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TAO's Menu Do-Over Needs Another Do-Over

Where: 3377 Las Vegas Blvd. S. [map], 89109
July 23, 2014 at 4:41 PM | by | Comments (3)

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.

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Entertainment Roundup: Still The One, But Not For Long To Georgia On Our Mind

July 21, 2014 at 8:09 PM | by | Comments (3)

The Vegas PR machine was in high gear today cranking out entertainment news from up and down The Strip. From the coming end of Twain's resident twang to another new show for the Riv, here's a roundup of what's closing and what's just ahead:

Shania Twain will stop stealing the limelight from Celine Dion by year's end. (Twain was recently named best resident performer by a Vegas publication so you know sh*t was getting serious.) Her two-year residency at Caesars Palace will officially mark its last night December 13. Tickets for the final 16 shows -- ten dates in October and six in December -- are on sale now. She's also here for a short run beginning tomorrow. Catch Shania July 22-23 and 25-26 if you can't wait that long to see her feel like a woman. Tickets begin at $55.

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Cures For The Post-World Series Of Poker Blues

July 21, 2014 at 3:00 PM | by | Comment (1)

The World Series of Poker wound down last week. The nine remaining players in the Main Event (CardsChat.com takes an in-depth look at them here) will return in November to play for $10 million. As the brass at Caesars Entertainment closed the doors to the Amazon room at the Rio convention center, it represented the end of nearly two months of poker nirvana for both amateur and professional players alike –- unless, like this writer, you were quickly shown the door with a meager bankroll and a string of bad luck.

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Sigh, Another Vegas Taxi Scam To Look Out For

July 17, 2014 at 3:31 PM | by | Comments (20)

By now, most Vegas visitors have been clued in to the long-hauling game. A simple “no tunnel” as you enter your cab can ensure that your ride doesn’t unnecessarily cost an extra 25% or more. Unfortunately, long-hauling isn’t the only way to be ripped off. As this writer found out during a recent trip to Venetian, cab customers are sometimes being fleeced even before the ride begins.

My group’s night on The Strip concluded with a late dinner inside Venetian and, as we finished off a second carafe of sake at Noodle Asia, we decided on cabbing home. As a Vegas resident, I know how to avoid a long-haul and was expecting an uneventful ride. What I didn’t anticipate, and was disgusted to discover, was a group of Venetian employees attempting to extort money from customers in exchange for bypassing an artificially inflated cab line.

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Want to See Venetian's Exclusive Paiza Club? No Million Dollar Credit Line? How About $150?

Where: 3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South [map], 89109
July 16, 2014 at 8:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

Paiza's reception lobby.

One of the few real-life equivalents of Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory, the super-exclusive Paiza Club at Venetian is almost never open to the public, either. The hangout of billionaire gamblers, created to cater to every whim of the obscenely wealthy, it is secretly one of the finest Chinese restaurants in Vegas (if not the finest).

The club has the ability to function without a menu and instead will whip up pretty much anything the heart desires. Want super-traditional cuisine? Specialized regional food? A Chinese, high-class version of a hamburger? Cake in the shape of a Ford Model-T? They can do it. And now, this ritzy joint is hosting a dinner featuring selections of The Glenlivet paired with food by Corporate Executive Chef Olivier Dubreuil.

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Yardbird To Land At Venetian In 2015

Where: 3355 Las Vegas Blvd [map], 89109
July 11, 2014 at 2:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

After the June closure of Pinot Brasserie at Venetian (the resort deciding against two casual-but-creative, celebrity chef-driven, side-by-side French Brasserie concepts), another dining destination is already on the way.

Because fields that lie fallow don't bear any fruit, a Miami-based restaurant group and its James Beard award-winning flagship, Yardbird have taken over the coveted spot between Public House and DB Brasserie.

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Must Do: Essential Las Vegas Steakhouses

July 10, 2014 at 6:53 PM | by | Comments (9)

What defines the dining character of Vegas (more than buffets)? The all-American steakhouse, of course!

