9 Views to Die For; 9 Burgers to Relish; Polaroids Come Back at Linq

 

eiffel tower view

 

9 Views of Las Vegas to Soak In

Enjoy spectacular vistas of the Strip and beyond while visiting some of the city’s hot spots9 Views of Las Vegas to Soak In

Enjoy spectacular vistas of the Strip and beyond while visiting some of the city’s hot spots

By Kiko Miyasato
www.lasvegasmagazine.com

1. Eiffel Tower Experience (Paris, 702.946.7000)

You might have thought that your love reached new heights last night in the deluxe suite, but there’s a place that will take you higher while providing ample romance. A quick elevator ride 460 feet up the half-scale replica of the Paris original, you’ll be able to roam outdoors at the top of the Eiffel Tower, sip on your flute of champagne and take in fantastic views of the Fountains of Bellagio and 360-degree views of the desert playground.

2. The Capital Grille (Fashion Show, 702.932.6631)

Do lunch. Do dinner. Just do it at Capital Grille. Yes, this is the place where the power players get down to business, and for good reason. The views are some of the best you can get while chowing down on a steak. Our suggestion: Try to reserve a table at the apex of the restaurant. Floor-to-ceiling windows will allow you to peer down on the Strip.

3. Ghostbar (Palms, 702.942.6832)

Now, you can literally sit in an ivory tower, being fabulous and enjoying luxury while you discuss all the little people you’ve stepped on along the way. While congratulating yourself for making it to the top of Palms’ Ivory Tower, 55 floors up, inside the recently renovated, chic Ghostbar lounge, step out onto the Ghostdeck. Breathe in the night air with your cocktail in hand and take in the nearly 360-degree views of the city below. You’re on top of the world now!

4. Voodoo Rooftop Nightclub (Rio, 702.777.6875)

Nowhere else on Earth can you be under the stars, 51 stories up, holding (more like wobbling) a fishbowl-size cocktail filled with five different rums. This is VooDoo Rooftop Nightclub, and this could be you, taking in a buzz while taking in beautiful night views of the valley while the neon shines as far as you can see. The club is two stories, connected by an outdoor spiraling staircase. Music, booze and views, all under the night sky? Yes, please.

5. High Roller (The Linq, 800.223.7277)

You’re welcome. Yes, you’ll be thanking us for providing you with the perfect place to propose. You can rent out one of the 28 spherical glass-enclosed cabins on the all-new 550-foot-tall High Roller, the world’s largest observation wheel. You’ll get 30 minutes of alone time while taking in gorgeous 360-degree views of the Las Vegas Valley. To make that proposal really sparkle, reserve your spacious cabin at night, when the wheel does its light dance of more than 2,000 LED lights of ever-changing colors. You can even return to the High Roller for your big day, as the adjacent wheelhouse can be reserved for weddings and private affairs. Wedding guests can get their turn on the wheel, as each cabin can hold up to 40 passengers. Or you can do as the rest of us do: wait in line for the ride of your life.

6. Mandarin Bar (Mandarin Oriental, 702.590.8888)

Put down the Mickey D’s, step out of your shorts and tennis shoes, and get off your hotel room bed. If you want an evening in Vegas that is pure sexy sophistication, then head to Mandarin Bar. Located in the heart of Las Vegas Boulevard, the 23rd floor perch boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning, close-up views of the Strip, both north and south. While soaking in views from a plush sofa and candlelit table, you can sip on some of the most interesting and innovative handcrafted cocktails.

7. Mix (TheHotel at Mandalay Bay, 702.632.9500)

This ultra lounge has an incredible outdoor deck on top of TheHotel tower, 400 feet up from the ground. Sitting on one of the many round beds perfect for lounging, take in unobstructed views of the Strip, from Luxor to the Stratosphere. But, we’re going to let you in on a little secret. Mix also has another place to take in the sights below … from the bathroom stall. Yup, while you grace the porcelain throne, take an extra minute or two to look right through the glass wall out onto the valley beyond.

8. Observation Deck (Stratosphere, 702.380.7711)

It might be so 17 years ago, but we’re giving you a free pass to shout it out one more time. Stretch your arms far out and go right ahead and scream: “I’m on top of the world!” At 113 floors above the Las Vegas Valley, the observation deck might the only place left where repeating the phrase wouldn’t be completely out of context. After said movie moment, you’ll be able to soak in hard-to-beat panoramic 360-degree views of the complete desert oasis while standing atop the tallest freestanding observation tower in the U.S. While 1,149 feet up, you can also enjoy the tower’s lounge, three heart-pounding thrill rides and a fine-dining restaurant, called—go figure—Top of the World.

