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Posted by on Sep 12, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Restaurant Reviews | 0 comments

Restaurant Review: Curry Leaf — Flavors of India (Las Vegas)

 

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Curry Leaf from the front entrance

 

One of the great pleasures of being intensely passionate about different cuisines is trying out new experiences and visiting restaurants for the first time.

However, we were in no particular mood to seek out a new Indian restaurant.  Why would we?  Las Vegas has around a dozen decent lunch and dinner spots, which are all both serviceable and affordable.  Trouble for those of us residing on west side of town is, virtually all the Indian restaurants are located near the Strip, or worse, way over on the east side of town.  Hence, we don’t eat Indian food all too often — perhaps once a month, if that.  Besides, although I do enjoy Indian food, it can be quite overwhelming and isn’t something I want to try too often.

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Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Personal, Rants and Raves, Restaurant Reviews | 6 comments

For Ice Cream Addicts, Talenti Gelato is a Life Changer

 

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Perfect bliss.

 

I’m an ice cream addict.

Trouble is, there’s a lot of shitty ice creams out there polluting the markets loaded with garbage ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and phony flavors, and worst of all chemical preservatives that makes ice cream addiction one of the unhealthiest vices around, aside from smoking.  Dairy products aren’t particularly good for you, anyway.  Plus, they make you fat.  Well, they make me fat.  Okay, fatter.

But up until now, that’s a price I’ve been willing to pay.  I just have to get my regular ice cream fix.  It doesn’t matter where I’m visiting, or what the temperature is outside, I want a triple scoop of whatever I can get my hands on, and then I devour it within only a couple of minutes because — I CAN’T STAND SOFT ICE CREAM!

I want my ice cream rock hard.  Otherwise, I will not eat it.  I have a soft ice cream phobia.

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Posted by on Aug 15, 2015 in Blog, Las Vegas, Personal, Restaurant Reviews | 0 comments

Look What’s Cooking at Mon Ami Gabi (Paris Casino — Las Vegas)

 

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Moments after the final course was made from scratch, served, and promptly devoured at Mon Ami Gabi‘s renowned cooking class, I approached executive chef and part-owner Terry Lynch.  My only question was — when’s the next class coming up?  I was ready to pounce and make another reservation on the spot.  For anyone who enjoys learning more about culinary history, the fine art of cooking and devising original recipes, and/or simply adores eating great food and drinking specialty cocktails much like I do — this experience isn’t to be missed.

Mr. Lynch responded that Mon Ami Gabi does offer classes periodically (on average, about every six months).  They’re usually held on Saturdays from 10 am to noon.  He explained that December would normally be the host month for the next class.  However, Mr. Lynch said he was planning a month-long trip to Vietnam and Cambodia towards year end.  Why am I telling you this?  Allow me to explain.  I think it’s indicative of why all of Mr. Lynch’s restaurants are a stand out in terms of quality, value, and originality.

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Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Blog, Personal, Restaurant Reviews, World Series of Poker | 1 comment

My Second Best WSOP Dinner of the Year

 

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Continuing the countdown from the previous article (READ HERE)….

 

The best thing about Joe Hachem’s “Ten-Year Victory Anniversary Party,” held on the night of July 5, 2015 wasn’t the food — which was exquisite.  It wasn’t the company — which was unforgettable.  It wasn’t even the wine and cocktails — which were bountiful and best of all, free.  No, the best thing about the evening was the host — Joe Hachem.

Most of us involved in the poker game know Hachem as the 2005 world poker champion, which was won amidst a thundering chorus of chants, most notably “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.”  Remember, it was Hachem and his vocal entourage of Aussies who unwittingly changed tournament poker forever into the highly interactive spectator sport that it’s become today, with audiences shoehorned around the final table not just cheering like it’s a football game but at times even bantering back and forth with the players.  Before the night Hachem won what turned out to be last WSOP gold bracelet ever handed out at the old Binion’s Horseshoe, championship tables were hedged within a far-more subdued atmosphere, similar to what one expects of a gentlemanly chess match, with occasional outbreaks of the requisite golf clap.

But now I’m getting away from myself.  Back to the party.

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Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Personal, World Series of Poker | 3 comments

My Favorite Dinners (2015 World Series of Poker)

 

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Oh, What a Night! Amazing cast of poker characters — including Tony Hachem, Shane Warne, Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, Brian Rast, Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari and his Dad, me on the bottom left, and lots of others cool people, too. At the SECOND BEST dinner I attended at the 2015 WSOP What was the best? Read on….

 

Writer’s Note:  First in a series of I don’t know how many articles.

 

Between May 26 and July 15, I worked 51 consecutive days and nights at the 2015 World Series of Poker.

And I have it easy.  Just ask the immigrant who works outdoors and picks lettuce 345 days a year.

Such a schedule might seem excessively long, and it certainly provided yet another annual test of commitment and fortitude, an arduous ordeal which feels slightly tougher each year, first because my boss Caesar keeps on adding more and more gold bracelet events to cover (we hit 68 this year, an all-time high), but fatigue far better explained by losing sight of the evanescent signpost reading “you were once age 50” now a distant blur in the rear-view mirror.

That said, I have a bold confession to make.  Yes, I do put in long hours.  But I also enjoy some ridiculously long dinner breaks.  As the saying goes — work hard, play harder.

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