Briefly, the good= Silverton, Mon Ami Gabi, the Bellagio, New York/New York, Mandalay Bay and Bourbon Street.
The OK= Mirage, Alladin, Wynn, Luxor, Orleans, Lawry's,and Harrahs.
Disappointments- Circus-Circus Steakhouse, Las Vegas Hilton, Green Valley Ranch.
First, in terms of Buffets, I think I have figured out why so many different ratings are provided where one person rates a certain buffet great and another says it stinks. It depends upon what you like to eat and the cost. So, in terms of my findings, I will share upfront, I don't include cost in my criteria. If it were $50p/person or $5, I am only commenting on the quality of the food. And, I don't care about the appearaance of layout of the room in my rating either. Ok, so from my experience on quality alone, the Bellagio is hands-down the winner. A great tasty, variety, the largest of the peeled shrimp, a good variety of sushi and seafood, a little weak on salads, but otherwise everything was decent. Number 2 was the Alladin. Somewhat smaller peeled shrimp than the Bellagio, but also a decent variety, although their tandori chicken was dry, and a few other selections were so-so. In fact, all the buffets mexican selections I would avoid for the most part as they seem to be there because they can be done cheap.
My biggest buffet disappointment was the Mirage. Wow, when I first entered and started with the salad, I thought this is going to be the best of the lot. They fix the salad for you and I had a great one. But, it went down hill from there. They had a low grade prime rib that looked great at the carving station and actually did have a decent taste but it was obviously of a lower grade meat and in my opinion, why serve something if you are not going to do it right to begin with and treat the customer with the respect that they can identify the quality. The sushi was all rice, the other selections although decent in choice also seemed a bit lacking in quality. I didn't have the bar-b-que, so if you are a bar-b-que lover then you may like the Mirage more than I did. The other buffet disappointment was the breakfast buffet at Green Valley. Other than the omlettes made by the chef, everything else was very weak in quality and a limited variety. I really believe that when I see the mexican breakfast specials any more now, that I will conclude that these are done again because they are cheap to do. And, one meat type item in the mexican section stayed with me for half the day with a bad lingering taste. And, the Green Valley although new and clean, did not seem anything special and you can go to the Gold Cost and it is pretty much the same.
The Bellagio overall is still the best. You seem some hot looking people, it is a very nice atmosphere, the casino although is higher stakes, is very nice, good entertainment, and everything seems to be done in a quality way. The Wynn is trying and I did last almost 2 hours on a quarter slot machine called Spin and Win with an initial investment of $40. But, the Wynn, unless you Valet park and then have to wait to get your car back, is set too far off the strip so you have to walk past a lot of shops first, and of course go back out afterwards the same way. And, although there were some elegance in the outfits seen with the patrons, the lay-out is not well done if you like to watch the entertainment while you play, etc. And, one or two of the bars, you have to go elsewhere away from the casino and were very expensive for no reason.
For me, the Mandalay Bay is the best of the lot except it is not really convenient to other strip casinos. But, I love the lay out, it is very elegant and not crammed in the walkways by slot machines or other gaming, so people are not on top of one another. Everything seems first class. New York/New York is more honky tonk, but I enjoyed it because you could play the slots and watch a band performing on stage, the drink service was excellent, and it just is a jumping action place. I also enjoyed Bourbon Street because you could watch Fat Elvis who was very good, their slots seemed to actually pay a little, everyone was friendly, and it was sort of like the old downtown casinos (I am not a fan of downtown anymore).
I had lunch at the Mon Ami at the Paris and I would agree with many here that it is very good. The onion soup is large with plenty of good cheese, the bread is very good, and the seafood crepe was the best I have had. And, I should note that I am not really a crepe fan but I figured I would get it because it was different than normal lunch items for me. I am glad I did. And, also the location is excellent.
I stayed at the Silverton and this was the most pleasant surprise of the trip. It is a couple exits away from everything South of the Stip by about 10 minutes in a car. So, don't stay there is you don't have a car. But, I had picked an inexpensive place $39/night and expected I was going to be in a dump. Well, this place was great, clean, new (they told me everything had been renovated and it was), and I was surpised by the class of people. I stopped at Terrible's for 5 minutes and the class of people seemed to me to be pretty poor, a number of low-life drunks, etc. And, I was worried that the Silverton might be similar. It was not! Even though it was inexpensive, I would say they had a number of retirees, and RV type of people, but not bums, or anything similar (and if you find my lack of being politically correct in my descriptions...so be it). The room was the best surprise. Really nice, comfortable bed, etc. I would rate it on a level of a Marriott Courtyard or slightly better.
OK, lets jump to the disappointments. Number one for sure was the Circus Circus Steakhouse. I was so disappointed as I convinced several people to go there because of all the great ratings that people have provided. Maybe, Las Vegas is lacking in great Steakhouses and that gets this place its high marks. I don't know, but I have a suspicion it has more to do with the price. They do charge a reasonable price. But, first, we walk in and the place is literally filled with smoke that it looks like you are walking into a fog. This should not be a Sunny's bar-b-que and don't they have a fan to suck up the smoke? Their wine list was not impressive and although we had a very experienced waiter, his lack of attention was not acceptable for a supposed finer establishment. However, remember that like my buffet ratings, I mainly focus on the quality of food. Well, my guest had a steak that was way too charred on the outside. I suspect the cook did not know how to turn a steak on mesquite. The waiter said that's how mesquite charcoal effects the cooking? Well, I like charcoal cooked steaks, but not when the charcoal is on the steak! The waiter replaced the order with prime rib, that was huge but more like a lump on a plate than a tender prime cut. I had the porterhouse which I asked for medium rare, but it still ended up being somewhat tough and not real tasty or tender. I love a good steak, and I did not find it here. Sorry guys, I can not recommend this place at all. It was old, outdated, and just not good quality.
Also, Lawry's was a bit of a disappointment. Well, in terms of quality, their prime rib is of first rate. But, even though I orderd the bone-in Diamond Brady cut, I was surprised at the rather small to average portion. I looked at other patrons plates and they were all the same size, so I didn't get short-changed in terms of how they carve. The spinning salad is really nothing special in terms of ingredients or flavor, and the sides were just OK. On another trip a few months ago, I ate at the Orleans Prime Rib room, and although I will violate my own rule about price being of influence, for less than half the price you pay at Lawry's, you get maybe just slightly below the quality of prime rib (still excellent though) a better choice of salad, and accompanying items. Lawry' with a glass of wine and coffee (no dessert) plus tip was about $75/per person and simply not worth it.
Finally, the Las Vegas Hilton is a place I would recommend avoiding totally. Now, perhaps in their defense, they are going through a total renovation and so with all the construction there might be some positive changes in a couple years when it is all done. However, the first sign of a disasterous place is when the bathrooms are all filthy beyond what you might find even at a truck stop. I walked to 3 different ones hoping just to not be sickened by walking in. Nope....all bad. I felt sorry for the Klingon by the Star Trek experience as it seems they may be abandoning promoting this theme as it was really dead and seemingly off in a corner. The cashier could not reimburse tickets from the slots because the "computers are down again" with a roll of the eyes. It was sad, this whole place.
Well, I could contribute a lot more on my experience, but will wait and see if anyone first has any questions or comments that I can respond to. Feel free to ask. I hit a lot of the strip and off strip casinos, just not downtown.