Vegas Rated Magazine - January 2013

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drama, intrigue and sin are not words typically used to describe a casino buffet. But the Bacchanal Buffet at caesars Palace is anything but average. For one night, Vegas/Rated ran amuck in the 25,000-square-foot palace of culinary delights to tell A Tale of the Seven Deadly Sins (Page 36). and here’s what we found: At Your Service Nine stations where cooks prepare dishes to a guest’s liking—from the icy seafood raw bar to dIY asian soups to chocolate soufflés that are baked to order. Yum! Aw Shucks Nearly 2,800 oysters are procured daily (from both coasts), while crabs (well, their legs, anyway) move through the line at the rate of 800 pounds per day.


Roll With It Te sushi chefs at the Japanese station roll some 600 maki a day, along with 800 pieces of nigiri for guests to pluck at their leisure. Beefed Up Te carving station displays up to 500 pounds of beef daily, from prime rib to brisket that’s smoked in-house.

our angel Lucy Photographed by Harper Smith wearing an aLeXaNder mcQUeeN coat Wynn Las Vegas / 3

Luxury has progressed.

The 2013 Audi A7

Born from a blank sheet of paper, the Audi A7 is an athletic and poised 5-door coupe with the graceful look of a luxury sedan. More than a design icon, it sets a high standard for performance and handling as well. The all-new Audi A7 more than lives up to its dynamic looks and the automotive press from around the world agree. The old standards have ofcially been put on notice. To experience the Audi A7 and the rest of the 2013 Audi lineup, visit Audi Henderson today and find out why we are one of the leading Audi dealerships in the country.

7740 Eastgate Rd. Henderson, NV 89011 702.982.4600 •

There is something to be said these days for being caught in the intersection of art and commerce—both in publishing and in Las Vegas. Say what you will about the often-predicted demise of paper and ink; on a recent trip to my favorite newsstands I found no shortage of fodder. I stocked up on new inspirations, many of which came from faraway lands. Some of these magazines are completely indecipherable in message and tone. One was printed backward and sideways and upside down; another featured a hilarious photo essay of dogs suited up in ridiculous-looking S&M gear. And there was even one that boldly labeled itself the “Taste Issue”—against a visual of a heel hammering a peanut butter and jelly sandwich into a wall. From the consumer perspective, it might not be readily apparent what these magazines are selling, but a big part of what carries these publications in the international sphere is their excitement and one-upmanship. In theory, every page leads to something even better: a new discovery, a literal idea, a scary thought, an ambiguous point or a concept so obvious that it may go over your head altogether. A well-oiled corporate machine that has successfully packaged and sold itself in the psyche as a little bit taboo—but a little bit naïve, too—Las Vegas also often finds itself at this same crossroads. Without trying too hard, our visitors will naturally find something more exciting behind each door. But how far can we really go? Las Vegas is the place where everyone comes to get naughty, yet amid all the perceived debauchery there’s really big business at stake. We are a small town where millions can change hands in a single night. Our art is for sale at a price you might be able to afford tomorrow. Which brings me to the magazine you’re currently holding in your hands. The Beautiful People issue is a little bit art and a little bit commerce, and all for $4.95— a pretty good deal in my opinion. Unlike some of our other issues—Dining in October, Nightlife in December, for instance—this one isn’t about selling anything tangible. It most closely mirrors the magazines I read for inspiration. It’s pretty pictures with several tasty nuggets of info thrown in for good measure—a new strain of nutritional candy if you will!

What i covet Look closely! Te new line carmina campus features a clutch constructed from a trash bag and aluminum cans, and it’s designed by a Fendi. What more could a girl want? See Page 48

Who i knoW Te most beautiful people in Las vegas! meet our fine nine, and take a look at the parts that make their wholes so lovely. See Page 74

Where i eat china Poblano is one of my favorite restaurants in Las vegas, and I will be celebrating the Year of the Snake (February 10-24) with one of their signature cocktails. See Page 126

MeLINDA SheckeLLS Editor-in-Chief Follow us on Twitter @vegasrated

carmIna camPuS SPace WaSte coLLectIon

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Melinda: Ryan Reason; styling: nicole chandleR; haiR: MaRshall VanieRland; Makeup natasha chaMbeRlin; dolce & gabbana dRess, neiMan MaRcus, Fashion show

from the editor




“wHiCH oF tHe DeaDlY SinS are YoU moSt GUiltY oF CommittinG?” Harper SmitH

Smith graduated from the University of missouri with a degree in photojournalism. She photographed her first fashion story on a whim. Smith’s work ties in natural landscapes and dreamy scenarios, creating an alluring vision of the american desert. For Vegas/Rated, she shot a food-frenzy fashion affair (“a tale of Seven Deadly Sins,” page 36). “My biggest sin [while visiting Las Vegas] is trying to buy miniature pigs and monkeys in all of the exotic pet stores around town. And one-cent slot machines. So I guess that would be Greed.”

al powerS Since founding powers imagery in 2009, powers has focused on nightlife, sports and entertainment images. His work has been seen in People, USA Today and Rolling Stone. powers explores firsthand the bars of Downtown las Vegas, documenting their captivating scene (“around the Clock,” page 106). “I’m most guilty of Gluttony. Las Vegas has become a mecca of culinary greatness, and I have been known to indulge from time to time.”

max JaCobSon Jacobson is enjoying his 30th year as a food writer—12 of which have been in Vegas. His career took flight in 1984, under the guidance of ruth reichl at the Los Angeles Times, and he was fortunate to arrive in Vegas when the food scene really started to blossom in 1999. in this issue, Jacobson compares pork at two price points (“High/low,” page 56). “It’s between Gluttony and Sloth. Gluttony was once the clear winner, but now that my metabolism has slowed down, it’s probably Sloth.”

JeFF Green Green has been a professional photographer for 16 years. the longtime las Vegas resident’s graphic style, intuitive lighting sensibility and creative problem-solving earned him a list of top-notch national clients, such as Cartier, Giorgio armani, leo burnett, Samsung, wolfgang puck and wynn resorts. this month, Green tackles the luscious backdrop of Qua baths & Spa at Caesars palace. (“Spa Day,” page 66). “The sin I’d be most likely to commit would probably be Greed. When I dive into an interest or hobby, I go all out and usually overindulge myself. Whether it be buying watches, stereos or vintage vinyl, I can’t seem to stop myself from acquiring more and more.”

brian primeaUx a wardrobe and still-life stylist, primeaux started his editorial career while working as an art director in new York City, but now calls los angeles home. this month, he journeys to las Vegas to style a decadent fashion story (“a tale of Seven Deadly Sins,” page 36). aside from Vegas/Rated, his work has appeared in publications such as Elle, InStyle, GQ, Haute Living, Los Angeles Magazine, New York Magazine, Ocean Drive and Playboy. “I would love to say Sloth, but my work keeps me too busy! So I would have to go with Envy. Working in creative fields, it’s easy to look upon someone else’s great work and be envious I wasn’t part of the team.”

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michael skenandore melinda sheckells scott lien


laura j. downey


matt jacob


sean defrank, paul szydelko grace bascos, elizabeth sewell susanna bouse, paulina dimaguila, yazmin kelley, shawna matsunaga, molly trucano steve bornfeld, tiffany bosman, geoff carter, branden collinsworth, maureen hank, max jacobson, laura mier, benedetta pignatelli, c. moon reed, andy samuelson, michael shulman, xania woodman


jesse sutherland, zackery williams anthony mair, tomo bronques, hew burney, jana cruder, jeff green, eric ita, andrew sea james, kin lui, al powers, travis rathbone, harper smith


jacqueline bicknell christy corda


nicole feely


nicole bullis


marc barrington james bearse jasen ono


Michael Skenandore keVin J. WoodWard donna nollS Phil hagen


SherWin YuMul


BenJaMin Ward


kYle MarkMan roBert oPacki FranciS ShiroMa erica carPino luYin Zeng




face bo ok . com/ ve gasr at e d

@ veg asrated

pi n / veg asrat e d

Vegas/Rated速 is a registered trademark of Sandow Media, LLC and used in partnership with WENDOH Media Companies. Vegas/Rated (ISSN 2162-6340) Vol. 2, No. 5 is published monthly by WENDOH Media Las Vegas, NV.


JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT a unique luxury resort & casino / 877 552 7778 /







voluMe 2 | issue 5






v/Rated exclusives

in stoRe & on tRend

the culinaRy scene

Best Places to Get away FRoM it all

dine 17 the light Group ups the (Russian) ante at Red square

v/Rated 32 Making scents: new fragrances for a new you in the new year

v/Rated 54 dining decadence makes its way to the vegas buffet

v/Rated 60 spa treatments designed to turn back the hands of time

dine 20 Michael Morton plants the Mexican flag downtown with la comida

seven deadly sins 36 a trendsetting take on all things sinful, from greed to gluttony

hiGh/low 56 Pig out: head to chinatown to find fine swine at two price points

suite sensation 62 a viP experience awaits on the 32nd floor of the Monte carlo hotel & casino

Play absolut sings a sweet vegas tune


watch 22 MMa awards show promises to deliver a big knockout in the MoMent 24 snapshots of sin city’s party scene captured by renowned photographer Bronques

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cuRRent 48 ilaria venturini Fendi puts her fashionable twist on reuse Meet 50 at amari, Marisela altamirano proves that style exists far beyond the strip

sPa day 66 when a long night of partying starts to take its toll, Qua Baths & spa comes to the rescue







the city beyonD the strip

must-see concerts & shows

on the list & on the lips

v/rateD 72 say goodbye to the boring treadmill and hello to an alternative workout routine

v/rateD 88 the who rocks the hard rock and morrissey makes good at the cosmopolitan

v/rateD 104 six places to enjoy a cocktail and a conversation (seriously)

things of beauty 74 revealing the best body parts in the city

sin city Diaries 90 a titillating tour behind the scenes at the adult video news awards

chinese new year welcome to the year of the snake

calenDar 100 your monthly guide to shows on the strip

arounD the clock 106 on a rare night off, photographer al powers grabs his camera and heads Downtown

v/rateD 112 luck abounds from the color red to the number 8 beauty makeup artist whitney urichuk channels the exquisite east


the guiDe 120 eat your way to good fortune during the lunar new year libations 126 raise a glass to chinese new year at china poblano on a roll 128 from high-rollers to low-limit players, gamblers flock to baccarat and pai gow poker

ON the cOver: Lucy photographed by harper Smith aLeXaNDer mcQUeeN coat Wynn Las Vegas / 15

Vegas/Rated ExclusivEs our obsessions / VelVeteen rabbit / last night’s Party PULSE


anthony mair

Ice, Ice Baby

Lenin’s head, which was removed from the statue at the restaurant’s entrance, was frozen into a block of ice and put in the vodka vault.

red Square in mandalay Bay is now managed by Te Light Group, whose other Strip restaurants include Fix, Stack, Yellowtail and diablo’s. With the new year comes a fresh menu at red Square, a caviar program and a cocktail list with nine drinks by mixologist mike monrreal. Gone is the beloved chernobyl cocktail (think russian Long Island Iced tea), but here to stay are the revamped vodka flights and monrreal’s Sputnik Spritz. and the vodka vault remains intact, but now with new (faux) fur coats. 702.693.8300; / 17

Exlusives Exclusives PULSE

Te Dandy Warhol

o b s e s s i o n s / things we love

New, Now, Next Go West, Young Man Andy Warhol comes to the Las Vegas Strip at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art starting in early February with the exhibit Warhol Out West. Te collection’s 59 pieces focus on all things Western from the pop artist, including the rarely seen “Cowboys and Indians” series and his renowned “Double Elvis.” 702.693.7871; —Melinda Sheckells

