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Category - Restaurants

5 Ways to Experience Las Vegas through Food and Drink

Expedia Viewfinder and LasVegas.com partnered up to highlight ways to get the full Sin City experience with a culinary vacation.

With Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit food festival coming up on the horizon in April, we’re salivating just thinking of the culinary bang that will take place on The Strip. To keep our taste buds satisfied until the gourmet event, we wanted to get a taste of Las Vegas. Our team at Expedia Viewfinder joined forces with LasVegas.com to showcase the best ways to eat and drink your way through Sin City:

Ridiculous Extravagance

As a recipient of the Chef of the Century Award, Joël Robuchon is considered royalty in the world of French cuisine. His namesake restaurant, Joël Robuchon, in the MGM Grand is the first and only Vegas eatery to earn three Michelin stars. With just 12 tables, the upscale restaurant presents the height of exclusivity. While dining a la carte is possible, true culinary enthusiasts dive into the Prix Fixe Menu. This gourmet collection includes to-die-for courses that range from a lobster dish to a mascarpone masterpiece.

BottomlessDishes

Las Vegas is all about the buffet scene. We’re not talking cafeteria-style eateries with slops of mashed potatoes and gravy, but rather high-end restaurants with endless gourmet cuisine. The Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace is a feast for your eyes and stomach as it serves up more than 500 dishes. Make yourself comfortable in one of the three elegant dining rooms before taking a culinary tour of the global fare, from the made-to-order Japanese sushi to the Italian samplings. Pile up your plate, and don’t miss out on the exquisite red velvet pancakes and the divine oak-grilled lamb chops.

Enticing Entertainment

For those looking for a spin on the ordinary nightlife scene, enter Rose. Rabbit. Lie. at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and experience the Modern Supper Club. This show seamlessly combines a restaurant and club ambience with live entertainment, where anything can happen and anything goes. Visitors are invited to come in and dine or grab a drink at the bar, and then watch as the magic naturally unfolds. Every night is different, so expect the unexpected at this alternative venue.

Extreme Cuisine

When it comes to dining in captivating Las Vegas, the menu should be as alluring as the city itself. Bazaar Meat by José Andrés at SLS Las Vegas will certainly do the trick when visitors are looking for extraordinary cuisine. Caviar flights, suckling pig crispy skin, and s'mores foie gras are just a few of the decadent treats offered. With menu categories like “More Than Meats the Eye” and “Meat from the Sea,” diners can prep their palates for protein overload at this unrivaled steakhouse.

PHOTO BY AL POWERS

Heightened Nightlife

Hakkasan Las Vegas is a five-story restaurant and night club where the choice is yours. The first floor boasts the main dining room, where guests can eat in an intimate space among strategically placed woodwork, while the second floor is reserved as the Private Dining Room. This secluded area overlooks the first floor and includes a private lounge with plush chairs that evoke a VIP-worthy ambience. Floors three through five are devoted to the club scene: Ling Ling Lounge, Ling Ling Club, Pavilion, Main Room, and Mezzanine. Each of these hot spots embody Hakkasan’s signature charm, but they’re all unique in that they create different vibes, with trendy cocktail lounges, energetic dance floors, lush garden bars, and more.

From decadent fare whipped up by celebrity chefs to five-story clubs and restaurants, Las Vegas pairs extraordinary food and drinks with out-of-this-world entertainment. When you’re hungry for a good time, plan a trip to Vegas and don’t forget your appetite.

Want to see more of what you can do on your next trip to Las Vegas? Check out the Expedia Viewfinder Image Library for more images of what Vegas has to offer.

Expedia StaffWriter

Things you could be doing in Las Vegas instead of working

A quick look at things you could be doing at work instead of having fun in Las Vegas:

1) Working.

