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August Trip Report: Mandarin, Guy Savoy, Twist, CUT, Sage, barMasa

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by alexanbo, Dec 22, 2013.

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  1. alexanbo

    alexanbo High-Roller

    Nov 28, 2008
    Vancouver BC, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    My Trip Report

    Since I'm off to Vegas tomorrow I got motivated to finish the report from my last trip.

    <b>Rest and Relaxation</b>
    This trip was more about relaxation then the partying of the previous trip. I booked a week at the Mandarin Oriental and dinners at Guy Savoy, Twist, Cut, barMasa and Sage. Also on the agenda was a Spa day and lots of time at the pool.

    This Trip report is on the long side, though there's lots of pictures.

    The trip took place August 25-31 2013.

    <b>Getting There</b>
    I flew down on WestJet. At the US terminal in YVR they've replaced the old Pacific Grill with this:

    Canucks Bar
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013050_zps76e3af55.jpg"/>

    Seems like an odd place to put a Canucks themed bar and I wonder if the employees here will be off in May golfing like their namesake.

    Luggage was out quickly and this was the first time I've actually seen zero cab line in Vegas. I just walked out and got in a waiting cab.

    One of my favourite perks that comes with staying at Mandarin so often is that they will have the keys ready for you at the bell stand when you pull up. This allows you to get quickly to your room and hit Vegas running. When the bellman dropped off my luggage I took advantage of the free shoe shine service and sent my dress shoes off for a shine.

    The room was just the standard one with the hall with the closet off the entrance, the large bathroom with frosted glass overlooking the bed and rest of the room

    The room had a view down the North strip with the new marquee at Aria front and centre.

    Room View
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013051_zps51b34582.jpg"/>

    Picture so I can remember what room I'm in
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013052_zpsb01d4bd4.jpg"/>

    <b>Estioatorio Milos Lunch Special</b>
    Milos has an amazing lunch special and I always try to get there right after I get into town. With check in being so quick I made it over here easily in time and had a seat at the bar. The bartender was slammed as it was super busy but as it wound down she hung out a bit more and turned out to know people in the kitchen at some of the places I had lined up for later in the trip.

    <b>Canadian Classic</b>
    To start with I went with the Canadian Classic which is Willy Krauch Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon cream cheese & red onions served on a fresh toasted bagel. I especially liked how the capers added little bursts of saltiness to each bite.

    Canadian Classic
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013053_zps8e2d7eba.jpg"/>

    <b>Shrimp Saganaki</b>
    Skewered Shrimp served with cous cous, tomato and feta. Tasty but perhaps a bit on the small side.

    Shrimp Saganaki
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013054_zps0154c92a.jpg"/>

    <b>Fresh Fruits</b>
    And a plate of Fresh Fruit to end the meal.

    Fresh Fruits
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013055_zpse20488c2.jpg"/>

    <b>The First Afternoon</b>
    After lunch I headed down to Book + Stage for the first gambling of the trip. Our favourite bartender wasn't working that shift and wouldn't show up until later in the week. Started off well hitting Aces with no Kicker during the session and I wasn't able to tear myself right away to go to the pool like I planned.

    First Win
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    Mandarin Sign walking back from Cosmo
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013057_zps69092314.jpg"/>

    By the time I got back to my room the Welcome Amenity had arrived.

    Mandarin Welcome
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013058_zps012173c7.jpg"/>

    Noticed for the first time that the LED's along the driveway at Aria actually change colour like those on the side of the hotel itself

    Aria Driveway LEDs
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013059_zps0842f5bf.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013060_zps36fc8ca4.jpg"/>

    I got in some quick time at the pool just relaxing in the sunshine. It was pretty busy down there so seats were a little scarce.

    After a bit at the pool I went back to my room.

    <b>Operation DrinkEveryDay at Mandarin Bar</b>
    One of the goals for this trip was to have at least 1 drink each night at the Mandarin Bar. On Sunday's the Bar puts on a Jazz night and there's a live band playing. They're really good and a singer I had heard before was having her CD release party. The Music was so good and the drinks were coming so fast I ended up just spending the night listening to the music. I believe I ordered some sliders at some point but it's all a little hazy.

    Mandarin Bar Night 1
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013061_zps68f4d61f.jpg"/>

    <b>Day Two</b>
    Waking up was pretty tough this morning. I had to get over to Bellagio for lunch though and I managed to get myself over there using the shortcut the conceirge recommended last trip. From Mandarin go down the driveway to Aria and out the Valet by Haze. Walk around the drivway to Vdara and cut through Vdara and you end up walking out into the Spa Tower at Bellagio. This route keeps you inside most of the way, which was a plus in the heat.

    I took a quick spin through the Conservatory, they had an enclosure with real birds in it which was different.

    Bellagio Conservatory
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013062_zpsdffd2b0b.jpg"/>

    <b>Bellagio Buffet</b>
    For lunch on Monday I redeemed a free buffet from MyVegas points. The procedure to redeem the buffet was relatively painless, just goto the MLife desk and they put it onto your MLife card. Then show the MLife card at the Buffet cashier and they swipe that and you're all set

    The buffet was competent but I was reminded yet again why I don't actually like buffets. Well it might of been that my hangover hampered my full enjoyment.

    Bellagio Buffet
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013063_zps85aa4592.jpg"/>

    After the Buffet I wandered around Bellagio a bit and decided to try my luck at the bar tops near the sports book. This session was pretty good and I hit a premium quad along with 3 non premium quads.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013065_zps52911652.jpg"/>
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    Leaving while the getting was good I headed back toward my hotel, stopping off at the bartops near the sports book at Aria. This session yielded this:

    Aria Win
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013069_zpsbe4b5520.jpg"/>

    The gambling was getting off to a decent start, though I think I did end up blowing back that win at Aria. After that I went back to the room to get ready for dinner.

    Chef Masa Takayama helmed the first Japanese restaurant in America to be awarded 3 Michelin stars. The fish used at barMasa can only be out of the water for less then 24 hours. I had been avoiding the restaurant as it's verging on the ridicously expensive, but I noticed they offered an early evening menu that actually provided something resembling value. At least that's what the plan was.

