Posts Tagged ‘hokkigai’

UFC 94 Weekend In Vegas

February 1, 2009

Every so often, there comes a time in a man’s life when the stars just align. The perfect storm of pleasure if you will. The weekend of January 30th was one such time.

You see, The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) – the most popular Mixed Martial Arts promotion – was having their biggest, most highly anticipated fight card in history: UFC 94. The main event featured Hilo’s own BJ Penn against Canada’s Georges St. Pierre, arguably the two best pound for pound fighters in the sport. Superbowl XLIII (43) festivities, which featured the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Arizona Cardinals, was also going on that weekend. Did I mention that this was all going down in Vegas? ‘Nuff said!

It all started with a confirmation of UFC 94 fight tickets, just a couple weeks before the event (Mahalos to Bruddah DJ and the rest of the UFC posse). From there, it was pure pandemonium as I worked some flight, room and car reservation magic for less than $580 per. Not bad, given the current flight prices.

Wifey unfortunately couldn’t take off of work so my friend Dave “took one for the team” and forced himself to come with me on this once in a lifetime, sport-filled weekend.

We caught the red-eye on Thursday the 29th, and enjoyed breakfast at Ruby’s Dinette on our LAX layover.

Outside Ruby's Dinette
Outside Ruby’s Dinette

I’ve been by this place numerous times before, but never had the chance or the time to eat there. With our hunger, and a couple of hours to spare, Dave and I checked it out. It’s a good thing we did because it was surprisingly good.

Ruby's Breakfast Burrito: "A flour tortilla filled with fluffy scrambled eggs, salsa and shredded cheese. Topped with sour cream, black olives and chopped green onions. Served with black beans. It's our "South of the Border" specialty!"
Ruby’s Breakfast Burrito: “A flour tortilla filled with fluffy scrambled eggs, salsa and shredded cheese. Topped with sour cream, black olives and chopped green onions. Served with black beans. It’s our “South of the Border” specialty!”

Skillet Potatoes
Skillet Potatoes

Ruby’s Dinette – LAX
201 World Way – Terminal 6
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 646-2480

We arrived in Sin City at about 10AM on Friday, the 30th, but by the time we got our luggage, stood in line to pick up our rental car, and took my mobile phone in for service (it stopped working for some reason), it was almost time for the first two events of the trip: the exclusive Q&A session with (fighter) Rashad Evans and the official UFC 94 weigh-ins.

UFC 94 Schedule of Events poster
UFC 94 Schedule of Events poster

Thanks to Bruddah DJ, we were able to get early access into the event and sit decently close.

Nate Diaz flexes at 156 as announcer Joe Rogan, brother Nick Diaz, ring girls Logan Stanton and Arianny Celeste, his opponent's brother Jason Guida, UFC President Dana White, and ring announcer Bruce Buffer look on.
Nate Diaz flexes at 156 as announcer Joe Rogan, brother Nick Diaz, ring girls Logan Stanton and Arianny Celeste, his opponent’s brother Jason Guida, UFC President Dana White, and ring announcer Bruce Buffer look on.

Lyoto Machida comes in at 206 as ring girls Logan Stanton and Arianny Celeste, and UFC President Dana White look on.
Lyoto Machida comes in at 206 as ring girls Logan Stanton and Arianny Celeste, and UFC President Dana White look on.

BJ Penn does his King Kamehameha pose while coming in at 168, as ring girls Logan Stanton and Arianny Celeste look on.
BJ Penn does his King Kamehameha pose while coming in at 168, as ring girls Logan Stanton and Arianny Celeste look on.

The much anticipated BJ Penn-Georges St Pierre stare down, as St.-Pierre's head trainer Firas Zahabi, an unknown male, UFC President Dana White, ring announcer Bruce Buffer, Penn's head trainer Rudy Valentino and fight matchmaker Joe Silva look on.
The much anticipated BJ PennGeorges St Pierre stare down, as St.-Pierre’s head trainer Firas Zahabi, an unknown male, UFC President Dana White, ring announcer Bruce Buffer, Penn’s head trainer Rudy Valentino and fight matchmaker Joe Silva look on.

