Serge Birbrair Las Vegas Travel, Dining, Shows and Information , 2006-2008
Okada, Japanese restaurant at Wynn, Las Vegas.

I was disappointed, as expected more. The sushi section was OK, while the rest of the menu was smaller than our local Japanese restaurants in Boca Raton.

Short ribs we ordered also were not at par with what my wife makes.

Presentation - non existent. I never seen blobs of vegetables in the salads in Japan. No ikebana whatsoever.

Food authenticity: close to ZERO

Food taste: B-

Service: we had better in Tokyo dive holes.

Satisfaction Level: close to having sex with $25 hooker who is in a hurry.

by Serge Birbrair

Lotus of Siam, Las Vegas

This place is everything what we heard about and some more. For starters, the best and most authentic food outside Thailand, and I know Thai food, been there twice. The beef jerky Thai style is just orgasmic.

Wine list is just superb, where else you can find 1997 and 1988 Rieslings at $110 for BOTH bottles or
1989 Prince Poniatowski Vouvray for under $65?

At the Lotus we had 1988 Schloss Schönborn Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Spätlese which is probably few years over it's prime. Cognac color, thin nose and dryer than "Spatlese" would suggest.

1997 Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Burgberg Riesling Kabinett was more impressive, despite the half the price of the other one. Pine nuts, petroleum on the mid palate, the works!

We have to cancel 7 pm reservation for dinner, as we are still full from lunch!

Cirque du Soleil - The Beatles LOVE - Las Vegas Show - Mirage

The worst Cirque show I ever seen and this includes "under the tent" shows.
Acrobats were practicaly non existent, it was more of a dance show rather than the circus show.
I have the feeling I've watched art school graduates making their final college performance. I honestly don't love Love.

Fin Chinese restaurant at Mirage, Las Vegas

We were still full from the lunch at Lotus of Siam so we went light:
5 appetizers: Foie gras, pot stickers, crunchy shitake mushrooms, pork ribs, spicy eggplant,
and 3 soups and a bottle of Riesling for 3 of us.
Innovative, modern cuisine, and definitely worth a visit.
1-866-339-4566 and I suggest a reservation.


Nothing spectacular, very good wine list, food is so-so,
my duck confit was not confit as far as French cuisine and definition are concerned. Skirt steak Sue ordered was only 5 ounces.

The bottle of 1999 Leroy Aloxe-Corton was fabulous, even at 2.5 times mark-up.

I don't think I'll be coming back

Les Folies Bergere (Adult) at Tropicana

My favorite show of the trip. More acrobats, more beautiful girls, costumes, topless girls than Zumanity.

Good 'ole kan-kan is sprinkled with their own innovations and the jogler was hilarious, I recomend this one over everything else we've seen this Vegas visit.

I feel Vegased out and Serge Birbrair left Las Vegas and the building.

January 21,2008

Commanders Palace, Las Vegas

There is one place in Vegas which is a "home away from home" and we never miss it - Commanders Palace. Lots of memorable nights were spent there, including the "Last Supper", the night before we got married.
When I was "wet behind the ears" and didn't know the difference between Burgundy and Pinot Noir, I met a guy who pointed us towards Dujac. He saved us lots of bumps and bruises folks go thru when they discover Burgundy. The side effect of it - we have become Dujacoholics, and every time we spot it in the restaurants, we go for it by default and he is the 3rd person at the table in spirit.
He was with us in Copenhagen, in spirit,
and yesterday he was with us in spirit at Commanders Palace.
Despite that the 1998 was a tougher year than 1999, I place 1998 Dujac Morey St Denise a head above 1999 Clove, Indian spice on the nose, earthiness, loooong finish and excellent companion to aligator legs, fish and even desert.
Thank you, Florida Jim, for turning me into a Dujacaholic.

by Serge Birbrair

Restaurant Guy Savoy

Reservations: (877) 346-4642
Cuisine: French
Hours: Wed-Sun: 5:30pm-10:30pm

What a night. We tried to get into Guy Savoy last year when we were in Paris. Fortunately, he opened a restaurant in Vegas and we were able to make it in.
The service was top notch. Not only were they informative and precise, but loaded with charisma.
Now to the important things - the food and wine.
Since it is black truffle season, we had the waiter create us a tasting menu based on the special black truffle menu.
We started with demi vegetables. I have no idea how they can get so much flavor from veggies, but if I had veggies like this were served to children - everyone would be pro-vegetable!
We then had a special risotto with black truffles, and red snapper stuffed with truffles. Finally we ended up with double cut veal chop ( with truffles of course).
It was all amazing, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much over dinner.\
As far as wines, we started with Louis Jadot Le Montrachet 2001, and finished with Les Amourreuses, Chambolle Musigny. The smell on the Chambolle was intoxicating, a perfume - it complimented the truffles so well.
I will dream of this meal for many years to come.
If you have a chance to go to Vegas - GUY SAVOY is a must do!!
by Michael

Long live American Capitalism!

