Where can I walk in?
- justbeingpolite May 11, 2013 01:31 PM
Hi LV hounds;
I've researched a little on your board, thanks!
I have reservations for Lotus and for Sage. I'll probably be eating solo a couple of evenings. Where can I walk in solo without a reservation and get a seat and a great meal?
Any chance at Robuchon or e? Anywhere else you'd recommend that's a great place to eat at the bar?
thanks in advance, I'm coming at the end of May and like everything but unless you feel strongly, would avoid a steakhouse.
Your journey may literally bear a lot of ripe fruit - Las Vegas is arguably as solo-diner friendly as any city in North American (perhaps globally?). It has to be that way because of the convention traffic, but there is also a sleeper element that tends to go unappreciated - in many cases, if you are willing to dine at the bar, you can end up with a better experience than at a table.
Food service in Las Vegas remains average at best, and probably below average in reality. Like many "resort" communities, we lack the population base to bring the requisite numbers into play (think of all of those East coast resort towns that have to rely on college students to serve in the summer time). The kitchens at the higher-end restaurants will be well-manned, but we have far more restaurants than a city of this size ordinarily would, so staffing the rest of the house is an issue. As such, the standard of service won't meet the level of cuisine. We do not have enough "servers in waiting" to draw from. But bartenders are a different matter. If you decide to dine at the bar not only will you deal with someone of a higher industry pedigree in most cases, but whereas a server can be uninspired to deal with a solo table (anticipating a low ticket/tip), the bartender will generally be glad that you are there. Over the years, it would be difficult to track the number of times an extra "taster" course, or a post-meal digestif, was brought out to us on the house, when sitting at the bar (enough Amaro's at B&B to fill about a quarter of a barrel).
OK, enough of the general discourse. For your specifics, e may be difficult, but is still solo-friendly because it is so easy to interact with the others. You could check each day to see if they have an opening (and tell them that you are interested should they have a cancellation, leaving them some contact information). On weeknights you have a fair chance at L'Atelier, especially if you are willing to go early. So it really could come down to your preferences on a particular evening - off-hand, it is difficult to think of a single place on the Strip that does not offer good bar dining for a solo patron.
If there is an exception, it might be Lotus. There is no problem getting a high standard of service at a table there, and if you want to have a couple of different dishes at the same time, to play off of flavors and textures, a table will offer you much more room.
While I've dined solo at both é and Joel Robuchon, I would never think of simply "walking in" without a reservation. You might be able to get a last minute reservation especially if you're willing to dine mid-week. If you're not able to make a reservation, you should probably avoid the high-end restaurants. You should check OpenTable for last-minute reservations. I got a same-day reservation for Bar Masa via OpenTable in March.
Thanks all, for the help. I actually have a reservation at Lotus, and am bringing a friend and her son, so we'll be able to sample more, as QAW suggests. Another night I'll try to sit at the bar at L'Atelier , e, Bouchon, Joel Robuchon or carnevino. I've got a solo res at Sage as well, I'll keep that and see where they put me.