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Only a hour flight away from Las Vegas we visit frequently, sometimes once a month. I'll be sharing our trip reports, tips on making the most of your stay in Vegas, reviews of restaurants and shows we have seen, along with my thoughts related to our favorite place to get away from it all.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

e' Jose Andres-Third Time's The Charm, best dining experience so far!

Third time is the charm!!  e' Jose Andres gets better each year! My first time eating at e' was in 2011 with friends Terri and Claire and that review and photos are at this link on the blog:

My second time I enjoyed e' was last year, February 2014 with Boots. To compare that menu and photos to this year's experience the link is:

There are so many great restaurants in Las Vegas with new ones arriving almost monthly I thought I wouldn't return to e' for at least a couple more years if at all, but five of my friends wanted to go this year, so I found myself arranging a dinner at e' for our party of six.
A week before our dinner I received our six golden tickets and on the back it had our date, time and seats. For those of you reading this who play slots, I now have three Golden Tickets from e', if only I could get the 5k Golden Ticket in the Willy Wonka slot bonus too!
Our menu for the evening below, it lists some of the courses, but not all. We had 25 or 26 courses this night and while most were small, at the end of the evening no one left hungry and several of us were extremely full!
 e' at Jose Andres is a small surreal private room inside of Jaleo at Cosmpolitan and it's a combination of Molecular Gastronomy and traditional Spanish type cooking.  Reservations open up three months before whatever date you want and it's recommended that you email them that far in advance to guarantee your time and date of choice. This is the email address for reservations:
It might also be possible if there is only one or two of you wanting to dine there to get a last minute reservation due to a cancellation. There are two seatings a night of eight guests at each sitting, one at 5:30pm, the other at 8:30pm and you are requested to get there 15 to 30 minutes earlier then your seating to go over drinks and other options. Prior to dining there after your reservation is made they will send you a form you are required to complete that will go over any food allergies or issues anyone in your party might have.

Cost starts at $195.00 per person excluding beverage,  tax and gratuity. This visit they offered shaved Perigord truffles on a couple dishes for a extra $55.00 per person. Alcohol pairings start at $130.00 on up. There is also a non-alcohol pairing, but I don't recall the cost of that one. I have never gone with one of the pairings, instead since the menu is grouped in three food flights I select in advance three wines, usually going with suggestions made by the Sommelier/Hostess.
Our party of six would take up most of e' along with two other ladies who joined the fun that evening and were nice enough to take this photo of our group. That's Laurie in front on the left, Cassie with the fan, Alicia, myself, Mike and Manette.
After our group had selected their beverages we were led past the bar and to the left into a small private room which is very whimsical and surreal.
 It's the vision of the inside of Jose Andres's mind! All the objects decorating the room have some hidden or perhaps obvious meaning to Chef Jose Andres.
Our adventure begins!
The ceramic hand holding the warm towel wrapped in lavender is a actual reproduction of chef Jose Andres's hand. 
Jose is know for creating new flavor combinations and turning classics dishes using "molecular gastronomy" into well, what you will see in photos below.
"Drunken Truffle", which had foie gras inside. I liked it even though it does have a spongy texture and a grainy exterior. I noticed some in my party only ate a little bit of it so not all were a fan of this course.
It's magic! Okay, it's Molecular Gastronomy, but I prefer to think of it as magic. :)
Not sure what the above was and while I remember I liked this, I can't recall now what it actually was, my bad!
"Branch of the desert", edible centerpieces, one for every two guests.  Dark branches with delicate looking pansy flowers. The branches were made out of liquified kalmata olives that were then shaped into crunchy branches. I love kalmata olives and enjoyed eating part of this lovely centerpiece.
My glass of Raventos Rose, it paired well with the first flight of courses.
Really liked this, lets call it a cheese cracker, LOL!
"Filipino", looks like a small chocolate covered donut but has a soft foie gras filling. I enjoyed this though not usually a fan of foie gras.
Potato Glass with an anchovy paste. Loved the potato glass which was thin, crunchy and tasted like the best potato chip ever. Personally didn't care for the anchovy paste though others enjoyed it.
"Beet Gazpacho"! If you like beets, which I do you will enjoy this. It was like a frozen beet sandwich, think ice cream sandwich without the ice cream!
"Merienda"! Second time I have eaten this at e' and still love it. Traditional snack of the type of sandwich children in Spain are given and this is the e' version of it with a wonderful Spanish goat cheese and Iberico. Okay, so basically a delicious ham and cheese bun snack!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Valentine's and President's Day Trip Report!

My wonderful husband and I enjoyed a Valentine's day lunch together and then for my present he sent me off to Las Vegas that afternoon to have fun with my friends while he stayed home for a father and son weekend. After 27 years of marriage my husband knows it's not flowers, candy or jewelry I want for gifts. ;)

Airport check in was easy, flight left on time and actually got into Vegas 10 minutes early! Unfortunately my limo driver didn't get to the airport early and was on the freeway so I had to wait for him for about 10 minutes. We then took the back way to Palazzo and longest limo ride ever! The roads were packed this holiday weekend and the light at Sands to Las Vegas Blvd and then the one at Las Vegas Blvd to turn into Palazzo took us over 20 minutes to get through.
Fortunately VIP lounge check at Palazzo only takes a few minutes and they had my favorite room on a high floor in the 900 section overlooking the strip ready for me.
I quickly unpacked as it was already around 7pm and my friend Leah had tickets to Venetian's Lipshtick show tonight starring comedian Loni Love at 9:30pm that we were going to and I wanted to grab a bite at the Platinum lounge and then play a few slots before meeting up.
My comped offer this trip as usual included free play so I started out using some of it in the dollar Jungle Wild slot and was happy when I quickly hit a bonus on it! Since 4 pyramids had hit I received 7 spins instead of the usual 5, but for 7 spins the bonus was disappointing.

