Unfortunately the drive to Vegas this time wasn't as magical as last year's. I swear, a layer of snow over anything just makes any place a gazillion times more beautiful..though I could be biased as I haven't seen snow that much in my life :) Before the Big Sur fire, KL and I used to drive up Highway 1 frequently - I love the ocean and the views along Highway 1 is easily one of the most breath-taking, but sometimes the desert just provides a desolate beauty that's all its own...
The view from outside my hotel room, Vegas is really a city made for the night.
Coincidentally, the latest development on the Strip, CityCenter was slated to open on the very first night that we arrived. Yes, there's a lot of noise about how CityCenter will be the savior of the Strip, despite its involvement with Dubai World and lackluster condo sales. But it's something totally new, so my husband and I had to check it out.
Strolling along the overhead bridge that near CityCenter, the cold weather was a good time to bring out my favourite Ann D multi-lace boots again.
Wearing Aoyama Itchome dress, Zara coat, Falke leggings, Ann Demeulemeester boats and Miu Miu Coffer.
An interior view of Crystals, the retail center of CityCenter.
Most of the shops are not fully open yet, but there's a Lanvin store that's slated to open in 2010 - I'm really excited about that, even though I don't see myself spending money there any time soon ;)
Me fooling around with the signage outside the Lanvin store..hey it featured an Alber Elbaz illustration! Hmm..I am such a fashion nerd :p
Wearing Rick Owens leather jacket, F21 grey sweater, Ann D skirt and boots, Miu Miu Coffer.
The next day, KL and I ate at the Vegas outpost of Pink's, which is a hot-dog institution in L.A! It was our brunch so we decided to go for the works! At the bottom is the Mushroom Swiss Cheese dog, the name itself is pretty much indicative of what's inside. At the top was...hmm, the Mojave Desert dog? I'm not too sure about the name, but there comes a point where a hot dog stops being a hot dog and becomes a personal challenge...this hot dog was definitely that! A giant spicy Polish dog with jalapenos, salsa, guacamole, melted Swiss Cheese....hmmm the calories are definitely worth it!
KL and I also tried a new restaurant at Atria, the casino-hotel at CityCenter. There were so many choices but we only had one night, so we ended up going with Sage. Sage is a restaurant owned by Shawn McClain and markets its cuisine as "contemporary American". I'm never one to care about how my food is categorized, as long as it's great I'm happy! In this case I can honestly declare myself one happy customer! KL and I had a great time at Sage, our server was great and the meal started off well with an amuse-bouche from the chef. Unfortunately though it was really pretty, KL and I wolfed it down immediately, so no pictures! But I do remember tasting artichoke and foam :p
We got to choose from two types of bread, a bacon baguette and sour-dough baguette which we could dip into Australian sea-salt and house-whipped butter.
KL and I wanted to try as much of the menu as we reasonably could but there was no tasting menu...so we ordered 2 appetizers and one entree to share.
Appetizer 1...Escargot and Pork Belly Agnolotti.
The green foam that you see is actually parsley, blended with red wine sauce. I tried the escargot and agnolotti but not the pork belly. KL absolutely loved the mouth melting texture of the pork belly, I loved how the agnolotti complemented the escargot and the sauce and everything was tied nicely together with a taste of citrus..I suspect lemon?
Appetizer 2..Pacific Yellowtail Crudo.
This was my absolute favourite of the night! I loved it so much that if I had to choose one dish to eat for the rest of my life, this would be it! The dish contained hamachi slices which were so fine and light that it made for really great sashimi, with pine nuts, mushrooms and truffles that grounded the dish with its earthy flavor. The dish contained a yuzu sauce which worked surprisingly well with the nuts and mushrooms..I think this dish really brought the best of the earth and the sea together.
Entree..Roasted Day Boat Scallops.
I love scallops and I liked this dish. However after tasting the inventiveness of the 2 appetizers, I really wish the dish was wittier. The scallops acquitted themselves competently as a dish, though I felt that the red wine sauce might have been a little strong for the scallops, but it's a good dish nonetheless. However the red wine sauce did work beautifully with the oxtail, which was braised to perfection.
After that it was time for the sweet stuff. Sage offered a selection of pastries and dessert wines, but we decided to try the pastries instead. KL and I ordered 2 desserts to share...though I highly suspect that in the end, I ate most of them ;)
Warm sugared beignets with jasmine tea cider.
I have to say I am not a cinnamon fan, but this was good. The pairing of the jasmine tea cider with the beignet was clever as it balanced out the overt sweetness of the beignets. I loved the bitter sourness of the jasmine tea cider, the delicate scent of jasmine was really comforting.
Malted Valrhona Milk Chocolate Dome.
Dessert is truly not dessert with something chocolate :) The butterscotch foam and nuts went well with the chocolate dome and it provided a sweet ending to my meal, but overall I wished the desserts were able to delight me as much as the entrees. To end the meal, KL and I were given orange chocolate syrup, compliments of the chef. It really felt like we were drinking hot chocolate, with the aroma of orange coming in later as an after-taste. It was a great ending to a fun meal.