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lmondun III: Guy Savoy, MJ One, Jabbawockeez, Fleur, etc.

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by lmondun, Feb 12, 2014.

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  1. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

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    My Trip Report

    BACKGROUND: My longtime girlfriend (GF) and I made our first trip of 2014 to Las Vegas during Super Bowl weekend, driving from Southern California on Thursday and returning home the following Monday. My total bankroll was $5,000 for this trip, and I again used the envelope method to manage my gambling, with about $1,500 allocated per day (including $1,000 in total free play from Mirage and Caesars). My GF brought $2,500 but only spent about $300 of it.

    We were booked for the first three nights in a Penthouse suite at Mirage, with $600 in free play and $700 in resort credits. We also booked a petite suite in the Augustus Tower for Friday-Sunday nights at Caesars because I had $400 in reel rewards available, plus $400 in resort credits and another $500 to be used for one meal as my annual Seven Stars celebration dinner. We only slept in the Caesars room on the last night, though we did use the room each day when we needed a break from gambling or just wanted to relax a bit.

    DINING AND ENTERTAINMENT: The mLife offer also included two free show tickets, and we used them for the late show of Jabbawockeez at Luxor on Thursday, our first night.

    The $500 dining credit was used at Guy Savoy at Caesars on Friday night.

    We dined at Red Square Thursday and Fleur on Saturday, both at Mandalay Bay.

    We saw the early show of Michael Jackson “One” on Saturday night.

    We ate twice at the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars, once for brunch on Saturday and again for post-Super Bowl dinner on Sunday.

    If you’ve read either of my two previous trip reports, you know that long-windedness is a hallmark of my writing style. But I’m going to do my best to keep this report to a more reasonable length. To that end, I’ll try to skip over mundane details – but we’ll see how that goes as I continue writing. Oh, and I’m planning to post at least a few photos, where appropriate.

    Back soon (once I figure out how to handle the photos).
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  2. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

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    Day one

    SANDSTORM: We almost always drive to Vegas, and it’s amazing to me how often we experience some sort of “event” along the way. We’ve been in rain, sleet and snow. High winds. Have witnessed accidents and roadside sobriety checks. Had a flat tire outside Baker once and got stuck for six hours another time because of a crashed tanker truck that spilled hazardous waste. This time it was a sandstorm that draped us in a gray haze of blowing dust from about Death Valley to Jean. We were in my GF’s car, and she’s meticulous about its upkeep. The poor visibility and its impact on traffic was bad enough, but 45 minutes of listening to her bemoan the likely impact on her car’s paint job definitely made me even more eager than usual to get to Vegas. The gray “cloud” in this photo is actually dust:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83538852/Vegas%20trip/Vegas%20tripjpg01.jpg


    ELEVATOR NOISE: Upon arrival at the Mirage, we alleviated her fears with a thorough and, thankfully, fruitless check for any pock marks, and then breezed through VIP check-in. Alas, once we got to the room we realized that we’d been booked into a suite that was too close to the elevators for our comfort. We’ve learned from past trips that their whirring noise will keep us awake at night, so my GF waited in the room while I went back downstairs to ask for a different location. Thankfully, it was a switch with no hitch, though the second room had more of a mountain view than the Strip view of the original. Here are a few photos:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83538852/Vegas%20trip/Vegas%20tripjpg02.jpg

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83538852/Vegas%20trip/Vegas%20tripjpg03.jpg

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83538852/Vegas%20trip/Vegas%20tripjpg15.jpg


    RED SQUARE: After about an hour of unpacking, photo-snapping, automatic curtain-button-pushing and bankroll envelope managing, we grabbed a taxi to Mandalay Bay for a 6 p.m. dinner at Red Square. It’s a Russian-themed restaurant situated in the property’s “restaurant row” near the walkway from the main parking garage. Over the years, we’d walked by numerous times but never actually gone inside. So, this would be our first meal there (and also our first look at the “ice bar” for which it’s known).