Bright Lights, Old City Now that the Neon Museum’s tour and new visitors center is finally open to the public, we’ve found a cultural spot that doesn’t bore the nonhistory buffs among us. Te boneyard filled with Vegas’ rich relics is worth visiting over and over again. 702.387.6366; —Laura J. Downy Te Fanciest of Fancy Ham Can ham be sexy? Julian Serrano at Aria Resort & Casino, which already carried the 18-month aged jamon Serrano (no relation), recently began importing the highly coveted jamon Iberico direct from Spain. Sliced paper thin, each piece of pata negra, nutty and luscious, melts right on your tongue to answer that question: Sí. 877.230.2742; —Grace Bascos

Auto Banh

Laura’s shining star

No relation to Julian

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We Can Make Sandwiches Lee’s Sandwiches makes us banh mi, the EuroAsian hybrid snack on a baguette that’s baked fresh every 30 minutes. Te crusty baguettes are filled, still warm, with Vietnamese-influenced grilled pork or pâté, among other charcuterie, along with fresh, crunchy pickled radish and jalapeño slices, all for about $3 a pop. 3989 Spring Mountain Road, 702.331.9999; —Scott Lien

Andy WArhol, “CoWboys And IndIAns: GeronImo,” 1986, ColleCtIon of the Andy WArhol museum, PIttsburGh ©2012 the Andy WArhol foundAtIon for the VIsuAl Arts, InC. / ArtIsts rIGhts soCIety (Ars), neW york; stArdust: lAurA j. doWney

Monstrous Fun Te Fremont Street Experience gets its own permanent zip-line from where guests fly out of a two-tier, 120-foot, 11-story slot machine. Te name of the monstrosity? SlotZilla, of course. Prepare for SlotZilla’s invasion in June. 702.410.7999; —Elizabeth Sewell




/ Tune In

It’s Absolut(ly) Las Vegas D i n e / coming Soon: La comida

A Small Bite Downtown has a lot of things going for it right now. But despite the area’s profusion of hip watering holes, dining is still a challenge. Come spring, the Fremont East entertainment district will have a place for authentic Mexican cuisine, as presented by nightlife and restaurant impresario Michael Morton. Opening in March, La Comida (named for the family meal cooks eat communally before service) takes over 106 Sixth St., 3,000 square feet abutting the recently opened Commonwealth cocktail bar, and sharing that venue’s history as a former El Cortez laundry facility. Guests enter from the alley, dining at the 25-foot cocktail bar below restored church windows; in the dining room filled with found and reclaimed objects and with an open kitchen below a Dia de Los Muertos offrenda, or on sidewalk tables. There will even be a window on Sixth Street with stools that belly right up to the bar. “It’s got good bones,” says Morton, who also owns La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway in Wynn Las Vegas. “La Comida is a place where we want to hang out,” reads an informal mission statement by Morton and his wife, Jenna. “We have incredible memories of dinners with friends both in Mexico and here, when the combination of the flavors, the music, the camaraderie and, of course, the tequila made for the perfect feeling. We want to re-create that moment for everyone. That is La Comida.” –Xania Woodman

D i s c ov e r / Grab a Brew

A Plush Place

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and lounge filled with antique and found items, local art and music and, above all, genuine character. As co-owners, Pamela, 28, and Christina, 25, have spent the better part of two years combing thrift stores for the pieces that will adorn the 1,800-square-foot space, including the mismatched glassware with which they’ll serve affordably priced original and classic cocktails using seasonal produce, as well as craft beer and punch from a chalkboard menu. Although Las Vegas has been home base, their post-collegiate travels through

Tokyo, India, Nepal and Thailand contribute to the bar’s eclectic, bohemian vibe, which includes a wood plank edifice, a secluded back patio and chandeliers comprised of repurposed glass bottles and jars. “We want to make it really personal,” Pamela says, “and to put ourselves into this place.” velveteenrabbitlasvegas.blogspot. com –XW

Name Tat Tune, created by mixologist J.R. Starkus In a mixing glass, combine 1½ ounces absolut Pears, ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, ½ ounce St-Germain elderflower Liqueur, two dashes Fee Brothers Barrel-aged Bitters, ½ ounce Fever tree Ginger Beer and 1 ounce tune. add ice, stir and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. top with grated smoked cinnamon.


The Victorian era, known for its sentimentality, idealism and modesty, also gave rise to the Belle Époque and saw the gathering momentum of the women’s movement. No surprise, therefore, that sisters Pamela and Christina Dylag would choose the period as the inspiration for the bar they will open at 1218 S. Main St. in the Arts District. Named for the beloved children’s book and slated for a late-January opening, Velveteen Rabbit is transforming a forlorn former furniture showroom scarred by fire into a whimsical bar

absolut has to have had Las vegas in mind when it devised its latest marque, absolut tune, a harmonious blend of Sweden’s iconic vodka with sparkling New Zealand sauvignon blanc. Te curvaceous bottle arrives in formal dress, a sleek foil wrapper from caged cork top to bottom. But once “unzipped,” tune reveals a slinky little black-and-gold number, and she’s ready to party. tune, which debuted in Las vegas on 12.12.12, blurs the line between vodka, wine and bubbly—a fresh, fashionable fusion that takes bottle service to a more femalefriendly place. and come summer, tune will shine in poolside cabanas. But as summer is still a ways off, stay tuned with tune Bellinis over brunch, tune French 75s before dinner and tune bottle service in the club. vegas’ new ‘It’ girl has arrived. $450, Bagatelle Restaurant & Supper Club, 702.701.0200;;

Discover the exceptional taste of Grey Goose Cherry Noir.

G R E YG O O S E . C O M





Wat c h / Go the Distance

Knockout of a Night

Gifts Galore Next time you’re not sure what to get that special someone, consider paying a visit to Jonathan Nichols and Alan Shaw, who are in the business of unique gifting. After owning the luxury novelty store Seasons in Lake Tahoe for seven years, the business partners moved their passion for imports, décor and jewelry to Summerlin, opening J. Glenn 20 minutes west of the Strip. J. Glenn—think Nichols’ first initial and middle name—is packed with distinctive finds for women, such as Hobo wallets, Louis Vuitton and Prada fashion books, and plush animals by Jellycat for the little ones. What about the guys? “I recommend our Diving Men and Climbing Men sculptures by Global Views,” Nichols says. 750 S. Rampart Blvd., Suite 13, 702.425.7636; –Maureen Hank

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j. Glenn: Zackery Williams; sonnen: Denise Truscello

s h o p / make a memory

Heavy-hitters from the entertainment industry and the octagon converge at Te Joint in the Hard rock Hotel & casino to honor the power-players of mixed martial arts (mma) on January 11. UFc fighter chael Sonnen steps away from filming Te Ultimate Fighter 17 to co-host the fifth annual Fighters Only World mma awards with cBS sports anchor molly Qerim. Te duo reveal the winners from 21 fan-voted categories during this black-tie event. despite his well-earned reputation as being the biggest trash-talker in the UFc, Sonnen (pictured) promises to don a professional façade as master of ceremonies. “Tis is not my night. I am not being recognized,” Sonnen says. “I will honor anybody—friend or foe.” Tickets $25-$45 7:30 p.m. January 11 at Te Joint in Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 702.693.5222; –MH


In the Moment

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In the Moment PULSE

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT Part 2 In this second installment of photos (Part 1 appeared in our december issue) from photographer Bronques, Vegas/Rated dishes out another round of compelling nightlife snapshots. Bronques’ body of work is full of provocative images in the most unexpected places. Look closely—Bronques makes a rare cameo in front of the camera. PhotograPhy Bronques / 25

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In the Moment PULSE / 27


In the Moment

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In In the the Moment Moment PULSE / 29


IN STORE & ON TREND scentational sprays / a Fashionable Feast / ilaria Venturini Fendi


Well-Heeled amari Boutique carries everything from trendy dresses to casual wear. Te Henderson shop is a reflection of owner marisela altamirano’s stylishly polished closet. See Page 50

zackery williams

“I always err on the side of overdressed. Overdressed can be explained; underdressed is viewed as a lack of efort.” / 31

Beauty Balms

Be the Talk of the Town with a Spritz From One of Tese New Fragrances

JUIcY coUtUre viva la Juicy La Fleur Te Forum Shops at Caesars

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tom Ford Noir Nordstrom in Fashion Show / 33



ermeNeGILdo ZeGNa Italian Bergamot and Florentine Iris Crystals at CityCenter

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TAYLOR SWIFT Wonderstruck Enchanted Macy’s in Fashion Show

Where to Buy JUICY COUTURE Te Forum Shops at Caesars, 702.892.9600; NORDSTROM Fashion Show, 702.862.2525; ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA Crystals at CityCenter, 702.369.5458; MACY’S Fashion Show, 702.731.5111;

Forgive us our trendsetting tresPasses:

Feast and Fashion unFold in the Bacchanal BuFFet at caesars Palace

Header Here Greed KEVAN HALL dress; MON ATELIER coat; OSCAR DE LA RENTA fur and EDDIE BORGO earrings Neiman Marcus in Fashion Show; BASILE & PAPE BESPOKE


JEWELRY silver necklace; STEPHANIE ANNE gold chain necklace and pendant and ALEXIS BITTAR brooch Neiman Marcus in Fashion Show / 37

Sinful Fashion Gluttony Left: MON ATELIER dress; VAN DER STRAETEN necklace Neiman Marcus in Fashion Show Right: ST. JOHN COUTURE blouse and VAN DER STRAETEN earrings Neiman Marcus in Fashion Show

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Header Here

The Details Gluttony is everyone’s sin of choice when stepping into Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. Japanese design that incorporates organic, recycled and reclaimed materials, and also allows for natural light flowing in from the hotel’s Garden of the Gods pool complex. With more than 500 dishes, there are vices to suit all appetites. Cravings are satisfied at the hands of the buffet’s seven specialized chefs— which also happens to be the same number of mortal sins. Coincidence? Or just decadence? 866.733.5827; / 39


firm Super Potato created a space


Sinful Fashion

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Header Here


Envy Left: MARCHESA dress and POLOGEORGIS fur Neiman Marcus in Fashion Show; ISHARYA earrings Right: MARIA LUCIA HOHAN dress / 41

Sinful Fashion

Wrath Body: MALGORZATA DUDEK top and shorts; BASILE & PAPE BESPOKE JEWELRY bracelet Hand: BASILE & PAPE BESPOKE JEWELRY rings (top two and bottom); KARINE SULTAN ring (gold middle) 44 /

Header Here Sloth

HERVE LEGER dress Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood; KATE FERGUSON shoes; ALEXANDER MCQUEEN sunglasses Wynn Las Vegas; ALEXIS BITTAR bracelets Neiman Marcus in Fashion Show

shop / 45

Sinful Fashion

Pride DONNA KARAN jacket Crystals at CityCenter; KIKI DE MONTPARNASSE blindfold Crystals at CityCenter

Photography HARPER SMITH for Seven Artist Management Photography Assistant JACOB KHAN Styling BRIAN PRIMEAUX for Seven Artist Management Styling Assistants MOLLY TRUCANO, SHAWNA MATSUNAGA Hair STACI LINKLATER Makeup WHITNEY URICHUK using Make Up For Ever for Models Katelyn L.A. Models, LUCY Photogenics Media 46 /

Header Here


WHERE TO BUY ALEXANDER MCQUEEN Wynn Las Vegas 702.369.0510; DONNA KARAN Crystals at CityCenter 702.207.2420; HERVE LEGER Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood 702.732.4529; KIKI DE MONTPARNASSE Crystals at CityCenter 702.736.7883; NEIMAN MARCUS Fashion Show 702.731.3636; SAKS FIFTH AVENUE Fashion Show 702.733.8300; / 47

Current YES, I CANNED shop

PhotograPhy and Styling by benedetta Pignatelli

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Ilaria Venturini Fendi, daughter of Anna (one-part of the sisterly quintet that made their eponymous label an international phenomenon) has taken a dramatic departure from her early days as an accessories designer for the family business. With her current venture, Carmina Campus (or “chants of the field” in Latin), she delves into up-cycling, or reusing materials such as tires, soft-drink cans and endof-line fabrics (each item is numbered and one-ofa-kind). The brand promotes corporate social responsibility and has begun a new collaboration—“Not charity, just work”— with the International Trade Centre. It focuses on generating gainful employment opportunities in Cameroon and Kenya, where Venturini Fendi has also brought Italian artisans to train local workers. The Space Waste Clutch, shown here, $690, is made from a plastic trash bag that has undergone the same process that leather does when it is transformed from a hide into a jacket, has a real leather interior and comes with concave/ convex boules from cans.

