Tag: las vegas dining

Las Vegas Dining | Tacotarian — Delicious Mexican Food that Just Happens to be Vegan

With Regina Simmons, part owner of Tacotarian.

The concha loca.

I’m SO excited to be sharing this post with you all today! Ladies and gentlemen, this is Tacotarian—a Mexican eatery based in Las Vegas that makes mouth-watering Mexican food, that just happens to vegan. That’s right, everything you just saw in the pictures above is vegan, including the people, lol. This spot opened up just a few weeks ago and it’s already becoming a favorite with the locals. I had been stalking their Instagram page before they launched and was finally able to stop by about a week after they opened. My friend Kat and I met for lunch there and we ordered half the menu, you can see that pic here. We were floored by how good everything was. The tacos are packed with flavor, the enchiladas rival the animal-based versions served elsewhere, and the desserts are not to be missed!

If you asked me for a recommendation I wouldn’t know what to suggest first because the menu is killer and the execution is even greater. BUT, if had to really choose, my first recommendation would be the tacos in this order: the baja, chorizo, chicharon verde, the super taco, and the gabacho. Next, you HAVE to get the frito pie and the takis elotes, both are great for sharing! Also you’re going to want a side of guac because it’s the best in town; I’ve tried a lot of them and this is the one, folks. Lastly, you’re probably going to be full but you can not leave without trying the concha loca and the churros with caramel sauce! Again, great for sharing! Honestly, you can’t go wrong with whatever you decide on.

I love the design of this space. Their branding is modern yet traditional, vibrant, and spotless. It flows seamlessly from the bright shade of turquoise on the benches to the fixtures and the serveware.  Even the branding on the paper your food is served on is pretty. Every detail was really well thought out— the Tacotarian team are clearly professionals in their arena. It may have something to do with the fact the Regina Simmons, one of the owners is also part owner of two other popular dining establishments— Firefly, and Tacos & Beer.

Tacotarian also offers aguas frescas, margaritas, beer, and kombucha on tap! I mean do you really need another reason to go? I didn’t think so. Go try it for yourself and be sure to catch my interview with Regina Simmons, on my Instagram soon! And when you stop by Tacotarian, be sure to take a selfie with the sombrero hanging to the right of the bar (you can’t miss it) and tag Tacotarian. You can find Tacotarian in the west side of Las Vegas at the cross streets of Fort Apache and Patrick, which is about 15 min (11 miles) off the Las Vegas strip. I love that it’s off the strip because that means there’s plenty of parking and it’s free! Be sure to follow them on social media below and check out Tacotarian’s Yelp page for more Mexican food goodness!

Tacotarian.com | InstagramFacebook | Yelp

Thank you to Tacotarian for sponsoring this post!

Las Vegas Dining: Wing Lei at Wynn (Birthday Dinner)

Watermelon martini and melon hor d’oeuvre.
Garden Dim Sum
Chilled vegetable roll.
Tiny chair for my purse. So cute!
After dinner, walking to the south valet.
Those are the doors to the south valet behind me.
Koi in the water. So beautiful.

Hi guys! I’m so excited to share my Wing Lei review with you all. I wasn’t planning on writing a review so I didn’t take too many pictures, none of our entrees. However, this immediately became one of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas so I have to share it with you. My birthday was 2 weeks ago. As I mentioned on my Instagram, we kept it low-key with a nice, quiet, fancy dinner. I’ve been wanting to dine at Wing Lei for quite some time now but it didn’t seem like a place you’d want to take an infant, so I decided to wait for the right time to try it out. My mom flew in for my birthday and offered to watch Athena so Marc could take me out to a nice dinner. I immediately thought of Wing Lei.

If you’re not familiar with Wing Lei, here’s a little overview from their website: “Wing Lei, the first Chinese restaurant in the country to be awarded a Michelin Star and the only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award-winning Chinese restaurant in North America, combines Chinese flavors with Western technique to create an exceptional dining experience at Wynn. A lavish gold and jewel-toned dining space draws inspiration from elements of classical Chinese architecture and design to create contemporary rooms that are rich and eclectic. Wing Lei features a view of a private garden that harbors century-old pomegranate trees and a gleaming golden dragon. The elegant surroundings pair perfectly with Chef Ming Yu’s menu—a masterful mix of Cantonese, Shanghai and Szechuan flavors—featuring delicacies like tableside-carved Imperial Peking duck, mu shu pork and wok-fried Maine lobster.”

