I love Thai food.
It’s reasonably healthy and it’s delicious. Thai food also is quite affordable, especially when considering the rich diversity of fresh ingredients and quality of care which goes into preparing each meal. For slightly more than the cost of a hamburger and fries (gag reflex!), many Thai restaurants offer affordable lunch specials which are far better for you, taste good, and include lots of variety. Lunch specials often run $7-10. Dinners usually cost only a few dollars more. Talk about a bargain.
A new Thai restaurant seems to open up here in Las Vegas just about every week. According to one estimate, there are more than 200 Thai-themed restaurants in the city. No other ethnic food has enjoyed such a rapid rise in popularity, not just here in Las Vegas, but just about everywhere across America. Twenty years ago, only a handful of Thai restaurants existed. Now, many American tastes are just as familiar with Pad Thai and Pad See-Ewe as pizza and fried chicken.
Ranking the best ten Thai restaurants in the city is quite difficult. First, there are so many of them. I estimate that I’ve only tried perhaps 60 to 70 Thai establishments (many more, if other cities are included), so my local rankings are admittedly incomplete. Accordingly, popular websites such as Travel Advisor and Yelp can be excellent indicators of quality and consistency. Rarely do the consensus rankings get it wrong.
Let’s do this “top ten countdown” in reverse order. Here are my top ten Thai restaurants in Las Vegas.
All this stuff you hear about Americans not wanting to go to garage sales, preferring to stay at home, is a lot of bullshit.
Fact is, we love garage sales. All real Americans love the sting and clash of getting a bargain. We love the art of the hustle.
When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big-league ball player, and the toughest boxer. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war — except for Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans. Even shameful.
Garage sales are the most significant battle in which we can indulge. It brings out what is best in us.
I usually let things slide. Especially in the service industry.
It’s perfectly understandable that some people have a bad day. Or, an employee has a personal issue and can’t fully concentrate on his job. Occasionally, things just go wrong — and it’s best to simply let it go.
No more. Not this time.
Once again, the M Casino Race and Sportsbook (Cantor Gaming) in Las Vegas provided yet more evidence that they’re quite possibly the most unprofessional staff in the entire city. I’ve visited lots of Las Vegas sportsbooks over the years, so that’s really saying something.
Could the new SLS Las Vegas be the latest casino flop, a la Atlantic City’s Revel?
Just weeks after a garish and glittery opening over Labor Day weekend — which attracted plenty of Hollywood celebrities, at least one big-time rock star, and rave reviews from the fawning local and gambling press desperate to put positive spin on languishing hopes for the long-awaited transformation at the northern end of The Strip — SLS Las Vegas appears to be in serious trouble. Already.
The problem: No one’s going there.
(Photo: At the 2002 World Series of Poker….with no grey hair yet)
Here’s another sampling of my private collection of poker photography.
All of my snapshots were taken between the years 1997 and 2003. They were locked inside a file cabinet for more than a decade. Now I think is a good time to share these images with those of you who enjoy looking back on the game’s history. With the 2014 world championship November Nine as well as the Poker Hall of Fame announcement and induction ceremony coming soon, let’s now take a look back on some of poker’s best.
Read my original display of classic photographs here: POKER HALL OF FAME: PAST AND PRESENT (A PHOTO ESSAY)
Accompanying each photo, I’ve added some personal thoughts as to what I remember about the photos and the people in them, when they were taken.