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Bargain eats in Vegas? Plus, Lotus of Siam still good?

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essvee Oct 7, 2013 05:30 PM

Going to Vegas, first time in forever. Want to eat well but not break the bank. Mon Ami Gabi looks good. Golden Steer any good? And, does Lotus of Siam still deliver? Thanks.

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    essvee Oct 9, 2013 03:27 PM

    So I've had recommendations for Golden Steer, Bob Taylor's and Circus Circus for old school steakhouse without breaking the bank. Who's got the best steaks? Looks like the Circus Circus place includes sides, the others are pay as you go. What do you think? Thanks all for the recommendations so far.

    3 Replies
    1. re: essvee
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      Eric Oct 9, 2013 04:51 PM

      Bob Taylor's is way off of the Strip. It's not worth the trip unless you have a car. A cab ride will cost about $75 plus tip each way.

      1. re: essvee
        Steve Green Oct 9, 2013 05:04 PM

        For price-to-value, I vote for Circus Circus. They have dry-aged beef as good as any of the other places, IMO. Two drawbacks though:
        1. Sides are mediocre
        2. You have to walk through the gauntlet of the Circus Circus casino, with its low rollers, strollers/diaper molecules, etc., to get there. However, once you're there, it's a nice oasis in the middle of all that nastiness.

        1. re: essvee
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          HaroldandMaude Dec 16, 2013 03:00 PM

          Golden Steer is not what most would consider "bargain eats".

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          kagemusha49 Oct 8, 2013 10:50 PM

          There are some good Chinese choices in Vegas that certainly won't break the bank. You could do worse than Shaanxi Gourmet (they sort of specialize in noodles) and Ping Pang Pong come to mind.

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            mlgagnon Oct 8, 2013 05:25 PM

            We have never been to any of the high end steak houses, but love to sit on the patio at Mon Ami Gabi. The food meets our needs, love the people watching and Bellagio fountains. Never eaten inside there.

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              fledflew Oct 8, 2013 01:37 PM

              Lotus of Siam used to be good, but they started a downhill journey about 3-4 years ago and it has become a tourist trap. I think people get excited about it due to the hype and then convince themselves it was a good meal. I've been going there for about 10 years and they were one of the best back in the day. Ever since they expanded a few years ago, their food has been on a steady decline. The food is no longer anything special (mediocre in fact) and there are several other Thai places that serve much better food, with better service, at a lower price point. Most of the sauces and curries come out jar or can now. The portions are much smaller than what they used to be. If you're craving Thai food in Las Vegas, there are plenty of better places to go.

              10 Replies
              1. re: fledflew
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                Philber Oct 8, 2013 02:40 PM

                We have been to Chada Thai and Le Thai; enjoying both. What other Thai restaurants would you recommend?

                1. re: Philber
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                  fledflew Oct 8, 2013 10:20 PM

                  I've also enjoyed meals at Le Thai and Chada. I think the beef noodle soup at Le Thai is definitely one of the better versions in town. As far as other Thai places, I also really like Marnee, Nittaya's, Krung Siamm, and Penn's (in that order).

                  1. re: fledflew
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                    Philber Oct 9, 2013 05:43 AM

                    Thanks! We have eaten lunch at Penn, but not tried the other three. They are now on the radar.

                2. re: fledflew
                  Leo in BR Oct 8, 2013 06:08 PM

                  I visit Lotus every trip to LV and have not noticed any such decline. Re: canned sauces - what? Have you been in their kitchen? Sure don't taste canned!

                  1. re: fledflew
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                    Dave Feldman Oct 8, 2013 07:20 PM

                    I'm not going to debate the merits of Lotus of Siam, but you made a serious charge, and one I know not to be true.