    On this Thursday night, the restaurant was fairly empty, though there were a couple of good-sized parties of convention-nametag-wearers that seemed well into their meals (and their alcohol) when we arrived. The restaurant itself consists of two good-sized rooms. In the front, a few booths and smallish tables are situated to the left of the entrance and the long bar (with its embedded-icy top) is to the right. A second, slightly elevated room is farther back, and a dramatic central chandelier hovers there. The restaurant has lots of wood, high ceilings, and plenty of decorative elements that include Russian-themed paintings, artifacts and ornate wall fixtures. I imagine the czars would feel right at home here.

    Although I am usually willing to experiment a bit with dining choices, the featured items at Red Square – caviar and vodka – are not a great match for our tastes and appetites on this night. But I do make a half-hearted attempt to go with the theme, ordering the Siberian Nachos (smoked salmon, caviar and sour cream on a large, crispy potato chip) as a starter. I like them, but it’s kind of salt-on-salt for me.

    I have Lobster Pomodoro for my entrée, and there’s plenty of tasty lobster in the dish, served over spaghetti with a spicy tomato basil sauce. My GF has a Goat Cheese Salad and Grilled Salmon, both of which are perfectly fine but nothing-to-text-family-members-back-home-about. For dessert, I have a wonderfully light Devils Food Nutella Cake and my GF has the Cinnamon Apple Pie, starting an apple-based trend that will continue to our other meals this trip. The bill with one glass of wine, a coffee and a cranberry juice was about $150.

    JACKPOT #1: We finish dinner by 8 and our showing of Jabbawockeez is not till 9:30, so we head to the casino for some gambling. I select a 10-line $1 machine near the escalator that leads to the tram stop and insert my first hundred dollar bill of the trip. A few empty spins later, I hit the bonus symbols for 10 free spins and this is the result:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83538852/Vegas%20trip/Vegas%20tripjpg19.jpg


    JABBAWOCKEEZ: We’d seen them twice at Monte Carlo, but we’d read that the Jabbawockeez show had been revamped when it moved to Luxor, so we were looking forward to seeing it again.

    Because we avoid most reality TV, we’d never heard of the troupe before they set up shop in Vegas, but we liked the original show. It’s more Earth-bound than Cirque performances, of course, but we found it to be packed with energy and inventiveness.

    The theater at Luxor is smaller than their previous home (which is now occupied by Blue Man Group), and the stage itself seems a little tight for a dance act. But as the show unfolds, we find ourselves pleased with the smaller venue, in part because it offers the performers easier access to the audience. The Jabbawockeez take full advantage, often bounding off stage to encourage applause, grab a dance partner or bust an up-close move. The act is broader than before – with a few other dance types mixed in with their signature hip-hop.

    It’s also lighter and funnier. At one point, a Jabbawock-emcee positions himself next to my aisle-side seat and proceeds to swipe his hand disdainfully across my hair. He makes a similar gesture at the bald man across the way from me, then points back to me, then to the bald man, as the spotlight follows his gestures. I laugh nervously and pray that he’s not about to drag us onstage. The audience gets a good laugh that I don’t quite understand. (My GF later tells me that he was insinuating that, heaven forbid, I have a comb-over!!)

    Thankfully, a shapely woman in a revealing dress gets led to the stage instead, and I settle back into my seat to hide for the rest of the show. All in all, we had a great time and would definitely recommend the show to anyone looking for some reasonably priced fun in Vegas!

    HIGHLIGHTS TO COME WITHIN A DAY OR THREE: More show performers touch me. We make our first sojourn to see Linq and actually find ourselves liking the Quad. LOOK WHAT THEY’VE DONE TO MY BELOVED CASINO! (and other construction-related observations). Two more hand pays – but will they be enough to offset another epic losing streak? The Mafia and the Big Game.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  3. chess

    chess VIP Whale

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    Great TR...Can't view the photos
     
  4. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

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    I replaced the original URLs with new ones and they are visible on my computer and on my phone via Tapatalk. If that doesn't solve the problem for you, please let me know and I'll try a different method.
     
  5. chess

    chess VIP Whale

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    :thumbsup:nice hand pay !!!!
     
  6. BrandonC

    BrandonC Tourist

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    Nice hit on your first hundo. That's a hell of a way to start your gambling for the trip! I hit for $2,500 on a WOF machine last year (probably had a BR of maybe $2k) and found myself betting more reserved for the next two days trying to "save" some of the winnings to take home. That's no fun......
     
