Las Vegas Birthday

In 2005 we revisited the old Vegas stomping grounds again, this time for my birthday. This trip held a series of firsts–my first time dining at Nobu, and first time staying at THEHotel at Mandalay bay. Firsts of many times I hope!

Ever since a few friends of mine got me the Nobu cookbook a few years ago, I’ve wanted to try the restaurant. They say that the Original in new york is the best, but the vegas one was pretty good in my opinion. the “new style” japanese food reminded me of some establishments in SF like kabuto A&S, but will hipper ambience and little details like how they served their house sake in a frozen bamboo container. Cups too! The one problem with eating at a place like that is that you have to have a lot to get full, which gets expensive pretty fast. That said, we did see Dave Navarro, guitarist for Red hot chili peppers & janes addiction, eating with his crew (minus carmen electra).

i LOVED TheHotel at Mandalay bay. Somehow my friend d with his infinite knowledge of the inner workings of las vegas got us good rates for the room and I’m spoiled for life. There were a total of 4 flat screen TV’s in the suite–a huge one in the outer “entertainment” room, one in the bedroom, and two(!!) in the bathroom. I took a luxurious bath in the lovely bathtub while watching TV–a great way to pass time. Speaking of water, the best thing about Mandalay bay is the pool area complete with tidal wave, multiple hottubs, waterfalls and the lazy river–a circular pool complete with gentle current–on which I could have spent hours drifting around on the pink innertube I bought for $8. Unfortunately the pool area’s only accessible to hotel guests so I’ll have to wait till the next time we decide to stay a bit off strip to enjoy it again.

n and m also took us to a special tour of old las vegas, which had a decidedly different flavor than the flashy strip. Reminiscent of Reno, the two focal points were the enormous light display which put on a show coordinated to music every 15 minutes, and binions, where the world poker tour is held. It’s always cool to see a place in person that you’ve seen many times on TV. although we seemed out of place walking among the Vegas locals, old vegas had a charm of its own and would be worth a repeat visit.

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