Thursday, July 24, 2008

WSOP Recap Part Three: Moon's Guide to Vegas Dining

I don’t like going to clubs. I despise negative-EV gambling. I don’t play live cash games. I suck at bowling. I spend around two months a year in Las Vegas. There are basically four things I enjoy doing here when I’m not in a poker tournament:
  1. Internet
  2. Going to movies
  3. Going to the gym
  4. Eating

I detest Las Vegas like nowhere else I’ve been, but it does have an incredibly array of restaurants. You could go to a different restaurant in Vegas every night of the year and enjoy every one. There are dozens of excellent places I’ve never been. If your favorite is not listed here, take it easy on me – I’ve probably never been. Post a comment and maybe I’ll go there the next time I’m in town. Here are twelve restaurants I recommend:

For old-school Vegas charm, Vic & Anthony’s downtown at The Golden Nugget is a solid choice. Steak, seafood, wine, and cocktails with smart service and few distractions.
Food ****
Price $$$$
Ambience !!!!

The new Carnevino at the Palazzo is a mouthwatering steakhouse on the Strip. I thank Michael Tedesco for introducing/treating Napoleon and I to one of the top five meals of my life here the night before the WSOP began.
Food *****
Price $$$$$
Ambience !!!!

Shibuya at the MGM Grand might be the finest upscale sushi place in Vegas. It certainly has the most extravagant sake list.
Food *****
Price $$$$$
Ambience !!

Nagoya, on the other hand, is for sake bombs and mediocre sushi. Way west of the Strip at Tropicana and Fort Apache, Nagoya is the perfect spot to roll into on a random weeknight when you’ve got nothing else to do. The staff encourages drinking and won’t be shy about joining in if it looks like you’re having a good time.
Food ***
Price $$
Ambience !!!!!

Kudos to the Shaniac, one of the most cultured Americans on the poker circuit, for introducing me to Rosemary’s, a top-notch restaurant off the Strip. One of the best spots, perhaps the best in Vegas, for a satisfactory well-rounded meal.
Food *****
Price $$$$
Ambience !!!!

The Lotus of Siam is a legendary Thai restaurant with an assuming location in a large strip mall on East Sahara. The Lotus features a vigorous and gigantic menu. Allot a couple hours here to do it right.
Food *****
Price $$
Ambience !!

For a breather during WSOP dinner breaks, there’s a quiet Pho place a few blocks west of the Rio on Flamingo. I’m not sure about the official name of the place; it says “Pho” and is in the same shopping center as a Subway and Ruth’s Chris.
Food ***
Price $
Ambience !!!

It’s three in the morning. You ate eight hours ago and since have filled your body with an assortment of alcoholic concoctions and possibly other chemicals. You need sustenance, and you need it now. Lucky for you (if you have a sober driver), you can get cheap-ass Mexican food 24/7 at one of the twelve million Roberto’s Taco Shops scattered throughout town.
Food **
Price $
Ambience **

Capriotti’s is the place to grab a sandwich for lunch. Like Roberto’s, it seems there is a franchise in every one of Las Vegas’s eight hundred strip malls. Don’t waste your time here on anything other than one of the “Cap’s Specials.” The “Bobbie”, a sandwich stuffed full of Thanksgiving ingredients, is the best bet.
Food **
Price *
Ambience **

For authentic Chinese, duck into the Gold Coast’s Ping Pang Pong. This is where Chinese people eat Chinese food – always a good sign. The taste to price ratio might be the best in Vegas.
Food ****
Price $
Ambience !!

If you find yourself on the Strip wasted late at night with the munchies, head over to the Grand Lux Café at the Venetian or Palazzo. The Lux has a huge, wild menu. Everyone in your group will find something satisfactory, then have no memory of it the next morning.
Food ***
Price $$
Ambience !!

For a casual, leisurely bite to eat, try the Terrace Pointe Café at the Wynn. This is a great spot for a snack, a beer, and relaxed conversation. Take advantage of the outside seating when available, as long as it’s not 112 degrees.
Food ***
Price $$$
Ambience !!!!

5 Comments:

Anonymous Amanda said...

Okay, so I pretty much kicked your ass in the "Top 10 Fruits" discussion... I understand you may be upset. But, not to mention the home cooked meals you get while you're in Vegas - that just hurts.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carnevino = best steak i've ever had... the lamb ragu was pretty tasty as well

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you like outdoors stuff?

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/relocating/best-places-to-live-2007/las-vegas/las-vegas-nevada.html

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to see your top 10 poker bloggers list. Mine would go something like this 1.Shaniac
2.Moon 3. Shannon Shorr etc.

- dukyboys

11:59 AM  
Blogger Kwicky said...

Moon -
I absoultely despise your rankings. Great restaurants, but horrible rankings on just about all your picks. Also, where is the service category? That is one of the most important categories! Do you know what ambiance (you spelled it wrong, btw) means?! You give Shibuya a !! for ambiance, but give Carnevino a !!!!??? Carnevino is excellent, don't get me wrong, but the ambiance is not one of the restaurant's strong suits. Nagoya a !!!!!?????????? WTF? Come on man...you are giving Roberto's a ** on food? You don't deserve to eat there if that's how you feel! You need to put more thought into your posts man, you got crushed by Amanda in the fruit post. I think there's some masochistic part of you that likes posting horrific picks/lines/etc. so that you get bashed by the wolf, gambler and myself, lol

4:49 PM  

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