Following the weigh-ins, I decided to check my voicemail from my friend’s phone and was surprised to hear that my Las Vegas (Hawaii transplant) friend Jen left a couple of messages. She wanted us to meet up for dinner with her and her boyfriend Brandon at an all you can eat sushi spot called Sushi-Mon. Since Dave and I were practically starving, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect!

Sushi-Mon sign
Sushi-Mon sign

For $26.95 ($21.95 for lunch), you can pick from a large array of sushi/nigiri, rolls, and side dishes, and go to town on them for one hour. And go to town I did!

2 orders of ikura (salmon roe) and 2 orders of masago (smelt egg) (one order already eaten... couldn't wait! *grin*)
2 orders of ikura (salmon roe) and 2 orders of masago (smelt egg) (one order already eaten… couldn’t wait! *grin*)

2 orders of hokkigai (surf clam) and 2 orders of hamachi (yellowtail tuna)
2 orders of hokkigai (surf clam) and 2 orders of hamachi (yellowtail tuna)

Dave's Moon Roll order (Freshwater eel, yum yum scallop & avocado served on a bed of tempura crumbs topped with eel sauce).
Dave’s Moon Roll order (Freshwater eel, yum yum scallop & avocado served on a bed of tempura crumbs topped with eel sauce).

Jen's recommended Cajun Albacore sushi
Jen’s recommended Cajun Albacore sushi

Snow crab meat sushi (you're only allowed one order)
Snow crab meat sushi (you’re only allowed one order)

Baked Scallop Shell side dish
Baked Scallop Shell side dish

Ika (squid) sushi
Ika (squid) sushi

Sushi-Mon (on Sahara)
8320 W Sahara Ave #180,
Las Vegas, NV 89117
(702) 304-0044
Open 7 Days a week, 11:30AM-2:00AM

And den, it was fight day! After fueling up on the $7.99 Garden Court Buffet Lunch at the Main Street Station Hotel in downtown…

My $7.99 buffet lunch (breakfast actually) at the Main Street Station Hotel in downtown (heart don't fail me now!)
My $7.99 buffet lunch (breakfast actually) at the Main Street Station Hotel in downtown (heart don’t fail me now!)

… we headed towards the Mirage to place some fight bets, as, according to my friend Kippy who messaged me on Facebook, they had Penn at +180, some of the best lines in town! By the time we got there though, the line had moved to +135, but that was still good enough for me to back our local hero. While there, I also dropped a bit on the Super Bowl for good measure (‘Zona with the 7 point spread). What the heck right?

Following that, we went back to our hotel to get a quick R&R before the big day ahead. Then it was time! We started by roaming the MGM casino area an hour before the gates were to open. We saw a cool photo opp set up for fight fans, and, after asking a girl to take our photo there, her friends thought it was a good idea to tell her to jump in the photo with us! Um, yeah, thanks!

Dave and I posing with some random girl.
Dave and I posing with some random girl.

At 4:15PM we started to slowly make our way to the gates. The heart started a racin’ and the adrenaline started a pumpin’! I couldn’t believe we were actually there son!

Shuffling in before showtime
Shuffling in before showtime

Here are the results with some personal observations sprinkled in between.

Dan Cramer defeats Matt Arroyo by Split Decision
– I thought Matt Arroyo, The Ultimate Fighter 7 alum, would take this one, but was surprised with Cramer’s perseverance.

Jake O’Brien defeats Christian Wellisch by Split Decision
– Another surprise as I picked Wellisch to come out on top for this one. As you can tell by now, my fantasy UFC picking is pretty horrible. Good to see O’Brien back from his injury and looking strong though.

John Howard defeats Chris Wilson by Split Decision
– This was too close to call, but both men gave it their all.

Thiago Tavares defeats Manny Gamburyan by Unanimous Decision
– Tavares was too big and too strong (and too quick) for Gamburyan, as expected.