  7. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

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    Day two

    When planning a trip to Vegas, I invariably imagine it starting with a nice jackpot that allows me to sock away some “profit” right away. A $2,500 hand pay on my very first slot machine was a dream come true. So, even though we gambled until the wee hours that night, I ended up sealing $2,800 back in the first envelope. This meant that I could gamble away all the rest of my bankroll over the next few days and still come home with half of what I took to spend.

    Presuming I stick to the plan, of course. [Cue ominous background music here]

    My gambling day again got off to a good start on Friday when I hit a hand pay just before noon at another 10-line $1 slot by the same manufacturer, Ainsworth. This took place at the Mirage while I was having my late-morning coffee and my GF was still getting ready for the day upstairs. Here’s the jackpot photo:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83538852/Vegas%20trip/Vegas%20tripjpg20.jpg

    The entertainment for Friday was to be our 7 p.m. dinner at Guy Savoy, which we expected would take two hours or more, so we’d left the rest of the day’s schedule open for touristy activities. We wanted to be hungry for the dinner, so we just snacked at lunchtime (including a few bites from the free buffet that was set up in the High Limit lounge at Mirage).

    CAESARS, THE QUAD AND LINQ: Our check-in at Caesars Palace went smoothly, and we got a nice petite suite on the western corner of the Augustus Tower facing Flamingo Road, Bellagio and the south Strip. If we’d been planning to sleep there a lot, we probably would have asked to be moved to the pool-side of the tower, since the traffic noise along Flamingo can be bothersome. But, at that point, we weren’t even sure we were going to stay over on Sunday night anyway, so we just kept the assigned room and its wonderful view. Here are some photos:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83538852/Vegas%20trip/Vegas%20tripjpg06.jpg

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83538852/Vegas%20trip/Vegas%20tripjpg07.jpg

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83538852/Vegas%20trip/IMG_1574.JPG

    After retrieving vouchers for reel rewards and Guy Savoy, we headed across the Strip to take a look at the changes to the CET properties there. The fancy neon sign for the Linq project was beckoning us to investigate, and we spent about an hour wandering through the newly opened shops and renovated casino areas. Observations:


    • The refurbished Quad casino is really quite nice, particularly in the area that leads out to the Linq and on to the Flamingo. The décor reminded us of Red Rock casino. There was plenty of light streaming in from outside during the daytime, despite it being an overcast day. The ceilings are still too low, and that might make it feel more claustrophobic at night, but they’ve definitely turned the former IP, which we hated for its dark and dirty and depressing appearance, into a place that feels open and inviting.


    • We had more good luck when we stopped to gamble for about an hour at the Quad. My GF had a nice run at the Blackjack table, cashing out $200 ahead despite pocketing a few $5 chips as souvenirs when she noticed that some O’Sheas and Imperial Palace chips were still in circulation there. I ended up with an $800 profit after playing max bet on two side-by-side Buffalo penny slots. When we went to the cage to cash out our winnings, we asked the middle-aged female cashier what she thought of the changes. She beamed with pride and pointed to some of the changes that were visible from her perch. Seeing that sort of enthusiasm from a casino employee isn’t commonplace, and it reinforced our positive mood. So I tipped her $20 like a big shot.


    • The currently open portion of the Linq itself is pleasant in a manufactured reality sort of way. The paving and fixtures and façades on the various shops reminded us of the similar walkway that separates the Harrah’s casino in New Orleans from its neighboring hotel. The shops themselves are quirky and interesting, with high browse-ability and low pretentiousness. It’s definitely not another Crystals, and that’s a good thing in our view. My GF ended up buying a few knickknacks while I wandered around the area and went inside the Flamingo to see whether it is getting a similar makeover as the Quad. (Answer: No, other than a new entryway on the Linq side.)

    We snapped quite a few photos, including a couple of the nearly finished High Roller Ferris wheel that we shot by holding our cellphones through the construction fence (which apparently is now being discouraged, according to a recent VMB thread). Here are a couple of photos:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83538852/Vegas%20trip/Vegas%20tripjpg08.jpg

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83538852/Vegas%20trip/Vegas%20tripjpg09.jpg

    At around 3:30, we headed back to Caesars Palace, choosing just the wrong time and thus getting doused in a rain shower as we crossed toward the moving walkway that links Las Vegas Boulevard directly to the Caesars casino. Actually, on this day, it was a stationary walkway – the moving belt was out of commission. Still, it’s an efficient way to shorten the trek.

