The latest Jason Statham action flick will get its world premiere at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on Jan. 24, 2013.
Jason Statham, co-star Jennifer Lopez and other celebrities will walk a red carpet outside the hotel’s “Peepshow” theater at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to ogle and gawk, although not necessarily in that order.
Jason Statham at the premiere of "The Mechanic," also at Planet Hollywood.
“Parker,” featuring dialogue written entirely in iambic pentameter, which we probably just made up, is the story of a thief (Statham) who is double-crossed and left for dead by his crew. Parker forms an unlikely partner with Lopez’s character to exact his revenge. Oh, does it really matter?
Here’s a preview.
Some people have asked this blog how a movie with this kind of budget can afford an A-list star like Jennifer Lopez. Well, because of our extensive experience in the field of entertainment, we can say with certainty a star like Jennifer Lopez often accepts a lower up-front salary because (wait for it) she can make it up on the back end.
No, this is not a movie about a Las Vegas valet.
If you’re interested in seeing “Parker” before it hits theaters (the film officially opens Jan. 25), text PARKER to 227466 and you could win a pair of tickets to an advanced screening at Planet Hollywood on Jan. 24. Do we hook you up, or what?
If you stand in just the right place when you’re entering Planet Hollywood, and tilt your head at just the right angle, and if the sky is crystal clear just after sunset, and if you move to the perfect spot so you can get a glimpse of the Paris Las Vegas balloon, too, this is what you’ll see.
It's even jazzier in real life.
Then, go inside and gamble or grab a bite. Because if you continue to stand there with your head tilted, people are going to think you’re weird.
It looks like celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has another Las Vegas success on his hands.
BurGR recently opened at Planet Hollywood, and the joint’s been pleasing palates ever since with a flavorful selection of burgers, dogs, salads and signature cocktails. (If you thought we’d leave out the cocktails, you’ve clearly never visited this blog before. Welcome!)
We went a little snap-happy capturing all the mouth-watering menu offerings! You’ll live.
The aforementioned buns.
Aside from the visual appeal of the burgers and hot dogs and BurGR, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the restaurant’s great first impression, specifically the eye-catching uniforms, and smiles, of the hostesses (below).
Note the smiles.
Oh, in case we forgot to mention it, the BurGR name is written that way because Chef Gordon Ramsay’s initials are part of the name. Just so you didn’t think we’d accidentally broken our cap lock key.
BurGR is near Planet Hollywood’s Extra! Lounge, just inside the casino entrance (where the Total Rewards desk used to be).
Ask for the aloe dipping sauce. Unless we just made that up.
BurGR is open for lunch and dinner. When business is booming, the restaurant has a unique way of letting patrons know when their table is ready. The hostesses send you a text message (see below), so you’re free to roam the casino, to drink, gamble, drink, gamble and perhaps even gamble during your wait. Hey, you roam the way you roam, and we’ll roam the way we roam.
Although we like those vibrating discs some restaurants give you, this is cooler.
The restaurant seats about 200, so the wait shouldn’t be too long.
If we tried to summarize the menu at BurGR in two words, they’d probably be “bold flavors.” Start your meal with some appetizers, called “Snacks” on the menu, like Fury Chicken Wings, Honey-Pig Bao Buns and Five Spice Chicken Sliders (see below).
Trivia: Sliders were invented so you can eat with one hand and drink with the other. And that's the story we're sticking to.
If you get the Roasted Jalapeno Poppers, beware! The chefs like to play a little game this blog calls “Popper Roulette.” All the poppers have some kick to them, but one of the poppers (you won’t know which one) is sure to be what the menu says is a “fiery surprise,” seeds and all. Good luck with that.
Slogan: "You'll love the Jalapeno Poppers so much, you may not even ask for your face back!"
The burgers are grilled over apple and alder wood, which gives them a distinctive flavor. Prices range from $13 to $16. Make sure to flash your Total Rewards loyalty club card for $1-2 off just about everything.
