Monthly Archives: January 2014

Catch Elton John’s Colosseum Show On the Cheap at a Theater Near You

Haven’t had the chance to see Elton John during his residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace?

No worries. On March 18 and 26, 2014, his popular Las Vegas show, “Million Dollar Piano,” will be beamed to more than 1,200 movie theaters around the world, including those in the U.S., Canada, Germany, the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. (“Screw you, again,” exclaimed Iceland.)

Tickets for the event, from a company called CinemaLive, go on sale Feb. 14, 2014.

Elton Hercules John

Elton John’s legal middle name is Hercules.

The average price of a ticket to Elton John’s show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace is about $135. So, we’re thinking seeing it in a movie theater is a great value, even with the $14 popcorn, $9 gummi bears and the two morons sitting behind you holding a conversation and checking their text messages the whole time.

Tickets for these live broadcasts run a bit more than regular movie tickets, around $15.

For theater locations, visit this official site.

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The Cromwell Will Be Named, Well, The Cromwell

Caesars Entertainment has confirmed what we confirmed, oh, last week. Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon will soon re-open as The Cromwell.

Read all about the drama-filled journey to find a name for this new boutique hotel.

The Cromwell Las Vegas

The Cromwell will have 188 rooms, approximately zero of which this blog will be able to afford without selling its car on Craigslist.

The Cromwell will begin taking reservations on Feb. 24, 2014, which also happens to be National Tortilla Chip Day. Exclusive!

The Cromwell’s is said to have been inspired by the Hotel¬†Costes in Paris, with “black Parisian-style awnings and gold fixtures adorning the windows.” We wouldn’t know a Hotel Costes if we tripped over one, but the hotel rendering looks slick, so we’ll just play along.

The hotel will have a 40,000-square-foot casino, too.

The official site for The Cromwell is an exercise in the art of saying things without actually saying anything, of course. The site proclaims, “the boutique hotel’s name foreshadows its sophisticated vibe and lavish aesthetic.” We have no idea what that means, but we’re thinking The Lavish Aesthetics would not be a bad band name.

In addition, the site says The Cromwell is “poised to raise the stakes.” We should all be sure to take notice of what the stakes currently are, so when The Cromwell opens, we can see how much they’ve been raised. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Find The Cromwell on Twitter, here.

One opportunity this somewhat anti-climatic news provides is to miss Bill’s a little. The former home of Big Elvis and the Victorian Room and the Steakhouse at Bill’s was a true throwback.

Bill's roulette

The final roulette spin at Bill’s was 7. If you add up all the numbers in roulette, you get 777, which is why it’s called the “devil’s game.”

Here’s a video we shot of Bill’s on its closing day. If you were a fan of Bill’s, as we were, this would be a good time to break out the Kleenex. Or J√§germeister. Or both.

We have high hopes The Cromwell will be a worthy successor to Bill’s. It’ll be a dramatic departure, that’s for sure.

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Iconic Showgirl Spectacle “Jubilee!” Goes Dark for Overhaul

The classic showgirl production at Bally’s Las Vegas, “Jubilee!,” is closing today (Jan. 30, 2014) for a revamp to breathe new life into the show that opened in 1981.

Jubilee showgirl

Don’t panic. She’ll be back. Well, someone of her similar height and weight will be back. You know what we mean.

Some useless “Jubilee!” trivia: It’s a popular myth the dancer headdresses weigh up to 35 pounds. The heaviest is 22 pounds. Most are in the 10-15 pound range.

“Jubilee!” will re-open in March, after extensive changes courtesy of choreographer Frank Gatson Jr., who has worked with some of the biggest names in show business, like Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Usher and Mariah Carey. Read more.

Frank Gatson Jr.

The man giving “Jubilee!” some CPR, Frank Gatson Jr. No pressure.

The new “Jubilee!” will combine some elements of the show which has been seen by millions of people from around the world, including the over-the-top costumes, with an eye toward giving the show a modern twist.

