This year we had a different kind of Christmas. For years we lived away from our families in Pennsylvania and South Jersey. But, we’ve always been home, decorated, went to church, and had friends over to our home.
This year was different. Don’t get us wrong; we LOVED spending time with our friends Casey and Candi! It was just the first time we weren’t home for Christmas.
Chinese Food and A Movie
For Mark, his Jewish family and friends spent Christmas day eating Chinese food and going to the movies.
And that’s exactly what Christmas felt like this year. Vegas is Vegas, and although some of the hotels had holiday decorations – it didn’t really feel like Christmas!
We’d met Casey and Candi several years ago on a trip across China. We figured Chinese food was a good common ground for dinner. And while we spent time together during the time they were in Vegas, we also wanted to see a show together. So, we did Chinese food and a show for our Christmas celebration!
We’re almost hesitant to share this as we’re afraid of letting the secret out and ruining a good thing.
On our travels to China, we really enjoyed Hand-pulled Noodles – specifically Dan Dan Noodles. And for some reason, these delicious Noodles fell through the crack between authentic Chinese food and American Chinese food.
They’re just hard to find! But, in Las Vegas, because of the huge amount of Asian tourists, there is a lot of Incredible Chinese food. The challenge is that many places with excellent authentic Chinese food are on the Strip, in Casinos, and SUPER expensive!
However, if you venture a dozen or so blocks off The Strip, you’ll also find spectacular Chinese and other Asian restaurants at a fraction of the cost.
So, don’t be afraid to Uber off The Strip!
Shang Artisan Noodles
Mark has been stalking Shang Artisan Noodle for MONTHS in planning for this trip. Their Instagram page had us drooling, and we couldn’t wait to get there.
View this profile on Instagram
Shang Artisan Noodle is located about a ten-minute ride from the Vdara Hotel where we were staying.
4983 W Flamingo Road, Suite B
Las Vegas, NV 89103
We’d learned you could get on a waitlist on Yelp! This tool turned out to be a HUGE help. We had seen wait times of over an hour during the week. But, earlier in the day, we punched in the number of guests and what time we wanted to dine, and it told you when you should add your name to the waitlist.
They are located in a small strip center and only have about ten or twelve tables along one side of the space. The other side has another dozen or so seats along a counter facing the kitchen with amazing views of them hand-stretching noodles!
So, getting on the list was a big help, as several parties arrived when we did and were quoted long waits. We, because of the waitlist, got seated in under ten minutes.
Noodles, and Wontons, and Pancakes, Oh My!
We each had an order of their Spicy Wontons. These super-light house-made Wontons were served in a Spicy Soy Sauce, exactly like we remembered having on the streets in Chengdu!
We also split an order of their Beef Pancake appetizer. For most Americans, the term Pancake is a bit confusing. These four little pillows are a Dough stuffed with a savory Beef filling and then griddled to brown them while steaming them at the same time. These were amazing, and we could have easily dove into another order!
NOTE TO SELF: These are ridiculously hot in the middle, and the juice can easily burn your face- but they are SO worth it!
For our entrees, we both went for the Dan Dan Noodle. These incredible Noodles were topped with Minced Pork, Preserved Vegetables, and Spicy Soy Sauce. You have your choice of several types of Hand-stretched Noodles, and these were easily as good as anything we ate in China. Both of our friends had rave reviews on their entrees as well.
Their menu offers a half dozen appetizers, a nice selection of Noodle Soups, Fried Rice dishes, and Noodle dish options. The quality and service were excellent, and their prices are exceptionally affordable – especially in Vegas!
Shin Lim: Limitless
Several months before our trip, Mark found very affordable tickets to see Shin Lim at The Mirage on Christmas night.
The seats were about a dozen rows back. It is a reasonably intimate theater, and with Las Vegas’ regulations at the time, everyone was required to wear masks.
If you are not in the know, Shin Lim is the Season 13 winner of America’s Got Talent. Technically he’s the only two-time winner as he also won AGT Champions! He is a Canadian-born close-up magician known for his card tricks and sleight of hand. And he certainly did not disappoint!
When we arrived, each seat had a plastic pack of playing cards tucked into the headrest. Shortly after starting his performance, he had all of us take out our cards and follow his directions. We still have no idea how nearly everyone in the audience managed to tear, fold and toss away cards and come up with our original card!
His sleight of hand is nothing short of spectacular. It’s theatrical and deliberate, and even with large video screens showing every move, you can’t see how he does it!
Mentalist Colin Cloud takes the stage between sets and is hysterically funny, is very interactive with the crowd, and is the perfect balance to the more serious Shin Lim.
We’re thrilled we chose to see Shin Lim’s show!
We had a different but very memorable Christmas with great Chinese Noodles and a spectacular show on the Las Vegas Strip.