With 5,000 people moving here each month, somebody had to spill the beans!

Hot or Horrible

Hot (horray!!) or Horrible (booo!!!)

Here it is. . .the real scoop. What is GREAT in Las Vegas, and what needs A LOT of help. All items are based upon our personal experience. Your mileage may vary…

HOT HALF & HALF HORRIBLE!
     

Restaurants & Bars

Hannahs
1050 S Rampart Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89044
(702) 932-9399

Finally, a great place to eat. Located in Summerlin, this Asian Fusion restaurant takes P.F. Changs one better. Great atmosphere, fine service, and food that really tastes great (and you’re not hungry two hours later).
PODCAST #07

Mon Ami Gabi
Paris Hotel & Casino
3655 Las Vegas Boulevard
(702) 944-4224

Start with a GREAT view of the Bellagio fountains, add great service and complete with tasty food. Highly recommend trying to get outside seating. (Recommend the salmon as well!)
PODCAST #05

Simon’s
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
BEST STEAK we’ve ever had! Great food all around, groovy vibe and they bring cotton candy as desert!
PODCAST #07

Tao Asian Bistro
The Venetian
We celebrated Valentine’s Day here. The service was very good and the food was equally pleasant. Melissa’s new favorite drink, Love Potion #9 was found here.
PODCAST #08

The Mix Lounge
TheHOTEL
Great googlymoogly, WHAT A VIEW! An "ultra" lounge that is warmer in design then the typical ultra lounge, The Mix Lounge has a relaxed vibe and one of the best views we’ve seen. (And, if you have $18,000, I can recommend a nice Courvoisier for you.)
PODCAST #08

SW Steakhouse
Wynn
SW = Steve Wynn (not Scott Whitney as I had hoped). The service was VERY good, the view of the Wynn Waterfalls is excellent and, as one might expect at $50 a plate, the steak is great as well.
PODCAST #08

Lucky Cheng’s
702-733-6444
(Across from the Stardust Hotel)
Open for about seven weeks when we visited, Lucky Cheng’s is the Las Vegas version of the popular New York Drag bar/restaurant. We had a GREAT time, chatting with Alexis (our "waitress"), buying shots for all the birthday gals in the audience, and watching lip-syncing drag queens interacting with the crowd. The food? Surprisingly good! $35 per person bought us each an appetizer, main course and desert.
PODCAST #09

Carrabba’s Italian Grill
8771 West Charleston Blvd.
702.304.2345
Had lunch here on a Sunday. We were among the first there for the day and were immediately greeting by Deborah, the manager. Deb did a great job providing an overview of the menu and was very enthusiastic. By the time we left, the place was filling up quickly. The food was very good, the service was excellent (our diet cokes were never more then half empty). We recommend the calamari and the chicken marsala.
PODCAST #11

Fontana Room
Bellagio
A nice lounge right in front of the Bellagio fountain. Very good live music, nice decor, and decent service. Oh, and the chocolate cake-like item is AWESOME!
PODCAST #11

Firefly
3900 Paradise Rd
702.369.3971
Melissa had lunch here during her Real Estate class. LOVED the food (tapas) and the "vibe". Had filet mignon slider burgers, and a bunch of other great stuff. Also looks like a good place for happy hour.
PODCAST #11

Golden Spoon Yogurt
Ann Rd in N. Las Vegas
Super nice kids working at a place with a great selection of frozen yogurt. Lot’s of groovy toppings, too!
PODCAST #12

Terra Rossa
Red Rock Hotel & Casino
Our first dining experience at the new Red Rock casino was a good one. Food is very good, service is excellent, and the patio view is nice as well.
PODCAST #15

Carnival Court’s Circle Bar
Between Harrahs & Imperial Palace
We stopped by the Circle Bar on a whim…little did we know that this is the Flair Bar capital of Las Vegas! Great energy here…look for "Mig" the bartender…the best Flair Bartender in the city. Live music all the time as well.
PODCAST #17

BOA Steakhouse
Caesars Forum
Yummy! Went here for Father’s Day. Scott had New York Steak, Melissa the Sea Bass. Both were very good. Caesar Salad dressing made fresh at the table (love that!). And the best desert we’ve had in Las Vegas, the Brownie Sundae. (Great staff as well–Daniel, Anthony, Michael)
PODCAST #20

n m cafe
Neiman Marcus at Fashion Show
This is a great find! Directly across from the Wynn, the n m cafe is a great place for lunch. We had the chicken pita and the Asian chicken salad–both were fantastic.
PODCAST #21

