Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas’

Vegas Kine Grindz – Part II

March 1, 2012
Part I |  Part II 

The last time I wrote an article devoted to the ono grindz of our 9th island of “Lost Wages”, Crash won Best Picture at the Academy Awards and George W Bush was our President. It was actually my very first foray into food articles here on AroundHawaii (way back in April of ’06) and was aptly titled “Vegas Kine Grindz“. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane shmall kine and continue the series with part II, an almost 6 years later!

Since we literally just completed a 5-part series on Hawaii’s best ramen, and my brain can’t function any other way yet πŸ˜› , let’s start off this trip with one of Las Vegas’ best ramens…

 

Monta Japanese Noodle House

Located conveniently on Spring Mountain Road, this popular noodle house regularly receives rave reviews from tourists and locals alike.

Outside Monta Japanese Noodle House. Expect to wait in a line.
Outside Monta Japanese Noodle House. Expect to wait in a line.

Before we left, my friend Dave’s friend recommended Monta, as did my friend and co-worker Shane. On this occasion, we were taken by Jeff, an old high school classmate turned Las Vegas resident. He says he goes there at least once a week and is practically an expert when ordering his bowl.

Shoyu Ramen ($6.95) with extra Chashu Pork ($2.50) and two Nitamago (soft boiled egg) ($1.50 each) [Photo Credit: Jeff Hee]
Shoyu Ramen ($6.95) with extra Chashu Pork ($2.50) and two Nitamago (soft boiled egg) ($1.50 each) [Photo Credit: Jeff Hee]

If you’ve been following my ramen series for the last 5 months, you’ll know that I’m a tonkotsu fiend, so there really was no other option for me.

Tonkotsu Ramen ($6.95) with Nitamago ($1.50), Nori ($0.75) and Shredded Green Onion ($0.75)
Tonkotsu Ramen ($6.95) with Nitamago ($1.50), Nori ($0.75) and Shredded Green Onion ($0.75)

If you’re a big eater, portions are relatively small here. I would recommend saving some soup at the end and going for the Kaedama (extra order of noodles) for an additional $1.50.

Your other options here for ramen are Tonkotsu-Shoyu ($6.95) and Miso ($7.25), and for Toppings, Takana Mustard Leaf ($1.50), Kimchi ($1), Corn ($0.50) and Butter ($0.50).

Here’s their complete menu: http://www.montaramen.com/menu.php

I would rate this as one of the top 3 ramens I’ve ever had in the U.S. Yes, it’s THAT good. The tonkotsu broth is legit, and the Chashu pork melts in and “brokes” your mout’ at the same time! πŸ˜‰ This is a MUST visit on every Vegas trip.

Monta Japanese Noodle House
5030 Spring Mountain Road Suite 6
Las Vegas, Nevada 89146 (Street View)
(702) 367-4600
Daily: 11:30am-11pm

 

Secret Pizza (No Name Pizza Kitchen)

When a place has no signage to speak of and goes by the name of “Secret Pizza”, you know you’re onto something good. In fact, the only way people know about this place is by word of mouth. Heck, they even answer the phone with a plain & simple “Pizzeria”! I was super excited to eat there, primarily because of the mysteriousness of it all.

The entrance doesn’t look like much of anything and is pretty much just a dark hallway. You would probably walk right past it if you weren’t paying attention.

Dark, inconspicuous entrance to Secret Pizza with no signage to speak of
Dark, inconspicuous entrance to Secret Pizza with no signage to speak of

Also known as the “No Name Pizza Kitchen” (NNPK), you’ll be sure to find the makings of a traditional pizza kitchen at the end of the hall, in addition to a long line of “in-the-know” patrons.

The line inside Secret Pizza
The line inside Secret Pizza

I’m not really a big pizza eater, but these pie slices literally had me panting for more. The first night I had their sausage and jalapeno slice, and the next night (yes, we went twice! πŸ˜‰ ), I picked up a mushroom pepperoni slice.

My mushroom, pepperoni slice ($4.50)
My mushroom, pepperoni slice ($4.50)

You can customize any slice of pizza for $0.50 additional per topping. Also popular is their “White” pizzas which have ricotta cheese and no red sauce. They go for $5 a slice.