    I sat at the bar and was the first person in the restaurant. It's a really huge space so it was a bit odd but I had the bartender's undivided attention. I had the bartender pick out a sake to accompany the meal.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013070_zps39b7deee.jpg"/>

    <b>Bento Box</b>
    The early evening menu was a Bento box consisting of Wasabi Chikuwa Salad, Shrimp & Kabocha Tempura, Shishito Pepper, Dashi Nasu, Asparagus Gomaae, Four pieces of Rolls, Three Slices of Sahimi.

    Everything was good, but nothing was really mind blowing. I think the peppers were actually my favourite, even though I usually enjoy Tempura Shrimp.

    Bento Box
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013071_zpse33b5fff.jpg"/>

    I couldn't dine here and not have sushi, at least more then the three slice of sashimi in the bento box (It was mackeral I think). I went with two favourites, Uni (Sea Urchin) and Ikura (Salmon Roll). I also went with Toro sashimi. The Uni was probably the best I've had, though the Ikura was just good. The Toro was delicious, it melted in your mouth.

    Notice that an order here consists of just one piece, while typically it would be two or three.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013072_zps82c1e049.jpg"/>

    <b>Peking duck with foie gras fried rice</b>
    I was still hungry at this point and the Peking duck with foie gras fried rice caught my eye. This was all sorts of deliciousness, the foie kind of melting through the rice with bites of Peking Duck throughout. A really outstanding dish

    Peking duck with foie gras fried rice
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013073_zps23a984de.jpg"/>

    I enjoyed this meal but I'm not sure I'd recommend this place. It delivers the best of the best sushi, but at a cost. Maybe if you sat at the bar and just wanted to order the Fried rice dish would be the way to go here.

    <b>Pai Gow</b>
    After dinner I sat down for some Pai Gow Poker at Aria. I had taken a break from PGP so was trying my luck again. I didn't really get much going here and blew my small buy in relatively quickly.

    <b>Mandarin Bar Night 2</b>
    The short PGP session did mean I got to complete Day 2 of the Mandarin Bar drinking challenge rather early. I ended up talking to one of the residents who lived above the hotel. After hearing I had gone to barMasa he said the sushi at MOzen Bistro in the hotel was just as good.

    Mandarin Bar Night 2
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013074_zpsa2418551.jpg"/>

    It was another late night at the Bar before I headed off to bed.

    <b>Day 3</b>

    <b>MOzen Breakfast</b>
    Since I was doing a Spa day today I didn't want to go far and went for breakfast at the hotel in the MOzen Bistro. I got here at around 11:15 and they only offered very limited menu but this worked out as I only wanted something light.

    I went with the Classic American Breakfast and picked the Sausage and Sourdough Toast.

    Classic American Breakfast
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013075_zps46d28248.jpg"/>

    After breakfast I spent a little time at the pool before heading off to the spa.

    <b>Spa Day</b>
    Since this trip was about Rest and Relaxation I decided to get a massage for the first time. Booking a massage allows you to use the spa facilities for the day.

    I had gone in to the spa reception desk after hitting the pool on my first day and they had walked me through all the options and picked a package that was good for a beginner spa goer.

    I checked into the spa well before my appointment and the staff had me fill out a questionaire while providing welcome tea. Also at this point they take your shoes and provide you with super comfy sandals.

    After waiting a bit in reception a staffer came and gave me a tour of the facilities before setting me up with a locker.

    The spa is pretty big taking up two floors. On the men's side there is a vitality pool which is like a hot tub with metal rollers that act as seats in it. The pool actually looks out North over the strip. Also there was a steam room, sauna, laconium, experience shower and laconium chairs.

    Not wanting to get wet before my massage I setup on the laconium chairs which overlook the strip as well. Lieing back and relaxing as the stone chairs warmed me was awesome.

    A bit before my massage apointment I retired to the treatment waiting room. They had cool secluded loungers to wait in as you waited for your therapist.

    The Therapist showed up and took me to the treatment room. It was a bit of a trek, and on a different floor but somehow I survived the journey.

    The massage itself was out of this world. I'm not sure why I had waited so long. In any case it was super relaxing and I drifted on the edge of consciousness as all the stress melted away. I think it was the Oriental Essence package I got where they tailor it to your needs rather then just using one technique.

    After the massage was over I floated back to the facilities.

    First off was the Vitality pool. I should note the service was outstanding. Within seconds of me laying down on the rollers in the vitality pool, an attendant had brought a rolled up towel to rest my neck on, showed me how to turn the bubbles on for my chair and brought a bottle of water.

    The chairs were maybe not as good as I expected as you tended to float up and not be able to lie back and relax.

    After the vitality pool I hit up the sauna. It was a standard sauna, the only thing to note is that the service again went above and beyond and brought another bottle of water and a cool face cloth.

    Next I tried the experience shower. The experience part controlled by touchscreen was kind of lame as I found the water either too cold or too hot. The regular shower part of it was good though as there were nozzles all around.

    I spent some time in the steam room and laconium as well.

    At the end of my time I settled up, which takes place in the spa retail area.

    After that heavenly couple of hours I headed out to the pool.

    The pool was awesome as the staff re-arranged some umbrellas so I could get shade in my desired spot. Again the pool was pretty busy but I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon drinking beer and taking the occasional plunge into the pool. You're allowed to drink in the pool so I setup my beer alongside the edge of the pool while just sitting in the pool.

    Occasionally they bring around a treat and I think I had a frozen fruit juice popsicle and some frozen grapes.

    Eventually I left and got ready for dinner.

    <b>Mandarin Bar Night 3</b>
    Night 3 was a quick night as I only had 1 beer before heading out to dinner

    Mandarin Bar Night 3
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013076_zps1c25ed02.jpg"/>

    I hadn't been to CUT in a while so I made sure it was part of the itinerary this trip. It's been my favourite steakhouse and it did nothing to lose it's spot.

    <b>Breadsticks + Gruyere Cheese Puff</b>
    The puff is a bite of lightness and cheese. The breadsticks are awesome too, love the cheese on them.