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AlTAmiRAnO POses wiTH TwO Pieces fROm HeR BOuTique’s selecTiOn: A sTYlesTAlkeR dRess And J.J. winTeRs HAndBAG.


Style, Found by elizabeth sewell photography zackery williams It was the ultIMate “bItch stole My look” moment, and amari boutique owner Marisela altamirano contends she was on the losing end. “I had a really bad experience at 21 or 22, when I was caught in the same outfit as someone else at a bar, and she looked way better than I did,” she says. “I swore I wouldn’t shop at mega-retailers anymore.” It was then that altamirano began writing the business plan for her very own store, but the idea was shelved when she landed a job with a national rental-car company after college. a decade and two layoffs later, it was the 34-year-old’s fiancé who suggested she dust off her long-stashed business plan. “he sort of said, ‘It’s now or forever hold your peace,’” she recalls. the dream finally became reality in august with the opening of amari in henderson, a suburb about 15 minutes east of the strip. the store’s name is derived from her Mexican heritage, where it’s customary for one to sign their last name followed by their first. “a” is the first initial of her last name, and “Mari” is short for Marisela—it’s because of this tradition, people call her amari.

conscious of her embarrassing bar experience from years earlier, altamirano combed the Internet in search of brands not available in the mall. hence, amari’s racks are lined with flowy button-downs from Mink Pink ($84), stylestalker lace dresses ($180) and Jarlo london sequin blazers ($175), while fringe and snakeskin J.J. winters handbags (a favorite of such celebrities as Vanessa hudgens and sandra bullock) dot the accessory shelves. amari also stocks hard-to-find jewelry such as starburst rings ($58) by Maison De Morgana and bohemian headpieces ($60) from Vanessa Mooney. altamirano’s vision of the amari girl is polished like herself (she’s a strong advocate for designer heels). but the amari girl has also evolved to be inclusive of the neighborhood’s diverse cross-section of women. the boutique’s stylish basics are some of its biggest sellers, and altamirano keeps her buying flexible in an attempt to give amari broad appeal. “My goal is to give the community a place to shop.” 10271 S. Eastern Ave., Suite 114, Henderson, 702.476.3900;

Navigate the Neighborhood if you’re heading to henderson for amari’s unique fashions, make a day of it: here’s how. stop into Bread and Butter for a breakfast of freshly baked pastries and breads (10940 S. Eastern Ave., 702.675.3300; from there, a short drive takes you to the District at Green Valley Ranch, an open-air shopping destination featuring stores such as anthropologie and pottery barn, along with several restaurants and a whole foods market. the shopping district is adjacent to green valley ranch resort, which offers a movie theater, dining and gaming (2225 Village Walk Drive, 702.564.8595; offering the same treatments you’ll find on the strip—only without the price tag—Ritual Salon & Spa takes the stress out of a day on the town (9480 Eastern Ave., Suite 125, 702.254.2900; once you’re completely relaxed, head up the street and end your day with dinner at locals favorite Gaetano’s Ristorante, where a vintage italian menu is complemented by a warm, family-style atmosphere (10271 S. Eastern Ave., Suite 111, 702.361.1661; / 51


amari gives fashion fiends a reason to venture past the mall and into the city’s boutique scene




Go All In

Anthony MAir

Forget about bacon—it’s now about the whole hog

Tis Little Piggy Got Stuffed

Queue Up at Five Lavish Buffets (Page 54)

So often people focus on the fatty, smoked belly of the pig. It used to be just a breakfast staple, but now is applied to nearly every food group. Sing the praises of the other parts—especially around chinese New Year, when pork is eaten to represent wealth and prosperity. the suckling pig is roasted so that its lacquered skin crackles when you cut into it, so tender that you can merely pull at the bones and the meat tears right off—who wants just the belly when there’s the rest of the piggy to appreciate as well? See Page 56 / 53

V/Rated Insider Intel / it’s not champagne brunch without, well, champagne. While a few on this list offer bottomless bubbly at a supplemental price, sterling brunch includes your choice of veuve cliquot or Perrier Jouët to go along with your caviar and lobster.


Bacchanal Buffet / Caesars Palace Designed by Japanese firm Super Potato, the latest addition to the buffet of buffets is remarkable with its organic use of wood, metal and glass—so stunning that we decided to use it as the backdrop for our Seven Deadly Sins fashion feature (See Page 36). The buffet’s spread is worth a visit as well, with personal-size portions of chicken and waffles, a rotating tortilla comal at its Mexican station and a killer charcuterie program. $22-$45; 702.731.7928; Sterling Brunch / Bally’s This is often considered the original Las Vegas champagne brunch. In the early days, mere mortals weren’t able to enjoy free-flowing caviar (American sturgeon these days, but still decadent) and whole lobster tails—you had to be a high-roller or casino executive to gain access. But now, for less than a single Ben Franklin, you too can be poured bottomless brut, in addition to the indulgent spread. Sunday, $85; 877.603.4390; Fountains brunch at bellaGio

SmorgaSbord of fun From salad and sushi to charcuterie and bubbly, Feast on the Finest at these lavish buFFets by Grace bascos PhotoGraPhy Kin liu Wicked Spoon / Te Cosmopolitan Much like the chic property in which it’s housed, Wicked Spoon sought to redefine the Las Vegas buffet experience. Modeled after spreads found in Asia (with smaller, individual portions rather than big troughstyle eating), Wicked Spoon offers quality ingredients in an interesting mix of dishes such as roasted bone marrow, chorizo-stuffed salmon and pork-belly banh mi. $22-$38; 702.698.7000;

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Fountains Brunch / Bellagio There’s something special about sitting in the ornate dining room of Bellagio’s tony Chinese restaurant, Jasmine, on a sunny Sunday morning and watching the hotel’s famous fountains explode right outside while you nosh on fresh sushi, dim sum and Peking duck buns that are delivered right to your table. Non-Asian fare includes prime rib, a raw bar and slab bacon sliced to order. Sunday, $58; 702.693.8865;

Studio B / M Resort Drive way south on Las Vegas Boulevard (as though you’re headed for California) and you’ll find the M Resort’s underappreciated hero of the buffet scene. Not only are the crab legs already cut for you for minimum effort, but there’s an entire seafood spread on weekends. Beer and wine are included in the price, and the experience is dotted with live cooking demonstrations. $11-$40; 702.797.1000; sterlinG brunch at bally’s

choose from pricey swine or pork on a dime by max jacobson photography anthony mair

Low $10.50 (per pound) Roast PoRk / asian BBQ & noodLe The Chinese, like Americans, revere barbecue, and this comely little off-Strip shop has the best Asian pit master in town. The ducks hanging next to the counter are perfumed with Chinese five-spice powder, and the soy-sauce chicken is wonderful as well. The glory of oriental barbecue is chiu yuk—that’s roast pork to you, fella—with skin like a fried pork rind, and moist, sweet flesh. The meat is sold by the pound, skin on, but you can also ask for a platter that’s accompanied by a steamy bowl of wonton soup. 3400 S. Jones Blvd., Suite 5C, 702.202.3636

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High/Low HigH $180

Insider Intel / Not into the whole hog? Hong Kong Garden does offer the half suckling pig at half the price. If you still don’t want to commit to all that pork, asian BBQ & Noodle serves suckling pig by the pound on mondays only. Get there early to secure yourself some swine. / 57


WHole Roast suckling Pig / Hong kong gaRden Nothing says Chinese New Year like a pig roast, and at Hong Kong Garden—where the dining room is always crowded with Chinese families and adventurous Western palates—the succulent, tender, juicy roast suckling pig puts all others in the city to shame. Served on a gigantic platter 3 feet across, with paper thin, crisp skin, Porky has already been cut into uniform slices. All you need to do is pick one up, dip the flesh into a deliciously tangy sauce that accompanies it and enjoy. Just don’t let the kids see Babe first. 3407 S. Jones Blvd., 702.878.8838


GET AWAY FROM IT ALL 3-D wrinkle TreaTmenT / qua baThs & spa / aura-soma color synergy


A Colorful Comeback: Muted tones are out, and pop hues are in From pale pinks and blues to emerald greens and yellows, we’re drawn to different shades based on our mood, and for many spa programs in Las vegas, the healing effects of color therapy is serious business. Find out firsthand at Qua Baths & Spa in caesars Palace. Te spa offers its 135-minute aura-Soma Synergy treatment, which includes a consultation, colorful oils (pictured here) and a massage. See Page 66

zackery williams

TIME MAchInEs anTi-aging TreaTmenTs for The face, hanDs anD boDy (Page 60) / 59



properties of alpha-hydroxy acids and fruit extracts. An antioxidant is then massaged into the hands before a softening hand cream completes the experience. $40; 702.693.7472;

Time rewind

the facial room in the spa at trump

five spa therapies dedicated to reversing (or at least slowing) the years By elizaBeth sewell photography andrew sea james Forever Young / Qua Baths & Spa in Caesars Palace Originally developed to help Alzheimer’s patients, Idebenone found its way into the spa environment because of its antioxidant properties. Eliminating free radicals that torture the dermis and cause wrinkles, the compound is the basis for the 50-minute Forever Young body wrap. Therapists focus on the legs, back, abdomen and arms while applying a cleanser and Pro-Peel gel. Then the body is smothered in an age-defying cream and wrapped in a blanket. $180; 866.782.0655; Advanced Aesthetics Uplifting Facial / Canyon Ranch SpaClub in The Venetian Canyon Ranch is the first spa destination in the country to offer the About Face Advanced Aesthetics services. Featuring the Medik8 brand of green cosmeceuticals that meld natural botanicals with the finest high-tech ingredients, About Face treatments are expertly tailored to your desired results. The 80-minute Uplifting facial also incorporates the CACI facial toning and microdermabrasion machine

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to visibly reduce the signs of aging. $285, Tuesday-Thursday; $295, Friday and Saturday; 877.220.2688; Anti-Aging Hand Treatment / The Spa at Bellagio Always remember: The hands are a spyglass on your birth year. So throw them a bone while treating other problem areas. Available as an enhancement to any of the spa’s facial services, this treatment begins with an exfoliation using the rejuvenating and fine-line reducing

Stone Crop / The Spa at The Mirage Those eager to even out skin tone and fight the effects of pigmentation look to the stone-crop plant for assistance. The succulent hydrates while reducing unwanted discoloring because of age and sun exposure. Head for The Spa at The Mirage for this 50-minute treatment, as you’re first enveloped in a masque powered with the flora’s anti-aging benefits, followed by a massage with a moisturizer. $155; 702.791.7472; Enzyme Restoration Anti-Aging Facial / The Spa at Trump Eliminate the sagging of age by replicating the secret weapon of youth: collagen. Bathing the face in amino peptides stimulates the production of the crucial compound and gives skin a smooth, plump appearance. The 90-minute Enzyme Restoration facial uses amino peptides along with soybean-seed extract and a blend of plant oils to revitalize the face before a therapist administers a specialized neck and shoulder massage, along with rejuvenating masques. $215; 702.982.0000;