Popular burgers include the Hell’s Kitchen Burger (asadero cheese, roasted jalapeno peppers, avocado and an oven-roasted tomato), named after Chef Ramsay’s reality TV hit, the Uber Cheese Burger (with fontina, reclette and goat cheeses) and the Earth Burger (grilled portobello mushroom, fontina cheese, arugula and roasted tomato).
You may want to rent a bigger maw.
Fair warning on the Devil Dawgs. There’s a reason they’re called that. These imposing, foot-long dogs are “simmered in hellfire sauce.” Lesson: Read the menu thoroughly. Which we didn’t. Lesson learned.
The Devil Dawgs are will test your fortitude. In a good way.
The fries, as you might suspect, aren’t run-of-the-mill fries. The Truffle Parmesan Fries are especially memorable.
Way ahead of you. We've already reported ourselves to Human Resources.
Desserts in the “Sugar Fix” portion of the menu include a variety of pudding shakes, featuring ingredients like caramel, coconut, butterscotch, banana and chocolate hazelnut. Another item flying out of the kitchen are the Push-Up Pops, complete with salted peanut ice cream.
Last but not least, the signature cocktails are consistently delicious. Whet your whistle with the wonderfully-photographed cocktail options presented on iPads, then save your favorites and get to drinking!
Don't play favorites, try one of each.
BurGR serves about 30 varieties of beer, and the cocktails are traditionally-made, including made-from-scratch syrups.
Cocktails include the Superfruit Antioxidant (we have a winner!), Whiskey Cherry Lemonade, Ruby’s Kiss, Green Gin Tea, Jalapeno ‘Rita, Blood Orange Cosmo and the Caribbean Dream. Oh, and the Skinny Screw. Which we’re fairly sure we can’t include in a corporate blog. Oh, well.
Bloody brill. Which we understand is a compliment in England.
The service at BurGR is exceptional. For example, it’s a challenge to try and empty your glass of Pepsi before it’s replaced with a fresh one.
Enjoy a few more exclusive photos from Chef Gordon Ramsay’s BurGR, only a few of which will tempt you to drop everything, drive to Planet Hollywood and nosedive into a cone full of Truffle Parmesan Fries.
Four F-16 fighter jets from the world-famous U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds buzzed The Las Vegas Strip on Jan. 7, 2012.
The jets made two passes (not uncommon in Vegas, come to think of it), flying in a northeasterly direction at an approximate velocity of “If You Blinked, You Probably Missed It.”
Best wake-up call in Vegas, ever.
The Thunderbirds made the fly-over in honor of the Sin City arrival of the Miss America pageant, which will air on ABC on Jan. 12 from Planet Hollywood.
Since the Thunderbirds demonstration team was created in 1953, it’s estimated they’ve performed in front of close to 400 million people. Plus this blog. Which is pretty much a high point for them, we’re sure.
"Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby." Note: We bet the Thunderbirds never tire of "Top Gun" references.
The Thunderbirds are based at Nellis AFB, about 12 klicks from The Strip. Whatever a klick might actually be. We are a Las Vegas blog, not a field manual.
Here’s more information about the fly-over: The pilots in the F-16 Fighting Falcons were Lt. Col. Greg Moseley (commander and lead pilot Thunderbird), Capt. Joshua Boudreaux (left wing pilot), Maj. Caroline Jensen (right wing pilot) and Maj. Curtis Dougherty (slot pilot).
The pilots have more than 9,000 combined flying hours of experience, and more than 1,400 combat flying hours. When they passed over The Strip, the planes were moving at about 300 miles per hour.
One more amazing fact: At times during their diamond formation, the wingtips of the planes are only about three feet away from each other.
On Jan. 3, 2012, Planet Hollywood, America’s de facto beauty pageant headquarters, welcomed 53 Miss America contestants at a special rose ceremony, and according to our estimates, virtually all of them immediately got a crush on this blog.
We'll try to let them down gently.
