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Just One Dish: Brussels Sprout Hearts at Cleo

Where: 2535 Las Vegas Blvd. South [map], 89109
July 14, 2015 at 7:10 PM | by | ()

Sometimes, a full restaurant review just won't do. Perhaps, there wasn't time for an A-Z meal. Maybe we just don't want to spoil it all. Or, a dog ate our good pictures. There may still be that one dish worth writing about. A new one, an old one. A newsworthy one or a memorable one (for better or worse). It might be the one dish, or drink, out of the whole experience that gets us to return. Or, stay away.

After hearing from my vegetarian friends how delicious Cleo at SLS was, this omnivore was quite curious. When I go out for a nice meal, it’s either Italian or a typical steakhouse dinner of steak and some sides. Potatoes are a vegetable, right? I do love most vegetables but I wouldn’t normally choose a restaurant just for its veggie reputation.

I’m so glad I went out of my comfort zone because the meal I had at Cleo, which was recently sold to The One Group, was easily one of the ten best I’ve had in Vegas over a decade of overeating here. While the seasonal mushroom flatbread, spanakopita and mushrooms with puffed rice all were worth returning for on their own, the Brussels Sprouts Hearts from the mezze section of the menu were surprisingly great. They are $9 for a fairly large bowl that was a good size to share with a friend.

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Vegas News Briefs: Jesse Waits is Leaving Wynn for Alon (And Other News)

July 13, 2015 at 2:43 PM | by | ()

There's so much going on in Vegas, we can't get to all of it so here's a nifty news round-up for you instead. Enjoy!

· WAITS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING, FOR ANOTHER NEW BUILDING: Norm Clarke broke the news over the weekend that Jesse Waits, the nightclub partner behind Tryst and XS at Wynn and Encore, respectively, has left his cushy nightlife gig to join Al-anon Alon Las Vegas, the $4 billion resort and casino going up on the site of the old Frontier. He will join other former Wynn-ers, Andrew Pascal and Rob Oseland in his new position, of which details have yet to be released but clearly, he's running the nightlife ops. But will he bring back his twin Cy, who's had a tough go of things lately?

· SLS BOSS STAYING POSITIVE: Johnny Kats has an interview with Scott Kreeger, the new president and COO of SLS Las Vegas, who is of course "confident in the future" of SLS. If he wasn't, he would be fired. Nevertheless, the piece has some interesting tidbits such as--the SLS Buffet is "not a priority", Fred Segal Jewels recently closed and that Keeger thinks their new players club program is better than Boyd's or Station's.

· DRUMMER TRAVIS BARKER DOING A RESIDENCY AT HYDE BELLAGIO: Travis Barker of Blink-182 fame will kick off his “Give the Drummer Some” residency at Hyde Bellagio on Tuesday, August 18. He will be the first artist to launch an official residency at Hyde. He plans to "deliver high-powered performances featuring tracks from his first solo album." Here are his residency dates: August 18, 2015; September 5, 2015; November 3, 2015; January 2, 2016; February 20, 2016; and March 19, 2016.

· LAS VEGAS POWER PASS ADDS NEW ATTRACTIONS: For $84.99 per adult and $54.99 per child (aged 2-12), the one-day Las Vegas Power Pass will get visitors "discounts and offers at top Vegas shows, dining and retail venues, fast-track entry at five of the city's busiest attractions and a free two-day hop-on, hop-off bus tour ticket." New attractions include Cowabunga Water Park, KISS Mini-Golf and Gene Wood's Go-Kart racing. You can peep the full-list of attractions included here. There are also multiple-day passes available as well. The passes are available now for 15 percent off until tomorrow.

· NBA SUMMER LEAGUE SO FAR: We forgot to include this in our weekend cheat sheet but the NBA Summer League is in full swing. The Bleacher Report has today's schedule and the league's standings so far. Games take place at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion at UNLV from July 10-20. Tickets start at $25 a day for general admission.

[Photo: Jesse C Waits/Facebook]

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Even More Changes in Store for SLS Las Vegas

July 8, 2015 at 7:12 PM | by | ()

And the hits keep on coming for the SLS Las Vegas. And by hits we mean more changes to the struggling casino hotel.

Page Six reports that Sam Nazarian is selling off his two best restaurant concepts--Katsuya and Cleo--to the One Group which owns the STK steakhouse brand (found in Vegas in The Cosmopolitan) as well as the Bagatelle brand (once found in Vegas for a hot minute at the Tropicana.) What this means for the future of Katsuya and Cleo at the SLS, whose hours were downgraded in November, we're not sure but now with new, non-SBE owners, anything can happen.