BEST TiP / Te 3-d wrinkle Beauty treatment offered at Te spa at red rock casino resort takes your skin to task. Known as a goal-oriented facial, guests experience an intensive treatment using phytomer/vie products and tools. first, the skin is thoroughly cleansed with a two-part system consisting of a toning gel and a cream. Ten, there’s a double exfoliant, double serum (applied after the skin gets a once-over from a special roller tool that agitates the derma to help the serums penetrate) and double mask. “you get twice as much,” says jeannie nagy, the spa’s lead aesthetician. finally, at the core of the wrinkle- and line-reducing magic is the peel, which comes in a creamy blend of lactic, salicylic and citrus acids. Te aesthetician gauges and customizes the peel’s intensity to prevent overstimulation. 80 minutes, $295; 50 minutes excluding the peel, $210; 702.797.7878; –Melinda Sheckells

Lofty Aspirations

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Suite Sensation

An under-the-radar hotel within a hotel allows guests to feel like a superstar By Laura J. Downey Photography Jeff Green / 63


Having a personal valet, in-room mobile concierge and a fridge stocked with your favorite goodies are all things that casino VIPs experience on the regular. You too can live the good life in the 1,200-square-foot Loft (one of four room types) at Hotel 32, the 50-room haven on the 32nd floor of Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. The VIP experience begins the moment you hop on the elevator (hint: it has red doors) that’s reserved for Hotel 32 guests with key-card access. A uniformed personal suite assistant then greets you, provides a tour of the floor and offers a tutorial for all the gadgets available, including the remotecontrol lighting, televisions, shades and the settings in the Kohler Hydrotherapy tub. Forget to adjust the room temperature before leaving for dinner? Notify any of the suite assistants, and they take care of it while you’re out and about. The one-bedroom loft features Strip views and includes an entertainment room with a 50-inch TV, a dining area with a 42inch TV and a table for four with high-top chairs, and a kitchen with a refrigerator, bar and snacks. $400 per night; Hotel 32 in Monte Carlo, 877.576.3232;

Suite Sensation Eat In


Too tired to walk over to Lounge32 for a continental breakfast? Stay in bed and order Te Stack, which includes buttermilk pancakes with toppings such as strawberries, bananas, blueberries or chocolate chips ($18); or snag a healthier option such as the Spa Omelet—egg whites, red peppers, onions and grilled asparagus ($14).

Colorful Forecast Tanks to a Kohler chromatherapy shower, rinsing off after a rough day of play becomes a colorful experience. Choose an ambience—options include sunrise, sunset, sunny clouds or thunderstorm— from the control panel.

On the Go Forgot your cellphone at home? Don’t panic. You’ll be given an iPhone with access to Hotel 32’s in-room mobile concierge service. Book spa appointments, request a wake-up call or make dinner reservations with just one touch. And, yes, you can call your cronies from the device, too!

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Beck and Call Want to jump in the tub but don’t have any bath salts? Tell your personal suite assistant, and they’ll have a butler bring you LeliaSea Luxury Bath Salts (gratis).

Š2012 Bombay Sapphire, the Bombay Sapphire Bottle Design and device are trademarks and/or registered trademarks. Imported by the Bombay Spirits Company U.S.A., Coral Gables, FL. Gin – 47% Alc. by Vol.

Enjoy Bombay Sapphire Responsibly.


spa Day

Rescue Me from rain showers to scalp massages, Qua Baths & spa replenishes body, mind and soul By Laura J. Downey Photography Jeff green

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PaRtying on the stRiP coMes at a hefty cost. factoR in the hangoveR, lack of sleep and a variety of toxins, and you might be in desperate need of a break—even after just one night out. Which is where the Qua Baths & spa at caesars Palace comes in handy. the soothing, 50,000-square-foot sanctuary stays true to its roots thanks to communal-style Roman baths infused with mineral-enriched waters, overhead rain showers and heated chaise lounges. combat sleep deprivation with the 80-minute sleep health massage, which uses carefully applied pressure and an essential-oil blend with hypnotherapy to help guests get a handle on their sleep patterns. this treatment is a part of the Wellness series—which also includes an anti-cellulite and body-firming wrap, “forever-young” facial and personal training sessions, all designed to nourish skin, maximize sleep and get you in tip-top shape. Within the Wellness series is the Wellness Program treatment, where an endermologie machine (used to remove cellulite) helps stimulate blood and detox the lymphatic system. finish in the two-level cedarwood sauna (where temperatures reach a scorching 180 degrees), or stroll over to the chlorine-free Jacuzzi (which restores skin circulation, energy and balance).

Tea Time Te spa even has a sommelier on duty (who knew?) preparing custommade beverages from its signature Qua-blend black tea, including vanilla, jasmine, passion fruit and citrus flavors. / 67

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Best Tip / Te Aura-Soma Color Synergy treatment is quite an experience (I cried tears of joy after my consultation proved to be spot-on with the current happenings in my life). Walk into treatment room Acqueo B, and the therapist will ask you to choose four from more than 100 colorful bottles of oil on the wall. Once you’ve chosen your fave color combinations (the bottles are separated into two colors—one on top and one on the bottom), the therapist will explain why you were drawn to the particular hues. Each bottle is numbered, which corresponds to a meaning. Te first container I selected was a magenta (top) and olive (bottom) combo (No. 109). Its shades translate to sincerity in love—letting go and acknowledging that we’re already forgiven. Based on the vials chosen, the room’s lighting is adjusted, and the reading is followed by a sedating massage with the oil from one of your chosen bottles. Bonus? You get to take one of them home! 135 minutes, $400 –LJD

Spa Day Bye-Bye Booze Bout Get back to normal with the 75-minute Qua Mystic Journey. Tis body-and-face combo from the organic spa menu starts with a lukewarm application of coconut argan oil along the spine followed by a ginger-lime sugar scrub. Ten you’ll be wrapped in warm towels during the scalp massage and Coffee Berry Yoga facial in an effort to stimulate the skin, detox and heal cell damage. $300

Train Me


Enroll in a private 60-minute Pilates training session in the fitness center (on the second floor of the Augustus Tower) to get your beginner reformer workout on. Pick one of two Stott Pilates machines to do the Hundred, Short Box series, frog legs and more. $100 for one person, $150 for two / 69

THE CITY BEYOND THE STRIP KicK Fit / Five OFF-the-Beaten Path WOrKOuts / vegas’ MOst BeautiFul 2013

DISCOVER Mirror, Mirror

jana cruder


Samantha Grimes often leaves her stunner shades at home so the world can see directly into her most splendid feature, her eyes. meet Grimes and eight more of vegas’ allnatural headturners. See Page 74

“Everyone’s eyes are diferent, like snowflakes. The uniqueness in shape, color and depth is such a phenomenon. Plus, the eyes are the only body part that naturally sparkles.” / 71


Do You Want MY BoDY? alternative fitness options keep vegas’ hot Bodies scorching all Year long


BY elizaBeth sewell

Shine Alternative Fitness Created by Cirque du Soleil performer Dima Shine and Zumanity assistant company manager Russ Petroni, Shine Alternative Fitness aims to give the public a taste of how the production company’s toned performers stay in shape. With classes such as aerial arts and pole fitness, guests are invited to soar and spin their way to good health. The real test is the signature Antigravity Yoga class. Traditional poses are performed with the aid of a suspended silk hammock to add a new degree of difficulty and cut down on muscle strain. Classes start at $15 per session 6415 S. Tenaya Way, Suite 100, 702.420.2358; Real Results Fitness Personal trainers Branden Collinsworth and Paul Rosenberg head up Downtown’s gym du jour. Real Results offers a 12-week fitness program, including a meal plan. With a training style that marries highintensity cardio with circuit training (abs, lunges, jump rope, weights and stretching), Real Results can condense workouts into 30-minute blocks to accommodate even the busiest schedules. If you can’t get to their

Downtown gym, the trainers will come to you for personal sessions. 1201 S. Commerce St., 702.331.3172; A-Team Training Center Native Las Vegan and fitness competitor Stacey Alexander has a body (and booty) to die for, making her a perfect role model for those looking to trim and tone. She founded Kickfit, a high-energy kickboxing workout set to music, and offers the classes along with a bevy of other options at her A-Team Training Center. The menu also includes strength-andconditioning classes, yoga and even a session simply called Beast, wherein participants haul sledge hammers and flip tires to earn their desired body. 3515 W. Post Road, Suite 125, 702.272.1656; Boot Camp Las Vegas Founder Julie Johnston was so desperate to lose weight she considered joining the military just to go through boot camp. Unwilling to enlist and unable to find the disciplined training she craved, Johnston started Boot Camp Las Vegas to provide intense outdoor workouts without any fuss. Classes convene at five parks scattered

throughout the Valley (or if you’d rather sweat indoors, try the 10,700-square-foot Camp Rhino), with participants spending an hour running sprints, pulling tires and swinging from jungle gyms. The fourweek sessions include body-fat testing, measurements and nutrition packets, as well as use of all the equipment—meaning the hardest part is just showing up. $15 per individual class 6635 S. Eastern Ave., Suite 101, 702.767.8797; Te Body Bar(re) Let’s face it, we all want a dancer’s body, and The Body Bar(re)—which bases its workouts on ballet moves—offers a glimmer of hope for non-ballerinas. Owners Sue Harragan and Tawnya Christian opened for business in 2011 after each discovered the workout on different coasts. Focused on precise movements and orthopedic stretching, barre classes elongate muscles to give a long and lean look. The gym also offers its take on the dance craze Zumba with zumbar(re), which mixes dance routines with the traditional barre sculpting moves. $20 per class 2530 St. Rose Parkway, Suite 150, 702.362.2773;

inSideR inTeL / FiTneSS on The FLy what’s the secret to keeping fit and sexy in sin city? real results fitness owner Branden collinsworth says there are hidden spots all around town that you can use to get in incredible shape for little or no cash. Tese five locations are guaranteed to amp up your routine. 1. it’s easy to work up a sweat when trekking up and down the city’s

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most famous boulevard. But when you’re in the mood for a challenging strip workout, the stairs at the fashion show are a must. 3200 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702.369.8382; 2. only a 20-minute drive west of the strip, red rock canyon offers world-class hiking trails and rock climbing. 1000 Scenic Drive,

702.515.5367; 3. with more than 10,000 square feet of trampoline, flipnoUt fun center lets you reconnect with your inner child and work out at the same time. 1841 E. Craig Road, Suite A, 702.257.3547; 4. every sunday, athletic-wear boutique lululemon offers free yoga classes taught by world-renowned

experts such as Jennifer knox and alyssa taylor. Fashion Show, 702.696.1282; 5. a monthly event downtown, Te reset project includes yoga, a healthy-eating seminar and an educational urban hike. $15 per person. Amanda Harris Gallery, 900 Las Vegas Blvd. South;

Beautiful People

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Tings of Beauty We All Want What Tey’ve Got: the Secrets to the City’s Best Bodies By Laura Mier Photography Jana Cruder