2) Surfing the Internet, reading articles like, well, this one ... and thinking about how great it would be if you were actually in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

Now, let's flip that equation around. When you take a look at things you could be doing in Las Vegas instead of working, you get substantially different results.After all, having limitless fun in Las Vegas IS hard work ... but we think you are just the right person for the job. Here's just some of what you could be doing:

 

The Big Apple Coaster

FIND YOUR THRILLS: If your job is monotonous and humdrum, Las Vegas can definitely get your adrenaline pumping. From the Big Apple Roller Coaster (above) at New York-New York to the thrill rides at the Stratosphere to ziplining across hotel towers at the Rio

Wynn Spa

RELIEVE STRESS: If you deal with a lot of stress in the workplace, a treatment or two at a unique Las Vegas luxury spa can help you relax and rejuvenate. The Spa at Wynn Las Vegas (above) will provide just the serenity you need. The Ciel Spa at SLS Las Vegas and Oleksandra Spa at Treasure Island are other great options for indulging in a little pampering.

Jaleo

NO BROWN-BAGGING IT: Forget packing a lunch, depending on what's in the office vending machines or eating fast food at your desk. Las Vegas is home to the biggest celebrity chefs and sommeliers and gourmet restaurants. From the delicious steaks at Vic & Anthony's inside the Golden Nugget downtown to the authentic Chinese cuisine at Lao Sze Chuan at the Palms to Jose Andres' flavorful Spanish menu inside Jaleo (above) at The Cosmopolitan, your taste buds will be working overtime even if you aren't. 

Drai's Nightclub

'WORKING' DEEP INTO THE NIGHT: You won't be watching the clock waiting for the day to end in Las Vegas. With popular nightlife hot spots like Drai's Nightclub atop The Cromwell and Vinyl inside the Hard Rock, you won't be in a hurry to beat rush-hour traffic here.

Add in the unbeatable year-round production shows, concerts, comedy, magic and other entertainment, the incredible shopping, golf and more, and the ultimate getaway from the workday grind awaits. Until then, there's just a little more work to do: Plan your adventure at LasVegas.com today. 

 

Enjoy a meal poolside

Just because you're supposed to wait a while to swim after you eat doesn't mean you have to wait to enjoy a great poolside view ... sit down to a memorable meal at any of the delicious poolside dining options you'll find in Las Vegas!

Terrace Pointe Cafe

Indulge on coast-to-cast American favorites while gazing at the pools and garden beauty at Wynn Las Vegas' Terrace Pointe Cafe.

Also on the Strip, sit on the poolside patio and indulge in gloriously simple, home-style Italian favorites that have been passed down for generations at Rao's inside Caesars Palace. Relax at the tropical poolside setting of the Paradise Cafe at The Mirage, where you can enjoy a continental breakfast, lavish lunch, alluring snacks and exotic drinks. It's as perfect as the name indicates. 

Azure pool

Featuing a menu by legendary chef Wolfgang Puck, Azure Pool at The Palazzo is an opulent daytime pool experience you'll never forget. Slide next door to The Venetian and enjoy bistro classics and more amid a beautiful garden poolside setting at Bouchon

Toward the south end of the Strip, the Pool Cafe on the 8th floor deck at Mandarin Oriental offers a selection of fresh cuisine, thirst-quenching drinks and sweet treats poolside at chic wicker tables or in the comport of a private cabana. Border Grill at Mandalay Bay and Veranda next door at the Four Seasons each offer poolside seating. 

Off the Strip, you can lounge poolside or on the outdoor patio as Sandsabar and Grille at the Westin Lake Las Vegas supplies your favorite liquid refreshments or a quick meal to restore your spirits.

Picnic

Downtown Las Vegas has some scenic poolside dining options as well, including Downtown Grand's PICNIC. SNibble on simple foods with unique ingredients served in a casual setting. 

Great eats are always available poolside in Las Vegas! 