                    1. re: Dave Feldman
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                      fledflew Oct 8, 2013 10:21 PM

                      I apologize for my wording above. I should have and meant to say that many of the sauces and curries taste canned. I do not know for a fact whether or not they are. What I do know is that they are not the same ones that they were serving several years ago. Of the people that I've spoken with at length about this, many of them have noticed this as well. Previously, the curries had a more distinct texture from the galangal, chiles, etc. Now it's an extremely smooth paste. Additionally, the sharp flavor from fresh aromatics and the fruity complex character from the chiles is no longer present in the panang that they're serving. It now tastes just like a curry paste that is available from Thailand - Namprik Maesri brand to be exact. Is it bad? No. Whether or not it's in use at POS, I don't know. I do know that a lot of their food has changed in both flavor, freshness, and portion size from a few years ago. With the exception of some of their specialty dishes, the food is generally unremarkable now and comparable food can be found at other Thai restaurants in LV.
                      Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's a bad restaurant - it just isn't the holy grail of Thai food that it once was. I used to eat there all the time. They even gave me a staff shirt back in the day because they used to joke about how often I ate there, that I should work there. It's just no longer worth the wait, the shrinking portions, the hit or miss service, and the higher than average prices.

                      1. re: fledflew
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                        kagemusha49 Oct 8, 2013 10:49 PM

                        The ingredients at LOS taste fresh to me.

                        1. re: kagemusha49
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                          flavrmeistr Dec 11, 2013 05:36 PM

                          I took 8 people to Lotus of Siam for dinner last night. Lobster, sea bass, crispy duck, nam sod, prik king, massaman--everything was excellent. If anything, it was even better than my last visit. Lotus of Siam May not be the best in town, but it's pretty dang good.

                    2. re: fledflew
                      Steve Green Oct 9, 2013 04:59 PM

                      Lotus of Siam serves the best Thai food I've ever eaten, bar none. I've taken many out-of-town guests there (some who really know good food), and they all rave about it.

                      I guess those people who give out the James Beard awards don't know what they're talking about.

                      1. re: Steve Green
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                        ns1 Dec 31, 2013 06:02 PM

                        I wonder when was the last time those James Beard people were in Thailand.

                        just sayin'

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                      Eric Oct 7, 2013 09:15 PM

                      Charlie Palmers The Cut of the Week at the Four Seasons. Three course meal with unlimited wine with the first two courses for $48 per person.

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                        primebeefisgood Oct 7, 2013 07:08 PM

                        LOS absolutely delivers! Don't miss it.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: primebeefisgood
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                          essvee Oct 8, 2013 12:06 PM

                          Thanks all. Any other suggestions would be great.

                          1. re: primebeefisgood
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                            essvee Oct 8, 2013 12:07 PM

                            Would enjoy old school steak house vibe. Is Golden Steer worth it? The Circus Circus place? What say you folks?

                            1. re: essvee
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                              Mister F. Oct 8, 2013 03:59 PM

                              Yes, Golden Steer is worth it. I've dined there a dozen times over the past 30 years, most recently in March. Terrific "old Vegas" vibe, because it is Old Vegas. Outstanding Caesar salad. The steaks have always been prepared to my specification. The prime beef has that minerally rich flavor good beef has. The big sirloin is the thing to order. The Italian entrees have been good (chicken and artichoke hearts come to mind). If you ask, and learn there are good tomatoes, try the tomato, pimiento, and anchovy salad. Get a baked potato Peyton Manning couldn't wrap his hand around. Sit in the Sammy Davis Jr. banquette and gaze at a colorful crowd composed of veteran high-rollers, customers who remember "old Vegas," and those who, for a moment, wish they were old enough to. And, the bartender will pour you a drink with his very generous hand. The price point is slightly lower than those at a number of celebrity-chef-driven steakhouses on the Strip (at least it was in March). It is a fun place.

                          2. Njchicaa Oct 7, 2013 06:53 PM

                            Lunch at Estiatorio Milos at Cosmopolitain. $22.13 for 3 courses.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Njchicaa
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                              mlgagnon Oct 8, 2013 06:31 PM

                              Planning to eat lunch there next month.

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