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Las Vegas Report (Long)

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Restaurants & Bars 3

Las Vegas Report (Long)

LM | Dec 22, 2002 12:17 AM

Well. After reading all the fuss about Lotus of Siam, I finally had the opportunity to go last week, not once, but twice, and experienced two absolutely bewitching meals--dishes festooned with myriad textures and flavors. Like many others, I've eaten Thai food all over the world, and this was by far the best I've sampled. Service was gracious, genuine, and animated. I loved the people who work there, especially Bill, the owner, whose wife is the chef. I would have gone back a third time, but there were other places we wanted to check out. On our second visit, we asked the chef to make us five different dishes of her choice, and all were spectacular.

I also highly recommend Mon Ami Gabi. Eric is right; this place is wonderful, especially the steak frites, and again, service was excellent. Actually, I found that service just about everywhere in Vegas was far superior to what I've experienced in other cities, the sole exception being the people working at the Venetian, where we stayed. Mon Ami Gabi reminds me of Balthazar in NYC--energetic, sexy, and intoxicating.

I thought Wild Sage was good, but certainly not great, although after three days of hoopla, I welcomed the mellow atmosphere and downscaled wine list. And I wasn't crazy about Viva Mercado's. The soft corn asada tacos were fine, but the fajitas, which have generated raves, were strictly run of the mill. I did like the fact that they have 10 different salsas from which to choose at dinner (you need to ask for them at lunch), but none of them really wowed me.

We also had dinner at the Pink Taco in the Hard Rock Hotel, and frankly, I thought the Mexican food there was better than Viva Mercado's--fresh, chunky guacamole, very good salsas, and terrific New Mexican style burritos.

Last, but not least, Renoir. The staff was flawless, completely in sync with one another, but never intrusive, the atmosphere is plush and intimate, and the food nearly reaches cult status French.

As an aside, if you plan to see a show while you're in Vegas and don't want to spend $110 a pop on tickets for "O", check out the quintessential Las Vegas show, "Jubilee." It was brilliant!

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