Vegas Rated Magazine - February 2013

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shhh, don’t tell

from the editor

MELINdA SHECkELLS Editor-in-Chief Follow us on Twitter @vegasrated

“Window dressing” (Page 34) shot by eva mueller in Te cosmopolitan of Las vegas captures the energy of a singular hotel-room window. Who knew one background could provide such a dynamic canvas. BotteGa veNeta dress Crystals at CityCenter, 702.220.4751; 8 /

Melinda: Ryan Reason; styling: nicole chandleR; haiR: MaRshall VanieRland; Makeup natasha chaMbeRlin; dolce & gabbana dRess, neiMan MaRcus, Fashion show; Model: bottega Veneta dRess: eVa MuelleR; undeRgRound dinneR: las Vegas photo & Video

The Men’s Issue of Vegas/Rated is dedicated to all those thrill-seekers out there whom I admire from afar. And afar is the operative word here, because you won’t ever catch me jumping off a building or riding a motorcycle through the desert. I am totally content to stay on solid ground—in fact, walking in heels is challenging enough. But for those looking for an adrenaline rush, the Las Vegas Valley is a mecca for outrageous activities, from land sailing to skydiving. There’s even a heavy-equipment playground where you can operate a bulldozer or excavator for a day. Talk about a great way to release tension. (See Page 120.) Exhilarating adventures tend to work up a man-size appetite. Good thing there’s Allegro at Wynn Las Vegas, where chef Enzo Febbraro’s multicourse tasting menu redefines extravagance, and Strip House at Planet Hollywood, where the decadent goose-fat potatoes elicit a different kind of thrill. Both are great places to take a date or get a little wild with the boys. (See Page 47.) Of course, what’s a Men’s Issue without a little something for the ladies? Meet the seven winners of our second annual Best Man contest. (A dose of eye candy starts on Page 68.) Not yet satisfied? Take in a concert by a pop priestess (Page 81) or party like an insider (Page 100). Oh and last but not least, I think you can’t get more manly than Anthony Bourdain (Page 84), who graces our cover and gives an exclusive interview. Cool? Better than that. I say zool (look it up)! This issue has it all, so stop reading and start doing! Rip out a few pages, make a reservation and enjoy everything the city has to offer.

If you experience Las vegas either from the perspective of a savvy traveler or an in-the-know local, then you know that the vIP experience in this town is unparalleled. one of the places that oozes exclusivity is Te cosmopolitan of Las vegas. Te day before New Year’s eve, I was invited to be a guest at the resort’s first underground dinner series, a bespoke, invite-only event at an undisclosed venue. our host, cosmo ceo John Unwin, personally selected the attendees—quite an honor. at 7 p.m., 40 guests boarded luxury coaches in the porte cochère at Te cosmo. champagne was served, and as the wheels of the bus went round and round, the good times started to roll to Parts Unknown (incidentally, the title of cover boy anthony Bourdain’s new reality tv show). as we traveled north on Interstate 15, we all took bets as to where we would end up. about the only thing we all agreed on was tasty eats would be awaiting us upon arrival. exiting downtown, the mob museum came into view. delighted with this choice, I reveled in the fact I would be dining in a historic post officeturned-museum filled with cool vegas lore. Inside, two massive square tables were set up in what was once a courtroom where the U.S. Senate held hearings on organized crime. at each place setting was a book. Te subject matter was—what else?—the mafia (mine was titled Te Last Mafioso). We feasted on a five-course dinner (with wine pairings) prepared by chef Levi mezick of restaurant 1833 in monterey, california, and chef rory Herrmann, formerly of Bouchon. Highlights included the sunchoke soup with white-truffle foam, white-truffle risotto with iberico ham, Parmesan and spinach, and a decadent bourbon pudding.

CoNTrIBuTorS “WHaT IS THE oNE PlaCE IN laS vEGaS EvErY MaN SHoulD kNoW aBouT?” Eva MuEllEr Born in Bavaria but now based in New York City, Mueller studied art direction before transitioning to photography. Stark and minimal images with sometimes dark and humorous twists are the backbone of her portfolio, and she often acts as an art director for her shoots. In Mueller’s work, she loves to incorporate architectural or modern interior design elements, such as a suite in The Cosmopolitan, which is the setting for her dizzy and daring fashion shoot (“Window Dressing,” Page 34). “The Las Vegas Lounge on Karen Avenue. It’s a place full of surprises.” 900 Karen Ave., 702.737.9350

DaNNY axElroD a vegas native by marriage, axelrod has lived in the city for more than 10 years. He has written for Las Vegas Life, Las Vegas Weekly, Las Vegas CityLife, Vegas Seven, Vegas Magazine and Las Vegas Luxury. You can follow his exploits both with and without his 6-year-old daughter at This month, axelrod goes extreme with breathtaking, over-the-top experiences such as riding a Harley through the Grand Canyon (“Thrill ride,” Page 120). “Every guy in Vegas should know about the Freakin’ Frog and Whisky Attic. If beer and whiskey aren’t your thing, I have an AA meeting directory you can borrow.” 4700 S. Maryland Parkway, 702.597.3237;

MaurEEN HaNk Hank loves writing about places she doesn’t necessarily frequent. The noir-clad Downtowner explores five of the city’s best barbershops for an old-fashioned straight-razor shave (“Groomed for Success,” Page 60). “The Fireside Lounge in the Peppermill. It’s a sexy Sin City classic. Dim lighting, flame-topped waters and cocktail servers in black evening gowns make it the perfect spot for a first date.” 2985 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 702.735.4177;

JaNa CruDEr Cruder, a los angeles-based fashion and celebrity photographer, lent her talented eye and creative vibes to capture a bevy of the city’s top gentlemen (“reigning Men,” Page 68). Her current motto, “Got camera, will travel,” keeps her on the road with photo shoots in los angeles, Miami, las vegas and New York City. When she isn’t snapping stars such as Zac Efron, she is surfing, exploring and giving back through her charity, “The Goldstrike Canyon Hot Springs. Outdoorsy types only, please!” Lake Mead National Recreation Area, 702.293.8990;

aNTHoNY MaIr as Vegas/Rated’s senior contributing photographer, Mair says he loves every moment spent shooting for the publication. He also loves movies and his two French bulldogs, Jet and Mia. He enjoys creating an overall mood in a photo—if someone says it looks like a scene from a movie, he’s a happy chap. For this issue, Mair captures the city’s community-minded leading ladies (“Hearts on Fire,” Page 76). “Every man should know about Dior Homme, the store—not the cologne—in Crystals at CityCenter. If I had the money, I’d buy everything in the place.” 702.597.0941;

10 /


michael skenandore melinda sheckells

ART DIRECTOR scott lien mANAGING EDITOR laura j. downey ASSOCIATE EDITOR matt jacob COPy EDITORS sean defrank, paul szydelko EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

elizabeth sewell

EDITORIAL INTERNS jessica albano, camille cannon, ashley gates, courtney marquez, amanda pamblanco, trey tagliaferri CONTRIBUTING EDITORS CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

genevie durano, grace bascos, geoff carter danny axelrod, tiffany bosman, christopher calicott, maureen hank, rich kenny, laura mier, paula murphey, craig a. nyman, todd peterson, jason scavone, michael shulman, xania woodman


jesse sutherland, zackery williams anthony mair, tomo elizabeth buehring, jana cruder, jeff green, andrew sea james, kin lui, eva mueller, sabin orr, al powers


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

EDI TOR IAL @ VR ATED .COM 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. 6 is published monthly by WENDOH Media Las Vegas, NV.



vOluMe 2 | issue 6

34 Pulse




v/Rated exclusives

in stORe & On tRend

the culinaRy scene

best Places tO Get aWay FROM it all

ObsessiOns 18 What the editors of Vegas/Rated love this month

v/Rated the snazziest sneakers in sin city


v/Rated 48 steal a kiss at the city’s most romantic restaurants

v/Rated 60 look sharp with a close shave

cuRRent 20 swath your toes in a mink and leather

WindOW dRessinG 34 look out below: spring fashion from the 60th floor of the cosmopolitan

tastinG Menu 50 you’ll need to break out the elastic pants for an evening at allegro

shOP 22 the Project convention gets a fashionable makeover shOP 22 there’s a lot to love about street artist curtis Kulig’s collaboration with smashbox dine 24 sushi direct to you with nobu’s new room-service menu at caesars Palace Play a sinful cocktail created especially for our readers


Play angel Management Group expands its repertoire of venues


14 /

all access steak reveals its sexy side at strip house


FiRst cRush 54 the vino that keeps on giving the cellaR 56 don’t get bored with the same old pad see ew. chada thai is the newest joint for southeast asian flavor

sPa day live it up in the exclusive sahra spa suite at the cosmopolitan








the city beyonD the strip

Must-see concerts & shoWs

on the list & on the lips

v/rateD 66 they say there’s no culture in vegas. Five museums put that rumor to rest

v/rateD 82 rock out with Marilyn Manson at Mandalay bay, then groove with cee lo green at planet hollywood

v/rateD 92 broaden your horizons with creative cocktails

the guys’ guiDe extreMe experiences

reigning Men seven guys you can take home to mom


the players 76 community matters for the first ladies of philanthropy

Meet 84 anthony bourdain faces off against eric ripert on the recorD 86 Where to have dinner before a show at the smith center

iMbibe tony abou-ganim creates a line of tools for crafty mixologists


all access 96 cause a stir at the platinum hotel lounge’s happy hour arounD the clock 100 spend 18 hours with Wet republic vip host rich kenny, and find out where he enjoys his 3 a.m. nightcap

116 v/rateD get behind the wheel of a racecar with some serious pony power all access 118 all the world’s your stage at rock ’n’ roll Fantasy camp the guiDe 120 skydive or land sail your way to a heart-pumping day in vegas on a roll busting the myths of the enigmatic casino floor


in the MoMent 104 a curated look at the city’s nightlife ON the cOver: Anthony Bourdain photographed by clAy pAtrick mcBride / 15

Vegas/Rated ExclusivEs our obsessions / Dinner with CoCo / 1 oak turns 1 PULSE


Breakfast at Nobu’s

Who: Chef Tomas Buckley, corporate executive chef, Nobu What: How to give an American classic such as eggs Benedict a Japanese touch? Pearls of ikura, or salmon roe, usually do the trick. Where: Nobu Hotel and Restaurant at Caesars Palace, 702.731.7110;

sabin orr

Te name synonymous with modern Japanese cuisine is trying his hand at the inn-keeping business, and the in-room dining that comes with it. Te newest Nobu eatery opens at Caesars Palace this month, along with a boutique hotel concept that promises swank, yet serene digs and a room service menu offering only-by-Nobu dishes.

Break your fast with eggs on eggs. Nobu’s eggs Benedict is adorned with spinach, Hollandaise sauce and salmon roe. / 17



Hot Coco

Betting on sometimes

o b s e s s i o n s / Things We Love

New, Now, Next Mmmmm … Doughnuts Homer Simpson himself would salivate for the doughnuts being produced by Glazier’s Food marketplace at durango drive and Warm Springs road. cakey, not cloying, and so moist that they’re almost creamy, the best versions of this fried confection are those that are unadorned. Tat’s right: Skip the frosting and sprinkles, and go straight for the red velvet, chocolate or glazed varieties. Your inner Homer will thank you. 8525 W. Warm Springs Road, 702.614.1111; —Grace Bascos Can I Holler at Ya? You know Las vegas is becoming a serious cultural center when people are paying to see speaking engagements as much as farewell tours. Last year it was david Sedaris doing readings at Te Smith center for the Performing arts, this year it’s chefs anthony Bourdain and eric ripert (Te Pearl at Palms casino resort, February 9) regaling audiences with tales from the kitchen. and people pony up the $50 or so to hear people simply talk. Las vegas is finally part of the discussion. 702.944.3200; –Scott Lien


Te Secrets of MAGIC Some of the worst-kept secrets of maGIc/Project, the Strip’s biannual fashion conference, are the parties. Te stylish week brings the best shindigs, with surprise live performances by acts such as Foster the People and the Black Keys. Te hitch? Te parties aren’t open to the public; you have to be in the know. Which we’re sure you are. –Elizabeth Sewell Tokidoki Means “Sometimes” in Japanese dear Simone Legno, creative director and co-founder of tokidoki: We know you come to maGIc/Project every year, but these “sometimes” visits aren’t enough. We would like your super cute, Japanese-inspired pop artwork and apparel here permanently. Please launch a store in Las vegas. Love, Vegas/Rated. –Melinda Sheckells Ice Isn’t the Only One Who Loves Coco I’m officially obsessed with coco austin. Te star of Planet Hollywood’s Peepshow met me at Koi for dinner and drinks before her 9:30 p.m. performance on a random tuesday night. We chatted about everything from her baby-blue sparkly nail polish and future plans to have a little one with actor/rapper Ice-t … to how she manages to make it look so easy when rocking those six-inch heels and expanding her role in the burlesque show. Tis blond bombshell is super cool. It’s easy to see why Ice loves her—and now, I do too! 800.745.3000; –Laura J. Downey

Listen up 18 /

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Exclusives S h o p / For the Guy or Gal With it All

Ready and Sable California-born designer Rick Owens, an expat living in Paris since 2003, envisions the ultimate sock crafted of what else but natural Russian sable (lining the interior) and nappa leather (on the exterior). Made to order, for both women and men. To be potentially rolled out in 2014. Price upon request. Chrome Hearts in The Forum Shops at Caesars, 702.893.9949;

20 /



/ Where the MAGIC Happens

Project Makeover

/ See It and Buy It

A Labor of Love Urban art meets high-end glamour in the collaborative collection by Smashbox Cosmetics and street artist Curtis Kulig, whose trademark “Love Me” graffiti adorns the lineup of lushly colored lip glosses, shimmering eye shadows and dramatic eyeliner. Kulig’s work is on display in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ parking garage as part of its street-art series and at the newsstand in the east tower, third floor, where he bombed a wall during his residency at P3 Studio in 2012. Bonus points if you’re wearing his signature red lipstick while taking it all in. $19-$34; Sephora in The Shoppes at The Venetian, 702.735.3896; –Laura Mier / Nail It

Flying Colors Cirque du Soleil is known for its vivid surrealism and imaginative costumes, and now the fantasy is available at your fingertips, literally, with China Glaze’s new collection of nail polish, inspired by the 3-D film Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away. The limited-edition shades have whimsical names such as Escaping Reality (a screaming hot-pink polish), Water You Waiting For (a sparkle bomb of blue-green glitter) and It’s a Trap-Eze! (a cream base bedazzled with multicolored glitter). $6.59; Sally Beauty Supply, multiple locations; –LM

22 /

on February 19-21, the wellheeled return to Las vegas for the biannual (it also convenes in august) industry-only apparel trade shows maGIc and Project. according to the Las vegas convention and visitors authority, the event brings about 80,000 of the world’s trendsetters to the city to debut next season’s wares to buyers and merchandisers. Tis year, things will look a little different at Project, which is held in the mandalay Bay convention center. take note before diving in: υ Project debuts a section featuring high-end designer and eclectic duds called Te tents. exhibitors such as raleigh denim and carlos campos are hand-selected for their artistic vision and unique approach to design, and they are housed in pavilions constructed on the convention center floor. υ eNKvegas, an all-women’s brand exhibition formerly held at Wynn Las vegas, moves to mandalay Bay. Project is now dedicated to menswear and dual-gender labels. υ two sections of the show, Street and S.L.a.t.e., merge to become Project mvmNt, home to brands focused on youth culture such as Quiksilver and Kidrobot.