Maize
Aliante: 702.309.6200
Outstanding atmosphere, good food, good service. Our cheese and chocolate fondue was excellent. Steamed clams were yummy and the chicken and beef satays were tasty as well.
MAIZE HAS BEEN CLOSED!
PODCAST #32

Social House
Treasure Island Casino
This asian/sushi restaurant is very good in all areas; ambiance (sit outside), sushi (kids loved it) and regular menu. We couldn’t stop talking about how good the food was. The service was outstanding as well, featuring two separate waiters…one for drinks, one for food.
PODCAST #45/46

Café Ba Ba Reeba
Fashion Show Mall
Home to the best waitress ever (Brook), this tapas restaurant is a great place to people watch and enjoy great food.
PODCAST #47

The Salute Lounge
The Palazzo Hotel & Casino
Finally, a place to hear world-class jazz five nights a week in Las Vegas. Nice staff, cool way of drink service (modified bottle service) and a great atmosphere.
PODCAST #53

Metro Pizza
Throughout the Las Vegas Valley
The search for the best pizza in Las Vegas has been long and difficult. Four years, no joy. . .until we discovered Metro Pizza. Melissa is a pizza lover and Melissa Loves Metro Pizza.
PODCAST #69

BB King Blues Club
Mirage Hotel & Casino
If you’re looking for great LIVE blues music, this is the best place (only?) in town. When I were there (Scott), I saw the best blues guitar player I’ve ever seen live. Very impressive. My limited taste of the food was good. Only downside is that during the music, it’s very hard to talk with those around you. Other than that, great stuf!
PODCAST #77

Union
Vodka-Pairing Dinner
Aria at CityCenter
Wow, that was outstanding! The Light Group rotates a "pairing" dinner throughout their various restaurants. We attended the Grey Goose Vodka Pairing dinner at Union (Aria at CityCenter). The food was great. The beverages were great. And the staff was great as well. We even got to meet the chef! The restaurant itself has a great view of the Aria casino floor and previous visits to Union were good as well (try the Tamahawk ribeye).
PODCAST #80

 

Spago’s
Cesar’s Forum
I guess we caught Wolfgang on a bad day. The food (we had lunch) was just okay, nothing special. Their exalted cheese cake was almost as good as the pitch given by the very nice waitress.
PODCAST #02

The Grill on Charleston
Holsum Lofts
The cheeseburgers got mixed reviews (M liked it, S did not). The french fries were terrible (greasy). The location (for First Friday) was great, and the diet coke was first class.
PODCAST #06

Bertolini’s
702- 735-4663
Caesars Forum
Located in the Caesars Forum, this is a nice place to people watch while dining. The location is Hot but the food is mixed. Melissa’s chopped salad was very good while Scott’s lasagna was not up to snuff. Additionally, sitting outside next to the fountain is VERY LOUD. If you’re looking for a romantic evening, stay away from the fountain.
PODCAST #10

Roy’s Restaurant
E. Flamingo Rd.
We had heard very good things about this place prior to dining here. The wine we ordered was VERY good. Scott’s salmon was plain…not much flavor. Melissa tried the special of the evening and gave it 50% good, 50% not so good (there were two different types of fish on the special).
PODCAST #18

Landry’s Seafood House
W. Sahara
This is a good middle-of-the-road seafood eatery. More expensive then one would likely expect before entering, the food was good and the service was enthusiastic. (We were a big fan of the $6.99 21oz Mai Tai’s.)
PODCAST #24

Pin Kaow
1974 N. Rainbow Blvd
702.638.2746
Here’s the good stuff: decor, food. Here’s the not so good stuff: service. The place seemed very popular so we’ll likely give it another chance.
PODCAST #28

MRKT Sea & Land 
Aliante Station Casino 
702.692.7777
What a mixed bag, here.  This restaurant has been open for three months but it felt like we were in the opening part of a Kitchen Nightmare episode.  The service was poor (the waitress asked me if I was finished with dinner. . .which would have been fine had we been served dinner).  On the other hand, the food (we had prime rib and rib eye) was pretty good, though the rib eye was very undercooked.  With all that, we will likely give them one more chance because we want a nice restaurant in the area to survive. 
PODCAST #65