The Ambiance

This dining room is beautiful. It feels very open and equally private. There are beautiful wall sculptures, walls draped in luxe fabrics, traditional Chinese architecture, gorgeous flower arrangements, and touches of gold that dazzle the eye. The entire space is elegant and lends a relaxing vibe. We sat next to the private garden that holds century-old pomegranate trees.

The Service

We made a reservation for 8:30 but got there closer to 9. It wasn’t until we arrived that I realized they close a 10. I got a little anxious because I like to take my time during dinner, well, during any meal. But especially for dinner I like to sit and relax, converse, and maybe have a cocktail or some wine. When we arrived the hostess greeted us with a smile and we were shown to our table. The restaurant was about a third full. Our waiter came out to take our drink order and he also had a smile on his face. Already, my anxiety started melting away. By the time he came back with my drink, about 5 min later, I completely forgot about my anxiety. The entire staff was really nice and professional throughout the entire night. We were never made to feel rushed even though we left close to 11. We let him know we are vegan and he pointed out some good options.

The Food

We, of course, skipped the animal products, instead opting for their vegan options and it.was.fantastic! Did you know that every single restaurant inside the Wynn has a vegan and vegetarian options? It’s true! That’s because Mr. Steve Wynn, himself, is vegan. Wing Lei doesn’t have a separate vegan menu but there are vegan options on the main menu. They started off our meal with a complimentary melon and vinaigrette hor d’oeuvre. Marc immediately said it was the best melon he’s ever had. I have to agree, it was soooo good and we were left wanting a bowl full of it, lol.

Garden Dim Sum

We started with the garden dim sum. This dish is meant to resemble a garden and the presentation is just beautiful. These delicious little dumplings are colored with vegetable juices like, red beet, corn, and spinach. They are filled with a savory veggie filling with a texture similar to a traditional dumpling. Topped with pea tendrils and edible flowers to add a bit of whimsy and color.

Chilled Vegetable Roll

This chilled vegetable roll is filled with mango, carrot, cucumber, mint, wrapped in rice paper and topped with a chili vinaigrette and micro greens. It was delicious, so refreshing and light but filling.

Vegetable Fried Rice

I was so happy to see this on the menu. Fried rice is typically made with egg so I asked if they could make it vegan and they said absolutely. I was so excited because I love fried rice. I could have used a bit more flavor but it was still really good and perfectly complimented the Gardein chick’n dish.

Sautéed Mixed Vegetables

Bell peppers, mushrooms, choy sum, baby bok choy, and broccoli in a black bean sauce. This dish was so flavorful and cooked to perfection.

Tai Chin Gardein Chick’n

Gardein chick’n with scallions and garlic in a black bean-chili sauce. This was amazing! It was so packed with flavor and cooked perfectly. I highly recommend getting this when you visit.

Tips

Wing Lei is located near the south valet entrance. We left our car at the north valet entrance and when we asked for directions to the restaurant, the nice gentleman that checked our car informed us that we could pick up our car at the south valet; so convenient!

The restaurant is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m.

There is a dress code. Business casual attire is required; shorts are not permitted and gentlemen must wear a collared shirt.

Children under five are not permitted.

To make a reservation by phone, call (702) 770-3388.

Have any of you been here? If so, how did you like it? I’m dying to go back!

Las Vegas Dining | Violette’s Vegan Organic Cafe & Juice Bar

Did you know November is World Vegan Month? I only learned about this last year and had completely forgotten about it this time around. Luckily, the girls over at Vegas Lifestyle Influencers reminded me by putting together a dinner at Violette’s Vegan. If you’re not familiar with Violette’s Vegan, it’s an all plant-based restaurant located in the corner of Desert Inn and Durango in the northwest part of Las Vegas. I used to live right around the corner when I first moved to Las Vegas but I only discovered this restaurant about 2 years ago.

