Where You Should Eat in Las Vegas

Yusho
Courtesy of the Monte Carlo
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    The Restaurants You Have To Eat At In Las Vegas

    Photo Courtesy of MGM Mirage

    There are so many places to eat at in Las Vegas that I'm sure my list of must do restaurants could bulge to over 50 without me gaining a single pound. Each and every week I find something that I go on ranting about. Like clockwork I step into a restaurant and then find three things that I have to have. Soon, I'm telling everyone that will listen or read about it. I'm a maniac about food and drink.

    Therefore, this must do list of restaurants in Las Vegas changes all the time.  Do not confuse this list for the Best Restaurants In Las Vegas because that is another set of places I just love to jam the calories in at. Down below you'll find a few links to even more lists of places to eat and the following pages will give you a good idea of where you must go right now.

    Also, Check out the 88 Things You Must Do In Las Vegas

    These restaurants that follow are spots that you must try because they have specific dishes or items or ambiance or atmosphere that must be experienced in Las...MORE Vegas. They might be on the "best of Las Vegas" list, but are also must try spots.

    Here are even more ideas for places to eat in Las Vegas:

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    Momofuku at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

    Momofuku Las Vegas
    Momofuku Ramen in Las Vegas. Zeke Quezada

    Sensationally savory and much easier to get a table than New York City. The energy in the room is lively and the food coming out of their kitchen will excite you. Make sure to visit with friends just so that you can split the duck. It is as good of a dish as you will get anywhere. Momofuku Las Vegas is new and it already is a must do spot on the strip.

     

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    Morimoto at MGM Grand Las Vegas

    Morrimoto at MGM Grand Las Vegas. Zeke Quezada

    If you want elegant but modern Japanese cuisine there really is no beating Morimoto Las Vegas at MGM Grand. It is simply one of those destination restaurants that requires a few visits. The experience is varied depending on the path you choose. Sushi? Beef? Japanese favorites? It is so much and pack so many options in to a simple yet well thought out menu. This is your go to restaurant for Japanese cuisine in Las Vegas.

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    Carnevino at Palazzo Las Vegas

    Courtesy of The Palazzo Las Vegas

    There really is no point in me trying to describe just how good the beef is at Carnevino at Palazzo Resort. Imagine a world without oxygen. Try considering Las Vegas without lights. It is so good that you'll ask yourself why you have never had 8 month dry aged beef before. (I should warn you that it does come at a price.)

    However, if you need a description of just what makes this beef experience one of a kind, point to the fact that somewhere in Las Vegas and in the meat locker at Carnevino Las Vegas there are large pieces of beef sitting patiently, waiting for the one day when Chef Nicole Brisson decides they are ready to be served. She is like a mad scientist, a chemist, a guide and a meat angel wrapped into one. She seemingly performs miracles when she taps the piece of beef that has aged for 8 months to become the "Riserva" and prepares it to perfection. She can explain the nuances of aging and the flavor profiles that will delight your palate but realistically the...MORE moment the tableside carving begins and the aromatic platter starts sharing its pleasantries your life will be changed.

    Aging beef changes the beef in such a way that your experience will be unique to the cut of meat, the number of days it has aged, its preparation and the cow it came from. If you are a meat lover this is where your search for greatness ends.

    I recently took my 14 year old in to taste the Riserva at Carnevino at Las Vegas, his words were precisely how I imagined them to be:

    "I am not sure whether to be grateful that you brought me here or mad that you kept it from me for so long"  - Luke Quezada

    If you need more options for steak in Las Vegas, I have plenty of ideas. Just make sure to take your heart medicine and have enough space on that credit card to splurge on a good bottle of wine.

    Check Out TripAdvisor’s Best Deals in Las Vegas for Hotel Information

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    Flock and Fowl

    Flock and Fowl Las Vegas
    Hainan Chicken at Flock and Fowl Las Vegas. Zeke Quezada

    Flock and Fowl is the hole in the wall place that has to be on your to do list in Las Vegas because it is excellent. This spot would thrive in your neighborhood, in a fancy hotel or on a food truck. Get there!