Ticket sales for “Jubilee!” have waned recently, so this much-needed facelift is the show’s last shot at sticking around for another decade or three at Bally’s.

“Jubilee!” is the last show of its kind in Las Vegas, and possibly the world, so we’ve got our rhinestone-covered fingers crossed.

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There Is a God and She’s Irish: St. Patty’s Day Block Party Returns to O’Sheas

The new O’Sheas has been packed at The Quad since the day it re-opened, and now this reborn haunt is bringing back an epic Vegas tradition: The O’Sheas St. Patrick’s Day block party.

The weekend-long debauchery will take place Mar. 15-17, 2014, from noon to midnight each day of what will surely be a free shot-driven, beer pong-filled celebration.

St. Paddy's Day O'Sheas

When we say the St. Patty’s Day parties at O’Sheas were epic, we don’t use the word lightly.

The St. Patty’s Day block parties at the former O’Sheas were the stuff of Vegas legend, with guests visiting from around the world to test their livers and don their green. And occasionally frogs. Don’t ask.

O'Sheas

They’ll be here. They won’t remember they were, but they’ll be here.

The original O’Sheas was open 23 years, but closed in 2012 to make room for The Linq, a new shopping and entertainment district.

The former O’Sheas space was swallowed up by The Quad’s newly-expanded casino.

O'Sheas

The new O’Sheas. Slogan: “Infinitely less ‘dip me in hand sanitizer’ than the previous O’Sheas.”

The new O’Sheas has recaptured much of its former magic, and the energy in the new venue is undeniable.

The tables at O’Sheas are almost always full, even while others in the adjoining casino at The Quad sit relatively empty. The success of the new O’Sheas has been so dramatic, hotel officials have already announced plans for an expansion.

The O’Sheas mascot, Lucky the Leprechaun, is back, too, in all his raunchy glory.

Lucky the Leprechaun

Lucky knows a little something about how to throw a party.

The Irish-themed O’Sheas has 11 table games, 15 video poker machines and three bars, the Lucky Bar and Dublin Up Bar inside, and the Blarney Bar, outside.

O'Sheas

Please say you two are still together. You were always a highlight of these block parties!

The St. Patty’s Day block party at O’Sheas will feature live entertainment and drink specials, of course.

The gathering is free to attend, and should mark the official return of O’Sheas as the go-to spot for St. Patty’s Day revelry on the Las Vegas Strip.

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From Artist to Belly Dancer to Chef, Seonkyoung Longest Brings Charm, Passion to Jayde Fuzion at M Resort

Chef Seonkyoung Longest doesn’t have the easiest name to remember (or pronounce), but once you meet her, you’re unlikely to forget her charm, her story and her passion for food.

Chef Seonkyoung Longest

Chef Seonkyoung Longest also answers to just “chef.” And just “Seon.” Thankfully!

Longest rocketed into celebrity chef territory after appearing on the Food Network’s “Restaurant Express” reality show. “Restaurant Express” was a seven-week competition hosted by Robert Irvine, and Longest prevailed over nine other chefs and aspiring restaurateurs.

Her prize? She’s now the Executive Chef at M Resort’s Jayde Fuzion restaurant, which we predict will become one of the premier Asian restaurants in Las Vegas.

Jayde Fuzion

We’ve decided not to focus on the funky spelling of Jayde Fuzion, but rather on the food. And possibly the liquor. Yes, there’s a bar.

On just about any night, Longest can be found greeting customers at Jayde Fuzion. She says, “Guests want to taste the food, but they also seem to want to meet me, as the winner of ‘Restaurant Express.’ They ask for a picture with me, and I love being able to explain more about the food and my recommendations, so they can get the most out of our menu.”

Jayde Fuzion bar

Told you there was a bar.

During her stint on “Restaurant Express,” she traveled in a bus with the other contestants, eventually ending up in Las Vegas for the show’s finale.