For more information on Project, visit –Elizabeth Sewell

Discover the exceptional taste of Grey Goose Cherry Noir.

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





d i n e / Nobu Delivered To You

The Pioneer of Japanese Fusion Cuisine Ventures Into New Territory

24 /

please the mainstream crowd as well as the asian guests,” buckley says. “so we’ve incorporated a few asian flavors into the dishes but kept them recognizable because we don’t want to alienate anybody.” early risers are greeted with green-tea waffles ($23) made with a classic waffle batter with hints of vanilla and green-tea butter, served with shiso syrup and cream scented with yuzu, the tart Japanese citrus fruit. Pancakes made with soba flour, normally reserved for the starchy soba noodles, are served with blueberry yuzu compote ($22), yuzu-scented thomaS Buckley

cream and pecan miso butter. traditional dishes are offered as well. “We have Japanese-style congee—poached rice with mushrooms and a little egg on top,” buckley says. “and we have a silken tofu black cod hot pot with noodles [$23]. these are the type of dishes you’d find in Japan.” even a Vegas standby such as steak and eggs has been “Nobu-fied,” buckley says. here it’s served with teriyaki sauce and jalapeño salsa ($37). even the humble club sandwich ($25) is transformed into something extraordinary: buckley and his team take shokupan, a Japanese version of white bread, and cut it lengthwise. it is layered with miso-marinated chicken, lettuce, tomato and mayo ponzu mustard sauce, rolled like sushi and toasted in a pan so it crisps on the outside. this may just be the first sandwich you’ll want to eat with chopsticks. but in the comfort of your own Nobu suite, you can enjoy it however you like. Nobu Hotel and Restaurant at Caesars Palace, 702.731.7110; –Grace Bascos From left: Steak and eggs with teriyaki sauce and jalapeno salsa; silken tofu black cod hot pot with noodles; bagel and lox crispy rice, everything mix, tofu crema, salmon “pastrami,” onion, caper and ponzu.


Nobu Matsuhisa is a trailblazer in the culinary world: he was the first chef to combine traditional Japanese dishes with ingredients indigenous to a south american country, creating Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine. he’s the reason every Japanese restaurant serves yellowtail sashimi with slivers of jalapeño. Now Nobu-san breaks uncharted ground again with a restaurant and a boutique hotel on the las Vegas strip. adding to its pantheon of restaurants, Caesars Palace now houses the largest Nobu in the world. With more than 11,000 square feet, the David rockwell-designed space offers not only signature items that guests around the world have come to associate with the master, such as the miso black cod, but it also serves as the kitchen for the Nobu hotel’s in-room dining menu. Corporate chef thomas buckley, who has opened locations in Miami, Dallas, Milan, spain and the bahamas, played an integral part in developing the in-room cuisine for the 181-room hotel, consulting and testing with Nobu-san along the way. For buckley and chef Nobu, the ideal menu has the las Vegas guest in mind while staying true to the cuisine for which the legendary chef is known. “We try to

Exclusives PULSE

SuzIe mcNeIL

/ Drink this now

Send Me an Angel If you’ve ever wondered what cocktail to buy a sexy stranger across the bar, send the right message by ordering a Sinning angel, a cocktail created exclusively for our Vegas/Rated readers. Te flirtatious libation blends almond-flavored amaretto, tart lemon and angels aphroenergy, a new energy drink touting libidofueling ingredients and a lush strawberry flavor. “Te Sinning angel is the love child of an amaretto Sour and a Lemon drop,” says maggie Feldman rubenstein, a spokeswoman for angels aphroenergy. Looking for a good time at home? Here’s how to re-create it: Sinning Angel 2 parts amaretto 1 part lemon juice 1 part angels aphroenergy Lemon twist

available at Liquor Library, McCarran International Airport, Terminal 1, 702.261.3100, $3.99 per can; –LM

/ Book a table

Pure Fun Kicking off 2013 with two new projects, Angel Management Group recently added Chateau Nightclub & Gardens at Paris Las Vegas to its portfolio of nightlife hotspots, in addition to Pure Lounge, the new live-music venue inside Pure Nightclub at Caesars Palace. Pure Lounge, which opens at 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, features unplugged acoustic songs early in the evening, then shifts into high-energy music with performances by monthly residents such as Suzie McNeil (pictured) and an interactive karaoke experience later at night. –LM

/ where to light up Looking for an after-dinner smoke, visit one of these four cigar-friendly spots on the Strip: Rhumbar in Te Mirage 702.792.7615; Andre’s Restaurant & Lounge in Monte Carlo 702.798.7151; Chandelier Bar in Te Cosmopolitan 702.698.7000; Foundation Room in Mandalay Bay 702.632.7614;

26 /

suzie mcneil: al powers; cigar: Dalton DingelstaD

In a shaker with ice, combine amaretto and fresh lemon juice. Lightly shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Float chilled angels aphroenergy on top and garnish with a lemon twist. Angels Aphroenergy is

The Scene

MarK foster of foster the PeoPle


Jason Derulo

lil Wayne


Kathy Griffin

Revelry Retrospective By ElizaBETh SEwEll

BEing a Swanky nighTSpoT mEanS EnTErTaining legions of superstar clientele. Since its opening on new year’s Eve 2011, 1 oak at The mirage—the las Vegas outpost of the new york City lounge of the same name—has hosted performances by Cee lo green, Childish gambino and nelly. and the lineup of celebrities who grace its Vip section is an enviable a-list roster. From Fergie and Jenny mcCarthy having a ball on their birthdays to lil wayne turning the dance floor into his own mini halfpipe, 1 oak is the place to watch stars let loose. in honor of the nightclub’s first birthday bash February 22, here’s a look back at some of its high-profile partygoers. The Mirage, 702.693.8300;

Whitney Port (riGht)



In store & on trend DAzzling Dunks / mcm’s seconD spin / fAshion on the 60th floor

A VIew from AboVe ethereAl spring looks (Page 34)

created especially for Undefeated, the PUma clyde Gold can only be snagged at one of the store’s five U.S. locations. $150; 4480 Paradise Road, Suite 400, 702.732.0019;

Stand Up and Stand Out

Anthony mAir

Te transformation of the sneaker from lowly sports gear to blinged-out masterpiece is complete. Te athletic shoe has outgrown the gym bag and planted itself in the wardrobes of stylish men everywhere. Put your foot down in one of the city’s shoe havens, where you will find everything from one-of-a-kind kicks to the month’s new releases. See Page 30 / 29

Sneak Attack Hunt down a hot pair at one of Las Vegas’ footwear palaces BY ELIZABETH SEWELL PHOTOGRAPHY ANTHONY MAIR


NIKe Questlove dunks CRSVR in Te Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas 30 /


Show how much of a baller you are with gem-encrusted Nike dunks created by crSvr and Jason of Beverly Hills, which sport 20 carats of black and white diamonds. $6,500

V/Rated Haute HigHtops German luxury leather label mcm (now based in South Korea) produces a line of footwear, and the only place to get it in North america is right here in Las vegas. $525 mcm Urban Nomad III Feature Sneaker Boutique

shop / 31



Birds of a feather try a little peacocking on for size. Te Hundreds collaborates with atlanta’s Wish Boutique, putting a flourish on the brand’s classic Hoya style by embellishing it with plumage. $100 tHe HUNdredS Hoya low “Peacock” designed by Wish Boutique CRSVR in Te Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

32 /

Back to the Future A replica of the style Michael Jordan wore in his homecoming with the Chicago Bulls after returning from his first retirement—and one of the most popular styles of all time—re-emerges in its famed “Playoffs” colorway. $185 NIKE Air Jordan 11 “Playoffs” Suite 160 in Mandalay Place

Where to Buy CRSVR Te Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 702.698.7605; SUITE 160 Mandalay Place, 702.304.2513; FEATURE SNEAKER BOUTIQUE 3735 W. Spring Mountain Road, Suite 205, 702.463.3322; UNDEFEATED 4480 Paradise Road, Suite 400, 702.732.0019;




Header Here The Details

With stunning views and great height, a 60th-floor suite in the west tower of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas serves as a disassociating backdrop for the delicate looks of spring/summer 2013. Designed by the based-in-Vegas Friedmutter Group—which also lent its aesthetic to Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa—the suite boasts custom furniture and finishes, delivering the sophisticated comfort of an urban residence.


ROBERTO CAVALLI dress Crystals at CityCenter / 35

Sinful Fashion

36 /

Header Here Left: DONNA KARAN coat Crystals at CityCenter Right: DONNA KARAN dress Crystals at CityCenter

shop / 37

Sinful Fashion

38 /

Header Here DOLCE & GABBANA dress Neiman Marcus in Fashion Show

shop / 39

Sinful Fashion

40 /

Header Here Left: EMILIO PUCCI dress Neiman Marcus in Fashion Show Right: ALEXANDER MCQUEEN dress Wynn Las Vegas

shop / 41

Sinful Fashion

42 /

Header Here


DONNA KARAN dress Neiman Marcus in Fashion Show / 43

Sinful Fashion

WHERE TO BUY ROBERTO CAVALLI Crystals at CityCenter, 702.736.7300; DONNA KARAN Crystals at CityCenter, 702.207.2420; ALEXANDER MCQUEEN Wynn Las Vegas, 702.369.0510; NEIMAN MARCUS Fashion Show, 702.731.3636; SAKS FIFTH AVENUE Fashion Show, 702.733.8300;

44 /

Header Here THEIA dress Saks Fifth Avenue in Fashion Show


Photography EVA MUELLER Photography Assistant SHANE O’NEAL Styling MINDY SAAD Styling Assistants SHAWNA MATSUNAGA, JIMI URQUIAGA Hair & Makeup ERIKA LYNN PARSONS Model INGRID Elite Model Management / 45

from the creators of stk...

a vibe & sports-driven restaurant 702.701.0201 heraealasvegas


NONNA-APPROVED Enzo Febbraro, executive chef


Chef Febbraro’s style of food expresses love, warmth and family, so it’s no surprise he gets his hands into what he’s making. Greens such as arugula, spinach and fresh basil figure prominently in his dishes.



Where: Allegro at Wynn Las Vegas, 702.770.3463;


Te former chef of Washington, D.C.’s, D’Acqua Ristorante, D’Acqua Café and Forno Italian Oven & Grill has made his mark with some of the most soulful, homestyle ItalianAmerican food on the Strip. Tink meaty lasagna, fresh burrata cheese made daily in-house and a fall-off-the–bone lamb osso bucco—at Allegro, they just all happen to be on your table at once. See Page 50 / 47

La CaiLLe QuaiL from L’ateLier

V/Rated V-Rated And for the rest of us ...