Rumor has it that all of the ingredients for the pizza are actually homemade right here in the kitchen and restaurants from other hotels & casinos actually buy their ingredients from them. Another rumor is that they only use Evian water when mixing their dough. Not too sure how true these rumors are, but the pizza was really dang good!

Secret Pizza, aka No Name Pizza Kitchen, aka NNPK
At the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
3708 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Street View)
(702) 698-7000
Fri-Mon: 11am-5am
Tue-Thu: 11am-4am

 

Sushi Mon

All-you-can-eats in Las Vegas is like saying beaches in Hawaii. You’ll find them everywhere, some better than others. Sushi Mon is one of those popular all-you-can-eats off the strip that is still reasonable and maintains good quality.

Outside Sushi Mon
Outside Sushi Mon

There were 7 of us there that night for the $26.95 All You Can Eat Dinner special, so I’m sure they were a bit afraid of the damage we were about to cause. They churned out order after order like champs though (and fast!) so mad props to them. Here’s some of what we ordered that night as well as from a previous visit there.

2 orders of Ikura (salmon roe) and 2 orders of Masago (smelt egg)
2 orders of Ikura (salmon roe) and 2 orders of Masago (smelt egg)

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)

Their popular Cajun Albacore sushi
Their popular Cajun Albacore sushi

Snow Crab Meat Sushi (you're only allowed one order per person)
Snow Crab Meat Sushi (you’re only allowed one order per person)

Ed’s Tip: Be aware that you only have a 60 minute time limit here, but as mentioned above, the chefs here churned out our orders pretty quickly so it was never an issue for us.

Sushi Mon
8320 W Sahara Ave, Suite 180
Las Vegas, NV 89117 (Street View)
(702) 304-0044
Daily: 11:30am-2am
@SushiMonVegas

 

Hikari Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

In the mood for sushi again, 5 of us headed to a placed called Hikari, based on a tip we got.

Outside Hikari Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar
Outside Hikari Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

You can actually get all you can eat steak here too, but you have to choose one or the other. We opted for the $26.95 sushi route.

All you can eat sushi menu from Hikari
All you can eat sushi menu from Hikari

Although they were out of a few items (as was Sushi Mon), the choices here seem to be a little deeper. Here are some highlights of the choices we went with.

Sashimi combo
Sashimi combo

Raw fish without the rice is always a good thing during all-you-can-eat dining! 8)

Soft Shell Crab
Soft Shell Crab

Amaebi sushi
Amaebi sushi

Screem Inor Gazim
Screem Inor Gazim

Hikari
4175 S Buffalo Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89147 (Street View)
(702) 889-6660
Daily: 5pm-2am

 

And finally, we’ll close things out with a sweet sandwich find for this sandwich obsessed lover.

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop

Capriotti’s is a franchise sandwich shop with 75 locations across the U.S. (32 in Nevada alone). My friend’s wife swears by their Capastrami subs (Hot pastrami, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and cole slaw), so we had to go and check it out.

Capriotti's sandwich making station
Capriotti’s sandwich making station

We visited the Paradise Road location right near our hotel at the Hard Rock. In addition to the Capastrami, the New Jersey sounding guy taking our order (whom I assumed to be the owner), suggested the Bobbie (The nationally acclaimed best-seller! Hand-pulled, slow roasted, homemade Turkey, fresh cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing and mayo).

Special sign for the Bobbie
Special sign for the Bobbie

Here’s a cross sectional look at the sandwich.

The Bobbie from Capriotti's
The Bobbie from Capriotti’s

Buggah was grindz! I gotta go back and try some of their other subs!

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop
4480 Paradise Road
Las Vegas, NV 89169 (Street View)
(702) 736-6166
Mon-Fri: 10am-7pm
Sat-Sun: 11am-5pm
@capriottis

 

The primary reason for this trip was to celebrate the engagement of my brother-in-law Lee, bachelor party style. Congratulations bro!!!