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    Lago at Bellagio

    Brunch at Lago
    Brunch at Lago. Courtesy of the Bellagio

    You may hear about how great the view is at Lago at Bellagio but let me assure you that if you order correctly you might not ever take in the fountains from your table. Nope, the food will dominate your senses.

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    Carbone At Aria Las Vegas

    Spicy rigatoni vodka at Carbone.
    Spicy rigatoni vodka at Carbone. Courtesy of the Aria

    After your meal at Carbone at Aria you'll feel like you grew up Italian and every meal should be a celebration of big plates, big flavors and big laughs. Oh, and the big wine and big cocktails don't hurt the feeling either.

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    Rivea at Delano Las Vegas

    The dining room at Rivea.
    The dining room at Rivea. Courtesy of the Delano

    The view, the food, the wine, the cocktails and the company all make Rivea at Delano a memorable experience. This would be your date night restaurant followed up by your evening out when you choose to have drinks at Skyfall. Go up just for drinks and you'll be mesmerized by the view.

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    800 Degrees Pizza

    800 Degrees Pizza
    Courtesy of the Monte Carlo

    Possibly the best deal on the Las Vegas strip and every bit of it is a steal! Yes, 800 Degrees, is an incredible deal and once you go in you'll come back over and over. They have a location at SLS Las Vegas and at Monte Carlo Las Vegas. The opportunity to sit outside is huge at Monte Carlo and the before nightclub crowd will surround you at SLS.  

    Have yourself an original Neapolitan pizza as a bianca or a verde and then add in some soppressata and prosciutto. Amazing!

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    Therapy Las Vegas

    Therapy Bar Downtown Las Vegas
    Brian Millensmith

    You can assume that Therapy Las Vegas is going to make you happy because it part of their name, right? You know, you go in and get yourself straightened out and then your good. The cocktails get you started and then the modern day approach to a few favorites intrigue you and then a few of their favorites get you working on plans to return as soon as possible. It's a bar, it's a restaurant, it is a place to converge over good food in Downtown Las Vegas.

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    Della's Kitchen at The Delano Las Vegas

    The burger at Della's Kitchen
    The burger at Della's Kitchen. Courtesy of the Delano

    Della's Kitchen at The Delano Hotel is doing breakfast and lunch and you'll find plenty of items that will delight such as the Smoked Pork Benedict and the Portuguese Sausage  & Pastrami Hash for breakfast and the Porchetta Sandwich and Cubano Sandwich for lunch. (yes, there might be a bit of a pork slant in my preferential entrees).

    The real star of the show is the Delano Burger. Grass fed beef, soft bun and a superstar of a smoked pork belly to round out the flavors. There is just enough texture to get some crunch, and plenty of savory to get you to lick your lips. Salty makes an appearance and tomato helps out the sweet. This burger is an excursion for your taste buds down the flavor profile highway.

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    Sports Bar: Tap Vegas at MGM Grand

    TAP Vegas at the MGM Grand
    TAP Vegas at the MGM Grand. Courtesy of the MGM Grand

    Everybody needs a favorite sports bar because we all need a place for beer and good fried food while watching a hockey game. Tap Vegas at MGM Grand is exactly what you seek when you  need beer, food and plenty of televisions to watch any sporting event. (you should be watching hockey, though)

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    Kumi Japanese Restaurant and Bar at Mandalay Bay

    Chef Akira Back
    Chef Akira Back. Courtesy of Mandalay Bay

     This is what I wrote about Kumi Japanese Restaurant the first time I sat in the restaurant and it has not changed:

    "From the sushi bar to the lounge to the dining room you’ll get a sense of Las Vegas mixed in with a touch of nightlife vibe along with a casual spot to sit and chat. Chat, not talk, talking seems too formal. Kumi is that spot with good food and drinks that you’ll talk about to your friends when you get back home. It’s casual, comfortable and perfect for an after conference casual meeting or a fun date night. It’s nice but not too nice. It’s good but not expensive. It has class without having to be classy."

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    Carson Kitchen Downtown Las Vegas

    Carson Kitchen in Downtown Las Vegas
    Zeke Quezada

    I want you to consider something really healthy before you have a few beers and devour the burger and chicken skins at Carson Kitchen. You might want to hold onto that menu after you order because your eyes will definitely be bigger than your stomach.

