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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.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Palazzo, part 2 of a August La Vegas Trip Report

I met Terri at 1pm at THEHotel valet after we checked out and she drove us to Palazzo where I quickly checked in at the VIP desk which as usual didn't have a line. We hadn't eaten yet and were planning on eating at Grand Lux when I received a text from Huddler that him and Brian were having a bite at Dos Caminos. I know plenty of people who love the food at Dos Caminos but Terri and I weren't in the mood for Mexican so we walked into the restaurant, looked around and didn't spot Huddler and Brian and I was texting back asking them where they were when they waved from the bar. A few minutes later Erin joined us too, and so we left Dos Caminos and went to the Platinum lounge at Palazzo where some of us had cappuccino's.
I asked our server if they had any chocolate croissants and he went into a back room and came out with a plateful, way too many for us to finish so next time I guess I better specify just a couple. We had fun chatting with Erin, Huddler and Brian, so much fun I forgot to take any photos. The photo above of the cappuccino is from later in the trip. After they left to return to Aria and NYNY, Terri and I decided it was too late to eat at Grand Lux or anywhere else since we had to leave in a few hours for our dinner at Cosmopolitan's, E at Jaleo. So of course we decided to try our luck with the slots. Terri stayed at Palazzo while I immediately headed over to the high limit lounge at Venetian to try the only $1 Da Vinci slot there and quickly got a win for $260.00, but DaVinci started to act coldly toward me so I left the high limit room.
I next found the Great Goldfish slot that has a max bet of $1.50 and briefly played it, but nothing much was happening with it so I grew bored. These slot acts a bit similar in my opinion to the Mummy slots. Someone else might love this new slot, I have to admit that the only Gold Fish slot I love is the original and I've tried very hard to love Goldfish 2 and Race for the Gold.
Nearby was a Black Widow slot so I tried that for a few minutes and hit what looked to me like it should have been a great win, but was only $43.00 on a $2 bet.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

THEHotel at Mandalay Bay part 1 of a 2 part August Las Vegas trip

I left San Jose on Thursday the 25th of August and had a smooth flight on Southwest. My friend Terri picked me up at the airport and since I usually kid her about long hauling me via the tunnel this time she took my suggested route which ended up being longer due to all the road construction going on so I guess next time when Terri is driving we'll take the tunnel out of the airport and no more teasing from me!
Terri who lives in Las Vegas was staying 2 nights at Mandalay Bay and I was staying at THEHotel at Mandalay Bay. Once at Mandalay Bay we split up to check in and I had the friendliest registration agent ever, he was incredibly good natured and in a wonderful mood, so for the first time I ended up in a V suite on the 36th floor. A V suite is not that much different then the normal suite at the THEHotel other then the living area is a lot wider and due to it being a corner suite you have views from 2 different angles.
In addition to the view of the pools, I had a partial strip view out of the 2nd window in the bedroom, but I can't seem to locate a photo of that view. This suite ended up being very quiet which I loved due to being at the end of the hallway and the bed was much more comfortable then the one I ended up with later in the trip at Palazzo.
While I was unpacking I had a call from Terri and MB had offered her a suite at THEHotel on the 35th floor so that worked out well for us. We had quite a few friends visiting Las Vegas this trip and I had a few of then sending me text messages during this time to tell me they had either landed or were just taking off and we were looking forward to seeing everyone soon.
Terri and I met at THECafe after unpacking to have lunch. I was really looking forward to this as my favorite lunch dish years ago was their lobster cobb salad and before I left home I had found out it was back on the menu. Lunch at THECafe started out well with our server Hector recognizing me even though I hadn't been there for over a year. I was a bit dismayed though when the lobster cobb arrived as it used to be a medallions of lobster and was a various generous portion of lobster and now it was served in the shell and there wasn't much lobster after you detach it.
Terri had a chicken caesar salad which she said was alright. Normally on past trips to THEHotel I would make a point of eating every breakfast/lunch at THECafe but this trip once was enough. It was fine, just not as good as in years past.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

E at Jaleo Review

For the latest review of e' at Jaleo from February 2014, please go to the link below. 

My best dining experience so far in Las Vegas was during my most recent trip in August 2011 at Cosmopolitan's E at Jaleo. E is a small surreal room behind the above bar at Jose Andres' Jaleo and it focuses on Tapas and Molecular Gastronomy. If you want to dine at E, you must email a month in advance to the minute to get a reservation. There are 2 seatings a night of 8 people at each sitting, one at 5:30pm the other at 8:30pm. REMEMBER TO CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE THEM.
My friends Claire, Terri and I had planned to eat at E months in advance and thanks to Claire doing all the organization and emails to E we were able to obtain our golden tickets for Saturday, August 27th for the 5:30pm. Thanks Claire!
We were told to get there 15 minutes early and my husband's flight wasn't arriving until 4:15pm that day so Terri and I were waiting impatiently at Palazzo for Randy to arrive. Fortunately his plane was on time so the limo dropped him off at 4:30pm and we barely gave him time to put his luggage in our room before Terri drove us all to Cosmopolitan. Randy had declined eating at E a month earlier due to concerns of his flight possibly being late and their rules saying they wouldn't seat latecomers. Also he felt the menu was a bit too adventuresome for him. While we were dining at E he ate at Holstein's and gambled which turned out well as he hit a hand pay on $1 DaVinci Diamonds during our dinner!
We arrived early as mandated at 5:15pm and were seated at the bar with complimentary drinks which for us was mineral water. At this time before entering E we gave our drink orders for the evening with some of the 8 in our group selecting the wine/beer pairing for the meal at $110.00, Terri and Claire selecting the non-alcholic drink pairing and I went with the suggestion of the sommelier after I declined the wine pairing and picked a white, red and then dessert wine to be served with the Tapas. I wish I had wrote down what she suggested as I drank and enjoyed all 3 selections. My 3 wines ended up being about $48.00 total. The cost of the Tapas tasting at E is $160.00. At 5:30pm there was 7 of us at the bar waiting to be seated at E. The final guest arrived at 5:45pm without a apology to the group for rudely holding everyone up. As we learned later that evening he is a restaurant owner and since he's in the business I really felt he knew better then to arrive late and hold things up, so shame on him!
All of us then entered the small private room which has a curved bar that we were seated at. The walls were covered with library card catalogs and numerous whimsical items that all have some hidden or perhaps obvious meaning to chef Jose Andres'.
Let your imagination go wild!
Staircase to heaven? Perhaps not, <wink>.
Wine and card catalogs!
The entire meal would be prepared in front of us. No video was allowed but photos without the flash were permitted. The photos above and below shows the preparation of the first course which was "Gin & Tonic". There's a lot more review, click on read more to see the rest.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

THEHotel at Mandalay Bay Room Service Menu

This room service menu for THEHotel at Mandalay Bay was current as of August 2011. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

To see more of the menu click on read more.