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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.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Girls just want to have fun or my February 2014 Trip Report!

I had a wonderful time with my friend Boots in Vegas in early February so I can't believe how long it's taken me to getting around to writing up my trip report!
My flight out of San Jose was smooth and after landing I quickly had my luggage. Since I was staying the first two nights at Cosmopolitan no limo for me so I grabbed a taxi. Upon entering the driver asked me if I wanted to go the freeway! Hell No! Well at least he politely asked before trying to tunnel me. Arrived at Cosmopolitan, no lines at check in and had a terrace suite on floor 25. Because it was a Saturday and I knew the clubs would be playing music until 4am or so,  I asked for a room that wouldn't hear the music, which meant no view of the Bellagio fountains for me!
Lots to do tonight so I raced down to the casino after unpacking to get in a hour of slot play.
Had some bonuses on Beverly Hillbillies but they didn't pay much. Tried the new Flashdance slot and they were cute bonuses but such low pay outs that I never returned to them.
Went to the Cosmopolitan HL room and for some reason only played 2 credits instead of the max of 3 credits on Pink Diamonds so when I hit the 3 seven's it only paid out $800.00 but I was still happy with it.
After my lucky hit on Pink Diamonds, it was time to meet my friends Barb and Ger at Bond Bar for drinks to celebrate Barb's birthday. We had a great time drinking a couple cocktails together. In the past when seeing Barb and Ger in Vegas we have been in large groups so it was lovely to spend some time alone with them to chat. They are so much fun and Barb looked radiant!

There have been a lot of changes to Bond Bar since I was last there. Now they have video poker at the bar and the nice secluded cabana areas in the lounge have been removed so it's like most casino bars now except they still have some of the unique cocktails I like.
After Barb and Ger left to eat dinner and catch a show, I went back to the slots. I had been playing Bier haus on Facebook for free so decided to play it for real.
While I was playing Bier haus I had a text from my friend Kevin (Kydds) who had noticed via Twitter or Facebook that I had arrived in Vegas. I hadn't seen Kevin in a while so was happy to hear that him and his wife Judy had done their usual pitstop in Vegas on the way to their condo in another state.
I was so happy when they decided to stay for the night at Vdara and get together with me for a drink at The Henry. While we were drinking I had a appetizer as my dinner tonight wasn't until 8:30pm.  Below Kevin and Judy, just a fantastic couple and I wish we were able to spend more time together this trip.
While I was having a drink with Kevin and Judy my friend Boots had arrived, checked in and unpacked. After saying goodbye to Kevin and Judy and showing them where the Liberace exhibit was located at Cosmo, I found Boots at a nearby slot machine.
The main purpose of this February trip that had been planned months previously was to join Boots at eating at e' at Jaleo. This would be her first time eating there and my second experience. While we were playing slots Boots gave me my Golden Ticket for our 8:30 seating at Jose Andres's e' at Jaleo.

Friday, March 21, 2014

e' at Jaleo revisited!

Back in October of 2013,  I was happy to learn that my friend Boots wanted to dine at e' at Jaleo, a Jose' Andres restaurant at Cosmopolitan. I had previously eaten there in 2011 with friends Terri and Claire and was excited to return with another friend so we started planning a February trip to Las Vegas. To read my previous review click on the link below:

Boots had made the booking at e' for us months in advance and the gold tickets had been sent to her a few weeks before our February 8th reservation. Of course we were playing slots at Cosmopolitan when she gave me my golden ticket.
There are two seatings a night when e' is open and previously I had experienced the early seating, tonight it would be the late one at 8:30pm. We arrived between 8 and 8:15pm as requested to sit near the bar at Jaleo to go over our drink choices during the dinner. While Boots and I each selected three wines to go with our tasting, they also offer a drink/wine pairing ($130pp), a beer pairing, ($65pp) and a non-alcololic pairing. Prices change but this should give you a general idea of the pricing for drink pairings. The 18 course plus tasting was $195 per person before tax and 20 percent service charge. At the end of this review is a copy of my receipt for dinner and drinks.
Our place settings when we were first seated. The ceramic hand holding the warm towel is a actual reproduction of chef Jose Andres 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.
Truffle Mist cocktail. I believe this was gin based but not sure. I didn't care for the truffle mist, but once that dissipated, I enjoyed the cocktail.
A couple of years ago I thought there was more food preparation going on in front of us, this time it seemed to be more plating with the majority of the food preparation not being seen. However the plating itself is fascinating in my opinion. Watching the Chef and Sous Chefs work with the precision of surgeons on each course using their tools of nitrogen, thermometers, tweezers, etc...
Apple "Brazo De Gitano".  Apple Meringue with Blue Cheese Espuma and Walnut Paste on top. A play off a Spanish dessert and somehow both light and rich tasting at the same time.
The plating is a work of art, but the serving dishes also make a powerful statement from courses being served on frozen black rocks, slate, or beautiful crafted ceramics and crystal.
Nitro Almond Cup which is lacking the caviar due to my request. Liquid nitrogen turns macron almonds puree into what looks like an egg shell, very fragile so you must eat it very quickly. Served on frozen black rocks.
e' is a tiny restaurant within Jaleo and it's an surreal mix of amusing objects that have influenced Andres culinary vision. In addition to the next few photos of the room there is more photos on the link to the 2011 review.