On our whirlwind tour of California, we also managed to skip over the border into Nevada, and spend a couple of nights in Sin City – Las Vegas.
MGM Grand Las Vegas
We drove through the desert from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, which took about 5 hours and was filled with some incredible, expansive views of desert and mountains. When we got to Las Vegas, we dropped the hire car at the airport and got an Uber to our hotel, the MGM Grand.
If we were going to Vegas I wanted to get the full, vibrant, brash experience – and staying on the main strip at one of those massive hotels and casinos was essential. Nothing can quite prepare you for just the size of everything in Vegas; the MGM Grand has over 6,000 rooms, plus a sprawling casino with over 2,000 arcade games and slot machines. There’s also restaurants, shows and events, and an impressive pool complex – you could pretty much spend your whole trip inside the hotel.
However, for our first night we had a quick turn around and out to catch LA Lakers vs Golden State Warriors at the T Mobile arena. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a basketball game before, but despite watching from up in the heavens, the atmosphere was insane, and the game itself is so quick and skilled that it literally kept me on the edge of my seat.
La Salsa Cantina
Located in the depths of the Showcase Mall on The Strip, in a weird twilight, La Salsa Cantina offers probably one of the cheapest breakfasts in Las Vegas. If you’re there before midday, they have a $5 breakfast deal with eggs, bacon, tortilla and potatoes.
We however, decided to splash out on the breakfast quesadilla and the breakfast burrito. It’s pretty much the definition of ‘cheap and cheerful’; a generous breakfast, lots of flavour, plus 99 cent Bloody Marys, what’s not to love?!
Las Salsa Cantina – 3785 S. Las Vegas Boulevard #1500, Las Vegas NV 89109
Las Vegas Strip
We started off after breakfast with a beer at the Sin City Brewing Company and a little shopping in the Miracle Mile shopping centre. Then we made our way back out to The Strip, and just wondered around all afternoon, taking in the pure excess of everything.
We checked out the flamingos at Flamingo Las Vegas, we had a drink in Caesars Palace, and we explored The Bellagio, before heading back to the MGM Grand.
Downtown Las Vegas
For our second night in Vegas, we decided to explore Downtown Las Vegas – here you can find some slightly smaller, and older, casinos such as El Cortez and the Fremont Street Experience, as well as amazing sushi.
Fremont Street is the highlight of Downtown Vegas, with the world’s largest video screen dazzling you from above, there were small stages with performers, as well as, of course, more casinos. It’s definitely worth venturing away from the main strip to explore downtown.
Bocho Sushi, Las Vegas
One of the best meals for our entire trip, was the sushi at Bocho Sushi. We sat at the downstairs sushi bar, and ordered excessive amounts of food, it’s Vegas after all.
Starting off with 6 delightful beef gyozas ($7) and miso soup ($3), we followed up with a Spicy tuna roll ($6.50) and a California roll ($6).
We also tried one of their speciality rolls, Disco Inferno ($13) – spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, seared escolar, jalapeno, spicy mayo, spicy house sauce, eel sauce, with green onion and tobiko on top. Seriously, seriously, fiery and delicious.
Bocho Sushi – 124 S 6th St #150, Las Vegas, NV, 89101
Find out more about our drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles.