page contents
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, April 27, 2015

Scientific Games Slot Company Tour Featuring Bally Technologies and WMS!

If it's April then it's time for The Shamus of Slots to arrange a slot company tour for the Slot Fanatics Message board.  Thanks Shamus! Big thanks to all the Scientific Games, Bally Technologies and WMS employees who were there to answer our questions!
My friend Boots and I were given a ride to Bally Technologies where the slot tour was held by Bill ( and his brother Nick. We were almost the last to arrive because we accidentally took a walk through one of the other Bally Technologies buildings across the street before learning we were at the wrong building!
After signing in and getting badges we entered a conference room where there was lots of food and drinks set up for our group.
Scientific Games now owns both Bally Technologies and WMS slot companies and while it's my understanding they will keep their own branding there is now a certain amount of consolidation going on which resulted in us being able to meet with all of them together.
We had a great question and answer period!  During that session I mentioned getting stopped for recording at Palazzo by a slot attendant and the answer I got via my casino host when I asked him to find out the official policy for me from one of the Venetian/Palazzo slot operation managers on why recording was not allowed there, was that the slot companies don't allow it. This is not correct, both Bally Technologies and WMS said they love when the slot bonuses are recorded and talked about on youtube!

Later Random$$slots made a suggestion to the companies that they publish a open letter by the game manufacturer's to the industry that players be allowed to record slot machines as long as no one is in the recording who hasn't given permission to be included, that table games aren't recorded and of course casino security features aren't caught on videos. So here's hoping that someone takes the lead on that in the future as currently there are only a handful of casinos who have entered the 21st century and are receptive to recording slot machine play and bonuses.
After our question/answer period which ran a bit over the time scheduled for it, we took a break to play the new and not yet released slot machines. We broke into three groups and entered several rooms filled with slot machines. The new Friends slot was there but I got distracted with other things and forgot to play and record it. Darn!
Some random photos of the various rooms with slots set up in them along with a few videos I took of slots that will be arriving on the casino floors in the future. Besides the main entrance there is a room full of WMS slots and then another one with Bally Technologies slot machines.
The Flintstone Slot Machine series will be releasing a 3 Reel format soon!

The main entrance now has a mixture of both Bally Technologies and WMS slot machines!
TwinFire a new slot that combines both Quick Hit and Hot Shot!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Giada Restaurant Revisited!

I had so much fun eating at Giada's last September with friends I was happy when it was decided we would eat there during the April Meet.

To read my previous opinions on Giada go to this link:
We grabbed a couple of taxis from Wynn and were at the Cromwell in about 5 minutes going the back way.
Above is Manette, Ken, Laurie and Mike.
It's Tuesday, April 7th and that means it's Laurie's birthday! Happy Birthday Laurie!
Also joining us for dinner was Cassie!
The regular menu, that all of us ordered from with the exception of Manette.
 I've had a few friends warn me off the tasting menu as not being worth the current price including Kevin and Judy who I had lunch with this morning, so I mentioned that to my friends but Manette decided to give it a try as it does sound good when you read about it.
All of us ordered drinks and while last time I was here I loved the La Strada this time I went with the signature drink the Giada cocktail. Notice it has a "G" monogrammed on top of the foam!
Ken ordered the La Strada that I enjoyed back in September.
Both drinks are great, though for my personal taste I will give a slight edge to the Giada Cocktail.
Like last year the complimentary bread was excellent. We had two round ramekins of focaccia, with cracker bread and breadsticks. Accompaniments were garlic puree, mascarpone lemon cream, pepper flakes, fried capers and pink Himalayan salt.

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!