Las Vegas or possibly translated as ‘The Meadows’ in Spanish, has long been known as a reprieve from the arid and seemingly desolate Mojave Desert. Now, a bustling resort town and more importantly a winter climbing spot, Las Vegas is a highly desirable vacation destination for a variety of people.
The climbing in Red Rocks is expansive and potentially, there could be a lot more that has yet to be established. As it currently stands, the guidebook for Southern Nevada, is 400 pages and is in its second publication. And, while many of the more popular areas (ie Kraft) are over crowded, you can get a break from the crowds simply by visiting one of the many other (less accessible) areas.
While the climbing in Red Rocks is great, the food is even better. In true resort town fashion, the restaurants in Las Vegas out class many of the more populous urban centers around the US. From cocktail bars to dessert cafes, there is really nothing you can’t find, especially if you go off the Strip.
Below are some of my favorite places:
Shang Artisan Noodle: Try to get a seat at the bar so you can watch first hand as they make their tasty noodles. And trust me, you really do need the Spicy Wontons.
Favorite dish: The Dan Dan with the hand pulled noodles
Cuba Cafe: Do yourself a favor and order the ‘Tasting Plate’. It has all of their most popular menu items.
Favorite dish: Fried Plantains
Abuelas Tacos: I have a serious love of tacos and Abuelas keeps theirs simple and flavorful.
Favorite dish: The Flan. The owner mentioned that it was her family’s multi-generational recipe from Spain – which would make it well over 200 years old.
Taco y Taco: A local chain with two locations, this establishment offers inexpensive yet super tasty food.
Favorite dish: While you really cannot go wrong with anything on their Happy Hour menu, the Al Pastor and the chicken nachos are delish.
Sweets Raku: Modern and chic, this place nearly always has a line out the door. They do not take reservations but the wait is well worth your time.
Favorite Dish: Just get the two course desert with a wine paring. You will pick one desert and they will supply the starting course. In our case, the starting course was an incredible Mango Sorbet with Mint jelly. I had no idea sorbet could be so good.
Whisky Down: The MGM has lost a bit of its polish (not in a Circus Circus sort of way) but Whisky Down is alright as far as their ambiance and the Old Fashioned they serve is on point.
The Mandarin Cocktail Bar: The drinks are alright but the floor to ceiling views of the Strip make their 12 -25 $ cocktails… well at little better. This is a non-gaming hotel so their bar offers a lovely reprieve from the lingering smell of cigarettes found in other Strip haunts.
Next time we visit Vegas, we are definitely stepping our cocktail game way up. Surly Vegas has more to offer.
Brew Tea Bar: While the name is misleading, there are no boozy drinks served at this establishment, the Brew Tea Bar was a regular stop on our way out to climbing. As I write this I cannot help but to think about their lovely teas and superb service.
Favorite dish: The Brew Milk Tea – no boba but anything with their ‘salted cream’ is to die for as well.
We certainly made the most of our time there and we even caught a Cirque du Soleil show, KA, which was mind blowing from a technical theater perspective.
We even had time to fight zombies and save the world with the folks at Adventure Combat Ops. Our team leader, Nomad, was not only vital to our successful mission but also incredibly handsome. I highly recommend splurging on this if you do nothing else.