Another interesting development at SLS may happen to the hotel's pool scene. According to # 11 on this recent Clark County Zoning and Subdivision agenda, there's a design review pending for:

"an outside bar/nightclub with swimming pools in conjunction with a resort hotel (SLS) on a portion of 17.5 acres in an H-1 (Limited Resort and Apartment) Zone in the MUD-1 Overlay District. Generally located on the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard South and Sahara Avenue within Winchester. CG/jt/ml (For possible action)"

Currently, the SLS only has one pool (the original Sahara pool) but now that LiFE has closed, we could totally see SLS ripping up this area and building an entirely new pool scene.

Of course, that's just what we think. And what do we know? We're just an unfrozen caveman lawyer. So have at it with your Vegas expertise in comments below.

[Photo: Greg C./VegasChatter]

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Bazaar MEAT at SLS Switches Up Selections and Launches Tasting Menu

July 2, 2015 at 5:49 PM | by | ()

Attention foodies: the minds behind Bazaar MEAT are planning a complete menu overhaul this month. True to their form of wild experimentation (and similar to the model of the original Bazaar restaurant in Los Angeles), much of the menu--besides a few favorites of course--will change and be revealed as a whole new show.

This change comes on the heels of the Think Food Group development team's recent visit to their Vegas properties (Jaleo, China Poblano, and Bazaar MEAT), with their greatest minds in molecular gastronomy cuisine planting and training on the various cutting-edge techniques.

Exactly what will be coming and what will be going is still a mystery for all except the development team, but hopefully some of the favorites from the Beverly Hills original will make it over, like the "Philly Cheesesteak" with thin sliced wagyu and an "air baguette".

For summer, they are also introducing a 10-dish degustation tasting menu. For $65, diners will get a run of all the "classic" Bazaar MEAT dishes; their giant chicharron with greek yogurt espuma, Ferran Adria olives, Robuchon Potatoes, "Bagels and Lox" cone, and others. For $25 more, there is a four-wine pairing with a wide range of Spanish styles (1+1=3 Brut Cava, C.V.N.E. “Monopole” Viura, Emilio Moro Tempranillo, and Emilia Lustau “East India Solera” Sherry).

Elsewhere at SLS, we just learned that Bonkerz Comedy Club is playing this weekend at Sayers Club. Get your tickets here. See, it's not all doom and gloom at SLS. Right?

[Photo: SLS Las Vegas]

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Two Big Closures: MO5AIC at Bally's and LiFE at SLS

June 30, 2015 at 10:41 AM | by | ()

Grand opening....Grand closing.

We're used to places suddenly closing on The Strip but these two closures have us slightly taken aback. Let's start with the first and the most sudden of the two--Mo5aic at Bally's.

Just last week, the boys of this acapella show were hyping their return to Las Vegas with a grand media opening at the Windows Showroom at Bally's. But sadly, the residency lasted just short of a month as the The LVRJ reports that the show was halted due to "a dispute over delinquent rent." Seems like Mo5aic' s producer just pulled the plug at the last-minute. (Which probably won't help the guys get hired in this town again.)

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Seriously Losing Steam: SLS Posts $35 Million Loss in First Quarter

June 24, 2015 at 4:24 PM | by | ()

This probably isn't surprising news to avid Vegas watchers, but it is still an astounding amount of money that the SLS Las Vegas has lost in the first quarter of the financial year.

Howard Stutz at the LVRJ reports that according to a recent securities filing, SLS lost $35.3 million in the first quarter of this year, The resort’s private equity owners, Stockbridge Capital Owners also ponied up $5.3 million in April for the property’s general operations purposes. They've also committed to contributing $40 million through the end of the year so that SLS can make its payments "as they become due."

Here are some interesting numbers on SLS uncovered by the LVRJ:

Of SLS Las Vegas’ first-quarter net revenue (from January through March which totaled about $37.3 million), $9.1 million came from the casino. Hotel revenue accounted for $13.6 million and food and beverage operations brought in more than $15.7 million.

Food and beverage did close to double the amount that gambling brought in. Again, it's not that suprising to avid Vegas watchers who've seen the casinos get edged out by nightlife but it's still fascinating to hear. Maybe these means more new places to drink will pop up on the SLS casino floor.

For comparison's sake, The Cosmopolitan had a net revenue of $189 million in the first quarter, an increase from last year while their net loss was $5.8 million, down from $12 million for the same period last year.)

[Photo of SLS Foxtail Pool: Greg C. for VegasChatter]

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Deuce Bar No Longer Has Any Deuces to Give and Other Nightlife Updates

June 22, 2015 at 6:04 PM | by | ()

We had heard whispers that the casino-side Deuce Lounge at Aria would be closing and now we've got an official eyewitness account.