Lonnie Smith Best Feature: Stomach Age: 25 Hometown: denver You don’t have to be an athlete to get rock-hard abs—although in Smith’s case, it certainly helps. Te professional boxer, known to fans as “el Negromexicano Lightning Lonnie Smith” (and known to the ladies as “Lonnie Love”), keeps in shape with a rigorous routine of boxing drills, running and strength conditioning. But between matches, he also works as a personal trainer for real results Fitness Las vegas, helping regular Joes reach their fitness goals (follow him on twitter @135lbBeaSt). His advice for achieving chiseled abs? “Stay focused on your diet,” he says. “a lot of people lose their diet after a couple of weeks. Stay consistent.” Local Favorite: Whole Foods market, multiple locations, / 75

Beautiful People

Paul Chapman Best Feature: Face Age: 26 Hometown: San Francisco after a successful career in corporate real estate, chapman decided to shift gears into something a bit more exciting and fast-paced—namely, vegas nightlife. a vIP host for angel management Group, chapman spends his days (and nights) cultivating relationships with clients and mingling with the rich, the powerful and the beautiful—a role he easily assumes, given his polished style and boyish good looks. While chapman’s grooming regimen is pretty straightforward, he swears by Kiehl’s for his facial products. “Use a scrub and a good moisturizer,” he recommends. “Te opposite sex will appreciate it, I promise.” Local Favorite: Kiehl’s in Te Forum Shops at caesars, 702.784.0025;

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Meet Anastasia Koudriavtseva


Best Feature: Lips Age: 26 Hometown: clovis, california Te first thing you may notice about Koudriavtseva is her luscious full lips, but the russian cocktail waitress at Hyde Bellagio has a lot more going on than what initially meets the eye. Te biology student at the college of Southern Nevada aspires to become a sales representative for surgical equipment—a drastic departure from her previous experience as a cosmetologist for Bobbi Brown cosmetics. But her love of fashion and beauty still shines through with her distinctive style and perfect pout. “moisturizing is very important, especially in vegas, since it’s the desert, and it’s really drying,” she says. Local Favorite: cristophe Salon in mGm Grand, 702.891.3339; / 77



Adrianna Costa Best Feature: Hair Age: 31 Hometown: vallejo, california as a Las vegas-based Extra correspondent, costa has covered everything from the emmys to the oscars, but even when sharing the red carpet with Hollywood a-listers, her dazzling good looks haven’t gone unnoticed, as the brunette beauty also landed on FHM’s list of 100 Sexiest Women. For her perfect onscreen coif, costa swears by moroccan oil and keeping her strands on their toes by switching out shampoos and conditioners every few months. But her hair experiments haven’t always been successes: “I remember the first time I dyed my own hair in high school,” she recalls. “I used one of those over-the-counter products. It was supposed to add a nice ‘blackberry’ tone [but] instead my hair turned jet black, which at the time I thought was horrific. I guess for a high school cheerleader, goth doesn’t really work. If I only knew years later I’d be killing for that color.” Local Favorite: thebodybar(re), 2530 St. rose Parkway, Suite 150, Henderson, 702.362.2773;

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Beautiful People


Beautiful People

Carla Pellegrino Best Feature: Back Age: 43 Hometown: rio de Janeiro Being around food all day might expand some people’s waistlines, but chef Pellegrino—who oscillates between her two restaurants, Bratalian in Henderson and meatball Spot in town Square—seems to easily maintain her tight physique. Instead of focusing on certain body parts—such as her well-defined back and toned glutes—the Italian-Portuguese culinarian (she grew up in Loano, Italy) who recently appeared on Top Chef: Seattle takes a whole-body approach, running five to seven miles per day and supplementing her healthy diet with a potent mix of vitamins. “Te key thing is moderation and, more than anything, exercise,” she says. “Te results are amazing, and you don’t need to try too hard.” Local Favorite: color, a Salon by michael Boychuck in caesars Palace, 702.731.7791;

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Meet Skaught Gibson Best Feature: Hands Age: 37 Hometown: Las vegas as an experienced hairstylist and the owner of Josephine Skaught Hairdressing (the appointment-only salon in downtown’s art Square), Gibson’s hands are the medium through which his creativity flows. of course, that also means they’re subjected to countless washes and a rainbow of coloring products and hair treatments. “I always have to have my nails painted because they’re stained from hair dye,” Gibson says. along with routine manicures, Gibson keeps his moneymakers in top shape by slathering on super-emollient aquaphor lotion and getting hand massages to alleviate muscle cramps. Local Favorite: circa Salon, 90 S. Stephanie St., Henderson, 702.454.3805;




Cesar Salas Best Feature: ears Age: 33 Hometown: miami as the lead door host at tao Nightclub, Salas is a smooth operator. Te nightlife veteran is accustomed to handling crowds, recognizing key locals, managing guest lists and ironing out difficult situations with an easy finesse. By day, however, Salas prefers to unwind away from the bustle of the Strip, and the self-taught musician plays guitar or piano. “I learned to play by ear,” he says. “If I hear a song I really like, I’ll listen to it a few times, and teach myself how to play it.” Local Favorite: Zia record exchange, 4503 W. Sahara ave., 702.233.4942;

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Beautiful People Samantha Grimes Best Feature: eyes Age: 23 Hometown: Barrow, alaska With a schedule full of photo shoots and red-carpet events, you’d never guess that Grimes hails from the remote, arctic tundra, but after graduating from the University of Nevada, Las vegas with a degree in integrated marketing communications, the pretty publicist for magnetic Public relations seems in stride with the fast pace of her burgeoning career. although her beauty routine is low maintenance—she opts for dIY upkeep instead of salon services and favors a run in the park over the gym to prepare for glamorous nights on the Strip— Grimes ups the “wow” factor with Fluidline gel eyeliner and Zoom Lash mascara by m.a.c. cosmetics. “I love a good cat eye, and I think anyone can pull it off,” she says. “It brings a little more sexiness to your look.” Local Favorite: Sunset Park, 2601 e. Sunset road




Ian Clement Best Feature: arms Age: 35 Hometown: Pittsburgh as a red Bull musketeer, clement spends much of his time working sales and marketing angles during the day, followed by late hours in the nightclubs—a familiar environment after years of working at rain Nightclub. But in his free time, you’ll find clement far away from the party scene, hiking with his girlfriend through red rock canyon or taking cross Fit-inspired workouts together, which he credits for his sculpted arms. Te high-intensity mix of aerobic exercises and strength-conditioning moves runs the gamut from flipping tires to swinging sledgehammers. “It’s a whole-body workout, and it’s more about getting conditioned and getting fit,” clement says. Local Favorite: camp Fit Force, 2775 desert marigold Lane,

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Beautiful People



MUST-SEE CONCERTS & SHOWS The Who in ConCerT / mogWai noT moguai / baCksTage aT aVn

Come As You Are Who: What:

Lady Gaga Performing on Te Born Tis Way Ball world tour

When: 8 p.m., January 25 and 26 Where: Grand Garden arena at mGm Grand By now, you’ve probably heard that Lady Gaga has cut a jazz record with tony Bennett—an ambitious undertaking that, inexplicably, makes you worry a bit for the both of them. No matter. Tis show, reportedly finds the singer in extraterrestrial drag and sitting on a couch made of meat. Jazzy introspection will be kept to a minimum. Tickets start at $70 702.891.7777;


watCh / 87

New Year, Familiar SouNdS Start 2013 with ShowS by 1960S legendS, a re-united pop power trio and a toaSty nyc Ska band by geoff carter


January 19–February 2 House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Here are a few true statements about the great Carlos Santana, who’s continuing his residency at the House of Blues. Fact: He’s won 10 Grammys. Fact: He owns a chain of restaurants. And, fact: The orgasmic expression he pulls when playing long guitar solos masks his ongoing struggle to keep “Smooth” from getting stuck in his head. That song’s a freaking earworm from hell. Tickets start at $100; 702.632.7600; BEN FOLDS FIVE

January 25 The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort It’s been 12 years since Ben Folds Five gave us a new batch of what its namesake singer calls “punk rock for sissies.” Ben Folds, Darren Jessee and Robert Sledge have reunited for a new record, The Sound of the Life of the Mind—only their fourth studio record since 1993, remarkably—and a tour that will probably induce the creation of some very well-mannered mosh pits. Tickets start at $44; 702.942.7777; STREET DRUM CORPS

January 26 Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Among Green Day, Adam and the Ants and

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Santana: Gary Miller; natalie Merchant: Mark SeliGer

iT’S a daTe

take in former Dukes of Hazzard star-turned-broadway leading man Tom wopat, who performs “love Swings” at Te Smith center for the performing arts (January 11). feeling snarky? check out daniel Tosh when the Tosh.0 funny guy returns to Te mirage (January 11-12). Te adult video news (avn) adult entertainment expo takes over Te Joint (January 17-19), climaxing with the avn awards Show (January 19). Self-described “fluffy” comedian Gabriel iglesias keeps Te mirage in stitches (January 18-20). channel your inner Dance Mom, and soak up the performances of the internationally renowned Joffrey ballet at Te Smith center (January 22-23). bow down to former King of Queens star Kevin James at Te mirage (January 2526). achtung you little monsters, as lady Gaga presents Te Born Tis Way Ball world tour at the mgm grand garden arena (January 25-26). or go in an opposite—yet no less groundbreaking—direction when the brilliant inventor and author ray Kurzweil discusses his latest book, How to Create a Mind, Te Secret of Human Tought Revealed, at Te Smith center, as part of the audi Speaker Series (January 27). are you nostalgic for the alt-rock sounds of your school years, humming “like the weather” and “Tese are days” by platinumselling 10,000 maniacs? well, now lead singer Natalie merchant (pictured) is back, sharing her new folk sound as part of a worldwide symphonic tour. get into it at Te Smith center (January 29). –Michael Shulman


PlayED in vEgas

downloads to get you in the mood

by tiffany bosman that guy on the corner who beats on a laundry detergent bucket with drumsticks resides this Los Angeles band. Street Drum Corps produces its percussion-heavy pop-punk sound with pretty much everything that isn’t nailed down, from drum kits to power tools to strips of aluminum. Your ears will ring for days afterward. Tickets $15; 702.693.5000; THE WHO

February 8 The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino As cool as it will be to see The Who—at this point Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and a bunch of hired guns—playing the classic Quadrophenia LP in its entirety, it’s weird that they’ll be doing it a scant couple of hundred feet away from where bassist John Entwistle died of a cocaine overdose 10 years ago. It’s a gesture of forgiveness worthy of its own concept album. Tickets start at $350; 702.693.5000; THE TOASTERS

although I’m not sure how I feel about the outfit Wiz Khalifa wears on his album cover, I am, in fact, a fan of the album itself. Wiz isn’t blowing any minds here with his taylor Gang, megamoney, weed-game lyrical content, but his comfortable approach to the new set of songs makes it quite enjoyable to listen to. While there are a few aggressive tracks (“Work Hard, Play Hard,” “It’s Nothin” and “Initiation”), his full-length return mostly focuses on breezy laid-back beats and melodic flows. He pulls in quite a roster of featured artists, including Juicy J, Te Weeknd, Pharrell, 2 chainz, akon and even a voice cameo from his high-profile main squeeze, amber rose. Te hits: “Initiation” ft. Lola monroe, “remember You” ft. Te Weeknd, “medicated” ft. chevy Woods & Juicy J


February 9 The Chelsea in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas It even sounds like a Morrissey song: “Trudging slowly over wet sand, back to the place where my gig was canceled.” The Moz stopped his autumn tour shortly before he was supposed to play The Cosmopolitan in November due to an illness in his family, but now he’s making good on the date. Tickets $85; 702.698.7000;