Viva Las Vegas for Cinco de Mayo fiestas

Las Vegas is synonymous with fiestas, so it's only natural that on Cinco de Mayo, you'll have lots of places to celebrate! Here are cinco "Cinco" options ... and be sure to enjoy authentic food and tasy margaritas at any of Las Vegas' many Mexican restaurants and hot spots. A few must-see Cinco celebrations:

Javier's

Javier's inside ARIA Resort at CityCenter delivers a rich heritage of authentic Mexican cuisine along with hand-shaken margaritas and a high-energy ambiance to Las Vegas. .

Mesa Grill

Bobby Flay brings the vibrant Southwestern cuisine of his acclaimed Mesa Grill - and an awesome lobster taco for a fun Cinco de Mayo twist - to Las Vegas at Mesa Grill inside Caesars Palace.

Cadillac Mexican Cantina

You can also have mouthwatering Mexican food and choose from more than 70 boutique tequilas at Cadillac Mexican Cantina & Tequila Bar downtown at Golden Nugget ...

Mercadito

... or enjoy a variety of creative tacos made with handmade corn masa tortillas, five different guacamoles, three choices of refreshing ceviche and classic dishes like enchiladas and chile rellenos at Mercadito in the Red Rock Resort.

Pink Taco

Pink Taco at the Hard Rock pairs authentic Mexican fare with plenty of happy hour beer and margaritas especiales, the perfect Cinco de Mayo combination. 

Viva Las Vegas for Cinco de Mayo!

 

Brunchtime, Vegas style

Brunch. It's not just a midday meal to cover breakfast and lunch ... in Las Vegas, brunchtime is an experience all its own.

At BARDOT Brasserie, Chef Michael Mina’s new French restaurant at ARIA Resort & Casino, enjoy a delicious brunch experience every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Guests can indulge in decadent dishes such as Lobster Croissant Benedict and Brioche French Toast with vanilla mascarpone while enjoying bottomless rosé wine and avant-garde brunch cocktails.

Border Grill

Enjoy unlimited small plates and bottomless mimosas at Border Brunch at Border Grill, with locations at Mandalay Bay and inside the Forum Shops at Caesars, or for an intimate brunch setting on the Strip, try Jasmine at Bellagio

The Country Club

With breathtaking views of the golf course, live music and an all-you-can-eat menu, The Country Club’s at Wynn Las Vegas is a can't-miss experience. Try the seafood ceviche and unlimited crab legs, shrimp and oysters. And for a unique party brunch, the Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues is proof that food is good for the soul. Next door at Veranda in the Four Seasons, the Italian Screwdriver is a perfect wake-up call to go with the foccacia Eggs Benedict.

Simon Restaurant and Lounge

At Bally's, on weekends BLT Steak is home to the legendary Sterling Brunch, featuring Lobster, Filet Mignon, Lamb, Eggs Benidict, Caviar and Bottomless Perrier Jouet Champagne. Just off the Strip at Palms Place, the Sunday brunch at Simon Restaurant and Lounge  is as casual as they come ... you can show up in your pajamas if you like. Just make sure you are hungry and ready for an unforgettable meal. DB Brasserie at The Venetian features a weekend brunch from 11:30-3 with everything from Alsatian Tarte Flambée to Oysters on the Half Shell. 

bar + bistro

Downtown, you can also find mouthwatering brunches at bar + bistro, as well as Park on Fremont in the Fremont East District. and other tasty brunches are spread out throughout the city. In Summerlin, MadeLV at Tivoli Village and MTO Café in the Downtown Summerlin shopping district will satisfy any appetite. 

Enjoy a brunch experience like no place else in Las Vegas!

Irish eyes are always smilin' in Las Vegas for St. Patrick's Day

Whether it's the top o' the morning, midday, or nighttime - you'll find St. Patrick's Day events at the end of every rainbow in Las Vegas. Here are places to enjoy traditional fare, authentic brews, or just to hang out and make your friends green with envy:

Hennessey's Tavern

Craving some good ol' Irish grub? Head to Hennessey's Tavern on Fremont Street for a ramekin of shepherd's pie, an order of the pub's famous tavern fries and finish up with homemade Irish pudding. Afterward, head upstairs for live music in the world's largest pint glass! It's a St. Patrick's Day party waiting to happen!

