Monthly Archives: November 2013

Vegas Strip Steak Gains Momentum, Cash Cow for the Beef Industry

A new cut of beef is making the news, and it’s in this Las Vegas blog mainly because of its awesome name, the Vegas Strip Steak.

This newly-discovered steak could garner $100 million for the beef industry (not to mention being a boon for Vegas restaurants), and meat lovers are likely to enjoy this steak “inspired by the food capital of the world.” Las Vegas. Please try and keep up.

Vegas Strip Steak

Las Vegas has always been known for its meat-handling.

The Vegas Strip Steak was invented by Dallas meat scientist Tony Mata. Yes, there are meat scientists. Where have you been? Mata is a bit of a steak legend, as he also discovered the flatiron steak.

It’s complicated, but the Vegas Strip Steak is actually Mata’s intellectual property. Expect to see it on menus in restaurants along the Las Vegas Strip more and more often.

Learn more about the Vegas Strip Steak in a sweet news segment on CBS.

The new Vegas Strip Steak is being marketed as a flavorful alternative to the New York strip, but at a third of the price.

Vegas Strip Steak

We have no idea if it’s good. We just know it has “Vegas” in the name.

Find out more about the Vegas Strip Steak. Especially if you’re a little too into Vegas. Ahem.

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

SHe Steakhouse at The Shops at Crystals is Crazy-Good

In a town filled with great steakhouses, SHe Las Vegas is certainly one of those.

SHe (yes, with the stylized “SH,” for “Steak House”) was originally conceived as a female-friendly steakhouse, but there’s no gender bias here, just great food in a welcoming atmosphere.

SHe by Morton's

You might call the view an appetizer at SHe.

We’re not entirely sure what a “boutique steakhouse” is, but that’s what SHe (technically, SHe by Morton’s) claims to be. The restaurant is a collaboration between he popular chain of upscale Morton’s The Steakhouse restaurants and actress Eva Longoria, of “Desperate Housewives” fame.

Dining in the early evening is mellow, then SHe gains a nightclub vibe as the night progresses. There are often burlesque-style performers on its S-shaped catwalk.

SHe restaurant at Aria

Part restaurant, part nightclub, it’s like two joints in one.

The appetizers are first-rate, and the Crab Cake Minis, Crispy Tempura Shrimp and Sea Bass Bites are well worth a try.

There are few qualities more important in Las Vegas than the ability to pace oneself.

There are few qualities more important in Las Vegas than the ability to pace oneself.

The sliders, called Little Big Royales (inspired by “Pulp Fiction”), are stand-outs.

SHe sliders

You’re just getting started, if you can believe that.

The steaks are the main attraction at any steakhouse, of course.

Just like in the casino, sometimes you have to double up to catch up.

Just like in the casino, sometimes you have to double up to catch up.

Ever-conscious of its female customers, SHe offers “She Cuts” (lighter portions), “He Cuts” (standard sizes) and “We Cuts” (suitable for sharing). In the “We Cuts” category, for example, there’s a 40-ounce porterhouse that could feed a platoon of famished Marines.

Porterhouse

Ridiculous, and ridiculously tasty.

She steaks are some of the best you can find on The Strip.

One of the secrets of the steaks at SHe is that they’re topped with “beurre fondue.” Yeah, we had no idea what that is either. It’s an “emulsified butter.” That didn’t help us understand it any better either. Let’s just say the beurre fondue keeps the steaks extraordinarily moist, among other things.

As you might expect, the desserts are crazy-good, too. You won’t have room, but forge ahead, anyway.

SHe cake

This is the moment where you hit the wall.

You can check out the full SHe menu at the restaurant’s official site. SHe is located inside The Shops at Crystals at Aria Las Vegas.

Enjoy a few more photos of SHe by Morton’s restaurant, and feel free to drool if you’re so inclined. We won’t judge.

SHe Steakhouse at Aria

[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant1.jpg]17850
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant10.jpg]800
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant11.jpg]690
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant12.jpg]660
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant13.jpg]560
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant14.jpg]560
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant15.jpg]520
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant2.jpg]480
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant3.jpg]420
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant4.jpg]390
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant5.jpg]340
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant6.jpg]330
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant7.jpg]300
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant8.jpg]370
[img src=https://vitalvegas.com/wp-content/flagallery/she-steakhouse-at-aria/thumbs/thumbs_she_restaurant9.jpg]380

 

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Pop Quiz: Which Las Vegas Chef is Also a Movie Star?