    Breadsticks and Puff
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013077_zps36f6214a.jpg"/>

    <b>Austrian Oxtail Buillon, Chive Blossoms, Chervil, Bone Marrow Dumplings</b>
    I'd never had Oxtail before having the Oxtail bucatini flan at Le Cirque and that was heavenly. So seeing this on the menu I went for it. The broth was rich and the dumplings even richer. Mixing in a bit of the oxtail meat with a bite of a dumpling allowed all the flavours to mix together. I really enjoyed this dish, it was unexpected as I hadn't planned on ordering this and got it on a last minute whim.

    Austrian Oxtail Buillon, Chive Blossoms, Chervil, Bone Marrow Dumplings
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013078_zpsf77c0f94.jpg"/>

    <b>Snake River American Waygu Rib Eye</b>
    This is my favourite cut of beef. I like how the Angus part combines with the fatiness of the Waygu and imparts it with that Angus flavour. I find the pure Japanese Waygu a little too rich and fatty, so this is to my taste much better.

    The steak arrived charred on the outside and tender on the inside. Just as good as I remembered

    American Waygu Ribeye
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013079_zps74be41e6.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013081_zpsa69e24d3.jpg"/>

    <b>Onion Rings</b>
    For my side dish I had the Onion Rings. A little thinner and lighter then I prefer, but the artistry of the tower of rings was cool.

    Onion Rings
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013080_zps86175018.jpg"/>

    <b>Meat Presentation</b>
    They usually do this at the beginning but they were busy and didn't get to bring by the different cuts of steak until late in the meal. It's pretty cool to see the differences in the cuts, the one I got was the one in the bottom right corner.

    Meat Presentation
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013082_zpsf6b2f87e.jpg"/>

    Everything you could want in a Steak House. A creative, delicious starter and pitch perfect piece of meat.

    <b>No Commission Pai Gow</b>
    After dinner I tracked down the Pai Gow Poker tables at Palazzo. Here they had a variation on regular PGP in that there was no commission, but if the dealer gets Q High Pai Gow, it's an automatic push.

    I enjoyed this as I didn't have to worry about change, plus it actually makes tipping the dealers easier. I was up early but gradually got back to normal before deciding to go all in and failing.

    After that feeling a bit dejected I sat at the central bar and played some $1 bartop blackjack. Suprisingly my $20 buy in lasted quite a while before running out and I called it a night

    <b>Day 4</b>
    When I booked this trip, I actually made two bookings to take advantage of a buy 2 get 1 free offers. When I checked in they already had it setup to roll over without having to do anything.

    I got up earlish this morning and read the paper while lounging at the pool. After that I went back to the room and got ready for lunch.

    <b>China Pablano</b>
    For lunch on Wednesday I hit an old favourite China Pablano. It's a Chinese Mexican fusion place but as I had a big meal planned later in the day I stuck to their contemporary take on Dim Sum. I sat at the Chinese bar so got to watch the various pieces of Dim Sum being prepared.

    <b>Golden Pigs</b>
    These were steamed buns filled with Chinese barbeque pork. Traditionally the buns are plain white bread but here they were deep fried and the same consistency of a donut. Not quite as sweet as a donut but really really good. They came with condensed milk to dip them in.

    Golden Pigs
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013085_zps807d2813.jpg"/>

    <b>Quail's Egg Sui Mai</b>
    These used to only be on the special brunch menu but had been added to the regular menu. Each dumpling has a quail's egg on top of it which provides a creamy richness to the dumpling when biting into them.

    Quail's Egg Sui Mai
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013086_zps43d21ea7.jpg"/>

    <b>Book and Stage</b>
    After lunch I headed down to Book and Stage and Heather was working today. It was fun hanging out and catching up and I had a couple wins, though left without my buy-in. It probably was a win as I avoided the multi-play machines at the one end of the bar. Soon it was time to head back to the room for dinner.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013087_zps8117fbb9.jpg"/>
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    <b>Mandarin Bar Night 4</b>
    Night 4 was another quick beer before I headed out to dinner.

    Mandarin Bar Night 4
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013091_zpsf1503cc0.jpg"/>

    <b>Guy Savoy</b>
    Dinner at Guy Savoy would complete the trifecta of French restaurants on the strip for me. My very first Michelin starred dining experience was in October 2009 at Joel Robuchon at MGM and I had added a number of meals at Twist after that. I had put off visiting Guy Savoy until this point, one of the reasons actually being the poor presentation of their online menu. It's a bit ironic that the online presentation is so poor given the way they ended up delivering the souvenir menu at the end of the meal.

    The closest entry to Guy Savoy at Caesars is the VIP port corchere. Theoretically, cabs aren't allowed here so I managed to grab the house Mercedes for the ride over. It was a bit odd as the doormen actually ignored the car when we pulled up.

    A quick ride up in the elevator led to the restaurant

    Guy Savoy Elevator
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013092_zps96b78322.jpg"/>

    The room is quite big, a little cavernous actually and there isn't any view to speak of in the main room. There was one other couple when I got there and then the table next to me was sat with another couple soon after I sat down. Another couple came in halfway through the meal and they ended up moving into the small room next to the main one so they could have a bit of a view onto the strip.

    The place setting was a bit whimsical, amongst the modern decor. As the meal progressed there would prove to be a couple suprises hidden in the setting.

    Guy Savoy Place Setting
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013093_zpsa4c1c0a2.jpg"/>

    For dinner I went with the Signature Menu as that hit Savoy's classics including Colors of Caviar and Artichoke and Black Truffle soup.

    Usually I go with the wine pairings for these types of menus, but the suggested pairing didn't start with Champagne and was on the expensive side. When I had first sat down the sommelier had brought over a champagne cart. I had declined it at first but once I decided to skip the pairing I had him bring it back over. There was about 20 different choices and on his recommendation I went with an eponymous Guy Savoy Champagne.

    Champagne Guy Savoy
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013097_zpsba2dc203.jpg"/>

    To start the meal a number of Amuses were brought out

    The first was a Foie Gras and Black Truffle sandwich. Skewered with a piece of metal, the black truffle brought out the richness of the Foie.

    Foie Gras and Black Truffle sandwich
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013094_zpse470b8dd.jpg"/>

    The second Amuse was a Parmesan Waffle. This bite was sharp and tangy and the waffle was a touch lighter then I expected.