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    Five 50 Pizza Bar at Aria Las Vegas

    Pepperoni pizza at Aria's Five50
    Pepperoni pizza at Aria's Five50. Courtesy of Aria

    This is my best description of what you get at Five50 Pizza Bar at Aria Las Vegas:

    "Put a talented chef in charge and you realize that this is not a typical pizza joint. What you get at Five50 Pizza Bar is a pizza that does not adhere to the rules. This is a combination of a few styles that incorporates higher heat but not crazy heat and a little char to add flavor but no so much as to be an issue. Backing off the thick but adding to the thin you end up with a pizza that falls in between so much so that it feels new. What a novel idea, a new way to look at pizza."

    You should probably consider eating now.

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    Umami Burger at SLS Las Vegas

    Umami Burger at SLS Las Vegas
    Umami Burger at SLS Las Vegas.

    This is the savory burger that alters your apporach to tasting the simplicity behind a piece of meat between two buns. Umami Burger at SLS Las Vegas delivers with a beer garden and a spot to place bets on games while you eat. The burger, well, you love the soft bun and the umami ketchup that pulls together the savory with the salty and sweet.

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    Public House Venetian

    Poutine at Public House Las Vegas
    Poutine at Public House Las Vegas.

    Beer, poutine and even more beer. Public House at Venetian Las Vegas is the spot for the beer lover who needs to try as many different beers as possible. If you have a passion for the suds this is the place where you'll go to research your craft.

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    Shake Shack Las Vegas

    Shake Shack Las Vegas
    Shake Shack in Las Vegas. Zeke Quezada

    A burger is just a burger but when it is very affordable and comes with a tasty shake and plenty of flavor it becomes a must do meal. Shake Shack at New York- New York Las Vegas is exactly what you will expect from a fast food burger that is just as good as a gourmet burger but for half the price.

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    DJT at Trump Las Vegas

    Seared crab cake at DJT
    Seared crab cake at DJT. Courtesy of Trump Hotels

    There are times when you have a dish that sets you back into a mode where nothing is good anymore. Chef Sydney L. Jones did this to me. His simple Capellini put me on injured reserve for a few months. The simple pasta dish packed with so much loveliness ruined all meals for me for a few weeks. Simple, really, heirloom tomatoes, basil and bottarga and so much flavor that I have had to go in a few more times just to make sure I am not crazy. It is as comfortable a dish as you can find and it fits any situation and any mood. It is a must at DJT at Trump Las Vegas

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    Jaleo at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

    Dessert at Jaleo
    Jan Mark Holzer/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    When you walk into Jaleo at Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas you'll notice the long bar that will tempt you into a cocktail and then your eyes will creep over to the wood fired grill with the paella going strong. You'll be tempted, oh, you will. Please be strong. While you should try the paella you have to understand that the tapas concept done correctly by Jose Andres is the reason why you will have a meal at Jaleo. Now, if you are just looking for a quick snack with a drink, you must have the Mini Pepito De Iberico: Spanish mini burger made from the legendary, acorn-fed, black-footed Iberico pigs of Spain with iberico bacon.

    What are you waiting for? You should be there right now having this.

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    Giada at the Cromwell Las Vegas

    Giada Las Vegas
    Courtesy of Giada

    Find a seat near the rail at Giada Las Vegas at The Cromwell and you might have the best view on the strip from any restaurant. The Italian food is not so bad either and the atmosphere is lively, up beat and a version of Vegas that you just might like.  Giada is not in the kitchen every night but if she is you can be sure that she will walk the dining room and take picture with just about anybody that wants a new profile picture.

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    Pantry At Mirage

    Pancakes at the Pantry at the Mirage
    Courtesy of the Mirage

    Decadence for breakfast but it is open 24 hours a day. That means that you can load up on their smashed potatoes right before you attempt to drink yourself silly or you can walk right in  before bed at 5am. Either way, you'll be treated to big portions at The Pantry at Mirage Las Vegas and experience a step up in the breakfast game on the Las Vegas strip.

