Market For finest service, the employees of our four Whole Foods Markets make the top of my list. Their policy of escorting a customer to help find an elusive item feels deliciously like an old-time throwback.
Carla Pellegrino Chef/owner, Bratalian and Bacio restaurants Best place for lunch: Spago at the Forum Shops — I love the Symphony Tuna. Best late-night snack: Holsteins at The Cosmopolitan for burgers or Pellegrino’s Pizza & Deli in the Tropicana (obviously for the pizza).
A sweet dose of rural kitsch (and some ostriches, too)
Rev up romance with a road trip to dateland. The Indio Date Festival — a combination of hometown county fair, “I Dream of Jeannie” kitsch, and food made out of dates — is the third weekend in February.
Q: What’s the best crosstown shortcut from north to south?
A: In a town where construction is ubiquitous and seemingly planned by sociopathic scientists engaged in a rats/maze experiment, finding shortcuts is essential. Whether it’s darting through a neighborhood to avoid a long light, getting off a freeway at just the right time to avoid construction, or learning to drive at times other people don’t, if you live in Las Vegas, you need shortcuts.
If art can sleep, there’s a lot of it snoozing peacefully in the secure storage room at the former Las Vegas Art Museum space in the Sahara West Library. The museum has been in hibernation since it closed in February 2009 after chronically low membership and dwindling donations gradually shut the contemporary art space’s doors.
With a trifecta of boutique fashion, unique selection and prices that make a party girl giddy, Patty’s Closet is much more than a local success story — now it’s becoming a national success story. Patty’s Closet opened its first out-of-state franchise store in the fashionable Nob Hill area of Portland, Ore.
At this iconic import, there’s no muss, no fuss — but lots of superb steak
You’ve got to love what they’re doing with food at Caesars Palace. The place has become a gold mine of iconic, imported, super-old dining destinations: the Forum Shops has Joe’s Stone Crab (of South Beach) and P.
Hoi Nam Chicken at Big Wong Eating at Big Wong, one of the newer holes-in-the-wall in our expansive Chinatown neighborhood, is like eating at the house of some longtime family friends — no frills, just simple, great food. Hoi Nam Chicken is the epitome of that vibe, a huge plate of tender, juicy, stewed chicken (complete with skin and other odd but delicious parts) served with a pile of white rice and soy and ginger-chili sauces for a dipping extravaganza.
Would it be too grand a flourish to wave my hand over the year ahead and declare 2012 The Year of the Museum in Nevada? I don’t want to jinx anything, but it says something when we’ve got to crack open a fresh box of bullet points to cover cultural news. Consider:
• The openings of the Mob Museum in February and the Neon Museum this summer will illuminate and celebrate two facets — one dark, one light — of Las Vegas history.