Sunday, July 17, 2011

LAS VEGAS

(includes Paradise & Summerlin)

BAKERIES, COFFEE, ICE CREAM, JUICE & TEA

Beat Coffeehouse & Records – 520 Fremont Street; 702-409-5563; thebeatlv.com.
Bouchon Bakery – 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South (Strip); 702-414-6203; bouchonbakery.com; baked goods and coffee.
Lady Silvia – 900 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Soho Lofts); 702-229-6100; theladysilvia.com; coffee bar by day; inspired by Prague’s Strahov Monastery.



BARS & NIGHTCLUBS
Bar + Bistro – 107 East Charleston Boulevard, #155 (at Arts Factory); 702-202-6060; barbistroaf.com.
Beauty Bar – 517 Fremont Street; 702-598-1965; thebeautybar.com; local bands and mixed drinks.
Central – 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Caesar’s Palace); 702-650-5921; centrallv.com; Michel Richard’s bar for late night snacks; always open.
Commonwealth – 525 East Fremont Street; 702-445-6400; commonwealthlv.com; downtown revamp of pre-Prohibition-inspiration; backroom speakeasy, rooftop, and private booths, as well as 20' long bar; dark wood and exposed brick; see Laundry Room, below.
D.O.C.G. Enoteca – 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-698-7000; cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/taste/restaurant-collection/d-o-c-g.aspx; wine bar named after named after Italian wine category called Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita; also, rustic Tuscan steakhouse.
Downtown Cocktail Room – 111 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-880-3936; thedowntownlv.com.
Griffin – 511 Fremont Street; 702-382-0577; fremontstreetbars.com/fremont-east-bars/the-griffin; for good beer.
Lady Silvia – 900 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Soho Lofts); 702-229-6100; theladysilvia.com; cocktail bar at night; inspired by Prague’s Strahov Monastery.
Laundry Room – 525 East Fremont Street; 702-701-1466; fremontstreetbars.com/fremont-east-bars/laundry-room-speakeasy; hole-in-wall speakeasy tucked inside Commonwealth Bar; need secret code to get in (texted to you after you make reservation); amazing custom drinks.
Minus 5° Ice Bar – 3770 South Las Vegas Boulevard; 702-643-7800; minus5experience.com; everything inside made of ice; before you go in, they give you huge coat; other location in Las Vegas is Shoppes at Mandalay Place, 3930 South Las Vegas Boulevard; 702-740-5800; also NYC, Orlando & Grand Caymans locations.
Rose. Rabbit. Lie. – 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Cosmopolitan Hotel); 702-698-7000 or 877-667-0585; roserabbitlie.com; acrobats hurl overhead, performers tap dance on tables, and buy ticket for Vaudeville topless burlesque (in ballroom).



HOTELS
Aria Resort – 3730 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-590-7111 or 866-359-7111; arialasvegas.com; book sky suite.
Bellagio – 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-693-7223 or 888-987-6667; bellagio.com; over-the-top with Asia-meets-Venice accents.
El Cortez Cabana Suites – 651 East Ogden Avenue; 702-385-5200 or 800-634-6703; eccabana.com; beautiful and affordable; in original, Bugsy Siegel hotel; make sure you ask for recently renovated Cabana suite.
Cosmopolitan – 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-698-7000 or 877-551-7772; cosmopolitanlasvegas.com; beautiful and boutique-y; roughly 75% rooms have terraces; make sure to check out 3-story “Chandelier” and “James Bond Vesper” bars; at great spa, try Red Flower Hamman Experience massage and relaxation experience.
Encore – 3121 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-770-8000 or 877-321-9966; encorelasvegas.com; 2K room boutique hotel.
Mandarin Oriental – 3752 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-590-8888 or 800-526-6566; mandarinoriental.com.
Palazzo – 3325 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-414-1000 or 877-444-5777; palazzolasvegas.com.
Palms Place – 4321 West Flamingo Road; 702-942-777 or 866-942-7770; palms.com.
Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa – 11011 West Charleston Boulevard; 702-797-7777 or 800-678-2846; redrocklasvegas.com; less flashy than usual fare, located 10 miles west of strip; tastefully subdued; self-contained oasis; 3rd floor villas have living rooms, wet bars, and private terraces with infinity pools.
Skylofts at MGM Grand – 3799 South Las Vegas Boulevard; 866-646-5638; skyloftsmgmgrand.com; private sanctuary perched on top 2 floors MGM Grand.
Vdara – 2600 West Harmon Avenue; 702-590-2767 or 866-745-7767; vdara.com.
Venetian – 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-414-1000 or 866-659-9643; venetian.com.
Wynn – 3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-770-7000 or 866-659-9643; wynnlasvegas.com.