For a larger version of that group shot, and to confirm we miraculously managed to take a photo of 53 beauty pageant contestants without a single one blinking, click here.
Comedian-juggler and The Quad headliner Jeff Civillico (pictured below) served as emcee for the gathering, and it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that Civillico also now has a crush on this blog. We’re just saying.
Our favorite contestant, Miss Nevada, and Jeff Civillico, our favorite comedian and juggler performing at The Quad. Yes, we play favorites. We are a blog, not Switzerland.
This is the eighth year the Miss America competition is being held at Planet Hollywood.
Miss America trivia: Why are there 53 contestants? Well, there’s one from each of the 50 states, plus one from the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) and the U.S. territories of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Bonus trivia: How do you know they’re the Virgin Islands? They’ve never been to Las Vegas! Moving on.
The contestants will take part in a week’s worth of preliminary competitions leading up to a live telecast on ABC, Jan. 12, 2012. If the contestants seem a little distracted during the Miss America broadcast, at least you’ll know why. We’re just that adorable.
What do you do when you have a crush on someone? Pretend to pay attention to someone else. Case closed.
Seriously, though, the Miss America Organization is the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year alone, the organization provided $45 million in scholarship assistance.
Find out more about Miss America on the official site, and tune in on Jan. 12 to see if any of the contestants, during the talent portion of the pageant, paint this blog’s name into a grain of rice as their talent. It could happen.
We’ll say it right up front. We’ve never gotten “Auld Lang Syne.” Translated, it means “Old Long Since,” which doesn’t exactly make us scream, “It’s a new year, let’s party!”
We do, however, want to remember our Las Vegas acquaintances, old and new, so we’ve slapped together some images we captured from the New Year’s Eve festivities on the Las Vegas Strip. Some, we actually remember having captured.
Take that, 2012.
As usual, The Strip was the center of the New Year’s Eve universe, with celebrity sightings (yes, that was Nicki Minaj at Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace, and Arnold Schwarzenegger at Strip House inside Planet Hollywood), noisemakers, trying to identify things on the ground, funny hats and spontaneous outbreaks of frolicking.
Personal space, schmersonal space. It's New Year's Eve!
The closing of The Strip to vehicles gave pedestrians a unique opportunity to stroll Las Vegas Boulevard, and gave us the chance to see and photograph Las Vegas hotels from new perspectives.
Typically, taking a photo from here would result in serious vehicular injury.
It also gave us a chance to break in the new video camera we got for Christmas.
We are a Las Vegas blog, not a videographer. (Note: The camera was strapped to our chest, so we didn’t know what we were getting.) Hopefully, you get the idea. Bottom line: On New Year’s Eve, The Strip is like nowhere else on the planet!
The Pleasure Pit girls at Planet Hollywood added some additional bling to their outfits for New Year's Eve.
We trust you had a memorable New Year’s Eve, whether you celebrated it in Vegas or not.
In the spirit of a new year in Las Vegas, please join this blog as we break all our New Year’s resolutions, effective immediately. Especially if they involve exercising or not playing craps as much in 2013.
Carnaval Court at Harrah's was off the proverbial chain and/or hook.
This year’s fireworks, launched from seven hotel rooftops, went off without a hitch. Mother Nature knows better than to mess with our party. She and Lady Luck hang out sometimes, so we have some extra pull there.
The fireworks displays, coordinated by a New York firm, Fireworks by Grucci, featured an amazing 80,000 burts. Fireworks by Grucci has put on the fireworks show on The Strip for the last 14 years.
We are happy to have risked frostbite on our index finger to capture this New Year's Eve moment for you.
Please enjoy a collection of random, out-of-focus photos from New Year’s Eve on The Las Vegas Strip, a place so nice, they didn’t need to name it twice, because it’s so flipping awesome. A tagline we should probably trademark, by the way.
New Year’s Eve is the biggest party of the year in Las Vegas, and if you’re lucky enough to be in town for the world-class festivities, brace yourself for a one-of-a-kind, you-probably-won’t-remember-much-of-it (in a good way) celebration.