Jon Fitch defeats Akihiro Gono by Unanimous Decision
– Gono impressed me by taking Fitch the distance. His entrance performance (where he dressed up in drag with two of his cornermen) had me in stitches!

Akihiro Gono's hilarious drag queen entrance
Akihiro Gono’s hilarious drag queen entrance

Clay Guida defeats Nate Diaz by Split Decision
– Not a huge fan of Diaz, but knew Guida couldn’t finish him. Picked Guida, just based on his energy and spirit. Gotta love someone who is passionate about what they do. Got hooked to his entrance song (Foo Fighter’s “My Hero“).

Karo Parisyan defeats Dong Hyun Kim by Split Decision
– From my vantage point, I thought Kim got robbed on this one. He impressed me. Looking forward to more from him.

Jon Jones defeats Stephan Bonnar by Unanimous Decision
– Woah! Where’d this guy come from? Jones was very unorthodox, but impressive at the same time. Bonnar must’ve been confused with the strikes coming from all ova tha place!

Lyoto Machida defeats Thiago Silva by Knock Out at 4:49 in the 1st round

Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva stare down each other as they get instructions from referee Yves Lavigne
Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva stare down each other as they get instructions from referee Yves Lavigne

– ALAS!!! A finish!!! Machida must’ve heard all of our groans from a card filled with decisions. And he made sure to bring it. Silva was completely out for a good minute or so. It was the first time I jumped out of my seat (other that to use the potty! *grin*). Mahalos Lyoto!

Silva still on the ground after a vicious Machida punch
Silva still on the ground after a vicious Machida punch

Georges St-Pierre defeats BJ Penn by TKO Stoppage at 5:00 in the 4th round


BJ’s Entrance Video

Animation of opening sequence
Animation of opening sequence

– D’oh! What a disappointment. But soooo worth being there in person. I was there when they first met at UFC 58 in March of ’06 so it was inevitable that I be there at this one. Unfortunately, the results didn’t reflect my (and probably most of Hawaii’s) wishes. That’s ok, BJ is still the man in my eyes! He showed great courage by not giving up.

On a side note, was it just me or did BJ not look all there from the very beginning? Even from where I was sitting, I could tell that something was just not right. He didn’t come out with the tenacity and that fire in his eye like he usually does. Something was just off. When I watched it back on my DVR at home, I noticed that his eyes were glassy and puffy and he had a look of stress/worry. Was it mental? Was it physical? Only BJ knows I guess, but the results from the fight seemed to confirm my spidey senses.

Following the fight, the rumors started to fly. My Google Reader started blowin’ up! I heard everything from BJ having a fever, to a stomach flu, to a nervous breakdown. I can’t imagine the pressure of having an entire state (and country) on your shoulders. And I know that BJ has that mental toughness a fighter needs to succeed, but something just wasn’t right.

And then there was the Vaseline(-gate) incident, but we won’t go there.

For you Canadian/GSP fans/readers out there, I’m not making any excuses. GSP followed a perfect game plan and fought a flawless fight, and truly was the better man that night. However, if, indeed, the Vaseline and stomach flu rumors were true, and BJ was able to fight at full strength (mentally and physically) against a fair, Vaseline-less body, I’m absolutely positive that the fight would’ve been A LOT closer than it was. If it turns out that those rumors were false, GSP is undeniably the better man at Welterweight.

Leaving the arena took a ridiculously long time as there was just one exit for all 14,885 of us fans in the Grand Garden Arena (I really hope the folks at MGM do something about this potentially dangerous situation). It did give us some time however, to observe some interesting things like the proud/happy Canadians singing their national anthem aloud and the local mokes trying to call them out fo’ beef. I really wish that that fight broke out to give us some entertainment. Not that I was upset at the Canadians. Heck, they deserved to be proud. I think it was more that my thirst for excitement was not quite quenched, with just two stoppages the whole night.

I got some consolation when I saw Pride fighting legend Takanori Gomi waiting in line for his car outside, and took a picture with him. He seemed intense, but gave me a proper, Japanese bow as I bowed and thanked him with “Arigatou gozaimasu.”