RESTAURANTS
Aburiya Raku – 5030 West Spring Mountain Road; 702-367-3511; raku-grill.com; high-end, Japanese pub food; grilled foods rather than sushi; home-made tofu (served in basket) is revelatory; try yakitori.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon – 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at MGM Grand Hotel); 702-891-7358; mgmgrand.com; beautiful and brilliant; can sit at counter and eat if alone; best burger in Vegas, supposedly.
Aureole – 3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino); 702-632-7401; charliepalmer.com; towering desserts are famous; try brownie tart with salted caramel ice cream.
B&B Ristorante – 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Venetian Resort Hotel Casino); 702-266-9977; bandbristorante.com; owned by Mario Batali; try beef cheek ravioli or penne alla carbonara with lamb pancetta.
Bar + Bistro – 107 East Charleston Boulevard, #155 (at Arts Factory); 702-202-6060; barbistroaf.com.
barMASA – 3730 Las Vegas Boulevard (Paradise, at Aria); 702-590-7757; arialasvegas.com; Japanese.
Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare – 3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-770-3305; wynnlasvegas.com.
Blue Ribbon Sushi – 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Cosmopolitan Hotel); 702-698-7000; blueribbonrestaurants.com.
Bouchon – 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Venetian Hotel, in Venezia Tower); 702-414-6200; bouchonbistro.com; excellent breakfasts.
CarneVino – 3325 South Las Vegas Boulevard (at Palazzo Hotel); 702-789-4141; carnevino.com; order 240-day, dry-aged riserva porterhouse ($162.00 per inch).
Central – 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Caesar’s Palace); 702-650-5921; centrallv.com; Michel Richard’s spot for late night snacks; always open.
Chada Thai & Wine – 3400 South Jones Boulevard (Chinatown); 702-641-1345; chadavegas.com.
Comme Ca – 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Cosmopolitan Hotel); 702-698-7910; commecarestaurants.com.
D.O.C.G. Enoteca – 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-698-7000; cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/taste/restaurant-collection/d-o-c-g.aspx; rustic Tuscan steakhouse named after named after Italian wine category called Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita; also wine bar.
Dom DeMarco’s Pizzeria & Bar – 9785 West Charleston Boulevard (Summerlin); 702-570-7000; domdemarcos.com; legendary, old-school Brooklyn-style pizza.
“e” by Jose Andres – 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Cosmopolitan Hotel, 8 seats at Jaleo’s back); 702-698-7950; ebyjoseandres.com; 8 tables so reservations “must”; up to 22 courses; 2 seatings nightly.
Five50 – 3730 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Aria Resort); 702-590-7757 or 877-230-2742; aria.com/dining/restaurants/five50; pizza.
Fukuburger – 702-217-0758; fukuburger.com; food truck with must try burgers (try Karai burger, which has avocado cream, cucumbers, habanero-spiked soy sauce, and spicy mayo).
Golden Steer – 308 West Sahara Avenue; 702-384-4470; goldensteersteakhouselasvegas.com; among the few places still extant where Rat Pack once hung; ask for Shecky Greene booth; try Chateaubriand.
Jaleo’s – 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Cosmopolitan Hotel, by Jose Andres); 702-698-7950; jaleo.com/index.php/contact/las_vegas; paella and tapas.
Kabuto – 5040 Spring Mountain Road (West Side); 702-676-1044; kabutolv.com; expensive but worth it, even factoring in taxi from strip.
Lotus of Siam – 953 East Sahara Avenue; 702-735-3033; saipinchutima.com; considered best Thai restaurant in America; in strip mall.
Marche Bacchus – 2620 Regatta Drive; 702-804-8008; marchebacchus.com; in back of wine shop; try lobster potpie.
Monta Noodle House – 5030 Spring Mountain Road (West Side); 702-367-4600; montaramen.com.
Mizumi – 3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Wynn Hotel); 702-770-7000; wynnlasvegas.com/Restaurants/FineDining/Mizumi; Japanese.
Michael Mina – 3400 Las Vegas Freeway (at Bellagio Hotel); 702-693-8199; michaelmina.net/restaurants/locations/mmlv.php; vegetarian offerings.
