Category Archives: Las Vegas

Las Vegas Casino Rumor of the Day: SLS Las Vegas Sold

The Las Vegas rumor mill has been working overtime lately, and this one’s a doozy.

We’re hearing SLS Las Vegas has been sold to Alex Meruelo and his Meruelo Group, which we didn’t entirely know existed until about 15 minutes ago.

SLS Las Vegas

Dibs on this logo thingy.

Which brings two questions to mind immediately. First, what just happened? Second, who is Alex Meruelo?

As for the first question, seriously, though. Unconfirmed, rumors and speculation, the usual disclaimers and all that.

The Alex Meruelo part we can help with. Alex Meruelo’s company, Meruelo Group, has a number of assets, but the one most relevant to owning a casino on the Las Vegas Strip is Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada.

Grand Sierra Resort has gone by a few names, including MGM Grand Reno, Bally’s Reno and Reno Hilton.

Meruelo also has interests in construction and engineering, television, radio, real estate, food services and private equity, whatever that might actually be.

Meruelo Group

Dude doesn’t care about wearing proper protective gear near a construction site. We like him already.

If rumors of the sale of SLS Las Vegas are true, it would be another fascinating chapter in the history of the boutique resort that was once the classic Sahara.

Our source says there’s been some talk of changing the resort’s name back to Sahara, which would be several kinds of cool. There’s apparently been discussion about changing the casino’s loyalty club from “Code” to “52.” The Sahara opened in 1952.

SLS Las Vegas

Time to say farewell to this bad boy.

It’s likely Meruelo would rebrand SLS Las Vegas, as he did with Grand Sierra Resort when it was purchased in 2011. The sale of SLS would likely lead to the demise of two of the best restaurants in town, Bazaar Meat and Cleo, licensed from a former partner of the resort, SBE Entertainment.

SLS Las Vegas, owned by Stockbridge Real Estate, has struggled since it opened in August 2014.

We’re hearing there’s been some internal drama at SLS Las Vegas, and that the sale has been  in the works since October 2016.

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Neon Museum Rolls Out Signs for Expanded Boneyard

The Las Vegas Neon Museum has begun taking vintage signs out of storage to display them in a new part of its Neon Boneyard.

The Neon Museum recently demolished an adjacent building, expanding its relatively small footprint. The additional space is just .27 acres, but that’s a lot when measured in classic Las Vegas signs.

One of the signs is a truck-sized monster from the demolished Stardust.

Neon Museum Stardust

We miss you even more than our own youth and virility, Stardust.

The Neon Museum’s expansion will also feature a sign from the Riviera.

Neon Museum Riviera sign

Riviera closed on May 4, 2015, to make way for a super sexy parking lot.

It’s also expected the new space will have signs from the Las Vegas Club, Spearmint Rhino, Longhorn Casino, Opera House Gambling Club.

While we’ve never heard of the Polynesian casino, its sign is apparently one of the signs already on-site.

Neon Museum

We are blog, not a historian.

We can’t wait to see what the Neon Museum has in store. We got a little riled up when we saw random Googie stars lying around the site.

Neon Museum Googie stars

Googie architecture and design flourished from the 1940s to the 1960s, at which time hippies ruined everything.

Fans of the Neon Museum will be happy to hear they’ll be bringing some vintage neon to The Strip for the first time. The Neon Museum is partnering with Fashion Show Mall, and will install a sign from the Red Barn at the shopping complex in June.

The signs at Fashion Show Mall will be swapped out every few months.

Red Barn neon sign

At one time, the Red Barn sign was on display at Fremont Street Experience. It left after becoming annoyed by those idiots beating on plastic buckets.

While we’re on the subject, the Red Barn opened in the late 1950s as an antique store at 1317 Tropicana Avenue. In the early ’60s, it was converted it into a bar. The bar became a favorite spot for the gay community in Las Vegas. The Red Barn closed in 1988.

You can learn more about the Neon Museum at the official site, and the museum’s expanded space should be completed and ready for viewing later this year.

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Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 51: Palm Restaurant, “X Burlesque” and, Yes, We Went to a Dayclub

We’re back and more rambly than ever!

