Where we eat in Vegas- Downtown Edition

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Downtown Las Vegas

Doing a restaurant guide to Vegas feels kind of…useless. There are thousands of restaurants and probably tens of thousands of restaurant reviews out there for this city. So, I am going to treat this like every other post on this blog: I’m doing it for me, with an added bonus if there are one or two other people out there who will find it useful.

TDL and I like to eat at places that care about the quality of their food, that have creative menus, friendly service, and just an overall happy vibe. We have certainly found some of that here in this crazy city we now call home.

I’ll start this with downtown, because that’s where we live.

Mundo– I think visiting Mundo and the World Market Center is must while in Vegas. While in the area, walk past the Dr. Seuss-esque Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, the beautiful red sandstone County buildings, and over to the Smith Center and Symphony Park. There is even an outlet mall around the corner if you’re into that kind of thing. Mundo is inside the World Market Center, two huge towers that house all the interior design goodies you could ever imagine. The first two floors are open to the public, and I love wandering around, decorating my fantasy house. Mundo is always busy, so reservations (even for lunch) are a good idea. The food here is creative, delicious Mexican fare and the decor is what you would expect for a restaurant inside a design center. The drinks are fantastic (100% Agave tequila!)- I love their margaritas and TDL gets the paloma. For appetizers, definitely get the Ahi Tuna Tostada. The only downside is it is a little pricey. Overall, Mundo is currently my favorite nice restaurant downtown.

The Smith Center

The Smith Center

Viva Las Arepas– Mmmm, arepas! Arepas are like Venezuelan sandwiches (or the Venezuelan version of a pupusa, if you know what that is), but instead of bread, they use grilled cornmeal patties. The arepas are stuffed with your choice of delicious meat (think shredded beef, smoked chicken, or pork butt). I personally recommend adding avocado. On the side, you can get fried yucca or plantains, which taste great with the three tasty sauces they bring out. To drink, I love the sugarcane juice with lime. Two arepas, a large drink, and a side of yucca costs about $16 and will keep two people full for hours. This place is fantastic.

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¡Viva Las Arepas!

eat.– I love that the ingredients are locally sourced when possible, and you can taste the quality of the food. Service is usually pretty good, but nothing special. I wish the menu were a little more creative, a little less bread-focused, and a tiny bit more affordable. They are strict about breakfast being over at 11 am, so if you are in for lunch, you basically have a couple salads or sandwiches to choose from. Thankfully, both the baby iceberg and the arugula salads are awesome. I am still unable to eat much bread without suffering, so I haven’t tried any of the sandwiches. The specials seem to be hit or miss. Breakfast is pretty darn tasty but, again, not as good/creative/bread-free as I think it could be. Overall, I think eat is a good choice, and it’s the only place I would go downtown for breakfast.                                                 Update 4/24: I remembered to check the prices during a delicious, filling breakfast at eat. The breakfast entree prices were ~$10-12 (I had the truffled egg sandwich without the bread, TDL had the Huevos Motulenos).

Le Thai– Le Thai is a cute little restaurant on Fremont East. The service is good and speedy. The portion size is enormous- plan on leftovers. I wasn’t too impressed with the drinks (they tasted weak and watery or too sweet), so I would recommend hydrating with water while at Le Thai and then heading to Park or one of the other bars for drinks. Thai soup is just wonderful and Le Thai’s is no exception. My overall opinion is Le Thai is good: nothing special but certainly nothing bad. Two entrees, an appetizer, and tip is just under $40.

Bar + Bistro– My feelings about Bar+Bistro require a bit of a story. Here’s why: In February, TDL and I went there for dinner and drinks and really enjoyed it. The drinks were creative and delicious; the food was fun and excellent; the service was perfect. We ordered take-out another time before leaving for Portugal and it was, again, good. This month, when TDL’s parents were visiting, we planned to walk around the Arts District and check out the cool vintage shops right across the street from Bar+Bistro and then eat there for dinner. That afternoon, we received a call telling us our reservations had been canceled. Upon further questioning, they said they had to close that day due to plumbing issues. No big deal. But then we saw this, reporting that Bar+Bistro had actually been shut down by the health inspector for some pretty heinous violations. It has since reopened, but TDL and I don’t plan on going back. Maybe they’ve changed everything, but I don’t want to support an owner who let his restaurant go downhill like that in the first place.

Tostones at Bar+Bistro

Tostones at Bar+Bistro

So that concludes my downtown Las Vegas restaurants…so far. There are new restaurants opening, and I will add more/modify current reviews as we eat our way around Vegas.

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2 Responses to Where we eat in Vegas- Downtown Edition

  1. Cheryl in NC says:

    Wow! Gorgeous shots of the city, and especially of those skies!! And now I’m craving Arepas! (They looks so good!) Vicarious enjoyment just isn’t cutting it this morning. Guess I need to be sure I’ve eaten first before I read your blogs, lol! S’okay, tho’. 😀 Think what I’ll do is try to create a bread similar to those corn patties, but with buckwheat & millet flour instead (based on a delicious buckwheat-oat flour pancake recipe I found on GlutenFreeRecipebox.com). Then, I’ll just have to fill it with mushrooms and lettuces n stuff, sigh…. Actually, I love shredded beef, but the longing is finally gone, and now veggies call my name almost as often! So my version should be delicious too. 😀
    Thanks for sharing. I’ll save your recommendations for the next time either I or one of my family is visiting Vegas, tho’ I don’t anticipate that anytime soon. You never know, tho’. I do love those skies! (NC has gorgeous skies too, fortunately. Think “Carolina blue.” It’s actually its own color!)

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