Takanori Gomi and I
Takanori Gomi and I

Wifey also called me later to tell me that my goal of getting on the historic DVD with my cheesy fluorescent green shirt had been fulfilled, albeit the back of our heads. LOL! So it was not all a disappointing night yo. 😛

Dave and I forever a part of UFC 94 history. LOL!
Dave and I forever a part of UFC 94 history. LOL!

We thought about going to the Official UFC afterparty at LAX (http://www.laxthenightclub.com/ ) at the Luxor, but decided to grab a bite instead. We called my high school buddy Jeff (another Hawaii transplant) to see if he and his wife Yvonne wanted to join us, but he instead, invited us over to his house to eat leftovers from their UFC 94 party. ‘Twas nice to see them and just chill after a long night.

The next day was Superbowl Sunday, but with our bets already placed, we said “Superbowl Shmuperbowl” and hit the slopes at the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort for a lil’ boardin’.

Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort Sign
Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort Sign

It was a gorgeous day with decent conditions (mostly smooth with some powder and icey patches), but the best part was that the Blackjack, High Roller, and Keno paths (blue square) and Jacks, Slot Alley and Grandma’s (black diamond) were relatively empty (see trail PDF here). I pretty much had half the mountain to myself! Awwwww yeah!

Empty path... Loves it!
Empty path… Loves it!

Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort
End of Highway 1506 in Lee Canyon
(702) 385-2754
Lift Hours: 9am to 4pm
Lodge Hours: 8:30am to 4:30pm

After a mandatory Trader Joe’s omiyage run following our boarding sesh, and a quick bite to eat at Panda Express (yes, we had the urge!), we got back to our hotel just in time to catch the most exciting 4th quarter in Super Bowl history.

Kurt Warner's look of disgust as his Cardinals allow Pittsburgh to move the ball closer and close to the end zone
Kurt Warner’s look of disgust as his Cardinals allow Pittsburgh to move the ball closer and close to the end zone

All in all, it was a quickie, but exciting 3 days of 3 breathtaking sporting events: MMA, football and snowboarding. The perfect storm of pleasure.

Vegas Kine Grindz

April 1, 2006
 Part II  | Part II

Note: Since I made a promise and I’m a man of my word (not to mention being tired of speaking geek), we’ll be taking a break from all that stuffy computer talk to do a fun column this month. And, by the looks of the amount of comments I got from last month’s gem (zero as I write this), perhaps this little break will turn into a string of regular, fun pieces with periodic computer winners sprinkled in between…

As y’all know, we the people of Hawaii love anything and everything to do with Las Vegas. Some of us even go as far as christening the city as our ninth island. Now, I’m not sure I’m as fanatical about this place as one would think I should be (exploring new/different locations is my personal preference), but whenever I do get the chance to visit sin city, I try to go to places most from Hawaii have never been. I think I’ve done a pretty good job this time around, especially with the grindage. Let’s see if you agree…

So my Vegas adventures started off early last month when I met a couple of buddies for the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC 58) at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. Since I arrived the morning of the fight, there really wasn’t much time to go gallivanting around town for new and exciting eateries.

It’s been a while since my buddies had an ono plate lunch (they are ex-pats living in Virginia and San Diego), so it wasn’t surprising that they were just itching for “local” kine food. We eventually found our way to a Hawaiian plate lunch place on Decatur Boulevard called Aloha Kitchen.

Aloha Kitchen, Las Vegas Nevada
Aloha Kitchen, Las Vegas Nevada

I know, I know… Some of you have probably already been to or heard of this Aloha Kitchen and are rolling your eyes at me, thinking that this place is not some well-kept secret… No worries… I’m just starting you off nice and easy for now. By the end of this column, you’ll be thanking me for helping you find the yummiest discoveries for your next time in Vegas. Guaranz-balbaranz!