There's plenty more to do while you're downtown. Check out the drink specials and giveaways at The D Las Vegas and Golden Gate while enjoying live music and more. 

Nine Fine Irishmen

If a traditional Irish bar setting is what you crave, Nine Fine Irishmen at New York-New York Hotel and Casino lives up to its name. This Victorian-style bar has two levels of outdoor patio seating with spectacular views of the Strip, sumptuous food, fine spirits, and live music nightly. 

Brendan's Irish Pub

Take a seat at Brendan's Irish Pub at The Orleans, fashioned after an authentic Irish pub, for a tall glass of your favorite beer on tap, or spring for an old-fashioned Irish whiskey. 

O'Shea's

Grab your lucky charm and head over to O'Sheas on Las Vegas Boulevard by the Linq for plenty of St. Paddy's revelry. 

Ri Ra Las Vegas

Ri Ra is a must-see pub inside Mandalay Place - home to the GUINNESS Store featuring the largest collection of memorabilia and gifts outside of Ireland!

For more authentic Irish ambiance, check out the deals and atmosphere at Quinn’s Irish Pub at Green Valley Ranch, or J.C. Wooloughan's Irish Pub inside JW Marriott.

Irish eyes are always smilin' in Las Vegas!

You'll love Las Vegas this Valentine's Day

Looking to spark up a little romance for Valentine's Day? A cozy and intimate Las Vegas getaway will keep your flame burning for that special someone all year long. And after you rekindle your flame, or if you're looking to find one - be sure to check out the fun Las Vegas has in store for you all holiday weekend long.

Ciel spa

Start with a little soothing of the senses. Las Vegas is home to the more than 45 unique and relaxing luxury spas. Most spas offer specials for couples. Ciel spa at SLS Las Vegas has a couples massage suite that's perfect for you and your valentine.

You'll find specialty spa services all over Las Vegas, such as sport, Shiatsu and Swedish massages; herbal baths; wraps; aromatherapy and reflexology; steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools; and more. You'll be in the lap of luxury and leave feeling invigorated and refreshed.

Gondola ride

Then you'll be ready for a night out just for two. Take a stroll through the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in the early evening or a romantic gondola ride at The Venetian. Then head into the Four Queens Hotel and look for Hugo's Cellar. As you might guess, it's in the basement of the hotel - a rustic, charming and vintage Vegas restaurant awaits you. The food and ambience are top-notch; both complemented by some of Vegas' finest servers. And tradition here is strong, as every lady receives a complimentary rose upon leaving. For the ultimate in intimacy, dine in the 50-seat gourmet room at Michael's inside the South Point.

Eiffel Tower Experience

If you don't want to dine in a cellar, you can have your head in the clouds instead, overlooking Las Vegas at the Stratosphere's Top of the World restaurant, or experience the ultimate in romantic getaways at Eiffel Tower Restaurant. Great food, piano entertainment and a view of the city - it's a Valentine's Day dinner your partner will never forget. Just across Las Vegas Boulevard, there is no better waterfront dining experience than Le Cirque. Exquisite French cuisine and an extensive wine list will tempt your taste buds as you enjoy the famous dancing Fountains of Bellagio.

Chandelier Bar

Afterward, get cozy and enjoy some of Las Vegas' unique nightlife, from the panoramic views at Drai's Nightclub atop The Cromwell to the retro-swagger of Matt Goss at Caesars Palace. Then enjoy late-night cocktails at The Chandlier at The Cosmopolitan, a unique three-level bar with different experience on each.

Las Vegas weddings

Of course, if you're looking to tie the knot, Las Vegas knows a thing or two about weddings. The Bellagio is one of several resorts with special wedding day packages just for Valentine's Day

Then, it's time to let loose. With the Presidents Day holiday included, you'll have an extra day to experience the concerts, comedy, celebrities and club performances that only Vegas can deliver. Check out who's in town this weekend below, or scroll through our full weekend lineup.