    Parmesan Waffle
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013095_zps1f1a2431.jpg"/>

    The third Amuse was a Foie Gras Slider. Richness on a small brioche bun.

    Foie Gras Slider
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013096_zps7b5b39d0.jpg"/>

    The last starter plate delivered to the table was a Corn Chowder. I have a weakness for soup and this delivered.

    Corn Chowder
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013098_zps1adf154b.jpg"/>

    After the soup was devoured, a suprise was revealed under the soup bowl. A tartare of scallop with cabbage leaf and a dollop of yuzu sauce.

    Scallop Tartare
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013100_zps488e1f53.jpg"/>

    The bread cart was brought by the table and there was a number of selections. I went light, having learned not to go to heavy on bread so as to enjoy the other parts of the meal. Here you can see how the place setting was diassembled to reveal different butters and salts.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013099_zps4ade2689.jpg"/>

    <b>Heirloom Tomatoes Salad and Tartare, Frozen Vinnigrette</b>
    This dish delivered the essence of tomatoe. The main plate had a deconstructed salad with with a frozen dressing.

    Heirloom Tomatoe Salad
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013101_zps9799e31a.jpg"/>

    The side dish was a Tomatoe Tartare on a piece of bread. Somehow they managed to make this taste pure. I'm not generally a fan of tomatoes but this bite could convert me.

    Tomatoe Tartare
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013102_zps532492eb.jpg"/>

    <b>Colors of Caviar</b>
    Signature dish of Guy Savoy. A multi-layered dish meant to be eaten with a bit of each layer at a time. The layers were, a caviar vinaigrette, caviar creme fraiche, golden Ossetra caviar, haricot vert puree and hot egg sabayon. Each bite, delivered with the traditional mother of pearl spoon, had a different flavour as the proportion of layers changed. A bit reminiscent of Keller's Oyster and Pearls.

    Colors of Caviar
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013103_zps5f724151.jpg"/>

    <b>Langoustine and Fresh Corn Polenta</b>
    A delectable piece of Langousite served on a base of polenta. A citrus foam provided an airy tang.

    Langoustine and Fresh Corn Polenta
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013104_zpsf943c642.jpg"/>

    <b>Red Mullet Fillet, Spinach and Mushroom Gratin</b>
    The fish was competent but the real standout was the Spinach and Mushroom pizza thing that accompanied the fish.

    Red Mullet Fillet, Spinach and Mushroom Gratin
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013105_zpsf6afc66a.jpg"/>

    <b>Foie-Gras "Bitter Infusion"</b>
    Part of this dish was brought to the table a couple of courses before. The infusion part was brought in a clear teapot and place over a tea light to heat up the Infusion.

    I'm a little teapot
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013106_zpsaa367014.jpg"/>

    Once warmed apropriately the "Infusion" was poured over the Foie part of the dish. The bitterness of the broth tempered the richness of the Foie. The leftover broth was served as a tea as well. Sweetness was added to the dish by the side of fruit.

    Foie-Gras "Bitter Infusion"
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013107_zps7e7d26d4.jpg"/>

    <b>Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup,Toasted Mushroom Brioche, and Black Truffle Butter</b>
    Another Guy Savoy signature dish. Super good. Earthy. The parmesan cheese provided lightness and tang.The brioche was a perfect compliment. One of the hi-lites of the meal.

    Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013108_zps120bdd5e.jpg"/>
    Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup,Toasted Mushroom Brioche
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013109_zpsdacbf322.jpg"/>

    <b>Chateau Giscours Margaux 2006</b>
    For the savoury course I had the sommelier pick out a glass of Red and he picked the Chateau Giscours Margaux 2006. It worked for me. The sommelier was super tall, 7' easy so he fit in with the super high ceilings. The front of house staff had all been with the restaurant since it opened.

    Chateau Giscours Margaux 2006
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013110_zps7a38ddcf.jpg"/>

    <b>American Prime Beef Tenderloin,</b>
    <b>Carrot Paleron Cannelloni</b>
    Perfectly cooked piece of Tenderloin, the Cannelloni with the carrot wrapping was interesting and the mashed potatoes were silky smooth.

    American Prime Beed Tenderloin
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013111_zps5ea93d14.jpg"/>

    <b>Selection de Fromages Affines</b>
    The Cheese cart was then brought out and there was a wide array to choose from. I think I chose a goat cheese, and a couple other selections, maybe some sort of brie? All were very good.

    Cheese Plate
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013112_zpsb5046aac.jpg"/>

    <b>Palate Cleanser</b>
    A sorbet with some grapes to prepare for the rest of the desserts.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013117_zps5bda2aac.jpg"/>

    An Americano to end the beverage portion of the meal

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013118_zps62c5321b.jpg"/>

    <b>Coconut Six Ways</b>
    The first proper dessert a delightful concoction that had six different preparations of coconut. The 6 different ways are straight, tapioca, cake, emulsion, ganite and chip. Each bite was coconut but the the texture of each bite was different.

    Coconut Six Ways
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013119_zpsf191c431.jpg"/>

    <b>Chocolate Fondant, Crunchy Praline and Chicory Cream</b>
    The Fondant was rich and dark while the praline lent a nutty finish. The chicory cream was a slighty bitter counterpoint to the chocolate richness.

    Chocolate Fondant, Crunchy Praline and Chicory Cream
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013120_zpsf38ae09c.jpg"/>

    <b>A Closing Palate Cleanser</b>
    Another sorbet to finish the meal proper, it leavened the rich chocolate in preparation for the Petit Fours.

    Sorbet 2
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013121_zpsaf56cec1.jpg"/>

    <b>Dessert Trolley</b>
    Finally the Dessert Trolley was brought over. Impressively each item was explained in turn.

    Dessert Trolley
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013123_zps3094a22a.jpg"/>

    Here's the selection I came up with. I got a creme caramel (in the little pot), a cheesecake ball (the left plate) and something the waiter made me take. I remember that one being worth it, even if I was full. I also got the Sherry Lollipop and writing this I remember I took it home and hadn't actually eaten it yet. It was yummy!

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013124_zps4eeaa01d.jpg"/>

    Near the end of the meal I had the opportunity to tour the back of house. It's always interesting to see where the magic happens and Chef also showed me the special Krug Room off the kitchen.

