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Dealicious meals UAL

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and Wake up and taste the Vegas breakfast renaissance plus

Big! Hot! Crazy! E xotic!

50 EXTREM EATS for BRA E FOODIES VE

Custom pancake stack with fresh blueberries from Du-par’s

AMERICAN CHEESE

A (HILARIOUS) IMMIGRANT STORY

THEY WHISK IT ALL

MASTER CHEFS DISH SECRET KITCHEN TRICKS

DARE!LICIOUS MEALS

WE DARED THEM. THEY ATE IT.


DESERT

COMPANION

Adventures edition

Got a taste for adventure? An appetite for some (literal) spice in your life? A hunger for something different? Hold on to your fork and take a ride on the wild side with our DEALicious Meals Adventures Edition. Whether you’re craving cuisine that’s big in flavor, just plain big, or off the beaten path, you’ll get your fill here. No map necessary. (But a big glass of water might be a good idea.)

our DEALicious Mealers: JIM BEGLEY, DEBBIE LEE, DANIELLE MCCREA, ANDREW KIRALY, BROCK RADKE photography

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

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big 1 | ALASKA DONUT Real Donut If Homer Simpson had any say in the matter, the Alaska Donut ($7.50) at Real Donuts would be named a national treasure. These scale equivalents of about 10 traditional donuts can be customordered in a selection of flavors, including owner Jose Solares’ yeasty, pillowy, chocolate and classic glazed varieties. If you’re not quite ready to conquer Alaska, take on the Texas ($2.50). At the size of a Frisbee, it’s still a challenge, but it disappears surprisingly fast. (JH)

1811 W. Charleston Blvd., 388-9958

2 | PARILLADAS

DE CARNE

La Hacienda Restaurant

Real Donut's Alaska Donut. Big and frosted, like the state.

How’s a serving tray of meat sound? If you’re doing your best Pavlov right now, then La Hacienda is the place for you. This unassuming restaurant en el barrio offers a myriad of meat on an actual catering serving tray lid — easily enough to feed a family of four for less than $40. Since man cannot live on steak, chicken and pork alone, the tray is also adorned with queso fresco, patas

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bravas, fresh avocado and handmade tortillas. Nothing like a little food pyramid balance in a meal. (JB)

5482 E. Lake Mead Blvd., 437-3608

3 | NAIROBI FEAST Wine 5 Café I appreciate a meal that must be ordered in advance. It requires a strong commitment to eating that most people don’t possess. If you have that kind of devotion, then Wine 5 Café’s Kenyan feast (requiring 24 hours’ notice) is just the meal for you. The meal combines your choice of meats with traditional Kenyan sides for an introduction to a cuisine you’re not familiar with. Just trust me when I say under no circumstance should you miss their samosas — you’ll thank me for the suggestion. (JB)

3250 N. Tenaya Way, winefivecafe.com

4 | NACHOS Carlos’ Kitchen Nachos are standard bar fare, and like much of chef Carlos Fernandez’ offerings, not uncommon on watering-hole menus.

What’s uncommon is the attention to detail he lavishes on them ($6.99) in his cookery inside Charlie’s Bar. His chips are always house-made, as are his salsa and guacamole. Toppings are plentiful and fresh — no bright yellow congealed cheese here — while his carne asada and chicken are exemplary and always moist. If he cares this much about his nachos, shouldn’t you? (JB)

4420 S. Durango Drive, carloskitchenlv.com

5 | CARNE ASADA

BREAKFAST BURRITO

Phat Phrank’s What makes a great breakfast burrito? It must be filling but not overly heavy, establishing a hearty base for the day’s activities while not inducing a full-on food coma. Chef Frank Miranda walks this line for less than $5.50 a wonderful tortilla-wrapped bundle. Carne asada, potatoes, egg and cheese intertwine in each bite, providing an irresistible meld of flavor and texture. (JB)

4850 W. Sunset Road, 247-6528

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Norm's Egg Café's $6 lunch specials include classics such as meat loaf and gravy.

6 | LA TETANIC Las Famosas de Jose Sixteen ounces of chicken breast, cheese, beans, tomatoes, avocado, jalapeño peppers and lettuce sandwiched between two humongous slices of fried bread make up La Tetanic, una torta gigante or, as I like to call it, A REALLY BIG SANDWICH (techni-

cal specs: 12 inches long by 5 inches wide by 4 inches thick, $15). But the novelty of its size isn’t a mere gimmick; on top of that, the ingredients are fresh, making for a gloriously juicy monster. Add in some of owner Fernando Rojas’ homemade, secret recipe salsa and you, sir, have got yourself

EXTREME

SCALING NACHO MOUNTAIN RANGE I CAN’T DRIVE $55 NACHOS AT CABO WABO CANTINA Sounds cheesy, huh? Bad puns aside, when you become an ’80s rock frontman and start your own brand of tequila and corresponding themed restaurant chain, you can name some nachos after one of your terrible songs. But this is no ordinary platter of nachos — this off-menu challenge dares you and a friend to inhale eight pounds of crunchy tortilla chips slathered in melted cheese and queso sauce, pico de gallo, loads of jalapeños, and pretty much whatever’s loose in the kitchen. Clean the trough in 55 minutes and it’s on the house. I was told a different couple knocked it out earlier in the day when I visited, but I have my doubts. It’s hard to do justice to the scope of eight pounds of nachos. Think of a mountain range, and then drizzle it generously with beef, chicken, salsa, beans. The sad part is that they’re pretty damn good nachos. I just wish I had 10 more people along for the ride. (Brock Radke) Inside Planet Hollywood, cabowabocantina.com

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8 | GORDITAS Las Gorditas With three locations around town, it doesn’t get more convenient than Las Gorditas, unless you’re talking about the gorditas themselves — thick, fresh corn tortillas split and stuffed with all kinds of goodies ($2.45). Not Taco Bellish goodies. We’re talking chicken mole, tender cactus in tomato-chile sauce, or addictive pinto beans and salty, melty cheese. More please. (BR)

THE CRAFT

DEALicious chefs dish their kitchen secrets

CHEF BRIAN HOWARD

MEAT THE DETAIL MAN

COMME ÇA inside the Cosmopolitan, commecalasvegas.com

multiple locations, lasgorditasrestaurant.com

9 | ALL YOU

CAN EAT SUSHI

Sushi Mon

a sandwich (A REALLY BIG SANDWICH). I recommend sharing — with up to 3 people. But if you’re broke and starving, Rojas will buy you and your friends’ meals if you can gobble up the five pound La Paquita ($18) in under 15 minutes. (DM)

2635 E. Tropicana Ave., 450-2444

7 | LUNCH SPECIALS Norm’s Egg Café Norm is no one-trick pony. He serves more than just eggs from his Eggs Café. Besides brunch standards, most of which do involve eggs, his menu boasts a pretty impressive array of $6 lunch specials. His meatloaf, beef stew and chicken curry are all notable — not only for the quantity of food for the price, but more particularly the quality of it. Norm is quite the Renaissance man. (JB)

3655 S. Durango Drive #29, normseggscafe.com

Let’s be real: Sushi Mon (not the one on West Sahara, the other one) is the only place you should be eating all-you-can-eat sushi. At $21.95 for lunch or $26.95 for dinner, it’s one of the biggest and best deals in town, nigiri, rolls and sides done to the highest standard without excessive, crazy sauces or methods. (BR)

9770 S. Maryland Parkway #3, sushi-mon.com

10 | BARBACOA DE CHIVO Diego They call it a small plate or appetizer at Diego, but in truth, it’s a huge pile of the best meat anywhere, slightly funky or gamey goat marinated in guajillo chile salsa and slow-braised to create a truly unique texture. The powerful flavor will make you forget carne asada forever. I’m not sure if there’s a better taco in town than what you can assemble at your table with warm tortillas and three fresh salsas. (BR)

