Las Vegas: The Neon Museum

Vegas! Not that kind of party Vegas that you are thinking! Bryan and I have way passed the party ages. We like to relax and eat good food during our vacation. And of course, we love sightseeing too!

We have been to Vegas a few times, but we were always there for CES. We never really got free time to do fun things. This time, we got to have a few buffets, gamble a little, watch Penn and Teller show, and check out The Neon Museum. Before getting into the museum, Penn and Teller show is awesome! Very funny and full of surprises! The best part is that Penn and Teller don’t really do traditional magic. They do contemporary magic, like they would use audience cell phone in part of their trick. I highly recommended the show.

Back to The Neon Museum, it is the boneyard for old neon signs in Vegas. It is a unique place with lots of history. When I stepped inside, it felt like I was gone back in time. Even though all the signs are not hung up, they are just sitting on the floor. But the boneyard is very well lay out. It was fun to look at all those signs. The only way to get in the boneyard is by joining a guided tour. The tour is about 1 hour-long. It is better to make reservation ahead of time. You really should check this place out if you are in Vegas. There are three things to keep in mind. Don’t go during a hot day. There is no shade in the boneyard. The day we went was about 80˚F. It wasn’t summer weather, but it was still very hot. Bring a bottle of water. Standing under the sun for 1 hour will sure make you thirsty. Don’t bring your kids. Kids will be bored with all the history lesson. With all the broken lightbulbs and signs, it is not a safe place for children.

The Neon Museum

The Neon Museum

The Boneyard

The Boneyard

"Hi"!

“Hi”!

Casino Sign

Casino Sign

Where is your luck?

Where is your luck?

Bryan and I with Ducky sign

Bryan and I with Ducky sign

Penn and Teller (Rio Las Vegas, 3700 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103)

The Neon Museum (770 Las Vegas Boulevard North, Las Vegas, NV 89101)

CES Trip to Las Vegas

Last week, I followed Bryan to Las Vegas for CES (Consumer Electronics Show). That’s why I was unable to update the blog.

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Driving to Vegas

CES is always an interesting experience. The convention center is just gigantic. There are tons and tons of booths and vendors. It always feels like the show is endless. At first, it was very exciting. But soon, your eyes went kind of blind and tired after all that looking around after a while. Your feet were hurting like crazy. All you wanted to do is sit or sleep.

Even though it sounds not so fun and Bryan has to work, I still look forward to CES every year. Because Bryan and I got to try out some delicious food at some fancy restaurants. I think Vegas is definitely the place to try out different restaurants. Not only there are tons of choices. Most importantly, many of the restaurants are opened by famous chefs, like Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Mario Batali, and Gordon Ramsay. Just too many to count. If you love food, Las Vegas is the heaven for you.

This year, we went to Mon Ami Gabi, Wolfgang Puck Pizzeria & Cucina, Jean Philippe Patisserie, and Table 10. Mon Ami Gabi is our Vegas tradition. We love their French onion soup and the steak. And I love the view and the Bellagio fountain show. It is just so romantic. Wolfgang’s dinner was good too. The most memorable was the Prime Beef Crudo. Oh so delicious!!! The pizza was tasty if only the crust was not too thick and hard. Jean Philippe Patisserie was purely amazing. Bryan got the key lime tart. It was tart and sweet. I love the strawberry filling in the middle. Perfect dessert! Table 10 by Emeril was a pleasant surprise. Everything was delicious. My Creole duck breast was cooked perfectly. Crispy and juicy. The side dishes were wonderful too. That sweet potato puree was my favorite. I got to learn how to make that. The banana cream pie was also not overrated at all. It was tasty!

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Steak Bearnaise at Mon Ami Gabi

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Key Lime Tart at Jean Philippe Patisserie

And of course, we can’t miss out the buffets. Buffet has a very special place in my heart. My parents used to bring my sister and I to buffet for special occasions. Buffet is always the special treat for me. This time, I went to the new buffet (Bacchanal Buffet) at Caesars Palace for dinner. The amount of choices was impressive. Everything is in a little plate, bowl or basket. The food was pretty good. Just don’t get the slider. The meat was dry and overcooked. Also, Bryan and I went to Wicked Spoon Buffet for brunch. Food was great too. Other than breakfast items, there were a good amount of savory dishes. Of course it was never too early for desserts. We had 3 different gelato, raspberry, tiramisu and Thai tea. After all those buffets, I was so stuffed. Maybe all that CES walking will help to balance out!