There are so many celebrity chefs in Las Vegas, it’s hard to keep track of them all. One, however, stands out from the rest because he’s not just a famed chef, he’s also a movie star. Which chef is it?

We hate rhetorical questions, so we’re going to answer this one.

Chef Nobu as Mr. Roboto

If this hint doesn’t help, you’re one of many people who feels there should be quotation marks around “celebrity” in “celebrity chef.” And, yes, we should probably also put quotation marks around “movie star,” in this case. Moving on.

It’s chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, also known as just “Nobu.”

His Nobu Restaurant and Lounge opened at Caesars Palace in February of 2013, and also has a restaurant at the Hard Rock hotel. Yes, he had other restaurants before his Las Vegas restaurants, but his Las Vegas restaurants are why he’s a “celebrity” chef, because, well, Las Vegas.

In 2002, Chef Nobu had a role in “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” the third in the Austin Powers trilogy starring Mike Meyers. Thanks to lax copyright protections on the Internet, here’s a peek at Chef Nobu at work.

In “Goldmember,” Nobu plays Mr. Roboto, the head of a corrupt Japanese company building a weapon for Dr. Evil and Goldmember.

Mr. Roboto Fat Bastard

Mr. Roboto gets a missive from Fat Bastard. A sentence we never expected to type, we can assure you.

Chef Nobu got to be in a couple of solid comedic sequences, and even got to hang out with Beyonce.

Nobu as Mr. Roboto

Note: That’s not Beyonce.

Sadly, Mr. Roboto won’t be back for any more sequels, as he ends up being fed to sharks. With laser beams on their heads, of course.

Ironic, since in his restaurants, Nobu often feeds seafood to people.

Ironic, since in his restaurants, Nobu often feeds seafood to people.

Nobu’s film credits don’t end there, however. He also had a role in “Memoirs of a Geisha,” and the acclaimed “Casino,” thanks in great part to his friendship with Robert De Niro, who also happens to be one of Nobu’s partners in Nobu Restaurant at Caesars.

Nobu also has a role in a new film, “The Girl from Nagasaki.” It’s a film based upon the classic Puccini opera “Madame Butterfly,” assuring this blog will never see it, even if threatened with death.

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Fizz Lounge Opens at Caesars Palace: No Photos Allowed, We Laughed

The new Fizz Lounge has opened at Caesars Palace. Fizz Las Vegas is a champagne bar, created by Elton John’s partner, David Furnish. Elton John is a resident headliner at Caesars Palace, of course, and the two have been married since 2005.

We’d love to show you what the new lounge looks like, but unfortunately, photographs are strictly prohibited at Fizz Las Vegas “to honor guest discretion,” whatever the hell that might mean.

Fizz lounge

Yes, that cell phone is taking a photo of a camera. Meta!

Naturally, whenever you see a “no photography” sign in this blog, photos are sure to follow!

Here’s the entrance to Fizz. The lounge sits between The Colosseum and The Forum Shops, right off the casino floor.

Fizz Las Vegas

We can’t wait to get a look at the silk moirĂ© and walnut walls, despite the fact those words appear to be in another language.

The interior of the 2,750-square-foot lounge is fairly gorgeous, as befits a knight and his husband.

The lounge is being described as “the epicenter of chic, celebrating the crossroad between champagne and couture cocktail offerings.” We love Las Vegas marketing! It’s like a wet cat fell onto a computer keyboard and that was the result.

Let’s take a peek inside, shall we?

Photography, it ruins everything.

Photography, it ruins everything.

We felt O.K. violating the no photography policy because there was no “guest discretion” to honor. Specifically, there were no guests. Not even one. Perhaps that’s because nobody’s allowed to take and share photos. Well, not nobody.

Fizz lounge Caesars Palace

Hope you’ve been saving up your pennies!