    Chef Matieu Chartron and I
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013122_zps01ce05d1.jpg"/>

    At the end of the meal I was given a customized menu, nicely bound and signed by Chef. A contrast to the presentation of the menu on the website.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013113_zps77415ca9.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013114_zps4a93da01.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013115_zps451e120e.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013116_zps9cf746a9.jpg"/>

    <b>Take Home Treat</b>
    On the way out I was handed a take home treat, a cake that was enjoyed the next morning.

    Take Home Treat
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013128_zps81e9ea2e.jpg"/>

    It was actually interesting that in my adventures in dining this was really the first time I encountered the stereotypical snotty French service attitude. It was sublte and the service was still impecable but it did have a bit of a whiff of attitude. I found it more amusing then anything else, and it actually was appropriate for the setting.

    This was a contrast to the table next to me. They were regulars so the staff knew them well and were hanging out at the table a lot. The couple even shared the bottle of wine they ordered with the staff. I gather it was a very nice bottle. Interestingly enough when they tried to get TR credits for the spend on their meal, they only pulled out a TR Gold card, even though their spend on just that dinner was probably a significant chunk of the level needed to get to platinum. By the way they can't process the TR card at the restaurant you have to bring the receipt down to the TR desk and they process the receipt there.

    I really enjoyed this meal and and shouldn't of waited so long to get here. I think the Colors of Caviar and the Artichoke and Black Truffle Soup were two of my favourite dishes ever.

    <b>Post Dinner Gambling</b>
    After being stuffed to the gills at Guy Savoy I meandered over to Bellagio. I figured I'd try my luck at the machines that had treated me well earlier in the trip so setup shop again at the sports book bar tops. It was a bit lucky as I hit a couple premiums, but not much else.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013125_zps761eb6d3.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013126_zps4855d283.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013127_zps759a4089.jpg"/>

    There was a drunk older lady there, that was at first talking up a group that was sitting next to me. After they left however I was the only one there and had to put up with her attention. Aparently she had just gotten divorced, and had come down to Bellagio with some guy and given him $100 to buy drinks with but now couldn't find him. On top of that she was telling me she didn't gamble becaus her mother had committed suicide after losing a lot of money gambling, and about 5 minutes later she was putting money in a machine and gambling. The bartender was doing his best to ignore her, as she was shouting commands at him, and I was trying to follow suit. Luckily she felt insulted by the bartender so decided to cash out with a ticket for 3 cents.

    The bartender commiserated with me after she left but I suppose it did lend some entertainment to the night.

    After losing my initial buy in it was bedtime.

    <b>Day 5</b>

    <b>MOzen Bistro</b>
    Lunch on Thursday found me at MOzen Bistro as I wanted to follow up the recommendation I had gotten on their sushi. Coming in after noon the full menu was available.

    <b>Bread Service</b>
    3 different breads were brought to the table with a variety of butters/jam.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013129_zps629b4b0f.jpg"/>

    Once again I ordered Uni and Ikura. I went with Salmon Sashimi here instead of the Toro like at barMasa. I have to say the Ikura was better here, a little firmer and better tasting. The Uni wasn't quite a good as at barMasa but it was close. The sashimi was good as well. I would have to say that I enjoyed the sushi more here then at barMasa.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013130_zps3089fbc8.jpg"/>

    <b>Malai Tikka</b>
    For my main I had this Indian Chicken dish. Great flavour on the chicken.

    Malai Tikka
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013131_zps9102b7a2.jpg"/>

    At the end of the meal a couple cookies were presented with the bill
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013132_zpsfff9200b.jpg"/>

    It's amusing they don't imagine people staying at Excalibur/NYNY/Luxor will eat here

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013133_zpsca561b61.jpg"/>

    <b>Pool Time</b>
    Thursday I spent the entire afternoon at the pool. It was the first time I sat around the corner of the main pool in the adult section. The wall there was at the right angle to provide shade without the movement of umbrellas.

    The one downside to this location was that it was near the public cabana. There is a public cabana at the pool and it's aparently the one place in the whole building where you're allowed to smoke and someone was smoking cigars there. I complained but there wasn't anything they were willing to do. Not sure how they are allowed to have smoking there, as it's right next to the cafe.

    The pool was super busy, so I used the smaller pools that were in the area I was at.

    As the afternoon wound down I went back to the room to get ready for dinner.

    Some views from the pool
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013135_zps74a51de4.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013136_zps76c095e9.jpg"/>

    Twist has been my favourite restaurant in Vegas but it had been a little while since I had revisted it. I like the more modern take on cuisine they have but it's tempered with roots in the traditional. The original chef at Twist, Pascal Sanchez had left to start his own restaurant since I had been there last and Ryuki Kawasaki had been promoted to run the kitchen in his steed. Also gone was the Maitre'D Mathias who had moved over to the banquet side of the hotel.

    The entry is off to the left of the sky lobby and is kind of cool as you walk down the dark hall.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013137_zpsd0f9b6be.jpg"/>

    <b>Table Setting</b>
    The table setting was nice, with a very tall vase

    Table setting
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013159_zpsbb775294.jpg"/>

    For this meal I went with the 7 course Le Menu Esprit D'Ete. To accompany that I went with the suggested wine pairing. Here the wine pairing started with Champagne.