The Aloha Kitchen we went to was on South Decatur Boulevard. They have another location on South Maryland Parkway that caters to the locals and UNLV students alike and I hear they have another one on Lamb Boulevard. Rumor also has it that these three locations are somehow affiliated with the Aloha Specialties store that we all know and love, located in the Cal in downtown, but that has been unconfirmed. Decorated with an almost over-the-top, stereotypical Hawaiiana theme (grass roofing, bamboo poles, brightly painted seating), the restaurant at least gave a certain sense of warmth and Hawaii feel.

Inside Aloha Kitchen
Inside Aloha Kitchen

But nevah mine all of that. Let’s get to the food! I wasn’t all too hungry myself, since I had landed not more than a few hours prior, so I ended up just going for the burger and fries combo. I wasn’t expecting much because I’m not much of a burger eater to begin with. Well, to my surprise, the cooks at Aloha Kitchen did good with this one. Really good. In fact, I would even go out on the limb and say that this was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had in my life. And believe me, I’m getting up there… this life is not a short one anymore. 😉 There was just something about this burger that made it ohhhh so tasty. The saltiness, the butteriness, the sesame-seed bunliness… YUM! If you go to Aloha Kitchen, you just gotta try this one.

Cheeseburger and fries combo
Cheeseburger and fries combo

Now, before I go on, let me just say that I am not being paid (with food bribes or otherwise) for any of the high praises, so whatever I say, I truly mean. You can count on me giving an unbiased opinion because, like you, I’m paying for these meals out of my own pocket and I want to get the most bang for my buck. If I have a bad meal or experience, I will tell you. I wouldn’t want you wasting your hard-earned money on whatever it is I’m covering. Now, perhaps one day I’ll be able to completely sell out and get free meals and drinks (and massages?) while I eat in exchange for a little pub and a positive review (*hint to those restaurants out there*), but until then, it’s 100% honesty from yours truly.

* Note: You don’t really think that I’d sell out do you? 😛 (*whispering* Restaurants… Call me!)

Aloha Kitchen Menu
Aloha Kitchen Menu

Moving on… Choosing from a decent selection from the menu, my posse ordered a bevy of choices: the special Kalbi Combo, Kalua Pig and Katsu Combo, and the Teriyaki Combo (minus the pork). Mmm… Comfort food that would make any stomach growl.

Now I’m hoping that it was just a coincidence, but on this occasion, the service was very, VERY slow. From standing in line to order to waiting for the food to come out, if you’re in a rush, then just be prepared for this long wait if this is a regular occurrence.

Special Kalbi Combo
Special Kalbi Combo

Kalua Pig and Katsu Combo
Kalua Pig and Katsu Combo

Teriyaki Combo (minus the pork)
Teriyaki Combo (minus the pork)

The Decatur location even has an attached bar called Aloha Bar, complete with pool tables, slot machines and a pretty decent sized stage and dance floor. It was pretty barren in there since it was in the middle of the day, but I can imagine that it becomes a happening joint as night falls.

Aloha Bar

Aloha Kitchen & Bar
2605 S. Decatur Blvd., Ste. 110
Las Vegas, NV 89102 (map)
(702) 364-0064

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The next day, our hunger pains (or was it our hormones?) led us to the greatest thing to come to Vegas since gambling… Hooters Hotel & Casino. So it was late and we weren’t that hungry and the wait was long and we had an early next morning, and so on and so forth… It’s HOOTERS for Pete’s sake!

Hooters Restaurant signage
Hooters Restaurant signage

All kidding aside, here’s the real scoops on the Hooters Restaurant, nestled within the confines of the hotel: it’s nothing special. If you’ve been to the Hooters at Aloha Tower Marketplace on Oahu (or wherever you’re tuning in from), the menu and tastes aren’t all that different here.

Taking over the old Hotel San Remo property, Hooters had just opened on February 2, 2006, so quite simply, it gave us a good excuse to eat and stay there. Even though we got there fairly late (around 9PM), there was still a pretty hefty line wrapping around the side of the restaurant. The wait wasn’t too bad though (we were let in less than 15 minutes later) so if you really want to eat here, stick around for a bit.

Hooters Restaurant's wood interior
Hooters Restaurant’s wood interior

The interior of the restaurant was bright and spacious, with color televisions sprinkled all around, and a definite & recognizable wood theme. There was even live music, trickling in from the bar next door.