Our overriding impression of Fizz would have to be, “Who is this for?” It’s nice and all, but it feels out of place. “Elegant attire”? It sounds exclusive, but from the lack of customers, maybe it’s a tad too exclusive? (Velvet ropes outside Fizz when it first opened are gone now, so maybe somebody realized this isn’t the place for that level of snooty.)

Are Las Vegas visitors clamoring for more champagne? Fizz may not be around long, unfortunately, but we expect it’ll get a boost when Elton John returns for another set of shows next year.

Fizz cost $3.2 million to build. Ouch.

Fizz Las Vegas is now open 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., Monday through Thursday and noon to 4:00 a.m. Friday and Sunday.

Let us know what you think if you stop by.

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

First Looks at the New O’Sheas and the Future 3535 Bar at The Quad

Fans of O’Sheas, the little casino that won over legions of fans with its cheap hooch and low table limits, have been anxiously awaiting its new incarnation in the space between The Quad and The Linq.

We breached security to get the first photo of one part of the new O’Sheas Las Vegas.

New O'Sheas Las Vegas

We’re sure the beer pong tables will spruce things up a little.

We couldn’t get a good view because the new O’Sheas is completely hidden from view, although portions of the new establishment protrude into the casino area of The Quad. (Customers will be able to enter from The Quad on one side and from The Linq shopping and entertainment district on the other).

New O'Sheas

Your O’Sheas is showing!

The bar area, with its dark wood, appears to be coming along nicely, despite our nagging feeling the new O’Sheas will be the O’Sheas we know and love pretty much in name only. Change comes at a price.

The good news is Lucky the Leprechaun (Brian Thomas) will return to keep the party going, including free pours from atop the new O’Sheas bar seen in our photo.

We’re happy to report the renovations in The Quad’s casino are in the home stretch, with just one walled-off area remaining.

3535 Bar

For us, a construction wall isn’t a construction wall, it’s an invitation.

Unfortunately, the construction wall is 20 feet tall, so there’s no way for us to get a photo.

Seriously, you fell for that? Do you know this Las Vegas blog at all? Of course we got a photo over the wall. Boom, as the kids say.

3535 Bar

The Quad still has a lot of room to play with. This is where the new 3535 bar will be.

This area is pretty sparse, but is presumably where a new casino bar will be located. The new bar is likely to be called 3535, after the address of The Quad, although we hear the name hasn’t been finalized.

Word on the street is that this new casino bar was built out, but a muckety-muck didn’t like it, so it was taken down. Anything worth doing is worth doing again!

Bar 3535 The Quad

This is where the main casino of the Imperial Palace was, in all its anachronistic glory.

The new 3535 bar will have a focus on mixology, so that’s something to look forward to. The Quad’s Catalyst Bar turned out great, and the drinks are tasty (although a tad expensive if you’re not playing at a video poker machine), so we’re looking forward to seeing what’s next.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of rumors at The Quad, here’s a juicy one: The rooms at The Quad, formerly the Imperial Palace, are known to be some of the worst on The Strip and have been subject of harsh criticism for awhile.

Now, we hear a significant amount of money has been shaken loose for room renovations, even surpassing what was originally planned. We’re expecting the rooms to be renovated in 2014, and it’s about flipping time.

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

11 Common Casino Items, Extremely Close Up

If you visit casinos, in Las Vegas or elsewhere, you’ve seen these items before. You just haven’t seen them like this!

1. Craps Stick

This device is used by the “stickman” (yes, it’s a “stickman,” even when it’s not a man) to retrieve the dice. They may also be used by shady stickmen to “short stick,” which means pushing the dice to a female gambler just far enough so she has to lean forward to pick them up, cleavage-wise.

craps stick

A craps stick is also called a “mop” or “whip.”

2. Paddle

On casino table games, there’s a slot where your money goes and never comes back. The paddle is used to push the money through the slot.

A paddle is also called a "plunger."

A paddle is also called a “plunger.”

Here’s a normal view of a paddle so you know one when you see one.

casino paddle

This paddle is useless in a canoe, so don’t even think about it.

3. Cup Holder

These handy devices keep your cocktail safe.

casino cup holder

Casinos hate spilled cocktails on their fancy felt, so cup holders serve a very useful purpose.

Casino cup holders have a special lip that goes under the table’s arm rest, a little insurance to keep us from being whacked by pit bosses.