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Salad Bar at Bacchanal Buffet

I had a wonderful trip in Vegas! I can’t wait for next year, except for those walking! Stay tuned! I will be posting a recipe later this week.

Las Vegas: Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill was Bryan’s and my last dinner in Vegas for CES week. We didn’t plan on going there at all. We were in MGM Grand walking around, and we wanted to eat. We almost went to Rainforest Cafe. Fortunately, we didn’t! Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill was an excellent surprise!

On a Saturday night at 7pm, Bryan and I were seated right away. We ordered the Butter Lettuce “Caesar Salad”, Meatball Wood Oven Pizza, and House Made Spaghettini Pasta. The salad was fresh. The Humboldt Fog Cheese was too strong for Bryan and I. But it was a good salad.

The pasta had the simplest ingredients, which were tomatoes, basils, and garlic. It looked so simple that I didn’t even take a picture. But the dish was amazing! The pasta was fresh and al dente. The sauce was packed with flavors. I couldn’t stop eating. The meatball pizza was another surprise. The first bite was like a party in my mouth! There were layers of flavors, like the creamy Mozzarella, the sweet tomatoes, the fresh basil, and the tasty meatball. Everything went so well together. Bryan loved the pizza absolutely.

Even though we were a bit full, I just couldn’t pass the dessert. We got the Raspberry Chocolate Chip Souffle. Wow….. It was light, a little tart, and very chocolatey. It was the best souffle ever! That was the perfect sweet ending for our CES trip.

Overall, Bryan and I were very satisfied. The food was simple. It wasn’t some expensive ingredients, but everything was delicious. A simple meal can go a long way if food is seasoned well and cooked right. It was a very memorable meal. I couldn’t wait to go back. Maybe we can try the one in Los Angeles!

Meatball Wood Oven Pizza

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Souffle

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill (3799 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109)

Recommend: Meatball Wood Oven Pizza, House Made Spaghettini Pasta, Raspberry Chocolate Chip Souffle

Price: $30 – 40 per person

Lokness’ Rating: ★★★★★

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill (MGM Grand) on Urbanspoon

Las Vegas: Mesa Grill

Mesa Grill by Bobby Flay

I have always heard about good reviews about Mesa Grill. Finally, Bryan and I got an opportunity to go and try out. We made a reservation a month ahead. The interesting part was that Mesa Grill required the customers to provide their credit card numbers. If the customers didn’t show up on their reservations, they would charge the credit cards $50. That is quite an interesting policy. I don’t oppose it. I think if people really want to go to the restaurant, they would be willing to go through the trouble.

Mesa Grill is located in Caesars Palace. The restaurant is nicely decorated. I love the ceiling with the flaming painting. Nothing would match better with Bobby Flay’s cooking style, chili peppers and spices. Before going to Mesa Grill, I was very worried that I couldn’t get anything to eat, because I don’t eat spicy food at all. When we got there, I talked to the server. He said that most of Bobby’s food is not that spicy, and the chili add flavors. He gave a couple of suggestions, and I went with the Wild Striped Bass. Bryan got the New Mexican Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin. And, we shared Blue Corn Pancake for appetizer.

The Blue Corn Pancake is served with shredded duck pieces. The first bite definitely reminded me of the Chinese Peking duck. The duck was good and juicy. Even though there was Habanero (one of the most intense chili pepper in the world), it wasn’t spicy at all. It was very flavorful. Bryan loved it! Bryan’s pork tenderloin was placed nicely on the plate. The rubbed was definitely spicy. Bryan said it was a bit spicy for him, but it was edible. The sweet potato tamale was sweet and delicious. It was a perfect balance with the spicy pork. My bass was crispy on the outside, and cooked perfect on the inside. My favorite was the Piquillo Pepper Clam Chowder under the bass. It was packed with different layers of flavors, and it was not spicy! Fantastic!