Table for Two SNaG a Seat at oNe oF tHeSe romaNtic reStauraNtS aNd Your SWeetie WiLL ♥ You Forever

L’atelier de Joël Robuchon / MGM Grand For the couple who is really into food, grab a counter seat in this cozy black-box restaurant to watch the small brigade of chefs preparing such dishes as a crispy langoustine fritter or foie grasstuffed quail with Robuchon’s famous, silky pommes puree. The kitchen crew’s movements are so concise and purposeful in the small, nearly silent space that it’s almost like watching them dance. 702.891.7358;

Eiffel Tower Restaurant / Paris Las Vegas For the couple who wants to relive Paris, there’s no better spot than from the corner table at Eiffel Tower. Although the view may not precisely replicate that of its French counterpart, it’s still dazzling. Chef Jean Joho’s classic menu includes Dover sole à la Grenobloise and filet mignon Rossini style, with foie gras and truffle sauce. 702.948.6937;

Sinatra / Encore Las Vegas For the couple who is really into Ol’ Blue Eyes, there’s no better spot to hear the iconic crooner’s silky voice while dining on classic Italian cuisine. Chef Theo Schoenegger has some of Sinatra’s favorites—the Chairman of the Board apparently was a big clam fan—as well as traditional items that will become your favorites, including osso bucco “My Way.” 702.770.3463;

Valentino / The Venetian For the couple who really wants to be alone in a restaurant, Valentino offers several private spaces off the main dining room. There’s the Barolo room, which is the wine cellar where guests can enjoy James Beard-award winning chef Luciano Pellegrini’s high-end Italian fare. And then there’s the chef’s table, a tiny space that is so secluded you’ll forget anyone else is in the restaurant. A word of warning: The chef’s table is often reserved for friends of the chef and VIPs, but you can request it for a $150 minimum. 702.414.3000; Aureole / Mandalay Bay For the couple who is really into wine, Charlie Palmer’s restaurant is a mecca, but with technological advantages. Aureole was the first restaurant to employ the electronic wine list, which keeps stock of its nearly 50,000 bottles contained in a two-story, stainless-steel wine tower. The Mission: Impossible-inspired Wine Angels procure your selection from its spot in the tower, while you enjoy Palmer’s signature contemporary American cuisine with a view of the mated-for-life swans from the Swan Room. 702.632.7401;

MORE WAYS TO CELEBRATE ANTI-VALENTINE’S DAY ... Pungent, creamy garlic dressing, to be enjoyed on a salad from Chicago Joe’s. 820 S. Fourth Street, 702.382.5637; A straight-up bacchanal of meat at Fogo de Chão, where all the roasted meats arrive on skewers, much like your heart. 360 E. Flamingo Road, 702.431.4500; Pink’s Hot Dogs, because nothing says “I don’t need anyone” like sauerkraut and onions on a long hot dog. Red Rock Casino Resort and Planet Hollywood;

WiNe aNGeL From aureoLe / 49


Wine angel: anthony Mair

BY Grace BaScoS

Screw it, you don’t need a sweetie to have sweets—nor do you need to be paired up— to go out on February 14. Sugar Factory american Brasserie in Paris declares “love bites” with its anti-valentine’s day menu, so you can go stag with friends and give a big middle finger to the schmoopy couples strolling the Las vegas Strip. What’s the No. 1 ingredient you’re supposed to avoid on a date? Garlic. chef matthew Piekarski starts off the threecourse prix-fixe meal with heaps of the stuff in a creamy soup that will definitely amuse your bouche, even if you’ve just guaranteed yourself a kiss-free night. Follow that with the “bleeding heart” arancini, deep-fried risotto balls that ooze red when you cut into them thanks to a pocket of smoked salt beet gelée. You don’t need to be dainty for anybody, so get down and dirty for the main course: dryrubbed pork ribs with a side of blood orange barbecue sauce. Have an icebox where your heart used to be? dessert is right up your alley—vanilla semifreddo with pistachio butter and burnt cherry compote. You’ll be glad you don’t have to share with anybody. Sugar Factory is right across from the Fountains of Bellagio, so revel in the fact that you and your single friends have robbed valentine’s lovers of one of the most romantic views on the Strip. $40; served 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. February 14, Paris Las Vegas, 702.331.5100;

tasting menu epic mealtime an evening at allegro is not for the faint of heart


By grace Bascos photography saBin orr

At most restAurAnts, when A guest Asks the chef to create a meal, they usually get a multicourse experience of bite-size portions. when you ask chef enzo febbraro of Allegro in wynn Las Vegas for a custom dinner, he doesn’t mess around. the naples, Italy, native wants to feed you like his mother and grandmother fed him. so come hungry and stay awhile. A trio of cheese whets the appetite for what’s to come. the creamy burrata, crafted from a secret family recipe, is made fresh daily and is accompanied by a ball of smoked mozzarella—slightly drier but with a deeper flavor—and goat-cheese ricotta. these dairy bombs are ideal for the toasted bruschetta, sprinkled with a bit of Parmesan and served with seasoned, thick-sliced tomatoes. unless, of course, you’d like to reserve the bread for the charcuterie. on the night of our dinner, we were enticed by several types of salumi. we had hoped for some of the house-made pancetta in the pile of cured pork, but we learned that was coming in the carbonara. the prosciutto pulled double duty on both the cheeseboard and the flatbread (the rectangular, thin-crust pseudopizza that comes from Allegro’s giant wood-burning oven). the crisp bread was topped with prosciutto and thin shavings of Parmesan, then dressed with peppery arugula and a bit of extra-virgin olive oil. mid-course pastas are generally on the lighter side. clearly, febbraro has a different definition of “light.” A split half maine lobster is served, shell and all, with several plump prawns and a heap of calamarata, a pasta shape that isn’t often seen outside of Italy. As the name suggests, the noodle is tube-shaped, like the body of a squid, and cut into shorter pieces to resemble calamari rings. A fragrant lobster bisque sauces the dish, each bite reminding you of the sea. when you get serious about an Italian family-style dinner, you have to assume that nonna’s lasagna is somewhere on the table— febbraro’s nonna, to be exact. the sheets of pasta are thick and hearty enough to withstand the weight of the layers between them. this napoletana-style sauce has one of the richest, meatiest sunday gravies. not Italian enough for you? the thing is studded with meatballs and smoked mozzarella. remember, pasta was the mid-course. we haven’t even gotten to the entrée yet. febbraro showed mercy on us with one, but it’s a doozy: lamb osso bucco, presented with stewed vegetables and ribbons of pappardelle pasta. the lamb shank arrived upright but was braised so the tender meat was falling off the bone. with a heavy sigh and a smile on our faces (and a Limoncello to digest), our meal was done. Italian food is a convivial cuisine, meant to be shared, talked over and passed from person to person around the table. febrarro’s selection of dishes is no exception. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you. Wynn Las Vegas, 702.770.7000;

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clockwise from top left: charcuterie platter, Bianca pizza, trio of fresh burrata, smoked mozzarella and ricotta cheese, baked lasagna napoletana, bruschetta, maine lobster calamarata and osso bucco d’agnello

Intel / Te chef who makes the pancetta, υInsider Josh Stockton, is not only a Daniel Boulud alum, but also has a knack for charcuterie, thanks to time spent down at Blackberry Farm in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Today it’s pancetta, but he hopes that soon one of the Wynn’s many wine cellars can be dedicated to curing meats in-house for Allegro.


All Access

High Steaks Cupid’s arrow pierces lovers of great food at Strip House

Boys Club Make the Strip House experience even more personal with a birthday or bachelor party. Tree private dining rooms accommodate up to 22 guests, and packages with special menus range from $80-$125 per person.

By Paula Murphey The art of seduction sometimes begins at the table, and there’s no better place to leave her swooning than at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino’s Strip House. Savory prime cuts of beef, roasted Chilean sea bass and crisp-skin Scottish salmon are just a few of the dishes promising an unforgettable evening of gustatory delights, paired with side dishes such as truffle creamed spinach and goose-fat potatoes. Finish it off with the ultimate aphrodisiac, the famed 24-layer chocolate cake, and your Valentine will be eating out of the palm of your hand. Then sit back and let the room’s atmospheric lighting, silk and velvet textures, and opulent leather do the rest. 5-11 p.m., Sunday-Thursday; 5-11:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday; 702.737.5200;

Rubbed Down Chefs John Schenk and Dustin Rixey love exploring bold flavors—request their secret rubs to add an extra-special spice to your steak. And let the staff know if you’re a resort guest. You just might get the best table in the house. 52 /

Double Entendre Strip House’s name refers to its signature cut of steak, but it’s also a wink at the restaurant’s décor, which features a collection of vintage Studio Manasse burlesque photos.

Nectar of Love Start your evening with a signature cocktail, such as the Strawberry Mojito, Apple Pear Martini and Templeton Manhattan. / 53

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first Crush

Wine With heart eHLerS eState gIveS ItS aLL for your HeaLtH By XanIa Woodman PHotograPHy antHony maIr


2002 debut of “1886,” a cabernet sauvignon

the most accessible and widely available of the ehlers estate portfolio is also the one that most gets to the heart of the matter: the 2009 ehlers estate “one twenty over eighty” (a play on the measurement of a healthy adult’s blood pressure) is a dense, rich and juicy cabernet sauvignon hailing from the loamy benchland parcels. It’s $102 per bottle at Sinatra in Encore Las Vegas (702.770.5320;,$45 retail at Khoury’s Fine Wine & Spirits.

from the estate’s rockiest parcels. the 2008


a small-production property occupying 43

In keeping with the winery’s marriage of quality and conscience, ehlers estate is at the forefront of environmentally aware farming practices. Winemaker Kevin morrisey passionately crafts certified organic and biodynamic wines that are voluptuous, generous, site-specific and terroir-driven.


OenOphiles Often jOke abOut wine dOing a bOdy gOOd, but at One napa Valley, California, winery, its very real health benefits are made manifest. from 1985 to 2001, french entrepreneur and philanthropist jean leducq and his wife, sylviane, carefully acquired prized parcels in nearby st. helena, which included the original 14-acre bernard ehlers estate, built in 1886. with the release of their inaugural 2000 cabernet sauvignon, the leducqs honored the place’s original owner by naming the new winery ehlers estate. since jean’s passing in 2002, the couple’s not-for-profit leducq foundation has operated ehlers estate, donating 100 percent of the proceeds to cardiovascular research— more than $30 million annually—thus making every sip a true toast to your health.

ehlers estate “1886” ($100 at Khoury’s Fine Wine & Spirits; is highly regarded by both Wine Spectator and robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate.

DEEP IN THE HEART OF NAPA after experiencing some of the valley’s larger producers, it’s a charming change of scenery to turn off the St. Helena Highway and travel down the rustic path to ehlers estate, contiguous acres of rolling valley floor just north of downtown St. Helena. tastings are by appointment, $25 per person for up to six people.

BET ON RED Less than 7 percent of ehlers estate’s nearly 40 cultivated acres of small vineyard blocks is


dedicated to white-wine grapes. If you go, try

Bernard ehlers built his historic stone winery in 1886. to commemorate the year, the Leducqs once again paid homage to ehlers with the

the sauvignon blanc and Sylviane cabernet franc rosé, but save room for the full-bodied reds for which ehlers is renown.

INSIDER tIP / In keeping with the giving spirit, curvature Wines ( donates proceeds to breast-cancer research; for each bottle sold, Lookout ridge ( donates a wheelchair to someone in need; and canine Wines ( donates $5 from each bottle sold and at least 10 percent of its annual profits to animal-rescue organizations. finally, Humanitas Wines ( lets you decide where the donated proceeds of your purchase go. / 55

The Cellar

Thai One On Wine and dine at a new Chinatown eatery


By Christopher Calicott Photography Elizabeth Buehring

drunken noodle

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LocaLs know that Vegas is home to some of the finest thai restaurants this side of the Pacific. the newest entry into this beloved category is chada thai & wine, opened in fall 2012 by Bank atcharawan, who understands a thing or two about pairing the perfect spice with the perfect glass. atcharawan was the well-respected sommelier and manager of Lotus of siam, a thai-foodie favorite on sahara avenue. when he started, there were five wines on offer, “including a white Zinfandel,” he says. more than a decade later, Lotus of siam has become known for its excellent wine list and is a favorite spot for other local sommeliers. now atcharawan has struck out on his own with chada, pairing his love for thai cuisine, which he learned to cook with his father, and his knowledge of wine. he not only runs the restaurant, but he’s also in charge of the kitchen, serving dishes that put an emphasis on southern thai cooking, such as kua kling, a homemade curry with ground pork, and Lo-Ba—lightly fried pig ear, tongue, liver and heart. atcharawan sees a natural fit between wines and spicy cooking. to demonstrate he fires up a beautifully blackened wok and plates a favorite with a twist: Pad kee mao, or Drunken noodle, served with thai basil and stir-fried ribeye steak ($14). he matches a 2011 egon müller scharzhof Riesling ($45 per bottle) from the mosel region of germany to the noodles. this off-dry, easy-drinking white wine has plenty of acidity and pleasing greenapple flavors. “acidity plays a huge role in combating the spice, not just the sweetness,” atcharawan says. appropriately enough, he says the name of the dish originated from a need to sober up the thai drinking masses through copious use of noodles and heat. to match the variety of dishes on the menu, atcharawan keeps a wall of wines, most with moderate levels of alcohol to avoid accentuating the heat of the dishes (the higher the alcohol, the more you feel the spice of the dish). Bottles are generally $30 to $60, with 80 percent of the list coming in under $100,

making chada an excellent value in Vegas dining. “our philosophy is just to come in and drink some good wine,” atchawaran says, noting the relaxed atmosphere and 3 a.m. closing time.