    Champagne Gosset, "Grand Rose", Ay France NV
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013138_zpsdafb7ad8.jpg"/>

    The standout dish here was the popcorn dish. The popcorn had a sauce made out of chantilly cream and curry. The combinations going on in this dish were ethereal, amazing and delicious. The other bites are lost to the vagaries of memory but there always good here

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013139_zpsef9a2bd8.jpg"/>

    <b>Surf n'Turf Tartar</b>
    Vodka Agar, Quenelle of American Caviar,"Tsar Nicoulai"
    Paris Mushroom Duxelle

    This was interesting as the wrapper for the dish was made from a Vodka Agar. There's gold leaf on there on top of the Cavair and the blend of the musroom and cavair was interesting

    Surf n'Turf Tartar
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013140_zpsb82846ef.jpg"/>

    The view from Twist now looks upon the giant marquee from Aria and the giant screen across the street from that marquee.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013141_zpsd7148542.jpg"/>

    <b>Spear Squid</b>
    Pan Fried, Arugula Puree
    Tomato Gnocchi with Basil & Porcini

    The Squid was nice and tender and I like the texture/flavour of the Tomato Gnocchi

    Spear Squid
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013144_zpsb43452ea.jpg"/>

    Venge, Champs de Fleur, White Wine Blend, Napa Valley CA 2005
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013142_zpseec2a6b7.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013143_zps9c0c54f7.jpg"/>

    Seasoned with Champagne & Onion Syrup
    Morel Cream & Braised Baby Turnips

    The complex sauce on this dish was what made it unique

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013147_zps01eb73d3.jpg"/>

    Batic, Zeria, Orange Wine, Vipova Valley, Slovenia 2009
    I wasn't a fan of this wine at all
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013145_zps4e894332.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013146_zpsdb64dba4.jpg"/>

    Obligatory shot of the view from the Men's room at Twist
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013148_zpsdd5027a3.jpg"/>

    <b>Mediterranean Loup de mer</b>
    Grilled Parmesan, Sweet & Sour Red Bell Pepper Jam with Black Olives,
    Baby Spinach Salad, Biscotti

    A well prepared piece of fish, the accompaniments add complexity to the dish

    Loup de mer
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013150_zps24e37d3d.jpg"/>

    Crios, Rose of Malbec, Argentina 2011
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013149_zpsa0707bbb.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013151_zps95478c54.jpg"/>

    Ice Cream of English Peas with Mint, Strawberry & Watermelon Juice, Rhubaarb Compote.

    Well this was an odd blend of flavours, textures and temperatures that awoke and stimulated the taste buds.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013153_zps384bb5f7.jpg"/>

    <b>Superior Farm Lamb</b>
    Saddle Stuffed with Tandoori Eggplant Caviar, Socca Nicoise, Lemon Paste,
    Sorrel Veloute, Gorgonzola Cream with Lime

    The stuffing of the Lamb provided a nice flavour to the meat.

    Superior Farm Lamb
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013158_zpsca77669f.jpg"/>

    Marques de Murrieta, Rioja, Spain, 2007
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013154_zps624e24c7.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013155_zps58aeef33.jpg"/>

    <b>Grand Dessert Pierre Gagnaire</b>
    Verbana Peach Compote, "Hojicha" Tea Cream Mousseline, Peach Ice Cream (the Star Dish)
    Poached Zucchini & Apricot, Lemon Syrup, Grapefruit Confit, Sweet Wine Cube
    Red Fruit Parfait, Tandoori Apple, Sesame & Golden Raisin
    Rhubarb Fondue, White Rum, Syrup de Canna, Fresh Mint Granite, Caramelized Pears
    Summer Chocolate, Polignac Almond, Caramelized Pistachio & Hazelnut, Chocolate Sorbet (the Martini Glass)

    5 desserts ended the meal proper. A wide variety of tastes here and and I think the chocolate one was the best

    Grand Dessert Pierre Gagnaire
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013163_zps17b8c96f.jpg"/>

    de Bortoli, Noble One,Botrytis Semilillion, NSW Australia, 2006
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013160_zpsd0c842e1.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013162_zpse1cf22cf.jpg"/>

    I like they give you honey on a stick, even if I drink the coffee black

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013165_zps26139fba.jpg"/>

    <b>Back of House</b>
    Near the end of dinner I got a tour of the back of house. Surprisingly it was quite small and broken up into several different rooms, usually it's all sort of one open space. It felt a little cramped back there.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013156_zps42b01e02.jpg"/>

    The wine fridge in the back had a slightly better selection then mine back in University.

    Wine Fridge
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013157_zpsc27cbd6b.jpg"/>

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013161_zpsdbdd48d4.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/TwistMenu2_zpseaa1c109.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/TwistMenu1_zpscbedba1f.jpg"/>

    The service here is a lot more informal then at Guy Savoy. They seem to have had a turnover in staff so I didn't recognize anyone from previous trips. I kind of felt they were maybe still finding their way under the new GM and Maitre'D actually.

    This was a good meal, but not a great one. I enjoyed Guy Savoy a little more, though it's a bit of an unfair comparison as the Guy Savoy menu is a greatest hits collection while Twist reinvents the entire menu a couple times a year. I enjoy that Twist makes you think about the food and would definetly go back. It's odd, a couple months later I remember the meal at Guy Savoy more then at Twist, even though Twist had the more exotic flavours.

    <b>Mandarin Bar Night 5</b>
    I actually hit the bar twice this day. When I had been in right before dinner, the Absolut rep had been in talking to the bartender about Absolut Elyxr, their new handcrafted vodka.

    After being stuffed from dinner I wanted something a little lighter then beer and so the bartender made me an awesome cocktail with the Absolut Elyxr that the rep had left for him. It was exactly what I wanted, and even ended up getting comp'd.

    Absolut Elyxr Cocktail
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013166_zpse87e6b7a.jpg"/>

    Though as in anything in life, it wasn't free as it helped convince me it was a good idea to go downtown at that point. I hopped in a taxi and for some reason he didn't know where Golden Gate was and I did a bit of walking once I got under the canopy.

    We've always had fun at Golden Gate and I don't hate watching the dealers work. I got my freeplay setup and hung out at the bar for a bit hitting this.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013167_zps30c5509a.jpg"/>

    I tried my best to hit a royal so I could tip the bartender before he got off shift, as he was keeping me amply supplied with drinks.

    Unfortunately I didn't hit this, until he was off shift.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013168_zpsf00da212.jpg"/>

    At that point I figured it was time to get some blackjack in. Strangely this was the first time I had played this trip, after blackjack going so well last trip. It was lots of fun and there wasn't the same pressure you feel at some of the strip places due to the lower limits.

    I can always tell it's getting late at the Golden Gate, when the hot dealers are replaced by the normally dressed dealers.

    Well plus they start closing tables so I had to move a bit until I was at the only table that was open.

