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Adventures Culture Video

We Ate The ENTIRE Room Service Menu At One Of Vegas’s Most Luxurious Hotels

Every hotel, casino, and restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip screams “luxury.” Few, however, can stand as tall as the towering Aria Sky Suites building, one of the pinnacles of opulence that Vegas has to offer.

Anyone can make a reservation at Sky Suites as long as they’ve got the dough, and the experience is an indulgence from start to finish. Getting to the hotel involves private limousine transportation from the airport, and a reservation includes exclusive access to a building those on the outside cannot stumble upon. It’s a place where you can truly live your best life, and that, of course, involves the room service menu.

Foodbeasts Elie Ayrouth, Marc Kharrat, and Ricky Zollinger tried out the Aria Sky Suites experience for themselves on the latest episode of Going In. Naturally, that meant going full Kevin McAllister and ordering everything on the menu. For your benefit, obviously, not theirs.

Aria Sky Suites’s menu has dishes that you won’t find on their main hotel’s menu, so the Foodbeast squad had to try everything out to ID the creme de la creme of the exclusives.

One of the most extravagant eats on the menu was the Champion’s Benedict. Served on top of two slabs of filet mignon, the benedict comes with an upgraded bearnaise sauce, truffled shrimp, and butter-poached lobster. Each bite screams pure decadence.

Speaking of lobster, whole tails of the classy crustacean are also available with plenty of drawn butter to dunk it into. I mean, what kind of luxury room service program doesn’t have fresh lobster tails on deck for its guests?

Still, even the most commonplace room service items here get the fancy treatment. The burger, for example, is made with wagyu beef, and is an absolute feast of a meal, even if you don’t pile on a side of mac & cheese like Ayrouth did.

What impressed the squad most about the whole meal was that every dish of their gargantuan order arrived at the same time at the perfect temperature and with impeccable presentation. Ayrouth commented that you could tell that TLC was put into every item, showing the incredible detail and service you’re gonna get at one of the Strip’s most luxurious hotels.

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Restaurants What's New

Cultures Collide In This SF Tenderloin Restaurant’s Korean Chimichanga

SF’s Tenderloin District has a seedy reputation, but if you pass on it because of that, you’re missing out on a picturesque neighborhood with some pretty unique culinary innovations.

A chief spot to visit is Aria Korean Tapas, where Charlie Kim cranks out kimbap and Korean fried chicken that SF’s foodies flock to.

His fusion of Korean street fare and San Francisco street culture has bridged together in his newest creation: The Big Loco Chimichanga.

big loco chimichanga

Photo: David Black

The Big Loco is crammed with a variety of Korean foods that speak to Kim’s heritage, but also capture the perfect visual appeal to coincide with the Tenderloin.

Inside the chimichangas, you’ll find bulgogi ribeye beef, sesame oil seasoned rice, boneless/skinless non-GMO Korean fried chicken, kimchi, and mozzarella cheese. It is then topped off with their house-made sweet and spicy sauce that normally goes on Aria’s chicken. That sauce consists of ground Korean chilis that have been stir-fried, tons of garlic, brown rice syrup, and chicken stock.

Photo: David Black

The visually poppin’ Big Loco Chimichanga is a welcome addition to Kim’s menu of photogenic Korean favorites. It’s sure to mesh well with the street art scene you’ll find flourishing in the SF Tenderloin.

Kim’s newest creation is also proof that you’re sleeping on the Tenderloin if you’re not checking it out.

There’s loads more restaurants serving up authentic eats here such as Shalimar’s kebabs, and The Chairman’s Asian fusion. While not all have tapped into the Tenderloin’s artistic culture like Aria has, they all offer up delicious food worth the trip to this gritty, yet aesthetically pleasing SF neighborhood.

Aria’s new item is only available through the month of June, and only on specific days of the week. Make sure to stop by between 11:30 am and 3 pm Thursday through Saturday to get ahold of one for yourself.

