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random thoughts from 6/29 - 7/4 trip

Last edit: parchedearth on Friday, 6th July 2012 10:59 am
Last response by socalduck 8th July 1:49pm

Some random observations from my latest Vegas jaunt of June 29th thru July 4th.

Stayed the first two nights in a Rush Tower Junior Suite at the Golden Nugget downtown. These rooms are the best available downtown. No mini-bars. Combination bath/shower, but the tub is big enough to soak in. The casino still looks good. Their new Bar 46 is a complete fail. The lighting is way too bright and the seating configuration is terrible.

The Plaza casino looks really good. The food court is unfinished with not nearly enough seating. Hash House had great service, great food, and the décor looks well done.

Although small, Golden Gate has the nicest looking casino downtown.

Binion’s Steakhouse at the top of the old Mint hotel tower has that classic Vegas feel. The service was great, but the food was only average.

The butterfat shakes at the Heart Attack Grill were great, but the burgers and fries were pretty bad (especially at inflated prices). I like the concept, but high fat food should taste a lot better than this.

Stayed the next three nights in the Augustus Tower at Caesars. Taxi, valet, and check-in for Augustus and Octavius are now from the entrance off Flamingo. The Octavius rooms are pretty much the same as the Augustus rooms, but much farther from the casino and cost more.

The Old Homestead steakhouse was better than I expected, but not great. I would definitely eat there again, just not for a special occasion. The garlic bread appetizer with parmesan dip was fantastic.

Carlos n’ Charlies (Flamingo) and Senor Frogs (TI) were both disappointing. I think they suffer from the same problems. Namely, the atmosphere seems forced and the décor doesn’t work. I was really hoping to like both places.

Center Cut steakhouse has a pretty nice bar and is a nice addition to the Flamingo lineup.

The Bourbon Room at the Venetian is a “Rock of Ages” (80s hair band) themed bar. It seems gimmicky and its survival will depend heavily on the success of the play. I much preferred La Scena; which it replaced.

Hyde is really a pretty nice spot for a drink and to watch the Bellagio fountain shows. Just be sure to leave before it turns into a club. On my last visit, I wondered how the waitresses would be able to serve drinks with their dresses so tight they cannot bend down. On this trip, I noticed the waitresses only take orders and waiters (wearing sneakers) now bring out the drinks.

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 vespajet responded on Friday, 6th July 2012

I guess I'll go ahead and scratch Carlos 'N Charlies off the list for October. Senor Frogs hasn't really been on my radar, but the Bourbon Room is on my radar for October (along with a visit to First Food).

I'd like to stay at Caesars again in the future, but having been spoiled by staying in the Augustus Tower my first time there, it will be hard to stay in any other tower and the typical TR rates for Caesars are more than what I usually feel comfortable paying (My stay last year was a stroke of good timing with TR rates, as I had managed to book three nights in the Forum Tower for around $250, with Sunday night being comped. Was offered an upgrade to the Augustus Tower for $40 more a night, and of course took that offer in a heartbeat.). Depending on which way you come into Caesars, you don't necessarily have to deal with the casino to get to your room. Plus the bar at Central is a great spot to grab a to-go beverage before heading out or heading back to the room. Normally I tried to take a catnap in the afternoons, but I found that a nice soak in the Jacuzzi tub was better than any nap.

Heart Attack Grill is just too gimmicky for me to even want to check out. If that place is still there six months from now, it would be surprising. For a town in which gimmicks are part and parcel part of what makes the town, this is a little too much into the gluttony vice.

I'm sure I'll end up at Hyde at some point during my October trip as well.

 jinx73 replied on Saturday, 7th July 2012

Completely agree with you on Heart Attack Grill, too gimmicky for me as well. I'm hoping to make my way to the Bourbon room this week, would be nice if Venetian makes it work, although I have some doubts.

 Blakjackkid responded on Friday, 6th July 2012

I love the Golden Nugget but I just never have any luck playing there. I always do ok at the Plaza though for some reason. Thanks for the updates!

 detroit1051 responded on Saturday, 7th July 2012

For some reason, reminded me of when I stayed at Golden Nugget when it was still owned by Steve Wynn. There was a rudimentary slot players club. The slot machines would spit out rolls of "Admit One" tickets based on play which were then exchanged at players club for comps/free play. Liked Lillie Langtry's and the Italian restaurant with singing waiters. All long gone with Landry's ownership.

 vespajet replied on Saturday, 7th July 2012

Lillie's is still around, albeit in a different form. I tried it a couple of years back and was not too impressed with it, same with Red Sushi. They now do the teppanyaki thing there, but I've skipped trying it because I was surre to be disappointed. About the only Red Sushi had going for it for me is the sake selection.

 socalduck responded on Sunday, 8th July 2012

Sorry to hear the La Scena is gone, it was always a pretty fun place to hang for drinks and dancing with Mrs. Socalduck. Hyde sounds like it is worth a visit, so I definitely will add this to the agenda for my upcoming trip in Sept.