Vegas Trip Day 6, February 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

We were excited to finally try Hash House A Go Go, as they had recently opened a location at Imperial Palace. (Also, NPH had eaten there with Jeff Probst over the weekend, so it had to be good, right?) There were signs everywhere in the casino, so we knew exactly how to get there by taking the escalators next to the Ginza bar.

Hash House A Go Go Sign at Imperial Palace

Our waiter explained that everything was made fresh and came out as it was ready, so we wouldn’t be surprised if everything didn’t arrive at once. There wasn’t much of a gap between our orders, but it was good to know that in advance.

Although I was tempted by the 24 oz bud with a side of bacon, I had the salmon hash with chives and cream cheese. It was delicious, and the potatoes were slightly sweet, giving the dish an extra bit of flavor. Everything blended really well, and I will probably dream of that meal for months. Unfortunately, the platter was so huge that I could only finish about a third of it.

Salmon, Chive, and Cream Cheese Hash

Tim had one of the scrambles with eggs, avocado, bacon, and cheese, which was also tasty.

Scramble at Hash House A Go Go

We gave the video poker at Planet Hollywood one last run before they changed the pay tables. I played for a while, but the machines eventually ate my dollars.

To slow the losing, I decided to go on a little South Strip photo safari. I walked to the Tropicana, where there are renovations aplenty. Not too much to see yet and lots of boarded up walls everywhere, but it will be interesting to see what they do with the place.

Some random guy yelled “excuse me” as I was walking past and I made the mistake of turning around. He asked me what my name was, and I said “I do not understand” in French and walked away. He was too stunned to say anything, which was the plan.

Not wanting to run into Creepy Creeperson again, I made a hasty exit to New York New York, where I played some old school Price Is Right Cliffhanger slots. I also found the elusive Queen slots. I didn’t win anything, but the guy next to me walked off with about $80. He kept hitting bonuses within bonuses on top of bonuses the entire time I was playing.

Queen Slots at NYNY

I walked through Monte Carlo to catch the tram to CityCenter. They have made some nice improvements with some very modern restaurants along the side of the casino (particularly the steakhouse). I think this mix of old school/new school would work really well for Tropicana, although I hear they’re getting rid of a lot of the Tiffany glass.

Monte Carlo

I passed Rubio’s and Starbucks in the food court, and in case you need another Starbucks, there’s one past the Cupcakery on the way to the tram. I was still stuffed from breakfast, but I’ve heard good things about Rubio’s (like Chipotle but with more options like fish tacos and lobster and bacon) and the Cupcakery.

Word of warning: The tram from Monte Carlo is very high and might be daunting to people with a fear of heights.

I stopped at the Crystals and Aria and played The Monkees slots in the Aria casino. I hit a couple bonuses and cashed out even. They play an instrumental version of “Daydream Believer” in the background, and they play a vocal version (or a version of their theme song) when you hit the bonus. The bonus involves lots of free spins, and if you match enough symbols, you get to choose between two of the Monkees to determine if you get a certain amount of credits or a multiplier.

Monkees Slots at Aria

I was going to take the tram to Bellagio, but after I got into the car, they announced that it was out of service and that everyone should exit. I walked to Bellagio, and then Tim and I took the now-functional tram back to Aria for food at Todd English’s P.U.B., which I’ll cover in a separate entry because I have a lot to say about it.

We took the tram back to Bellagio and walked over to Caesars to search in vain for the Hangover slots. They might have just had them for a few months after the movie came out, as a limited licensing thing.

We were going to grab a drink at O’Shea’s, but there was no room at the bar, so we want to the Ginza bar at Imperial Palace for some Captain Morgan/diet Cokes.

After going up to our room to relax and change, we started our evening bar crawl at Sinatra. We each had a Sinatra Smash, and I learned that I need to add more vanilla simple syrup and more sweet and sour when I make them at home. I did have the Gentleman Jack, Creme de Cassis, and blackberry muddling part right, though.

Sinatra Smash x 2

We wanted to try additional drinks, so I had a pomegranate mojito and Tim had an Under the Tuscan Sun. Both were delicious.

Pomegranate Mojito and Under the Tuscan Sun

Our next stop was the Level 107 Lounge near the top of the Stratosphere. The seats with the Strip view were all taken, but we found seats where we could see Sam’s Town in the distance.

Level 107 Lounge at Stratosphere

Tim ordered a Lynchburg Lemonade and I had a Sunburn martini. Specialty cocktails ranged from $10 to $15, which I expected for the location. We followed those with Ketel One and soda. The waitress mentioned that their base vodka is Stoli, so even if you order the house vodka you’re getting decent stuff.

Sunburn martini and Lynchburg Lemonade

The view was outstanding, and it was a great place to play “spot the foobs” by looking over the railing at the revolving restaurant below.

The band was playing extended versions of Cyndi Lauper and Sade songs (by singing several verses twice). The female singer was on key, but had a nasal inflection to her voice that wasn’t pleasant. When they started with “Fields of Gold” by Sting, we knew it was time to get out of there.

We took a cab to Encore (in retrospect it would have been better to go to Wynn) and walked to Stripburger, where we each had a Southwest burger (chipotle mayo, bacon, and onion strings) and split an order of the pickle fries (which have more breading than a lot of other places). The night was starting to get chilly, but they had several heat lamps on so it was comfortable. I love that place.

It started to rain lightly as we meandered back to Palazzo. We walked around the casino and recorded some gambling bits for the podcast, and then went to bed.

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