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Hit-Or-Miss

This is What Happens When 5 Celebrity Chefs Take Over a Vegas Buffet

Julian Serrano, Michael Mina, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Shawn McClain and Masa Takayama all took over various counters of The Buffet at Aria as part of Bon Appetit’s Vegas Uncork’d Festival in Las Vegas this past weekend. Vongerichten, of his self-titled steakhouse at the Aria, graciously took over the carving stations. And instead of asking for a sliver of turkey breast or standard prime rib, patrons had the opportunity to indulge in a Soy-Glazed Beef Brisket, Ancho-Chile Glazed Kurabota Pork Rack, Chimichurri Butterflied Prawns and his Tomahawk Prime Rib Roast (pictured below).

McClain was not to be outdone bringing his signature pizzas from the Aria’s Five50 including his Gotham and Forager varieties – a pepperoni, salami and Italian sausage pie and a mushroom, spinach ricotta and white sauce pizza (both pictured below), respectively. If you’re a long-time reader of the site, you may remember that he’s the guy that stole my heart away from The Secret Pizza Kitchen.

Mina, of the new and highly touted Bardot at the Aria, served a mixture of rillettes and charcuterie – but what really took the cake (outside of the dozens of desserts provided by the Jean-Phillipe Patisserie), was his puff pastry version of escargot (pictured below). Our previous visit to Bardot included this fantastic steak tartare, and this 6-inch vertical block of melt-in-your-mouth french toast.

Serrano of PicassoJulian Serrano and the brand-new Lago at Bellagio, introduced us to a fancy pig-in-a-blanket: a swiss bread stuffed with spanish chorizo. But it was his take on a Spanish Tortilla that deemed to be most interesting made of potato, egg, onion, an aioli bread (pictured below). And lastly, hidden in the back corner of the sushi station was Takayama’s Toro Tuna and Caviar rolls. A full roll at his Aria restaurant barMASA would normally cost $240, so obviously we indulged in a few. And then a few more. 

Check out the photo array below and stay tuned for more coverage from the Bon Appetit’s Vegas Uncork’d.

Michael Mina’s Bardot – Escargot Puff Pastry

escargot puff pastry michael mina bardot las vegas

Masa Takayama’s barMASA – Toro Caviar

Toro Caviar Sushi Roll Masa Takayama Las Vegas

Shawn McClain’s Five50 – Gotham Pizza

Shawn McClain Gotham Pizza Aria Five50 Las Vegas

Jean-Georges’ Steakhouse – Tomahawk Prime Rib

jean georges steakhouse aria tomahawk prime rib

Julian Serrano’s – Spanish Tortilla

Julian Serrano Spanish Tortilla

Shawn McClain’s Five50 – Forager Pizza

Shawn McClain Forager Pizza Five50 Aria Las Vegas

Michael Mina’s Bardot – Charcuterie

Charcuterie-8211

 

 

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Hit-Or-Miss

Vice CEO Shane Smith Wins $1 Million Gambling in Vegas, Celebrates With $300,000 Steak Dinner For 30

shane-smith-steak-dinner

Shane Smith, super millionaire CEO of the media company Vice, was confirmed to have dropped $300,000 on a steak dinner while at CES in Las Vegas last month, but the recent news is that dinner was nothing to him, considering he reportedly won over a million dollars gambling during that week.

Smith, whose net worth has been estimated to be around $400 million (Vice is valued at $2.5 billion) according to Business Insider, treated 30 guests, including a few Vice execs, to a lavish dinner at Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Steakhouse, where a bottle of wine costs more than $20,000.

shane-smith-steakhouse-splurge

One of Smith’s guests confirmed with the New York Times that Smith had gotten extremely lucky at the blackjack tables, winning more than $1 million in total during the week of CES.

If there’s anything to learn from Smith’s spending habits, it’s that it’s good to spread the love — generous CEOs seem like a rarity these days.

But Smith is no stranger to handing out cash. Last year during Vice’s holiday party, Smith dropped over a million in cash personally handing out $1,500 to his employees as holiday bonuses.