These are often called "slide-under" cup holders.

These are often called “slide-under” cup holders.

4. Dice

There’s nothing like the feel of dice in your hands. Just don’t switch hands while you’re shooting at craps. Casinos prohibit hand-switching to avoid the possibility of cheating.

The spots on dice are called "pips."

The spots on dice are called “pips.”

5. Discard Tray

This is where your cards go after they’ve been used. Discard trays are often translucent and red to help casinos catch players marking their cards.

Casino discard tray

Cheaters use inks or “daubs” which can be detected by viewing cards through the discard tray.

Amazing the things we take for granted when we see them in a casino.

casino discard tray

Discard trays are usually affixed to the table with screws, but we’ve always had a couple of screws loose.

6. Gaming Chip

Casino chips are also called checks, cheques or casino tokens. There are several reasons casinos use chips rather than cash, but the main reason is customers gamble more freely when they use chips rather than cash. Surprise!

Casino chips

Many casino chips are made from the same kind of clay used to make kitty litter.

7. Felt Brush

Brushes are used to keep felt tables clean in casinos. Leave brushes off our list? We bristle at the idea.

Felt brush bristles are made of nylon, a family of synthetic polymers known as aliphatic polyamides. Yes, we knew that off the top of our head, thanks.

Felt brush bristles are made of nylon, a family of synthetic polymers known as aliphatic polyamides. Yes, we knew that off the top of our head, thanks.

Here’s another look at the typical felt brush.

felt brush

A “Brush” can also be a poker room employee who helps players with chips, seating and other tasks. The name was inspired by the brushes used to clean debris from the tables.

8. Roulette Marker

When a number is called in roulette, the dealer places a marker on the number. Players are asked to wait until the marker is removed before retrieving their winnings.

Roulette markers come in a variety of styles and materials.

Roulette markers come in a variety of styles and materials.

A roulette marker is also called a “dolly.” That’s because the profile of some markers looks like a doll.

We'll say it. We love playing with dollys.

We’ll say it. We love playing with dollies.

9. Craps On/Off Puck

A craps puck, also called a “buck,” marks the number you’re shooting for to win. One side of the craps puck says “On” and the other says “Off.” When it’s showing “Off,” you need a seven or 11 to win. When it’s “On,” you need to hit the number the puck is sitting on (the “point”) before a seven to win. Wow, quickest craps lesson, ever. Just ask your dealer for help.

craps puck

We have no idea why the edges of craps pucks are made of rubber, unless they help prevent unintended pucklets.

The house edge for a Pass Line bet in craps is a mere 1.4%, making it one of the best bets in a casino.

craps on/off puck

Depending upon which way you turn the puck, it can read “On,” “No,” “Oz” or “Zo.” The Zo are an indigenous tribe in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

10. Bingo Dauber

Bingo players have the option of using machines to track their games, but lots of players still love to daub. Dauber manufacturers say purple is the most popular dauber color.

bingo dauber

This is a new dauber, but the fun really starts when the sponge is saturated with inky goodness.

Some people make their own dauber ink. These people clearly have issues.

bingo dauber

Much like with ChapStick, nobody has ever actually used up all the ink in a bingo dauber.

11. Craps Pyramid Bumper

OK, here’s our favorite close-up of the bunch. To ensure craps dice land randomly, there’s a portion of the craps table wall covered with pyramid-shaped bumpers. Some players claim they can influence the dice through practice and skill. The bumpers are intended to squash that possibility, real or imagined. This is why you’ll hear dealers and pit bosses insist, “Both dice need to hit the back wall.”

They look a little menacing, but the pyramids are made of rubber, so there's no danger, other than the danger of losing your bankroll.

Somebody could use a little lotion.

Some gamblers believe they can influence their roll by “setting” the dice, or putting them in a particular configuration before the throw. Players believe casino staff discourage the practice because dice-setting is a threat to the bottom line. It is, but not for the reason they think. Casinos don’t like dice-setting because it slows down the game. The quicker the pace of the game, the more money a casino makes.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our close-up tour of some common casino items. Maybe you’ll see them a little differently the next time you play!

Special thanks to our friends at the Gambler’s General Store for letting us photograph their stuff.

Share some Vegas. Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone