Our trip to Vegas a few weeks back might be considered the kick-off to this summer’s Baseball/Tiki Road/Plane Trip (though the baseball element was missing in this leg). We stayed at the Bellagio, so it was quite convenient to stop at the Trader Vic’s in the Miracle Mile Shops across the street before we went to go bet on the ponies. (Our strategy is to bet on the horse with the most hilarious name…It actually works out often enough.)
For being a Trader Vic’s in Vegas, of all places, the decor is pretty understated. Not so sure how I feel about these modernized tiki touches in the bar area, but I do love glass fishing floats in any situation.
For me, these giant dudes are the saving graces of the restaurant. They’re larger than life, now that’s what I expect in this town!
I might have insisted on sitting outside so we could see the fountains (Mr. Baseball doesn’t understand what’s so captivating about a water show), but it was ninety degrees out and I’d never really gotten a good look at the inside of Trader Vic’s.
Picking my poison was a rather difficult process with all the choices. I kept second guessing myself and finally went with the Tonga Punch ($9.50), made with light rum, Curaçao, grenadine and orange juice. It was ok, but I wouldn’t order it again.
Mr. Baseball got a ciabatta sandwich from a special insert on the lunch menu that offered more straight-forward American stuff without much Polynesian flair.
Happy hour lasts from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and as we were on Vegas time and having a rather late lunch, we were able to get two of the pork sliders with plum sauce for a buck a piece. The rest of the specials included very un-tiki 2-for-1 well drinks, $5 baskets of wings/calamari and $15 buckets of Corona.
I had the Hawaiian Poke ($11.50)—ahi and hamachi tartare with avocado and taro chips. There’s something indulgent about ordering seafood in the middle of the desert—definitely not locavore-friendly!
Next time I make a visit to Vic’s it will be for Mai Tais at night on the patio. Cue the fountain show!
6/5/09 Update: As the great Sam Butera once sang: “There’ll be no next time!” The Las Vegas Sun has reported that the Trader Vic’s Vegas is closing. This is precisely why I’ve been trying to visit so many tiki sites on these trips…you never know when they’re gonna get shut down!
Trader Vic’s – Las Vegas
Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood
3663 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
I doubt this place will be missed.
I am looking for things to do while in Vegas this weekend, and as a tiki neophyte, my search brought me to your site.
I know Trader Vic’s place in the Tiki lore, and have some curiosity and pride (being from Oakland), but this place does not live up to my idea of the legacy.
It looks like an office building from the outside.
And, come to think of it, from the inside as well. Totally lame decor and very average-looking food.
Frankie’s Tiki Room, that you also reviewed, looks more like what I’ve got in mind.
Yeah, Frankie’s is awesome. Definitely a must-visit!