It’s only February but Shane Smith might have already snagged The Most Boss Boss of the Year Award.

Written by NextShark’s Jacob Wagner

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Adventures

VEGAS: How Aria’s Five50 Pizza Bar Stole My Heart From Secret Pizza Kitchen

Gotham Pizza Five50 Aria

My favorite part of Marquee’s two-year run as the most coveted nightclub from late 2010 through 2012 was the pizza that followed. While bias could be argued because of overstimulated (LED Walls, Bass Drops, PEOPLE) and inebriated (7 and 7’s or Grey Goose) states of mind, The Secret Pizza Kitchen at the Cosmopolitan would always deliver in the clutch. Two beautiful slices of pizza that helped you sober up just enough to fall asleep on the cab ride back. Now, there is a new rising of the pizza tide and it’s happening next door at Five50 Pizza Bar located in The Aria.

Here are the two innovative pizzas you have to try. First up? The Farmstead: prosciutto, creme fraiche, OVER-MEDIUM FARM EGG, and country olives. If you missed the over-capitalization, this pizza has a yolky egg on it, and it’s glorious. Oh, and the dough is prepared by Aria’s master pastry chef. Just in case you were wondering. Pictured below.

aria five50 pizza bar farmstead

aria five50 pizza farmstead

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The second must-have. The Truffle: TRUFFLE SALAMI, Bechamel, Parmesan, Thyme, Shaved Truffles. I’m not a put-truffles-on-everything type guy, but in this case? Truffle on Wayne. Truffle on Garth. Pictured below.

aria five50 pizza truffle

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As a seasoned veteran of Internet haters, the comment that is immediately coming after talking about truffle and farm egg pizzas is, ‘But what about the real pizza?’ I get it. There are a lot of people that don’t necessarily want something brand new, but rather tried and true. And for those people, take a look at The Gotham. Pepperoni, Sausage, Salami, Mozzarella and Grada PadanoSit down, shut up and eat the goddamn pizza. Pictured at the top and below.

aria five50 pizza gotham

aria five50 pizza gotham

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If you get the lucky chance to meet Chef and Managing Partner Shawn McClain, of Custom House and Sage – you’re in for a treat. A true conversationalist, one can immediately see the respect and passion he has for creating his own versions of pizza pie. The name Five50 has a double meaning. First, it’s a cost of a slice (at least for now). Secondly, it’s the oven temperature that McClain uses. At 550 degrees Fahrenheit the pizza bakes at a temperature in between a traditional East Coast baking oven (300-400 degrees) and a Napoli-style oven (typically over 900 degrees). You can witness the results.

The Restaurant itself is open from 11:30 AM – Midnight, Slice Counter from 11 AM – 2 AM. My hope is that its popularity extends the hours of the slice counter. Final note for those who read through the entire post – Five50 has a 50-cent craft beer happy hour from 5-5:30 Tuesday-Friday (non-football days).

Five50 Pizza Bar at the Aria Resort & Casino

3730 Las Vegas Blvd. (Casino Level, Adjacent to Sports Book)

Las Vegas, NV

(702) 590-7550

Five50 Aria Pizza Bar

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Adventures

Smoked Salmon Benedict & Crab Vermicelli From The Upcoming Food and Wine All-Star Weekend

crab vermicelli bellagio

The 4th Annual Food & Wine All-Star Weekend is coming to Las Vegas this Friday-Sunday (October 4-6) and includes participation from notable chefs including Joel Robuchon, Jean Georges Vongerichten, Michael Mina and many others. FOODBEAST will be live-blogging and tweeting from the Las Vegas event that includes over a dozen food and beverage tastings across multiple MGM properties including The Aria, MGM Grand and The Bellagio.

Pictured are two of our favorite dishes (so far) to be featured including Crabmeat Vermicelli (above) from the sold-out Far East to Champagne Brunch at the Bellagio and the Smoked Salmon Benedict (below) from All-Star Brunch at American Fish located in the Aria. Be sure to check out the site over the next week for debuts of all types of cuisine over the 3-day fest. Also make sure to follow @foodbeast on twitter and instagram to follow the live play-by-play updates.