My buddy Tommy ordered the “Nearly World Famous Chicken Wings” splashed with 3 mile island hot sauce that made him sweat (and cry?). For all you toughguys out there, Tommy’s pretty good at handling his hot stuff, so heed this warning… If you’re afraid, go tamer! You can order the chicken wings in the following ways: 10 pieces for $7.49, 20 pieces for 14.29 or 50 pieces for $29.99, and your choice of hot sauces: mild, medium, hot, 3 mile island or 911.

Hooters' Nearly World Famous Chicken Wings with 3 mile island hot sauce
Hooters’ Nearly World Famous Chicken Wings with 3 mile island hot sauce

I’m a wimp when it comes to hot sauce so I settled on the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich for $7.49. The description from the menu says “A fried chicken sandwich, shaken in your choice of our famous wing sauce. Like a wing on a bun, without the bone! All sandwiches served with pickle, lettuce and tomato, and either cole slaw, baked beans or potato salad.” You can order extra sides: sliced cheese, bacon, chili or mushrooms for 99 cents each and/or cole slaw, potato salad, or baked beans for $1.19 each.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with baked beans
Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with baked beans

While there, we were even treated to a little celebration for an unknowing bachelor in the crowd.

Impromptu bachelor celebration
Impromptu bachelor celebration

A little side note: If you’re in the mood for a unique, White Castle-esque burger, pay a visit to Pete & Shorty’s Book and Bar and try their “world famous” Shorty Burger for $1.50 each (or $7.49 for 1/2 dozen or a full dozen for $14.99 dozen). After watching Harold & Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, one of my most favorite movies of all time (yeah, sad isn’t it?), this is probably the closest I’ll get to one of them Slyders until my next trip to the East coast.

Shorty Burgers
Shorty Burgers

(! – If you plan on doing any shopping at the gift shop, be sure you join Hooters’ Player’s Club called Club Orange beforehand. Coincidentally, I had done this and when the gift shop employee rang me up and asked if I was a Club Orange member, I got a $7+ discount on about a $30 purchase. I’m sure results and rules vary, but it doesn’t hurt right? Besides, if you’re like me, you now have bragging rights of being one of the first in your area to join Club Orange! 😛 )

Hooters Hotel & Casino
115 E. Tropicana Ave.
Las Vegas NV 89109 (map)
Phone: (702) 739-9000
Toll Free: 1-866-LVHOOTS
Fax: (702) 736-1120

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Alright, alright, let’s get down to business! Yes, some of you may have heard about Aloha Kitchen, and although new in Vegas, most of you have probably heard of that ol’ Hooters joint too… Now, as they say in Fantasy Football drafts, let’s go for our sleeper pick: Sushi House Manda!

Sushi House Manda sign up close
Sushi House Manda sign up close

Some of you may remember Sushi House Manda from back in the day when they were located on West Sahara Ave, near the World’s Largest Gift Shop. Since then, they’ve moved west to South Ft. Apache Road, sharing property with Doc Holliday’s Saloon. If you’re like (the old) me, you’re probably wondering how fresh fish can be sitting in the middle of a desert. Now before you get your panties in a bunch, give me a chance to show you some pics and explain…

Signage for Doc Holliday's Restaurant & Sushi House Manda
Signage for Doc Holliday’s Restaurant & Sushi House Manda

This all-you-can-eat sushi powerhouse has gone through major upgrades to create the ambience that you will find at their new location. When you enter the building, just turn left to see what you’ve been missing (Doc Holliday’s is to the right). Panning the room from left to right will show you the following:

Inside Sushi House Manda

Inside Sushi House Manda

Inside Sushi House Manda

Yes, I know… Why so empty? Well, we were so excitable and anxious to get there that we arrived way too early! But that leads me to my next hint/tip: (! – Arrive early! You’ll secure yourself a seat and the freshest fish of the night.)