    As we exited, we almost ran into a 30ish couple struggling to wrangle a preschooler while also pushing a toddler in a stroller through the increasingly crowded casino. The parents had a “we’re-going-to-be-trapped-in-this-maze forever” look on their faces, so we asked where they were headed. Giving directions to anywhere inside Caesars Palace is a challenge, but we just told them to stay to the far left as the casino arced its way around toward the Sports Book and to look for an exit on their left. But, at heart, we’re not big fans of navigating our way around stroller-pushers in Vegas, so we, er, forgot to mention that it was raining outside.

    I’ll break here and write up the Guy Savoy (it’s Sahv-wah, we soon learned, and not Sav-oy as we’d been pronouncing it) experience before posting again.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  8. TheCanoe

    TheCanoe Low-Roller

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    First, I love your TRs. Please add all of the details you think of, we love them.

    Second, is it pronounced Guy, or Ghee (much like the name of Cirque founder Guy Laliberte) Savoy?
     
  9. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

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    You got it, Ghee. Just like Guy Laliberte.

    I really should have realized the correct pronunciation of the last name Savoy without being told. Guess those Bs I got in college French really were mercy grades.
     
  10. babzzzzzs

    babzzzzzs Tourist

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    Loving your trip report.
     
  11. TheCanoe

    TheCanoe Low-Roller

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    Awesome, I appreciate it.

    Your TR's include some great fine dining. Wild love to see a rankings list of yours at the end of this one. My GF is he'll bent on going back to L'Atellier on our next trip, and I really want to hit up Picasso. I'm wondering if we should swap Guy Savoy in for one of those two (I don't want to go French 3 times in one week)
     
  12. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

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    Good suggestion. I will include my thoughts on how Guy Savoy compares to both of those restaurants at the end of the next segment, which I am almost finished writing and hope to post soon.
     
  13. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

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    Restaurant Guy Savoy

    Our original plan was to use my $500 Seven Stars dining voucher for a party of three that would have included my GF’s sister, who is the true “foodie” among us and has been lobbying for a meal at Guy Savoy for a while now. But, alas, she had to back out of this trip in the end, and that meant that it would just be myself and my light-eating, non-drinking, finicky GF, who also has some food allergy issues that would prevent us from getting either of the special tasting menus. (Guy Savoy requires that these menus be served to everyone at the table.) We probably could have made a tasting menu work for us by negotiating a couple of alternative food choices, but she was worried about the volume of food too, so we just decided to make selections from the main menu and hope to spend enough that the voucher wouldn’t be wasted. She’s a lifelong non-drinker, and during the time we’ve been together, my consumption of alcohol has declined to next to nothing. So, we were basically looking to spend about $225 each on food alone. This was certainly the first time that I’ve ever sat down for a fine dining meal worrying that I’d underspend!

    We had purposely avoided reading any online reviews in order to ensure a sense of surprise, so we arrived without clear expectations. We’d peeked at the menu posted just outside the doorway during our December trip, but this was the first time we’d actually be inside the restaurant. It’s nice but austere, with high ceilings, neutral floors and lots of white walls only interrupted occasionally by a contemporary painting or floor-to-ceiling columns of brown wood. The dining area reminded us of a museum lobby.

    Tables are spaced well apart from each other, which promotes an intimacy for the individual diners, I suppose, but which made it difficult to rubberneck as dishes were served to other patrons. There was a LOT of empty space in the center of each of the two dining rooms, which seemed odd at first but which made a lot of sense as the meal progressed. At Guy Savoy, they don’t offer you a handful of bread choices, they wheel over a small bakery on wheels! Same for the cheeses. Same for the dessert. It’s cool that you have so many choices and that you could eat and eat and eat from the carts until your belt loops snapped, but seeing those carts being pushed to and fro throughout the evening mostly reminded me of the scurry of hot dog vendors who descend on Staples Center after every NBA game.