Friday, Feb. 13

CONCERTS & EVENTS

NIGHTCLUBS

Saturday, Feb. 14

CONCERTS & EVENTS

NIGHTCLUBS

Sunday, Feb. 15

CONCERTS & EVENTS

NIGHTCLUBS

Monday, Feb. 16

CONCERTS & EVENTS

Book rooms and get show tickets, club passes and more at LasVegas.com!

Chinatown filled with flavorful fare

Few people know that Las Vegas is home to the first master planned Chinatown in America.

Chinatown

But along with the unique Tong Dynasty architecture and the the largest collection of Asian businesses in Las Vegas, one thing visitors and Las Vegans alike are very familiar with is the authentic restaurants in the area, which encompasses Spring Mountain Road from the Strip to Rainbow Boulevard. Here's a look at the variety of flavorful fare you'll find:

Chinese

Yunnan Garden has more than 150 menu options, fllled with authentic Chinese dishes, including the spicy Szechuan Style Cold Noodle dish, a great deal for $5.95. 

Cathay House Restaurant is a popular, open-late spot with tasty dim sum and other traditional Chinese dishes, and KJ Kitchen is known for its Peking Duck and outstanding table service for its guests.

Uni in Ponzu Sauce

Japanese

Ichiza features traditional Japanese tapas - about 300, in fact - with a creative flair. From grilled squid to chicken skewers, there's plenty to tantalize your taste buds. Shown above is Ichiza's delicious Uni in Ponzu Sauce. Below, its signature dessert - the honey toast. This delicious dish is a square loaf of bread, crispy on the outside but soft in the middle. It's topped with vanilla ice cream and honey.  

Honey Toast

If you like spicy miso ramen with thick wavy noodles, check out Monta Ramen. For an upscale setting, Raku may be right for you. You'll certainly enjoy the bacon wrapped asparagus and poached egg uni and salmon roe. For some omakase style sushi, head over to Kabuto.

Thai

Chada Thai & Wine has all of the curry delicacies you'd expect in an authentic Thai restaurant, with the perfect wine pairings. Chada also has a gluten-free menu. For amazing Thai lunch specials and classics such as Pad Thai and the Drunken Noodles, visit Krung Siam.

Vietnamese

Pho Kim Long is open 24/7, so no matter when you're hungry for authentic Vietnamese dishes, you'll find them there. Pho Kim Long is perfect for a group outing or an intimate meal with your special someone.

District One Kitchen & Bar includes dishes inspired by Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan, and is open late, and you can choose your fish and have it any way you like it at Raku, even sashami, and accompanied by a Japanese plum soy sauce and a green tea/seaweed/shiitake/sea salt combo.

For a memorable Bahn Mi, visit Dakao Sandwiches. It's a small shop with huge flavors.  

Korean 

Honey Pig Korean BBQ and Sura BBQ Buffet offer an all-you-can-eat experience that's perfect for anyone with an appetite for pork belly, short ribs of beef and other Korean BBQ favorites. 

Dae Jang Keum is another 24/7 restaurant in Chinatown featuring authentic Korean cuisine, with takeout and online ordering available as well. Their lunch and dinner boxes hit the spot every time.

After any of these fulfilling meals, you'll be ready to take part in another Chinatown favorite activity - karaoke! Zizzy and Bazic Bar & Restoyaky are popular spots with happy hour specials and fun environmentals to stretch out your vocal chords.  

Make a trip to Chinatown part of your next visit to Las Vegas and enjoy these Asian-inspired delicacies! 

Beneath the Bright Lights of Las Vegas: the Best Outdoor Dining

Content via Yahoo.com

Warm, dry air makes for perfect patio atmosphere, so it’s no wonder outdoor dining is increasingly a Las Vegas staple. This being Vegas, the alfresco possibilities range from inexpensive and family-friendly to memorably luxurious. Here are some of the many possibilities.

