CHOW Time — Eating Las Vegas (and is that kind of cost ever justified?)

While setting up Inoreader (RSS reader for Android) this weekend it led me to which covers eating (my favorite pastime) in one of my favorite cities (Las Vegas). This is what vicarious eating is all about:
“All of this [Mr Chows] finery came to a cool 200 samolians, upon which we heaped another $132 for wine. Add a $64 tip and you have a $400 dinner for two.”

I just might spend that kind of money if I can be assured that the experience will be fantastic.
Although actually, back in the day, DH and I did use to spend this kind of moola on food. I was obsessed with Mille Fleurs, Addison, Five Crowns, Victoria & Alberts, Napa Rose, Tidepools. I wanted the best that money could buy. And then I found out that after a few $400 meals that it just didn’t seem worth it. Because you can get a Specialty Steak dinner (including garlic bread!) for 8.99 at Steak n Ale (or a Stockyard at Steer N Stein). Is a $50 filet really worth it? $100 after you add in a side, a Caeser, and a glass of wine? A $10 steak isn’t 10pct as good as a Ruth Chris’ filet, it seems like 60 or 70pct as good. And I didn’t have to dress up. What about the perfectly delicious (and very consistent) Ahi stack at C Level for $15?  Perfectly cooked salmon at Fish District for $14. Beautiful ambiance at Davanti Enoteca. Whatever you are craving, you definitely don’t need to pay stratospheric prices for an excellent experience. 

I do love the outstanding service (that never gets old) but that alone doesn’t justify the cost.

So here are the expensive places that still seem to offer value for money (to us) :

Lawry’s/Tam O’shanter/Five Crowns – these really each deserve their own treatment, because each is unique, but the Lawrys family of restaurants wisely focuses on one thing and one thing only: the best prime rib. For my money, the Tam in Burbank is a bullseye for laid back, old school, come as you are LA dining. Obsequious service, delicious prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, intimate tables, and not stuffy like Lawrys can be. I actually think Five Crowns is headed in this same direction. The back patio (and the really hip and trendy Side Door, which was PACKED the last time we went thru) is almost Hipster with its reclaimed wood and casual chairs. Leave your three piece suit at home (or risk being sat with the old folks in the more traditional dining room). Yelp reports that food quality is falling but we have never noticed this. (Note: I am not including Lawrys Carvery in this group)

California Grill – Located in Walt Disney World at The Contemporary Resort, DH and I have never, ever had a bad meal here. We love the creative fish and sushi fusion menu, the wine, the ambiance, and the service. We ate at the counter seats here once after starving ourselves on Atkins for weeks, and the experience and service was so splendiforous, and the food so delicious, that we fought over who was going to marry the waiter. For us, this restaurant fires on all possible cylinders. And, at 9pm you can see the WDW fireworks from the patio. Nuff said.

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