BACON, SALAMI, HAM, sausages, terrines, patés — everybody

loves charcuterie, even if few of us understand the hours, days and months required to put in the necessary work and affection to create a colorful plate of assorted meaty goodness. Luckily, Vegas has chefs like Brian Howard, who do understand — and care a great deal. “For many people throughout the world, making charcuterie is something they grew up doing, a family thing. For me, it’s getting back to a heritage, touching base with European roots, and just learning how to do it. It’s something that takes a lot of time, anticipation and love to come out with a good product.” There are a lot of variables in making what seems like a simple sausage: humidity, temperature, technique and mixing the right amounts of fat, protein and seasoning. Howard’s charcuterie program at Comme Ça is one of the city’s best, but the chef’s first memorable triumph was making a standard paté at Bouchon years ago. “There was so much detail, how the bacon was sliced that wrapped around the outside, how smooth the texture needed to be on the inside. It was very gratifying to make it well the first time, but now, that’s like the easiest thing to do on the list.” He has expanded into duck salami and prosciutto, and an insane new mega-terrine that contains cured pork belly, hot coppa and garlic sausage in one savory slice. Now he’s experimenting with vegetarian replication. “I would put our charcuterie up against anybody’s,” Howard said. “I try to be humble, but this is something I’m pretty pleased with.” — Brock Radke

Inside MGM Grand, 891-7433

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THE CRAFT

DEALicious chefs dish their kitchen secrets

CHEF PHIL HOLEC

SMOKE AND JAZZ LAS VEGAS GRILLE 7865 W. Sahara Ave. #105, vegasgrille.com TWO THINGS CATCH your attention upon entering Las Vegas Grille: a drum kit to your left, and a glass display case of hard woods to your right. Although neither is edible, together they represent owner Phil Holec’s philosophy on barbecue. “I like to call what I do improv or jazz cooking,” he says. The self-taught chef spent years mixing and matching woods, meats and smoking times and temperatures to compose the eclectic menu you see at his year-old restaurant today. “Before we opened, I was the guy who’d come home from work and stay up until 3 a.m. experimenting with different recipes and techniques.” The results of those culinary jam sessions are a hit. Using an industrial smoker that sits in view of the dining room, Holec serves an extensive and creative list of meats, seafood and house-made sausages. White oak pairs perfectly with sirloin, pecan infuses just enough smoke in an herb-crusted pork loin, and nectarine wood lends flavor to a smoked salmon filet that blows any kosher deli’s lox out of the water. Holec says that barbecue enthusiasts can smoke meat at home for themselves, but warns that the endeavor involves long periods of trial and error. “There is no right or wrong, but you’re going to make certain mistakes in the beginning, like oversmoking or overbrining your meat,” he says. “It’s a project that requires patience. My own recipes are an ongoing, lifelong process, some of which the concepts for began when I was cooking next to my mother as a young child.” Sounds daunting, so why bother when you can just go straight to Holec? The man has clearly already found his groove. — Debbie Lee

11 | WHITEFISH SALAD PLATTER

12 | BEEF CHIMICHANGA

Bagel Café

Mi Tierra

Still the home of the biggest, chewiest, crackliest bagels in town, Bagel Cafe is a lock for great dining deals thanks to its gigantic portions, fresh ingredients and traditional delicatessen wizardry (seriously, is there a better deli in town?). Pair the bagel flavor of your choice with this smoky, creamy, wonderfully moist whitefish salad ($13.50) and decorate with ripe red tomato, red onion, cucumber and cream cheese. (BR)

One of the newest entries into the category of friendly neighborhood Mexican restaurants, Mi Tierra does classic Mexican-American food quick, cheap and cozy. There’s no shortage of favorites on the menu. For $8.25 (and 75 cents as a lunch special) you can attack a mammoth, shredded-beef and bean stuffed chimichanga, crispiness coated in sour cream, cheese and rich red ranchero sauce. Hits the spot every time. (BR)

301 N. Buffalo Drive, thebagelcafelv.com

1780 N. Buffalo Drive #101, mitierravegas.com

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Bagel Café's whitefish salad platter: the perfect bagel pairing


hot 13 | FIRE-BREATHING DRAGON ROLL Rice and Company A sushi roll so hot it’s famous? This spicy tuna, shrimp and crab roll, flecked with habañero peppers, earned Rice and Company (the quiet pan-Asian restaurant in Luxor) some TV time on Food Network’s “Heat Seekers” show. It’s a seriously spicy, tasty bite before a generous drizzling of ghost pepper sauce pushes the heat level to beyond volcanic. Sweet sushi rice or a quick dip in soy sauce won’t save you this time. (BR)

Parsley Mediterranean Grill's falafel wrap — spiced up with fire sauce.

Inside the Luxor, 262-4852

14 | GRILLED CORN ON THE COB El Elote Loco Broadacres may not appear to be a culinary destination. But tucked away just inside the north entrance to the North Las Vegas swap meet is a stand whose English translation is “the crazy corn.” They essentially serve one dish in multiple ways — think of it as a Bubba Gump restaurant actually worth checking out. The grilled corn-on-the-cob is the best option, grilled crisp and slathered with margarine, mayo, chili flakes and cotija cheese and a steal at $2. You’re welcome. (JB)

Inside Broadacres Swap Meet, 2930 N. Las Vegas Blvd., 642-3777

15 | FIRE SAUCE Parsley Mediterranean Grill The only reason Parsley isn’t legendary for their fat, fresh falafel wraps for $4.95 — brick-thick and bulging at the folds — is because they’ve only been open for about seven months. Just give ’em time. I predict they’ll also be legendary for

their fire sauce. Understatement alert! Oh, you don’t squirt or smear this substance. Rather, you dole it out in judiciously microscopic amounts from the tiny plastic capsule that itself suggests potency, caution and danger. One capsule of this chunky tapenade of serranos, japaleños and habañeros will easily

cover your falafel and all your friends’, but you’ll want to snag an extra dose for experimentation in your home lab. (AK)

6420 S. Pecos Road #B1, parsleyfmg.com

16 | SPICY WONTONS IN RED CHILI OIL Beijing Noodle Café Beijing is one of the valley’s rare purveyors

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Sassy Sal's Wicked Hot Link will make you sweat.

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A little pep: Border Grill's bacon and jalapeño PBJ

WHEN FRIES AND KIMCHI = ’80S MOVIE EXPLOSIONS ANGRY KIMCHI FRIES AT BULDOGIS Having the Angry Kimchi Fries delivered to your table at Buldogis, a crazy Korean hot dog joint, equates to that part in ’80s action movies when one guy shoots a machine gun and the other guy pulls out one of those wide-barreled grenade launchers. It makes you smile — because you know something is going to blow up. In this instance, the explosion will be in your face, as your hapless taste buds attempt to understand how vinegary kimchi belongs with a mountain of crisp sweet potato fries. For fun, there’s also spicy-sweet

of hand-pulled Chinese noodles, making their Lan Zhou beef soup a signature dish that attracts urban explorer and suburban pilgrim alike. But I urge adventurous eaters to go off the map: Try the spicy pork won tons in red chili oil ($4.95), a dozen, sausage-like dumplings swimming in rich sauce. For a deeper, duskier heat, follow up with the dan dan Szechuan mein bowl ($6.95); below the crumbled pork and tender noodles hides a thick, creamy, smoky broth that’ll set your tongue to a tingling simmer. (AK)

4130 Sandhill Road, 641-0666

17 | BEEF CALDERETA WITH PICKLED GREEN CHILIES Fiesta Filipina Cuisine Caldereta is beef short rib

stew, a traditional Filipino dish. Slow-cooked to perfect tenderness, Fiesta’s rendition boasts flavorful beef that falls off the bone. Their homemade pickled green chilies are the perfect complement to the dish, giving the savory stew a bit of crunch and kick. This cafeteria-style restaurant is not only easy on the palate but on the wallet; the two-item combo with rice is only $5.99. Try the Okoy, a shrimp and vegetable pancake, for your second. (DM)

multiple locations, fiestafilipinacuisine.com

18 | WICKED HOT LINK Sassy Sal’s BBQ Most barbecue joints don’t focus on sausages, but that’s your best bet at this northwest takeout spot. Sassy Sal’s hot link

