Tag: VegasChatter ReviewsView All Tags
Usually, when a strip club rents out a space in its building to a third party, the tenant is often... how do we put this nicely? Unsavory. Even if that space is a dining establishment, one would expect it to be a fried food or pizza spot. But, what if -- and stay with us here -- what if it is a good restaurant? With good food? Maybe even a zealous dedication to non-GMO sourcing? Perhaps a Mexican place?
New-ish El Dorado Cantina shares a building with the strip club, Sapphire. Luckily for most (and sadly for a few, we suppose), the spaces are entirely separate. Other than the fact you can see a marquee that says "Sapphire" from the parking lot, you wouldn't know that just feet away through soundproofed walls, there is a strip club. At certain times of the day (the restaurant is operational 24/7), you can even see families and couples coming in for a nice dinner. While not on the top of our family friendly dining list, we suppose it's certainly an option!
VegasChatter Reviews / Off Strip Dining / Dining / Off Strip / Pizza / Art In Vegas / Restaurants / Eating / → All Tags
This writer has unknowingly been following John Anthony’s meat across Las Vegas. As inappropriate as that sounds, it’s the truth. The restaurant manager and now chef has had a hand in some of my favorite dishes during his time in various managerial positions at Vegas venues like Cathouse (now shuttered at Luxor), Comme Ca at Cosmo, and most recently, Bagatelle at Trop, may it rest in peace. While it was clear from the beginning Bagatelle didn’t have any more of a chance to survive long term than its predecessor Nikki Beach, I sure wanted it to because the venue was beautiful and the food was really solid. Bagatelle’s beef tartare was my favorite preparation of the dish I’ve ever had. A beautifully salty and flavorful beef mixed with a rich aoli… but alas, it is no more.
When a foodie friend of mine suggested we try the new Grinder’s Pizza Lounge on Russell and Rainbow, I was game as I had driven by the new southwest restaurant and was already eager to try it. Once I opened the door and saw a familiar face, I realized Grinder’s was John Anthony’s new place.
VegasChatter Reviews / Delano Las Vegas / THEhotel at Mandalay Bay / Name Changes / Mandalay Bay / Openings / Renovations / Room Remodels / → All Tags
As a 14-year resident of south Florida (and longtime fan of Las Vegas), this writer was excited to learn that Delano, a Miami/South Beach landmark since 1947, was going to bring its upscale Floridian flavor to THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. Nearby Tropicana had already introduced this motif --rather successfully IMHO -- so I was interested to see how Delano would approach their own Miami-in-the-desert theme.
Not having stayed here previously, I found it easy to view Delano Las Vegas as a completely new lodging experience. What wasn’t so easy was finding my way to the lobby as the valet gave no directions or information before dashing away with my car. Nor did he mention the $20 daily valet charge that you may have already read about here.
After a false start into the nearest entrance (the Delano doorway within the Mandalay Bay parking garage is barely marked), I was surprised by the lack of Miami-inspired decor throughout the foyer. (PR reps will, however, point out the white sheers as very "Delano.") At least the air was fresh smelling as Delano is entirely smoke (and gaming) free. The large boulders as well as rock sculptures are very lovely and impressive and the hotel's version of melding Florida with Vegas. If you aren't told that (or didn't read it here), though, it could be a real headscratcher.
Delano is known for exemplary service, which has clearly carried over to its Nevada sister. Desk agents, concierge and bell staff were all buzzing efficiently and courteously at their tasks as sleek lighting and sexy music set a Wynn-like tone. Check-in was fast and pleasant, with my agent eagerly urging me to try her favorite new citrus juice at 3940 Coffee + Tea (the lobby coffeeshop) and describing the locations of the recently overhauled Franklin Bar (the lobby bar) and Della’s Kitchen (the ground-floor cafe).
My king suite on the 26th floor was easy to find, halfway down a corridor that was simple and tasteful. Thankfully, there were no feelings of vertigo like during my recent stroll through the SLS World Tower funhouse corridors. That relief quickly turned to deja vu, though, once inside the suite. Was this the Delano or the SLS? It’s easy to spot the many similarities as designer Philippe Starck’s vintage-meets-modern stylings were introduced to the Delano Miami during its ‘94 renovation, and he put a similar stamp on Sahara's rebirth.
VegasChatter Reviews / Bunkhouse / Bars / Eating / Dining / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Fremont East / → All Tags
Downtown's dining scene is still in its infancy, trailing behind the already mature cocktail scene. Among the many openings of the last few months, Bunkhouse -- which has grabbed headlines as a live event venue -- has been under-appreciated as a food spot. You don't usually hear about it unless some hip band or seven-foot tall clown is doing a show, but when you do make it down there (there being Fremont & 11th), check out the outdoor take-away counter. And, even when there's not live entertainment, you should consider heading here for some of the best bar bites in town.
The space is quite different without the entertainment, quiet and much brighter. It almost looks like it's still an underground-ish locals bar, something like a cleaner Double Down Saloon. The inside is less hip and Instagram-y than the outside (which hosts a 59' Dodge D100 truck turned into booth seating and a "music listening tree"), but at least it comes off as very authentic.
We've been hearing rumblings about the opening of Mochiko Chicken for months now. It started with Jerry Misa and Sandra Lenska hanging up their food truck keys and putting brick to mortar. After a few setbacks and the rescheduling of an opening date, Mochiko Chicken is up and running.