    After some wild up and downs I was down and decided it was probably time to go. At this point the math was simple, if I went all in and won i'd be even and if I lost i didn't have to go and cash out at the cage. So decision made I push all in, and of course get a doubling hand. Now dipping into my emergency fund, I had to make sure I had enough for cab fare and didn't have enough to do a full double, so I settled for doubling for less.

    After much drama I busted and headed home.

    I fired off a text to Beejay as I was rolling up to the hotel and he had already been at work for two hours, haha.

    <b>Day 6</b>

    For my final full day in town I went to Lemongrass at Aria. After the late night/morning the previous night/morning this was a good way to get my day moving with some comfort food. It was a bit late in the day at this point so I also wanted something not too filling

    <b>Chicken Corn Soup</b>
    A tasty soup sweetened with the corn and the egg adding texture

    Chicken Corn Soup
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013169_zpsb76e9671.jpg"/>

    <b>BBQ Pork Buns</b>
    The traditional version of my favourite Dim Sum dish

    BBQ Pork Buns
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013170_zps3ca6bd1e.jpg"/>

    <b>Book and Stage</b>
    With some food in me I found myself back at Book and Stage. Heather had been on vacation with Jenny, a bartender who also used to work at B+S and was showing off some photos from their hi-jinks.

    I think I fired off another text to Beejay that included the text, "Look her boobs are bigger then my head"

    His reply included the work "F*****k" and "I still have 3 hours of work left".

    Keep in mind this was the same day as my previous text, haha.

    Didn't hit much this session except this
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013171_zpsf5eb149a.jpg"/>

    <b>Mandarin Bar Night 6</b>
    I did it!
    6 straight days of drinking at the Mandarin Bar in the books. You can see I was struggling to come up with a different picture at this point.

    Mandarin Bar Night 6
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013172_zps523e0a2b.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013173_zps30b978d5.jpg"/>

    To end the week of gastronomic delights I chose to go to Sage at Aria. The restaurant serves Modern American cuisine, whatever that means. It was nice way to end after the culinary gymnastics of the previous two nights.

    Instead of grabbing a table I sat at the bar. One of the bartenders recognized me as I had sat at his bar before when he worked at Sirio. He actually rotates through a couple of the restaurants. Another interesting thing was that during the meal, the new Aria mixologist Craig Schoettler (formerly of the Aviary in Chicago) was working with the senior bartender on developing new drinks for the next season. Was interesting to watch that process.

    <b>Beer Pairing</b>
    After consuming a lot of wine that week I went with the beer pairing, where they provide a beer for each course rather then wine. For the appetizer they chose something from Dogfish Brewery I believe. It worked perfectly with the Foie dish, providing a bit of fruitiness to cut the richness.

    Appetizer Beer Pairing
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013175_zps11ed3937.jpg"/>

    A bite sized Amuse was served to start

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013176_zps3a2c2785.jpg"/>

    <b>Foie Gras Custard Brulee</b>
    Mission Fig/Toasted Cocoa Nibs/Salted Brioche

    A novel preparation of Foie, prepared as a Brulee. It's rich and sweet and so good. The brioche is really good too and I ended up having to order another order of the brioche. Still one of my favourite Foie dishes ever.

    Foie Gras Custard Brulee
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013177_zpsb1a093c7.jpg"/>

    <b>Bacon Wrapped Iberico Pork Loin</b>
    Chestnut Panna Cotta/Smoked Apple Puree/Crispy Braised Pork Shoulder

    Iberico Pork comes from the Pata Negra which is a lot different then the white domestic pig. The meat has a high degree of marbling and a bit of a nutty flavour. The dish here exhibited that, with the bacon keeping everything moist.

    Bacon Wrapped Iberico Pork Loin
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013178_zpsf7f28744.jpg"/>

    <b>Beer Pairing</b>
    The Beer pairing for this course echoed the nuttiness of the Iberico Pork

    Beer Pairing
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013179_zps87f215a6.jpg"/>

    For dessert I opted to have a glass of Absinthe. They prepare the Absinthe by dripping ice cold water through a sugar cube, turning th Absinthe milky white. The Absinthe itself has a deep licorice flavour and a smooth finish.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013180_zps8ede7b4d.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013181_zpsf768f41e.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013184_zpse7daf0cf.jpg"/>

    Near the end of dinner a guy sat down at the bar next to me and was in a sour mood. Seems like he was a regular and had lost a decent amount of money as the pit boss called over to comp his meal. Kind of interesting to watch the staff tip toe around him a as he stewed after his losing session. One of the hapless bus boys skirted disaster by trying to deliver unwanted bread to his seat but luckily he was waved to the proper place perfore the dude noticed.

    The meal was very good. Simpler then the previous two nights, but still very good. The Absinthe was interesting and it created a little bit of a different buzz then normal.

    <b>Last Chance</b>
    To end the gambling for the trip I ended up back at the bartops at the Bellagio Sports Book. The same bartender from previously was there so we got to pick up our pervious conversations. Some of the other people around were fun too and there was a newly wed couple there from India making a grand tour of the States. The other bonus of this bar was that it's next to the Bank and the lineup queues near the bar so there's some scenery walking around.

    The gambling turned a bit and I was able to break even for the session with some good hits. It was on an even note that it seemed a good time to call an end to the trip.

    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013187_zps71639134.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013189_zpsc16865e2.jpg"/>
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013190_zps6d82813f.jpg"/>

    <b>Mandarin Bar Last Night</b>
    A final drink at the Mandarin Bar wrapped up the trip, except for the packing

    Mandarin Bar Last Night
    <img border="0" src="http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac217/alexanbo/Vegas%20August%202013/VegasAugust2013191_zps313c605a.jpg"/>

    <b>Travel Home</b>
    Checking out was painless. I did notice the hotel had closed out the first part of my stay midweek and hadn't had a chance to review that before they did. Going down to the cab stand, the doormen actually had me wait and they pulled the House Mercededes around to take me to the airport, score. The ride in the Mercedes was just the way to end my time in Vegas.

    I had my traditional last meal in Vegas at Burger King in the new terminal.

    The only noteworthy thing on the flight home was the women who sat in the aisle across from me. I managed to snag an aisle exit row seat and she came in late in the window seat in the opposite bank of seats. She was Asian and her purse was about as big as her. It took the stewardess a couple tries to get her to stow the purse out of the way of the exit aisle. Then once we got in the air she spent the entire flight applying her makeup using her iPhone as a mirror. I always thought that, that was done on the trip in the reverse direction but it was entertaining none the less.