(Note that many outdoor seating spaces are first-come, first-serve; ask when you arrive, or make a reservation.)

On the Strip

Las Vegas Boulevard, also known as the Strip, has undergone a transformation in the last couple of years, unveiling a multitude of walkways and boulevards for pedestrians. Here you’ll find a growing number of sidewalk cafés, indoor-outdoor restaurants, and even fine dining in the open air.

This is immediately evident at Monte Carlo Resort & Casino, where a half dozen restaurants recently opened overlooking a broad open-air plaza — a setup ideal for people watching. Diners can enjoy the breezes as they focus on Diablo’s Cantina margaritas (if you can’t choose, let the Wheel of Sin decide for you) or comfort food and live music at the rowdy Double Barrel Roadhouse.

Next door to the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino, New York-New York Resort & Casino is revamping its entire front entrance. One of the redesign’s first missions was to enlarge Nine Fine Irishmen and add a true outdoor patio. The popular pub needed the extra room to hold all the patrons who flock to sing along with Irish ballads, sip pints, and fill up on Emerald Isle grub.

Three stories above street level, the patio at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ Comme Ça brasserie is known for both its fresh oysters and its excellent Strip views.

The LINQ Promenade, an airy space between Flamingo Las Vegas and The LINQ Hotel & Casino, guests can take a break from hitting the pins at Brooklyn Bowl and people watch from the elevated patio or wave at diners seated across the way at Chayo Mexican Cantina and Tequila Bar.

From Chayo’s two patios, watch the High Roller observation wheel go-round at the end of The LINQ’s wide pedestrian walkway. Or take it easy and munch on a pizza at Flour & Barley’s 1,200-square-foot patio. (Even easier: Grab a slice from the walkup window and take it wherever you’re headed.)

Delano

While THEHotel at Mandalay Bay just finished its transformation into The Delano Las Vegas, miX restaurant, with its panoramic views up and down the Strip, will remain through the fall. The expansive 64th-floor patio will still be there after Chef Alain Ducasse remakes miX into Rivera, with a new menu inspired by the French and Italian rivieras, in early 2015.

Guests seeking calm and serenity should make their way to the nearby Verandah at Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, where they can relax and dine on casual Italian food on the tropical-feeling poolside patio and feel miles away from the bustle of the Strip.

The casual and colorful Serendipity 3 patio at Caesars Palace overlooks both the Caesars fountains and the sidewalk, making it great for people watching. An inventive, whimsical menu adds to the fun. Be sure to save room for dessert given the gigantic proportions of its sweet treats.

Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro, on the 10th floor of The Venetian, overlooks the pool garden and features a renowned French-inspired brunch. Make sure you grab a macaroon before you leave.

Maximizing the benefits of the outdoors is a priority at Wynn Las Vegas. Here the emphasis is not on celebrating the resort’s place on the Strip but on creating a serene atmosphere apart from the excitement of the outside world. A veritable forest of trees surrounds the sizable but cozy patio at La Cave Food & Wine Hideaway. Guests at Mizumi are as impressed by the tree-shaded waterfalls as they are by the sushi, and the open-air SW Steakhouse overlooks the Lake of Dreams.

Bellagio fountains

Fountain Views

Bellagio’s fountains are a beloved attraction, and surrounding restaurants take advantage of the crowds. Restaurants at the Bellagio range from upscale to casual, treating diners to some incredible views. Picasso takes its fine-dining inspiration from France and Italy, where the artist lived. (His works on display here are almost as eye-catching as the fountains below the 16-table patio.) The view from Todd English’s popular Mediterranean-inspired restaurant Olives, is also spectacular, and guests rave about the beef carpaccio.

Patio restaurants at the Paris Las Vegas, right across from the Bellagio, include the Sugar Factory American Brasserie, with delectable sweets as well as savory items, and Mon Ami Gabi, with a menu of — what else? — classic French cuisine.