We were checking into Aladdin and were ofered $30 per night with a view of... Bellagio Fountains!!!!!!

I tip my head off to people who can capitalize on Other People Money and efforts!


I've always admired John Stagliano's verve in producing very naughty adult movies, and so was intrigued when I saw he has his own Vegas show, The Fashionistas.

The show is based on Stagliano's adult movie by the same name, which runs 4 hours and 37 minutes. Thankfully, Fashionistas Vegas-style is only 88 minutes.

This show is billed the "most erotic show in Vegas!".

I walked away with mixed feelings. The plot is nebulous, the dialogue almost non-existent, but the high energy dancing, acrobatics and choreography was amazing, great costumes, and overall I kept feeling a sense of a fetish Cirque Du Soleil on steriods. Great sound system, great soundtrack....

But still....a certain sense of emptiness.

If anyone else has seen it I'd love to know what you think.

"The Day of true indulgence"

Yesterday was the day which started right from the get go. The $100 worth of chips I got on the first day in Las Vegas and managed to hang on to were doubled by the lunch time, so we went for Sushi Roku at Caesars Palace. I haven't had toro (the fat tuna) since we've been to sushi in Tokyo. Size at Roku is 1/3 of the size in Tokyo, (2 small pieces, compared to rather large one piece in the motherland)
price - 4 times more. It hit the spot regardless of the above.

We even got our fix of unfiltered sake, rare treat in USA. Everything we had was very good and if it wasn't for some loud New Yorkers who were seated next to us at the end, I'd say it was one PERFECT lunch!

Ka at MGM the most technologically driven show I ever seen in my life. 20 mln dollars stage was as impressive as the latest Stars Wars movie. I can't compare KA to other Cirque Las Vegas shows, as it was VERY different and in the league of it's own. I salute the creative minds who concieved and implemented it and KA IS THE SHOW TO SEE if you are in Las Vegas and can see only one Cirque show.

L'Atelier du Joel Robuchon
Hands down the BEST food I ever had in my life. It would be TOP DINNER as well, if it wasn't for highly overpriced Burgundy. If Cirque KA was triumph of human creativity in the show business, the tasting menu at L'Atelier was a triumph of human creativity in culinary art. This food put most Paris restaurants we've been eating at to shame. Bravo! Bravo!! BRAVO!!!

Most memorable dishes:

Menu degustation L'Amuse-Bouche avocat en créme onctueuse sur un fondant de légumes acidulé / Vegetable fondant topped with a delicate avocado cream.

Les Huîtres de Kumamoto pochées dans leurs coquilles au beurre salé / Poached baby kumamoto oysters with French "Echire" salted butter.

L'Oeuf cocotte et sa créme légère de champignons / Egg cocotte topped with a light mushroom cream.

L'Onglet de boeuf à l'échalote / French-style hanger steak with fried shallots.

I thought they only serve beef like that one in Heavens.

Second Desert - Very creative mix of while chocolate, passion fruit ice cream, passion fruit and custurd. I'll definatelly look forward to this one.

Dining at Rocking V Cafe, Kanab, Utah

The hotel in the middle of nowhere we stay has restaurant but not very inspiring one, so we drove 20 mins to Kanab and had a very decent dinner there. We found Rocking V Cafe in Frommer's and were seduced by few interesting bits and pieces about the owners:

3) You're not from here, are you? Victor was born in NYC & grew up all over Texas, with a stint in OKC & Moscow (not Idaho). Vicky grew up in Summit Park, UT, & lived in SLC, Montana, OK & Texas.

4) What did you do before you did this? Vicky was a news anchor & reporter. Victor was a cameraman & editor.

The food was very decent, spicy bean soup was realy spicy, horseradish Sue asked for her ribeye put tears in her eyes, it was that good and strong.

The wine list was not much to write home about, but we manage with Petite Syrah suggested by our waiter who knocked down my selection of what I thought was their best wine - 2004 Mondavi Central Coast Cab. Our waiter, former New Yorker, definatelly came from an art world, same as the owners, I can tell, I had feelings at times that his charm, class, IQ were superir to mine. (I know, I know, you'll say it ain't hard)

"Sell the sizzle, not the steak"

Yesterday we went back to Rocking V Cafe for dinner, only this time I went for the beer list instead of wine list. How can one pass on the beer called.. Polygamy Porter? Utah is the birthplace of American polygamy, so the name sounds quite appropriate here.

The label is almost classic and my only wish was that the beer taste lived to it's sizzle.
It didn't....and I only had one, despite the label suggestion.

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