So since we’re here early, let’s grab a seat at the “bar”. From here, we’ll get a good view of the fish, Jimbo (owner) and his crew (all from Japan) preparing the delicacies for you.

Sitting at the bar
Sitting at the bar

Check out the menu and order away! Don’t worry about getting carried away because it’s all you can eat for just $29.95.

Sushi House Manda menu
Sushi House Manda menu

My friend felt like eating “poke” so that’s what we ordered. What we got wasn’t what we in Hawaii traditionally think of as “poke” though.

Poke
“Poke”

Listed #1 on their Nigiri Sushi list, Manda’s Shiro Maguro is their marquee item. Literally translated, the “white tuna” is one of the fattiest portions of the fish. We doubled our order on this one!

Shiro Maguro
Shiro Maguro

Next up, the Jimbo Roll, named after Jimbo, the bossman of Sushi House Manda. The Jimbo Roll contains Tempura shrimp, Asparagus and a special sauce.

Jimbo Roll
Jimbo Roll

One of my favorites is the surf clam called Hokkigai. Hokkigai onegaishimasu!

Hokkigai
Hokkigai

You can’t go to an all-you-can-eat sushi joint and NOT order amaebi (“raw shrimp”), though some places don’t include this in their menu because of the difficulty to prepare. Not Manda! They even included the heads, deep fried to perfection.

Amaebi
Amaebi

If I didn’t order the ahi here, it would be like going to Morton’s and not ordering steak.

Maguro
Maguro

To round it all out, we pounded the Spider Roll (Soft shell crab with special sauce).

Spider Roll
Spider Roll

Jimbo, Leslie, Lisa and the gang make you feel right at home when you dine there. For me personally, Sushi House Manda is one of those MUST-EAT places on each and every trip to Las Vegas. AOL’s City Guide visitors also agreed, voting them the City’s Best Sushi of 2006. I guess the secret’s out!

If you decide to go to Sushi House Manda, “Tell ’em Ed sent ya!”

(It won’t get you anything, but I’ve just always wanted to say that! 😛 )

Sushi House Manda
4790 South Ft. Apache Road
Las Vegas NV 89147 (map)
Phone: (702) 382-6006
Lunch: M-F, 11:30am-1:30pm
Dinner: Nightly from 5pm
$29.95 Buffet, Reservations are suggested.

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Dishes, the buffet restaurant in the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino opened in November, 2004. Hardly new by Las Vegas standards, it seems like an establishment that’s sometimes overlooked.

Dishes Restaurant

For just $15 (Breakfast – $12, Champagne Brunch – $15, Lunch – $15, Sun-Thu Dinner – $20 and Fri-Sat Dinner – $26), one could fill up with an assortment of delightful delectables ranging from sushi, Chinese cuisine, Italian fare, southern food, and more.

Sushi selection
Sushi selection

Fruit selection
Fruit selection

Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine

Pizza options
Pizza options

Italian choices
Italian choices

Italian choices
Italian choices

Salad choices
Salad choices

Mexican choices
Mexican choices

Southern foods
Southern foods

Southern foods
Southern foods

(! – Not so fast! Don’t leave without dessert… The dessert table is a little inconspicuous and out of the way and could be missed without the trained eye, or nose. Take the time, or ask an employee to help you find it. It’ll be worth it!)

Don't forget dessert!
Don’t forget dessert!

Don't forget dessert!
Don’t forget dessert!

Dishes, rumored to be changing their name in the next few months, was the staff’s pick for the 2005 best buffet of Las Vegas by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Dishes – Trasure Island Hotel & Casino
3300 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109 (map)
Phone: (702) 894-7111
Breakfast: 7am to 11am, Mon-Fri
Champagne Brunch: 7am to 4pm, Sat-Sun
Lunch: 11am to 4pm, Mon-Fri
Dinner: 4pm to 10:30pm, Daily

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I hope you’ll agree with my choices above by screaming at the top of your lungs, “World Wide Ed’s Vegas Kine Grindz is da Winnahz!” C’mon, no shame! Alright fine, I’ll settle for your pleasant comments below…

See you next month!

 Part II  | Part II