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    Country Club at Wynn Las Vegas

    CountryClubBarbaraKraft.jpg

     If you take a seat on the patio with a view of the Wynn golf course you'll have a hard time imagining that Las Vegas could feel so tranquil and serene. The Country Club New American Steakhouse has long been among the best in Las Vegas for dining experiences so it should not be surprising that this is a must do spot.   If you like consistency, this is the spot for a meal in Las Vegas.

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    Delmonico at Venetian Las Vegas

    Steak at Delmonico in Las Vegas
    Courtesy of Delmonico Steakhouse

    You'll sit at the bar at Delmonico Steakhouse at Venetian Las Vegas and you'll look up at their Whiskey collection. Take a deep breath and imagine the possibilities. Just how many of them could you possibly try? They have over 700 choices and the guy behind the bar, Max Solano is a genius when it comes to brown spirits. Talk to him or better yet, have him talk to you about what you should try. Be a sponge and he will fill you with information. Get to the bar early and he might even make you a drink from his special menu. (as long as there is not a lot of people waiting for drinks)

    Food, oh yeah, they have that and they do it real well. Bacon and bourbon is always a good choice.

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    Burger Bar at Mandalay Place at the Mandalay Bay Hotel

    Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay
    Courtesy of Mandalay Bay

    You're craving a burger and a beer? Should you ever pay $60 for a burger? No. Why waste that much money on fine Kobe beef ground up into a patty? I don't see the point. If you want it they have it.

    What you should be having at the Burger Bar?

    A simple Angus Burger for about $12. It's still a bit pricey for a burger but it's Las Vegas and you're having fun. If you're willing to sit in front of a slot machine or at a blackjack table you should be fine with a decent meal every now and then.

    Get the details on the Burger Bar

    The best restaurants in Las Vegas change on a regular basis, Check out the Best Restaurants in Las Vegas for the most updated version of the best.

    Sit at the bar and order one of 24 beers they have on tap or any of the numerous bottles they have by the bottle. As for the Burger, simple always works with a great burger. Bread and a quality piece of beef should be enough. However, for research purposes I had the grilled onions, jalapeños and some...MORE sprouts. (the sprouts are an attempt to placate my doctor who really is pushing for me to incorporate more greens into my diet, apparently too much alcohol is not good for you).

    Crusty outside and tender in the middle should be how you describe a quality burger. The crusty keeps in some of the best flavors known to man and the tender releases the flavors you need to please your palate. How a simple piece of beef can transform into a culinary delight is beyond me, but it happens inside that package of oozing meat.

    After a couple of beers, a few onion rings and some tasty fries I figured I would have desert, I opted for a Frozen Elvis:
    Skyy Vanilla Vodka, Malibu Banana Rum, Bols white creme de dacao, Bols Banana Liqueur, peanut butter, banana puree, frozen topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

    If you any thing left order a Watermelon Mojito and enjoy the fuzzy feeling that engulfs your head.

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    Bouchon at Venetian

    Waffles at Bouchon
    blackeiffel/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    You might not be able to get a table at French Laundry in Napa but Thomas Keller's brilliance in the kitchen comes through almost as good at Bouchon at Venetian Las Vegas. Yes, that may sound like a stretch but you have to experience it to understand what I'm talking about. Attentive service, spot on craftsmanship in the kitchen and an atmosphere so alluring that you ponder having a second and a third meal here.

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    Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood Hotel

    Gordon Ramsay Burgr
    Courtesy of Gordon Ramsay Burgr

    You can forget the loud obnoxious personality of Gordon Ramsay and just focus on the food and you'll be happy that you have decided on Gordon Ramsay BurGR at Planet Hollywood  for a meal in Las Vegas. Now, you might walk in for a burger and you'll get a pretty good version but the truth is the hot dog is where the action is at. Yes, it is just another version of meat between bread but the snap of the wiener and the soft bread go right with a pint of beer. Have a shake if you decided against the alcoholic beverage or have an alcoholic shake instead.

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    Jean Georges Steakhouse at Aria Las Vegas

    Jean Georges Steakhouse
    Courtesy of the Aria

    I am drawn to the bar area at Jean Georges Steakhouse at Aria Las Vegas because it is feels very comfortable in a restaurant that can be considered fine dining. This steakhouse is "Vegas fine dining" so it also feels like an ultra lounge where the lighting makes you look good and the wine list is bulging with plenty of treasures. The room is dark and "clubby" but the food is classic and intriguing. I like the dark corners for a date night meal or for a hideaway excursion with a new friend.