AFLV Food & Wine Smoked Salmon Benedict 2

 

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Adventures

Need an Absinthe Bar? Head to Sage Restaurant in Las Vegas

Time and time again my commrades and I treat Las Vegas like a high-end fraternity outing. Stock up on the Bud Light, handles of vodka, few stray bottles of Fireball whisky and an end-of-the-world-YOLO mentality. Trust me, it’s obnoxious.

But on our most recent trip to the city of sin, we decided we’d duck into the more pretty part of the town. One of our stops? An Absinthe Bar at the beautiful Sage Restaurant tucked into the Aria Resort & Hotel.

If you’ve yet to enter Aria, or the monstrous CityCenter plaza that houses it, boy are you in for a euphoric treat. The restaurant is located just beyond the bank of check-in kiosks in the lobby, and features a sleek modern look throughout — featuring larger than life portraits of contemporary art, a perfect backdrop to the amount of Absinthe we’re about to be dazed on:

There I am above, taking up the entire bar while chatting it up with one of the most down-to-earth managers that ever set foot in Vegas, our ambassador from the Czech Republic himself, Robert! Robert had tons of tales of his colorful restaurateur family and their business in the Czech region, much of which has been brought over stateside. Lucky for us on multiple counts! We had Robert’s company, along with the rest of the restaurant to ourselves. I guess coming in during an off Saturday morning will definitely do the trick:

Pictured above are just a few example of the high ceilings and big decorations throughout the space. Call me cinematic, but the grandiose environment was definitely fitting of a movie absinthe drinking scene. A closer look at the above picture will reveal the Absinthe Cart we’d soon be drunk off of.

It gets shuttled around the restaurant for all to gaze upon, order from, and experience:

The Absinthe Bar in all its glory. Our two dignitaries, Robert and Aaron, put on their P.H.D. hats and laid down the real knowledge of the history of Absinthe and how to correctly serve it… and trust me, this isn’t True Life on MTV, you really have no idea:

There’s essentially three different methods of  preparing your Absinthe concoctions, all of which varies with what type of Absinthe your are drinking. The first of which is the “Drip” method, as pictured above, you slowly drip cold water onto a sugar cube that will melt into your glass. Why the drip you ask? The slow drip over the cube brings out the essential oils and herbs (green anise) that’ll bring a different delivery to your pallet. The brands of Absinthe we used for this method were Pernod & Obsello.

The second method is simply on the rocks with some cold Fuji Water, or any chilled bottled water for that matter. This technique was paired with the St. Georges Absinthe, a 120 proof  bottle with no artificial coloring, which is why it has a white milky hue after stirring water into it:

 

The third and final method is the Fire & Ice Technique, and you guessed it! It involves fire and ice! This isn’t you’r typical “light the alcohol on fire and drink” method that you may be familiar with, it’s truly an art:

Our bartender let us in on a secret, you are actually suppose to inhale the fumes out of the burning absinthe cup after pouring over ice (similar to inhaling hooka smoke and holding it in your lungs) followed by a generous swig of the Leopold Absinthe. The combination of inhaling the absinthe vapor and drinking the absinthe itself made us feel right at home! Two sips in and I was sufficiently toasty.

No big deal, just a waterfall of flaming absinthe! No wonder this is their best seller:

 

An empty stomach is no way to stay alive during a Vegas long-haul. We tried to sober up with some of their delicious and refreshing Yellow Tail Sashimi & Oysters Dishes, take a look:

 

Whether you’re trying to swoon your better half up with a nice dinner, or going all out like we did and getting a flaming absinthe glass to start off the night in Vegas, there is definitely no excuse for not stopping by and treating yourself to a real Absinthe drink at Sage! Stay Hungry:

Sage Restaurant (ARIA Resort & Casino)
3730 Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV