Sunday, April 18, 2010

Overpriced Mexican and a Huge Chocolate Fountain

I woke up Sunday with a smile on my face, still giddy from our fabulous modern French dinner and ear-shattering concert the night before. I hoped that this day would also be filled with good eats and fun.

We have a Border Grill of our own in Santa Monica, but we've never been. With so much cheap authentic Mexican food around, we've had little motivation to try fancified Mexican food in Santa Monica, even when prepared by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of recent Top Chef Masters fame.

So why'd we go to Border Grill in Vegas? Another discount! This time we had a $25 gift certificate that we bought for just $1.
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We sat on the patio overlooking a portion of Mandalay Bay's lazy river.

Fresh guacamole and chips ($9).
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Hass avocado, cilantro, red onion, jalapeño, lime. Very nice. But would I get it for $9 if I didn't have a gift certificate? Hell no!

Sparkling pomegranate limeade, sparkling white peach lemonade ($5 each).
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Really loved these. Refreshing and yummy and not too sweet.

Santa Fe enchiladas ($19).
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Achiote chicken, guajillo sauce, Mexican cheeses, black beans, two fried eggs, guacamole, mizuna salad. Smoky and heavy.

Shrimp and chorizo Anaheim chile relleno ($22).
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Sauteed shrimp, chorizo, Oaxacan string cheese, caramelized shallots, tempura batter, chipotle cream sauce, seasonal salad, guacamole. Definitely out-of-the-ordinary with the use of tempura batter.

Was this any better than the Mexican food we usually eat? It was prettier and made with quality ingredients. The answer, however, is no. We certainly enjoyed our meal, but I was glad we didn't pay full price.

After brunch, we went to the Bellagio to check out the lavish Christmas decorations. They were really colorful and larger than life, but I won't post those photos because it's April. I doubt any of you want to see snowmen, polar bears, reindeer, and toy soldiers right now.

While at Bellagio, we stopped by Jean Philippe Patisserie, home of the world's largest chocolate fountain certified by the Guinness World Records.
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Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate from the ceiling to the floor. Impressive.

Before we left Vegas, we both got some awesome discounted spa treatments at Qua, which I highly recommend. Special thanks to Mr. Monkey's former co-worker's cousin, who is a manager there!

But this is not the end of Vegas. This is just the conclusion of our December weekend. Stay tuned for our recent April trip!


  1. Yay for Qua! It's not a Vegas trip for us without a stop there - usually not involving a treatment either, just enjoying their ridiculous amenities. :)

    We've eaten at Border Grill in SM once and enjoyed it. Even if it is overpriced, meeting Susan Feniger and being completely impressed with her warm and quirky personality left me wanting to continue to support her restaurants. She is a such a cool chick!

  2. When we moved to California, Border Grill was one of the very first restaurants we ever ate at. I didn't realize it at the time, but my parents were into celebrity chefs way before celebrity chefs were even a thing.

  3. that is one hell of a chocolate fountain.

    i'm still giggling at you blogging stuff from december! :)

  4. didn't even realize that border grill was manned by a famous chef!

  5. Border Grill in SaMo was the worst Dine LA experience we ever had. Awful, awful, awful.

    That chocolate fountain is cool!

  6. That limeade and lemonade looks perfect for a hot summer day.

  7. Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger were 2 of the original chefs I watched as a youngin' on TV back in the days of Two Hot Tamales. How cute was Susan on Top Chef Masters? So unpretentious and nice. Loved her.

  8. Yes, April Vegas trip, please!

    I remember that chocolate fountain at Bellagio. Pretty cool. Good pics WM!

  9. I'm at Aria. Isn't there a JP Patisserie here too?? This is the perfect city for an over-indulger like me.

  10. Yup! But, to my knowledge, Aria's doesn't have the world's largest chocolate fountain!

  11. ohh i love that chocolate fountain!

  12. Haha. I'm always so behind that Xmas in April sound about right. ;)

    Love the huge chocolate fountain. I must visit when I go to Vegas next.

  13. I love Mexican food and that enchilada makes me want to lick my monitor.

  14. i loved border grill when it was comped by work vendors. not so much when i paid.


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