Da boyz celebrating Lee's final days as a single bachelor
Da boyz celebrating Lee’s final days as a single bachelor

Now… If we can ever find a bride for my friend Todd (center), we can work on Vegas Kine Grindz – Part III. I wouldn’t hold your breath though. That may take more than 6 years… πŸ˜‰

Part I |  Part II 

Where In the Vegas is Edward Sugimoto? – February 15, 2012

February 15, 2012

Many of you have been telling me lately dat da photos stay too hahd. So I figgah I mix t’ings up and fly us all to Vegas this week for a very special “Where In Hawaii Vegas…?”! We all love and reconotice places in Vegas after all right? 8) Plus too, I going dea for one bachelor party pretty soon! Wahoooooo!

On a side note… So wot? How was your Valentine’s Day yesterday? I hope you did something special for the ladyfriend or manfriend. For those of you (men) who are single, the first two photos stay fo’ you… Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Photo #1
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - February 15, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – February 15, 2012

Points for Photo #1…
* Funniest name for each girl: 2 points each
* Funniest perv name for da guy in black: 3 points
* Location: 2 points
* Hotel name: 2 points
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Why wuz I dea?: 3 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #2
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - February 15, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – February 15, 2012

Points for Photo #2…
* Funniest name for statue: 3 points
* Location: 2 points
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link?: 2 points
* Why wuz I dea?: 3 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #3
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - February 15, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – February 15, 2012

Points for Photo #3…
* Location: 2 points
* Restaurant name: 2 points
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Maps link?: 2 points
* Why wuz I dea?: 3 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #4
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - February 15, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – February 15, 2012

Points for Photo #4…
* Location: 2 points
* Name of closest restaurant: 2 points
* General area?: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Maps link?: 2 points
* Why wuz I dea?: 3 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #5
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - February 15, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – February 15, 2012

Points for Photo #5…
* Location: 2 points
* General area?: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Maps link?: 2 points
* Why wuz I dea?: 3 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #6
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - February 15, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – February 15, 2012

Points for Photo #6…
* Name of area: 3 points!
* Location (Hotel): 2 points
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Maps link?: 2 points
* Why wuz I dea?: 3 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

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Weekly VH07V T-Shirt Update!

WOWZAS!!! The VH07V T-shirts have been “selling” like hotcakes! Mahalo for all of your support so far! I put “selling” in quotes because I’m not really in full blast mode yet, and I’ve also been doing a few giveaways here and there as well. But still, from my original order of 20 dozen (240), I’m down to only a handful of shirts… In just one week! I gotta re-order again awredde! But I guess that’s a good thing! At least people are interested in buying da buggahs. Either that, or my friends and family (and extended friends and family) are just being nice to support. Haha, nah!

Eventually, when I get time, I’ll build a shopping cart site so everyone can just order um direct dat way. I’m also thinking about doing a craft fair or two to get a feel for how the public (not just friends and family) reacts to it. And don’t forget, there is also a limited supply of Ls and XLs at Novel-T World at Ward Warehouse.

Ho! Fulfillment is not easy I tell you! Of the 15 of you VH07V Free T-shirt Winners, I successfully delivered to 8 of you. Ova half way dea! But actually, I stay waiting for a response from 4 of you too (color preference) so once I get that, I can keep jammin’.

Here are the colors that I will be re-ordering. Click on each link to see what they look like:

I’m also looking to do a new color combo and just posted a poll on the VH07V Facebook page. White on Green is in the lead so far. Whatchu tink? She go? Cast your vote if you want to see a different color combo next!

POLL:
What color combination would you
most like to see next for VH07V?

Also, what are your thoughts on a women’s line? A keiki line? Hats? I’ve been getting a lot of requests for those three so far too. Annnnywaaaaay…


Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Shoooots!

Oceanic Time Warner Cable hosts iHeartRadio VIP Party

September 9, 2011

On Thursday, September 1st, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, in partnership with Clear Channel Radio Hawaii, hosted a VIP party for 30 lucky qualifiers, to give away a once in a lifetime trip to attend one of the biggest music events in radio history: the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.