A WreNChed VIrIle lOre MogWai mogwai, as in the Scottish post-rock band, should not be confused with moguai, the German trance dJ. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk remixes. A Wrenched Virile lore is the band’s second remix album, featuring

tracks from their most recent studio album hardcore Will Never die, But You Will—taken apart and reconstructed as the chosen remixers see fit. Te new products don’t line up in a row so well as a full startto-finish album, but a few really are worth the listen as stand-alone journeys into the sound abyss. If you’re into this sort of thing, grab the superlimited vinyl edition; only 2,500 were produced. Te hits: “George Square Tatcher death Party” (Justin K Broadrick reshape), “mexican Grand Prix” (reworked by rm Hubbert), “San Pedro” (Te Soft moon remix)

PAle FIre El PErro DEl Mar Flying relatively under the radar until now, el Perro del mar debuts her fifth fulllength album. Te LP sails steadily with the Swedish songstress invoking her signature fluttering layered vocals and simple lo-fi indie songs that have been frosted with a bit of newly adopted electronic production. In the same vein of fellow underground songbirds (think Lykke Li or Santigold), the lyrical content is conflicted and heavily hovers on longing, grasping at hope, moody reflections and revelations, such as on “Walk on By,”

where she sighs the wounded line, “Solitude’s my best friend, the only one who sees me cry. It tells me I will never need another man, if I keep my head up and walk on by.” Te hits: “Pale Fire,” “Hold off the dawn,” “Walk on By”

lIVe IN lONdON John DigWEED Tis collection is expansive to say the least, featuring a near five-hour snapshot of John digweed’s dynamic eight-hour underground dJ set that was recorded live in the mix at Bedrock records’ 14th anniversary event at Fire & Lightbox in London in october 2012. Te massive collection features tracks and remixes from more names than I have room to list, including tiga, Simian mobile disco, Justin martin, Gabriel ananda and Smash tv. digweed speaks out about how proud he is of this release and consoles those who weren’t lucky enough to be there by encouraging us to “turn the lights down low, turn the volume up loud.” Still not ready to commit without knowing what you’re really getting into? You can check out a preview of cds 1 and 2 on his Soundcloud page. Te hits: With more than 50 tracks, you’ll just have to dive in and decide for yourself. / 89


February 8 Hard Rock Café on the Strip Ska’s not dead; it’s just playing in smaller venues for more reasonable price points. This third-wave ska band from New York City has been making audiences jump and groove for more than 30 years, and that’s more than worth a $13 investment. Hell, if they play “Two-Tone Army”—which they likely will—it’ll be worth double that. Tickets $13; 702.733.7625;

O.N.I.F.C. Wiz Khalifa

Sin City Diaries

Hot Blooded

Sin City Diaries goes behind the scenes at the adult-video awards Photography Tomo By C. Moon Reed

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a multi-volume photo project documenting the erotic side of Las vegas, Sin City Diaries by tomo uses both a journalist’s eye and an artist’s sensibility. these fun and flirty images taken at the oscars of porn are installment No. 6 in the ongoing series.

Sin City Diaries


watCh / 91


sin City diaries

When the rest of the World Wants a thrill, they come to las Vegas. When las Vegans want a thrill, they go to the adult Video news (aVn)/ adult entertainment expo. the four-day festival of all things adult is inarguably the most delightfully debaucherous extended weekend of the year. If you only want to dip your toe in the (s)extravaganza, to be a looky-loo in this celebration of voyeurism, then just wander around the hard rock hotel on January 17-19. the halls are alive with the sounds of porn stars, their über-high heels click-clacking on the hardwood floors. the epicenter of the action is the hard rock’s Center Bar, where performers, fans and production crews meet for an orgy of conversation. (If you enjoy your double entendres as much as you enjoy your outrageousness, go watch adult entertainers eat at Pink taco.) the truly adventurous buy tickets to the adult entertainment expo, an event that was created for those in the business but has expanded to also become a place for fans to meet their crushes. (among others, award nominee nadya suleman, a.k.a. the octomom, makes an appearance this year.) It all builds up to the event’s January 19 climax: the adult Video news network awards. the oscars of porn is where the truly beautiful join the beautifully depraved for the industry’s biggest night of the year. It’s where physical perfection (often surgically achieved) gets an extra coat of pink lip-gloss. and while the adult entertainment industry is generally overwhelmingly friendly and gregarious, there is still a distinction between insiders and outsiders. for the January installment of Sin City Diaries, our intrepid shooter, tomo, takes viewers to the more interesting side of the velvet rope. In the name of photojournalism, the former war photographer gets embedded in the reality of fantasy-making, going backstage and behind the scenes with the contract girls of top production company digital Playground. (Check out alt-beauty stoya posing with rockstar dave navarro, and the indefatigable perkiness of Barbie blondes riley steele and Jesse Jane.) he finds unlikely elegance in a rogue film shoot, and captures intimate and unguarded moments of anticipation (and some moments of boredom). Because even in this titillating alternate universe, there are still quiet times when the most exotic women in the world wait in line, check their cellphones and adjust their shoes.

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Sin City Diaries

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“The fascinating thing is the ability to be backstage, where everything is real and unmasked. It’s almost this big letdown to see the business of creating a fantasy. Nobody looks as they look when they’re post-produced and have two-hour makeup jobs. The camera allows incredible access to see things in a more realistic way. Reality has more substance.” –Tomo

watCh / 95


Sin City Diaries

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“What is really stunning is how we’re in such a repressed country—and yet the porn industry is becoming more and more mainstream.” –Tomo

Sin City Diaries

watCh / 97

Sin City Diaries

“The challenge was approaching AVN for a mainstream publication. There was a lot of great photography coming out of the photo shoots, but it’s not PG-13. These images are limited in what we show and how we show it. ” –Tomo

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watCh / 99


The BeaTles love


the essential guide to the strip’s hottest shows

BLUE MAN GROUP Monte Carlo Surrealism meets avant-garde in The Painted Ones’ revamped show that satirizes our obsession with technology, combining theatrics, music and art into a bizarre, interactive stew spiced with percussion and humor. Tickets start at $65; Nightly except January 9; 800.258.3626; CRISS ANGEL BELIEVE Luxor Magician/illusionist Criss Angel rolls his showy legerdemain into the razzle-dazzle of Cirque du Soleil for a production that covers the magic waterfront, from the classic feats of Harry Houdini to Angel originals. Tickets start at $65; Dark: Sunday-Monday; 702.262.4400; JERSEY BOYS Paris Las Vegas One of the best shows in the jukebox-musical genre, Jersey Boys is a tuneful journey through

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the careers of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, their dozens of hits propelling the compelling story of their rocky rise to fame from the hardscrabble streets of Newark, New Jersey. Tickets start at $52.80; Dark: Monday; 702.777.7776; JUBILEE! Bally’s They’re not gone yet: Those classic showgirls keep the tradition alive in this paean to Old Vegas, a production show brimming with big numbers, classy ladies, lavish costumes, ornate sets and the nightly plunge of the Titanic. Tickets start at $57.50; Dark: Friday; 800.237.7469; KÀ MGM Grand Different from other Cirque shows, KÀ features an ever-changing stage that depicts landscapes such as a calm beach, a snowcovered mountain and an uneven sea. Tickets start at $69; Dark: Sunday-Monday; 702.531.3826; LE RÊVE Wynn Las Vegas French for “The Dream,” Le Rêve ripples out across an aquatic theater-in-the-round, creating a water ballet that incorporates swimming, fire and special effects for a show that could very well invade your nocturnal psyche. Tickets start at $105; Dark: Wednesday-Thursday; 702.770.9966;

THE BEATLES LOVE The Mirage Blend the 1960s—an era that was already psychedelic—with the breathtaking acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil, and put the music of The Beatles at the center of it, and you have a show that Sgt. Pepper would leave his yellow submarine to see. Tickets start at $79; Dark: Tuesday-Wednesday; 702.792.7777; MYSTÈRE Treasure Island After nearly two decades, Mystère—Cirque du Soleil’s first resident show in Las Vegas—continues to hypnotize audiences with upbeat music and thrilling acrobatics. Tickets start at $69; Dark: Thursday-Friday; 800.392.1999; “O” Bellagio From the phonetic French word for water, “O” consists of 85 cast members performing sensational acts in and above a 1.5-million-gallon pool. Tickets start at $104; Dark: Monday-Tuesday; 702.693.8866; ROCK OF AGES The Venetian Boy meets girl, ’80s-style, in this tonguedeep-in-cheek musical that celebrates and lampoons the decade’s glam-metal bands, with a rock-out score that combines Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar and Twisted

the Beatles lOVe: Tomo; zarkana: Jeremy Daniel anD richarD Termine


ABSINTHE Caesars Palace Staged in a tent, Absinthe is a carnival on acid. A leering ringmaster who calls himself The Gazillionaire banters profanely with his assistant, Penny Pibbets, a kind of potty-mouthed Betty Boop. In between the sex-peppered shtick, they introduce truly astounding acrobatic acts. Tickets start at $89; Dark: Monday; 800.745.3000;

Sister. Tickets start at $45; Dark: Monday; 702.414.9000; SOUL2SOUL STARRING FAITH HILL AND TIM McGRAW The Venetian The superstar country couple continues their semi-residency, a 40-show run spread over 10 weekends in five months. Inside the theater that formerly housed Phantom—The Las Vegas Spectacular, the duo reels off their hits dating back to 1993, when they first hit the Top 10 on Billboard’s country charts. Tickets start at $95.50; Dark: January 18-19 and 2526; 888.823.7685;

best tip / Several cirque du Soleil shows such as “O,” zumanity and Te Beatles LOVE offer discounts up to 35 percent when booking the tickets online through

ZARKANA Aria Resort & Casino Following successful engagements in New York, Russia and Spain, this Cirque du Soleil spectacular has found a permanent home in Las Vegas. Follow ringmaster Zark through the abandoned theater that serves as the backdrop for this extraordinary acrobatic circus. Tickets start at $69; Dark: WednesdayThursday; 855.927.5262; ZUMANITY, THE SENSUAL SIDE OF CIRQUE DU SOLEIL New York-New York Zumanity’s erotic acts feature contortionists, sex toys and more. The adult-themed show is sure to leave you feeling naughty. Tickets start at $69; Dark: Wednesday-Thursday; 702.740.6815;

zarkana / 101


ON THE LIST & ON THE LIPS a mEmoRaBlE poUR / six gREat BaRs / tHE diaRY of a paRtY BoY

On Tap Who:

Bartender Kailee Gielgens


Keeping party-goers lubricated with draft beer.