Baby, you're a firework. Metaphorically, in all likelihood.
Of course, one of the challenges of a New Year’s Eve in Sin City is figuring out where to party. There are so many options, it can be overwhelming.
If your plans aren’t already set, you might consider one of the New Year’s Eve events at hotels in the Caesars Entertainment family. Nightclubs and restaurants across Vegas will be hosting New Year’s Eve blow-outs, often with celebrity guests, such as Nicki Minaj at Pure Nightclub at Caesars Palace.
Nicki Minaj was born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, which we dare you to find on a map.
Of course, a highlight of the evening will be the fireworks displays launched from the top of seven Strip hotels, including Caesars Palace and Planet Hollywood.
You're going to need more eyes to see it all.
This year’s 8-minute fireworks display will have a musical accompaniment, featuring songs like “Auld Lang Syne,” “Whistle,” “Raise Your Glass,” “Le7els,” “Light up the Sky” and “Glad You Came,” several of which we actually recognize.
Yes, this blog took this photo. We are not a complete troglodyte, you know.
For the eighth year, the dazzling fireworks will be coordinated by the premier fireworks company in the nation, Fireworks by Grucci. Flawlessly executing a show from atop seven hotels is a massive undertaking.
We don’t want to get overly technical, but the fireworks are shot out of these tube thingys.
The tubes are connected by wire thingys.
There are probably computers involved, too. And circuits of some sort. Look, we can’t know everything about everything. We are a blog, not a V’Ger. (Ahem.)
It's essential your fireworks be kept as fresh as possible.
The fireworks display in Vegas on New Year’s Eve is the biggest anywhere in the world. And even if that statement hasn’t been “verified,” or even “researched a little,” we want it to be true, and it’s definitely the biggest in America, so there.
This is what your "ooh" and "ahh" look like prior to take-off.
New Year's Eve in Vegas wouldn't be New Year's Eve in Vegas without accoutrements.
Oh, and before we forget, street closures around the Las Vegas Strip get tricky on New Year’s Eve, so plan carefully.
No matter where you spend your New Year’s Eve, have a blast, and here’s hoping your 2013 is filled with frosty cocktails, lap dances, slot jackpots and high roller suites. Several of which can be found in Las Vegas. We’re just saying.
We were delighted, but not surprised, to hear Miss USA Olivia Culpo captured the Miss Universe crown at Planet Hollywood on Dec. 19, 2012. Mainly because this blog predicted the contest’s outcome way back in June.
It took a lot to get this back to being about us, you know.
Culpo beat out 88 competitors, several of whom we photographed at a welcome ceremony recently. Once again, this blog brazenly predicted Miss USA would take home the top prize.
Read our uncanny prediction here, and bask in the glory of our ability to foresee the future. At least when it comes to beauty pageants. You’re on your own with the stock market.
We knew Miss Universe back when she was Miss Rhode Island.
Back in June, we schmoozed the former Miss Rhode Island (now, she’s going to have to change all her business cards) by the pool at Flamingo Las Vegas. The things this blog endures for you.
Just another day at the office when you're a Las Vegas blog.
This was the first time an American had won Miss Universe since 1997, approximately 15 years, according to our calculator. Note: We are far better at predictions than math.
Miss Universe trivia: Culpo has said she won the Miss Rhode Island contest in a rented, $20 dress.
Congrats to the lovely and charming Olivia Culpo for her Miss Universe win, and to Miss Philippines, Janine Tugonon and Miss Venezuela, Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, who came in second and third, respectively. We would have predicted those results, too, but it takes a lot of time and effort to go back and edit blog posts, you know.
The Saxe Theater in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood has announced it will open “Stripped The Play,” direct from Off-Broadway, on Dec. 21, 2012.
This blog doesn't have a six pack. More of a keg.
“Stripped The Play,” which feels like it needs some additional punctuation somewhere, delves into the world of male stripping, following “the true story of an ex-cop’s final night on stage and the struggles he faces before taking-it-off one last time.”
