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RÍ RÁ IRISH PUB

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Mandalay Bay

3930 Las Vegas Blvd. S.

Las Vegas, NV 89109

702-632-7771

website

$15-$45

Sun-Thu 10am-3am

Fri-Sat 10am-4am

Irish

B+

AT A GLANCE

What is it?

An authentic Irish pub experience in a gorgeous room filled with Irish antiques.

Where is it?

In the Mandalay Place mall at Mandalay Bay.

What kind of food is served?

A lot of traditional Irish favorites but with many American favorites served with an Irish twist.

What is the atmosphere like?

Be sure to ask for a tour to get the full history of all of the surroundings.

How is the service?

Terrific and also authentically Irish.

What are the prices like?

Refreshingly moderate as long as you don't go too crazy with the beer or whiskey.

What else do I need to know?

One of the statues was found in a field. Cool!

What's the bottom line?

A great place for an Erin Go Bragh meal.

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FULL REVIEW

Las Vegas is famous for recreating scenes from other lands in the middle of the Nevada desert. But at Rí Rá Irish Pub at the Mandalay Place Shops at Mandalay Bay, the Irish owners didn't just recreate an Ireland pub, they brought pieces of Ireland here to make as authentic of an experience as you're likely to get in Sin City.

Ask your server for a tour. They'll show you the front bar area, which is almost exactly as it was when it operated as a pub in Ireland belonging to one of the owner's aunts. The main bar area features salvaged wood and marble from Irish buildings including the floor from the shipyard office that built the Titanic. That 500 pound statue of St. Christopher? It was found in a field in Ireland. Many members of the wait staff are from Ireland, brought over to Vegas on special visas just to work here. The place is a veritable museum of Irish history that is worth taking the time to find out about.

But you didn't come here just for the surroundings. You came for the food and the beer.

Let's start with the latter. They have about 100 different brews in bottles and on tap, many of which you won't normally find outside of Ireland. Whiskey is a big deal here, also. The scope of their selection is mind-boggling but the very knowledgeable staff can help guide you through the choices. This would be a great place to just come for a drink and listen to music from the Irish bands they have playing almost nightly.

While you're mulling over your drink selection you can start with some of the appetizers. Choices include crab cakes, baked goat cheese with red onion jam, and pub wings with Guinness BBQ sauce but you absolutely must try the Irish potato cakes. Their version is pan seared and served with a rich sour cream and a balsamic oil that give them both a sweet and savory flavor. Fantastic.

At lunch there are a few salads, sandwiches, and burgers most of which are fairly American in nature but with Irish twists. For instance the burgers come with Irish cheddar cheese or grilled Irish rasher and the au jus served with their version of a beef dip is made from Guinness.

The lunch entrees are more traditionally Irish with options including fish and chips, shepherd's pie, traditional bacon and cabbage, and corned beef and cabbage. You can also get a traditional Irish breakfast no matter the time of day with Irish sausages, rashers, and black and white pudding.

Dinner subtracts some of the sandwiches and burgers and adds several entrees including steak and chips, a bacon wrapped filet with Guinness glazed prawns, bangers and mash, and more.

I visited at lunch so I went with the aforementioned Wicklow Dip. The bread was flaky and sweet, which made a great background for the slow-roasted prime rib and tangy pickled red onions. The whole thing was covered in melted, gooey cheese and I couldn't have been happier with my choice.

Prices are refreshingly moderate. If you forego the beer, you can easily do lunch for under $20 total and only a few of their dinner entrees go over that price point. Of course you probably won't and shouldn't forego the beer so your check may be a bit higher depending on how much you enjoy it.

The service was fantastic and, as mentioned, authentically Irish. It is, without a doubt, one of the most friendly places in Las Vegas.

There are about a dozen Rí Rá Irish Pubs in the United States. I for one am thrilled that they have made their way to Las Vegas.

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