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Our first visit to Tacos El Gordo wasn't planned. We had spent an afternoon at Frankie's Tiki Room with reservations for Bazaar Meat later that night, but were convinced by bartender Melo and not one, but three patrons, to visit nearby Tacos El Gordo instead. And we were glad we did. While that one has since closed, the Charleston Plaza location is still open. On our last trip we brought 4 friends visiting from the Boston area, who all agreed it was one of the highlights of their Vegas meals. Don't be intimidated by the line as it moves quickly, and be sure to order at least one al pastor taco.
Good news as of December 11, 2015. A Tacos El Gordo location returns to the Vegas strip at 3049 Las Vegas Blvd.
On our first trip to London, we had dinner at the original Michelin-starred Hakkasan, so we have fond memories. When we stay at the MGM Grand, I make it a point to stop in to the Vegas Hakkasan for cocktails. I may sit and chat with Tim, Adrian, or Brittany (who introduced me to Baijiu on my last visit). Hakkasan is also a nightclub, so we eschew the crowds and visit early for a leisurely, relaxing round or two of cocktails. I've yet to eat dinner there, but both the Hakka fried dim sum platter (roasted duck and pumpkin, XO scallop puff, and crispy prawn dumpling) and salt and pepper squid are perfect appetizers to enjoy while you sip.
Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn is one of the most beautiful restaurants I've ever seen. We reserved a table in a cabana on the lagoon.
Fantastic seafood, including langoustines flown in from Italy, Ligurian octopus, and orata bought whole by the pound and served with acqua pazza.
We had a fantastic dinner at Society Cafe (Wynn) at the hands of Chef Jeremy Pacheco, formerly of Lon's at the Hermosa - Cheese and charcuterie, an appetizer sampler with confit chicken lollipops, crab fritters, fried mac and cheese, salt-seared tuna on a hot salt block with yuzu-soy and rice crackers, Japanese Kobe beef, house-cured bacon on a sizzling plate with maple-sherry syrup, and peanut butter and jelly donuts
For our final night, we overindulged at the delicious CraftSteak at the MGM Grand.
And no trip to Vegas is complete without a stop at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris. I couldn't say no to the Nutella, banana, and hazelnut crepe special.
We first met Chef Honorio Mecinas when he teamed up with his brother Chef Mel Mecinas, Executive Chef at the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, for a special event. On our next trip to Las Vegas, reservations at Voodoo Steak, where he is Chef de Cuisine, were a must. Since that very first visit, we've returned again and again. We've taken close friends, treated my parents, and hosted a fantastic wedding dinner for my stepdaughter and son-in-law, and had great service, and wine pairings from Sam. On our most recent visit last week, we were a group of 8, including my best friends from Massachusetts, and everyone raved. Voodoo Steak and Chef Honorio never disappoint.
The first time we stayed at the MGM, we stopped in to Fiamma for a drink and met engaging Kerry, a bartender and fellow food-lover. As a result, this is a must-visit every time we stay at the MGM, not only for the food, but to stop in for cocktails and say hello to Kerry at the bar. On our most recent trip, 8 of us, including our closest friends from the Boston area, had a wonderful dinner. And were pretty happy that we timed it with truffle season!
Who doesn't love a tiki bar? Cozy, dark, decorated with bamboo, rattan, thatch and tiki masks, Frankie's was the perfect spot to spend a Las Vegas Sunday afternoon. Be sure to ask Melo at the bar for his recommendations!