Joe’s Crab Shack
Rainbow/Lake Mead
Man, this was bad. The outside of the place looks GREAT and inviting, but once you’re in there, bleech. The food was tasteless, the service was mediocre and we walked out of there quite sure we wouldn’t be back.
PODCAST #11

Top of the World
Stratosphere
A great view that rotates 360 around the top of the Stratosphere does not make up for expensive food that is just bad. Melissa said it best, "I’ve had better food at Denny’s".
PODCAST #56

Michael Mina
Bellagio
So much for celebrity chefs. The food we had (appetizer, entre, desert) did not justify the price ($$$$). And get this, we saw a waiter open a bottle of wine off to the side, take a taste, and then bring the open bottle it to somebody’s table. Is that normal?
PODCAST #68

Personal Services

HOT HALF & HALF HORRIBLE!
     

Brandy Kirby
Nail Technician
Beauty Center
3030 W. Ann Rd. #101-106
N. Las Vegas, NV 89031
702.939-1122 x122
Girlfriend, you simply MUST see Brandy if you want your nails looking good. She uses Tammy Taylor products (our personal favorite) and does a great job in half the time most nail people take!
PODCAST #04

Aqua Solis Spa
JW Marriott
Finding a great spa is predicated on finding a great massage therapist. While we were under whelmed by a previous visit to the Canyon Spa we were very impressed with the massage folks at the JW Marriot.
PODCAST #08

Greg Colhouer, Artist
702.285.8378
If you’re looking for an art instructor to improve your painting skills, Greg is the man. Melissa has learned TONS about painting from Greg and, as an added bonus, he does portraits as well!
PODCAST #44

Dr. Andrew Bronstein
7032.458.HAND
Dr. Bronstein was the doctor Scott went to for a four-year problem he had with his ulnar nerve (the nerve that is your funny bone and also provides feeling to your pinky and half your ring finger). The operation was quick and looks to be a success!
PODCAST #51

 

MountainView Hospital
On the HOT side, if you have to end up at a hospital, based upon our experience, the MountainView Hospital off of Cheyenne in West Las Vegas is a good one. While there, we were exposed to a wide variety of people (doctors, nurses, technicians) and most all were very, very good (there was one technician that was a bit unpleasant). The nurses were especially compassionate and helpful. On the HORRIBLE side, two things: the food in the cafeteria and the ungodly wait in the ER (6 hours).
PODCAST #19

 

Environment

HOT HALF & HALF HORRIBLE!
     

Zion National Park
Southwest Corner of Utah
During our camping trip with friends Don and Jan, we spent some time visiting Zion National Park. Melissa loved the overall tourist-friendly vibe along with the Yosemite-like atmosphere.
PODCAST #49

 

 

Winter 2007 Weather
I’m sorry, but didn’t we ask to live in the DESERT?!? With water valve bursting, icicles on our eves, and having to wrap tree in burlap to keep them from freezing, PLEASE let the warm weather return!!
PODCAST #39

 

Contractors

HOT HALF & HALF HORRIBLE!
     

Multicolor Painting
Manuel Miranda
702.362.9509
After painting three rooms in our house, we’d had enough. A recommendation from our Sunburst Shutters sales guy, Manuel and his crew did a excellent job of painting the remaining interior areas of our house…and did it all in six hours.
PODCAST #08

Environmental Pest Control
702.655.2257
When we found five black widow spiders on our front porch, we decided enough was enough. Jeff from EPC did a great job killing all the bugs around the house and the bi-monthly visits are reasonably priced.
PODCAST #47

 

Paddock Pools
Various Locations
While at the end of the day, our pool looks nice, we ran into more problems dealing with Paddock then with any other contractor. Lessons learned: Take LOTS of pictures, be sure to check references, and be willing to constantly stay "on them" to make sure things are getting done.
PODCAST #12

Progressive Landscaping
Website
Whewy! We were pretty sure that we would be $1800 poorer after dealing with this company. After paying them an $1800 down payment, they disappeared. The podcast will give all the details, including what the Contractor’s Board and BBB think of these guys.
PODCAST #16

 

Real Estate

HOT HALF & HALF HORRIBLE!
     