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    Spago at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace

    Pancetta-wrapped meatloaf at Spago

    It is possible to have a better meal in Las Vegas but the experience at Spago Las Vegas is still as good as it was when this was THE spot for a meal in Las Vegas. I have been a sucker for the meatloaf for most of my adult life but a seat in the cafe with a glass of wine and good conversation is unbeatable. This is still among the best restaurants in Las Vegas so seriously consider Spago and you'll realize that it is also relatively affordable compared to some of the very best spots for a meal on the Las Vegas strip.

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    STK at Cosmopolitan

    STK Las Vegas
    Courtesy of the Cosmopolitan

    My description of STK Las Vegas:

    "I have a tendency to have too much fun. I have the tendency to take the party to the next level even if that means I’m the last one smiling while everyone is already done. I want to move in my seat and I want to get the full experience. If there is a place in Las Vegas that has the recipe for a good time it’s STK at the Cosmopolitan. The bar sitting right in the middle of the action, the DJ spinning records off to the side and an atmosphere that makes you want to lean over and whisper into a strangers ear."

    Do you question why you must have a meal there?

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    Caesars Palace Buffet

    Caesars Buffet
    Courtesy of Caesars Palace

    You must think I'm crazy when I tell you that you have to visit a buffet in Las Vegas. It's as if I turned the hands of time back to the days of super cheap meals. Well, no, I didn't do that and this is not a cheap buffet but you will get a very good meal and you'll be able to put down as much quality food as you can.

    Get the details on the Caesars Palace Buffet

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    Enoteca Otto at the Venetian Hotel in the Grand Canal Shoppes

    Enoteca San Marcos Las Vegas. Zeke Quezada

    What do you love about wine?

    What do you love about eating?

    What do you love about great service?

    If you put them together, focus on great Italian wines and simple, flavorful menu choices you get Enoteca San Marcos at the Venetian. Don't forget that they have transported some of the nicest people in Las Vegas to Italy and back and have created a customer service gem. If you want attentive service, passionate food and wine guides and a very comfortable atmosphere, Enoteca is the place for you. This is truly an Italian wine bar with the hospitality of a small village eatery in Piemonte.

    Get more details on Enoteca San Marcos

    If you eat at only one place in Las Vegas and you love Italian wines (or hope to one day love Italian wines) Enoteca San Marcos is your only choice.

    Highlights:

    • Very Impressive wine list, a ton of Barolos and Barbarescos
    • Meals from $10 - 25.
    • Customer service is incredible, they take the time to discuss wine and they display a passion for what they are doing.
    • Listening to...MORE the manager discuss wine and food from Italy transports you to a small village in Tuscany where you search for the perfect vegetables to pair with the great bottle you just found.
    • The pasta triggered taste receptors that I did not know existed. The salad, while simple accented the wine perfectly and put me in the mood for a fabulous meal.
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    Tableau at Wynn Las Vegas

    Tableau at the Wynn
    Courtesy of the Wynn

    There are very restaurants in Las Vegas that give you a resort feel like Tableau at Wynn Las Vegas does. The room is bright with tones of relaxation and vacation bliss. Maybe it is the view of the pool or the fresh approach to seasonal ingredients but is you need to sit back and reset with an afternoon meal, this is your spot.

    It feels like this should be a bright Sunday brunch spot, (it is) but it is more of a fine way to spend a weekday lunch that deserves a little class.

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    Off The Strip at the LINQ

    The R.I.P! sandwich, with fried eggs, hickory bacon, smoked ham, smoked cheddar and arugula on a toasted baguette
    The R.I.P! sandwich, with fried eggs, hickory bacon, smoked ham, smoked cheddar and arugula on a toasted baguette. Courtesy of the Off the Strip

    Full disclosure: I did not completely enjoy this restaurant when my meal began. It grew on me. I returned later in the day and then I enjoyed it a little more. I stopped in later in the evening and I had a couple of great drinks and met some fun people. I then returned very late in the evening and had another meal and I was sold. Off The Strip at the LINQ Las Vegas has to be on your late night bites list.