Held at the Road Runner Music Hall, these 30 hopefuls (and their guests) waited with bated breath to find out if they would be 1 of the 3 lucky winners to attend the sold out concert event featuring some of the biggest names in music: Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, the Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, and even local, Hawaii boy Bruno Mars, amongst many others.

Here are some scenes from that night.

Emcee Kutmaster Spaz shows off our IG2 hotspot before getting things started
Emcee Kutmaster Spaz shows off our IntelliGo hotspot before getting things started

KSSK personality Sweetie Pacarro doing giveaways with our guests
KSSK personality Sweetie Pacarro doing giveaways with our guests

Star 101.9 personalities Hudson & Scotty B doing giveaways
Star 101.9 personalities Hudson & Scotty B doing giveaways

The Kevin Jones Effect entertaining the crowd
The Kevin Jones Effect entertaining the crowd

And then it was time to announce the winners!

Our first winner cheers her head off
Our first winner cheers her head off

Our second winner is in shock
Our second winner is in shock

Our third winner can't contain his excitement
Our third winner can’t contain his excitement

Kutmaster Spaz with our three happy winners
Kutmaster Spaz with our three happy winners

These three winners and their guests will fly away for an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas, including airfare, hotel accommodations, and VIP access to the concert event happening on September 23rd & 24th. Congratulations!

The Curse of the Murse [Guest Blog by frankie]

March 16, 2010

frankie
by frankie

So, the other day The Frankie was rollin’ through the Las Vegas MGM hotel with a gangsta lean and was gobsmacked and mortified by the scene before him… a man carrying his woman’s purse!

Full disclosure: The Frankie has been known on occasion to “protect” his wife’s purse for her while she’s, ahem, powdering her nose at a public restroom. It’s a matter of simple courtesy! (And besides, like learning to squeeze your butt cheeks together before every sneeze, being kind to your woman is an essential survival skill when it comes to navigating the treacherous waters of relationships.) However, this homie was holding her purse and walking with it while she strode aside him simultaneously empty handed and yet with both hands holding a death grip on his boiled eggs. I instantly poured a little liquor on the ground from the 40 oz. I was carrying in honor of yet another ninja lost to the curse of the Murse a.k.a. the Male Purse.

Editor’s note: the current use of the term Murse in this post is not to be confused with the term murse, which can be applied to male nurses, male curses (such as David Hasselhoff) and male purses (large bags designed for men), because this Murse is not a purse for men, but rather a Male Purse accessory for women.

Note the distinction, my friends and frenemies, because trust me when I tell you that it is better to be an asset rather than an accessory. While there is never a relationship that is truly equal, you would rather have the balance be 51% vs. 49% instead of 90% vs. 10% because in order to love her, you must also be able to love yourself first. And you can’t love yourself if you cease to exist. So, my ninjas, are you a Murse? Here’s a little quiz! You get one point for every “yes” answer to the following questions:

  1. Instead of painting her nails, does she paint yours?
  2. Have you ever changed the TV station from a college football or basketball game without her asking you to when she sits down on the couch next to you?
  3. Do her girlfriends ask you for dating advice?
  4. Have you ever participated in a Bikram Yoga or Pilates session?
  5. Have you had a slice of vegetarian pizza in the past month?
  6. Did you ever do the fast clapping part in the “Friends” TV show theme song?

Results!

  • 0-1 points – See you at the next BJ Penn fight. IMUA!
  • 2-3 points – Sorry, friend, but the store is called Ann Taylor, not Mann Taylor
  • 4-5 points – OMG! When is the Sex and the City sequel coming out?!
  • 6 points – Nice Hello Kitty tattoo there, son!

But all kidding aside, homies, you do not want your life to be relegated to that of an accessory. One of the purposes of a relationship is to push your wife or girlfriend to be a better person and you cannot do that if you are spending all of your time under her feet instead of by her side. You also do not want to wake up one day and find yourself unfulfilled with the life of a Murse.

So be strong, my ninjas. Beware the curse of the Murse! The next time a girl tries to make you into a Murse, pretend like she’s a girl who shops at Hot Topic and run for your life!