Where: commonwealth, 525 e. Fremont St., 702.445.6400;



downtown’s newest watering hole threw its grand-opening party on the memorable date 12.12.12, giving locals a taste of what’s to come from the east coast-style pub. the airy establishment features a rooftop patio, hand-painted collages on the walls and 36 beer taps with eclectic pull handles, such as a vintage boxing glove, a mason jar and even a piece of original parquet floor from Boston Garden. / 103


got one. 4640 Paradise Road, 702.791.5775;

douBle down saloon

Bars where conversation can actually Be heard are all over the city By Geoff carter and xania woodman

Parasol Up and Down / Wynn Las Vegas This is the origin of some of the city’s best cocktail innovations. So whether you’re in the mood for a modern creation or a twist on the standards, property mixologist Patricia Richards has you covered, and always with her organic, earthy touch. Get in on the action at Parasol Up on the casino floor and overlooking Wynn Las Vegas’ Lake of Dreams, or descend the escalator to the more intimate Parasol Down. Offering the same menu only without the hustle and bustle, Parasol Down also has a terrace that puts you nose-to-waterfall with Mr. Wynn’s lake. 702.770.7000;

Double Down Saloon Although owner P Moss would likely bristle at the words “venerable” and “institution,” there’s no better way to describe this punkrock dive bar near UNLV. The Double Down Saloon, which has been getting people drunk since 1992, is a credit to Vegas in its every detail: the psychedelic murals, the punk and garage bands on its tiny stage and the wildly eclectic selection of music in its jukebox. And then there’s Ass Juice, the magical shooter served in miniature toilet bowls. No wonder New York City asked for a Double Down of its own—and

Te Griffin Offering the charmingly disorienting amalgam of exposed brick, dark wood, fireplaces and one of the best jukeboxes in town, The Griffin has the tendency to keep patrons asking, “Am I really in Las Vegas?” Settle into one of the cozy deep red booths, or just grab a spot by the fireplace and drink the not-overpriced Johnnie Walker (neat) or pints of Speckled Hen. Go during the week for a late happy hour (10-11 p.m.) featuring $1 Hamm’s beer and $3 cocktails. 511 E. Fremont St., 702.382.0577

mixologist Juyoung Kang, a Philadelphia native and former bartender at comme Ça in Te cosmopolitan, has flown the strip and alighted downtown at commonwealth. like the east coast-style bar itself, her debut menu is a marriage of old and new: classic techniques, novel points of view, time-tested spirits and fresh ingredients. inspired originals mingle with refined classics (think sidecars and french 75s) on a two-part menu (“common” and “wealth”). in crafting cocktails for the common man and wealthy man alike, Kang, of course, also looks out for the ladies. Te liberal lady—a kinda-sorta bourbon fizz—tempts whiskeywary females to get in the game with honey-sweetened whiskey and lightly effervescent Prosecco. now, that one’s not a classic cocktail—well, not yet. 525 E. Fremont St., 702.445.6400; –XW the liBeral lady

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Double Down saloon: Marvin lucas; the liberal laDy: Kin liu


Fireside Lounge / Peppermill If the crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation time-traveled back to December 1972 to hold a swinger’s party, this dark, sexy scifi make-out chamber would result. People come from all over the universe to drink bowl-size cocktails (such as the mighty Scorpion) around the pit of firewater. The servers wear long black gowns and sit down to take your order—a classy touch—and televisions abound; they were reportedly installed because of rampant exhibitionism. 702.735.4177;

Golden Steer Steakhouse Don’t make the mistake of being hoitytoity here. This is a place that’s been pouring its spirits neat, up or on the rocks for locals (celebrities included) since 1958. And the only thing “skinny” here is the dame giving you the come-hither look from the corner seat. Buy her a spritzer; chivalry still lives within these aged walls, where some staff member’s have been around longer than the furniture. 308 W. Sahara Ave., 702.384.4470;

Around Town

clock me

Where the locals go: Nightlife photographer Al Powers heads Downtown during a rare night off from work From shooting celebrities to sporting events, Al Powers is the multifaceted photographer behind Powers Imagery. He and his army of shutterbugs capture moments across the city for companies such as Tao Nightclub, UFC and Red Bull. 6:31 p.m.: I was off work on a Friday night—weird, I know—so I called my friends Paul Chapman, a host at Pure Nightclub, and Savannah Moline, bachelorette party coordinator for Tao. We decided to hit First Friday, the Downtown arts festival, since I’d never been before. I waited on Coolidge Avenue and Casino Center Drive for Paul and Savannah. Then we headed over to the exhibitions, which featured many cool artists such as nuclear engineer Dirk Schmidhofer. He showed us his “Sonic Wave” machine, which makes music and changes color with the wave of a hand. 7:33 p.m.: Photographer Jill Pham texted me after she saw on Twitter that we were Downtown. She told me to stop by her studio, Gin & Sake Photo (1104 Third St., 702.686.8601; Jill and her partner Brandon Collup recently went to Paris, and they were showcasing some great photography from their trip. After our visit, we started to get hungry. 8:03 p.m.: We decided to grab some Thai food, and as we walked toward Le Thai (523 Fremont St., 702.778.0888;, we stumbled upon Sweet Spot Candy Shop (616 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Suite A, 702.815.1277; I have a weakness for purple, grapeflavored gummy bears, so the owner picked out a bunch. However, I didn’t want to carry them around all night, so I asked Savannah to put my candy in her purse. She obliged, and then proceeded to use the candy box as a drink holder—simply hilarious.


8:49 p.m.: When we got to Le Thai, it was slammed, so we decide to grab a drink at Vanguard Lounge (516 Fremont St., 702.868.7800; across the street. We headed back over to the restaurant to be seated and were joined by Lauren Rogat, director of marketing for Fine Entertainment, and Steve Flynn and Michelle St. Angelo from Langdon Flynn Communications. After stuffing our faces, we decided to check out the recently remodeled Fitzgeralds, now known as The D Las Vegas (301 Fremont St., 702.388.2400; Their massive D bar gives you your money’s worth in liquor: My $7 Patrón and pineapple had about half a bottle of booze. 11:01 p.m.: After toasting under the Fremont Street Experience canopy, we popped over to Don’t Tell Mama (517 Fremont St., 702.207.0788) for another drink and some music. After a group rendition of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” and a few more drinks, we called it a night.

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12:33 a.m.: Since my business is on the Strip, I tend to forget about how much fun can be had Downtown, but this night reminded me—a night with no agenda, just carefree experiences with friends and a great change of pace from the glitz of Strip nightclubs, electronic music and celebrities.

11:01 pm

7:33 pm

8:49 pm 12:33 am

8:03 pm

6:31 pm / 107

gung hay fat choy LUCky No. 8 / EAstERN BEAUty / spiRitED CoCktAiLs

Snake Charmer

Las Vegas loves Chinese New Year


Te Year of the Snake, which begins February 10, is a twoweek-long celebration promoting happiness, prosperity and good fortune. Tousands of visitors flock to the city for the festivities, and nearly every resort on the Strip uses feng shui, lion dances and other auspicious symbols to usher in good luck. even if chinese New Year isn’t your thing, adding more luck to your vegas experience is never a bad thing.

Dim Sum anD Den Sum A GUiDE to thE LUCkiEst DishEs iN towN (page 120)

maKe UP For ever Hd Foundation, aqua Black eye shadow, aquarelle #15 eyeliner, aqua Lip #8c lip liner and aqua rouge #8 lip color Sephora in Te Venetian; Face Lace eye Lace Fleurty / 111


Te ceremonial lion dance at wynn las vegas

Welcome to the Year of the Snake a guide to the traditional symbols of the lunar new year by grace bascos The Color Red In Asian cultures, red symbolizes happiness and good luck, so wear a splash of the bold hue during Chinese New Year (February 10-24). No red clothing? Check out Encore Las Vegas’ gaming area, which is the reddest casino in town, and then hop on over to Surrender, the red-hued club with a giant snake on the wall. Encore Las Vegas, 702.770.7000;

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Dumplings While there are many symbolic foods you can eat for Chinese New Year to ensure prosperity, nothing beats the dumpling, or jiaozi. The little packet usually contains a morsel of ground pork and shrimp, and resembles ancient gold and silver ingots. Dumplings help to bring wealth, so load up on every type at KJ Dim Sum and Seafood at the Rio. KJ Dim Sum and Seafood, in Rio Las Vegas, 702.777.7777; The No. 8 Chinese New Year is usually brought to us by the No. 8. The nice round symbol is considered one of the most auspicious

numbers in Chinese numerology, as the word in Mandarin or Cantonese sounds like the word for “wealth” or “prosperity.” Multiple 8s are even luckier, so feel free to split them in blackjack or put it all on the 8 in roulette— perhaps at The Cosmopolitan, whose address happens to end with an 8. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 702.698.7000; The Snake Those born in the Year of the Snake (1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989 and 2001) are said to be philosophical, wise, intuitive, charitable and sexy. But if you’re not a snake, don’t feel left out. The Palazzo welcomes you to take in the sights during Lunar New Year. In addition to a 40-foot-tall peach blossom tree, this year’s attraction includes a 98-foot-long animated snake. The Palazzo, 702.607.7777;

Erik kabik

Red Envelopes If red is the color of happiness, then a red envelope contains that which makes us (mostly) happy. The ornate packets are often filled with money and given out at weddings and during special occasions. If you’re handing out cash on Chinese New Year, securing it in a red envelope signifies that you wish the recipient good luck while warding off evil spirits at the same time. Pick up gold-embossed red

envelopes in shops around Chinatown Plaza, which also hosts a Lunar New Year Festival on February 17. Chinatown Plaza, 4255 Spring Mountain Road, 702.221.8448;

Chinese New Year

ExquisitE East Inspired by the theatrics of Chinese New Year, makeup artist Whitney Urichuk uses a palette of red, gold and black to evoke the Year of the Snake PHOTOGRAPHY JANA CRUdeR

Good Fortune

beauty 114 /


Urichuk’s tip: To give makeup an interesting dimension, apply an adhesive Face Lace mask to the side of the face, allowing one eye to peer through.



MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Foundation, Aqua Cream #11 and Aqua Black eye shadows, Aqua Lip #8c lip liner and Aqua Rouge #8 lip color Sephora in The Venetian; FACE LACE Renaissance demi veil; OPI The Spy Who Loved Me and ESSIE Ruby Slippers nail polishes Target



Urichuk’s tip: A clean face is the basis for a dramatic buildup, and this simple look uses a strong red lip and lashes to make an effortless statement. After the lip color dries, coat the pout with gloss for a shiny hue that won’t smear.

maKe UP For ever Hd Foundation, Forever aqua cream #11 and aqua Black eye shadows, aqua Lip #8c lip liner and aqua rouge #8 lip color Sephora in The Venetian


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Chinese New Year Prosperity


Urichuk’s tip: Mixing the red and pink from Make Up For Ever’s Flash Color Palette adds a vibrant pop to the lids. The detail work around the edges of the eyes mirrors the Face Lace but is handcrafted.

maKe UP For ever Hd Foundation, aqua Black and Flash color Palette in red and Pink eye shadows, aquarelle #15 eyeliner, aqua Lip #8c lip liner, aqua rouge #8 and Flash color Pink lip colors Sephora in The Venetian; oPI Privacy Please and the Spy Who Loved me nail polishes Target; 20-year-old el Salvadorian lace (on nails) Stylist’s own / 117



Urichuk’s tip: To add minute details, use the fine tip of an eyeliner pencil, along with a small delicate brush, which allows for intricate strokes.

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maKe UP For ever Hd Foundation, aqua Black and Flash color Palette in red and pink eye shadows, aquarelle #1 eyeliner, aqua Lip #8c lip liner, aqua rouge #8 and Flash color Pink lip colors Sephora in The Venetian


Urichuk’s tip: For the perfect cat eye, apply liner with a flat brush, and then use an angled brush to shape the edges. maKe UP For ever Hd Foundation, aqua Black eye shadow, aqua Lip #8c lip liner and aqua rouge #8 lip color Sephora in The Venetian; Face Lace eye Lace doddles calligothic; oPI Goldeneye nail polish Target

Photography JaNa crUder Retouching HaoYUaN reN Hair & Makeup WHItNeY UrIcHUK for one Luv agency using make Up For ever and Face Lace Nail Artistry marIa GaraY Model SereNa Photogenics Location provided by FreshWata/ WHere to BUY Sephora Te Venetian 702.735.3896;


target Multiple locations / 119

The OT her Ne w

Year How to put tHe “fat” in GunG

hay fat choy!


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the Guide

By Gra ce Basc


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Max Ja coBson

dim sum offerings (clockwise from top left: steamed jiaozi, spring rolls, bbq pork bun, pot stickers, shumai and glutinous rice dumplings) / 121

Chinese New Year

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dumplings at Ping Pang Pong in gold Coast hotel & Casino

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Jasmine in Bellagio opposite page: Fun gor

The Guide

There are myriad rituals you can do to invite good luck into your life during Lunar New Year: Sweep the entire house, rearrange furniture so it’s feng shui-friendly—or have a lion dance its way through your business. Lucky for you, Vegas/Rated tells you where to perform the easiest and tastiest ritual of all: eating the right dishes.