    Our attentive waiter was oh-so-very-French (he mentioned his hometown to a neighboring couple but I didn’t catch it, other than that it was NOT Paris), and he was joined by at least half-a-dozen other servers who took care of particular functions as the meal progressed. The bread guy was not the same as the dessert guy, for instance. A sommelier only handled wine pairings. Having been a recent victim myself of corporate downsizing in the name of “efficiency,” it was quite enjoyable to experience a place where inefficient use of personnel is actually kind of celebrated.

    We were in the first seating and during our two-and-a-half-hour meal, only about 2/3 of the tables were occupied at any point. Our table faced the entryway, and I never got a chance to walk around the place to scope it out in full. But I had the impression that there were windows in the second dining room that most likely face the Strip.

    *Dammit, lmondun, you’re five long paragraphs into a dining experience and you haven’t yet mentioned the food. Get to the point already.*

    OK, so here’s the deal: We liked our food. We really did. But I’m not sure we five hundred dollars liked it.

    That said, there’s no way that I would fault the restaurant on service or freshness or creativity of menu or even quantity of food. In addition to those well-stocked carts, we were served more than one Amuse Bouche, including a starter that featured a “hidden surprise” that we could only access once we’d finished the soup that was visible in the espresso-sized serving cup. Beneath the other half of the serving cup was a tiny bit of roasted scallop, as it turned out, but it’s one of the foods that my GF avoids. So I had two of those.

    The waiter mentioned that it was black truffle season, so when it came time to order from the a la carte menu, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to try a Guy Savoy signature dish – Artichoke and Black Truffle soup with Toasted Mushroom Brioche and Black Truffle Butter. It was really nice. I especially liked the slices of melted Parmesan that floated atop the broth. The thin shavings of truffle were tasty too, but there were more of them than I needed, and I ended up avoiding the truffles when dipping the brioche toast into the soup (as had been suggested by our server).

    My GF started with a winter vegetable dish that was relatively simple in preparation and presentation, but seemed very fresh and light. She particularly enjoyed its carrot-ginger emulsion.

    Her main dish was a serving of the French Sea Bass with Delicate Spices, and the word “delicate” is perfectly utilized here. The fish was light and moist (even though she had requested it to be cooked well-done), but with a crispy skin. My GF really liked the fish and, as usual, she shared a taste of the dish with me. The fish was just OK to me on its own, but I really liked it with a bit of the accompanying vanilla foam, which added some sweetness. The dish also includes a few baby shitake mushrooms and a little Swiss chard (which mostly seemed there for visual contrast).

    For my entrée, I had Veal “Three Ways” With Seasonal Vegetables and Black Truffle Potato Puree. True to its description, the veal is indeed cooked three different ways – a traditional tenderloin sliced off the bone, a flashed fried croquette and crispy sweetbreads (calf pancreas), which sat atop potato pureed with black truffle. Candied glazed carrots adorned the potatoes, and the au jus from the veal was placed in a small indentation in the center of the plate for optional dipping.

    A few minutes before my dish was served, our waiter arrived at the table (with a cook in tow) to show us the cut of roasted veal itself. It was a thick slab of meat, still on the bone, and I was a little worried about it being too much food until I saw the dainty little slice that comes out with the final serving. (At one point, a server showed up with an additional slice of tenderloin, and he assured me that I could have the entire chop if I wanted it—they would just keep it warm in the back until requested.)

    The veal dish was excellent, and the variation of cuts was interesting and unique. The sweetbreads were probably my least-favorite serving, but the potato puree that accompanied them was really tasty. My GF tried the puree and liked it too.

    We skipped the cheese course, but because we hadn’t done our research in advance, we went ahead and ordered desserts. I had the Chocolate Fondant with Crunchy Praline and Chicory Cream and I liked it a lot. (But it wasn’t the best dessert I’ve ever eaten in Vegas.)

    My GF had the Apple Texture, which featured a very thin tart, an Apple sorbet and a very tasty apple compote. This was our favorite dish of the night, and we had the good sense to take a picture of it before tasting, so here’s a look:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83538852/Vegas%20trip/Vegas%20tripjpg10.jpg

    My single glass of red wine was almost gone, so I had ordered a cappuccino with dessert. It was served promptly with a selection of fine sugars to mix in as I pleased. Once the dessert dishes were cleared, we were ready to ask for the check and I began digging around in my jacket for the CET voucher.

