The Perfect Long Weekend in Vegas
by andy wang
|LMFAO perform at The Cosmopolitan’s Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub|
When the gambling urge strikes, Bellagio, with the best poker room and lively table games, is a solid bet. If someone in your group doesn’t feel like playing, send them to O, the water-themed show that’s still the most entertaining of the Cirque du Soleil productions and knockoffs. Those who chase the newest and hottest will have another reason to hit Bellagio soon: Los Angeles hospitality heavyweight Sam Nazarian’s Hyde Lounge is opening on New Year’s Eve. Hyde has serious competition, though: New York club kings Richie Akiva, Scott Sartiano, and Ronnie Madra are partnering with The Light Group to open 1 OAK at The Mirage that night, as well.
Vegas starts to wind down on Sunday, but Chinatown is always bustling, with its Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Korean, and Vietnamese restaurants, bars, and karaoke lounges. It’s where numerous Asian “whales,” the richest gamblers in Vegas, feast when they’re not buying an Audemars Piguet watch or betting $20,000 on black at Wynn. Big Wong, with Asian street food often as amazing as what you’ll find in Malaysia, Singapore, or Taiwan, is the restaurant of the moment in Chinatown. And it’s in the same strip mall as late-night chef hangout Raku, a Japanese spot specializing in grilled dishes that brings in regulars like Paul Bartolotta, Kerry Simon, and Joël Robuchon. Hitting Big Wong and Raku on the same night will make you feel like a true Vegas insider.
Many tourists are gone by Monday, and that’s a perfect day to head to The Cosmopolitan. You’ll see many hospitality-industry folks having dinner at STK or Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, hanging out with friends after yet another wild weekend; if you’re friendly, you might get some useful tips for your future visit.
But don’t think about the next trip just yet. After dinner, hit Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub, The Cosmopolitan’s resident megaclub. Monday parties there include a monthly DJ gig from Redfoo of LMFAO, who will remind you in no uncertain terms that you’re no longer in South Beach—tonight you’re partying in the real Sin City. And no matter how insane your trip has been, on this Monday night, you should dance. After all, it won’t be long before you’re back in Miami, plotting your next spectacular long weekend in Las Vegas.
We go behind the scenes with musician and actress Zoë Kravitz at her Ocean Drive photo shoot.