In this week’s episode, we chat with Larry Close, General Manager of Palm Restaurant. Palm restaurant at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace was recently renovated, and is not to be confused with Palms resort or Palm Mortuary. Don’t laugh, they get that a lot.

Palm restaurant chicken parm

Palm restaurant is home to one of the best chicken parms in Las Vegas and, thus, the world.

Also on the show, we share our enlightening experience at Drai’s Beachclub. No, you’re not being punked. We actually went to a dayclub. Voluntarily, for the most part.

Our further adventures include checking out the expanded footprint at the Neon Museum, celebrating the 15th anniversary of “X Burlesque” (see below) and a stay at Flamingo.

X Burlesque

What, we were going to show you a neon sign when we could share side boob?

In this week’s perfunctory Las Vegas news round-up, we’ve got the latest about the man suing Planet Hollywood for being startled by a mannequin, Resorts World, free downtown shuttles, restaurants opening and closing, Wynn Paradise Park, changes at the World Series of Poker and some thoughts about the guy who jumped into the safety net at the High Roller Ferris wheel.

Wynn Golf Club

We hope you’re not emotionally attached to the Wynn Golf Club, because it’s being swapped out for a water park.

You won’t want to miss our “Listicle of the Week,” as it features Las Vegas things we’d like to have in our house.

We’ve also got a ton of suggestions from Twitter about how to change up your luck in a Las Vegas casino.

It’s so much Las Vegas, you’ll need to loosen your belt a little. Take a listen.

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“L.A. to Vegas” Trailer Debuts and It’s Hysterical

We always have mixed feelings when we hear someone’s doing a Vegas-related TV show. We love us some Vegas, but there are so many things that can go sideways.

Thankfully, a new Fox series, “L.A. to Vegas” seems to be doing everything right. The show’s trailer made its debut, and it’s absolutely lit. Or possibly fire. Look, it’s funny AF. Just watch.

“L.A. to Vegas” is what’s known as an “ensemble workplace comedy.” The workplace is an airline (Jackpot Airlines, no less), one that happens to fly from Burbank to Las Vegas.

We have flown from Burbank to Las Vegas innumerable times, and can personally attest to the comedic potential of that particular route, both directions.

L.A. to Vegas sitcom

Been there, drank that.

The “L.A. to Vegas” trailer simply nails it, with a fresh and irreverent tone.

The new series stars Dylan McDermott, a brilliant casting move. McDermott plays the narcissistic pilot of Flight 1610. McDermott previously starred in “The Practice,” and isn’t known as a comedic actor, but he has a natural flair for it in “L.A. to Vegas.”

L.A. to Vegas sitcom

“It’s time to get high and also fly this old bird. Just a little Captain’s joke. I never get high when I’m flying, unless I mistime the edible.”

Other cast members include Kim Matula as Ronnie (pictured below), Nathan Lee Graham as Bernard, Ed Weeks as Micah, Olivia Macklin as Nichole and Peter Stormare as Artem.

L.A. to Vegas sitcom

We’re stocking up for the “L.A. to Vegas” viewing parties.

The show has an impressive pedigree.

“L.A. to Vegas” was created by Lon Zimmet (who wrote the pilot, pun intended). Zimmet is also the co-producer along with will Ferrell and Adam McKay, Chris Henchy and Steve Levitan. Levitan was the co-creator of “Modern Family.”

L.A. to Vegas series

They had us at “from the.”

With its Vegas tie-in, offbeat premise, quirky characters and razor-sharp dialogue, we’ve got high hopes “L.A. to Vegas” will be a smash.

“L.A. to Vegas” will be a mid-season entry in the 2017-2018 television season, whatever that might mean. Just set your DVR thingy, because it’s rare when a sitcom looks this good straight out of the gate.

We’ll wait.

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Cleo at SLS Las Vegas is the Best Las Vegas Restaurant You Haven’t Tried Yet

It’s an overlooked gem of a restaurant at an overlooked gem of a Las Vegas resort. Cleo at SLS Las Vegas is a must-try, and chances are you haven’t been there yet.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

Cleo’s entrance is a pyramid, believed to be good luck. Having tasted the signature cocktails at Cleo, it’s hard to argue that belief.

Cleo has been around since SLS Las Vegas opened at around midnight on August 22, 2014.