Tasting Notes atcharawan suggests another direction for the Drunken noodle: Pair it with a 2009 anthill Farms anderson Valley Pinot noir ($48 per bottle). this wine is “not overly ripe” and delivers a uniquely fragrant, red-cherry nose that evokes a fresh—not candied— fruit style. he says that, to him, the “smoky, unfiltered” style is more Burgundian than californian, and he detects “some smokedmeat” aromas. the character in the glass reflects the winemaker’s gentler approach to winemaking: paler ruby with a bit of sediment. in fact, the palate is much more giving than some might expect at a glance, should they equate deep flavor with a dark color. this wine is an example of why that is simply not so. 3400 S. Jones Blvd., Suite 11A, 702.641.1345;

INSIDER INTEL / on a scale of one to 10, 10 represents the full power of Tai culinary fury. You might be curious how a Tai restaurateur spices his own cooking. Simple: atcharawan likes a 7. / 57




Sunday to Tursday 5pm-1am Friday to Saturday 5pm-2am ACCEPTING ALL RESERVATIONS

(702) 736-0808

RELAX Get away from it all mAnscAping musts / youth in A jAr / A suite for two or more

Beck and Call


opting for some r&r? Book the Sahra Spa Suite at Te cosmopolitan of Las vegas. Situated one floor above the resort’s Sahra Spa & Hammam, this exclusive cove invites guests to experience treatments in the privacy of their own quarters. add one very dedicated valet to the service … and your every wish is her command. See Page 62

Andrew seA jAmes

your majesty try the royAl shAve At AriA’s spA & sAlon (page 60) / 59


the SPa & Salon at aria

the Salon at the mirage


Groomed for success Scruff Be gone. indulge in a claSSic Shave By maureen hanK Barber Spa Shave / Men’s Zone in Caesars Palace Tuxedo-clad master barber Sal Jeppi does every shave the same way. He’s been at it for more than 30 years and has served such Vegas legends as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Jeppi, who learned the trade from his father—also a first-class barber—begins by softening the whiskers with an exclusive mix of oils and lotions. Warm cream from the “latherizer” machine lays the foundation for the close, straight-edge shave. PinaudClubman Ultra Fine Talc and Virgin Island Bay Rum aftershave seal the deal on this traditional 45-minute treatment. You’ll be glad you did it Jeppi’s way. $75; 702.731.7822;

Bellagio Royal Shave / Te Salon at Bellagio This is the man cave of your dreams: a private room complete with a television, jazz music and complimentary beverages (such as coffee, juice, water

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Ultimate Shave / Elliott & Co. Shop owner and master of his trade Elliott Chester gives faces the edge in a chic, masculine, off-Strip atmosphere. Go for the Ultimate Shave, which includes hot towel prep, pre-shave oil, warm lather and a shave in both directions for maximum straight-razor closeness. Next, a Jack Black refining mask detoxifies and calms the skin, followed by a cold towel, toner and aftershave balm. A forehead, temple, neck and shoulder massage finish off the package, leaving you feeling like a gentleman who’s ready to take on the world. $55; 8876 S. Eastern Ave. in Henderson, Suite 102, 702.990.5672; Te Royal Shave / Te Spa & Salon at Aria This service fit for a king goes beyond simply eliminating scruff. First the skin is cleansed and exfoliated before a steamed towel is applied. Then a warm, soothing aloe-vera lather sets the stage for a slice of Americana: a straight razor going with the grain, followed by a re-lather and another pass against the grain. The treatment continues with a toning clay mask, moisturizing aftershave and herbal under-eye cream, capped off with a light, hydrating spritz of rose water. $65; 702.590.9600;

BUy THiS now / collagen production has often been touted as the key to youthful skin, but don’t forget the role elastin plays in providing structural support for the epidermis. Boost your stretchy stuff with Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle reducing cream ($52), which improves elasticity by 32 percent within four weeks, reducing fine lines, wrinkles and pores. the ingredients— copper Pca, calcium Pca and apricot kernel oil—protect the skin’s elastic fiber network, build its moisture barrier and restore hydration. desert-dry no more. Kiehl’s in The Forum Shops at Caesars, 702.784.0025; –Melinda Sheckells elliott & Co.: HeCtor levya

Traditional Hot Lather Shave / Te Salon at Te Mirage For that dapper look, manscaping services such as cranium shaves, beard and mustache trims, and hairstyling are available at The Salon. Whether you intend to battle or embrace that five o’clock shadow, the traditional hot lather shave at the barbershop starts with hot towels that open the pores before a classic straight-razor shave and sideburn trim, followed by a splash of oil-free aftershave balm. $50; 702.791.7474;

and soda). The 45-minute Royal session includes a steamed hot towel, warm shaving cream and an aromatherapy massage designed to rejuvenate the visage. $60; 702.693.8080;

elliott & co. / 61


Spa Day

The high Life Book a spa suite for you and several of your closest friends By Laura J. Downey Photography Andrew Sea James

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Some people come to Vegas to party like a rock star, while others come to find their bliss at a world-class spa. Whether you’re planning on letting loose at a hot club or loosening those tense muscles in a hot tub, getting the ViP treatment isn’t just reserved for bottle service at a megaclub. At the 1,200-square-foot Sahra Spa Suite in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the days of waiting for an aesthetician to escort you from the communal lounge are a thing of the past. Book a private party in this creative spa-in-spa environment (four-hour minimum) and let the butler do the rest. Need your champagne poured? Check. Want the valet to run your bathwater? Done. in the mood for chocolate-covered strawberries? Ordered. No need to lift a finger when a butler is at your beck and call. While waiting for a treatment, hit the steam room, relax in the living area while snacking on granola, watch TV on one of the two 42-inch screens or take in the West Tower Strip view from 15 floors above. This is as close to heaven as you’re going to get in Sin City. Prices vary based on weekday/weekend rates. Sahra Spa Suite in The Cosmopolitan, 702.698.7171;

IF THEY WERE HERE… You should be, too! Celebrity power couples such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, and LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian have been pampered in the couples’ massage room.

BODY BEAUTIFUL Te 50-minute Red Flower Bathing Ritual starts with the Lemon Coffee Blossom Olive Stone Scrub body exfoliation, followed by a soak in a Moroccan Mint Tea Silt Purifier. After, Cardamom Amber Oil and Tangerine Fig Butter are applied. Tis is one ritual that could get habitual. $160

Insider Intel / Be sure to ask about the 50-minute increment in-suite chair massage ($150 per hour). It’s so exclusive it’s not even on the spa menu.

TREAT ME RIGHT Go classic with the 80-minute Sahra Signature massage ($225), which combines Swedish, shiatsu and Tai techniques to rid the body of nasty kinks. / 63

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.

THE CITY BEYOND THE STRIP Five cool MuseuMs / a Few Good Men / Queens with Golden hearts

DISCOVER Never a Dull Moment

jana cruder

“I see new things every weekend. Just when I think I couldn’t be more shocked, something even crazier happens.” / 65


Pasquale romano gets paid to party, and after eight years in the nightlife industry, he’s emerged as the ultimate social butterfly. Get to know him, along with six more of vegas’ most eligible men. See Page 68



erotic Heritage museum

history on display city’s unique Heritage yields some unusual exHibits by geoff carter

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PINBALL HALL OF FAME The Pinball Hall of Fame isn’t really a museum. It has no proper exhibitions, no docents and doesn’t even charge admission. Yet this sprawling, warehouse-like space manages to do something very museum-like indeed: It presents the history of pinball in a manner that can truly be called “handson.” [Yes, you can actually play on these machines, too!] Owner Tim Arnold provides the history of each machine via information cards with QR codes you can scan for more facts, and all profits from the Hall of Fame go to charity. Get $10 in quarters and enrich yourself. 1610 E. Tropicana Ave., 702.597.2627;

Pinball Hall of fame

PINBall: ZaCK w; Nevada State MuSeuM: SaMPSel & PreStoN PhotograPhy; the MoB MuSeuM: jeff greeN

THE M OB MUSEUM Strictly speaking, it’s the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, but just tell that to the faces staring defiantly out of the photos and artifacts adorning the Mob Museum’s walls. Here you’ll walk in the footsteps of Capone, Gotti, Siegel—and you’ll cross the line to stand with the lawmakers who shut them down. And the building the museum occupies, a former post office and federal courthouse, actually played a role in that battle: The anti-mob Kefauver Committee hearings were held right here in November 1950.300 Stewart Ave.,702.229.2734;

NEVADA STATE MUSEUM The Silver State has a history that extends a long way back—past the lights of the Strip, past the Mormon Fort, and even past human beings themselves. The Nevada State Museum, on the grounds of the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, provides a breakneck tour of Nevada’s storied past, from the giants of the Jurassic period to the giants of the Rat Pack era. Don’t miss the silver mining exhibit, complete with real “ghosts,” and be sure to check out “Vegas Style,” an exhibition of vintage Vegas clothes and costumes. 309 S. Valley View Blvd., 702.486.5205;

Nevada State muSeum

the mob muSeum

NATIONAL ATOMIC TESTING MUSEUM Atomic testing remains a touchy subject some years after the U.S. abandoned the practice. (Just so you know, the last underground atomic test was in September 1992—and it happened less than 70 miles from Las Vegas.) This Smithsonian Institution affiliate doesn’t offer an opinion; it merely presents the facts of atomic testing, along with artifacts gathered from the Nevada Test Site—from Geiger counters to bomb casings. If you dare, check out a simulated atmospheric test in the Ground Zero Theater. 755 E. Flamingo Road, 702.794.5151; EROTIC HERITAGE MUSEUM This two-story monument to doin’ the nasty is actually more informative and less lascivious than its name implies. True, “historically significant” X-rated films play on a continuous loop and you enter the museum through a forest of porn-star standees, but its collection of erotic art is spectacular, and the Museum makes a bonafide attempt to explore sexuality in everything from politics to religion without unduly sensationalizing the topic. 3275 Industrial Road, 702.369.6442; / 67




Men by ElizabEth SEwEll PhotograPhy JaNa CrUDEr

The DeTails meet the seven exemplary gentlemen who earned a place in the second annual Best Man contest, presented by Bombay Sapphire, Vegas/Rated and Prospective winners were nominated by their peers in categories such as Te talent, Te Hero and Te Socialite. Te five finalists in each group then garnered points through online balloting and by attending voting events. to the victor go the spoils, and each Best man netted $1,000 for his respective charity, and then was outfitted by ÉlevÊe custom clothing for a dapper photo shoot at the downtown pub commonwealth.

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the socialite

Pasquale Romano age: 30 As the director of VIP services for the 9 Group, Pasquale Romano has to be ready to party with the 1,500-plus contacts in his iPhone at any minute. But he relishes the frenetic work schedule. Romano was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which proved to be an asset for his career. “I love to go out and talk to people,” he says. “And having ADHD helps, because you have to move around a lot.” The seven-year nightlife veteran also credits a simple formula for his rise through the club ranks from porter to director. “You just have to be humble, respect people and be nice,” he says. “A lot of people don’t do that.”

ÉLevÉe Te maestro shirt, É Knit tie, Te traditionalist blazer and É Signature casual pant / 69


the capitalist ryan hamilton age: 32

Talk about trading up. When Ryan Hamilton was 16, he got his first car: a Toyota 4Runner. But when we met Hamilton, the owner of Celebrity Cars in The Palazzo, he tooled up in a Maybach. “I drive a new car every day,” he says, and he doesn’t mean just any old hooptie. Hamilton’s dealership, which he started after graduating from the University of California, San Diego, sells new and used high-end and exotic vehicles. Everything from Jaguar race cars to vintage motorcycles—and other vehicles you won’t find elsewhere—make their way to his showroom in the former Lamborghini space. “It’s an attraction, because a lot of our items are one of a kind,” he says. ÉLevÉe Te Paramount shirt, É classic tie, Te Professional suit and pocket square; Watch subject’s own

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the talent

tony moreno AGe: 25


How does someone become the talent in the “Entertainment Capital of the World?” Start by asking Tony Moreno, bassist in the Frankie Moreno band. He did it by performing in 40 countries, writing and recording six albums, and scoring a coveted appearance on Dancing With the Stars, all before his 30th birthday. The musical phenom, who also plays guitar and piano, took the stage with his older brother at age 14, and is one-third of the group’s songwriting team, along with Frankie and younger brother Ricky. “My favorite thing to do is write music and go through the whole recording process,” he says. “You get done, and then you start all over. Maybe it’s a form of psychosis.” ÉLevÉe Te Paramount shirt, black pattern scarf and Te Professional suit; Shoes subject’s own / 71


the boy next door thomas stemmle aGe: 27

Thomas Stemmle is the ultimate boy next door. Ask him to screw in a light bulb, and he’ll say yes in a heartbeat. “I’m always there for people when they need it,” Stemmle says. And now he’s cashing in on the good karma. The Long Island, New York, native and former engineer caught a virus that attacked his heart and has since dedicated himself to getting healthy. Even with just 15 percent cardiac function, he was running daily. A recent setback has put Stemmle on the transplant list for a new ticker, but he has no plans to let that slow him down. If his past health problems have proven anything, it’s that Stemmle also possesses another admirable quality: resilience. Editor’s Note: At press time, Stemmle underwent two open-heart surgeries in two weeks. Follow his journey at ÉLevÉe Te revolution shirt and É Signature casual pant; Watch and belt subject’s own

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Meet the Rebel

dana anderson age: 27 Dana Anderson likes to mix it up, and not just when he’s working the bar. Like any true entrepreneur, Anderson is determined to work for himself because, “I’m not really the best employee,” he says. Instead, he keeps his hands in many different realms, such as promoting for Ghostbar at Palms Casino Resort and producing Monday Night Karaoke at Beauty Bar Downtown. But this tattoo aficionado’s main interest lies in the body art adorning most of his skin. His company, Industry Supporting Industry (the ISI Group), hosts shows at local venues promoting tattoo artists for the work they do on canvas rather than dermis, and it’s Anderson’s true passion project. “For me it’s about freedom,” he says. Spoken like a true rebel. ÉLevÉe Te original shirt, É Signature FivePocket pant and É military Zip-Up sweater; Shoes subject’s own



the hero

Dana RichaRDson aGE: 32 Dana Richardson satisfies his self-professed nerdy side as a full-time IT consultant, but during his spare time, his true hero comes out as deputy commander for Red Rock Search and Rescue, a volunteer organization (which he helped found in 2012) that scours surrounding recreation areas when wilderness enthusiasts go missing. Richardson’s interest in the outdoors was piqued after he became increasingly dissatisfied with his sedentary life. “I went hiking at Mount Charleston one day, and I couldn’t go farther than three miles,” he says. It was a turning point, and he pushed himself to get fit before training in search-and-rescue techniques with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. He has worked on 12 different rescue and recovery cases. ÉLevÉe É military Zip-Up sweater and custom double-Breasted trench coat; Sunglasses and pant subject’s own

Where to Buy Élevée custom clothing outfitted Vegas/Rated’s Best men in made-tomeasure attire. Teir team of fashion specialists can craft an entire wardrobe based on a client’s specifications. Élevée’s portfolio of work includes decking out superstar athletes such as aaron rodgers and dwight Howard in their selection of top-of-the-line Italian and english fabrics. 866.735.3833; 74 /


the heartbreaker jung kim age: 26


Jung Hoon Kim was drawn to the glitz of nightlife after moving to Las Vegas to pursue a degree in hospitality. He’s a senior VIP services manager at Palms Casino Resort, but it’s his love for music that has him rubbing elbows with the likes of Far East Movement and Drake. As a hip-hop and R&B artist known as The Legendary Poet, Kim has made a name for himself on two continents. “I’m international, which is why I want to be in the music industry,” says Kim, who has already released two albums in his native Korea. But his goal is to conquer entertainment worldwide, and he’s working on a third album of songs in both Korean and English, which he hopes to release in the U.S. this year.

