Thanks to all the chowhounds out there for the recommendations for dining in Vegas. I did a fair amount of research prior to my visit this week (April 27-30, 2003). I was looking for good food, but also wanted a fun atmosphere. I was there with a couple of friends and wanted to get a diverse feel for the current Vegas scene. I chose the following restaurants:
Commander's Palace in the Desert Passage (near Aladdin)
Lotus of Siam
Memphis Championship BBQ
Mon Ami Gabi(Paris hotel)
Commander's Palace was our first stop. Two of the three of us chose the special of turtle soup, pecan crusted fish, and bread pudding souffle. The turtle soup was good, especially with extra sherry. The crusted fish was dry, but with the sauces it was good, not great. The souffle was ok. I didn't care for the meringue on top (just for presentation IMO) and the souffle was good, but nothing special. Overall, good meal, but not exceptional.
Lotus of Siam. I tried the sour sausage & crispy rice appetizer with the seabass special. My friends had the buffet. They loved the soup (not sure what it was) and thought the rest of the meal was good, but not exceptional. I thought the sour sausage & crispy rice appetizer was excellent (but quite hot!), and the seabass was good, but not great. The buffet was under $10. The seabass was around $19 but they didn't charge me for the appetizer. Overall, great deal, and a good meal.
Memphis Championship BBQ: We went to the location on Warm Springs south of the airport. This was a newer branch, and had a good atmosphere IMO. Two of us got the baby back ribs, and the other a BBQ sandwich. The BBQ sandwich was just ok according to my friend. The ribs were good, but not extraordinary (Houston's in LA is better). The ribs did grow on me though. No complaints with them. Good, but not great. I didn't bother with the fries.
Delmonico's: This was my favorite restaurant of the trip. I absolutely loved the filet mignon. Excellent! Medium-rare: not a big portion, but great flavor and texture. My friends ordered the rib-eye on the bone - they both said it was good, but not as good as the filet mignon (i gave them a bite of my filet). The truffle parmesan chips were really good. I loved the chocolate souffle also. One friend had the rasberry cheesecake which I tasted - really good - but not really sweet. The other had some other chocolate dish that didn't look as appealing. Expensive - about $90 per person, but worth it IMO. It has a modern decor and good service.
Mon Ami Gabi: Great location in the Paris hotel across from the Bellagio. Great atmosphere inside & out. We ate on the patio for lunch. My friends tried the filet mignon (good but not great according to them). I had the steak frites classique which was exceptionally tender & flavorful. The fries are just ok IMO. One friend tried the market salad and loved it. For dessert we split the banana foster crepe (big enough to split) and we all loved it. There was a mime out on the Blvd who entertained those on the patio. The patio was packed. We got there at 11:20 and there was a line for the 11:30 opening. This is a great spot for lunch. Definitely recommend it.
Hope to go back next year for more dining adventures!