I tend to frequent this restaurant and bar inside the spacious and oh so fabulous Crystals Mall inside the City Center. It makes a perfect stop after a day of shopping or walking around Las Vegas Boulevard. And if your into sports; come eat, drink and watch from the TV’s displayed throughout the restaurant. It’s also in a perfect location one floor just above the valet and across from SHE, a Morton’s restaurant, which is also a great dining experience as well. Can’t forget to mention I come across Todd English from time to time at food festivals and nightclub outings. He’s a fun and vibrant guy which makes his brand an even more respectable household name.
Todd English, a renowned chef, restaurateur, author and television star based in Boston, Massachusetts and New York opened his first restaurant in 1989. Since then his business gained national and international acclaim for the rustic Mediterranean cuisine, and it soon made its way to Las Vegas at Crystals. The P.U.B has everything you need in a traditional hang out bar such as a full menu with traditional comfort foods, an assortment of prime meats, a raw bar, a selection of over 30 beers on tap and from all over the world as well as cask beer, which is traditional beer served from a wooden barrel. Not too mention the kitchen has never failed to prepare the most tasteful dishes that come in decent to large portions. My favorite is the tuna burger, it’s more than what you ask for but at least it’s filling and worth the money!
Vegas is blessed with beautiful weather, It’s sunny most of the year and tolerably cold for only a few months. The only things you suffer from really is severe seasonal allergies from our pollen infested valley and bad drivers especially when it rains. I would say from April to June is the perfect time to be sitting outside for a casual lunch or dinner and when dining, I’d recommend anywhere with a view of Las Vegas Boulevard. One of my favorite spots is the outside restaurant Cabo Wabo, it’s placed at the heart of the Strip in view of Cosmo and Bellagio, a perfect location for people watching. I was here the other day when it was a sunny 70 degrees catching up with a DJ friend of mine, http://www.kydwicked.com/, we chose to have a table under the umbrella. The energy and vibe of the place was exactly what I craved. Sometimes I need a place that’s busy with people to keep my energy going. The food came in large portions and was well worth the money too…
Sammy Hagar, aka the Red Rocker, an American musician, founded the Cabo Wabo Cantina brand and restaurant chain. The Cabo Wabo located inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood serves as the flagship U.S location for the famed restaurant overlooking prime views of Vegas’s City Center Project and the Bellagio Fountain water show, it is also the perfect spot for people watching. The two-level 15,000 sq. ft. cantina has a fully stocked bar of over 60+ Tequila’s and a wide variety of Mexican beer and cocktails. Cabo Wabo also serves flavorful authentic Mexican Cuisine, specializing in fajita selections and is host to many events and occasional live rock n’ roll music on its vibrant public patio. For a little Mexican twist and a beach-town vibe of Cabo San Lucas, Hagar’s iconic cantina combines a live Mariachi Band with a signature Brunch offered seasonally from 9:30-3:30pm. Enjoy delectable dishes with a Waborita trademark cocktail or a tasteful Cabo Wabo Margarita and take in amazing front seat views of the legendary Las Vegas Strip.
Sometimes you gotta get out on the beaten path and try something new, like Sweet Raku on the west side of the Strip in Chinatown for a change. Local or not it’s a place worth going to.
It’s not every day you find a hidden gem, and this is hidden literally. While most places are advertised on flashy billboards or within the casino floors, Sweet Raku is tucked in a small plaza which is somewhat dark at night and hard to find but once found it makes it all worthwhile. You’ll know you’re in the right spot if you see a large silver spoon hanging on its plain façade with no sign in sight but a red carpet leading to a glass doorway. The entrance already piqued my interest as I walked in; you’re welcomed with a floor to ceiling wine shelf and then a bright interior of a kitchen and bar stools in a quaint room with only a few tables. My first impression of the place was a Japanese Martha Stewart meets Willy Wonka. There were cute Japanese women noiselessly baking and we were immediately greeted by a kind waitress who insisted we sit at the bar to watch. The first thing handed to us was an edible menu made out of rice paper; it was tasty with the raspberry sauce that was served shortly after. I would suggest purchasing a course meal which includes 3 desserts, plus that gives you time to watch other desserts being made. Everything was handled so delicately and with artistry, it’s an experience you’d have to see for yourself. (I included links below for you to check out beforehand). And as for the décor, everything was charming and cohesively put together from the tiles and utensils on the wall to the bathroom. Yes… the bathroom. It took me a minute to figure out the sink… It was a brilliant but odd display. Places like this make me want to design my own place so bad!
I recall being rebellious in design school because most of my instructors, ironically, taught in cookie cutter ways, but venues such as this prove that your imagination can take you places. Always be memorable and think outside the box! In the meantime, here are some shots of me and friends at Sweet Raku…
5040 W. Spring Mountain Rd. #3, Las Vegas, Nevada 89146