The Guest Blog Schedule:

  • THU 03/11 – Chicken Grease – “TheGrease and TheBus”
  • FRI 03/12 – kuya.d – “I’m So Over It”
  • MON 03/15 – JMAW – “Something like a Phenomenon”
  • TUE 03/16 – frankie – “The Curse of the Murse”
  • WED 03/17 – kako mochi – “Where in Oregon is kako mochi?”
  • THU 03/18 – tweetpeep22 – “Online Dating Follies – Female Perspective”
  • FRI 03/19 – S-Ticket – “Online Dating Follies – Male Perspective”
  • MON 03/22 – tita leerz – “The Hawaii Visitor’s Survival Guide”
  • TUE 03/23 – skycastles – “Otanjoubi Omedetou Gozaimasu Kurosawa-sama!”
  • WED 03/24 – hemajang – “Where in Hawaii is hemajang?”
  • THU 03/25 – uncle jimmy – “Grab One, Leave One, and Get Reel…”

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – February 11, 2009

February 11, 2009

Another new face in Takeshi took home the gold last week when he correctly guessed “The Garden Court Buffet at the Main Street Station Casino” for the special Where In Hawaii Vegas is Edward Sugimoto game. Seems like the WWE newbies/lurkers are coming on strong as of late. Way to go y’all! Daddy likes!

A-ight, we’re going back to eats this week yo. If you’re reading this close to lunch, sorry ah! Not my fault you nevah-wen pack breakfast. πŸ˜› Here ya go!

Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - February 11, 2009
Where In Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – February 11, 2009

Hint: This is a take out order so the countertop is not at the restaurant…


Β 

Da “Where In Hawaii” Winnahz Circle!

Happy Hump Day Where In Hawaii Wednesday y’all. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜›

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.

Boys’ Night Out

January 12, 2009

On Friday, wifey went out for drinks with her friend, so I decided to hang with a couple o’ friends for a good ol’ fashioned BNO (Boys’ Night Out). My friend Dave was flying in from Hilo on a later flight, so I first hooked it up with Bari to do what most straight men like to do together on a Friday night… shop and eat frozen yogurt. Ha!

OK, so before you get any ideas πŸ˜› , here’s why….

In preparation for my BJ Penn/UFC 94 flyaway (yep! I’m goin’!), I had to get some threads that would match the atmosphere I would soon be in: cold and testosteroney with some Vegas flair. And Bari scratched up the lens on his sunglasses so he had to get replacements. See, we had good kine, legit reasons for shopping. The fro-yo date however, I’ve got no excuse for! Nah, nah! We were actually hungry but wanted to wait for Dave to fly in before we full-on ate. So there! πŸ˜‰

Anyway, our hot date spot of the night would start at Ward Warehouse for some clothes/shades action and then to Menchie’s.

Boys' Night Out

Like its Manoa counterpart (Yogurtland), Menchie’s has a colorful interior…

Boys' Night Out

is self-serve…

Boys' Night Out

and has an assortment of toppings to choose from.

Boys' Night Out

Even though I never plan to, it seems that I always fill my cup to the brim with a bevy of randomness.

Boys' Night Out
A little macro action of my concoction

With the “I just landed” call from Dave, Bari and I walked off our yogurt and headed to Kanpai on Ward. It was bumpin’ when we got there.

Boys' Night Out

We ordered up a storm, including the braised shortrib loco moco…

Boys' Night Out

the spicy garlic chicken…

Boys' Night Out

fried rice with two eggs…

Boys' Night Out

and the Wafu style rib eye steak.

Boys' Night Out

With the eats, we shot the breeze and had a few shots (and a few more). It was overall, a fun night. How did you spend your BNO or GNO this weekend? (Hopefully, it wasn’t a Guy’s Afternoon In. πŸ˜› “The Office” watchers are (hopefully) laughing…)

Talk to me!
* What’d you do for BNO or GNO this weekend?
* Ever been to Menchie’s? What’d you think? Better than Yogurtland?
* Ever been to Kanpai Bar & Grill? What’s your favorite dish?
* Where should I hit up next?

Happy Funday Monday y’all!

