Viva Las Vegas?

By Kay Steiger

by Flickr user Christopher Chan (Creative Commons license)

by Flickr user Christopher Chan (Creative Commons license)

Do not, under any circumstances, expect good service when you eat in Las Vegas. That is what I learned in my (very brief) stay there this week. At first I was willing to let it slide. Maybe they’re understaffed. Maybe it’s the end of a shift. For a city built on entertainment and, well, service I expected a bit more than the obnoxious service I got at nearly every establishment on the strip. All too often wait staff got the order wrong, ignored my sister and I, and simply seemed uninterested in getting us food and drink. Apparently the wait staff counts on their sizable implants to provide them with tips.

In other words, I found the city to be all show, no substance. Hardly an original observation, I’m sure. I will say of the few places I managed to visit in my brief trip, the one place I got good service at was Diego in the MGM Grand. So what say you, commentors? Have you had a similar experience? Or maybe I just struck out. Am I being to harsh?

6 responses to “Viva Las Vegas?

  1. I remember the wait staff were extremely generic and jaded. It seemed like each one of them had bounced around enough from one joint to another that they weren’t even sure where they were working anymore…or how to be good at it. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon was just slightly better than that. I’ve heard Vegas has cut a lot of staff lately.

  2. Where’d you eat? I’ve found the service at the nicer places to be uniformly excellent…I had a fantastic server at L’Atelier, actually, and good service at CraftSteak, Nob Hill, and even at the Emeril’s fish house. Some really good bartenders, too, at some of the nicer places. The dining scene in Vegas is weird from what I understand, as the economics are different than the rest of the world…the hotels subsidize things to some extent, and a lot of the staff get real benefits and salary that’s higher and more stable than in other cities. At least when things were good (I haven’t been in a year,) it attracted some good talent. I’d imagine that with the beating the whole town is taking now, a lot of people have moved on.

  3. I’ve found Las Vegas to have two choices in food.

    Shitty and outrageously priced.

  4. Disclaimer: I live in Vegas. The lion’s share of my dining is off-strip. That being said, I have had great service and I have had awful service. In fact, at lunch the other day at a Michelin guide mentioned restaurant on the West side, I had terrible service *and* a table-side visit from the owner apologizing for same. I will merely say that the owner was conciliatory and more than made up for the waiter’s lack.

    If you want good food that isn’t overpriced, preferably with good service, let me know what kind of food you like and I will steer you in the proper direction.

  5. I did a whirl wind culinary of LV this past summer and, with one exception,* the quality of service was generally very good.

    * Our waiter at Fiamma in the MGM Grand was most pretentious and overbearing.

  6. I think it’s just the economics of the strip. There’s de minimis repeat business anyway, and most people don’t vary their tips much these days, so there’s really no percentage in trying to provide good service.

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