    <b>The End</b>
    What an awesome trip. I love Vegas because one trip can be like this, nothing but Rest, Relaxation, and lots of Great food while the previous one was all partying and gambling.

    Guy Savoy was a revelation and Twist, CUT and Sage were overdue visits to old favourites.

    Mandarin as always was outstanding and I can't wait to get back, tomorrow.
  2. ARE U SRS?

    ARE U SRS? Tourist

    May 10, 2013
    Nuremberg, Germany
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report! Thank you for all the amazing food pics!
  3. lotso-bear

    lotso-bear VIP Whale

    Jan 21, 2013
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Awesome report! Appreciate you taking pictures of the food at those restaurants. Not many people (including myself) want to do that.

    How would you rate China Poblano's dim sum? I usually go to Vancouver to get rid of my dim sum cravings but my past few experiences have been bad. So, nowadays I just wait till I go back to Hong Kong, which is every few months or so...

    Your picture of the bagel with lox reminds me of Granville's market since I always grab a bagel and lox from one of the bakeries there. Absolutely fantastic.
  4. alexanbo

    alexanbo High-Roller

    Nov 28, 2008
    Vancouver BC, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    China Pablano isn't traditional dim sum at all, so if that's what you're looking for you're likely to be disappointed.

    Rather it's an updated take on the classics, for example the deep frying of the dough for one of their versions of Cha siu bao.

    It's probably on the expensive side too.

    If you're looking for traditional Dim Sum in vegas, on the strip try Ping Pang Pong in Gold Coast.
  5. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

    Oct 28, 2006
    anglo american in Tampa
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Bacon Wrapped Iberico Pork Loin

    that sounds fantastic!

    I get the pairing of the nut brown from Sam Smiths but I would have thought that it would overpower the pork loin unless it was very highly flavored.

    And I'm not a rose fan but now feel obliged to check out the malbec version!!
  6. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Jan 21, 2013
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Wow! With all that detail, I see why you put it off. Well done! I'm disappointed that it seems like you didn't play a single progressive higher than $1100. Those Bellagio meters seem to not move at all. :(
  7. alexanbo

    alexanbo High-Roller

    Nov 28, 2008
    Vancouver BC, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Actually that reminds me, the progressives on those machines are all tied into just that machine. Haven't seen that before, the bartender mentioned he wasn't a fan.

    I didn't notice it at first but one night I noticed that the machine next to the one I was playing had a $1400 progressive, but by that point someone else was playing it.
  8. phan

    phan Low-Roller

    Dec 17, 2009
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    What a great trip report! Your descriptions and photos had my mouth watering and stomach grumbling! Great ideas for our next trip....we will be close by at the Cosmo in 9 days!
  9. jjluvsvegas

    jjluvsvegas Tourist

    Jul 30, 2013
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Wonderful trip report! I loved the detail about the gourmet restaurants AND the gambling!
    Where is the Book & Stage video poker bar?
  10. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

    Aug 7, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Outstanding report as always, I truly enjoy the detail in your reports and the style in which you enjoy the city. During my years of visiting I'm always finding new surprises on a trip, that inevitably turn into favorite spots or activities and your trips remind me of mine in some respects (although mine tend to be on a smaller scale level in regards to food). Looking forward to many more reports.
  11. VegasGarden

    VegasGarden Low-Roller

    Dec 2, 2010
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great report ! much appreciated.

    Any effects from the Absinthe that we all have read about??
  12. richardinbc

    richardinbc Low-Roller

    Oct 29, 2002
    Mission B.C.
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thank you

    What a report, thank you so much.
  13. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

    Jul 17, 2011
    Northern Nevada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Screw the food pictures (OK.. not really, they're pretty cool), but I LOVE the VP porn... lots of 4OAK's... way to go!!!

    Hope you have a BLAST this trip!!!
  14. raisingoo

    raisingoo Low-Roller

    Jul 19, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for posting. I never have (and probably never will) do any fine dining while in Vegas, but I was highly interested in your descriptions and pictures, especially the large amount of detail on your Guy Savoy experience.

    I laughed out loud when, after describing that (and other) restaurants, you wrote that you had your last meal at Burger King at the airport terminal. Heh... what a world of difference. From (possibly) the most expensive restaurant in Vegas, to fast food...

    If you don't mind me asking, how much did your Guy Savoy meal cost you? And how long did it take?

    Again, thanks for posting. There's no way I could do Vegas this way, but it's interesting to see how others do it.
  15. ACMike

    ACMike High-Roller

    Feb 22, 2013
    New York, NY
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    As a foodie and VP player, I enjoyed this report!!
  16. KellyLovesVegas

    KellyLovesVegas certified personal trainer/retired space nerd

    Feb 19, 2012
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Love the food (and drink) porn!

    Thank you for taking the time to post a great narrative with the amazing food pics!
    early October fun trip!
  17. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

    Aug 23, 2008
    Chicago & Jersey City
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    excellent report, as always!

    I would have loved to eat at McD's and meet up with you for some of those premium quads after your fancy meals.

    I have been getting a lot of PM's from shy board members requesting you "accidently" get a few more cleavage shots of your mom in the food pics from the upcoming xmas trip. I won't say who. (Ok it was Macker). :evillaugh
  18. techie223

    techie223 High-Roller

    Jun 17, 2010
    Ottawa Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Thanks for all the great food pics. Guy Savoy and Twist are on my to-do list, especially so now :licklips:

    Enjoy your Christmas trip :wave:
  19. Dude beer

    Dude beer Tourist

    Aug 20, 2012
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Great TR. The pictures and details make it almost like reading a travel magazine. I have always been a little afraid of uni, but will give it a shot one of these days.
  20. Crazycrue

    Crazycrue Low-Roller

    Dec 3, 2012
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    What a great trip report and such beautiful pictures. If I ever want experience french dining you would be the person I would want to show me the ropes. I found it fascinating. You know how to do Vegas with class.

    Very impressive.

    Thanks so much for sharing this report with us.

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