($3.99 single, $5.99 sandwich) is dripping with garlicky, peppery juices with every bite, and you can see the grainy, fatty goodness encased inside. And this kitchen doesn’t slather it with coleslaw to douse the heat, just crispy onions, cheddar cheese and Carolina mustard sauce. Get ready to sweat. (BR)

7785 N. Durango Drive #105, 458-7427

grilled pork, diced onions and jalapeños, mounds of melting cheese to glue it all together, and a nice fried egg, because why not? Funky, sweet, spicy and rich, this basket of insane flavor confetti cannot be defeated. And even though you’ll only eat half, it’ll stay with you for days. (BR) 2291 S. Fort Apache Blvd. #102, buldogis.com

19 | BACON JALAPEÑO PBJ Border Grill What would you pay for crispy bacon, jalapeno, peanut butter and homemade grape jelly on a scratch-made biscuit? Spicy and sweet, creamy and salty, it tastes even better than it sounds. Personally, I’d pay $29.99. But for that price, you

can have as many as you want, plus an unlimited barrage of amazing small plates at Chef Mike Minor brunch at Border Grill, stuff like machaca chilaquiles and Oaxacan chocolate pancakes. (BR)

Inside Mandalay Bay, 632-7200

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20 | SPICY FRIED CHICKEN Ichiza Ichiza’s spicy fried chicken ($5) is a bowl filled with bite-sized morsels of chicken covered in the sweet-hot “spicy Chinese sauce” — think the grown-up, foodie version of chicken nuggets. The chicken is fried (but surprisingly ungreasy) and coated with a thin glaze of sauce, served with crunchy white sprouts. But don’t look for it on the menu. Like many of Ichiza’s dishes, the spicy fried chicken is one you have to ask for. And while you’re there, be sure to try the magnificently fresh sashimi or the pork udon with a broth so savory you’ll drink it straight from the bowl. (DM)

4355 Spring Mountain Road, 367-3151

21 | INFERNO MENU Mint Indian Bistro Mint Bistro’s Inferno Menu promises food so hot you’re required to sign a waiver before they’ll let you eat it. The items on the Inferno Menu will burn your taste buds — but in a delectably tasteful way, so as to trick you into taking bite after bite of fiery

goodness. While I’m only brave enough to nibble the pepper-packed Inferno Naan with Paneer Cheese ($5.99), featuring ghost chilis and spices, the Inferno Curry ($19.99) promises to be the hottest item on the menu. It comes with a perk: a $50 gift certificate if you finish your plate. (DM)

Thai fusion, and the Chili Paste Delight ($9.95 with shrimp) fulfills it. The dish is a plentiful array of veggies, red and green bell peppers, onions and carrots, combined with cashews and your choice of meat glazed with chili paste (get it with the shrimp, catfish or seafood combo). It all swims in a thick, dark-brown sauce, a combination of Thai chili paste and Chinese sauce. The chili paste keeps things hot — even with a vanilla undertaking of 0 level heat — but you can brave up to level 5 if you’ve got the courage. Want to push it further? There are always the bowls of chili sauce at each table. (DM)

730 E. Flamingo Road, mintbistro.com

22 | ROAST DUCK CURRY Weera Thai Red chili paste runs wild in this Northern Thai curry ($14.85) at one of our city’s great unsung ethnic restaurants. It’s far from one-dimensional, getting sweetness from pineapple chunks and red pepper, and vegetably goodness from tomatoes and tons of basil. Best of all are the huge chunks of juicy duck breast, roasted to perfection, combining with the heat for one satisfying, sublime stew. (BR)

5075 S. Pecos Road, mrchopchop.net

24 | SPICY MISO RAMEN Ramen Sora Vegas’ newest ramen bar focuses on Sapporostyle noodle soup, which is where miso was born. Japanese food is known for being refined, but they spice up this $8.50 dish, adding dollops of scary-red, multiplepepper chili paste into a smooth, clean-tasting broth stacked with chewy noodles and

3839 W. Sahara Ave. #9, 873-8749

23 | PAD PRIK PAO (CHILI PASTE DELIGHT) Mr. Chop Chop Mr. Chop Chop’s menu promises a Chinese and

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ribbons of succulent roasted pork. The only thing better than a hot bowl of ramen is a HOT! bowl of ramen. (BR)

4490 Spring Mountain Road, 685-1011

25 | SALSA CARDENAS MARKETS Gringos are slowly venturing into Cardenas as the Mexican market chain expands beyond its east side bloc, with its most recent location opened on the site of the old Mervyn’s on Decatur Boulevard. Go for the cheap produce and humming in-store eatery serving tacos and tortas, but don’t miss out on their veritable rainbow of housemade salsas, for sale by the pound. On the flavorful end, you’ve got guacatillo ($2.99) and tomatillo ($3.29). On the daring end, you’ve got rojas rancheros ($2.99) and molcajete rojas ($3.29). And on the far, fanning-your-handsin-front-of-your-smokingmouth end, you’ve got 100 Fuegos ($4.99), a deep red, soupy salsa with a long finish. Try a sample from the nice sample lady first. But be warned: She really pours it on that chip. (AK)

Multiple locations, cardenasmarkets.com

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RUBBER GLOVES AND WING SAUCE BLAZIN’ WINGS AT BUFFALO WILD WINGS You may not want to believe one of the most incendiary foods in town can be found at a totally typical chain of chicken wing sports bars. I didn’t want to believe it, but years ago I was invited to sample the Blazin’ sauce by the original franchisee that brought Buffalo Wild Wings to Las Vegas. The wings are surprisingly good here, crispy and meaty and spun in your sauce of choice (there are 16 flavors now). ¶ After two bites of this nuclear orange devilspawn, I was reeling. For a few seconds, it’s slightly sweet and cayenne-peppery, like wing sauce usually is. Then, the flames. Icy beer barely helps. If you’re gonna walk this plank, I recommend wearing gloves. Rub your eyes within 12 hours of touching Blazin’ sauce and you’ll be in the emergency room. (BR) Multiple locations, buffalowildwings.com

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crazy

Time to play: RM Seafood challenges you to Rick's Tasting Game.

26 | QUAIL Public House Public House’s menu is so humble. This is actually a scrumptious version of chicken and waffles, with tender, buttermilkfried quail and a thin, crisp waffle (everything Eggos ought to be), plus bacon-braised Swiss chard and a maple syrup glaze made with Moose Drool Brown Ale. At $26, it’s lovely as an entrée, or perfect as a shared plate, if you’re willing to share. I’d make ’em order their own. (BR)

Inside the Venetian, publichouselv.com

27 | BUDAE JIGAE Soyo Budae jigae was born out of necessity; now it’s a novel hangover cure. The spicy stew — made with Spam, chopped hot dogs and melted American cheese — was originally intended to feed starving citizens during the Korean War, but more than 50 years later, the taste for processed food has

endured. At Soyo, you can watch the younger set dig into this communal hot pot ($18) after a long night of drinking — somehow it makes them feel better instead of worse. (DL)

7775 S. Rainbow Blvd. #105, 897-7696

28 | BOARDWALK FRIES Crab Corner Traditional East Coast fare abounds in this hallmark of Maryland seafood. While the crabs are exemplary, they present a timeconsuming endeavor for precious little meat. A timelier and equally delicious option is the $3.50 boardwalk fries. Crab Corner’s are cooked in peanut oil, a medium not used often enough in light of the subtle nuttiness it endows. With ample amounts of J.O. crab seasoning and malt vinegar, you’ll be transported back to Ocean City, minus The Situation and Snooki wannabes. (JB)