    It has to.

    That is your reason for staying out late and having a big meal at 3am in Las Vegas.

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    Pub 1842 at MGM Grand Las Vegas

    Pub 1842
    Courtesy of MGM Grand

    Fish and Chips and beer is all you really need right? Well, at Pub 1842 at MGM Grand Las Vegas you can also get fried pickles and a lobster roll that you will kill for. The room is casual enough for a long afternoon of watching sports or put together enough for a quick business meeting.  It's pub food with an approach that takes the comfort aspect of it all and adds a touch of specialty and talent. Michael Mina knows fine dining so imagine that you went over to his house on a Sunday afternoon to catch a football game and he decided to take of care of the munchies.

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    Strip Steak at Mandalay Bay Hotel Las Vegas

    Strip Steak at Mandalay Bay
    Zeke Quezada

    There is no reason you should have a bad steak in Las Vegas. Michael Mina is making that a possibility by infusing the dining scene with technology. Strip Steak features two wood-burning grills and six circulating, slow-poaching chambers. The explanation from the server was good but my red wine infused brain was not as lucid as it should have been. This is their description of the process by which they turn out great beef:

    Get the details on Strip Steak

    The signature slow-poaching method enhances flavor and tenderness by heating the meat for several hours at a low temperature, while the mesquite-stoked grills infuse every cut with a subtle smokiness.

    Yeah, it works. While I am all for dropping a monster piece of beef on a grill and giving it 6 minutes per side and pairing it with a fine red, this process pulled my salivary glands in all directions and brought the meat back to life. Imagine a gourmet backyard Bar-B-Q where the food tasted like the best Fourth of July ever. The food gave me...MORE that comfortable feeling of early afternoon, warm sun and the incredibly content feeling of a fantastic eating experience.

    The fine wine helps the process but the food easily stands alone.

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    Citizens Kitchen and Bar at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas

    Citizens Kitchen and Bar
    Zeke Quezada

    Listen to me and realize that I am in love with West Maui, so anything that even remotely reminds me of my time there instantly becomes a love. The Banana Pancakes at Citizens Kitchen and Bar do just that:

    "Banana pancakes - Fried eggs, banana nut pancakes that rival the Gazebo Restaurant in Napili bay. If you take a bite and close your eyes you can almost see Molokai in the distance. Too bad there is no Portuguese sausage fried rice on the menu. Get a little extra sweet creme. It's the mac sauce that makes it great. I’m not crazy when I tell you that this is almost as good as going to West Maui for breakfast. Almost."

     Aloha!

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    Fat Choy Las Vegas at Eureka Casino

    Fat Choy Las Vegas
    Zeke Quezada

    If you are going to go off strip you have to make it worthwhile and Fat Choy inside a tiny locals casino will deliver exactly what you would expect from a Chef who is plowing his own way through the Vegas culinary scene.

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    Ceviche at Carlos and Charlie's inside Flamingo Las Vegas

    Ceviche at Carlos and Charlies
    Zeke Quezada

    I can't help it but I really enjoy the ceviche at Carlos 'n Charlies at Flamingo Las Vegas. I just do. It's a horrible thing. I mean, I find a stool on the back patio and then I indulge in way too many margaritas and then I will devour the entire batch with chips and salsa. It's a sickness. Soon, I'm dancing in a conga line and taking shots with strangers.

    If there is a spot too have fun and really get into the Las Vegas spirit this is it. It's not fancy, pretentious or in anyway the type of place that frowns on you laughing, singing or having a good time.

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    Yusho At Monte Carlo Las Vegas

    Yusho
    Courtesy of the Monte Carlo

    What makes you happy? Wait, don't answer, just order a drink and look at the menu at Yusho Las Vegas and you'll soon see that there is a something happening in that kitchen that will bring a smile to your face and end all of your cravings. Savory, salty, spicy or sweet they have it.

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    Lagasse's Stadium at Palazzo Las Vegas

    Lagasse's Stadium
    Courtesy of the Venetian

    If you need good food with your sports then there is no other place you need to know about in Las Vegas. Lagasse's Stadium gives you a great place to watch a game and is packed with a menu that makes you look forward to overtime.