    Then the dessert cart arrived.

    We had thought we were full. But the cart was loaded with goodies – cakes, puddings, a mousse or two, cookies, ice cream, sorbet, candies. It's all complimentary and you can have as much as you'd like. I think we had three each.

    Again, we thought we were finished. And again, the servers arrived with yet another Amuse Bouche (our third), this time a tart sorbet (I think it was Apricot) with a bit of diced fruit that made for a fine palate cleanser.

    At last, the meal was really over. (We ended up about $40 short of using the entire $500.) The attention to detail was phenomenal, and the serving staff really went out of their way to make the experience special. The chef himself (no, not the Ghee Guy but his Vegas guy, Mathieu Chartron) made the rounds of the tables at one point, and he seemed genuinely interested in making sure that our meal met expectations. On our way out, the hostess handed us yet another food item – a brioche muffin “for breakfast in the morning.”

    Still, somehow, we both felt slightly underwhelmed at the end. Perhaps it was just that we’d let the anticipation get a little out of control, setting the bar at “best meal ever” instead of “best meal this year.” Perhaps it was the prevailing high-class Frenchness of the experience, which has its obvious appeal but can easily spill over to outright pretentiousness.

    In the end, the Guy Savoy experience was definitely memorable. But it just didn’t surprise us.

    --

    At the suggestion of VMBer “TheCanoe,” here is my personal Top 10 of
    restaurants that we’ve tried in Las Vegas:

    1. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at MGM: Great food and good prices, but we mostly just love the setting and its casually upscale ambiance. For details, see my thread in the Restaurants section here:
    http://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101203
    2. Sage at Aria: Inventive dishes in a quietly dignified setting.
    3. Le Cirque at Bellagio: Marvelous French food at prices that aren’t cheap but won’t ding your budget so badly that you have to skip the slots or tables for a day. Also, the best serving staff on the Strip, in our experience.
    4. Craftsteak at MGM: Great steaks and excellent service, but it’s the side dishes and desserts that keep us going back on a regular basis. Also, the best single meal we’ve ever eaten was here on a Thanksgiving day a few years ago.
    5. Lotus of Siam (off-Strip mini mall): Deserving of its reputation as best Thai restaurant in the country. But don’t expect ambiance.
    6. Sensi at Bellagio: Our go-to restaurant when traveling with friends who want a memorable meal without an exorbitant cost. We like the variety of dishes too, and usually sit alongside the kitchen so we can watch the meal being prepared.
    7. Julian Serrano at Aria: Upscale dining in an unpretentious setting. Creative dishes that never disappoint. Great place for lunch or early dinner with a big party too.
    Tie 8-9. Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace and Picasso at Bellagio: Our reaction to Savoy was almost identical to how we felt after dining at Picasso about three years ago. Great French food by an all-star chef, served with impeccable care by an attentive staff in a marvelous setting. But you pay for it. Both are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that, for us, will probably end up being once-in-a-lifetime-is-enough.
    10. Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris LV: It’s reasonably priced French food in a glass-enclosed dining room that overlooks the Bellagio fountains and offers views up and down the Strip. What’s not to like? (other than the name)

    Runners-up that would probably be on the list above if we didn’t get our comps through mLife and CET:
    • Jaleo at Cosmopolitan
    • Sinatra at Wynn
    • Bouchon and Table 10 at Venetian / Palazzo
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  14. bigblue1

    bigblue1 Tourist

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    Great report. Love the restaurant critiques.
     
  15. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

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    75
    After dinner Friday, we gambled. I honestly don’t have much recollection of the specifics of my play during that time, but my impression is that I did well at Mirage and did poorly at Caesars, often playing the exact same machines.

