Vegan in Vegas

Friday, May 4, 2018

Last weekend Alex and I took a much needed short holiday to Las Vegas with my sister and brother-in-law.  I had just had a 6 day work week setting up a show at the gallery, and needed to unwind.  We left on Saturday night after my opening, and made the 4 hour drive into Sin City.  I hadn't been in years, and this was honestly the most fun I had (my last trip was a total bust and not really any fun at all, so this was a nice do-over).  I've been to Vegas on 3 separate occasions, and the first two were a blast, but something about this trip made it so much better. Maybe it was the company, or maybe it was because I'm older and enjoy different things, who knows. Or maybe it was because I have a newly acquired taste for different food, and it was kind of an adventure.  I thought that being vegan in Vegas would be a little bit of a challenge, but HOLY CRAP the food is amazing!! And really couldn't be easier to find.

On Sunday morning we ate at the Modern Vegan, a brand new place that just opened up. They have a huge menu and I was a little overwhelmed, but I think we made the right choices.  That day we hit up one of those psycho pool parties that's basically like Dionysian madness set to a contemporary remixed soundtrack.  I was completely out of my element (Sundays are apparently hip hop day, and while I recognized a couple songs I had no idea what was going on most of the time) but it was actually a lot of fun being immersed in a subculture I am in no way a part of.  Also, when you have a couple drinks by a pool you tend to just have fun regardless.  That night, we went to the Wynn, which was GORGEOUS and had dinner at Lakeside. Every restaurant inside the Wynn (including room service) has a vegan menu, which you'll read more about later.  This was probably the highlight of the trip.  The Wynn is colorful and cute and really creates an atmosphere, and every single restaurant is elaborately decorated and themed...and you know how I love a good theme.  In our Vegas last day haze, we made our way to Nacho Daddy at the Miracle Mile Shops on our way out, and did a little shopping.  I sasn't expecting a ton of vegan options...but they delivered and then some.  And it was all delicious.

Anyway, here are the details. And don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't find good vegan food in Vegas.

Nacho Daddy

Our last day in Vegas was unplanned and amounted to us running around frantically looking for food that was close to the strip and on our way out.  We had to stop at the Wynn to cash out our vouchers (a whole $25!!) and we didn't want to venture too far out of the way.  Alex used his super sleuth skills to find a place called Nacho Daddy, which had a pretty extensive vegan menu in addition to their normal menu.  Honestly, I didn't expect much from this place and I have never heard of it in my life but I'm always skeptical when a regular restaurant has "vegan options" because that usually means some kind of odd veggie burger and Daiya cheese (which I'm not a huge fan of).  We ordered the chicken nachos and the chicken quesadilla and I was completely blown away.  They make their queso in house and also bring out vegan sour cream.  Their vegan chicken is marinated and grilled, and has a really authentic flavor.  It was actually the best vegan queso I've ever had.  We were both pleasantly surprised and I'm craving that danged quesadilla right now.

The Modern Vegan

Interior at The Modern Vegan
We got into Vegas at around 12:45am on Saturday, and woke up STARVING (I did eat $8 pringles from the mini bar that night, but surprise! It wasn't quite enough to tide me over).  I was tired and hungry and my research consisted of me googling "vegan breakfast vegas" and this place came up.  Again, wasn't expecting a whole lot aside from a tofu scramble and buckwheat pancakes.  Our Lyft driver said this place was brand new and after musing about maybe going vegan soon (yesssssss, another convert!!) he dropped us off in front of an unassuming strip mall.  We walked into an impressively modern decorated space with flat screen TVs and sleek white furniture.  Our waitress was friggin adorable and the most entertaining server I've ever had.  She showed us the ENORMOUS menu (literally anything you could possibly be in the mood for...they had) and recommended the Fit Bitch breakfast.  I ended up getting the ol' Bitch as well as a Bloody Mary. Alex got french toast.  We decided to split the poutine which was honestly a mistake because it was way too much food but was not a mistake because I was AMAZING.  The best mushroom gravy aside from my own, of course, and what I think must have been Follow your Heart cheese? Anyway, we died.  The Bloody Mary came with a slice of "bacon" on top that was delish, and my Fit Bitch consisted of grilled chick'n strips, sautéed spinach, grilled broccoli, and one of the best tofu scrambles I've ever had.  They also had a lobster roll on the menu, which I have actually never seen on a menu before and really wanted to try it to see how mine compared.  Next time!
Vegan Poutine!
Most legit Bloody Mary
The Fit Bitch

Alex approves!

Lakeside at the Wynn

Lakeside interior
I knew for dinner on Sunday night that we were hitting up the Wynn.  Every restaurant inside the Wynn has a dedicated vegan menu that was created by Tal Ronnen, who is head chef at one of my fav spots in LA, Crossroads Kitchen.  Alex and I eat at Crossroads for nearly every special occasion as well as regular date night as well as weekend brunch as well as regular lunch.  I had originally wanted to go to Sinatra at the Wynn, but booked this one instead at the last minute.  Boy, we were not disappointed.  Alex and I both had the Wild Mushroom Cannelloni with Kite Hill ricotta.  It must have been some kind of black magic sorcery, because it was one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten, vegan or otherwise.  Aside from the incredible meal, the ambiance was spectacular.  We sat outside by the lake with a giant waterfall, and it was beautiful.  Also, to our shock and surprise, there is a weird show every half hour.  I honestly don't even know what to say about it...but we say two glowing balls make a baby in the water, a face morph into weird colors and other faces projected on the waterfall while "Oh Yeah" by Yello played, and a mouth rise above the waterfall and sing a song while two worm things danced around above it.  Don't ask.

Lakeside interior

Lakeside exterior (where we sat)
Lakeside crazy-ass show
Interior at the Wynn
Interior at the Wynn - how cute is this?!

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