ÉLevÉe Te University shirt, É Knit tie, Te trendsetter blazer, pocket square and É Signature Five-Pocket pant

Photography JaNa crUder Photography Assistant HaoYUaN reN Styling PercY KNoX for Élevée Custom Clothing Grooming caSSIe coLemaN / 75

Queen of Hearts 7 2

5 4





HearTS on Fire discovery children’s museum honors 10 women who are devoted to helping their community By maureen hank

photography anthony mair

THe undulaTing Keep MeMory alive building at the Cleveland Clinic lou ruvo Center for Brain Health will be ablaze in accolades on February 19 when the discovery Children’s Museum hosts its 2013 Queen of Hearts ceremony. With singer Clint Holmes as emcee, the second annual gala recognizes women who have made las Vegas a better place to live, work and raise a family.

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( 1) The ResouRceful heaRT in addition to throwing memorable soirées, Laurie Travis—Ceo of event-planning company lT evention—has a heart for charity. She supports causes on the national and local level such as the Cultural diversity Foundation, opportunity Village and Three Square Food Bank. “as a forum member of the Women’s Business enterprise national Council, i represent the State of nevada for women-owned businesses.”

(2) The Big heaRT appointed to the board of nevada Humanities in 2008 by governor Jim gibbons, Dedee Nave has devoted herself for 40 years to charitable endeavors such as the Junior league of las Vegas and discovery Children’s Museum. nave has a heart for volunteerism. “So many of today’s institutions that inspire pride and bring our community together started as volunteer efforts. … i’m happy to say that las Vegas is


The Players

a work in progress, and that new people are stepping up to volunteer their time, talents and resources to create an even better and richer community for all.”

(4) The SMarT hearT Since arriving in Las Vegas in 1993, president emeritus of Nevada Women’s Philanthropy and board president of Communities in Schools of Nevada, Susie Lee, has contributed to numerous causes such as Teach for America and the Meadows School. She is a 10-year member of the board of After-School All-Stars, which provides afternoon enrichment programs to more than 6,500 children in 14 Southern Nevada schools. Lee has a heart for giving at-risk kids specialized assistance and better chances for a life of success. “I am so honored that [Discovery Children’s Museum] has chosen to honor my efforts through Communities in Schools—the nation’s leading dropout prevention program.” (5) The arTful hearT Wendy Plaster, mother of three and grandmother of two, supports such organizations as Nevada Women’s Philanthropy, Shade Tree, Discovery Children’s Museum and Planned Parenthood. She and her husband own Signature Homes, which has built more than 12,000 dwellings

(6) The BeauTiful hearT Discovery Children’s Museum campaign donor and mother of three, Vanessa Breitling, has a heart for expectant mothers. As a supporter of the Pregnancy Foundation, she helps the organization’s mission of improving pregnancy outcomes by funding and supporting Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians and patients in Las Vegas. “I have a passion for children and for creating a wonderful learning environment around them. Every child should have a chance to live out his or her dreams.” (7) The inforMed hearT A founding member of the UNLV Women’s Center and the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way, Judy Kropid has served on the board of Nevada School of the Arts and St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. She has been instrumental in raising funds for organizations such as the Las Vegas Philharmonic and Classroom on Wheels. Kropid has co-chaired the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast—an event that celebrates diversity while promoting togetherness in business, faith and youth leaders—for eight years. “Las Vegas is home. … There is and always has been a feeling of excitement and opportunity. … Las Vegas will be better if we can improve schools, provide better health care and create a more vibrant arts community.” (8) The GivinG hearT Although she is a University of Nevada, Reno, graduate, Denise Cashman has a heart for Las Vegas. The Smith Center advisory

board member and Discovery Children’s Museum donor, who has two daughters, is a native Las Vegan who attended St. Viator’s Catholic School and went on to graduate from Bishop Gorman High School. “My parents were very charitable and my husband’s parents were very charitable and community-minded. So my husband, Tim, and I both have had great examples to follow about giving back to a community that has given so much to us.” (9) The MuSical hearT: Queen in The MakinG With songs titled “Go All In” and “Dare to Be Great,” 16-year-old Lexy Bradford —better known as LexRox—has a heart for making music that is inspiring and empowering. LexRox has participated in KLUC’s Toy Drive for three years, and she is youth ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network, which benefits pediatrics at St. Rose Dominican Hospitals. “As youth ambassador, I go to the hospitals and give the kids blankets and stuffed animals or sing—anything that will make them smile.” The MeMoraBle hearT (noT PicTured) Former president of the board of Catholic Charities and a psychology graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Camille Ruvo has a heart for healthy psyches. She and her husband, Larry Ruvo, cofounded the local nonprofit Keep Memory Alive, which is devoted to backing the research, management and treatment of brain disorders at the Lou Ruvo Center. Vice chairman of the executive board of Keep Memory Alive, Ruvo is an on-the-go mother of three who supports the Andre Agassi Capital Campaign Board, among other charities. The Discovery Children’s Museum opens in its new three-story 58,000-square-foot location in Symphony Park adjacent to The Smith Center for the Performing Arts on March 9. 360 Promenade Place, 702.382.3445; / 77


Shot on location at reynoldS hall in the Smith center for the Performing artS; makeuP lauren BaetZ, nataSha chamBerlin and natalie lane; hair candace camPBell, victoria Sandoval and eden Walton

(3) The MoTherly hearT Madeline Benito-Banaszak has a heart for philanthropy that her mentors at Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group—where she is director of development—have been instilling in her since 1997. In addition to her active involvement in area ministries such as Calvary Chapel, the mother of two and avid scrapbooker is a board member of the Women’s Resource Medical Center of Southern Nevada, and previously served on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters. “I am completely humbled and honored to receive this [Queen of Hearts] recognition, and honored to share this with amazing women.”

across Southern Nevada since 1978. As a board member of the Nevada Ballet Theatre, as well as a founding member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, she truly has a heart for the arts. “My emphasis has been on the arts and culture, as well as women and children. ... It’s great to be a part of the growth [in Las Vegas] and really be able to make contributions here.”

Calendar We Heart art there’s a lot of love hanging around town this month By geoff carter



BODYSCAPES Through February 16 Sin City Gallery Allan Teger shoots black-and-white photographs, but before your eyes glaze over the Ansel Adams of it all, notice that these tableaus are really nudes, dotted with tiny figures to make them look like landscapes. Dolphins frolic in navels, mountaineers scale breasts—it’s all just

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pAINTINg AN EScApE Te art of iranian expatriates nanda sharifpour and ali fathollahi is being shown through the end of february at Blackbird studios. it’s some beautiful

THE SPACE BETWEEN YOU AND ME February 1-27 Tasty Space at Emergency Arts As it happens, the “space between” Bill Dambrova and Dat Nguyen is more than psychological: The two artists created works for this dual show on entirely different coasts. I haven’t yet seen Nguyen’s art, but I like Dambrova’s work: It evokes the mysterious inner workings of the human body without being, you know, gross. 520 Fremont St., Suite 150, 617.513.7336; SAM DAVIS & ANNA TILLET February 1-22 Trifecta Gallery in The Arts Factory Trifecta presents a Valentine’s Day doubleheader that, should you manage to find a date to bring to it, just might get you laid. The laser-cut wood paintings of Sam Davis’ “Modern Love” illustrate the story of a robot that falls in love with objects that can’t reciprocate, while Anna Tillet’s suggestively titled “Polyamorous” considers the sex lives of lagomorphs. Bunnies! It’s all about dirty bunnies. 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite 135, 702.366.7001;

work, otherworldly and achingly poetic. some of the pieces are explicitly about the oppression sharifpour and fathollahi faced in their former home, while other paintings hardly seem connected to earthly matters at all. Tey’re just pure dreamscapes, coinhabited by people and goldfish. yes, goldfish. But you really should know about the extraordinary journey this art has taken to reach las vegas. Blackbird gallerist gina Quaranto explains: Tey were forced to escape Iran, where they were both art professors, from fear of death or kidnapping. Tey moved to Turkey while waiting to come to America. … After three long years of horrible waiting, they were given little notice that if they wanted to get to America, they had to leave ASAP. Tey actually ripped their paintings off the stretcher bars to roll them up for travel. And they chose to bring almost nothing [for themselves] so they could pack their art and art supplies. When they arrived, they had to start all over again. … [Tis exhibition] was started in Turkey and finished here in Vegas. Some of these paintings took as long as six months or more. it’s often said that downtown las vegas’ resurrection as a place for artists has changed lives, and right now at Blackbird, you can see evidence of that saving grace hanging on the walls. Blackbird Gallery, 1551 S. Commerce St., 702.782.0319;

BodySCAPeS: allan teger; “polyamorous”: anna tillet


weird enough to be brilliant. 107 E. Charleston Blvd., Suite 100, 702.608.2461;


MUST-SEE CONCERTS & SHOWS loberAce / bourdAin vs. ripert / A cultured culinAry tour



Andrew mAcpherson

Pink Brings her tough-girl attitude to Las vegas When: February 15 Where: mandalay Bay events center remember back in the day, in the pre-Gaga, pre-adele era, when everybody was all up in Pink’s stuff? No? Well, she hasn’t forgotten you. Te rose-monikered diva comes to town in support of her latest album, Te Truth About Love. Tose delightful Swedish punk-rock madmen Te Hives open the show. Tickets start at $153. 702.632.7777; / 81

Turn up The heaT February brings blasting guitars, classic rock and a touch oF crazy by geoFF carter


February 15 The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort Jackson Browne has been around for a while. The singer-songwriter had his biggest hit in 1982 with “Somebody’s Baby”—and he’d been recording 10 years before that. Even his contemporaries probably say, “I wonder what happened to that guy?” On February 15, we find out. Tickets start at $55; 702.942.7777; STONE SOUR & PAPA ROACH

February 15 The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Trying to work some headbanging into your fitness regimen? Boy howdy, has The Joint got a show for you. Stone Sour is easily the heaviest band ever to come out of Des Moines, Iowa; Papa Roach is so hardcore that they actually titled an album Lovehatetragedy. Together, they’ll rip your head clean off. Tickets start at $35; 702.693.5000;

bonnie raitt


February 16 PH Live at Planet Hollywood This metal outfit has sold so many records in their time—more than 50 million— that the law of averages dictates that you probably have at least one in your collection. Their latest album, Living Things, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Sure you don’t have it? Go check. Tickets start at $88;702.785.5555;

February 23 House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Over the years we’ve said a lot about Marilyn Manson—from his trademark androgyny to his incisive interviews to his tabloidworthy relationships with the likes of Rose McGowan and Dita Von Teese. But the one

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February 22 The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort Although she’d probably bristle at the phrase, Bonnie Raitt is American songwriting royalty. The nine-time Grammy winner has penned many great songs—“Something to Talk About” and “Love Sneakin’ Up on You” among them—and performs them with unparalleled soulfulness. Tickets start at $71; 702.942.7777; CEE LO GREEN

Opening February 27 PH Live at Planet Hollywood Having one of the most anticipated

residencies of the year isn’t enough for Cee Lo Green. He’s doing a full-blown production called Loberace, with “mindtwisting magic and sexified showgirls” and a “larger-than-life wardrobe.” Will this show be crazy? You betcha. Tickets start at $55; 702.785.5555; PAT BENATAR

March 8 Las Vegas Hotel & Casino “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” “Love Is a Battlefield.” “Hell Is for Children.” “Invincible.” “Fire and Ice.” These songs, and at least half a dozen others, are the reason that Pat Benatar should already be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Go give her a vote of confidence at LVH. Tickets start at $54; 702.732.5111;

Bonnie Raitt: maRina chavez


thing we don’t mention enough is that he’s one hell of a solid glam rocker. Tickets start at $62; 702.632.7600;



by tiffany bosman

HuMMinGbird LoCAL NATIvES after teasing fans with new songs at last year’s cmJ music marathon in New York city, Los angeles-based band Local Natives have released an album that made me fall in love with them all over again. Sticking with the layered vocal harmonies and driving percussions for which they’re known, the band delivers 11 impressive tracks for sophomore album Hummingbird (produced by Te National’s aaron dessner). For something different, listen to the Superhumanoids’ take on the first single, “Breakers,” on Local Native’s Soundcloud page. Te Hits: “Heavy Feet,” “Breakers,” “mt. Washington”

AnytHinG in return ToRo Y MoI

ImaGINe draGoNS

easily topping my list of favorite artists, 25-yearold producer/musician chaz Bundick turns out some super-sexy

jams on his third fulllength release, Anything in return, combining chill-wave jazzy soul underlays, sincere lyrics and creamy vocal lines. Quirky music videos for “So many details” and “Say that” are already out, and a remix of the former is available on Spotify. Te Hits: “Harm in change,” “Say Tat,” “So many details”

every Weekend HADoUkEN! British bass scene group Hadouken! aren’t the typical producer/vocal duo pumping out tracks in the studio—they’re a five-piece band working to craft the seriously edgy sounds they serve up to their rowdy fans during live shows. Tink Linkin Park meets Zeds dead meets Nero. to get a taste, check out the music video for their first single, “Bad Signal.” If you want a better idea of what you’re in for, head over to their website,,

where you can preview a mini version of the entire album. The Hits: “the vortex,” “Bliss out,” “Bad Signal”