Jennifer Tuck
Jennifer helped us find our Las Vegas home. She works exclusively with folks interested in new homes. She did a great job in helping us find a house and, most importantly, was first in line when a new release of homes became available.
PODCAST #01

New Home Model Homes
Got to admit it, I love checking out all the different model homes in Las Vegas. Lots of interesting ideas and come on, who doesn’t dig that new home smell?!?
PODCAST #01

Real Estate Prices (compared to California)
Here are the numbers: Our Las Vegas house was bought for 60% less then what our California house was valued. And, our Las Vegas home is 40% larger to boot! (misspoke in podcast…these numbers are correct)
PODCAST #03

Station Casinos’
Aliante Station Open House
We were impressed that Station Casino held an open house to gather feedback regarding their new Aliante Station casino, which is due to begin construction in Q1 2007.
PODCAST #30

 

 

Rude New Home Sales Agents
Probably not going to find as many as there was is 2003, but we passed on a neighborhood within a Master Plan Community because the sales agents were rude, curt and disinterested in two people (ie: US) who had the money and inclination to invest in their community. With the market slowing down, we don’t find may rude agents any more!
PODCAST #01

Dirt
The soil in Las Vegas is pretty crappy. Actually, soil is too nice a word…more like dirt. Oh, and if you’re digging a pool, God help you if you hit caliche!
PODCAST #07

Transportation

HOT HALF & HALF HORRIBLE!
     

Valet Parking
The Strip
Finding a place to park in those giant parking structures is crazy! Just pull up in front of your casino of choice, give ‘em your name, and you’re done! Be sure to tip when you pick up your car (at least $3-$5) (Speaking of valet parking, you can even valet park at the airport! How great is that?!?)
PODCAST #05

 

 

Drivers!!
Are you people kidding me?!?! I’ve never seen so many crazy, DANGEROUS drivers! Which may explain why in 2005, there were 302 deaths in the Las Vegas valley.
PODCAST #04

 

Shopping

HOT HALF & HALF HORRIBLE!
     

Fashion Show
The Strip (across from Wynn)
Okay, the outside looks like a space ship. . .but once you’re inside, this three-story shopping mall is great. Depending on when you are there, you may see one of the live fashion shows that happen throughout the day (true story…we were watching a shoe cat-walk show and EVERY model had band aids on their heels. The designer was there, saw the band aids and the subsequent look on his face was priceless.)
PODCAST #07

Computer Builders Warehouse
702.341.9111
After talking to and/or dealing with about 8 computer stores, this is the company I eventually bought my new system from. The system is outstanding but I did run into some technical problems in the beginning. Be sure to have them test EVERYTHING before you pick up the system. Also, on a down note, they DO NOT offer a refund on custom systems.
PODCAST #15

Paris Hilton’s "Just Me"
Perfume Stores Everywhere
Picked up a couple samples of Paris’ "Just Me" perfume while waiting for her to show up to her CD Release shindig. Truth be told, I could see why a younger crowd might like this stuff. That’s hot.
PODCAST #27

Cosibella Home
702.368.2674
N. Durango and Elkhorn
Probably the only home accessories/gift store that Scott can actually stomach. Good stuff, good prices. We bought three clocks and a couple more wall-hanging stuff and we’re very impressed with what we found.
PODCAST #55

 

Supertech Computers
W. Sahara
We’re putting them as a half and half because they refunded our money when the system proved to be unusable (spontaneous reboots, mouse not working).
PODCAST #15

Fresh Fruits and Veggies
With the exception of Whole Foods, most of the fruits and vegetables available at the local grocery stores is just bad. Over ripe, under ripe, under sized–blech.
PODCAST #07

PC Club
Terrible sales person, unresponsive management. Don’t let the colorful website/brochure fool you, these folks are not the way to go (funny thing, a lot of other companies, when I mentioned I had a problem with another company, almost always guessed the problem company was PC Club).
PODCAST #15

 

Entertainment

HOT HALF & HALF HORRIBLE!
     

