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Vegas rpt. - Mon Ami Gabi, LOS, Bouchon, Border Grill

Snackish | Dec 9, 200508:38 PM

I'm on my second day in Vegas (of three), and here is the report so far. I took Chowhound recommendations and must say that they were very helpful.

Yesterday I went to Mon Ami Gabi at Paris, a place I would have never, ever found without my fellow hounds.

I had a lunch of chestnut soup, salad of endive, blue cheese and walnuts, and a nice glass of Vouvray. I loved this place! The chestnut soup (a special) was one of the best soups I have ever had, with two dabs of creme fraiche stirred in and leaving little cool lumps of deliciousness. Salad was serviceable too.

Service was great and the setting was perfect, with the winter sun slanting through the windows of the garden room. I would go back anytime and would love to eat dinner here and watch the spectacular Bellagio fountains right across the street.

Lotus of Siam - I dunno, but if I hadn't been told repeatedly how great LOS was, I might not even mention it here. I specifically asked the waiter for help in choosing food and he seemed tentative and reluctant. Maybe the vegetarian thing threw him off. The Pad Thai was dry and the noodles tough. One dish was way too hot for me to eat more than a couple bites of, and I have a pretty high hot tolerance.

Maybe it is better for meat eaters. I just didn't have what I would consider to be a good Thai meal. I have had had plenty better at Chai Thai in Oxnard, California. If you ever get there, please let me know how you think they compare.

Bouchon at the Venetian for breakfast. One of the more gorgeous hotels in town. Beautiful setting, good service. The meal came with a lovely little crusty bread shaped like leaves on a vine and was served with some fresh strawberry jam that was exceptional.

The bread pudding-style French toast tower topped with apples and served in a caramel sauce was good, not too sweet. I ordered pommes frites with it, thinking for some reason that they would make some kind of fried breakfast potatoes and still call them pommes frites, but nope - I got fries. Which seemed odd for breakfast, but whatever.

Tonight, an extended meal at Border Grill in Mandalay Bay (I was waiting for Mr. Snackish, who somehow got detained in the casino) has left me stuffed like an overfilled tamale. It was really quite good. I think that Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger have a better handle on their restaurants than most celebrity chefs do.

They do wonders with drinks. The minty lime cooler (non-alcoholic), the sangria and the house margaritas were all great.

Their chips among the best I have had, too, and I managed to eat a bale of them while waiting and waiting. They are fried a darker shade of brown than most, so they are toasty flavored.

It took Mr. S. 90 minutes so arrive. Thankfully I had a good book. The staff was puzzled but patient.

The salsas are fresh and tasty, though not hot at all (they warn you about the chipotle, oddly).

Mr. S had 4 cute little varied tamales which were very good. I got a grilled portobello that could have passed for steak. Homemade tortillas. Oh, and Mr. S got 2 chile rellenos, which had a nice tangy cheese mix inside, but he could not come close to finishing them.

Vegas has become a really, really good food town. Deserves its own board (wink).

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