LeAvinG eP SkRILLEx three tracks are all Sonny moore needs to let everyone know he’s got some tricks up his sleeve. It’s a departure from what the average Skrillex show attendee would expect, but the artful texture moore delivers to the masses on the chill title single and opener, “Leaving,” makes me want to hear more. the eP picks up the tempo on the second song, “the reason,” and then we’re back to what we’re used to on the closer, “Scary Bolly dub.” Leaving eP has raised some eyebrows for sure, but we just might get more than we expected this year from suddenly famous producers like Skrillex. The Hits: “Leaving,” “the reason,” “Scary Bolly dub” / 83


there’s love in the air, and music and laughter, too, this month. Start with Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza in the Hollywood theatre at mGm Grand (February 1-2), or join the crowds at mandalay Bay events center to cheer on Fear Factor host and UFc commentator Joe Rogan (February 1). around the corner, country music icon George Strait takes over the mGm Grand Garden arena for a Super Bowl eve performance (February 2). If country’s not your thing, take in UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar at mandalay Bay events center (February 2). or rock out with British Invasion band The Who as they unleash their Quadrophenia and More tour at the Joint at Hard rock Hotel & casino (February 8 and 10). Morrissey, manchester’s monomonikered morose melody maker, makes up for his canceled November show—he’s playing it mellow at the chelsea at the cosmopolitan of Las vegas (February 9)—while Imagine Dragons headline the Joint the same night. Looking for something a little more upbeat? You’ll be whistling “Sweet Georgia Brown” at the thomas & mack center as those funky hooligans of hoops, the Harlem Globetrotters, bounce, boogie and goof off on the basketball court (February 13). If all the valentine’s day love makes you feel pretty, then you’ll be right at home when West Side Story kicks and lunges into “america” at the Smith center for the Performing arts (February 26– march 3). –Michael Shulman


downloads to get you in the mood


In the KITCHENof GOODand EVIL Chef, TV host and all-around badass Anthony Bourdain takes on Vegas—and Eric Ripert By GRACE BASCOS Photography CLAY PATRICK MCBRIDE

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prickly Bourdain a run for his money. they square off against each other in what Bourdain calls “alternating hostile interrogations.” “I sit him down in the most uncomfortable chair in the world under a naked light bulb and subject him to a classic police line of inquiry.” But it’s all in good fun, and an intimate way to learn about how one views the other. “We are very different people with very different professional backgrounds, to say the least,” Bourdain says. “so I think much of the fun is taking an adversarial stance. eric is diplomatic—he has to be. ... I do not have to be diplomatic.” this means that Bourdain, who will host shows on Cnn and ABC in the spring after the final leg of No Reservations on the travel Channel, won’t be pulling any punches with his sparring partner, with whom he has been close friends for years. (It was Ripert, in fact, who introduced Bourdain to his wife.) Although the culinary tête-à-tête has been on the road for some time now, it is hardly canned. “We certainly know what works, but by the same token we’re always aware of where we are,” Bourdain explains. “I will definitely be asking eric why he doesn’t have a restaurant in vegas. he should have done it years ago! how come he doesn’t have a 900seat fish house and a branded merchandising wing?” Catch some sound bites at the hottest chat ’n’ chew in town. It’s an evening you won’t soon forget. February 9, 8 p.m. tickets start at $59, the Pearl theater in Palms Casino Resort, 702.944.3200;


In the epIsode of No ReseRvatioNs devoted to Las vegas, Anthony Bourdain embarks on a hunter s. thompson-esque journey—he visits the double down saloon, plays poker with little people in a seedy motel room and spills red wine all over the white tablecloth at Bouchon. It’s trademark Bourdain tv, full of scenarios that only the outsize personality can pull off. these days, when the tv star and best-selling author of Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw makes it to vegas, his itinerary is less Fear and Loathing and more Fight Club when he and his MMA fighter wife, ottavia, come out for the UfC fights. for Bourdain, these trips are pretty straightforward. “Generally [we] come in, grab a bite to eat, go to a fight and bug out,” he admits. “I’m good for one destination meal and maybe a utility meal or two, then catch the main event.” on february 9, Bourdain comes to town for another kind of UfC—call it Ultimate fighting Chefs—when he and eric Ripert take the stage at the pearl theater in palms Casino Resort for their national speaking tour Good vs. evil: an evening With anthony Bourdain and eric Ripert, [now in its third year]. the celebrity chefs represent two sides of the same coin of the cooking industry—you can guess who is good and who is evil—sharing their personal stories in the world of professional kitchens, as well as their insights on the state of food. Ripert, executive chef of the internationally acclaimed Le Bernadin in new York and a television personality himself, gives the unapologetically



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on the record


the Smith center for the performing artS

Shrimp diaBlo at mundo

dinner and a Show

three downtown denizenS give their SuggeStionS for a great night out

Candy SChneider Vice President of Education and Outreach What she does: “build the educational programming. The smith Center was created for generations to come, and part of that is introducing young people to the performing arts through live performances, artist workshops and professional development opportunities for teachers.” Best concert so far: “i love when our artists have the chance to reach students in our community. in January, we brought Jazz Roots: Vocalese featuring The Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices and Jon Hendricks. as part of the educational component, these artists visited local high school music students, invited them to experience sound check and attend the evening’s performance. it’s a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity for these kids.” Where she eats: “i love the energy and pride of downtown. before a show, i enjoy having dinner at Chicago Joe’s. for something a little different and totally casual but delicious, i go to Mario’s Westside Market to pick up catfish with all the trimmings.”

There are endless possibiliTies for entertainment in las Vegas, but one newly minted destination is The smith Center for the performing arts. featuring a visionary architectural design, the downtown venue showcases touring broadway productions and various musical acts. big attractions for this month include productions of Anything Goes (february 5-10) and West Side Story (february 26-March 3). Jazz fans can appreciate the prolific group The Yellowjackets (february 15-16), now in the 32nd year of performing their electro-acoustic sounds. but you shouldn’t attend these shows on an empty stomach, so here’s the skinny on the best places to eat, straight from the mouths of those in the know.

conceived in the ’90s delivers on its promise to las Vegas. i couldn’t be luckier.” What he’s looking forward to: “i am always excited to see what new show Clint Holmes (february 1-3) is going to bring to Cabaret Jazz [The smith Center’s more intimate loungeperformance setting]. We are expanding our jazz horizons with performances by some very notable figures including the Kurt Elling Quartet (february 8-9), and Kevin Eubanks and Stanley Jordan (february 22-23).” Where he eats: “That’s easy: Mundo. it’s incredible Mexican food located about 10 steps from The smith Center. downtown is thriving with eclectic dining experiences, but i’d have to say any of the seafood dishes at Chart house are unbeatable.”

Myron Martin President and CEO

Paul Beard Vice President and COO

Chicago Joe’s, 820 S. 4th Street, 702.382.5637;

What he does: “i’m responsible for making sure the vision for The smith Center that was

What he does: “i’m responsible for the programming and operations of the center.”

Mario’s Westside Market, 1960 N. Martin L. King Blvd., 702.648.1482;

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Eat Here Now Mundo, 495 S. Grand Central Parkway, 702.270.4400; Te Chart House in the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, 129 Fremont Street, 702.386.8364; Du-par’s in the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, 1 Fremont Street, 702.366.9378;

the Smith Center for the performing artS: geri kodey; mundo: kryStal ramirez


By danny axelrod

What he’s looking forward to: “The winter season at The smith Center is going to bring immense talent to the stage, many for the first time in las Vegas. i’m looking forward to renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman.” Where he eats: “one of my favorite spots is Du-par’s, and it just so happens to be in our backyard, in the Golden Gate Casino. it has great pancakes and pies—day or night—and the country-fried chicken is amazing. it’s a different, but rewarding, choice.”

C OMMONW E A LT H now pouring in downtown Las Vegas



11011 W. CHARLESTON BLVD. LAS VEGAS, NV 89135 | REDROCK.SCLV.COM | 702.797.7777

play On the list & On the lips Distinct Drinks / a Day in thE LiFE / it’s happy hour at stir

Tools of the Trade / 91

anthony mair


sunup tO sundOwn on thE Go With a VEGas insiDEr (Page 100)

Te only thing better than a new line of bar tools endorsed by world-renowned cocktail expert tony abou-Ganim is a line designed by tony abou-Ganim. Launching in march along with abou-Ganim’s second book (see Page 94), modern mixologist Barware is a visually stunning suite of elegant, modern, professional-grade pieces . Te Italian-made crystal beaker and mixing glass complement the three-piece cocktail shaker, called a cobbler. But it’s the thoughtful details—the subtle, ergonomic dimple where your fingers should land on the Hawthorne and julep cocktail strainers, and the perfect 25-degree angle on the mixing spoons— that make this set the first any aspiring home mixologist will want ... and the last a professional bartender will ever need. About $170;

V/Rated TasTe bud Ticklers five creative cocktails to drink right now By Xania woodman photography kin liu

Te Dream / Wynn Las Vegas Inspired by resident show Le Rêve, Wynn Resorts’ signature concoction fits the personality of an entire casino-resort into one delicate glass. “It’s crisp and effervescent, with some bready, yeasty notes from the Champagne, rounded out with floral notes of St.-Germain and the subtle sweetness of hibiscus syrup,” property mixologist Patricia Richards says. More than a mere glass of bubbly, but far less complicated than breaking out the tins and strainers, The Dream makes short work out of preparing an entire round. $22; 702.770.7000;


Nikita / Bond in Te Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas In keeping with the mixology philosophy of Bond in The Cosmopolitan, reinterpreting cocktails bartenders “love to hate”—the Nikita was inspired by the caipirinha. “Many times I have a base spirit that I start with, and it just goes from there,” says Jerry Vargas, Bond general manager and property mixologist. The El Paso, Texas, native is no stranger to spice, so he started with Hangar One Chipotle vodka, intermingling sweet, roasted pineapple flavors with the chili’s warming heat. $13; 702.698.7000; Lucky Ray / Double Helix Wine & Whiskey Bar in Te Shoppes at Te Palazzo The Lucky Ray was just the first of Double Helix’s unique menu of winetails—that is, cocktails that use wine instead of hard liquor. “We’re constantly rotating our menu to keep it fresh and interesting,” co-owner Ray Nisi says. “This one is perfect for anyone who’s looking for a new and interesting way to enjoy

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wine.” It features riesling mixed with peach schnapps and pineapple juice with a splash of grenadine added for good measure. $12; 702.735.9463; Blind Stud / Te Ainsworth in Hard Rock Hotel & Casino The seemingly disparate worlds of poker and premium beverages join forces to wonderful effect at The Ainsworth, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s new highend sports bar and lounge. Named for a particular variant of poker, the Blind Stud is essentially a slightly tipsier Moscow Mule (which consists of vodka, ginger beer and lime) thanks to the addition of a little absinthe-flavored liqueur. It’s also mixed with Belvedere’s Pink Grapefruit vodka, which offers notes of juicy grapefruit, as well as spicy ginger and a hint of vanilla. $15; 702.522.8120; Marti-Gras / Andre’s Restaurant & Lounge in Monte Carlo The elegant Marti-Gras at Andre’s comes to the table in two parts. First, the opaque, tan and silky liquid is served in Versace by Rosenthal glassware. Then, its accouterments such as ice cream, macerated berries and candied walnuts arrive. The libation itself is made from brandy, vodka and pan-roasted foie gras (yes, you read that right). Retaining all the earthiness of the coveted duck liver, the Marti-Gras uses complementary flavors such as Tahitian vanilla and honey to turn one of the most polarizing ingredients in the world into a drinkable, edible work of art. $18; 702.798.7151;

the dream


From Russia (and Poland) With Love


By Xania Woodman Photography Anthony Mair

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It took nearly a decade for worldrenowned beverage consultant and champion of the craft-cocktail movement tony abou-Ganim (a.k.a “the Modern Mixologist”) to add “author” to his résumé. His first book, The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails, came out in 2010 and helped inform a new generation of bartenders and aspiring home mixologists about the logic and craft of mixology. But few at the time expected that his follow-up book would take on one of the most polarizing spirits of all. Vodka Distilled: The Modern Mixologist on Vodka and Vodka Cocktail launches this month at the South Beach food & wine festival and is available on and In it, abou-Ganim pours out the captivating history of vodka, the diversity of raw materials, its use in cocktails, pairing caviar with vodka and how to host your own vodka tasting. fifty-eight old-world and new-world vodkas are explored and rated for their character (not a one of them flavored like wedding cake or peanut butter). alongside stunning photography, abou-Ganim updates well-known drinks such as the Black russian, the Vesper and the Harvey wallbanger, and serves original creations that cast vodka as a vehicle for complementary flavors, something to be savored on its own, and something worthy of more respect than many bartenders give it. But still, you might wonder: Why vodka? Why not a book about whiskey or pre-Prohibition cocktails? “In part,” abou-Ganim writes, “because numbers speak. Vodka is not only the no. 1 consumed spirit in the United States but also ranks no. 1 globally.” thanks in part to vodka’s mixability, a number of successful marketing campaigns and a certain double-agent with a taste for the stuff, vodka surpassed gin in popularity in 1967, and it’s never looked back. “Vodka’s heritage and flavor nuances deserve a measure of reverence, it deserves a place alongside its spirituous cousins whisky, gin, tequila and so on,” abou-Ganim writes in the introduction. “Got to love a challenge!”

Better by Design Few cocktails elicit so much revulsion among bartenders as the apple martini. In Vodka Distilled abou-Ganim recasts that pariah as the apple Blossom, a delightful vodka cocktail that benefits from the addition of calvados, fresh lemon juice, apple puree and a little egg white. Similarly—though not so much despised as much as it is misunderstood—the cosmopolitan takes a lot of heat, which is understandable when you consider the way it rocketed to infamy at the hands of madonna and Sex and the City’s thirsty ladies. If all that a person has experienced is well vodka mixed with cranberry off the gun instead of ocean Spray, artificial triple sec instead of cointreau and lime cordial instead of freshly squeezed lime juice, how can you blame them? enough, abou-Ganim declares. “I’m tired of people beating up on the cosmopolitan.” “to say, ‘We don’t stock vodka,’ or ‘We don’t make vodka-based cocktails,’ or ‘don’t even think of ordering a cosmopolitan,’ I think we’re doing a great disservice to our profession,” abou-Ganim says. “Absolutely, we’re going to make cosmopolitans, and we’re going to make the best cosmopolitan that guest has ever had!” and here’s how you can do that, too.

