2.08.2008

Las Vegas Dining

A while ago I started to plan out our trip to Las Vegas, and I had a hard time trying to decide which side of Vegas we were going to see. Well, of course I decided we would try to do the culinary side.....on a budget.

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My Husband and Chef Puck

Day one
So, any good trip starts with a plane ride, and a plane ride starts with airport food! When we arrived at the airport we ate at one of the only non sports bar restaurants (no clue what the name is). My review of it is, Ya' know, good but nothing to write in a blog about :-)


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Panini, coleslaw and fries

When we got to Vegas later that night we arrived late, so only had time to eat dinner. During my initial planning, I researched some sushi places to eat. Out of the MANY sushi places in Vegas, we went to The Grand Wok and Sushi Bar at the MGM Grand. The place is small, so there was a little bit of wait to get seated, but that ended up working well because we spent that time at the lion exhibit - just in time for their feeding!

Anyways, we had the tuna tataki for an appetizer, and for dinner we had the California roll, Nevada roll, and miso soup.

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Rolled sushi at the MGM Grand

Alright, now the food wasn't bad, but I defiantly can't rave about it. IMO, the Mall of America has a better sushi bar. The tuna tataki was really lacking in flavor and I thought the tuna was cut too thick. I also like my tuna tataki served with avocado and tomato, and this one was served with raw onion and pickled ginger. Out of the two rolls, I'd have to say the Nevada roll was the best. It had a lot of flavor, and the sauce over the top was good. But, there was something about the rice I didn't like - and the rice is a big deal in sushi!

Overall, I wouldn't go back - especially for the price you pay!

Day Two
For the sake of convenience, we ate at a restaurant in the lobby of our hotel, called America. The place is pretty nice, they have food and drinks 24 hours a day, and the decor includes a GIANT 3D map of the US, and each state has little 3D pieces that represent the state (kind of like what you would find on the back of a quarter). If you go, you feel kind of silly staring up at the ceiling, but soon you'll notice you're not the only one
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As for the food, it was good. My husband had the all you can eat pancakes (pretty standard there) and I had some sort of tropical oatmeal. What made it tropical was it came with a side of candied/dried fruit bits. I didn't really like that, so I just had it with milk and brown sugar.

For dinner, we just wandered around until we found a place that looked interesting yet casual. We ended up eating at Stack House in the Mirage hotel. This was probably my favorite place we ate at in the whole trip. It's considered fine dining, so it came with good service, good food, good atmosphere, but I thought the dining wasn't so "fine" that I felt uncomfortable. The only thing I don't like was that it was dark in there, and I just have this thing about not liking to eat my food in the dark. It was so dark in there the waiters walked around with flash lights!

When you arrive you are greeted with option of "Dinner" or "Drinks and appetizers". We choose Dinner! We started off with a Wings "Buffalo Style". They were delicious and presented very nicely. I liked that they cleaned off part of the bone so you could eat the wings without getting messy!!

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For the main course, my husband ordered the Ultimate Kobe Stacked Burger and I ordered the fish tacos. Of course the Kobe burger was great. My husband had never heard of Kobe beef, so I told him he must order it and he should just trust me. Around Wisconsin, the best burger I tend to find is an Angus burger so I was excited to see Kobe on the menu. I decided on the Crunchy Tuna Tacos. I wasn't sure what to expect here because every place seems to have it's own way of making fish tacos. What I got was surprisingly small, yet surprisingly good. It was four mini tacos filled with fresh, raw tuna and served with mango-wasabi mojo. For the size, I thought it was weird to consider this an entree, but the quality of the tuna was good, so I didn't complain.

I would like to rave about their bread though! They served us a variety of uniquely flavored bread sticks. My favorite was the dark bread with greek olives in it!

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Day Three
This was a very special day for us. Ever since I first saw Cirque Du Soleil on Bravo, I've always dreamed of seeing them live. So, we deiced to see "O" at the Bellagio and bought our tickets with one of their dinner packages. The package came your choice of seating and three pre-selected menu options from three different "lake view" restaurants. We chose to sit on the main floor and we ate at Jasmine.

Our Menu
(I didn't take any pictures of the food because I thought it would look a little cheesy in a nice restaurant. But everything was just as small and simple as most people would image an expensive dinner to be.)

Cantonese Ribs and Spring Rolls for an appetizer.
The ribs were very good and simple and the spring rolls came with three dipping sauce, though i'm not sure what they were.

Grilled Salmon and Sweet and Sour pork for main course.

The salmon was very tender and the buttery sauce nicely hid the normal fishy taste of salmon. The salmon was served on a bed of delicious vegis. The sweet and sour pork I thought we pretty standard, the only unique thing was it was served in a hallowed-out half pineapple.

Coconut Ice Cream for dessert.
This was my favorite! It was so delicious and refreshing. The coconut flavor was overpowering but in a good way. This was served with some frozen berries on top.

Me, being me wanted a drink with my dinner so I asked the waiter if they had any drink specials. He brought out a menu and pointed out his favorite, and without reading what it was, I said I'll take it! I was expecting some sort of tall mixed drink to come my way, but instead I got pot of hot water and a jasmine flower in the bottom of the cup. Now, it's not what I expected, but it was VERY good. I love tea, and this was the first time I have had this type of tea. Our waiter attended to my drink as if it was his own. He repeatedly came over to make sure I had enough hot water, and that I was letting the flower sit long enough before I drank the tea, and that I was holding my cup properly. Which I'd admit was helpful. My husband had a good ole' Sam Adams.

Day four
On the last day we only had about 30 min to grab some breakfast before we had to catch our cab to the airport. So we just ran down to the lobby again to Il Fornaio, an Italian restaurant. What was nice about this restaurant was it was all authentic Italian food (as far as I could tell anyways). I just wanted some toasted wheat bread, and I ended up getting a whole basket of fresh Italian bread. Other than that, nothing special there either. We both had omelets for breakfast and than ran out in a flash. The only strange thing about this breakfast experience was we were in what seemed to be a slightly upscale/casual restaurant, trying to more authentic than an Olive Garden, and our waiter comes to our table and greets us with his gold grill.

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