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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.
Restaurants / VegasChatter Reviews / Openings / Charcoal Room / Palace Station / Steakhouses / Station Casinos / Dining / → All Tags
There was a time in Las Vegas recently where it felt like a week didn’t go by without a new steakhouse opening. Steakhouses were a dining trend that was music to this carnivore’s ears. Now, just about every casino has a steakhouse so there’s not much new to experience on the steak front. I’ve been revisiting my favorites on the Vegas Strip like SW Steakhouse at Wynn and, more recently, Prime at Bellagio. There’s nothing wrong with eating at restaurants known to provide great food and great service, but there’s something exciting about trying one that's new. Enter The Charcoal Room at Palace Station.
Palace Station is just off the Vegas Strip on Sahara near SLS Las Vegas. It’s an older casino and not the first place people consider for dining. That may change with some new dining options coming on board. The Charcoal Room is a locals' favorite at Santa Fe Station and just opened its second location at Palace Station. If the locals like The Charcoal Room then there’s a good chance that we would be in for a solid meal at fair prices and that’s exactly what we had.
VegasChatter Reviews / Broadway Rat Pack / The King And The Chairman / Chairman Of The Board / That's Life / Downtown Vegas / Downtown / Four Queens / → All Tags
Imagine taking leftovers, carving it up and serving one semi-edible portion as the main course all over again. That's what Four Queens gives us with downtown’s biggest little train wreck, Broadway Rat Pack (BRP), which has been reworked and rechristened as
The King and The Chairman Chairman of the Board That's Life. Unfortunately, BRP version 2.0 will have you wishing you brought along the air sickness bag from your last flight.
Last November, in a review of Broadway Rat Pack, this writer called it “a cheap amateurish production all the way.” The show, which shared Four Queen's Canyon Club Theater with the long-running hit Mike Hammer Comedy Magic, managed to stink up Fremont for eight months before quietly closing a few weeks ago. Just as the odor was starting to dissipate, Broadway Rat Pack rose from the grave.
When you hear "off-strip casino Mexican food," it's only natural to picture a place where 90% of the food comes out of industrial #10 cans and everything is the same set of tired stereotypes. Maybe there's some really cheesy murals or a churro with whipped cream on it for $6.
Mercadito at Red Rock Resort is not that kind of place. It's not groundbreaking nor is it outstanding. The word this writer can think of to describe it best is "competent." It's a competent Mexican restaurant.
Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Golden Nugget / Vic & Anthony's / Steakhouses / Dining / Eating / VegasChatter Reviews / → All Tags
Downtown's changing dining scene has been a roller coaster of big names and unique concepts hanging their shingle in the revamped retro spaces that define the area. One thing we haven't seen is a bigwig of old Vegas try and reposition themselves to rope in new attention... (wait for it)... until now.
Vic & Anthony's at Golden Nugget has been doing the classic Vegas steakhouse thing for a while, but their Executive Chef Eric Stetcher is now serving up some rather interesting dishes.
VegasChatter Reviews / Restaurants / Kerry Simon / Carson Kitchen / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / Fremont East / → All Tags
Celebrity Chef Kerry Simon is the first big name to cast his sights upon downtown with the debut of his newest concept, Carson Kitchen. After a year of waiting and quiet updates, the newest tenant of the revamped John E. Carson building (formerly a motel) is serving up some very cool cuisine to a packed house nightly.
There's a certain kind of atmosphere that Carson Kitchen emanates, a certain kind of aura (if that's a real thing and also something restaurants can have). It has a certain blend of that "neighborhood" communal feel, but still has plenty of creativity oozing out between the floorboards. It's the kind of place that, after a cocktail or two, makes you start to feel like you're on vacation in a much cooler city. Portland, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Denver... hell, it almost feels like some of the hip LA suburbs that have the bad names (LA suburbs with good-sounding names are almost always post-apocalyptic hellholes). Somehow that feel has been plucked from those cities, but without the humidity.