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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.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Vegas in May or Yourstarla Wins Big!

I wasn't going to Vegas in May, my plan was to save my bankroll for June and July but when some of my friends, SDGuy, Dan (Dproxima) and Brent (BrentWolgamott) who have youtube slot channels scheduled a trip and then my friend Gwen agreed to go at the same time, there was no way I wasn't going.  Shocker, right?
This trip was three nights at Aria.  I had a fabulous offer from Mandalay Bay I was going to use but SDGuy and Gwen convinced me I was silly to stay so far away from Aria when everyone else was staying there so I did the smart thing for a change and stayed at Aria and saved the MB offer for a  future trip.
Gwen was the first of us to arrive in Vegas and check in to Aria! Turns out that the early arrival wins the money! While I was still in the airport waiting to fly off to Vegas Gwen had already hit her first jackpot for the trip of 6K!!!
Check in at Aria was easy as there were no lines at the time I arrived and my room was ready! I quickly unpacked and was down in the casino meeting up with Gwen. The first thing I said to Gwen after congratulating her on the fabulous jackpot she won on Ultimate X was lets go play the new Friends slot. Gwen had already tried it out and led me right to it and surprise there was Derek and his wife Amy playing it!  Derek is dvandentop on a couple online forums (JWE and VMB) and writes some great live trip reports and also shares his slot bonuses on youtube.  Amy and Derek were at the large Joker's Wild Emporium Forum Meet I attended in Vegas in April and are also going to be at the Meet I'm going to in June at Lake Tahoe.
Gwen and I went around to the other side of Friends and found seats there and had some fun playing this slot together but no big wins on it. Derek on the other hand had a few good bonuses on Friends!
Moving on from the Friends slot, Derek showed Gwen and me the new slot that combines Quick Hit with the Triple Slots like Triple Trouble which this new slot has replaced in the casinos. Gwen had two or three bonuses that paid well, while I had one that was just okay. As I was finishing up my bonus who came up to surprise us but Dan (dproxima)! After quick hugs Dan went to drop off his luggage in his room with promises to catch up soon in the casino.
After we said goodbye to Derek and Amy who would be going to the Rock in Rio concert that evening, we played the Walking Dead slot. I was getting a couple weak bonuses on WD but Gwen wasn't getting any and decided to play the Monopoly Luxury Diamonds Slot nearby. I soon joined her at this slot and while I had a hit for $144.00 Gwen was getting lots of bonuses.
All of a sudden after my hit above Gwen gets another bonus and it lands on Jackpot!
Gwen's 2nd handpay of the day for over $4,000!!!
After Gwen's jackpot I slunk off (LOL) to the quarter slots where no luck was to be found, at least not by me.
After my fail on the quarter slots I met up with Dan and we played one of my favorite new slots together, Elton John! While we were playing fans of our youtube channels, Leslie and Keith from Walnut Creek, CA saw us and we had a nice chat with them.
Dan and I continue to play Elton John until SDGuy sent him a text that he had arrived and to meet him at MGMGrand to walk with him to Aria. Why the walk, SDGuy likes to walk. ;) Before Dan left I had my best hit of the trip on Elton John for $459.00!
After Elton John I continued to play various slots but wasn't winning much.  I was about ready to go up to my room before dinner when I hit a great bonus on Lord of the Rings for $240.50 and during the end of the bonus Brent found me and said hi on the way up to his room after checking in!

Friday, June 12, 2015

MOzen Bistro Brunch Updated for 2015

I've written up MOzen Bistro Brunch in the past, but there's been a couple minor changes so wanted to update it for 2015. If you want to read my past review of it to compare, here's the link:
http://www.lasvegasdaze.com/2013/09/mozen-bistro-brunch-at-mandarin-oriental.html

