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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, October 22, 2012

October Las Vegas G2E Trip!

After our last winning trip to Vegas I was excited to leave for G2E (Global Gaming Conference) not just to see the new slot machines and my friends that were attending but because I was hoping my lucky streak might still be with me. The start of the trip wasn't so lucky however when our plane couldn't leave San Jose due to President Obama arriving in Las Vegas. Once San Jose received the all clear we boarded but had to sit on the tarmac for 30 minutes or so both at San Jose and then on our arrival at McCarran due to all the planes backed up.
Once we were able to depart the plane I met my driver Maurice from Aria. Maurice was nice enough once we got to Aria to escort me into the hotel and past the registration crowds to the invited guest desk.
At the invited guest desk I explained that while I was only staying for one night and my offer said I only received a upgrade to a corner suite if staying 2 nights, I was NOIR and that should upgrade me automatically anyway if anything was available. My registration clerk had to make a couple phone calls about that for some reason but did get me a panoramic corner suite of the strip. My suite however was on a low floor so not quite as good a view as in the past, but I still love this suite and the Aria bed.
I had a view of Monte Carlo and the Aria pools from the main bathroom. If you want to see photos of the corner suite, I have plenty of them in past trip reports here on the blog.
Since I was moving to Wynn for 3 nights the next day, I didn't unpack much and quickly made my way to the casino and received my free play from the player's club desk. Hoping to get lucky on Lord of the Rings as I did last trip I played it first but only had a couple minor hits on it.
I tried some other slots but was just losing and it was starting to look like it would have been better if my plane was still stuck on the airport tarmac!
When 6pm came around, it was time to meet my friend Kathy (klevegas on vegasmessage board) for drinks at barMasa at the registration lobby. In the past Kathy and I have been in the same Bellagio slot tournaments and we always have a great time together.
Unfortunately I can't recall what drinks Kathy and I ordered but I remember we both enjoyed them and the snack of nuts and wasabi peas. Kathy was leaving that evening to return home but we had a nice catch up session before I met Terri (socalgirl) for dinner.
Terri and I decided to eat at American Fish because it's one of our favorite restaurants at Aria. So far service and food as always been great. I started with the Farmer's Salad with fried Camembert, hearts of palm, greens and heirloom melon, very tasty and fresh!
The knickerbrocker rum cocktail was delightful!
Both Terri and I had our favorite entree at American Fish which is the mustard marinated black cod (btw, black cod isn't really part of the cod family and I have no idea why they call it cod, LOL). I had asparagus as my side with it. The kitchen at American Fish is glad to substitute sides that come with other entrees on their menu if you prefer those over what normally comes with what you order. So far there has never been a surcharge for that request as with some restaurants.
For dessert Terri ordered the seasonal fruit and sorbet and it was delicious! I was sorry I didn't order that.
Above is a small dessert they serve everyone at the end of the meal.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar's Palace

I dined with a group of 9 at the new Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar's Palace on Tuesday, October 2nd a few weeks after their Grand Opening and was quite happy to discover it's currently living up to the hype. There was a huge line of customers waiting to pay and be seated, however our group had 2 Diamond members among them, Laurie and Manette so we were able to get in very quickly.  Also due to how busy they are and I don't see them not being busy in the future if they continue to serve high quality food for a buffet, it's difficult to get large parties seated at the same table and we had to break up our group into 2 tables that were in the same room but not next to each other.
The nine glassed in show kitchens are clean with friendly staff working in them. However the evening we ate there the service to clean up our table as we left to get more food was very slow at times.
Almost everything I tried that evening was good and currently better quality then the Wynn, Bellagio and Wicked Spoon Buffets on the strip. I also ate at Wynn's Buffet for lunch this trip and it's really gone downhill from the last time I ate there. Of course like Wicked Spoon the Bacchanal Buffet might be they start out great and have the quality lowered, so keep in mind my opinion is based on the first few weeks they are open when they are trying to get good reviews and impress people.
 To see the food better click on the photos to enlarge them!
 Like Wicked Spoon a lot of food items are served in their separate dishes so you don't have to spoon food onto your plate.
 The plate above with the red and white squares is watermelon and feta cheese and is quite good if you like the two.
 The quality of the shrimp and crab legs is excellent at the moment. I didn't have to ask to have my crab legs heated as when I was looking at them the server behind the glass asked if I wanted steam crab and then served me some they had just heated.