Here’s an interview with one of the major players, Steve Stanulis.
“Stripped The Play” will appear nightly at midnight (dark on Sunday and Monday) at the Saxe Theater.
Learn more about the show sure to put the “ab” in “fabulous Vegas shows.” A tagline this blog should probably trademark, come to think of it.
It’s sort of the Vegas version of “Punk’d.” You arrive at Planet Hollywood, and the hotel staff is apologetic because they can’t find your reservation. The rest is an “Only in Vegas” moment, courtesy of dozens of Miss Universe contestants. Have a watch.
The unsuspecting guests, several of whom seem to go into a mild state of shock, actually did get to stay in upgraded, panorama suites for taking part in the hotel’s little prank.
No, Albania isn't in upstate New York. Please try and stay focused.
Catch the lovely contestants on NBC, Dec. 19, as they metaphorically thumb wrestle for the Miss Universe crown. Gratuitous pageant contestant photos here.
He had us at “Devonshire butter-infused beef.” Colorful celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is working with Planet Hollywood to open a new restaurant, BurGR Gordon Ramsay, on December 22, 2012. Yes, that soon.
We’ve got an exclusive first look at the new BurGR Gordon Ramsay, assuming you haven’t seen it somewhere else before this.
This is a rendering of BurGR Gordon Ramsay at Planet Hollywood. Insert an appropriate "rendering" joke here. All the cooks get it.
BurGR, of course, is a play on Gordon Ramsay’s initials, and the new restaurant will be located just off the Las Vegas Strip, adjacent to the casino’s Extra Lounge. (The hotel’s Total Rewards loyalty club counter has been moved next to P.F. Chang’s.)
The new restaurant’s menu will feature the outspoken chef’s distinctive take on burgers, fries and milkshakes with novel options like pork belly bao buns, sweet potato fries with vanilla powdered sugar and pudding shakes (a combination of milkshake and pudding).
The below video is what’s called a “sizzle reel” in the PR business. This blog is not generally a big fan of sizzle reels, but in the case of a video with actual sizzle in it, the label seems to make sense.
Patties for the burgers will be cooked over an open flame fueled by hard woods (60% adler wood and 40% apple wood), and BurGR Gordon Ramsay will be the only burger restaurant on the Strip to use this technique. The burgers will be made from a blend of three beef cuts, short rib, brisket and chuck. Devonshire butter (a prized, rich butter made from cream in the U.K.), ground into the beef, should add some awesome flavor, and we can’t wait to try a bite. Or several.
We took this photo from the video. It's not ours. You can tell it wasn't taken by this blog because it's basically in focus.
Fry aficionados will appreciate the attention paid to them at BurGR Gordon Ramsay.
BurGR fries will be hand-cut and cooked three times to ensure extra crispness. The eatery will skip the usual Russet potato fry and use Kennebec potatoes, which provide a lighter, less starchy and crisper fry. We know this because this blog is a self-proclaimed fry expert. We also read it in the news release. Moving on.
We grabbed this photo from the video, too. We are also a grabbing-photos-from-videos expert.
The menu will also include fried chicken sliders, hand-made jalapeno poppers and sticky toffee pudding in a push-pop.
BurGR Gordon Ramsay is the “Hell’s Kitchen” star’s third restaurant undertaking in Las Vegas. Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas opened to rave reviews in May, 2012, and Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace is expected to open mid-December.
About his three Vegas offerings, Chef Ramsay says, “We’ve been developing these different concepts for quite a while to deliver three distinct, unique dining experiences with the variety, originality and high quality we believe people want and appreciate.”
One of the benefits of having Chef Gordon Ramsay in Las Vegas more often is our increased vocabulary, which we can't share with our mom, ever.
Because one cannot live by BurGRs alone, BurGR Gordon Ramsay will offer a wide selection of American craft beers, with more than 30 beers served from a frozen tap wall. There will even be a BurGR draught created especially for this restaurant, made by Stone Brewing Co. in San Diego.