Mix – 3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Mandalay Bay Hotel, 64th Floor); 702-632-9500; mandalaybay.com; Alain Ducasse; best at night for views; jaw-dropping, neon-lit perspective straight up strip; even restrooms are walled in glass; overhead, Ks glistening glass orbs dangle from soaring ceilings; great food.
Monta Ramen – 5030 Spring Mountain Road; 702-367-4600; montaramen.com; yet another reason to visit Las Vegas other than “The Strip”; little ramen shop; try tonkotsu-shoyu or tonkotsu (broth for both extremely creamy but delicious; make sure to add soft-boiled egg to your ramen.
Mozen Bistro – 3752 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Mandarin Oriental); 702-590-8888; mandarinoriental.com; among Strip’s most pleasant surprises; try 6-dish bento box.
Nobhill Tavern (by Michael Mina) – 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-891-7337; michaelmina.net.
Nobu Caesar’s Palace – 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Caesar’s Palace); 702-785-6628; caesarspalace.com/restaurants/nobu.html‎; sit at teppanyaki so can watch private chef prepare meal.
Paymon’s Mediterranean Restaurant – 8380 West Sahara Avenue (West Side); 702-731-6030; paymons.com; lush, scarlet-walled hookah lounge tucked behind bland strip-mall setting; try Persian chicken in walnut pomegranate sauce or Greek moussaka.
Pho Kim Long – 4029 West Spring Mountain Road; 702-220-3613; Vietnamese soup.
Raku – 5030 West Spring Mountain Road, #2 (West Side); 702-367-3511; raku-grill.com; Japanese; where local chefs hang; see also Sweets Raku, below.
Sage – 3730 Las Vegas Boulevard (Paradise, at Aria); 702-590-7757; arialasvegas.com; try foie gras custard brulee; also, good bar food; also, ask for absinthe cart at dessert and request they serve it “Russian” style (it involves flames).
Restaurant Guy Savoy – 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Ceasar’s Palace); 702-731-7286; ceasarspalace.com; 3 star Michelin chef; worth trip.
Scarpetta – 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Cosmopolitan Hotel); 702-698-7960; scottconant.com/restaurants; highly regarded.
Settebello – 140 Green Valley Parkway; 702-222-3556; settebello.net; try pizza.
Shaanxi Gourmet – 3400 South Jones Boulevard, Suite 16; 702-586-3311; vegas.eater.com/tags/shaanxi-gourmet‎; must try items are lamb noodle soup (homemade noodles), stewed park burger (has to be seen), and fiery fish fillet in hot chili soup (best hangover cure).
Snacks – 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Bellagio); 702-693-7111; bellagio.com; tucked between Bellagio’s poker room and its Race & Sports Book; Cuban sandwich shop.
El Sombrero – 807 South Main Street; 702-382-9234; lasvegasrestaurants.com/restaurant.cfm/restaurant/1112/ElSombreroCafe; hole-in-wall Mexican joint; old school atmosphere.
StripSteak – 3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino); 702-632-7414; mandalay.bay.com; Michael Mina poaches steaks in “PolyScience immersion (butter) circulator” until tender and then finishes over fire.
Sweets Raku – 5040 West Spring Mountain Road, #3; 702-290-7181; facebook.com/sweetsraku‎; Japanese pastry in sleek, laboratory space; see also Raku, above.
Switch Steak – 3121 South Las Vegas Boulevard, North Strip (at Encore Las Vegas); 702-248-3463; wynnlasvegas.com/dining; dinner is theater at this one-of-kind steakhouse overlooking Encore’s swanky pool complex; at least hourly, lights dim, music comes up and ceiling and walls quite literally “switch” from 1 motif to another (hence name); various Nebraskan, corn-fed beef steaks, but other options, depending on season, include Chilean sea bass with olive oil-poached tomatoes or Jidori chicken with macerated golden raisins and pine nuts; be warned that on Friday and Saturday nights, patrons lining up for entry into Surrender next door can be obnoxiously loud.
Trattoria Nakamura-Ya – 5040 West Spring Mountain, Suite 5 (West Side); 702-251-0022; trattorianakamura-ya.com; Italian-Japanese.
Twist – 3752 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Mandarin Oriental); 702-590-8888; mandarinoriental.com/lasvegas; unbelievable food and views.