9. Foundation Room (Mandalay Bay, 702.632.7631)

With the permanent smell of Nag Champa incense in the air and a big bronze Buddha greeting you once you step off the elevator more than 50 floors up, the Foundation Room is decorated in an upscale hippie commune fashion with Persian rugs, oversize sofas, lanterns, candles and tapestries dotting the intimate lounge. Out on the spacious deck you could imagine Jim Morrison hanging over the balcony bars shouting poetry toward the neon-lit Strip. Yes, practicing peace, love and happiness has never yielded more beautiful, clear views of Las Vegas Boulevard.

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bobby flay burger

9 Unique Burgers to Tempt the Palate   Indulge your tastebuds in these twists on an American classic

  By Kiko Miyasato www.lasvegasmagazine.com

1. Vegas Burger ($9.50, Bobby’s Burger Palace, The Shops at Crystals)   If it’s one thing that Bobby Flay knows, it’s how to work a grill. He parlayed that into opening his first burger joint, infusing his love and cultivation for American Southwestern cuisine into the recipes. Paying homage to the city that loves his bold touch, he couldn’t open a burger joint here without putting a Vegas Burger on the menu. This one comes with Certified Angus Beef, white American cheese, Fresno red chilies and barbecue crunch—basically a piled-high potato chip topping. We know, it’s genius.

2. Rossini Burger ($60, Burger Bar, The Shoppes at Mandalay Place)   This burger is rich, and we ain’t just talking about the price. We owe the sumptuous flavor combination of truffles, foie gras and a brown demi-glace sauce to 19th century Italian composer Gioachino Rossini, who loved the triple-flavor combination on many different dishes. Burger Bar’s tribute piles the flavors on to a patty of Kobe-style wagyu beef from Australia, and holds all the lavish goodness together with an onion bun.

3. The Hog Burger ($18, Gordon Ramsay BurGR, Planet Hollywood Resort)   Before the pig hit your plate in the form of The Hog Burger, he was roaming open, grass-cushioned fields, munching on clovers. Yes, the Mangalitsa pork used in this unique burger was sourced from pigs that were raised and matured with great care, resulting in the highest quality of flavor. In fact, Mangalitsa pork is so rare and coveted that Gordon Ramsay BurGR is the only place on the Strip where you can indulge. The Hog Burger, grilled over apple and alder wood, is topped with English sharp cheddar, apple butter and arugula, held together by a brioche bun.

4. Famous Blue Cheese Burger ($9.95, StripBurger, Fashion Show)   One wild and crazy night in Las Vegas, blue cheese strayed from its partner, hot wings. Eventually hot wings let blue cheese back in its life to continue their love affair, but one lone burger at StripBurger would never be the same. Look up the Famous Blue Cheese Burger on the Internet and you’ll find dozens of reviews touting its delectability. The 100 percent all-natural, ground-fresh-daily hamburger is served on a soft butter roll, topped with pickles, lettuce, red onion, tomato, fried onion strings and a big dollop of blue cheese sauce.

5. Iron Chef Sliders ($13, KGB: Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers, Harrah’s)   In 2005, rock ’n’ roll chef Kerry Simon was the first Iron Chef winner to claim best burger recipe. Even if the challenge was Brussels sprouts, we have a feeling Simon would have come out victorious as well, he’s that good. But, luckily for us, Simon succeeded with a beef patty, and you can indulge in his winning-recipe with the Iron Chef Sliders, topped with nothing more than cheddar cheese and tomatoes. To this day Simon won’t reveal the secret ingredient in the champion patty, and that’s OK. It makes eating it even more special.

6. The Tex-Mex Burger ($13, BLT Burger, The Mirage)   When it comes to nachos, picking up one loaded tortilla chip after the other can be so time consuming. And, there’s always that one piled-high-with-ingredients chip and that one lone-piece-of-shredded-cheese-stuck-to-it chip. So much uncertainty! BLT Burger solves that, and then ups the ante in taste with the Tex-Mex Burger. The 100 percent Certified Angus Beef burger is piled with chili, jack cheese, avocado, salsa, jalapeños, onion and sour cream.

7. Surf, Turf & Air Wagyu Kobe Burger ($30, Tender, Luxor)   Tender Steak & Seafood’s original Surf & Turf Burger (pictured) seems almost quaint compared with its upgraded version. Made with house-ground and grilled American wagyu Kobe-style beef, crab-tail medallion and crispy duck bacon, the flavors pop with the addition of oven-roasted tomatoes, seaweed artichoke slaw, horseradish pickles, watercress, truffle caviar aioli and homemade ketchup. A potato brioche bun completes the indulgent offering.

8. 777 Burger ($777, Burger Brasserie, Paris)   Forget paying rent. What’s more memorable? Staying in your apartment for another month or indulging in the 777 Burger? When you get your first taste of this culinary slice of hamburger heaven, you’ll quickly forget about the eviction notice. For $777, sink your teeth into a burger made with Kobe beef topped with two generous pieces of fresh Maine lobster, caramelized onions, imported Brie cheese, prosciutto and, for the flavor kick, 100-year aged balsamic vinegar. Forget that side of waffle fries (although a hearty handful comes with your order); this burger comes with your very own bottle of Dom Pérignon Rosé champagne.