To watch that bonus and other slot bonuses mentioned in this and past trip reports go to my youtube channel:
I continued to play Jungle Wild and immediately hit a second bonus which only the speed of getting the second bonus made up for a sad bonus of only $70.00.
After Jungle Wild I moved on to dollar Quick Hit Platinum in the Palazzo High Limit room and was happy to hit 6 Quick Hits for $750.00! I didn't qualify for the progressive because while I was covering all the lines betting $15 a spin one needs to bet max at $45.00 a spin to hit the above progressives.
I had a bonus after my $750.00 win but it didn't pay as much as I hoped so I walked outside the HL room and went over to my favorite $5 Wheel of Fortune slots where I hit a bonus on my first spin! Unfortunately it only paid $125.00, but still a first spin bonus is always great.
After my $125.00 bonus on WOF, I tried some penny slots without much in the ways of wins at Palazzo before it was time to walk over at 9:15pm to meet Leah at Venetian to see Loni Love.
Leah's host had arranged for great seats we were fourth row center!
While Lipshtick headliners are all women comedians, Loni's two opening acts were men, both were good and made Leah and me laugh. Loni however was hilarious and I would go again to her show. If you have a chance to see her and I believe she is playing at Venetian again this summer for a weekend, catch her show!
Thanks Leah for sharing your tickets with me, great show and company!
After Loni Love both Leah and I were thirsty and went to Venetian's Gold Lounge where I ordered a spicy bloody Mary. Speaking of Mary, this delightful lady is also named Mary and she's a fan of my blog and even lives in the town next to me in California! Mary it was great to meet you and your friends, hope to see you again soon!
After Leah and I enjoyed our drinks at the Gold Lounge, it was time to get our slots on.
Surprisingly I had some nice wins and was staying a bit ahead, something that doesn't happen often on the first night of my Vegas trips.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Aria Dreamscape New Year's Eve Party 2015!

I can't believe how late I am with posting this section of my New Year's Eve Trip Report, but sadly I've been sick on and off, mainly on for most of the month of January after returning home from Las Vegas. However the NYE trip was so much fun it was worth it! I still hope to write up the complete report in the near future and before my upcoming Valentine's Day trip.
Around October the mailman rang my doorbell with a boxed elaborate invitation to the 2015 New Year's Eve party at Aria! Honestly not sure how I qualified for it this year as the only time I gambled at Aria in 2014 was the first 2 days of the year when I was staying there for the 2014 NYE party.

If you want to compare this party to the one the previous year here's a link to that:
Terri who had invited me to be her guest at last year's party also had a invitation as did Sdguy. Since Terri and I both had invitations it meant this year we could invite two friends and we were so happy that Gwen and Teresa were able to join us! If your wondering what happened to my husband Randy he just doesn't like large parties and decided to stay home with our son Matt again.

Since all of us had different hosts with Aria and we wanted to make sure we were seated at the same table, Terri, Sdguy and I, all contact our  hosts ahead of time to make sure they would work together to see that our group were all seated together and that went off smoothly thanks to their efforts.
After eight weeks of anticipation it was NYE at Aria! Terri, Sdguy and I went and collected our tickets and received our gifts of four Waterford champagne glasses!
If you don't want to read about the Aria party you can experience a small part of it by watching the video below. I'll apologize now for the times I was wildly swinging the camera around which got worse the more I drank, LOL!

Aria's New Year Eve Dreamscape party started off at 8pm with us going down a escalator to a entryway with the following ladies lined up.
The party in addition to the entryway had a ball room set up with bars and photo op station and then a even larger separate ballroom across the hall that would open it's doors at 9pm for the non-stop entertainment of the main party.
As the fun started Sdguy and I met a nice couple who watches our slot videos on youtube. It was great to meet you Mark and Margaret!
We also met lovely Linda who watches our slot videos!
Later in the evening Doreen found us and what a fun lady she is, hope to see you all again! Apologies to Rob G, I didn't notice his tweet to me that evening so while he sent me his table number at the party I didn't read it until the next day. 
There was all sorts of crafted cocktails in the first room with the photo stations.  I liked the fruit flavored one I got at the entrance, didn't care of the drink made with the cotton candy below, it was too sweet. Loved the Moscow Mule drink it was great, but I forgot to take a photo of it. Gwen and Teresa really enjoyed a Jack Daniels drink that was named Sinatra's Old Fashion, think they started out with at least two of those!
In the photo op room there was also entertainment and you can see a bit of this in the video I put together. The link was at the beginning of this report.
When the doors to the main dining and entertainment area opened we were among the first inside so I could take a few photos without the crowds.