Located off, off Strip at Decatur and Sahara (handy map link here), this specific brand of fried chicken is a kind of Hawaiian/Japanese/Southeast Asian fusion. Mochiko refers to the rice flour-based breading (Mochi=Rice in Japanese) that gives the chicken a light, crispy, almost tempura-like crunch. Miles, even leagues better than the frozen Tyson brand chicken that makes up 99% of the tenders on earth, Mochiko's chicken is akin to a child's favorite staple in an adult's quality. Good ingredients, loving preparation, and a light dusting of furikake. What's not to love? Combos start at $7, but you are without a doubt getting some of the best chicken fingers in town.
VegasChatter Reviews / Sahara / SLS Las Vegas / Name Changes / Reopenings / Room Remodels / Renovations / → All Tags
The Sahara was one of the first Vegas hotels that this writer (and my other half) ever stayed in. After visiting many times, both alone and with pals, Sahara felt like an old friend. Unfortunately, our relationship faltered when the property and level of service fell into decay. After a particularly unpleasant experience in 2009, I vowed not to return as a guest. And, I kept that promise… until last weekend when it was reborn as SLS Las Vegas.
As soon as an opening date for SLS was announced, I was able to book a two-night stay in a World Tower accommodation (360 sq. ft.) for that weekend. The World Tower is, by SLS’ own description, the "functional” arm of its three towers, with the Story Tower rooms (325 sq. ft.) intended for partiers, and Lux Tower rooms (465 sq. ft.) designed for those with luxury tastes.
VegasChatter Reviews / F.A.M.E. / The Linq / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / Fuku Burger / → All Tags
F.A.M.E. Street Market, the new(ish), multi-faceted Asian-inspired spot in The Linq, sports several different food vendors, art, music, and entertainment. Hey, that spells "Fame!" (Or, rather, "fvame," but just go with it.) It's a pretty lofty claim by any standards, but how can you explain the concept to someone that may have just wandered into the space?
The most accurate description you could give anyone of F.A.M.E. is something along the lines of "a food court with only Asian food and also Fuku Burger is there." Aside from one of the mack-daddy names of the Las Vegas food truck scene, many of the other little specific outlets really cannot escape the feel of a cafeteria. Plastic trays, table numbers... really the only thing out of place is the beer (there are a couple of interesting ones on tap, mind you).
VegasChatter Reviews / BLT Steak / Bally's / Eating / Dining / Fine Dining / Restaurants / → All Tags
At Bally's, the hotel's eponymous steakhouse is now BLT Steak (related to BLT Burger at The Mirage, part of ESquared Hospitality). With thirteen locations around the world, plus many other sister restaurants and concepts, how would BLT compare to the one it replaced?
One glance at the past menu and the current one and you'll notice they are quite similar, covering the basics of crab cake, tuna tartare, lamb chops.. you know the drill. One great, big fat difference would be they've 86'd a ton of very expendable Italian dishes. Not that it was an "Italian steakhouse" before, mind you; it was just an American steakhouse that had lasagna and Shrimp Fra Diavola for... some reason.
VegasChatter Reviews / The Cromwell / Giada's / Eating / Dining / Restaurants / → All Tags
Since our initial review in June, Giada's has opened its doors for lunch as well as dinner. With a whole new menu (well, mostly new), Giada's further expands itself as The Cromwell's only dining option.
The change in style from dinner to lunch includes a change in uniform. While at night it's all black ties and white steward jackets, during the day it is a much more contemporary (and casual) wait staff. Waiters are clad in blue vests and ties while porters sport light blue, plaid shirts. It also should be noted the restaurant's hydraulic windows -- the larger space designed by Los Angeles-based firm, Studio Collective (photo gallery below) -- are open rarely at this time of year no matter the time of day, closed either due to monsoon rain or to keep out the ballistic, scalding winds that even industrial air-curtains can't forestall.
VegasChatter Reviews / Circus Circus / The Adventuredome / El Loco / Roller Coasters / Fun Vegas / → All Tags
Here at VegasChatter, we love what’s new. It’s no surprise that we’ve covered El Loco, the most recent ride addition at The Adventuredome, quite a bit. But, what about the rest of the ‘Dome? It's been up and running for over twenty years, but is it worth your time? Or, is it a tourist trap better left for the Clark Griswolds of the world? This writer set out to answer these questions while conquering the new El Loco coaster during a recent visit to Circus Circus.
VegasChatter Reviews / Drinking / Bars / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Fremont East / Fremont Street / Oak & Ivy / The Boozery / Shipping Container Park / → All Tags
After eight months of operation, the opening roster of Downtown's Container Park has suffered some significant casualties. Cheffini's Hot Dogs replaced Pork & Beans, numerous little shops have changed hands, the putting-green grass (predictably) was replaced by astroturf, and now the Boozery vacates their spot to have Oak & Ivy step in. (Sadly, Big Ern's BBQ, despite their best efforts, is still open).
VegasChatter Reviews / Eating / Dining / TAO / Venetian / Restaurants / → All Tags
After quite some time of not daring to touch their food lineup, the highest-grossing and most-profitable restaurant in America has deigned to make a change. The 62,000-foot behemoth that is TAO at Venetian made its bones off of being one of the first to bring clubs and restaurants together and one of the first to really popularize Asian-fusion cuisine. But, it also really needed to update the somewhat dated menu.
When not wrangling in the celebrity crowd with a fishing trawler, the staff has to push thousands of people every night, something only a buffet kitchen could usually do. Here they have whole teams dedicated to skewering sea bass or sautéing the shiitake in one of their still most popular dishes, the Sea Bass Satay ($19), which has been featured on Food Network's Best Thing I Ever Ate.