It’s safe to say that I’ve never had a bad meal at Bouchon. I’ve never even had a mediocre meal at Bouchon. I’ve eaten at Thomas Keller’s French bistro inspired restaurant about 7 or 8 times and it’s never been anything less than spectacular!

Located in the Venetian Casino Hotel, there are two challenging things about Bouchon: the first is actually finding the restaurant itself. The first time I decided to have dinner there, I looked EVERYWHERE for the place! I looked in the Canal Shoppes, I searched in the passage between the Venetian and The Palazzo, where many of the restaurants are located, I made several rounds of the entire casino floor - nothing. I finally made my way back to the registration desk, so I could ask the concierge where to go. As I approached the concierge desk, I spotted a doorway to the right of the check-in area with a sign above it, reading Venezia Tower and Bouchon Restaurant. THERE IT WAS...sort of. Once I went through the door and down a short hall, I had to take an elevator up to the Venezia Lobby, turn left, go down an incredibly beautiful, ornate marble hallway with faux Italian frescoes on the ceilings and gorgeous gaslit sconces on the walls, until I finally saw a modest sign, telling me I had reached my destination.

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DSCF2483If you walk through the casino at Mandalay Bay, all the way to the back, past several other celebrity chef-owned restaurants, you’ll find one of my favorite restaurants in all of Las Vegas: Border Grill. This modern, yet wonderfully authentic Mexican eatery owned by celebrity chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, embodies what I’m trying to get across here at When I go to Border Grill, I don’t just have a meal, I have an experience!!!

My first visit to Border Grill was very good, but fairly uneventful. I had a cheerful, knowledgeable server, a delicious cocktail and an excellent meal. My second visit, however, is when things took off! I had seen both Ms. Feniger and Ms. Milliken on Top Chef Masters and was looking forward to trying their place again. I’m awfully glad I did!

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IMG 5860The Grand Wok restaurant in the MGM Grand Casino Hotel, is almost always crowded, and rightfully so. To my mind, Grand Wok has some of the bast Asian foods in Las Vegas. I’ve gone there alone and with many friends over the years and it never fails to impress!

Located on the casino level, between a Starbucks and The Nob Hill Tavern, The Grand Wok and Sushi Bar has a clean, modern look. The entire outer wall consists of large panes of glass, tilted outward toward the casino. As crowded as the restaurant can get, you never feel confined or claustrophobic, looking out onto the slot machines and gaming tables beyond.

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IMG 4465Now that I travel to Las Vegas every couple of months or so, I have developed a little food ritual. Every time I go to Vegas, my first and last dinners are at the same restaurant. Noodles!

Noodles is tucked away at one side of the Bellagio casino, across from where many of the other restaurants are located. It’s a Pan-Asian restaurant, featuring dishes from a variety of Asian countries. Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Vietnamese, and Thai are all reperesented. The owner, Chef Patrick Lee has put together a wide assortment of dishes, and the ones I’ve tried have all been, as he describes them, “yummy”!

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