Cromwell

On the second floor of The Cromwell, a new boutique hotel, is celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis's first restaurant, Giada. It gives diners a view of the Strip, including the Bellagio fountains, along with California-influenced Italian cuisine. And even if you’re not on the terrace, the retractable windows lining the dining room can make you feel as if you are.

Around Town

Since the swanky retro-classic The Barrymore is a half block off the Strip in the Royal Resort, its comfy but chic outdoor patio, decorated with tufted sofas and rattan chairs, provides great views of Las Vegas glitz. The classy but unpretentious menu is full of dishes you could imagine old Las Vegas bigwigs ordering (short ribs and octopus, for instance).

Also not far from the Strip is Culinary Dropout, a gastro pub with an attitude (a playful attitude — think house-made pretzels with a side of whiskey) known for its big patio full of neatly arranged sofas, tables, fire pits, and umbrellas. Because it’s located inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, live music is a given.

Resorts aren’t the only entities with worthy patios: Even shopping centers get in on the alfresco action. The patio at BRIO Tuscan Grille, in Town Square Las Vegas at the far south end of the Strip, has an outdoor fire pit where guests can savor the flavors of northern Italian farmhouse cooking. Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant & Bar, also at Town Square Las Vegas, evokes a tropical resort. Like its counterpart at Paris Las Vegas, the Sugar Factory American Brasseriealso features outdoor dining.

Downtown’s ever-growing number of alluring restaurants is drawing diners, too. For starters, there’s Park on Fremont, a sprawling gastro pub with a big, gardenlike patio that feels more like a well-maintained backyard than an urban lounge. Check out design touches such as reclaimed barn wood and a hopscotch game made of mosaic tile while you sip your beer or cocktail and munch on pub fare with a Southern twist.

Carson Kitchen

Also Downtown, Carson Kitchen’s urban-industrial-chic decor and chef Kerry Simon’s delectably quirky mindset (think Wellington empanadas or gyro tacos) combine for a vibe that brings Brooklyn or San Francisco to mind. Head to the upstairs deck for live music.

Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen, west of Downtown in Summerlin, might be a secret to Las Vegas neophytes, but locals know it well. They rave about Nittaya’s small-plate cooking, imported from her homeland, Thailand, and the outdoor plantings on her small but well-furnished patio.

And don’t forget that most outdoor of dining options: food trucks. This growing scene is offering startup restaurateurs an inexpensive way to innovate. One that’s earned loyal fans is the Japanese-burger goodness at Fukuburger. A more permanent version recently opened at FAME at The LINQ, making it easier for visitors to try the stylish burgers.

Everything is New in Las Vegas

Content via Yahoo.com

The Las Vegas skyline is always changing, which means visitors are always guaranteed to find something fresh. But the number of new projects right now is extraordinary even for this town. Here's the scoop on what you need to be looking out for on your next visit.

SLS Las Vegas

New Rooms

SLS Las Vegas, which hospitality-entertainment veteran company SBE opened Aug. 23, is Las Vegas Boulevard's newest venture. On the site of the former Sahara Hotel & Casino at the north end of the Strip, it houses more than 1,600 rooms and suites in a variety of sizes. Each of its three towers has its own personality and modern rooms designed by the unique eye of Philippe Starck. Nighttime hot spots include "mega-club" LiFE, music venue the Sayers Club, and stylish Foxtail. Other amenities: Ciel Spa, a 10,000-square-foot Fred Segal store, and plenty of restaurants. 

THEhotel at Mandalay Bay has undergone a major transformation to emerge as Delano Las Vegas as of Sept. 2. Along with refurbished suites, the Delano is opening a new spa, Bathhouse, with globally sourced treatments, and the farmhouse-inspired Della's Kitchen, a restaurant with an emphasis on freshness that includes produce from an on-site greenhouse.

Giada

The Cromwell Las Vegas is the first stand-alone boutique hotel on the Strip. It opened in May with Giada (the first restaurant from Giada de Laurentiis) and Drai's, a day-and-night lounge and poolside nightclub on the roof. The decor is modern glam with touches of old-school European elegance. 