Fave Five Friday – Vacation Destinations

October 24, 2008

Since I’m currently in Cali (for my boy’s wedding), I’ve queued this one up in advance to stick with that theme of travel. Check out myΒ top five travel destinations and list yours below yo!

  1. Japan – the motherland… no question.
  2. Ski/Snowboarding resorts – anywhere, as long as get snow fo shred!
  3. Mainland – preferably west coast that has good culture and ono kine grinds!
  4. Kauai – my fave of all neighbor islands. Might change to B.I. soon though eh daveboi and dsosa? πŸ™‚
  5. “Somewhere different” – I try to go to places errone hasn’t already been to. Makes life more adventurous!
  6. Vegas? – Contradicts the above, but I guess I wouldn’t be too “Hawaiian” if I didn’t mention this eh?

Post your Fave Five below a-ight? I’ll be sure to check in periodically from the altar! Haha!

Happy Aloha Friday y’all and have a nice weekend k? Shoots!

The King of Online Travel

June 10, 2008

It’s official. I am the King of Online Travel.

OK, so it’s a meaningless title cause it’s self proclaimed and nobody really cares, but I just got the sickest deal for a weekend trip to San Jose – that I booked for a good friend’s wedding (Congrats Tom!) – and I just want to gloat a bit. *grin*

Usually, I’m not too concerned about saving a few dollahz here and there if it means getting a trip that perfectly fits the ol’ schedule, but, unfortunately, due to my limited amount of resources and vacation days for 08 (on account of the big dance and honeymoon of my own), I’m in a bit of a squeeze… So saving money and preserving vacation days is the number one priority at this point.

For the last week or so, I’ve been scouring dem online travel sites for the cheapest, fastest, dirtiest flights I could find. OK, not dirty, but you know what I mean yo. Making things a little more complicated/challenging was the coordination around the other friends’ varying schedules (most of them are going up in advance and making a vacation out of it… LUCKY!), in addition to around the wedding schedule. My friend Glenn and I have been in constant contact with one another on the almost stock-market-like volatility of the ever-changing airfare prices.

$1,000s… Merrcy!
$900s… Blah!
$600s… Interesting.
$500s… Woah, should I book?

No ways! I wanna hold out for another day!

Finally, today, $444.93 son! I am da man!

Instead of ending this blog here and making you feel like you’ve wasted 5 minutes of your life that you can never get back, I’ll turn this into a helpful and productive post that you will look back upon and not hate, but appreciate. πŸ™‚

Ed’s helpful tips to becoming your own King or Queen of Travel:

  • So, I always start off at the multiple listing service/consolidator sites to get a feel at what’s out there. You know the Expedias and the Travelocitys of the world.
  • Then, I look at the cheapest carrier and go directly to their web site to see if they have similar, cheaper or special rates. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, depending on the deal they cut with the sites above.
  • Most times, booking online is cheaper than calling their customer service lines, so plan on that (buying online).
  • If you haven’t already, sign up for their frequent flier or preferred member clubs. Most times it’s free and you’ll earn miles and sometimes you’ll even get a break on airfare.
  • SHOP AROUND! The same exact flight you see on one site will be a totally different price on another site.
  • Timing! Sometimes prices change daily or even multiple times a day, even on the same web site. If you’re into gambling, wait a bit and see if you can time it to get a cheaper price. If you like to really gamble (which I don’t recommend), wait ’til the very last minute as airlines and vendors will offer “Last Minute Deals” for the inventory that hasn’t been sold. You can often get big discounts.
  • If you’re planning a vacation way in advance, you might want to consider signing up for the individual airlines or travel partners’ web site newsletters. I hate junk mail, so I don’t, but they will send you e-specials as they come out. You can even set some to notify you based on your travel preferences.

I think that’s about it. There are tons of sites out there, but here’s a short list of the ones I use.

Partner/Consolidator Sites:

Airlines (direct):

Other:

Hope this helped! Post some of your tricks to booking cheap travel below!

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. πŸ˜‰ 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? πŸ˜› (*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

——————————————————————————–

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! πŸ˜› )

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

——————————————————————————–

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! πŸ˜› )

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.

——————————————————————————–

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

——————————————————————————–

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