Steakhouses in Las Vegas run the gambit from classic ranch house-style (The Steakhouse at Circus Circus) and high-concept dining spots (Jean Georges Steakhouse at Aria, Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris) to hip "clubstraunts" (STK at the Cosmopolitan). With the immense variety, it's easy to strike out on your own and hit a dud. Not all steakhouses are created equal, but there are a handful that really make their mark as "essential." There are many that serve up an amazing steak or have an amazing story to go along with them (Herbs & Rye among the best of both), but few are so egregious to miss as those below.

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The Best Late Night Eats In Vegas

July 2, 2014 at 5:25 PM | by | Comments (17)

A common predicament in Las Vegas is the necessity of a late night meal. Luckily, in this 24-hour town, you are not limited to Waffle House (not that we have one). Though, there’s nothing wrong with Waffle House, amirite, East Coasters? With so many options, it may be difficult to choose which restaurant should satisfy your cravings after midnight. Here are a few of our favorites:

Secret Pizza”: A hallway nestled next to Blue Ribbon Sushi at The Cosmopolitan, this "hidden" pizza joint serves late night pie until 5 a.m. It’s the perfect spot to grab a slice after an all-night dance party at Marquee or a concert at Boulevard Pool. Especially delicious is the white pizza, which is making this writer wish she hadn’t chosen to pen this story around lunch time. The pepperoni and the meatball are also solid options.

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How To Vegas Like Mindy Kaling

June 25, 2014 at 9:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

The VegasChatter corporate offices went on high alert when actress/producer/writer Mindy Kaling indicated on social media that a Vegas trip was imminent. It's always interesting to see what a celebrity will do in Sin City and usually pretty (although, for most, unintentionally) entertaining, too.

While Prince Harry still holds the honor of cheekiest visit to date, Mindy kept fans enthralled through a constant stream of social media updates. After following (obsessively) along, here's a quick guide on how to do Vegas, Kaling style:

1. Pack the appropriate essentials.

Vegas dress? Check. Bling? Check. Multiple bathing suits? Check.

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Dining At The New DB Brasserie

Where: 89109
June 6, 2014 at 7:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

Las Vegas has been short one bright star in our sky since the closing of Daniel Boulud Brasserie at Wynn in 2010. After the closing of such a singular fixed point of our fine dining scene since 2005, it was not clear if Chef Daniel would set his sights back on us again. But, with the closing of Valentino last year at Venetian and the mystery surrounding its replacement, whispers and rumors grew into a roar, “Daniel Boulud is coming back!” After a brief moment of fear that it would be another burger concept (Batali took that one for the team with B&B Burger & Beer), the countdown began for DB Brasserie.

First, a note on the dining room: holy crap, this is an immensely beautiful space. It’s a great blend of that modern monochrome winter-color style, but adheres to a great array of traditionalist aesthetic proportions, too. Opulent without being imposing, richly detailed without being garish or sacrificing any hipness, just very well done.

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WSOP Players Get Special Hotel Rates And You Can, Too

May 22, 2014 at 6:17 PM | by | Comment (1)

May means it’s time for the 45th annual World Series of Poker. As tens of thousands of poker pros, amateurs, fans, and dreamers make their way to Las Vegas, they will take up residence in the city’s hotels. Caesars, which runs the WSOP, offers special rates for entrants at host hotel Rio as well as its other properties across the city. Many will take them up on the offer, but quite a few will instead take advantage of special year-round poker rates not generally advertised to the public. The cool thing about these rates is that they’re open to anyone, not just the poker pros.

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Have You Heard The One About The Venetian?

Where: 89109
May 15, 2014 at 5:43 PM | by | Comments (4)

It's the rare Vegas hotel-casino that doesn't have a dedicated lineup of comedians these days. Heck, even Silver Sevens has one now. But, comediennes? That's tougher to find.

Jerry Seinfeld grabs headlines at Caesars Palace from time to time. Next door, The Mirage's Aces of Comedy are mostly all studs. Brad Garrett has his own comedy shop over at MGM Grand while quite a few other resorts are Bonkerz for jokes, too; but, again, there are more male than female entertainers. Tropicana did give Roseanne Barr the stage for a spell and Rita Rudner once headlined New York-New York before her now occasional Vegas appearances. So, why can't girls rule the world Strip?

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