9. The Kobe Burger ($28, N9NE Steakhouse, Palms)   If you’re hearing cheers associated with a Kobe these days, it’s probably for the burger and not the Bryant. The Kobe Burger at N9NE has been a longtime fan favorite, known for its delectable harmony of flavors. The Kobe patty is topped with crispy pancetta, perfectly gooey truffle cheese, balsamic burnt onions and held together by an equal meat-to-bread ratio bun. It’s accompanied by perfectly fried steak fries in roasted garlic aioli, served with a side of highly addictive toasted mustard seed ketchup.

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polaroid

Polaroid shakes things up at The Linq Las Vegas

by Aleza Freeman www.blog.vegas.com

This generation is all about instant gratification. We snap photos on our iPhones then immediately upload them to our social networks. With just a few touches and swipes of a screen your selfie in front of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign is your new Facebook profile pic.

When I was growing up, the only way to capture that similar sense of immediacy was with a clunky, yet cool Polaroid camera. Both my brother and I had one, and we often walked around the house shooting photos of our cats, our neighbors or each other, fanning them in the air to aid the developing process. This was long before the invention of the digital camera, and long before the internet. The only way one of our snapshots was shared socially was the time my brother brought an embarrassing photo of me in my pajamas to school.

Now considered a relic from the recent past, the Polaroid is making a comeback in Vegas. Located at The Linq on the Las Vegas Strip, the two-story Polaroid Fotobar and Museum — which opened to the public last night –offers you a chance to turn digital photographs into Polaroid replicas and learn a little bit about the history of these instant cameras. There are other Fotobars around the nation — any many more planned — but the Vegas location is the company’s flagship and the museum is the first of its kind.

“We estimate there are more pictures taken per capita in Las Vegas than anywhere else,” said the Polaroid Fotobar’s founder Warren Struhl, adding, “When I was shown the plans of The Linq I instantly knew it would be the coolest place to be in Vegas.”

At the Fotobar, you can quickly pull photos from your phone, social networks and a variety of other online locales and create custom photo prints that resemble Polaroids, yet utilizing modern-day editing options like Instagram-esque photo filters. A basic 2-D photo on foam-core paper stock costs $1, or for a couple dollars more there’s a 3-D version that looks a bit more like the real thing. Prints come in five different sizes and can be printed on multiple mediums such as canvas, wood, aluminum and wall decals. The store sells frames, shadowboxes, magnets for displaying your prints as well as a variety of other camera-related merchandise, including Polaroid film.

While waiting for your photos to develop (usually less than an hour), you can peruse the store or head upstairs to the Polaroid Museum. For only $5, you will see interactive and educational exhibits showcasing the history of Polaroid and its founder Edward Land, including one of five remaining working 20×24 cameras in existence. Since The Linq is already home to the world’s largest observation wheel, The High Roller, it seems only fitting that it would also be home to one of the largest Polaroid cameras in the world.

The museum also includes rare artifacts, art and advertising from the Polaroid Historical Collection at MIT, such as a Polaroid  camera resembling an order of McDonalds french fries. There’s a series of actual Polaroid cameras from throughout the years on display as well as compelling artwork collages created with Polaroid photos.

On the opposite end of the museum, the exhibit “Capturing Celebrity,” pays homage to pop art icon Andy Warhol. Presented by the Andy Warhol Museum, 50 of Warhol’s Polaroid snapshots of the rich and famous line the back wall, including John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Dolly Parton, Farrah Fawcett, Giorgio Armani, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Muhammad Ali.

To the right of the snapshots is an exhibit of Warhol’s Self-Portrait Wallpaper and Silver Clouds, first exhibited in 1996. Air-filled silver pillow-like objects are blown around a glass-enclosed area that’s wallpapered with Warhol’s face. Meanwhile, you are invited to take your own photos with a wax figure of Warhol on loan from Madame Tussauds Las Vegas through Aug. 1.

Another interactive component of the museum is a flat screen television featuring real time photos that are posted to Instagram with the hashtag #fotobar. While this exhibit unifies the history of Polaroid with present day and future photography, another exhibit similarly talks about the ways Polaroid Founder Ed Land influenced Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs. Jobs and Land had several meetings over the years, and Jobs once admitted he was influenced by Land’s dedication to the marriage of art and technology.

According to Struhl, the exhibits at the Polaroid Museum will change from time to time.

“There are so many prolific Polaroid photographers over the year and we are always digging up some great new pieces of the Polaroid history,” he said.

Hopefully my pajamas photo won’t turn up.

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