Blue Corn Pancake

New Mexican

Wild Striped Bass

The meal was great. The food was very good. Bobby has lived up to his reputation. I definitely respect him more. I would love to go back again. This time, I will save some rooms for dessert!

Mesa Grill (33570 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109)

Recommend: Blue Corn Pancake, Wild Striped Bass, Sweet Potato Tamale

Price: $50 – 60 per person

Lokness’ Rating: ★★★★

Tip: Remember to make reservation ahead of time. The restaurant can get really busy.

Las Vegas: Mon Ami Gabi Restaurant

Bryan and I found out about Mon Ami Gabi Restaurant by accident last year during CES. It was a great discovery. Mon Ami Gabi is located in Paris Las Vegas Hotel, and it is right on the strip with outdoor seating. I think this is probably one of the most romantic restaurants in Vegas. The outdoor view is magnificent. Bellagio is right across the street, so you can enjoy the fountain show while having your meal. It is very cool.

Bryan and I couldn’t wait to go back in this year CES. We ordered the Onion Soup Au Gratin to share as usual. It was still very delicious! The broth was light, and the cheese was tasty. It is one of the best French onion soup we had in our lives. Like last year, I ordered the Lemon-thyme Seared Salmon. It was slightly different, but it was good. It was well-seasoned, and there was a crispy crust. Bryan had Filet Mignon. The steak was so juicy and tender. It was cooked perfectly. The red wine reduction and merlot butter brought some extra sweetness to the meat. I liked the frites too. They were crispy! We ended our meal with Creme Brulee. It was very good too.

But nothing is better to complete a wonderful dinner with a nice fountain show and great music. This is one of the restaurant that Bryan and I will always visit when we are in Vegas.

View of Bellagio

Lemon-Thyme Seared Salmon

Filet Mignon

Mon Ami Gabi Restaurant (3655 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109)

Recommend: Onion Soup Au Gratin, Filet Mignon, Lemon-thyme Seared Salmon

Price: $30 – 40 per person

Lokness’ Rating: ★★★★

Tip: You can make reservation ahead, but that is only for indoor seating. For outdoor seating, you will have to walk-in. But if you can get there early, there shouldn’t be a long wait.

Las Vegas: Burger Bar

Burger Bar is in Mandalay Bay. It was our first stop of our Las Vegas trip. I did some research and found out that Burger Bar is owned by Hubert Keller. Bryan and I learned about Hubert Keller on Top Chef Masters. We couldn’t wait to try his food.

On a weekday afternoon, there was no line at all. Bryan and I were seated in a booth. Each booth has its own little TVs. It is very cute. I like the decor and environment a lot. While I was looking around the place, I saw Hubert Keller! Hubert was standing next to the bar and talking to the staff. Wow! Amazing! This was good, which means Hubert goes to check out his restaurants. Bryan and I expected to have some amazing food that day.

Quickly, the Nutella milkshake came to the table. I love nutella. When I saw Nutella shake on the menu, I know that I couldn’t pass it. The shake was delicious! It was pack with hazelnut flavor, especially the nutella whipped cream. That was a good start.

For main course, I ordered the Black Angus Beef burger. The meat was very bland, and it was lack of seasoning. Bryan and I had a lot of hope for Bryan’s American Kobe Beef burger. The kobe beef was like the black angus beef that was lack of flavors. The meat didn’t melt mouth, even the meat was cooked medium rare. Bryan and I had better kobe beef burger before, and it was cheaper. That was very disappointing.

On the sides, we had the buttermilk onion rings and buttermilk zucchini fries. The onion rings were just fine. The batter was flavorful, but the crust was too thick for the skinny onion rings. The zucchini fries had the same crust, but the crust was good on the zucchini. The zucchini fries were cut thick, so they can hold up the crust. It was a good combination.

I love my Nutella Milkshake

Black Angus Beef Burger with Buttermilk Zucchini Fries

American Kobe Beef Burger with Buttermilk Onion Rings

Overall, the food was just fine. I thought Hubert can do better, maybe his other fine dining restaurant would be better. For about $50 two person, Burger Bar doesn’t worth the money in my opinion.

Burger Bar (3930 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89119)

Recommend: Buttermilk Zucchini Fries, Nutella Milkshake

Price: $20 – 30 per person

Lokness’ Rating: ★★★