My sweet hubby and I took a quick two day trip to Vegas recently. I am not a big fan of Vegas like so many others are but wow, they have a plethora of amazing restaurants! Now that right there is enough to win my heart!

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This was our first stop after arriving just in time for lunch. We ate here last year or so and it was amazing. Some of the best tapas I have ever had. Julian Serrano is located in the Aria hotel. 

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This is my favorite thing on the menu. This is their beef tenderloin and cheese crostini. Trust me and order this of you ever have the chance to eat here. Lots of good flavors going on with this gem. 

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Their mushroom risotto is perfection. We couldn’t get enough. 

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This is their stuffed dates. Our waiter recommended this and it wasn’t up our alley. It was overly sweet and we couldn’t taste much but the sweet dates.  I also do not recommend their paella. It was probably one of the worst paellas I have ever had. Funny, because they do so many things so good. 

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We ordered their pistachio tart for dessert. It was ok. And it wasn’t a tart! I am kind of bugged by restaurants that think they are being creative calling something a particular dessert when it is clearly not. This is a perfect example. I actually don’t care for any desserts here (and I think I have just about tried them all). I would eat here and go elsewhere for dessert. 

With that said, they have many other wonderful dishes to try on their menu, which by the way is pretty big. Their spanish tortilla is fantastic and they put a twist on it by wrapping it in a puffed pastry. I can’t remember everything we ordered the first time we were here, but we ordered a lot of food and I remembered being so impressed with their dishes. On another note, this restaurant is a very busy and loud place at dinner time. The typical Vegas scene. The nice thing about a tapas restaurant is that you don’t have to watch your portions. You leave feeling not overly full, just satisfied!

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For dinner we decided to go to Mesa Grill after hearing rave reviews from others that have eaten here. It is located in the Caesar Palace Hotel, not the Caesar’s Forum Shops (important information for parking).

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We started with their blue corn lobster tacos. WOW. They did not disappoint! Yes, they are that small… they are under their “starters” so we will excuse the size. Except once you bite into them, you will wish they were much, much bigger!

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This was another amazing appetizer. Their Cremini Mushroom Quesadilla. I cannot recommend this enough! 

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Sorry for the blurry shot! Sometimes the bread bowl is worth mentioning and we loved the variety of breads they served. We went through two of these because we simply could not resist! I love me some good bread.

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This is their Rough Cut Tuna Nachos. I know…  it does not even closely resemble nachos but they were very good. 

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We ordered their Green Chili Cioppino for our main entree. The waiter recommended it and it fell way short. At these prices, it is even more disappointing to eat something that you would rather not eat. Which we pretty much did… that is… not eat it after tasting it. 40.00 down the drain. Win some, lose some.We also ordered their signature side, Roasted Corn. The flavors were good, but it was clearly made with frozen corn. Really? At a restaurant of this kind and price range, shouldn’t they use fresh corn? I definitely think so. For that reason I do not recommend it. The texture of frozen corn fell way short. 

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Here we go again… this is what they call their Banana Cream pie. Another recommendation from our waiter. It was not good at all. The cream was pasty and grainy. Being that this was a recommended dessert, I would pass on dessert here too. I am so disappointed when restaurants focus on their dishes but not put enough emphasis on their desserts. I for one love desserts and find it a perfect ending to a good meal if it is done right. After all… we want the calories and splurge to be worth it, right? 

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Lately when we have come to Vegas, we have stayed at the Trump hotel. If you are not a gambler and want to avoid all the smoke, this is the hotel for you. No casino… no smoke… no racy pool scene. Just up my alley! And the rooms? We have stayed in the corner suites and they are big and beautiful. And it is located right across the street from the Fashion Place mall! Not that I like to shop or anything. (I know… ya right!) The food here in the restaurant off the lobby is fantastic. Amazing Croque Madame’s for breakfast. Great bruschetta’s for lunch. We also had a salad and seared ahi. So good!

2013-10-03 17.45.58For our last dinner we went to Samba Sushi. I went to this place in Miami last year and died over the food. It is a fusion of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian food. Such a great combination of flavors! I was so excited to learn that they opened up a new location in Las Vegas! This place is located in the Shops of Palazzo.

2013-10-03 18.05.09 We started with these Yellowtail Crispy Taquitos that is served with a wonderful aji panca sauce. It was amazing.

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Another highlight is their Sea Bass on skewers Robata with Peruvian corn. It was so amazing, but as you can see the portion size leaves you wanting for so much more! 

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This Mushroom Toban- Yaki was another unforgettable dish. It was so good and so original. We also ordered some sushi rolls, but they were just like pretty much any rolls you would get at a good sushi place. Not that that is a bad thing, I was just looking for something different from the ordinary. I wouldn’t order rolls here again because of all the amazing fusion food they have to offer. I am not sure if the menu varies a bit from location to location (There is one in Miami, Las Vegas and New York City). But I think I preferred the one in Miami. They seemed to offer more dishes. I very much enjoyed my meal here though.

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Before we headed for home, I wanted to find the Bouchon Bakery that is located in the Venetian hotel. I haven’t had a chance to try this bakery yet and I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by. 

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To my utter delight I found that they pride themselves on their Kouing Aman. It was very good, but Les Madeleines in Salt Lake City has them beat. It was a close second though! My hubby agreed.

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This is their strawberry and custard like filled pastry. So good. We also tried their croissants (Wonderful with a buttery crisp exterior), tropezienne (a brioche pastry filled with strawberries, diplomat cream and topped with streusel) and their chocolate chip cookies. It was all very good. Their cookies are the flat and crispy type, which is not my favorite kind of cookie but we all like our cookies different… don’t we? 

So there you have it. Two food filled fun days! And… it was worth it!