Brunch is from noon to 2:30pm and is now $64.00 a person. In addition to the unlimited buffet items you also get to order one entree off their made to order menu which is below. To enlarge, please click on photos.
The pricing for unlimited Veuve Clicquot or a comparable champagne remains a good deal at $35.00 per person, while other brunches such as Wynn's Country Club Jazz Brunch charge $50.00 per person.
The buffet stations are along the lines of Country Club Jazz Brunch at Wynn. If you are looking for a huge selection of buffet stations then I suggest Caesars Palace Bacchanal Buffet or even Wicked Spoon's Buffet at Cosmopolitan.
If you are looking for a zen atmosphere with a relaxing ambiance and high quality of food items then MOzen Bistro is a good choice.
There are soups made to order, along with meat stations, sushi, seafood, and salad.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Lago Review-Julian Serrano's new restaurant at Bellagio!

Lago at Bellagio is the newest restaurant opened in April by Julian Serrano. Lago replaces Circo, and the space has been completely renovated.  White is the predominant color and it's very open and modern with large windows overlooking the fountains and lake. It's an energetic and very loud environment. There is also a open patio seating area such as the Bellagio Olives restaurant has and I suspect that area is not as noisy as the main inside room. There is also a side room off the main room and it might be a bit more quiet too.
 The menu is Italian small plates, though there are a few entrees that are larger plates as you can see from the menu below.
 The drink menu is on an iPad and has some very unusual and tasty drinks.
 We were seated in the main dining area with a window table that had a fabulous view of the Bellagio fountains and lake. Since this was our first time dining at Lago I didn't know they also had outside patio seating or I would have requested that, instead of the inside area where we ate which was extremely noise.
 The photo above was the view from our window table and the photo below gives you a idea of what the main eating area is like.
Cucumber Mist Cocktail recommended by our server. It's a very refreshing fruity vodka drink with some fresh cucumber and blueberries so you can feel healthy, LOL!  I would order this again!
Ricotta Infornata which is baked ricotta, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and rocket arugula. I liked this a lot and it was a decent size to share among the three of us.
 Insalata Sarda-heirloom tomatoes, cucumber with ricotta on top. Light and refreshing and the tomatoes had a good flavor.
 Margherita pizza, with house made mozzarella and fresh basil. There were four small slices. I didn't try this dish and Gwen said it was just average.

 I loved the shrimp, it was the best dish of the night! Gamberi Alla Calabrese which the menu said was baby shrimp, white wine and spicy peppers. The shrimp were medium size in my opinion and the sauce was so flavorful. While I love spicy food, this wasn't so spicy that the average person who might not care for spicy would have a problem with it.
 Another personal favorite of mine though Gwen and Terri didn't really eat it, was the Caponata. This is sweet and sour eggplant, onions, pepper, basil and pine nuts. Lago's version of this classic Italian cooked vegetable salad, was a dish of chilled pickled vegetables with additional items as you can tell from the photo, then described on the menu.
 Filetto-4 ounce beef tenderloin with gorgonzola. It was delicious, loved the red wine reduction topping. There is also a larger portion of this to order on the menu that is 8 ounces and is served with potatoes and asparagus.
 Pappardelle Al Sugo Bugiardo-ribbon shaped pasta with a vegetable ragu. I had a taste of this and it was very good!
 It's all about the desserts with me so here's their dessert menu which like the drinks is on an iPad.
 I ordered the Amalfi and Terri order the Giandujotto. After we ordered our server mentioned that these two desserts are their most popular. The Amalfi was fabulous! I would order this again and again. It's Hazelnut Praline with a Limoncello Curd, Meringue, Limoncello Sorbet and Passion Fruit Coulis.
 I tasted Terri's Giandujotto, hazelnut ice cream with hazelnut/chocolate cream in a chocolate shell and it was great too. Both desserts taste as wonderful as they look!
We  had some service issues with the bussers not clearing plates on a timely basis or refilling the water without prompting. However the restaurant was very busy. There are also some tables in odd spots or so close together in the middle of the restaurant that I personally would not be comfortable sitting at them.

Despite the noise and small service glitches, all of us enjoyed eating at Lago. I plan on eating there again this summer, though I will wait for a outside patio table or one in the side dining room.