    Just after midnight, I hit another jackpot at Mirage, and it was the highest payout of the trip. At the time, I was frustrated because I usually bet $2 per line on this five-line machine but had dropped down to $1 per line after a string of empty spins. Still, it was a very nice $3,000 payout on a $5 bet:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/83538852/Vegas%20trip/Vegas%20tripjpg22.jpg

    Thanks to this jackpot and a couple of other hits in the thousand dollar range that didn’t require a W-2g, I ended up with $2,700 in the Friday night envelope. I had put $1,200 back into the daytime envelope before dinner at Guy Savoy and still had the $2,800 from Thursday, for a grand total of $6,700 to be taken home. My bankroll up to that point had been $3,100, so I had a nice profit of $3,600 after my first day-and-a-half in Vegas. The bankroll for Saturday and Sunday included about $1,000 in free play, so even if I lost my remaining $1,900 in cash, I figured to come home up about $1,700.

    (Just stay away from the ATM machines and I’m golden, right?)

    During the morning on Saturday, I mostly stuck with penny and quarter machines in an effort to protect my winnings. We stopped for lunch at the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars (which was good, as usual, but I have no stories worth telling).

    Then, in what seemed like half-an-hour-at-most, I blew my $900 in Saturday envelope cash while playing dollar reel spin machines at Caesars.

    No worries, I still had $400 in reel rewards certificates there.

    I decided to run all four vouchers through the same nine-line $1 Texas Tea machine in the High Limit slot area because it’s a game with relatively low volatility that pays back at least part of your bet when you hit just two of some symbols. If I could hit a bonus during the 44 free spins, I might make a nice profit. But no bonuses were found, and the $400 in vouchers ended up being about $300 in cash.

    Disappointed in that result (and the run of bad luck), my degenerate gambler tendencies really took over, and I quickly blew the $300 betting $10 per spin on a $5 dollar reel spinner, rather than stretching it out by playing pennies for the two hours that I still had to kill before we headed back to Mandalay Bay for the MJ "One" show at 7.

    It’s 3 o’clock on a Saturday in Vegas and my wallet is totally empty again except for one $20 bill. I knew my GF was not going to let me dip into the winnings that we’d stashed away. So I walked back to the Mirage to load the $600 in free play that I had from mLife, plus another $200 or so that had accumulated in point play. Sure, this free play was supposed to be part of my Saturday night bankroll, but, hey, I’d had great luck at the Mirage so far and would surely hit another jackpot again, right?

    Over the next hour-and-a-half I blew through that $800, plus $1,000 from my ATM account.

    The $1,700 in potential winnings was now just $700.

    But … but … but …

    I came to Vegas prepared to lose $5,000, so that’s really $5,700 by gambler’s logic. I’m still WAY up!!

    I’ll pause here while the non-addicts on this board shake their heads in disdain and the addicts towel off their foreheads.

    The next segment will be about seeing Michael Jackson "One" (for the second time) and our late dinner at Fleur, which had disappointed us during a previous meal but seemed worth a second chance.
     
  16. uli_1515

    uli_1515 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Messages:
    218
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    2
    My ex girlfriend used to order well done steak. That was basically the day I knew she was history. Now the wife here will eat anything I order to at least give it a go.
     
  17. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,916
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    Haha... love that cliffhanger! Hope you don't through your whole budget! What games slash limits is the g/f playing? She flip out if you lose $1000 in an hour? I know mine would. :eek:
     
  18. queentata

    queentata High-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Messages:
    766
    Location:
    Crosby, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    28
    Can't wait for the rest. Thanks so much for the restaurant reviews. I love Julian Serrano also, and enjoy the ET restaurant very much, esp. the view and service. Really want to try L'Atelier, but don't know if I can make myself pay that much for a meal. I really want to do the big tasting menu with wine pairing. I liked Picasso, but mainly because the wine server told a little story each time he brought my pairing. That made it very special. The food itself was not so great that I would go back, but I was glad I went once.

    Looking forward to the rest. Hope there is a big win.
     
  19. Rumdranker

    Rumdranker Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    246
    Location:
    In route to Las Vegas....
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    :nworthy:a fan of your writing style. Thank you for the details and great photos.

    Now hurry up with the next installment!
     
  20. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    306
    Location:
    Southern California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    75

    Thanks much. And thanks to others who have commented the past several days and kept the thread alive while I have been away. I WILL finish this report, but it may be delayed a while longer as I prep for a presentation that is part of the job application process at a would-be-lucky-to-work-there organization.
     
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