BurGR trivia: The uniforms worn by the team at BurGR Gordon Ramsay will be designed by Allison Leach, known for her time as assistant costume designer for TV shows like “Glee” and “Mad Men.”
We can’t wait to try one of everything, including the specialty cocktails with made-from-scratch syrups. We have an insatiable appetite for new Las Vegas restaurants, and it sounds like BurGR Gordon Ramsay will be the perfect place to feed our hunGR. See what we did there?
Planet Hollywood recently welcomed the genetically-gifted contestants in this year’s Miss Universe competition, and this blog was there to take their photos.
While there were any number of lovely contestants in attendance, this blog is going to go boldly out on a limp to predict Miss USA, Olivia Culpo, will take home the pageant’s top prize at this year’s Miss Universe contest. If we’re wrong, we will gladly move to a foreign country or lay naked on a bed of fire ants. Or something.
Do we have an eye for talent, or what?
Naturally, Miss USA isn’t the only beauty in the running.
In the spirit of international cooperation, this is Miss Mexico, Karina González.
There are upwards of 614 contestants (or at least 89), so we’re not able to share all their photos, but we’re happy to pass along our top 25. And by “top 25,” of course, we mean “the photos that came out nearly in focus.” We are a blog, not a professional beauty pageant contestant photographer.
From what we can tell, DB’s Pong & Pool at The Miracle Mile Shops has been open for a couple of months now, and this blog happens to think it may be one of the best-kept secrets on The Strip.
DB's kind of flew under the radar. Or maybe we just don't get out enough.
DB’s, which stands for Dirty Blondie’s, like its sister establishment in The Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood, the wildly successful Blondies Sports Bar & Grill, offers up a sports bar atmosphere and tons of diversions in the form of all the games you’d have in your den if you had the cash, and if you had, you know, a den.
We're just getting started.
DB’s has a couple of bars, one on each of its two expansive levels, although there may be more. The joint is so large (20,000-square-feet, in the space formerly occupied by Asia Nightclub), you kind of lose track.
The folks from the original Blondie’s have decked the joint out with every game you can imagine, from table tennis and pool to beer pong and tabletop shuffleboard. Darts. Foosball. A golf simulator. Let’s just say there are a lot.
Bonus: Some of the games glow in the dark.
If anyone’s lamenting a lack of beer pong spots on The Strip, DB’s could be a home away from home, with beer pong tournaments Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. with cash prizes.
A little bit of something for everyone. Except people who don't like fun. And if you're one of those people, what are you doing in Las Vegas in the first place?
DB’s has big, open areas, with the potential for performances by live bands, but also has some smaller rooms, perfect for gatherings of small groups.
Perhaps the grandest beer pong spot in Vegas.
While getting to venues in The Miracle Mile Shops can be a challenge sometimes, there’s valet parking just a few feet away from DB’s entrance off of Harmon Avenue. The manager said 28 steps, but we didn’t independently verify this, so it could be 30.
We'll hang here.
This new nightlife offering serves up a solid menu of bar food, with appetizers like wings, poppers, pretzels, nachos and the like, along with salads, paninis, build-your-own burgers and a variety of pizza.
The prices are reasonable, and there’s a pizza special that includes a 12-inch pie with a pint of draft beer for $9.99.
No, we didn't take photos of the food, but we did take a photo of these things.
DB’s has a great vibe, and is a welcoming, laid-back hang-out to meet up with friends to watch some sports, take advantage of the plentiful drink specials and trash-talk your buddies during a bout of beer pong.
You'll want to get some buds so you and your buds can chillax here. If people still chillax, of course. Who can keep up?
As has been the case since the very inception of Las Vegas in the early 17th century (just go with it), Sin City nightclubs are once again pulling in major talent for their New Year’s Eve weekend celebrations.
Today, we learned singer and TV personality CeeLo Green will perform live on Dec. 30, 2012 at Chateau Nightclub atop Paris Las Vegas.