While offerings at SLS have come and go, Cleo has remained a reliably great dining option, and it’s about time you gave it a go.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

Cleo’s decor has a pitched roof, Moroccan tiles and chandeliers, and other things we sort of don’t notice because we tend to be face-down in the wonderful food.

Cleo is a holdover from a time when SLS Las Vegas was a partnership with SBE Entertainment Group. While SBE is no longer in the picture, Cleo has been successful enough to warrant its license fee, and we’re thankful for that whenever we dive headlong into the restaurant’s consistently delicious offerings.

Let’s try a few of Cleo’s sure-fire, Mediterranean-inspired dishes.

Start with “Dips With Laffa.” While this may sound like a Middle Eastern late night talk show, laffa is actually a soft, pita-like Sephardic bread, a description we definitely didn’t copy and paste from the Internet.

The dips are irresistible (start with the lebaneh with feta), and the chewy, heavenly bread just keeps on coming.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas laffa

You know how some people say, “Don’t fill up on bread”? All due respect, those people are idiots.

Next, make a go of the “Spicy Cigars,” the only cigar this blog does not find absolutely revolting.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

Oh, get your mind out of the gutter. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

If you hate Brussels sprouts, Cleo’s will change your life forever. If you like Brussels sprouts, what in the hell is wrong with you?

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

Eating the Brussels sprouts at Cleo was the first time we ever had them without feeling like we were being punished for something.

We have yet to try a kebab at Cleo we didn’t love. Moist, perfectly seasoned and expertly cooked, start with Chicken Kebab and you’re well on your way to one of the best meals in Las Vegas.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

It’s likely the kebabs at Cleo will inspire your gustatory cells to send a thank-you note.

It’s probably a good time to explore the signature cocktail menu, arguably as memorable as the food at Cleo.

We’ve tried just about every signature cocktail there is at Cleo, and there’s not a single disappointment in the bunch. Start with a Cucumber Smash, try the Lotus Flower or Raspberry Twist, then close with the Janapolitan or Mediterranean Margarita.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

The Cucumber Smash has Jameson whiskey, muddled cucumber, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and lemon juice.

Back to the food!

As mentioned, Cleo is a perfect place to order things you’d never imagine yourself ordering.

We even tried the grilled octopus, and we are absolutely not a grilled octopus person.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

You say gelatinous and suction cuppy like it’s a bad thing.

The flatbreads are stellar. That’s pizza to us common folk. The fact we once tried the kale flatbread is testament to the hold Cleo has over us.

This one below is probably the Roman. We didn’t have time to take notes. We were too busy having our taste buds titillated. Which, we realize, is illegal in certain Southern states.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

If you have the drunchies, it’s pizza. If you’re trying to impress someone on a date, it’s flatbread.

The highlight of any Cleo meal, though, is the exquisite chicken tagine. There are so many layers of flavor, you’ll feel like an archaeologist. Look, you know what we mean.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

Do not make us choose between sex and Cleo’s chicken tagine. We don’t want to hurt sex’s feelings.

We recently saw the recipe for Cleo’s chicken tagine, and we’re not exaggerating when we say it has 40 ingredients, and that doesn’t even include the dozen or so used simply for the garnish and presentation.

Again, we can’t do it justice with mere photography. Just trust in the fact it’s one of the best dishes we’ve ever had in our entire life, and if you don’t like it, we pledge to finish yours for you.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

Chicken tagine is made in (wait for it) tagine pots. “Tagine” is believed to have come from the Persian, meaning “laid at the bottom of the pan,” which is possibly why this dish is so satisfying.

Everything at Cleo leaves you feeling both satisfied, but not stuffed.

Yes, that means there’s room for another cocktail. There’s always a method to our madness.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

We take the fact we don’t remember the name of this cocktail as a sign it was fantastic.

If you don’t trust our judgment about what to order, Cleo also has tasting menus. There’s a “Cleo Favorites” tasting menu for $50 per person (two person minimum) and Chef’s Signature tasting menu for $65 (two person minimum). Learn more.

With exceptional service and moderate prices, Cleo hits all the right notes for an incomparable night out in Las Vegas.

While you’re there, make sure to check out the wood-fired oven where a lot of the culinary magic happens.

Cleo SLS Las Vegas

You may experience pangs of guilt when you realize everything on the menu at Cleo is $20 or less. Compensate by ordering more. You’re in Vegas.