VegasChatter reader @PaperPoster reports that the Deuce no longer has deuces to give, er, that it is closed and boarded up. No word yet on what will go in the space but we'll keep you posted.

Interestingly, that's not the only closure for Aria--Gold Lounge, which also opened on Aria's big opening day as a lounge just off the Viva Elvis theater (now Zarkana) has also closed, according to several eyewitnesses. Indeed, Aria has removed both Deuce and Gold Lounge from their website and visiting the Gold Lounge website just redirects to the Light Group (who took over Aria's nightlife in 2009) and there's no mention of Gold or Deuce there. To be continued...(Update: Eater reports that Gold Lounge will get a complete makeover.)

Meanwhile down at the far, far, far end of the Strip, SLS Las Vegas has added a new lounge area near the Center Bar, overlooking the roulette machines. Once again, @PaperPoster was on the scene and snapped this pic.

Well, we can't argue with more places to sit and look pretty.

Heard of any other closings or openings in Las Vegas? Let us know!

[Photos: VegasChatter and @PaperPoster]

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Another Round of Resort Fee Increases May Hit The Strip

June 10, 2015 at 9:59 PM | by | ()

Looks like our 2015 Guide to Las Vegas Resort Fees will need to be updated...again.

Two of the lower-end resorts within the MGM Resorts portfolio must think of themselves as rather high-end, at least when it comes to charging resort fees. Yup, you might want to sit down for this one.

Sources say Circus Circus is upping their resort fee from $15 to $20 a night, plus tax ($22.40.) Currently, the Circus Circus site is advertising $26 room rates with $150 coupon savings book to be used for dining, retail outlets, The Adventuredome and "more!"

The Excalibur is also planning on increasing its resort fee from $20 to $25 plus tax. Room rates at the hotel start at $159 a night next weekend. And we thought paying $25 at the Wynn sucked. Paying $25 for a resort known for its dated castle turrets and male dancers will suck even more.

But what's especially egregious--if these increases do go into effect--is that MGM Resorts just made increases to these two properties in December!!! Seriously, how is this rampant and random raising of resort fees still legal?

There is some good news here and that is that the resort fee hikes are not in effect right now. So you will continue pay $15 and $20 respectively at Circus and Excalibur. Reservations through at least October are also using the existing $15/$20 resort fees for the hotel. But you know how it goes with resort fees in Vegas--they can hike 'em up anytime.

And that's not all!

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Here's What You Need to Know about The New Code at SLS Las Vegas

June 1, 2015 at 3:31 PM | by | ()

When SLS Las Vegas opened last year, its players club, The Code, got off to a choppy start (which was par for the course for most things at SLS.) But unlike other operations at SLS, The Code has kept plugging along.

And now today, it's rolled out a new version of itself.

The first new thing you’ll notice is that there are different tiers for different levels of players. If you remember, the original version of The Code was a tier-less players club. Here are the new tiers:

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Check-Out Folio: Penn and Teller For Free, SLS Wants 18 Plus, And More

April 10, 2015 at 7:21 PM | by | ()

There's a lot of sh*t that happens in Vegas and not all of it can make it on our site as a full report. So, every Friday, we take note of some of the smaller announcements around town that may be of interest, too. Here's the rundown for the week of April 6:

WuHu at Silverton: The off-Strip hotel-casino will add a new restaurant, WuHu Noodle, this June.

Presented without comment: SLS is hosting an 18+ pool party Thursday, April 16 at Foxtail. Doors will open at 8 p.m. for what's being called "the sexiest new pool club in Sin City."

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Craft Beer, Music And Rockin' Fashions At SLS

Where: 2535 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
March 19, 2015 at 7:50 PM | by | ()

There are few things that sound as great as the combination of beer and music, at least to this guy. The Vegas Beer and Music Festival combines both and adds a rock n' roll fashion show April 3 at SLS Las Vegas (formerly the Sahara).

The event will bring together more than 50 craft breweries from Las Vegas and southern California, including Banger Brewing, New Belgium and Stone Brewing. The music portion of the festival will include performances by Falling Doves and Dan Fester. The fashion show is hosted by Romantic Rock. You can see a sample of the show here. (Click if like rock chicks in bikinis.)

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Griddle Cafe Closing At SLS, Northside Cafe Taking Spot

January 29, 2015 at 3:14 PM | by | ()

Another restaurant closure for SLS Las Vegas. But, unlike its buffet (which continues to sit dormant despite talk that it could reopen again this month), a new eatery will take over immediately.

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