Tao Asian Bistro / Te Venetian The sexy eatery-cum-nightclub offers guests an extensive pan-Asian menu to help get the night started right. Celebrate in style with Tao’s Chinese New Year special of twin lobster tails fried Szechwan-style, and finish with sweet “gold coin” almond cookie sandwiches. 702.388.8338;

Fú / Hard Rock Hotel & Casino The most recent Chinese eatery to open in Vegas, Fú means “luck” (of course), and is owned and operated by the Woo family, which has enjoyed a long and successful run of restaurants in the city since the ’70s, beginning with the Mayflower on Paradise Road. Looking to cover your Lunar New Year bases? Fú’s menu features not only authentic Chinese fare, such as Hong Kong-style roasted duck noodle soup, but also dishes that reflect other Southeast Asian influences. Eating a little something from each culture never hurts. 702.522.8188;

Rice & Company / Luxor Welcome the Year of the Snake in this expansive 10,000-square-foot restaurant. The sushi bar and lounge offer contemporary Chinese favorites such as Mongolian beef and kung pao chicken, as well as an array of sushi and sashimi selections, including innovative rolls geared toward holidays and celebrations. 702.262.4852;

Diaoyutai State Guesthouse Culinary Festival, Tuscany Kitchen / Bellagio If you’ve ever wanted to experience how Chinese VIPs celebrate Lunar New Year, this is it. The Diaoyutai State Guesthouse of China is an exclusive retreat for Chinese royalty and world leaders. With great pomp and circumstance, China’s premier culinary team ushers in the Year of the Snake with an exquisite culinary festival, creating a menu that consists of rare, intricate dishes only a select few in the world get to experience. The four-day event, February 13-16, begins at 7:30 p.m. nightly in Tuscany Kitchen. Tickets are $500 per person, all-inclusive. 702.987.6667;

MOzen Bistro / Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas Versatility is the ticket at MOzen Bistro, an elegant, intimate, genteel dining room that caters to many of the city’s Asian visitors. Options include a full Japanese bento-box

breakfast of teriyaki salmon, miso soup with all the fixings, or Chinese congee with garnishes such as braised peanut, spring onion and fresh ginger. 888.881.9367; Social House / Crystals at CityCenter A spot to see and be seen, Social House isn’t just good for your social life. The cuisine, influenced by the flavors of Japan and Southeast Asia, features home-style favorites such as the Filipino crispy pata, refined for the upscale diner, and Chinese-influenced Kurobuta pork ribs glazed with garlic sweet soy sauce. 702.736.112; Zine Noodles & Dim Sum / Te Palazzo When clams are steamed open, they represent the opening of new horizons. But when they are steamed open like Firecracker Manila Clams, with a combination of Chinese white wine, fish paste and spicy roasted pepper, the dish entices the New Year to be a wealthy one. 702.607.2220;

Jasmine / Bellagio Jasmine offers guests a dim sum lunch during the weeks of Chinese New Year. With a view of the Bellagio fountains, this is one of the most spectacular rooms in which you can invite prosperity to join you, over an order of har gow shrimp dumplings or plump and juicy shumai. 702.693.7223; / 123

The Guide

Beijing Noodle No. 9 / Caesars Palace The restaurant is housed in a laser-cut metal box, projecting thousands of glowing flowers. Designer Yukichi Kawai modeled it after the Bird’s Nest, the main stadium at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. As you walk in, chefs are making hand-pulled noodles—rolling, twirling and stretching dough until it magically turns into long strands. You can eat them with sauces, such as pork with mushroom. Come for the dumpling and dim sum selection, and try the Special Beef Pancake, a soft dough stuffed with a spiced minced-beef patty that’s shaped like a hockey puck. 877.346.4642; KJ Dim Sum & Seafood / Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino The original KJ Kitchen on Spring Mountain Road in Chinatown is a restaurant of choice for Chinese speakers from Southern California, thanks to a huge menu of authentic dishes such as Concubine’s Chicken (oil-bathed chicken served cold with garlic-ginger puree) and Thai-style sweet-and-sour duck feet.

in LuxoR; oppositE pAgE: spiCY thAi NooDlEs At Fú in HaRd Rock HoteL & casino

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Wing Lei / Wynn Las Vegas Now in its eighth year, Wynn Las Vegas’ sophisticated Chinese restaurant offers its popular prix-fixe holiday brunch to commemorate Lunar New Year, where guests can enjoy traditional dim sum intricately made by classically trained Chinese chefs. 702.770.3463; Food Express / Palace Station Palace Station’s unassumingly named but traditionally authentic Chinese restaurant offers Peking duck, a must for Lunar New Year. The skin of the duck is crispy and shiny with a nearly lacquer-red finish, and is served with steamed buns for guests to create their own duck bao. Place slices of duck into the warm bao and dress with scallions, cucumber and hoisin sauce for a bit of crunchy texture to go along with juicy and tender duck. 702.367.2411;

Ping Pang Pong / Gold Coast Hotel & Casino Ping Pang Pong rings in the Chinese New Year with a gala dinner. Taste the Eight Treasure Chicken, whole braised abalone with Chinese greens, spicy-salt pork chops and other delicacies, as well as many dishes that symbolize luck, prosperity and long life—the holy trinity of Chinese culture. 702.367.7111; China Mama Dumplings are a staple for the New Year, as they signify togetherness. China Mama’s variety, better known as xiao long bao—or steamed juicy pork buns—holds steaming soup along with a nugget of ground pork inside a paper-thin wrapper. Carefully extract the dumpling from the steamer without tearing the bottom and place on your spoon. Bite off the top of the dumpling, then slurp the hot soup. Pour a little bit of the accompanying black vinegar into the nowdry wrapper, and eat. Gung hay fat choy! 3420 S. Jones Blvd., 702.873.1977 Las Vegas Chinatown Plaza 4255 Spring Mountain Road On February 17, off the Strip in Vegas’ actual Chinatown, a daylong festival held by members of the city’s Asian community features traditional folk dancing, martial arts, and lion and taiko drum parades. Nearly 5,000 people show up for the festivities and dig into the array of cuisines—from Hong Kong to Hawaii—for the tasting. 702.221.8448; INSIDER INTEL / BouNTIfuL ALTERNATIvES For non-gamblers and non-drinkers who wish to take part in the Chinese New Year festivities but want to keep money in their wallets and their minds clear, Vegas offers plenty of options. Numerous parades— highlighted by colorful dragon and lion dances—take place across the city, with the bigger events centered in Chinatown and Downtown. Extravagant floral displays and two-story-tall animated dragons are prominently centered inside Asian-catering hotelcasinos such as Bellagio, Te Venetian and the Wynn, making the Chinese New Year one of Vegas’ most vibrant annual celebrations. –GB

spicy thai noodles: erik kabik

this pAgE: Big DADDY roll At Rice & company

With a whopping 55 varieties of dim sum and hundreds of other dishes, it’s almost like being in Hong Kong. 702.777.7777;

The Guide






Libations haIr of The snake chiNa poblaNo creates fresh cocKtails aNd cuisiNe for the luNar New year celebratioN by meliNda shecKells Chef José Andrés’ restAurAnt ChinA PobLAno is something else. Just don’t call it a fusion restaurant. the two cuisines here—Chinese and Mexican—are mostly kept separate and distinct. one side of the room features a dim sum station with a bona fide noodle master, while the other side has two comals for handmade tortillas and a plancha, or flat metal grill. Amid all the playful décor, Asian visages such as those of Mao and the dalai Lama flash on digital panels. building on a tradition that started with its first celebration of Chinese new Year in 2011, China Poblano goes all out to welcome the Year of the snake, with signature cocktails created by mixologist Juan Coronado and served by lead bartender danielle Griffin, and a special menu that’s available the entire month of february. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 702.698.7900;

Te Cocktails

Known as the little sister of the Negroni, the Mei Mei is a party in a glass, with blended scotch, aperol, fivespice syrup and lychee moi rim. Te pleasingly hued cocktail is garnished with a crystalized date made in the dim sum kitchen. Te Imperial Tea spices up the daily tea routine (served in a traditional canister) with jasmine-infused white rum, calpico and orange juice.

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Intel / china Poblano’s ice comes υInsider from a factory in california, made in just the right size and shape with the all-important melt factor, so as to not dilute its delicately made cocktails.

Te Plum Delight is a refreshing concoction of aged rum, maraschino liqueur, plum syrup, bean paste and lemon.

Order Up: Te Menu GreG Powers

Goose, Goose, Duck is a combination of seared foie gras and salted egg custard with a hint of blood orange. The Phoenix Shrimp features Hawaiian blue prawns balanced with crispy wheat noodles and a Jindo curry sauce. Xinjiang Uyghur Lamb Chops are grilled tender with toasted cumin, sweet onion and the essence of pomegranate. / 127

on a roll GAMING

here’s the deal by andy samuelson

New Year’s eve iN Las vegas is a sight to see, as the strip shuts down to vehicle traffic and more than 300,000 revelers fill the street. But for casino numbers-crunchers, the more important celebration comes a month later, when an influx of influential asian high-rollers descend to commemorate Chinese New Year—and they often arrive with their wallets wide open. the “Year of the snake” begins February 10 and runs 15 days in conjunction with the Lunar New Year, and it’s the best time to invite luck and good fortune—particularly on the casino floor as it pertains to the two most popular games with asian gamblers. Banking on Baccarat the game made famous by James Bond has become a cash cow for Las vegas, making baccarat the city’s most lucrative table game since 2009—surpassing both blackjack and craps, according to figures from the University of Nevada, Las vegas’ Center for gaming research. statistics from the Las vegas Convention and visitors authority show a direct connection, as visitors from China and hong Kong grew 79 percent since 2007—and boy, are they blowing through some dough. one night during the last Lunar New Year, wynn Las vegas pocketed $16 million from the tables—the most lucrative night in its history. Beginner’s Luck … Despite the high opening hands—ones that often start at $10,000— baccarat is one of the easier casino games to learn. two-card hands are dealt to each player and the “banker” (or dealer), with each trying to score a sum of nine, or as close as possible to nine. Numerical cards represent their assigned values, while face cards equal zero and aces equal 1. the two cards are added together, with the ones column equaling the sum. if the minimum score is not reached, a third card will be dealt with a possible three-way outcome of a win, loss or tie. while the concept is simple enough, the cash being wagered is staggering. high-limit games at properties such as the venetian, MgM grand and wynn can reach into the millions.

InsIder InteL / baccarat and pai gow poker tables can be found on almost all casino floors throughout las vegas. Here are five places where you’re most likely to see the big money change hands:

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Anthony MAir

Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa 702.797.7777; Wynn Las Vegas 702.770.7000; The Venetian 702.414.1000; Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 702.693.5000; The Cosmopolitan 702.698.7000;

Play Pai Gow Poker For guppy-size gamblers who don’t have a whale’s budget but still want to participate in asian games, pai gow poker—an americanized version of the Chinese domino game, based off poker hands—offers a slower, and less volatile, pace. as a game that has one of the smallest “hold” percentages for the house—the casino’s profit is less than 1.5 percent—pai gow poker doesn’t feature windfall hands like baccarat. at the same time, pai gow players can kill hours in the casino without losing much money while enjoying comped drinks and conversation in the process. the strategy is standard to poker, but different in the fact that a player must create two hands from the seven cards dealt. a five-card “high” hand and two-card “low” hand create multiple winning opportunities, while side bets can be placed in progressive games.

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