Cosmopolitan “In keeping with celebrating vodka at its purest level, flavored vodkas were intentionally excluded from this book. Tat said, the Cosmopolitan is a cocktail for which I might reach for a citrus-flavored vodka. Here, I suggest vodka with a lot of bright citrus notes in both nose and palate— something approachable, made of grape or barley. Or better yet, taste it both ways, using flavored and unflavored vodka side by side, and see what you think.” 1½ ounce vodka ¾ ounce cointreau ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice ¾ ounce ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail


In a mixing glass add vodka, cointreau, lime juice and cranberry juice; shake with ice until well blended. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a spiral of lemon.

tony aBou-GanIm on the veSper: “It’S one oF theSe FaBulouS SeGue cocktaIlS For Someone Who haS yet ventured Into a perFect dry [GIn] martInI.” SHOt On lOCAtIOn At HOney SAlt. 1031 S. RAMpARt BlVD., 702.445.6100; HOneySAlt.COM

cosmopolitan excerpt reprinted, with permission, from Vodka Distilled: Te Modern Mixologist on Vodka and Vodka Cocktails, by tony abou-Ganim with mary elizabeth Faulkner (Surrey Books, 2013). / 95

all access All For You You can make the lounge your own by booking a cocktail party, rehearsal dinner, birthday party or holiday celebration for up to 65 people.

The Platinum Hotel sets the gold standard for happy hour By Paula Murphey Photography Jeff Green We all Go a liTTle BiT sTir crazy froM TiMe To TiMe, and no place is more appropriate for doing so than the stir lounge at the Platinum Hotel. Happy hour here—which stretches from 4 to 8 p.m. daily—is just that much happier with a group of friends, particularly because almost everything is half off. you’ll also find hotel guests and the local business crowd mixing it up while enjoying food and music. Try the lounge’s signature drink, the Platinum Jewel ($16), a concoction of vodka, sparkling wine and a fresh strawberry. after a few cocktails, sample executive chef James chang’s comfort food. Perhaps taking a cue from Julia child—who believed that cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, just good food made from fresh ingredients—chang’s specials include the Boeuf à la Bourguignon ($16) served over orzo. of course, this being Vegas, stir lounge ups the ante and pairs the stew with a Primarius Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, oregon, which is—you guessed it—half-price on Tuesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. Happy hours indeed. Stir Lounge is open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily, 211 E. Flamingo Road, 702.365.5000;

Game On


Catch the big game on one of Stir Lounge’s three 42- to 48-inchTVs. And the bartenders are open to requests for which game you want to watch.

When you purchase any of these wines—La marca Prosecco ($32), Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc ($44), William Hill central coast chardonnay ($60), Louis m. martini Napa valley cabernet Sauvignon ($60) or Las rocas vina viejas ($52)—Stir Lounge donates meals to the Las vegas food bank Tree Square.

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The Social Network Check in on Foursquare at Stir Lounge, and you can get a complimentary “shot on the spot”—drinks that vary daily, depending on the bartender’s mood.

Below: ribeye with mashed potatoes and asparagus right: dungeness crab cakes

Grab A Bite A wide range of specialties start at $10 and include not-so-standard bar food such as shrimp ceviche, meaty skewers and beef empanadas. / 97

Around Town

marathon man PhotograPhy al Powers Rich Kenny, lead host for Angel Management Group’s Wet Republic at MGM Grand, is a pro when it comes to hitting the town. He goes hard in the gym, pumps out ideas in the boardroom and always makes time to play. An average day in his life is like playing an extreme sport. Hydration is essential, from his morning workout to his pre-dawn nigthcap.

9 A.M.

I start my day with an intense workout at the a-team training center (ateamtrainingcenter. com) to get the juices flowing and to get my energy up for the big day and night ahead. I’ve always been a fitness fanatic, and the trainers here take me to the next level. Drink of choice: Protein shake.

10 A.M.

I head into amg’s corporate office to go over interviews for new hosts, plan for the night and discuss the opening of wet republic for the 2013 pool season. Drink of choice: Red Bull. AMG colleagues include (from left): Sal Wise (director of nightlife marketing), Kenny, Brandon Ring and Adam Sadie (lead VIP hosts for Hakkasan Las Vegas).


a bunch of industry friends and I ride our motorcycles through vegas. we used to joke around that we are the sons of Industry, instead of the sons of anarchy, and the nickname stuck. our scenic route starts at red rock canyon and ends at the south end of the strip.


Crew members include: Dino Sontag (general manager of Crazy Horse III), Jai Shaun White (senior host at Encore Beach Club/Surrender), Lance Martinez (assistant general manager of Tryst), Raul Machin (director at Encore Beach Club/ Surrender), Will Irwin, Jeff Ferguson (Palms), Eddie Decherico, Kenny and Danielle Davidson (AMG/Wet Republic).

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I meet with industry friends for our weekly golf session at Bali Hai Golf club (5160 Las Vegas Blvd. S. 702.597.2400; Te best time to golf in vegas is in the spring and just after the summer heat ends. during the summer, I only golf early in the morning. Bali Hai Golf club is fantastic, because you can see the Strip skyline as you play. Drinks of choice: Coronas and shots of Patrón.

2 P.M.

Golf crew includes (from left): Bobby Minkoff (Drai’s), Kenny, Robert Gamch (Te Light Group) and Justen Crews (Marquee).

Scarpetta at the cosmopolitan is one of my favorite spots to meet friends for dinner and drinks. the food is great, and the vibe is always good. But as much as I love the food at Scarpetta, I love drinking there even more. and judging from the empty glasses on the table, it’s safe to say we pair our meals with a variety of libations. Drinks of choice: Red wine, Red Bull and vodka, and shots of Patrón.

9:30 P.M.

From left: Jasmin Medar (VIP host for Hakkasan Las Vegas), Bob Morton (XS and Tryst), DJ Captain, Davidson, Kenny, Zee Zandi (director of nightlife for Wynn Las Vegas).

Pure Nightclub is where you’ll find me partying on tuesdays, which is industry night. You run into so many people you know, and it’s always a great time. Weekends are even better—you can expect to rub elbows with celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, chris Brown and from the Black eyed Peas. Drink of choice: Cîroc Peach, a personal favorite.

11:30 P.M.

From left: Jo-Lene Hand, Irene Pham, Mike Snedegar, Kenny, Medar, Kenny, Jason Craig and Ryan Labbe.

Nightcap at Spearmint rhino. (Sorry, no photos allowed!)

3 A.M.

PLAY / 101


In the Moment

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One endless night From scantily clad dancers to performers such as deadmau5 at XS and Nas at tao commanding the crowd, Vegas/Rated’s army of nightlife photographers never miss a beat. With expert lenses focused on hotspots such as 1 oak, Bagatelle, Te Bank, Lily Bar & Lounge, moon, Pure and tryst, reliving a night on the town is just a page turn away. PHOTOGRAPHy Hew buRney, cHAd cARl, AmiT dAdlAney, Teddy fujimOTO, dAnny mAHOney, ROmAn mendez, jOsH meTz, TOny TRAn And GAbe zAPATA / 105


In the Moment

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In the Moment PULSE PLAY


In the Moment

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play 110 /

PLAY / 111

The GuyS’ Guide

ExtrEmE ExpEriEncEs fast cars / helicopters & harleys / play like a rock star

Man Up Tere are many ways to get the blood pumping in Sin city, and they don’t all involve ladies or casino chips. Tis town is thrilling, and offers just about everything within its proximity—from land sailing across the hard-baked desert floor to navigating the white waters of the mighty colorado river. If it’s the sweet sounds of a six-string you can’t resist, rock ’n’ roll Fantasy camp lets you play with iconic musicians such as Joe Walsh and Slash. See Page 118



rush hour take a hot lap around the track behind the wheel of a dreamy sports car. (Page 120) / 115


exotics racing

life in the fast lane experiences that give the green light to break the speed limit

RichaRd Petty dRiving exPeRience For years, you’ve watched NASCAR pros go round-and-round—always to the left— and muttered to yourself, “How difficult can that be?” Find out for yourself at the Richard Petty Driving Experience, as you slide into a regulation NASCAR stock car and do laps—eight for $499; 18 for $899; 30 for $1,349—around Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile, tri-oval racetrack, where you and your fellow amateur foes race at speeds of up to 155 mph. Not comfortable in the driver’s seat? No problem: You can satisfy your need for speed with a three-lap ride-along with a professional driver for $109 (barf bag not included). 702.643.4343;

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exotics Racing At Exotics Racing, which is adjacent to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, there are three Ferrari models on offer. And three Lamborghinis … and two Porsches … and an Audi R8 and an Aston Martin V8 Vantage S and a McLaren MP4-12C. Just pick from more than 30 exotic super cars, and go for a spin around a 1.2-mile, seven-turn road course that includes 1,800 feet of straightaway—where you can really lay the pedal to the metal. Your speed limit? That’s determined by the expert who rides shotgun with a brake at his feet. (Don’t worry: He wants to go as fast as you do!) 702.405.7223;

Pole Position Raceway Perhaps piloting a 2,000-pound machine around a racetrack at speeds that would make Tony Stewart blush doesn’t suit your stomach (or your budget). Or maybe you’re more of an open-wheel enthusiast. Either way, Pole Position Raceway offers a climate-controlled, indoor go-kart racing alternative that’s fun for all who measure at least 4 feet tall. Just don’t confuse go-karts for bumper cars—these state-of-the-art machines, which top out at 45 mph, are the fastest electric karts in the country (which is why race helmets with shields are required). Also, they call this a raceway for a reason: The side-by-side action is intense (and you should be, too). 4175 S. Arville St., 702.227.7223;

exotics racing: Laurent Vu

the guide

by matt jacob

Insider Intel / Las vegas may not be the autoυracing capital of the world, but the city has produced its fair share of speed demons, including brothers and NaScar stars Kurt and Kyle Busch. Both will return to their hometown march 8-10 for the annual NaScar Weekend at the 132,000seat Las vegas motor Speedway. the weekend culminates with the Kobalt tools 400 Sprint cup series race. 702.644.4444;

Star Fire Power When celebs are on the scene, it looks like the paparazzi won’t be the only ones doing all the shooting. Gunpowder tourism has suddenly exploded in popularity, judging by the famous faces making their way to the swanky shooting ranges in town. rihanna was spotted at the Guns and ammo Garage (5155 S. Dean Martin Dr., 702.440.4867; in September, Instagramming the evidence shortly thereafter. Tough if she’s going to let chris Brown hang around again, we’re not sure who she thinks she’s going to defend herself from, unless it’s all an elaborate trap. In which case: Well-played, rihanna.

Hip-hop legend Nelly packed major heat at machine Guns vegas (3501 Aldebaran Ave., 702.476.9228; in august. While we might question the wisdom of allowing someone who hangs out with people who call themselves the St. Lunatics to hold automatic weapons, at least it makes more sense than handing Nic cage a firearm, like they did at Guns and ammo Garage. Tis is a man who’s so ready for a legendary death he bought a pyramid for a mausoleum. We’re sure if charlton Heston had any idea it would come to this, he’d have just cranked out a few more Apes movies and left the celebrity gun-enthusiast game alone. –Jason Scavone

rIHaNNa at GuNS aNd ammo GaraGe / 117

All Access

You’re a Rock Star, Baby Live from Las Vegas, Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp puts you in the spotlight By Craig Asher Nyman Photography Anthony Mair

the guide

ThANkS To RoCk ’N’ RoLL FANTASY Camp, average Joes and Janes now can live their dream of being a rock star. Created by tour producer David Fishof in 1997, the camp moved around the United States (and internationally) for 15 years before setting up a permanent shop in Las Vegas in october 2012. With monthly multiday sessions at MGM Grand and a permanent facility adjacent to the Strip, fans have the opportunity to jam with their idols, both in the studio and onstage in front of a live crowd. 3485 W. Harmon Ave., 888.762.2263;

InsIder Intel / At MGM Grand, the February 14-18 session has you rocking out for 12 hours a day with Alice Cooper, Jordan Rudess of Dream Teater and Mike Portnoy of Adrenaline Mob. Te March 5-9 lineup features Sammy Hagar, Steve Vai and Eddie Trunk of Tat Metal Show. In addition to daily classes and jam sessions with rock gods, you’ll perform live at Rouge. Early-bird pricing is $9,000 and includes a five-night stay at the resort, breakfast and lunch daily, a DVD of the final show and more. Rock on!

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American Idol in the Making As Slash says, “It doesn’t matter if you have been playing for a day or a decade.” Inexperience is encouraged and no prior musical aptitude is required. Trough coaching and practice, five-day participants see dramatic improvement in learning instruments, writing songs and reading music.

I Want More, More, More! More than 300 musicians have participated in camps, including Roger Daltrey of Te Who, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Slash of Guns N’ Roses, Bret Michaels of Poison, Joe Walsh of the Eagles and Gene Simmons (pictured) of KISS.

Vegas Quickie Only have a day to live the dream? Rock Star for a Day packages start at $299, and you’ll head home with a recording of your jam session.