4161 S. Eastern Ave., crabcornerlv.com

29 | TURKEY TAIL TORTA Burritos Juarez Finally, there’s a reason to eat turkey outside of November. Whether you’re a breast or leg man, Burritos Juarez will convert either with its colitas de pavo, or turkey tail. This overlooked cut of meat is minced and flash-fried until crisp, then stuffed in a torta with generous amounts of avocado and other yummy fixings. One bite of the fatty, flavorful sandwich ($4.95) and you’ll agree it’s the best tail in town. (DL)

3655 S. Durango Drive, 242-0055

30 | RICK’S TASTING GAME RM Seafood For anyone possessing confidence in the sophistication of their palate, Rick’s Tasting Game ($18) at RM Seafood will serve a huge blow to the ego. Sixteen small scoops of unconventional ice creams and sorbets are served “blind,” accom-

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WHAT THE DUCK?! BALUT (BOILED DUCK EMBRYO) AT KAPIT BAHAY FILIPINO FASTFOOD Balut is a Filipino delicacy infamous for its fearful qualities. Why fearful? Well, because balut is a hardboiled fertilized duck embryo. Yeah, duck embryo. So you can imagine my joy in having the honor to eat one for you, our loyal readers. Mine was slightly larger than a regular egg — the first sign something was amiss. The second was the shell shading. Only makes sense that since light can’t shine through a duck, it’d be darker than a normal hard-boiled egg. ¶ The white — called bato — was off too. Hard and practically inedible, but not shocking. Neither was the juice. Upon cracking open the shell, a meaty aroma emerged from a soupy liquid infused with duck essence which, while abnormal, wasn’t difficult to stomach either. But then there was the yolk. ¶ The yolk was regular except for the duckling leering up at me. Simply put, balut is difficult to eat due to the baby duck. Thankfully, mine hadn’t progressed to the point of feathers and bones — I understand that’s an even rarer delicacy — but it was a duck nonetheless. And it was unnerving. ¶ With a beer alongside and an ample amount of salt, I managed to down the whole thing. The embryo was actually gelatinous and outside of the visual, not terribly untasty; however, there is always that visual. I’m glad I tried it. Once. (Jim Begley) 4115 Spring Mountain Road #E104, 889-4922

panied by a quiz sheet to populate with flavor guesses. Despite incorrectly identifying cilantro, gin and tonic, vanilla beer, Campari, and carrot (which I swore was sweet potato), my server assured me that my 50 percent score was “very respectable.” Score 100 and dessert is on Rick. (JH)

Not yolking around: Forte's adjarski khachapuri

Inside Mandalay Bay, rmseafood.com

31 | ADJARSKI KHACHAPURI Forte Forte’s no longer the hidden but sketchy gem it once was. The eclectic Eastern European tapas joint has undergone a facelift in anticipation of its soon-to-be-aired episode of Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” That shouldn’t dissuade you from visiting for their adjarski khachapuri, a strangely named suluginistyle (pickled) cheesestuffed bread baked in a canoe shape, before the crowds arrive. The coup

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de grâce is the raw egg cooks to over easy in the seat, resulting in an undeniable, addictive gooeyness in every bite. Check it out before Fieri ruins it for the rest of us. (JB)

4180 S. Rainbow Blvd. #806, barforte.com

32 | ROASTED BEEF MARROW AND OXTAIL JAM Comme Ça Bone marrow is usually consumed in very small amounts, the decadent crown on a dish like osso bucco. At Comme Ça, it’s

the main attraction: two bone canoes filled with rich, gelatinous treasure, sticky and luscious, served with not nearly enough crostini and a bowl of ultra-savory oxtail-tomato jam. This meal ($18) has transformative powers: Eat it all and


you’ll never, ever consider vegetarianism. (BR)

Inside The Cosmopolitan, (877) 893-2003

33 | VERY VEGAN PIZZA Pizza Fusion Vegan soy cheese? Let’s put the niceties behind us and not pretend it tastes just like real cheese. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a delicious topping. Paired with crimini mushrooms, roasted garlic and freshly made organic tomato sauce, Pizza Fusion’s Very Vegan Pizza ($9$24) is not only a treat for earth-adoring grass-grazers, but even adventurous meatlovers. (DM)

10345 S. Eastern Ave. #110, 896-9669

34 | KAWA KUSHI Kyara Izakaya Some people eat pretzels with their beer; the Japanese prefer chicken skin. The crispy crackling may be the bane of dieters, but to true gourmands, it’s the only redeeming quality in an otherwise boring bird. At Kyara Izakaya, shards of it ($1.50$10) are skewered and tossed over a flame until all that’s left is a glorious mix of salt and crunch. Don’t worry about what happens to the meat — sometimes beauty really is only skin deep. (DL)

6555 S. Jones Blvd. #120, kyaraizakaya.com

35 | RAMBO BURGER Rambo’s Kitchen Some updates are good (Heath Ledger’s Joker) while some aren’t so much (New Coke, anyone?). The Rambo Burger ($10.89) is the former. Unless you’re originally from Land of 1,000 Lakes, you may not be aware of the cheesestuffed Jucy (yeah, it’s spelled like that) Lucy. Luckily, one of Rambo’s Kitchen’s owners is, and

has taken the classic and smothered her American and Swiss cheese-stuffed patty with pulled pork. The resulting burger is a carnivore’s dream. Who says tradition can’t be tweaked? (JB)

6085 S. Fort Apache Road, ramboskitchen.com

THE CRAFT

DEALicious chefs dish their kitchen secrets

CHEF SAUL ORTIZ

HOT SALSA STEPS TACOS & TEQUILA inside the Luxor, tacosandtequilalv.com

36 | PEANUT BUTTER BELGIAN WAFFLE Roxy’s Strangely, Roxy’s manages to cater to both Baby Boomer tourists and foodlovers, hiding remarkably clever dishes among singing waiters in a faux ’50s diner. My favorite is the peanut butter Belgian waffle ($8.99), unveiling an unholy matrimony of peanut butter, Bananas Foster and white chocolate mousse in one fell swoop. Executive chef Rick Giffen demonstrates remarkable restraint in not adding maple syrup, molasses and honey into the mix, but rest assured the result is still sweet enough without being cloying. (JB)

Inside the Stratosphere, (800) 998-6937

37 | BULGOGI POTATO PIZZA K Jun Chicken Korean-Mexican fusion has been in Vegas for a while now, with spicy and sour Asian ingredients sneaking into tacos and burritos. But what about Korean pizza? Got that, too. Hit K Jun Chicken in the Greenland Market food court and, for $10, experience the insanity of a hot, crisp, cheesy pizza laced with thinly sliced sweet potatoes and bulgogi, grilled beef marinated in soy, sugar, sesame and chili. It’ll confuse your taste buds in a spectacular way. (BR)

“TO REALLY MAKE salsa, you must have fresh ingredients, and it must be something spicy yet enjoyable.” So says chef Saul Ortiz, and you should believe him. He’s obsessed. At his restaurant in Luxor, the kitchen is turning out between 15 and 25 fresh-made varieties every day, some in 10-gallon batches. He’s made rose petal salsa. He’s using every kind of chili pepper out there, guajillo to pasilla, cascabel to chipotle. He’s even got a hydroponic set-up at home so he can grow his own ghost pepper plant, which he can’t wait to make into a roasted salsa. “They say when you eat raw ghost pepper, the feeling you get is that your scalp separates from your head,” Ortiz said. “I don’t know if I want to feel that, but I’m curious about the flavor profile.” Creating great salsa is first a decision as to what type of flavors you like, and then an ongoing experiment in ingredients and technique. Try different peppers, and blend them in raw, roasted or dried form. Use only fresh ingredients — onion, cilantro, citrus — and don’t let it sit too long. “After 24 hours, the acids start eating away at the sodium and you’ll get a pickling effect. When it’s not fresh, you’re losing your original flavors.” And take it easy on the tomatoes. “They are overused. Clean up your tomatoes by removing the seeds, which hold water, otherwise your pico de gallo will turn to soup. And you can use different things instead of tomato as your base, like more citrusy tomatillo or roasted poblano peppers. Once you know how to roast your basic ingredients to add depth of flavor, and then you can incorporate an exotic pepper? Oh man, you’re set.” — B.R.