The Downtown Grand (formerly Lady Luck) opened last fall with a chic, streamlined look that fits right in with its ever-evolving surroundings in downtown Las Vegas. The vibe combines modern and retro, with a rooftop pool accompanied by picnic tables, fire pits and blackjack tables.

New Spaces

Big construction projects around Las Vegas are coming to fruition this fall. F.A.M.E. (Food·Art·Music·Entertainment) is now open at The LINQ. It combines a Chinatown-style food market — expect dim sum, stir-fry, and ramen — and Asian-influenced live entertainment in casual surroundings with a big patio for outdoor seating.

Monte Carlo Resort & Casino has unveiled a much-anticipated open-air plaza. Facing the Strip, it's surrounded by six new restaurants with patio seating that allows diners and passersby to watch live sidewalk entertainment.

Soon MGM Resorts' The Park will connect this new promenade and the refurbished New York-New York Resort & Casino with an eight-acre pedestrian-friendly plaza lined on the north and south side of the property with shops and dining. It's all part of a walkability emphasis that's taken hold in Las Vegas in recent years. MGM also broke ground this spring on a new arena, just beyond The Park and behind New York-New York Resort & Casino, scheduled to open in the spring of 2016.

On the north end of the Strip, MGM Resorts is transforming a 33-acre space into a neon-lit open-air music venue for America's first Rock in Rio festival, slated for May 2015. The weekend event will draw 300,000 people but the plan is to keep the "City of Rock" open year round with a zip line, a ferris wheel, concerts, and other events.

El Cortez

New venues are popping up all over Downtown Las Vegas as well. The El Cortez Hotel & Casino, the city’s oldest continuously open hotel and a downtown staple, will debut Siegel’s 1941, a new restaurant paying homage to old Vegas, by early 2015.

The Bunkhouse Saloon is the latest new thing at the Downtown Project, which has already brought us Downtown Container Park and the Downtown 3rd Farmers Market. The beloved music venue, in business since the 1950s, reopened in August with a new menu (featuring a variety of sloppy joes and other inexpensive bar food), updated digs and a fall lineup including the Breeders, Allen Stone, and Mike Doughty.

New Acts and Activities

Every season brings new artist residencies to Las Vegas, and this fall will see a fresh influx of talent. For starters, KISS will be rocking the town at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino through November. Ventriloquist-comedian Jeff Dunham will bring his fans' favorite puppet sidekicks to Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino starting Nov. 28.

Ray Charles may be gone, but his fans can remember the magic with "Georgia on My Mind: Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles," starring big names including the Take 6 vocal group, at The Venetian Theater starting Sept. 18.

Riviera Comedy Club is hosting Matt Kazam’s “40 Is Not the New 20,” a new one-man comedy show for anyone who still remembers what a boom box is. 

Beyond performers, there are a slew of new attractions to entertain you, raise your heart rate or satisfy your sweet tooth. Don your Caped Crusader persona for the Batman Laser Challenge, the world’s first Batman-themed laser maze, at Circus Circus Las Vegas. Chocoholics can tour Hershey's Chocolate World, which opened this spring at New York-New York Resort & Casino.

El Cortez

Even the museums here are always reinventing themselves. The Mob Museum, created in conjunction with the Museum of Gaming History, is hosting two new exhibitions culled from Vegas's storied past. One display will include chips, photographs and other memorabilia from the 1946 opening of Bugsy Siegel's Flamingo Hotel. The second will house artifacts from some of America's most legendary illegal gambling halls. At the same time, the El Cortez Hotel & Casino is presenting casino chips and other objects from the many downtown casinos once operated by the late gambling legend Jackie Gaughan.

The Neon Museum has added to its collection of old signs and just opened a Neon Boneyard gallery. At more than 3,100 square feet, the space holds an outdoor wedding chapel and about 60 newly unveiled rescued signs. So far, the boneyard is open only for events, including some educational tours.

 

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