|Glamming it up in Vegas…sort of.|
Okay, back from Vegas, and don’t even have a mild batch of syphilis to show for it, so either I was doing it wrong, or I’ve been lied to for a number of years. I don’t even think I saw one, single, solitary whore, let alone an entire flock of whores (caravan? herd? peck?). But my friend did report that when she arrived at her hotel at 7 am, she did overhear some gentlemen bargaining with hookers on the elevator. One asked in a heavily Asian accent “I can go to your ay-noos?”
Yeah dude. Yeah you can.
So lack of prostitutes aside, here are my overall impressions of the Las Vegas strip:
|My husband, Chris, glamming it up.|
1: Holy shitballs of cigarette smoke, batman. As an ex-smoker (God bless myself for quitting), I cannot imagine voluntarily putting that garbage into my lungs anymore. The casinos, which are located…um…everywhere, including the hotel lobbies, are just thick clouds of cigarette smoke, with the occasional complete bastard puffing away on a phallic cigar. Even at the Bellagio, which is where we stayed because we’re high-falutin’, the smoke was just overwhelming.
2: The amount of electricity being used stressed me out a little. WHY SO MANY LIGHTS, VEGAS??
3: Whomever invented remote-controlled blackout curtains should receive complimentary road head from someone far more attractive than I.
4: I found the imitations of the Eiffel Tower, Venice, the pyramids etc. to be cheap, farcical, and tacky. Every time I saw one, I just wished that I were in the actual location of the original, rather than in the American desert looking at fakes. I thought hotels like the Cosmopolitan, which were just original but overdone, were much nicer than the international pretendo models.
5: You know how on Halloween women tend to wear clothing that is not technically flattering on their particular body type, but they act like having a mask on totally excuses it? That. A lot. Every night in Las Vegas.
|Hot messes after a night out, tangled in a giant chandelier at Cosmo|
6: The whole “VIP, high roller, exclusive club entry” crap was pretentious and overdone. I’m paying you to be here, so let’s not pretend that you need to decide if I’m “good enough” to exchange money for services/goods/entry, okay? Also, the way that heavy women were treated at a club was horrendous enough that I wrote a whole separate blog entry on it. Expect to see that soon.
7: Every time I saw a baby in a smoke-filled area I got Very. Very. Upset. It happened frequently, and was heartbreaking. You don’t need to have a stroller on the strip at midnight while you drink a yard of liquor. That should be illegal. I don’t care how many family friendly activities there are, I would never choose to bring a child to that environment. My lungs hurt the whole time we were there, and I’m a grown-ass woman who made that choice. A kid shouldn’t have to.
Blah blah blah blah….
If I return to Vegas, it’ll be for the food. There are delicious, game-changing, phenomenally well-done meals every 3 feet in Vegas. I literally couldn’t eat enough to even get a sampling, and that was while having, literally, two dinners every night. So I’ll tell you what I tried, but you should know that it is a molecule in the ocean of deliciousness that is Vegas.
|Thai hot “10 out of 10” wasn’t so hot, but was very good.|
|They brought us this to fire up the spicy dish, but it still wasn’t TOO bad.|
|Every time I meet a friend from my blog, they end up being awesome.|
Lotus of Siam– in a shitty strip mall somewhere off the strip, we found the best Thai food ever. It was recommended by a bloggy friend (thanks to Jeremy Hall!), and was just excellent. I had the Panang tofu, some wontons, some spring rolls, and a Thai chicken salad at Thai hot level 10 that they brought out to challenge us. It wasn’t that spicy. Not even after we added crushed Thai chili seeds to it. But it WAS very good, and I almost wished I’d ordered it instead of the Panang. It was relatively inexpensive, and had an impressive wine list. Our server was a tiny Thai man with blue hair who smirked at us while we sampled his “10” dish.
|Budino. All most good enough to make you forget how douchy Scott Conant is.|
D.O.C.G.–A Scott Conant restaurant/wine bar in the Cosmopolitan. All I had there was wine and the salted caramel budino (pudding) which was salty and rich and custardy–all of which are my favorite things to find in a dessert. High five, Conant. You make nice pudding.
|Breakfast of Champions|
|The Napoleon to end all napoleons|
Jean Pierre Patisserie– the man voted “best pastry chef in France” opened this baby up in the Bellagio, and it’s home to the largest chocolate fountain in the world, as well as both the best crepe I’ve ever eaten and the best Napoleon I’ve ever had the pleasure to taste. The first morning, Chris and I shared a napoleon, and the “royale” crepe, which was chicken, bacon, mushrooms, and mornay sauce in a buckwheat crepe with a side salad. OMG. Firstly, the buckwheat crepe was a stroke of brilliance. It had all the deep flavor and muskiness of buckwheat, but in the light, airy texture of a well-made crepe. And the filling was just richly superlative and perfectly balanced. The next morning, I put on my workout clothes, walked downstairs, had my very own royale crepe, plus four full-sized pastries (eclair, bear claw, raspberry pistachio tart, flan). Then I went back to bed for two hours. Vegas is awesome in that way.