Find the full Cleo menu at the official site of SLS Las Vegas.

Here’s a photo gallery of more food and drink at Cleo, as if you weren’t already salivating all over your keyboard.

Cleo at SLS Las Vegas

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11 Panty-Dropper Cocktails to Lubricate Your Las Vegas Visit

There’s a difference between merely doing Las Vegas and doing it right. That difference? Cocktails.

More specifically, we’re talking about cocktails we lovingly refer to as “Panty-Dropper Cocktails.” They’re the kind of cocktails that facilitate social collisions and instigate unforgettable Sin City memories.

Here, we’ve gathered some of our favorite panty-dropper cocktails from across Las Vegas. Cheers!

1. Bathtub Gin Daisy at Freedom Beat Inside Downtown Grand

From what we remember, the Bathtub Gin Daisy has Old Grove gin, orange liqueur and lemon.

Bathtub Gin Daisy

You may as well just skip these photo captions, we’re drunk.

2. Carolyn Cosmo at The Nerd Nightclub at Neonopolis

The Carolyn Cosmo has Grey Goose Le Citron vodka, Pama pomegranate liqueur, Cointreau orange-flavored liqueur, fresh lime and cranberry.

Nerd Carolyn Cosmo

The Nerd Nightclub only has one specialty cocktail, but they chose wisely.

3. Alto Margarita at Alto Bar Inside Caesars Palace

This cocktail features Caesars Select Patrón Reposado tequila, Cointreau liqueur, agave nectar, lime juice and a floater of Grand Marnie.

Alto Margarita

The Alto Margarita is made all the more delicious by the fact it’s free when you’re playing video poker at Alto Bar.

4. Blazin’ Vegas at Pizza Rock

Hold onto your bloomers, this cocktail has Fireball cinnamon whiskey, Apple Pucker, Crown Royal and Red Bull.

Blazin Vegas cocktail

This cocktail will inspire you to not only remove your current panties, but all future panties.

5. Cleopatra’s Smile at Lobby Bar Inside Caesars Palace

Cleopatra’s Smile has Ketel One Citroen vodka, Aperol Apertivo, Pavan liqueur, fresh-squeezed ruby red grapefruit and lemon juices and clover honey syrup.

Cleopatra's Smile cocktail

There’s a reason Cleopatra smiled so much.

6. Hot Little Mess at Commonwealth

The Hot Little Mess has Bacardi Dragon Berry rum, fresh lime, simple syrup and strawberry puree.

Hot Little Mess at Commonwealth

You say “hot little mess” like it’s a bad thing.

7. Last Dame Standing at Edge Steakhouse Inside Westgate

The Last Dame Standing keeps it simple with muddled strawberries, Gray Goose vodka and fresh lemon juice.

Last Dame Standing cocktail

We do not condone the word “dame,” but we fully endorse this panty-dropper cocktail.

8. The Smash at Therapy

The perfect combination of Four Roses bourbon, blackberries, fresh limes and mint.

The Smash cocktail

The Smash isn’t just at Therapy, it is therapy.

9. Tomm’s Cup at Tom’s Urban at New York-New York

Just your basic masterpiece fashioned from Beefeater gin, Pimm’s (a gin-based liqueur), strawberry puree, ginger beer, simple syrup and lemon juice.

Tomm's Cup

Yes, it’s “Tomm’s.” We’re not that drunk.

10. White Peach Margarita at Stratosphere

It’s entirely possible this cocktail contains Sauza Hornitos tequila, peach puree, sour mix, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and triple sec, an orange-flavoured liqueur. We are not a mixologist. We are a sloppy drunkologist.

White Peach Margarita

Peaches have calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper, thereby making this cocktail a health drink.

11. Ruby Red Margarita at Fogo de Chao

Splash around in the Ketel One vodka, ruby red grapefruit, lemon juice and black salt.

Ruby Red Martini

No, it’s not exactly red. Trust us. After a couple of these cocktails, that inner critic of yours will mellow right the hell out.

Thirsty? Us, too.

Grab the nearest mixologist and drink in all the amazing cocktails Las Vegas has to offer. Livers are fairly inexpensive on the black market, so it’s time to live a little.

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