any other suggestions (or comments about the possible choices) or reasons I really should consider trying one of these spots, please let me here from you. Having been to Sage and Lotus though, I know what I'm getting from those two.