SERVICES
Canyon Ranch – 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Venetian & Palazzo); 702-414-3600; canyonranch.com; spa‎.
Richard Petty Driving Experience – 7000 North Las Vegas Boulevard (at Las Vegas Motor Speedway); 702-643-4572 or 800-237-3889; drivepetty.com/race-tracks/las-vegas-motor-speedway; drive NASCAR.



SHOPPING
AllSaints Spitalfields – 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Cosmopolitan Hotel); 702-722-5252; cosmopolitanlasvegas.com; affordable, hip fashions.
Arts Factory – 107 East Charleston Boulevard; 702-383-3133; theartsfactory.com; hodgepodge of artists’ studios and galleries; anchors city’s arts district.
Assouline – 3720 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Crystals at City Center); 702-795-0166; assouline.com; elegant editions fashion and photography books.
Amber Unicorn – 2101 South Decatur Boulevard, #14; 702-648-9303; amberunicornbooks.com; used cookbooks (over 10K titles).
Beat Coffeehouse & Records – 520 Fremont Street; 702-409-5563; thebeatlv.com.
CRSVR – 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Cosmopolitan Hotel); 702-252-5212; cosmopolitanlasvegas.com; sneaker boutique.
Crystals at City Center – 3720 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-590-9299 or 866-754-2489; crystalsatcitycenter.com; collection of high-end shops; worth visiting for architecture alone.
Emergency Arts – 520 Fremont Street; 702-300-6268; emergencyartslv.com; art gallery complex.
Gregory’s – 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Las Vegas Grand Canal Shoppes, Venetian Hotel); 702-792-1300; gregorysshoes.com; shoe story.
H&M – 3663 Las Vegas Boulevard South (Forum Shops at Caesars Palace); 702-369-1195; hm.com; clothing and fashion accessories.
Inglot – 3663 Las Vegas Boulevard South (Forum Shops at Caesars Palace); 702-735-9064; inglotcosmetics.com; cosmetics.
Donna Karan New York – 3720 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Crystals at City Center); 702-207-2420; donnakaran.com; off-rack and custom-fitted designs.
Kiki de Montparnasse – 3720 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Crystals at City Center); 702-736-7883; kikidm.com; lingerie.
Lanvin – 3720 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Crystals at City Center); 702-685-6635; lanvin.com; clothing; only American outpost for Lucas Ossendrijver’s menswear line.
Lost Vegas – 625 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-382-1882; lostvegas.vpweb.com; retro, Las Vegas memorabilia.
Talulah G – 3200 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Fashion Show Mall); 702-471-7800; talulahg.com; high-end fashion by big name designers (e.g., Chloe, Missoni, and Zac Posen).
Trifecta Gallery – 107 East Charleston Boulevard, #135 (at Arts Factory); 702-366-7001; trifectagallery.com; contemporary works.
Giueppe Zanotti Design – 3663 Las Vegas Boulevard South (Forum Shops at Caesars Palace); 702-866-0055; giuseppezanottidesign.com; shoes, sandals in particular.



SIGHTS & SITES
Bonnie Springs Ranch – 16935 Bonnie Springs Road (down Route 159, in Blue Diamond); 702-875-4191; bonniesprings.com; Old West recreation with gift shop, petting zoo, restaurant (where corny shows play), and riding stables.
Contemporary Arts Center – 107 East Charleston Boulevard (at Arts Factory); 702-382-3886; lasvegascac.org.
Downtown Container Park – 707 Fremont Street; downtowncontainerpark.com; 40 shipping containers house bars, restaurants, art, etc.
1st Friday at Arts Factory – 107 East Charleston Boulevard (at Art Factory); 702-383-3133; theartsfactory.com; arts district event.
Neon Museum – 821 Las Vegas Boulevard North; 702-387-6366; neonmuseum.org; reservations recommended.
Pinball Hall of Fame – 1610 East Tropicana Avenue; 702-597-2627; pinballmuseum.org.
Red Rock Canyon – Route 159; blm.gov/nv; 200K acre Nature Conservation area.
River Mountains Trail – 35 mile bike trail connecting Boulder City and Henderson; 702-365-2191; rivermountainstrail.com; circles River Mountains; connects with Historic Railroad Tunnel trail, which ends near Hoover Dam.
Sam’s Town – 5111 Boulder Highway; 702-456-7777; samstownlv.com; hotel-casino whose atrium hosts laser-light show with animatronic bear and beaver.
Shark Reef Aquarium – 3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South (at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino); 702-632-4555; sharkreef.com; 1.3M gallon tank containing 30 sharks, in which you can book dives (2 divers at time maximum); expensive.
James Turrell Installation – 3720 Las Vegas Boulevard South (Paradise, at Louis Vuitton); 702-262-6189; facebook.com/JamesTurrellArt or jamesturrell.com; by-appointment-only installation; open Thursday-Monday, 11 am-8 pm & limited to 6 viewers at time; James Turrell’s latest work, “Akhob”; 3rd of 3 works commissioned by Louis Vuitton; treats viewers to elevated color and light exploration & how light interacts with space; “We have lot of misconceptions about light. Usually we are illuminating things instead of looking at light itself.” says Turrell; this is Turrell’s largest “ganzfeld effect” project to date, at 77x33x44'; term “ganzfeld effect” refers to visual perception phenomenon most often studied by staring at unstructured, uniform color field; “Akhob” is Egyptian Amarna period word meaning “pure water”; led into pure white “pyramid chamber” where don white booties to protect pristine surfaces & ascend stairs into 2 colorfully lit chambers to experience 24-minute light show; as colors change, viewers literally lose themselves in silent, light-filled void.

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