They can call your song "Forget You" all they want, CeeLo. We listen to the original.
The Grammy Award-winning CeeLo Green is best known for his colossal hit single, “F**k You,” and for his appearances on NBC’s talent competition, “The Voice.”
Green will also begin a residency at Planet Hollywood in 2013. Learn more, because there will be a quiz at some point.
Also on the agenda for New Year’s Eve is Nicki Minaj who will host at Pure Nightclub at Caesars Palace.
Minaj's song, "Super Bass," has been certified quadruple-platinum by the RIAA. Hint: That's a lot.
Today’s thing we didn’t know about Nicki Minaj: Her real name is Onika Tanya Maraj.
Minaj has been the owner and sole proprietor of the U.S. music charts since her debut album, “Pink Friday,” arrived in 2010.
It goes without saying, Las Vegas will be the center of the New Year’s Eve universe as 2012, also referred to as “The Year Holly Madison Broke This Blog’s Heart by Leaving Peepshow,” turns into 2013, also referred to as, “How can it possibly be 2013 already?”
It’s easy to overlook Koi Las Vegas, because it’s a little hidden on the Mezz (second) level at Planet Hollywood, but the flavors and nightlife are hard to miss.
Koi’s restaurant and lounge combo is a mix of Eastern design and Hollywood style, with a focus on Japanese-inspired food (“with California accents”), as well as top-notch service.
Koi's version of "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
Koi boasts a team of sushi chefs with decades of experience. Yes, we counted. Signature rolls include a baked crab roll, baked scallops, sauteed shrimp, the Dragon Roll, a baked lobster roll and Kobe Surf & Turf Roll.
We have certain friends who are jabbing at their computer monitor with chopsticks right now.
Team Koi (they don’t call themselves that, probably) takes sushi very seriously, and watching the sushi being prepared in the open kitchen is a great show.
Sushi chefs get great singe benefits.
The inviting restaurant has a number of distinctive signature dishes, several of which we just copied and pasted from their online menu: Seared Tuna, Tuna Tartare, Salmon Carpaccio, Hamachi Fusion, Kobe-Style Potstickers, Spicy Crunchy Yellowtail Tartare and Chicken Yakitori.
Well, that's just adorable.
Hot dishes run the gamut from Sauteed Tiger Prawns and Sesame-Encrusted Lobster Tail to Wasabe-Braised Short Ribs and this blog’s personal favorite (pictured below), the Kobe-Style Filet Mignon “Toban-Yaki,” which translates as, “If we ever inherit a large amount of money, we’re going to roll around naked on dozens of servings of this dish.” Or something.
Actually, “toban-yaki” refers to the cooking method (on a ceramic plate), but let’s not get bogged down by “facts” or “useful information.” We are a blog, after all.
Presentation may not be everything, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
An after-dinner drink menu helps round out your meal with specialties like a Koi Frappuccino Shot, Chocolate Espresso Martini, Koi Snow Flake (including Rock Sake Nigori, White Chocolate Godiva and a splash of Goldschlager) and Sweet Saki Flight Tasting.
Koi boasts a surprising number of dessert items, including the Flourless Molten Chocolate Cake, Koi Sundae, the Koi Signature Cheesecake, Chocolate-Vanilla Creme Brulee, Strawberry Cobbler and assorted ice creams, sorbet and mochi. Bypass the agony of decision-making with a chef’s dessert Sampler Platter ($46).
White chocolate bowl? Yes, please.
Bonus: Koi has partnered with the Just a Little non-profit, and will donate 100% of the proceeds of the sale of certain menu items to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The items are the Koi Fusion Shot ($5) and Ahi Tuna Carpaccio ($15).
Blogs cannot live by food photos alone.
Discover what’s made Koi restaurant and lounge such a sensation both in Las Vegas and at its sister locations in New York, Los Angeles and Bangkok, which this blog has good reason to believe is in a different country entirely.