Hall of Fame Te first event took place in 1997 in Miami and featured Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Nils Lofgren and the late Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, and Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad. / 119


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Trill Ride Tirteen ways to lose your breath By Todd Peterson

Photography Anthony Mair Las Vegas’ transformation from arid desert to gambling outpost to entertainment-shopping-dining mecca has continued in recent years, as the city grows its reputation as a destination for extreme adventurers. Here are 13 adrenaline-loaded activities that take you beyond the bright lights—into the sky, the mountains and the river.

ever had a dream in which you’re falling and you suddenly bolt upright? experience the same feeling—while awake—at the Stratosphere’s SkyJump. ride to the 108th floor, slip into a jumpsuit and take a leap of faith. Step off the platform’s edge and plummet more than 850 feet to the landing pad below—safely, more or less, in the machine’s high-speed descender. Te 3-yearold attraction is the highest of its kind and has quickly become many thrill-seekers’ favorite. $110, $120 (with picture), $140 (with picture and video); SkyJump at the Stratosphere, 702.380.7777; / 121



Feel the Beat Drop

FLIgHtLINez BootLeg caNYoN

If an 850-foot drop doesn’t get the juices flowing, bump it up a notch or three—three miles, that is. Tat’s the specialty at vegas extreme Skydiving: Tey’ll take you up 15,000 feet in an airplane and throw you out. oK, it’s a little more sophisticated than that. Newbies go tandem with an instructor, presumably to cut down on the learning curve, but this is skydiving at the very edge. Hit speeds nearing 140 mph while barreling toward earth in a five-to seven-minute fall. $199 (18 or older and must weigh less than 240 pounds). vegas extreme Skydiving (at Jean airport), 23600 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702.303.3914; Insider Tip / despite what you may have seen on tv or in the movies, most skydiving landings are gentle. You touch down on your feet and land as if you were stepping off a curb.

Just Zip It If you want to combine your love of speed with a little scenic wonder, check out Flightlinez’s aerial ropeslides—a.k.a. zip-lines—which span Bootleg

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canyon. Intrepid adventurers enroll in “flight school” for a quick safety lesson, and after a bus ride to red mountain and a short hike, climb the platform and clip onto the first line—and then crater 450 feet in 15 seconds. You’ll feel every inch of the fall, too; it’s a speedy sensation like no other. With four runs in all, soak in views of Lake mead and other natural wonders while flying high above the desert floor. $159 per person, $99 (children under 12). Flightlinez Bootleg canyon, 1512 Industrial Road, Boulder City, 702.293.6885;

Social Climber Want an adventure closer to terra firma? trek to valley of Fire State Park with awesome adventures for a day of hiking, sightseeing and, finally, rappelling down the gorgeous red-rock cliffs. on the climb up get a good look at almost nearly 1,000-year-old petroglyphs carved into the canyon walls by Native americans. Since what goes up must come down, when you reach the top you’ll strap into safety gear and rappel down cliffs for two drops of up to 150 feet! But, hey, since you’re scaling down a rock wall, your

feet will at least touch something now and again. $139 per person. awesome adventures, 4676 S. Valley View Blvd., 702.257.7338;

Come Sail Away If you’re a more down-to-earth type but still feel the need for speed, race through the desert with omega Land Sailing. Land sailing is pretty much like it sounds: You sit in a three-wheeled cart festooned with a large sail and blast across the ground, flying ahead of the wind. omega offers a couple of excursions departing from caesars Palace: single-day Saturday trips, as well as its popular four-day, three-night area 51 dreamlands adventure, during which you’ll skirt the famed military base in your desert ship. $149 deposit and $149 balance upon arrival. omega Land Sailing, 206.249.9769; Insider Tip / Land sailing may not be as widely recognized as extreme sports such as skydiving or snowboarding, but that’s not for lack of speed. Te current land-sailing speed record, set in 2009 outside of Primm, Nevada, stands at 126.2 mph.

flightlinez: shane dieter; rappelling: awesomeadventures; cowboytrailrides: marlene degrood

Tey Wanna Take You Higher

The Guide

aWeSome adventureS

how the west was won



the wild, wild West is alive and well, so why not experience it with a sunset ride from cowboy trail rides? after being picked up from the Strip, you’ll saddle up with a tour guide as you explore red rock canyon. climb to the top of a desert canyon rim and make your way down on this 1-hour, 45-minute ride. make sure to keep an eye out for coyotes, bobcats and other wildlife along the way. From the most experienced of riders to those giddying up for the first time, owner Big Jim Sage and his staff of real-life cowpokes have just the horse to fit your skill level. after a ride that will leave you satisfied but not saddle-sore, you’ll head back to camp for a barbecue steak dinner with all the fixings. Big Jim cuts his steaks fresh daily, and there’s chicken and salmon available as well. dine while sitting around with the ranch hands, who tell their stories of the cowboy way—running cattle across the prairie and sleeping under the stars for weeks at a time. after dinner, you’ll gather around the campfire to enjoy s’mores, along with an authentic assortment of cowboy folk tales, poetry and songs. If you’re looking for an evening of original Las vegas entertainment, this is dinner and a show like no other. Yee-haw! Tours open seven days a week, $169 per person, gratuity not included. cowboy trail rides. Red Rock Canyon Stables, 702.387.2457; –Danny Axelrod

coWBoY traILrIdeS / 123

dream racInG

remember as a kid when you dreamed of putting on a professional race helmet and racing suit? remember when that dream also included strapping yourself into a sleek Italian race car—like, say, a Ferrari F430 Gt—and zipping around a professional road course, approaching speeds of 200 mph? Well, dream racing is turning those dreams into reality. From as little as $299 (for five laps in a street-legal Ferrari) to as much as $3,950 (for 30 laps in the Ferrari F430 that’s 100 percent street illegal), you can channel your inner mario andretti on a 1.1-mile, nine-turn track at the Las vegas motor Speedway. and to answer that question you always asked as a kid: Yes, you can go again. 702.605.3000; –Matt Jacob

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dReAm RAcinG: HAnnAH mAule-ffincH; PAPillOn: PHOTOGRAPH eRik kABik BY XX

Dream Racing

PaPILLoN GraNd caNyoN toUrS

Fly high with the newest offering from Papillon Grand canyon tours, which pairs a Bell Helicopter with a road King Harley-davidson from eaglerider tours. Since 1965, Papillon has established itself as the world’s largest “flightseeing” company, serving more than 3,500 passengers daily. and alongside eaglerider tours, the world’s largest motorcycle touring company, passengers get a close-up view of the canyon as the wind hits their face in the fresh outdoors. Te adventure begins at 6 a.m. at Boulder city airport (Papillon will shuttle you there from any resort on the Strip). Te hourlong flight allows for panoramic views of Lake mead, Hoover dam and the colorado river’s winding path. Upon arrival at the Grand canyon airport in arizona, it takes less than five minutes to get to the Papillon Heliport. a quick check-in, a short safety video, and it’s off to the helipad for a 30-minute tour of the canyon’s North rim. Where you sit on the chopper is determined by weight (If you’re lucky, you’ll be the co-pilot!). once en route, take in the mile-plus natural views down below. Get a close-up of the mountainous range when your eaglerider tour guides take you on a scenic 2 1/2-hour tour of the South rim. although firsttimers can hop on the back of a Harley with an experienced rider, those with motorcycle licenses (21 and older) can drive themselves! Stop at many vista points along the way; eat a boxed lunch; see elk, hawks, the old Watch tower and as many perspectives of this national treasure—perfect for picture taking. North Canyon with Harley, $379 per person. Papillon Grand canyon tours is open seven days a week. 1401 Airport Road, Boulder City, 888.635.7272; –DA / 125



Super Natural SurveillaNce


LaS veGaS SkI and SnoWBoard

Can You Dig It?

Be a River Rat

If you’re the type to dreamily linger outside construction sites and marvel at the huge earthmoving machines tearing up the ground, dig Tis is the place for you (if you’re 14 and older). Imagine yourself at the controls of one of those beasts as you grind, push and otherwise chew up the landscape, and they’ll make it happen at Las vegas’ “Heavy equipment Playground.” choose between a bulldozer or excavator, and try your hand at exercises such as building big-old dirt piles or digging holes before being turned loose to make your own mess. and to think some people call this “work.” Prices range from $249 (using one machine) to up to $1,100 (for group digs). dig Tis, 3012 S. Rancho Drive, 702.222.4344;

If the mere thought of “sailing” whets your appetite for a water adventure, vegas is the perfect launchpad. Book a daylong whitewater-raft ride with Look! tours. Get chauffeured to the Grand canyon where you and up to seven other passengers (plus an expert guide) will shove off for a 40-mile, five-plushour trip down the colorado river. Be prepared for up to treacherous class 6 rapids as you shoot between the canyon’s 4,000-foot cliffs. once you’ve played out the rapids, a jet helicopter will ferry you from the canyon floor up to the rim for your return to Las vegas. $593. Look! tours, 4285 N. Rancho Drive, 702.749.5725;

Ski the Desert Insider Tip / even though visitors to dig Tis operate the heavy machinery themselves, expect plenty of support from the ground team via wireless headset.

If the thought of “tearing it up” is your thing but you want to go farther than a bulldozer can take you, downsize your machine and still wreak havoc with an all-terrain vehicle adventure with all Las vegas tours. Hit the desert like a four-wheeled hellion, and rip through the desert on a five-hour-plus tour in Hidden valley—but only if you’re an experienced rider. Te landscape is rugged and can be challenging. But novice riders fear not: You can opt for a more leisurely off-road adventure on the Primm valley tour. $269 per person . all Las vegas tours, 4285 N. Rancho Drive, Suite 110, 702.233.1627;

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All-Terrain, All the Time

many people think Las vegas is little more than a hot desert landscape, and much of the year those people would be right. But those in the know realize that a short trip up to Lee canyon will take you to Lee Peak, and, in the cold months, to Las vegas Ski and Snowboard resort, a hidden gem for winter-sports enthusiasts. With four lifts and 30 trails—including four doublediamond runs for experts (or the clinically insane)—the resort has trails for skiers and snowboarders of every level. $40-$60 for lift tickets depending on the day of the week and holidays Las vegas Ski and Snowboard resort, 6725 Lee Canyon Road, 702.645.2754;

The Guide

Spy GameS


aGeNt 702 / 127


ever wanted to be James Bond? Now you can with the Papillon Group’s “Secret agent 702” experience. Your mission begins with an airport pickup by limousine, complete with “shaken, not stirred” martinis, as you’re taken to the exclusive boutique Hotel 32 atop the monte carlo resort and casino. Bypassing front desks, proceed directly to your suite, where your personal suite assistant takes care of the check-in process. Tis leaves plenty of time to pick out disguises— from blond wigs to sweet mustaches—so you can complete your secret identity, as well as enjoy complimentary cocktails provided by LoUNGe 32. Te next day begins at 5 a.m. with a private helicopter tour of the Grand canyon, where you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the wonder of the world as only dawn can frame it. descend nearly a mile below the rim for a champagne breakfast overlooking the colorado river. agents will then ascend red mountain for a zip-line mission courtesy of Flightlinez Bootleg tours. touching down on terra firma, you’ll be scuttled to the Las vegas Speedway, where your driving skills are put to the test behind the wheel of one of dream racing’s track-ready Ferrari F430 Gts. Go from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds flat for seven laps on the inside track—after some initial briefing and training, of course. In true secret-agent style, return to the hotel for dinner at andre’s at monte carlo. discretion is key, as you will be treated to a private dining room featuring a seven-course tasting menu paired with cognac flights and post-dinner cigars in the adjacent lounge. conclude your mission with a table for two at Te Bank Nightclub at Bellagio for a taste of vegas nightlife, indulging in fantasies that you will take with you to the grave (should you at any point be captured and interrogated). Te Papillon Group. $6,800 for two “secret agents.” 1401 Airport Road, Boulder City, 888.736.7243; –DA


on a roll To Tell The TruTh las vegas casino mYtHs busted bY matt Jacob

From the moment Bugsy siegel arrived on the strip, las Vegas has used intrigue and legend as successful marketing tools to attract visitors, right down to perpetuating the notion for decades that siegel invented the strip (he did not). nowhere has Vegas mythology been more prevalent than inside its casinos, where gamblers frequently fall victim to such folklore as lucky slot machines and “hot” dealers—that is, when they’re not preoccupied with suspicion that the house will do anything to enhance its edge. Allow us to once and for all separate casino fact from fiction, so that the next time you hit the tables in las Vegas, you can do so with a clear mind … at least until the comped drinks start flowing. THE AIR UP THERE ever wonder why, when it’s 3 a.m. and you’re six hours into a marathon gambling session, that you feel as alert as you did at 3 p.m.? they have to be pumping oxygen into the casino to keep you awake, right? Wrong. to do so would create a major fire hazard. this isn’t to say casinos don’t play mind games, though. From carpet patterns to ceiling heights to infusing the airconditioning system with near-undetectable pleasant scents, casino operators are in the business of constructing an environment that attracts (and retains) gamblers.

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DEAL OR NO DEAL no casino game has spawned more myths than blackjack. two of the big ones: Playing third base (the seat to the dealer’s immediate right) controls the fate of everyone at the table, and poor play on the part of amateurs— hitting when you’re supposed to stand, and vice versa—affects your results. Both are false.

in fact, incompetent play helps you as often as it hurts you—it’s just gamblers are more apt to remember the latter. About the only blackjack fable that is true comes from the other side of the table: Pit bosses do believe dealers can have hot and cold streaks, and will switch them out accordingly. But that’s as much in their head as it is in yours.

INSIDER INTEL / despite what Hollywood might have you believe, it is not illegal to count cards in blackjack—you can’t get arrested. You can, however, be asked to leave (casinos have a right to decline to gamble with you). as for those backroom beatings of card-counters you see in the movies? that absolutely was not a myth in the old days. today, it is a myth … for the most part.


RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE of all the kitschy las Vegas souvenirs sold around town, it’s amazing one of them isn’t a t-shirt that says, “i went to Vegas and played a slot machine that was overdue for a jackpot, and all i walked away with was this lousy shirt.” While library books and mothers-to-be can be overdue, there’s no “due” factor when it comes to slot and video-poker machines, as every spin is independent. one thing that is true: over time, every machine will run “hot”—and “cold.” it’s just impossible to predict when.

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