“The show was crazier than what people saw on TV,” says the chef. “Living in the bus wasn’t easy at all. We started with eight people on the bus, so it was hectic. With each week that passed, though, there was a little more room. It was upsetting seeing people leave, though. The contestants became really good friends. It was very emotional, but we still keep in touch.”

This is probably a good juncture to share some food porn!

On the restaurant’s “Road Trip Signature Dishes” menu, we tried the scrumptious Korean street tacos appetizer ($8) with scallion pancakes, beef bulgogi, napa cabbage and sriracha-lime aioli dressing. The chef says, “The meat is the eye of the ribeye, because it’s so tender. It’s marinated overnight, then made to order. There’s also a kimchi slaw, made in-house. Our ‘tacos’ are the perfect bite.”

Korean street tacos

The chef seems to make everything look adorable.

The chef’s story is a fascinating one, to say the least. We’ll let her tell it.

She says, “I started out as a comic book artist in Korea. I had done that since I was a kid, and I was really into it. I saw how hard it was to pursue something by yourself. I didn’t have any mentors. I quit. Then a friend took me to a belly dancing class, and I started doing that as a hobby. I loved it because when you’re dancing, your mind becomes empty. It’s like meditation. I was able to forget about everything I was going through. Eventually, I became a belly dancing instructor, then a professional belly dancer.”

Belly dancer to Las Vegas chef. Isn’t that how it happens for everybody?

Chef Longest continues, “During that time, I met my husband. He was stationed in Korea, serving in the Air Force. When I saw him the first time, I said to myself, ‘I think I’m going to marry him.’ It was crazy.”

It was a challenge moving to America, especially because of the language barrier, which made it difficult to make friends.

“When I was at an especially challenging point in my life, I found the Food Network,” Longest says. “I still remember that moment. It was Rachel Ray and her show ’30 Minute Meal.’ She was making lemon risotto, and I made that dish. My husband loved it, and I loved it, and it was fun. I didn’t even really know that kind of food existed. I watched more and more Food Network shows, and even started my own cooking show to share recipes on YouTube. It’s called ‘Asian at Home.’ I realize cooking makes me happy. Again, it’s a kind of meditation, as dancing was. The YouTube show was a way to share the joy I was feeling when I was cooking.”

The chef’s YouTube channel has nearly 20,000 subscribers. Take a look. Many of her recipes can be found on her blog. Blogs are some of our favorite things. Ahem.

Our favorite item on the Jayde Fuzion menu had to be the samgyeopsal, or pork belly, lettuce wraps ($8). Hey, we’re as surprised as anyone! The wraps feature crispy pork belly, kimchi, enoki mushrooms, cucumber, gem lettuce and Korean ssamjang sauce. It has a kick to it, but the wraps are fantastic, and we’re not really even a pork belly person.

Pork belly

Yes, we loved something with pork belly. Alert the media.

Chef Longest still can’t believe she tried out for “Restaurant Express,” and seems even more amazed she won.

She says, “I feel like the Food Network saved my life. Being on the Food Network was a dream come true, and winning was something I never expected. I only had three years of cooking experience. But here I am.”

One of her signature dishes is Kalbi, Korean beef short ribs.

Beef shortrib

Everything looks more Asian with those fancy mushrooms on there.

The restaurant’s menu also features salads, dim sum, tempura and noodle soups, as well as an irresistible selection of desserts. The most striking is the white chocolate strawberry yuzu mousse.

Mousse

Everyday mousse just got schooled. In Korean.

“I like everything light, fresh and balanced,” says the chef. “I would like to have sweet, spicy, salty, tangy and a little bitterness in everything I make. When you can have all those things, and nothing pops out, that is a well-balanced dish, and that is what Asian food is all about.”

When you dine at Jayde Fuzion (located in the former Marinelli’s), and you should, make sure to say “hello” to Chef Longest. Even if you didn’t see “Restaurant Express,” you’re sure to be charmed by this spitfire of a chef, and you’re also likely to learn something new about Korean food, and possibly belly dancing.

Only in Las Vegas, baby!

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