If you’re looking for a healthy, casual, low-key place for dinner or lunch, Violette’s Vegan is a great spot. The walls are brightly decorated with paintings saturated in all the colors of the rainbow, just like the food. The ambiance is relaxing and the staff is friendly. Our dinner that night was awesome. We started off with nachos, buffalo cauliflower wings and “sassy” wings, breaded cauliflower wings tossed in a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. These two dishes alone were worth the 40 minute drive across town. The breading was crispy and the sauces on both were so flavor packed. They were hands down my favorites of the night. When I got home that evening, I told Marc that we had to go back that same week so he could try them.

Then came the main dishes. There was SO. MUCH. FOOD. We had salads, pad thai, eggplant parmesan, crispy tempeh & tofu cutlets with mashed potatoes and gravy, mac n’ cheese, beef & broccoli, chili cheese fries, and a tofu teriyaki bowl. The eggplant parmesan, the mac n’ cheese, and the pad thai stand out the most to me. I really enjoyed the pad thai because it’s not as sweet as other places make it. The eggplant parmesan was also really good, I ordered this when we went back 2 days later. I also ordered a German chocolate cake smoothie. It didn’t taste like a German chocolate cake smoothie but it was good. My only issue with it was that it got thicker the longer it was in the cup. I think they may put flax seed meal or something similar in it that make it thicker and more gelatinous as time goes on.

The dinner with Vegas Lifestyle Influences was on a Tuesdays, I decided to go back 2 days later on Thursday, with Marc. We were so excited to try out both the buffalo cauliflower and sassy wings. However, when we got there we were told those two items weren’t available yet but would be really soon. I guess they were still testing them out. So we got other food. The quality wasn’t as good as the previous time but the service was. The staff is really friendly and knowledgeable about the menu and plant-based foods so overall I would recommend you give it a try. I can confirm that they have started serving the cauliflower buffalo wings and the cauliflower sassy wings now, so if you go, try both of those. They’re delicious!

Americana: A Fine Dining Gem Off The Strip

Americana dinner

 

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Americana dinner 2

Americana dinner 3

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Americana dinner 5

Americana dinner 6

I’m overwhelmed thinking back to my first time dining at Americana. Overwhelmed in the best sense of the word. The food, the ambience, the service—I don’t even know where to begin! Walking into the restaurant, you can see slivers of water through the windows at the far side of restaurant. That’s Lake Jacqueline, on which Americana sits atop. The ambience is elegant and luxurious without being pretentious. The lighting gives the whole restaurant a calming glow; the vibe is relaxed and welcoming. This restaurant is tucked away in the middle of the Desert Shores community, far off from the strip but you’d never guess that looking at the food.

I was 1 of 6 Vegas Lifestyle Influencers invited to dine at Americana. We sat out on the picturesque patio overlooking the serene lake. Chef Stephen Blandino, who is also the owner, created the most delicious and aesthetically pleasing dishes for us. We were treated to a three course dinner as well as champagne, wine, and all the desserts a girl could ask for. They even created special dishes for myself and my fellow vegan Ashley Diana. Given the fact that a vegan menu isn’t standard here, yet every dish was phenomenal, there is no question, Chef Blandino and his team are experts in their field.

We started the dinner off with a flute of champagne. The first course was a mango and radish slaw salad with mandarins and strawberry caviar. A portobello mushroom steak followed. This was the most delicious portobello mushroom I’ve ever had in my life; it was juicy and so packed with incredible flavor. Then they brought out a cauliflower steak paired with corn, bell peppers, snap peas, and oyster mushrooms over a cherry reduction. I paired a nice glass of cabernet with my cauliflower. Everything was absolutely delicious! And these were just the items I had. There was so much food!

For dessert they brought out some amazing dishes including cheesecake, chocolate cake, a lemon bar, macarons, blood orange sorbet, and cotton candy. The blood orange sorbet and cotton candy were the two vegan options and they were both yummy. My mouth still waters when I think about that sorbet. We finished dinner off with cappuccinos and some great conversation. I was floored by not only the food quality and taste but also by the plating. Every dish was beautifully plated and prettier than the last. The Americana team really know how to make their guest feel welcomed and valued. I’ve been recommending them to everyone! If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion (or even just for a nice dinner) in an intimate setting with high quality food, great service, and beautiful lake views, this is the place to go. I can’t wait to go back for another fantastic dining experience.

If you’d like to know more about Americana visit their website, here, and follow them on Instagram at @AmericanaLV. You can also find them on Yelp, here.