The Public House at the Venetian– Best mojito ever, plus some pretty tasty Welsh rarebit.
|Pork belly ramen|
|teriyaki chicken and peruvian corn|
|Tuna and white asparagus|
SushiSamba–A sushi restaurant with some Latin flair, this was where I had my favorite cocktail of life. It was called the karachi, I think, and it was cherry vodka with jalapenos and cherry juice. Spicy, sweet, bright, I could have had about 30 of them if they weren’t so expensive. Foods that were consumed there (by me) include: spicy tuna roll, tuna with white asparagus and miso aioli, kobe tartare, teriyaki chicken skewer, peruvian corn, edamame, pork belly ramen, and coconut rice. All were fab, and I’d never had peruvian corn before. It was kind of a mushy, chewy large yellow hominy of sorts. Not better than good, sweet corn, but an experience for sure. The spicy tuna roll was the best I’d ever had, with only the faintest hint of seaweed flavor, and a great spicy sauce drizzled on top. That’s usually my issue with sushi (aside from the fact that I only eat raw tuna), is that it tastes too much like seaweed, and that’s not a flavor I like. Usually I stick with tuna nigiri.
|A washed out picture of Chris, big pimpin with ALL of his dates to Le Cirque. From the left, we’ve got Kate, me, Chris, Oksana, and Bri. Thanks for coming guys!|
Le Cirque–Really, this place could have had a review of it’s own that took up an entire post, but I’ll try to be brief. It was excellent. The amuse bouche was a roasted carrot soup with pepitas, which I could have made at home, but was tasty. It came with miniature bacon madeleines, which are a fab idea and I’ll be working on developing a recipe for. My salad course was truffle/avocado/lobster/cucumber, and wasn’t fabulous to be totally honest. It lacked salt and punch, but was fresh. A friend of ours had the diver scallop with parsnip veloute, and that was MUCH better. Chris had beef tartare with heirloom tomatoes, and while I questioned the wisdom of tomatoes served in March, it was perfectly seasoned and flavorful, if the tomatoes were a touch mealy for my taste.
|Bacon Madeleines? Yes. Every day, yes.|
|Lobster, black truffle, avocado, and cucumber salad at Le Cirque|
For main courses, mine was by far and away one of the best I’ve ever had. Whenever I eat at a restaurant that is going to cost more than about $100 per person, I try to branch out a little. Because things I typically don’t eat (scallop, for example) are always done very, very well and are often good enough to change my opinion of the item in question. So when I saw lapin as an entree…well, I just decided to go for it. Lapin is rabbit. I know, I know, fuzzy bunnies. My sister had one growing up. It was cute. I felt bad ordering it, but I’d never had it before and was feeling adventurous. The entree ended up being a rabbit liver mousse ravioli, with rabbit belly bacon and shredded, braised rabbit covered in a rich, butter foam and sprinkled with a giant helping of freshly fried (weird preparation, but great) spaetzle. WOW. I was completely taken aback by how thoroughly in love I was with the dish. The whole thing tasted like umami and butter and depth. Game changer, for sure. I still won’t be purchasing rabbit and preparing it (for now), nor will I be ordering it in a $20/entree type of establishment for fear that they’d ruin it for me, but Le Cirque gets mad props for perfect composition and execution. I even tasted a bite of the ravioli, and then gifted it to Chris because liver is still a thing I hate, regardless of its original mammalian owner. When they tried to sprinkle a few spaetzle out of a copper all-clad pan, I stared the server down aggressively and said “JUST LEAVE THE ENTIRE PAN.” He did. Fearfully.
|Rabbit ravioli, rabbit braise, rabbit bacon, fried spaetzle, and butter foam.|
|Eating my birthday dessert at Le Cirque like a really classy lady|
Dessert was a chocolate bomb with gold leaf, and then a raspberry macaroon with sugared rose petals and rose ice cream and raspberry foam and gelee. Plus we got cute little truffles in tiny jewelry boxes. Adorbz.
Cosmopolitan– I ordered kobe burger and fries from room service, then promptly spilled ranch dressing on Oksana’s bed, toddled unsteadily back to my hotel while balancing the plate and dropping a Hansel and Gretel-esque trail of fries between the hotels (and into my purse, too), and then ate two bites of before I fell asleep (passed out). Chris ate the rest. It was good enough.
Bellagio buffet–We ate there twice, once for dinner and once for Sunday brunch. It was actually very good. Tons of selection, very good food, kobe beef, kurobuta pork, free-range chicken, great desserts, and free unlimited mimosas. Bag of win. Plus, I scored line passes so we didn’t even have to wait to get our gorge on.
|Myself and Bri, outside the Bellagio after a giant buffet meal|
That was it for food, but it’s a pretty impressive list for a 3 day trip, eh? I gained a full percent of body fat, though I remained weight neutral because I also didn’t exercise at all. And I drank a lot of wine, but not enough to be miserably hung over any of the days we were there.
|Miranda, Oksana, Briana, and Me before heading to Club Vanity|
As a final shout out, I’d like to thank everyone who made it out to help me celebrate. I have a dream team group of beautiful friends, and they share either my love for food, my love for slutty outfits, my love for family, or my love for liquor. And some share my love for ALL of them. So thank you, everyone, and let’s do this again next year. London or New York, anyone??