6850 Spring Mountain Road, 281-9310

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Burrito without borders: KoMex Fusion Express's bulgogi burrito

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exotic 38 | BULGOGI BURRITO

40 | POUTINE

KoMex Fusion Express

Sure, Vegas is nowhere near Canada, but since chef Chris Palmeri is from Buffalo, I figure he actually may be a Canuck. That’s the only possible explanation for his spoton rendition of the Quebec staple. Palmeri layers his hand-cut fries with cheese curds and savory gravy in an artery-clogging epiphany ($4.25-$6.50). Next time you’re there, get your taste of the Great White North and demand to see his green card. We can’t be too careful, you know. (JB)

633 N. Decatur Blvd. #H, komexexpress.com

39 | LHAMEJUN

(ARMENIAN PIZZA) Ron’s Market The “Armenian pizza” at Ron’s Market is a bit of a misnomer, but it’s still the best cheap eat in town. Ninety cents gets you a disc of paper-thin dough spread with a veil of ground beef and chopped bell peppers, baked until the crust is golden. It’s best when reheated at home and treated the traditional way, with a squeeze of fresh lemon over the top. Bet that’s something you’d never do to your slice of Domino’s. (DL)

6085 S. Fort Apache Road #140, 431-6444

Inside Moondoggies Bar, 3240 Arville St., nakedcitylv.com

41 | LAMB KUBIDEH Flame Kabob It’s been a long time since I’ve discovered food as shockingly good and dirt cheap as the Persian cuisine at Flame Kabob. The kubideh ($4.99 rack, $7.99 ground), kabobs made of minced meat and spices, are impossibly moist and flavorful, too big to finish but too good not to. The lamb version packs the biggest punch, rich in flavor yet light in texture. The colorful rice and fresh bread as side dishes are just as delicious. (BR)

multiple locations, 438-7400

42 | #10 PORK ROLL

SANDWICH

EXTREME GO EATS

DARE!licious Meals |

I’ve espoused my adoration of KoMex’s bulgogi fried rice so often they named the dish after me. Why then include the bulgogi burrito instead? Well, chef Sonny Yi actually threatened bodily harm if I pimped the fried rice any further — apparently all that wok-frying is tough on his arm — so the swirl of smoke and sweet in his fusion burrito is the next best option. Truthfully, their bulgogi is great in any form, and the burrito ($4.99) is just as worthy a vehicle as the fried rice. Now only if he had a fried rice burrito … (JB)

Naked City Pizza Shop

FRED FLINTSTONE’S CHOICE CUT 32-OUNCE LOLLIPOP RIBEYE AT OLD HOMESTEAD There may be a grand American tradition of feasting on a big ol’ steak, but these days we’re all cutting back on red meat. A two-pound ribeye for one doesn’t make a lot of sense. But this is different; this is Pat LaFrieda beef, prime cow specially chosen by the best butcher in the biz and dry-aged for at least a month. It comes out clinging to a huge, dinosaurish bone and takes up the majority of a massive plate. And breaking through the excellent outer char-crust on an Old Homestead steak for that first juicy bite is pure carnivorous bliss. Ten ounces in, you consider quitting, getting a doggy bag. But tomorrow it will only be leftovers. Tonight it’s perfect, so you keep going. ¶ Before you realize it, there’s one bite left on your twopound ribeye. You're heavier, yes, but so much happier.

Lee’s Sandwiches

(BR) Inside Caesars Palace,

Having conquered Southern California, Lee’s Sandwiches has now infiltrated our Chinatown and, most recently,

theoldhomesteadsteakhouse. com

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DARE!licious Meals |

GO

EXTREME

ORGAN MUSIC … FOR YOUR TONGUE ORGAN MENU AT B&B RISTORANTE INSIDE THE PALAZZO Coming off an ill-timed, self-induced, weeklong meat-free diet, I was ready for something non-leafy. This being Vegas, I went all in with the organ menu at B&B Ristorante. Antipasti? Warm lamb’s tongue with chanterelle mushrooms and three-minute egg. Garnished with microgreens and a neon extra virgin olive oil. Mild. Slightly sweet finish. Runny eggs typically aren’t my thing. But in the context of tongue, it didn’t take much to conquer this fear. Then I proceeded to conquer the whole dish, mopping with bread. No shame. ¶ Secondi? Bone marrow ravioli with osso bucco ragú. A dozen or so petit round, crimped-edge pasta pouches filled with the super subtle marrow and a touch of saffron. Topped with osso bucco so tender, if it were served on the bone, it would surely fall off. ¶ Primi? Crispy polenta sweetbreads with oyster mushrooms, fava beans, and green garlic fonduta. Looks like battered fish. Eats like chicken. Not for the faint of heart, this menu will take your taste buds and perceptions — one well worth the price of admission. (Dana Satterwhite) Inside the Palazzo, 266-9977

out stale dinner buns while Magura serves addictive cheese bread. That’s how Bulgarians roll. (JB)

1305 Vegas Valley Drive #B, 693-6990

46 | SOONDAE Honey Pig You’ve conquered Korean barbecue and kimchi — now it’s time for something a little more challenging. Consider soondae, or pork blood sausage ($20), your stepping stone. At Honey Pig, this popular street snack is served on a large platter with chewy slivers of steamed pig ears on the side. Sure, it’s an awful lot of offal, but the flavors are mild and serve as a welcome respite from the spicier dishes on the table. (DL)

4725 Spring Mountain Road, 876-0711 Henderson, and domination never tasted so good. Served on fresh baguettes, these banh mi sandwiches ($3.29) are crazy cheap no matter your filling of choice, but I recommend the cured pork and pork roll combo. Two kinds of pig are better than one, and it’s just the right meaty mixture to balance with the standard crisp, pickled vegetables. (BR)

multiple locations, leessandwiches.com

43 | CHIP BUTTY Crown & Anchor We’ve all had French fries and buttered bread, but it would normally take a trip across the pond to see the two combined in a sandwich. To the likely dismay of the late Dr. Atkins, Crown & Anchor serves this iconic British snack — known as the chip butty — to hungry drunks, homesick Englishmen and plain old carb fiends. Douse yours in ketchup or add a side of curry and expats may mistake you for one of their

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own. (DL)

1350 E. Tropicana Ave., crownandanchorlv.com

44 | NOSE-TO-TAIL

STEAM TABLE STATION Yunnan Garden

Heat-seekers revere Yunnan Garden for its spicy Szechuan dishes, but there’s more to the menu than food doused in crimson oil. For true thrills, visit the steam table — a miniature cafeteria of curiosities — and assemble a custom plate of various odds and ends. On a recent visit, chicken feet, duck heads, and tripe were some of the more easily identifiable selections. Point at and taste the other items at your own risk. (DL)

staples. Amongst these pies lies the genesis of their cheese bread ($2.75). The dish is simple enough — a more-than-ample layer of cheese on housemade dough; however, the coup de grace is the Bulgarian spice mix on the crust — think of it as an Eastern European Krazy Jane’s Seasoned Salt. Best of all, it’s free! Other places dole

3934 Schiff Drive, 869-8885

45 | CHEESE BREAD Magura Magura, the valley’s only true Bulgarian restaurant, serves a surprisingly large local ethnic community. Strangely enough, pizza is amidst the menu

