Our Las Vegas Trip

A Filipino-American Family’s Las Vegas Restaurant and Entertainment Review

We wanted to go somewhere fun this December 2014 and decided to venture to Las Vegas to sample some of the treats it has to offer, and write about our experiences trying out the restaurants and entertainment venues.

We flew in on Christmas day via Allegiant Air out of Stockton, spent six days and headed back home on New Year’s eve, just in time to avoid the craziness . The plane fare was exceptionally inexpensive at around $285 round trip per person, including a six-day car rental at Alamo (Volkswagen Jetta), also including a $37 per person flex trip plan (so I can change travel plans without getting charged a lot more), and all the fees and charges.

We stayed at the MGM Grand, it was crowded but the check in line was moderately quick. Our room was on the 13th floor (I guess they are not superstitious), and the room itself was nice as expected in a large 4-star hotel in Vegas. One nice feature I liked is that the TV had this breakout panel where you can plugin your electronics to use the TV as a monitor. I brought my Macbook and we were watching Netflix on our TV using the HDMI port (I brought an HDMI cable with me). As I remember, there were ports for HDMI, USB, VGA, Composite input for Video and Audio (RCA), legacy Apple iPhone 3/4 interface (not lightning) and two electrical outlets.


MGM charges a resort fee of $28 per room, per night, which includes use of the fitness center, business center/computer access, in-room WIFI and newspaper.

One thing to be careful about with the in-room WIFI is to not let everyone login with their device as soon as you come in. The reason is that each room is only allowed four WIFI devices.  As soon as the device limit is reached, no one else will be able to login with a new device without calling the hotel WIFI support to remove some of the devices from their system. In our case, everyone was excited with the WIFI and logged in with their smartphones. By the time I needed the connectioin for my Macbook, our room already had reached its limit, and simply ‘forgetting’ the WIFI network on your smartphone will not take the device (Mac Address) from the WIFI system. I had to call into the hotels WIFI support to reset the devices. Each device gets a 48-hr ‘lease’ and will need to re-login with your name and room number after. Connection is reasonable, with a 3Mbps speed limit for each device.

We wanted to try a variety of restaurants during our stay. But we really did not plan out where we would go the entire time, we sort of just ‘played it by ear’. Nevertheless, we are happy of the places we tried, as it turned out to be a good array of choices a regular family of four would expect when staying on the strip and venturing off a couple of times.

Here is what we found out (click on each link to follow the reviews contributed by Emily, Sean and Erika Totanes):


MGM Buffet

D Pinoy Joint

R Steak and Seafood at the Riviera

Pampas Churrascaria

BURGR by Gordon Ramsay

PUB 1812 Michael Mina

Village Seafood Buffet at the Rio

Avenue Cafe at the MGM

Rainforest Cafe at the MGM

Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan

Buzios Seafood Restaurant

Hot N Juicy Crawfish


Riviera Comedy Club

Michael Jackson One

Jeff Dunham: Not Playing with a Full Deck

Penn and Teller