Jennie Tai
American Frozen Hot Chocolate Italian Las Vegas Pasta Seafood Stone Crabs Travel

A Guide to Sin City (Part I): Indulging Without Consequence.

A Special Thanks in advance to Angela Pan at, and Xuanan for the pictures. I had a great time with you ladies, and I can’t wait to go back again!

{ HDR Photo by Angela Pan @abpanphoto | Las Vegas Strip }

There’s only one place in the world where you can hop from the gondolas of Venice, to the bright lights of New York City, lay out by the burmese beaches of the Mandalay, and finish off the night with dinner by the eiffel tower of Paris. It’s not the city where they say dreams are made, and it’s not the city where they say dreams come true. It’s the sleepless city of wild sin, where people go to check out from their daily grind. It’s the city where anything goes, and all that happens between your arrival, and departure remains in the private oasis of your week long binge of indulgence. Whether it be dining at a few of the world’s most extravagant restaurants, experiencing some of the wildest shows on earth, splurging on high end brand names, or hustling your way from a hundred bucks to a hundred grand in the poker room – this is the place where you can escape and surrender to any of your daydreamed reveries, and – if you’re lucky – leave unscathed.

{ HDR Photo by Angela Pan @abpanphoto | Venetian Lobby }

Vegas is one of the few vacation spots in the world where it doesn’t matter if you’re single. You’re never really reminded that you are (aside from the trashy wedding chapels that may, instead, remind you to be happy about your singlehood), and in fact – you might even find it preferable that you don’t have a spouse or boyfriend to report back to at night. That is, if the night ever even ends for you. Plus, it’s a little difficult to be anything but thrilled when you’re zooming down a zipline with some of your favorite people in the world, dipping world famous stone crabs in butter like you don’t plan on getting into a bikini anytime soon, and partying strong til the sun rises, having blown away the hundreds of dollars you just won at the poker table a few hours before. Anything can happen in Vegas, and with that in mind – you can’t help but feel invariably excited about what’s to come next, because here – in a short, but sweet window of time – you can indulge without consequence.

{ Pre-Cracked Stone Crabs @ Joe’s | Giant Madagascar Shrimp }

As one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, Las Vegas is second to none with their abundance of prime cuts in fashion, culture, nightlife, and of course – food. In the ‘Obsessions‘ episode of Food Network’s ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate’, Chef Bobby Flay mentions his obsession with Joe’s Stone Crabs at Caesar’s Palace. Giant claws of sweet, velvety crab meat that are pre-cracked for you to relax and enjoy without having to do much work at all. You’ll also find other rare seafoods, such as Giant Madagascar Shrimp on the menu – a large shrimp, almost the size of a small lobster tail, that I ended up eating with a knife and fork. You’ll also find an item on the menu with my name on it 😉 .

Cuisine: Seafood, Steakhouse
Reservations: Recommended
Price Range: $$$
Dress: Casual

{ Bartolotta | Tiny Clams in Tomato Sauce | Tagliatelle con Porcini | Lasagnette con Ragu di Crostacei  }

As you enter the Wynn Hotel, and make your way towards the gorgeous restaurant of Bartolotta – you’ll pass by a few displays of the world’s most famous designers; such as Alexander McQueen, Oscar De La Renta, and Manolo Blahnik. The extravagance and passion that these designers display in their windows set the tone for whats to come next. With a spiral staircase, a gorgeous chandelier and outdoor cabanas by a small pool of floating metallic spheres, Bartolotta could easily have one of the most stunning dining environments you’ll ever experience. And as Alexander McQueen displays a few of his greatest works of art in his front window, Bartolotta proudly displays a few of their most prized, and fresh catches of the day that are shipped directly to the restaurant every single morning. This tantalizing display of exotic seafood is wheeled to the table as part of the introduction to their menu, and to help you make your decision on what to have for dinner. As a traditional Italian restaurant that expects you to order at least an appetizer and two entrees – this decision often isn’t made quickly. And whatever pasta, or seafood dish you decide to order – you’re expectations will most likely be exceeded (a unanimous opinion from my party of six). Our favorite dishes (though everything was delicious, fresh, and worth every penny) were the tiny clams in tomato sauce, the sheep’s milk ricotta ravioli, and the seafood stew. With a clear passion for fresh made pasta, and the freshest seafood done right for miles – Bartolotta is a romantic ode to elite Italian cuisine.

Cuisine: Italian
Reservations: Recommended
Price Range: $$$
Dress: Business

{ Serendipity 3 | Front: Deep Fried Oreos Sundae | Back: Frozen Hot Chocolate }

Serendipity 3 is one of the many reasons why Vegas won my heart over. You can never really be depressed about a bad beat at the casino if you pull out early enough to spend a few dollars on a frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity 3. The only way I can describe it to you, is to imagine the best hot chocolate you’ve ever had, make it slightly sweeter, and turn it into a soft, snow-like slushie, topped with 10x more whipped cream you’ve ever been given on a regular cup of hot chocolate. However, take caution. If you’re one of the many who look forward to cold weather for Hot Chocolate, this might be ruining the Winter time for you. Because after you’ve enjoyed cup of frozen hot chocolate on a hot, Summer day – you wont have much reason to leave the heat anymore.

Cuisine: Desserts, American
Reservations: Recommended
Price Range: $$
Dress: Casual

To be continued…b

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