Greek greatness: Milo's $20.12 lunch special with lavraki (grilled Mediterranean sea bass)

47 | SPECIAL KITFO Merkato Tartare doesn’t scare people, so why kitfo? Raw meat is raw meat, even if it is Ethiopian. Kitfo is a traditional homeland dish and Merkato serves an interesting variant. Their special kitfo ($9.50) melds lab (Ethiopian cheese) spinach and


ample amounts of mitmita, a traditional spice blend, in an overwhelmingly-sized single dish. Scooped up with injera, a spongy flatbread serving as a utensil for most Ethiopian dishes, it’s more than enough for a meal in itself. (JB)

855 E. Twain Ave., 796-1231

48 | $20.12 LUNCH

WITH LAVRAKI Estiatorio Milos

No DEALicious list could be complete without the inclusion of Estiatorio Milos’ $20.12 lunch. Granted, it is a penny more this year but I think it’s completely worth the additional Lincoln. Amongst the entrée options, I always get the lavraki — a grilled and lightly seasoned Mediterranean sea bass that would cost you a minimum of $35 alone for dinner. With this in mind, your appetizer and dessert are just icing on the cake and completely worth every penny — even the additional one this year. (JB)

Inside The Cosmopolitan, (877) 893-2003

49 | ARROZ CON POLLO Che Inka Chicken Grill I’m not a big fan of restau-

rant chicken, as it’s easily overcooked; however, Che Inka has got chicken dialed in. Their menu highlights a variety of Peruvian specialties, one of which showcases their rotisserie chicken — the arroz con pollo ($10.99). A quarter of a rotisserie chicken with perfectly crisped skin is served on cilantro-laden rice for an outrageously oversized meal. The spice mix infused into the skin is a revelation, while the rice could serve

THE CRAFT

as a meal onto itself. And the chicken? Its moistness should be the standard for which all fowl strive. (JB)

845 S. Rainbow Blvd., cheinkagrill.com

50 | BRIE AND GRAPE QUESADILLA Sushi Freak Quesadillas are the last thing you’d expect to find on an all-you-can-eat sushi menu, but at Sushi Freak, Mexico meets France for a creative

finish to a Japanese meal. Wedges of brie are tossed with grapes and melted between flour tortillas until crisp — an idea that’s not so unusual (think cheese and crackers), except that it’s served alongside a bounty of poke, edamame, and yellowtail. At $8.50, it's a cheap reminder that Vegas is the ultimate melting pot. (DL)

8665 W. Flamingo Road #106, 453-8897

DEALicious chefs dish their kitchen secrets

CHEF MURRAY YOUNG

HEALTHY HEDONISM

GREENS & PROTEINS 8975 S. Eastern Ave., greensandproteins.com RESTAURANT CUISINE that's healthy and filling? Tough sell. And that actually tastes good? Even tougher. Hitting all three is the goal of Greens & Proteins, a “healthy fast food” spot where vegan yoginis, UFC powerhouses and average Joes can dine in harmony. Strategically located a short sprint from a perpetually crowded gym, Greens & Proteins has managed to achieve the unthinkable: making feel-good food craveable. Chef Murray Young, formerly of China Grill management, credits this first and foremost to seasoning. “Cooking with seasoning takes the place of excess salt and fat, which are typically found in fast food,” he says. “We also use a lot of fresh herbs, citrus and virgin olive oil, which really impact flavor.” Some of the most popular items are lighter riffs on comfort foods. Spiced tofu fries ($5.99) are crisped in heart-healthy grapeseed oil; a cheesesteak wrap contains high-protein bison meat and lowfat mozzarella ($10.99); and a 305-calorie margherita pizza is served on a thin crust dough or vegan lavash ($7.99). Even the deceptively rich Thai ginger soup ($4.99) has a surprise ingredient. “Cashews that have been soaked and pureed are a vegan way to make recipes creamy,” Young says. Another draw is the restaurant’s flexibility. Customers are able to “Build Your Own Custom Meal,” mixing and matching proteins, greens, grains and sauces, which eases the challenge of menu navigation for special dieters, picky eaters or apprehensive first-timers. At the end of the day, “making good food stems from using high-quality, wholesome ingredients,” says Young. Case in point: The fully-loaded chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie ($7.50). Somehow, this combination of 14 seemingly mismatched ingredients, including kale, avocado, cacao powder and chia seeds, blends together to create a refreshing vitamin-packed play on a much more sinful treat. That’s what I call having your shake and eating it too. — Julie Hession

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ART MUSIC T H E AT E R DA N C E FA M I LY

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take Cameroon native Angu Walters paints portraits of his fellow Africans, but you might not recognize them as people. Rather, his abstract, almost surreal paintings capture something else: their vibrant spirit. “Images from Cameroon” is on exhibit through Sept. 1 at Left of Center Gallery. Info: leftofcenterart.org

There’s so much dance talent behind the Hope 5 Ballet — featuring dancers from “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular” and Nevada Ballet Theatre — you should bring an umbrella. Because it might just start raining leotards from a spontaneously awesomeness-born, sentient dance-cloud. Better yet, all the pirouettes benefit homeless-assistance group Family Promise. Hope 5 Ballet performs 2 p.m. July 14-15 at CSN’s Nicholas J. Horn Theatre. Tickets $15-$20. Info: csn.edu/pac

Take a close look at Philip Denker’s intricate, painstakingly detailed wall tapestries. Closer … closer … closeWAIT NOT THAT CLOSE NOW YOU HAVE A PIPE CLEANER IN YOUR TEAR DUCT EWW GROSS CALL 911. Philip Denker’s “Screensaver” show is on exhibit through Aug. 17 at Winchester Cultural Center. Info: 455-7340

All band names should be as rhymey as k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang. Let’s try a few: B.B. King and the Rusty Swing? Carrot Top and the No Don’t Stop? Penn Jillette and Collectible Coin Set? Anyway, lang and her band are coming to Vegas to perform their signature blend of jazz, country and folk. (Randy yolk.) k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang perform 7:30 p.m. July 13 at the Smith Center. Tickets $27-$100. Info: thesmithcenter.com

Want your event in our guide? Submit your event with a brief description to guide@desertcompanion.com.

Your tyke will think she’s just enjoying upbeat, high-energy tunes when she’s listening to child-rock supergroup Monkey Monkey Band. But her parents know the songs are a mere delivery system for the molten, white-hot learning poured directly onto her developing cortex. Now THAT IS RÖCK. The Monkey Monkey Band performs 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. July 18 at the Charleston Heights Arts Center. Info: 229-6383

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ART CELEBRATING LIFE! 2012 Through July 11. A 12th annual juried exhibit for artists aged 50 and older with six media categories, each awarded first, second, third and honorable mention awards: Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media, Photography, Sculpture and Ceramics, Watercolor and Gouache, plus a best of show award. Free. Charleston Heights Arts Center Ballroom, artslasvegas.org

RED, WHITE AND BLUE EXHIBITION Through July 19. An artist invitational exploring monochromatic patriotic colors through a variety of subjects. Artists include Erik Beehn, Diane Bush, Shane Cooper, Justin Favela, Stewart Freshwater, Richard Hooker, Sandra Ward and Joseph Watson. Free. Las Vegas City Hall Chamber Gallery, 495 S. Main St., 2nd floor, 229-1012

BITTERSWEET HARVEST: THE BRACERO PROGRAM, 1942-1964

Don’t settle. Don’t ride to conform. Ride – be free. Ride a bike as unique as you are. RiDE MORE.

Through July 27. This bilingual exhibition developed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History explores the lives and times of Bracero workers and their families with rich insights into the Mexican-American experience, providing a historical bridge to modern guest-worker debates. Free for members or included with general admission. Big Springs Gallery at Springs Preserve.