The Amazing Jonathon
Sahara Casino (the casino NASCAR built…I think…by the looks of it)
The venue isn’t as nice as the clip of AJ seen around Las Vegas but MAN he’s funny! His assistant (Psychic Tanya) was a big hit w/ Melissa. This is raunchy humor, to be sure, but if a few f-bombs don’t scare you, you’ll laugh all night.
PODCAST #02

Joe Espisito & Cool Change
Performing at Bally’s
Indigo Lounge
If we were to guess, we’d say Joe is between 55-65 years old. The WILD thing about watching Cool Change perform is watching (and listening to) Joe sing. He sounds like a 30 year-old AMAZING R&B singer.
PODCAST #05

"First Friday"
The Art District
The first Friday of each month marks the Art District’s "First Friday", one of the coolest things to do in Las Vegas. This FREE event, which runs from 6pm-10pm features art, music, antiques, food, drinks and some great people watching. We saw art for as little as $5 and as high as $178,000.
PODCAST #06

51’s Baseball
Cashman Field
The 51’s are the Los Angeles Dodger’s AAA baseball team. Cashman Field is a beautiful ball park and with ticket prices ranging from $7-$12, it’s an affordable and fun time. (For those who want to be entertained by both the game and the fans, check out $1 Budweiser night.)
PODCAST #13

Hoover Dam
Nevada/Arizona Border
Although Scott had driven/walked over Hoover Dam twice before, this was our first time checking out the tour and exhibits. The history of the dam is fascinating and there is plenty to see. This is a great place to get away from it all, and it’s only about 30 miles outside of Las Vegas.
PODCAST #18

Pahrump Valley Winery
775-751-7800
As one of the better day trips we’ve experience, this is a GREAT place to spend some time sipping great wine, eating great food, and talking wine with the owner.
PODCAST #28

Hypnotist Anthony Cools
Paris Hotel and Casino
We saw this show as a result of a comp we received, so our expectations were not terribly high. Luckily, we discovered a very funny, very entertaining show. Not for those under 18, or who can’t deal with a lot of swear words. A good time was had by all.
PODCAST #32

The Scintas
Sahara Hotel and Casino
This is a good old-fashion Las Vegas variety show. The Scintas-three (plus their "adopted" drummer) really work hard for the audience, are appreciative of the folks in attendance and put on a fun show. We laughed a lot!
PODCAST #39

KA
MGM Hotel and Casino
Speechless. As I sit here trying to come up with some clever prose about this Cirque du Soleil show, I keep thinking to myself, "how am I going to describe this?" The answer? Not very well. Bottom line: I have seen five different Cirque shows, and this BY FAR is the most breathtaking I’ve seen.
PODCAST #40

Boating at Lake Mead
Callville Marina
Big fun here! Rent a deck cruiser for the day and check out Hoover Dam and swim in great water (in the summer). Highly recommended.
PODCAST #45/46

LA Comedy Club
Palace Station Casino
The first and only local’s comedy club, the LA Comedy Store is drawing great talent. We had a great time spending the evening here…nice room, great comedy. Highly recommended.
PODCAST #50

MGM Grand Garden Arena
This is a great place to see a concert. Really not a bad seat in the venue. At full capacity, it holds 17000. We saw Van Halen when the arena was configured for 13000. Our Upper Level seats were great!
PODCAST #52

Mesmerized
V Theatre at Desert Passage
We didn’t think this hypno show was as well put together as the Anthony Cools show. There were a few interesting gags, and the venue itself is better then Cool’s, but it’s not something we would likely see again..
PODCAST #41

The USHERS at the Amazing Jonathon Show
Payola, table for two? UNBELIEVABLY open extortion regarding your seats. Give them a nice tip before being seated and you can take a General Admission ticket and move yourself to the "Golden Circle". (Obviously, we were in the Golden Circle…we even tipped!)
PODCAST #02

Southern Nevada Zoo
1775 N. Rancho Dr.
While the intentions are certain to be good, the Southern Nevada Zoo is in need of a lot of tender loving care. Starting with the entrance, which in and of itself turns away many potential visitors, the overall feeling of the 3 acre property is tired. There are some interesting animals there but one can’t help feeling sorry for all the critters living just south of Texas Station.
PODCAST #26

Hotel Fear
MLK and Craig in front of Home Depot
Yeah, it’s horrible. . .in a GOOD way. This is Melissa’s rating. After hearing 20 minutes of screaming, I think you’ll get the idea.
PODCAST #31