LIFE ROOM-BLUE SCREEN BY EMILY SCOTT Through July 28; closing reception July 28, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Iconic traditional nudes by Dublin, Ireland painter Emily Scott set against a discordant backdrop of surreal, imaginary surroundings in an exciting collision of classical and kitsch. Instead of the expected – the typical calm drapery or neutral background of the life room – these placid, passive figures have their context skewed and sexed up, their stories made cinematic, dramatic or odd, like actors against a blue screen. Kleven Contemporary inside Emergency Arts, www.klevencontemporary.tumblr.com

TRUE STORIES EXHIBITION

Now Available at BMW Motorcycles Of Las Vegas. 6675 S. Tenaya Way t (702) 454-6269 t www.bmwoflasvegas.com

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Through July 28. Local photographer Nathan Douglas portrays a side of Las Vegas where sexy and quirky are inextricably linked. From a clown propositioning a prostitute beside a “Budget Prices” sign to a gentleman in a smoking jacket wearing a plastic lion’s mask, Douglas’ work taps into the bright, funky reality of Sin City. Brett Wesley Gallery, brettwesleygallery.com


SOAR Through July 28. Artist and industrial designer Luis Valera-Rico molds steel into origami, creating flight-like sculptures whose appearance fools the mind to believe that steel could be as light as paper. Brett Wesley Gallery

THE PINPOINT REMAINS Through Aug. 3; First Fridays 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Stephen Hendee’s site-specific sculpture installation references the natural desert landscape while calling attention to the lack of a sense of place in the man-made environment of Las Vegas. His boulder-like forms emit a soft, fluorescent glow that shift with perspective. Free. Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery, 455-7030

SCREENSAVER Through Aug. 17. Local artist Philip Denker mystifies the mind with his three-dimensional pen, marker and paper sculptures. What at first glance appear to be computer-generated images actualize themselves as meticulously drawn and hand-crafted. Free. Winchester Cultural Center Gallery, philipdenker.com

LOST VEGAS EXHIBITION Through Aug. 26. Take a peek into the past and challenge yourself to reason why the skyline of Las Vegas is ever changing. The main exhibit hall of Clark Country Museum hosts “Lost Vegas: Bulldozed and Imploded Casinos of the Las Vegas Valley,” exploring the history of long-gone Las Vegas landmark casinos including such greats as the Last Frontier and the Stardust. The Clark County Museum, 455-7955

IMAGES FROM CAMEROON Through Sept. 1. Angu Walters’ bright paintings of life in his native Cameroon depict images of his fellow African people. The paintings, of an abstract and surrealist style, display the subjects in such a way that the vibrant colors and symbols of African culture are homogenous components of their very flesh. Walters tours his work internationally and also houses some pieces locally as a part of the Joseph Watson collection at the Arts Factory. Free. Left of Center Art Gallery, leftofcenterart.org

TRASH TO TREASURE: THE SCULPTURES OF DAVE THOMPSON Through Sept 9. Artist Dave Thompson transforms old metal into magic. His recycledobject sculptures fill the Gardens at the Springs Preserve with wonder and whimsy. Free for members or included with general admission starting at $10. The Gardens at Springs Preserve

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Yarn-bombs away! The yarn-bombed bridge on Maryland Parkway

To celebrate International Yarnstorming Day — that is, a day dedicated to spontaneously beautifying public infrastructure with soft, colorful, knitted yarn art — local senior citizens broke out the knitting needles and added some color to the bridge on Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn Road near Sunrise Hospital. The result: a beautified bridge — that’s nice and soft to the touch, too. Yarnstorming and yarnbombing are more than some wacky pastime for knitting freaks. This trend — catching on fast in Las Vegas — also brings people together to share their artistry with the rest of the town. Catch this colorful display before it fades and tatters — it will be up for the next five months. Knitters interested in joining the local Yarnstormers group can call 455-7742. — Amira Hall-Hood

CLAUDE MONET: IMPRESSIONS OF LIGHT Through Jan. 6, 2013. In partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art showcases works that reflect the height of Monet’s work with painting and light. The exhibit features 20 pieces by Monet and eight paintings by his predecessors and contemporaries. $12. Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art.

FIRST FRIDAY July 6 and Aug. 3, 6 p.m.-midnight. Downtown’s monthly arts and culture event continues to grow bigger and better, featuring art exhibits, open galleries, live music and DJs, food trucks, performances and more. Free. Arts District and Fremont East in the Get Back Alley 6 p.m.-2 a.m., firstfridaylasvegas.com

DANCE ROMEO & JULIET July 8, 12 p.m. London’s Royal Ballet adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet will be broad-

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cast live in Century Theatres for one day only. The ballet has gained international recognition for its score, choreography and dance acting. Century Theatres, cinemark.com

HOPE 5 BALLET July 14-15, 2 p.m. A collection of classical ballet presentations directed by Erina Noda, performed by members of “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular,” Nevada Ballet Theatre and various Las Vegas productions. Benefiting CSN’s Performing Arts Center and Family Promise, an organization that assists homeless families in the Las Vegas valley, the $15-$20 tickets include a silent auction and post-show reception. CSN’s Nicholas J. Horn Theatre, csn.edu/pac

PERUVIAN MUSIC AND DANCE FESTIVAL July 27, 7 p.m. Dancers from the Peruvian Association and the Peruvian Cultural Club will be performing traditional dances to the live music of Grupo Nostalgia, with Peruvian valses, polkas and huaynos. Winchester Cultural Center, 455-7340.

LECTURES, READINGS AND PANELS OKSANA MARAFIOTI: AUTHOR TALK July 14, 2 p.m. Local author Oksana Marafioti discusses her debut novel “American Gypsy: A Memoir.” The novel is a comedic rendition of tales from Marafioti’s own lineage of Russian-gypsy performers and her childhood growing up amongst them. Russian pianist and singer Valeria Sokolova, Turkmen pianist Albina Asryan and professional dancer Zarin Standridge of Tajikistan will perform as well. Clark County Library Main Theatre, 505-3400

WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE Aug. 14-15. This two-day conference’s 2012 theme is “Be Inspired,” and will feature speakers, panels, networking receptions, coaching sessions and more, focused on enriching the professional lives of women. This year’s speakers include “CBS This Morning” reporter Lee Woodruff and American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern. $100-$350. MGM Grand hotel-casino, mgmresorts.com/womensleadershipconference

MUSIC CLINT HOLMES First Fridays and Saturdays monthly, 8:30 p.m. The acclaimed singer returns to Las Vegas for an exclusive engagement. He never performs the same show twice, featuring a constantly evolving range of

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music ranging from contemporary to jazz to Broadway. $35-$45. Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center

CITY OF HENDERSON’S FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION July 4, 6 p.m.-9:15 p.m. The City of Henderson’s Fourth of July Celebration features a

performance by the Henderson Symphony Orchestra on one of the three stages that will be hosting live entertainment throughout the night. Other happenings include 3 on 3 basketball tournaments (youth and adult), a Clark County High School band competition, face-painting, henna and fireworks. Event at Foothill High School;

fireworks at Mission Hills Park, hendersonlive.com

PINK FLOYD LASER SPECTACULAR July 6, 8 p.m. The nationally touring Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular brings its show “The Dark Side of the Rainbow” to Henderson. “Dark Side of the Moon” will play with the film “Wizard of Oz” amid laser lights. $10. The Henderson Pavilion. hendersonlive.com

CHRIS BOTTI July 6, 8:30 p.m. Chris Botti, trumpeter extraordinaire, performs work from his new album “Impressions.” The sounds of “Impressions” feature the works of classical composer Frédéric Chopin, Brazilian songwriter Ivan Lins, Cuban composer Cesar Portillo de la Luz, among songs written by Botti himself. $29$85. The Smith Center

Clint Holmes

CTA FEATURING DANNY SERAPHINE July 6-7, 8 p.m. The CTA (California Transit Authority) featuring drummer Danny Seraphine will fill the Smith Center with the classic rock sounds of Chicago, as well as some CTA originals. Since 1967, Seraphine has played on and helped produce more than 20 gold and platinum albums and 50 Top 40 hits. $38-$51. The Smith Center.

JAZZ ON THE LAKE July 7, 14, 21, 28 and Aug. 4, 11, 18, 25, 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Montelago Village’s July event features artists Michael Anthony, Hennegan, Brothers Ali, Anthony James Bake and Marque Woolfolk. Events are held lakeside, so pack a picnic basket and bring a lounging blanket. Montelago Village at Lake Las Vegas, montelagovillage.com

K.D. LANG AND THE SISS BOOM BANG

Perfectly in tune He’s such a quintessentially Vegas entertainer that seeing Clint Holmes should be required for official Sin City citizenship. The iconic Las Vegas performer — and a really, uber-down-to-earth, super-nice guy to boot — has launched a resident gig at Cabaret Jazz in The Smith Center, where Holmes will hit everything from jazz classics to Broadway standards to contemporary tunes. Confirm your Vegas cred by catching this local sensation — at our sensational new local venue. Clint Holmes performs 8:30 p.m. on the first Friday and Saturday of every month at Cabaret Jazz in The Smith Center. Tickets $35-$45. Info: thesmithcenter.com — Andrew Kiraly

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July 13, 7:30. Award-winning Canadian singer and songwriter k.d. lang performs her classic hits as well as music from her new album “Watershed,” a collection of entirely original songs played in accompaniment with lang’s band The Siss Boom Bang. The new album converges jazz, country and folk into comforting sounds reminiscent of home. $30-$109. The Smith Center

FROM BEETHOVEN TO BLUEGRASS July 14, 2 p.m. The Firenze String Ensemble takes you on a musical journey through the passages of time. Songs representing the many styles of the ages will be played, including Beethoven’s Viola Quintet Op. 29 and the bluegrass hymn “Lo How a Rose E’er Bloom.” Winchester Cultural Center, 455-7340


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SQUEEZEBOX HERO July 18, 9:30 p.m. Performing as the Squeezebox Hero, Botielus plays unexpected covers on his accordion, ranging from classic rock to current pop, backed by full tracks he sequenced himself. Free. Freakin’ Frog, squeezeboxhero.com

WILLIE NELSON & FAMILY July 21, 8 p.m. Willie Nelson, renowned Ameri-

can country singer-songwriter, has been revered as an icon and a poet for decades. On this tour, he’ll revisit some of his classic songs. $51.05-$119.50. Sunset Station, sunsetstation.com

AN EVENING WITH YANNI July 27. Yanni and his celebrated orchestra toured the world this year, selling out concert halls in Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle

East. He comes to Las Vegas with a new show and a new album, “Truth of Touch,” which is now platinum in the Middle East. $45-$85. UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center, unlvtickets.com

THEATER STEPHEN SONDHEIM, A LIFE IN THE THEATRE July 14, 8 p.m. Broadway icon Stephen Sondheim presents an evening of music and conversation. Sondheim and a special guest will talk about the accomplishments of Sondheim’s prodigious career as well as his creative process. Artists Christine Ebersole and Brian Stokes Mitchell will also perform. $29-$85. The Smith Center

MEMPHIS

NOW - OCT 19 Dan Domenech as Aladdin, Haley Carlucci as Jasmine

July 18-22. The four time Tony-winning musical is set in Memphis, Tennessee’s underground dance clubs of the 1950s. “Memphis” is rife with heel-tapping tempos and fancy, fun choreography as well as flashes of drama and, of course, a love story. $27-$141. The Smith Center

OLIVER! July 11-14, 18-21, 25-28, 8 p.m. Spring Mountain Ranch hosts another season of Super Summer Theatre. Pack a picnic and enjoy this year’s performance of the classic Oliver! Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, 875-4141

FAMILY & FESTIVALS OUTDOOR PICTURE SHOW

NOW - OCT 20 Joline Mujica as Tracy Turnblad

THE 25TH ANNUAL

PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE Hilarious Tony Award Winning Musical!

Tuacahn Amphitheatre is surrounded by the red cliffs of Southern Utah in Ivins near Snow Canyon State Park.

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COMPANION | JULY 2012

Friday and Saturday nights through Oct. 27. The large, grassy rotunda adjacent to Whole Foods Market is home to family-friendly outdoor films as the weather turns up for summer and cools down for fall. This month’s films are “Happy Feet,” “Chicken Run,” “Alice in Wonderland” and the “Adventures of Tintin.” “The Green” at The District at Green Valley Ranch, shopthedistrictgvr.com

VENOM! Through July 15, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily. Challenge your curiosity and fears in this live indoor show with some of Nevada’s most toxic and awe-inspiring reptiles. Learn how and why slitherers and crawlers such as Western diamondbacks, Mojave sidewinders, Great Basin rattlesnakes, Speckled rattlesnakes, Desert night snakes, and Gila monsters use their venom. Springs Preserve

FREE FAMILY FILM FESTIVAL Through Aug. 22; Every Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. Rave Motion Pictures will be showing free family-friendly films. Town Square, mytownsquarelasvegas.com


A R T S + E N T E R TA I N M E N T

LAS VEGAS CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL AND PASTRY SHOW July 7, 8 p.m.-midnight. World-renowned confectioners and chocolatiers display their best efforts, complemented by champagnes, wines and spirits. Net proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The Palazzo, sincitychocolatefestival.com

LAS VEGAS NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM’S 21ST ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION July 14, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The Las Vegas Natural History Museum celebrates its 21st anniversary with a “21 Bug Salute.” Festivities also include food trucks featuring bug-themed delights, carnival games and 21 live bugs. $2.50-$5. Las Vegas Natural History Museum, lvnhm.org

MONKEY MONKEY BAND July 18, 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Meredith LeVande, creator of Monkey Monkey Music, plays tunes that feature educational lyrics and upbeat rhythms. Charleston Heights Art Center, 229-6383

a variety of cinema from award-winning films to exclusive world premiers, as well as conversations with filmmakers. The Las Vegas Hotel (formerly the Hilton), lvfilmfest.com

ENVENOMATORS: THE VENOMOUS SNAKES OF NORTH AMERICA Through Sept 16. Slither over to Wonderworks Exhibit Company’s “Envenomators,” which tells the story of four venomous snakes indigenous to North America: copperhead, cottonmouth, coral and rattlesnake. Springs Preserve

SUMMER ADVENTURE CAMPS Through Aug. 24. Nature, archaeology, animals, plants, history, drama, crafts, even swimming at the nearby Y. Ages 6-12. $180 members, $200 non-members per week. Extended care available for an additional $25 per week. Springs Preserve

LAS VEGAS FILM FESTIVAL

THE LAS VEGAS PERFORMING ARTS INTENSIVE

July 19-22. The festival offers showings of

July 2-Aug. 3. Youngsters aged 9-14 can take

acting, voice, dance and drumming lessons from today’s most celebrated performers, choreographers and directors from shows such as Blue Man Group, “O,” “Love,” “Viva Elvis,” “Le Rêve,” “Mystère,” Jabbawockeez, “The Lion King,” “Chicago” and more. Tivoli Village, thelvpai.com

BUGS! July 15-Aug. 31, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. A live show starring creepy crawly pests of the Mojave. The daily show unveils the mysteries of local insects, arachnids and other invertebrates. Springs Preserve

FUNDRAISERS RAINBOWS TO THE SKY July 25, 5:30 p.m. The launch of the Little Miss Hannah Foundation is a summer fair with live music, dance performances, a raffle and more. The Little Miss Hannah Foundation works to gives support to families with young children who have terminal illnesses or other serious medical needs. The District at Green Valley, littlemisshannah.org

SMALV.COM 702.877.5199

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Desert Companion, July2012