What happens in Vegas? Packed clubs, glitzy shows and gambling still reign on the Strip, but today’s Sin City offers a whole lot more than just sin.
Author Michael Kaplan Photography Brad Swonetz
ILLUSTRATIONS PETER JAMES FIELD
ANTONIO “THE MAGICIAN” ESFANDIARI
PROFESSIONAL POKER PLAYER
“Lolita’s Cantina & Tequila Bar in Town Square is a hip Mexican restaurant. It’s very chill, with great food and a great bar. After dinner, go downstairs and check out New Sanctuary lounge, a hookah bar, where you can listen to terrific Middle Eastern house music.”
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR THE COSMOPOLITAN OF LAS VEGAS
“Fruition is a really well-curated boutique with clothing that ranges from Comme des Garçons to great designers you’ve never heard of to vintage. You can buy jewelry, belts, foreign magazines, scarves. They play good music, and the place has a really cool vibe.”
OWNER OF DRAI’S AFTERHOURS NIGHTCLUB
“Simon, inside Palms Place, is very nice for breakfast. They have a cool brunch on Sunday. The food there is excellent and people come down in sleepwear. It’s a lot of fun, with a great view of the pool.”
Image – Brad Swonetz
WIZARD OF ODDS
FROM THE LOCK TO THE LONGSHOT, HERE ARE THE ODDS AGAINST WINNING SOME OF VEGAS’ MOST POPULAR BETS.
HITTING THE BLACK IN ROULETTE
19 TO 9
WINNING A PAIR-PLUS BET AT THREE-CARD POKER
3 TO 1
ROLLING A SEVEN IN CRAPS
5 TO 1
WINNING A TIE BET AT BACCARAT
ABOUT 11 TO 1
GETTING BLACKJACK AT THE TOP OF A FRESHLY MIXED DECK
ALMOST 20 TO 1
MAKING A FLUSH IN PAI GOW POKER
NEARLY 24 TO 1
HITTING THE DOUBLE ZERO IN ROULETTE
37 TO 1
GETTING DEALT FOUR OF A KIND ON A VIDEO POKER MACHINE
4,165 TO 1
BEING DEALT A ROYAL FLUSH ON A VIDEO POKER MACHINE
649,740 TO 1
WINNING THE MEGABUCKS SLOT MACHINE JACKPOT
49,836,032 TO 1
Odds courtesy of Mike “The Wizard of Odds” Shackleford.
Image – Brad Swonetz
FORK ON THE ROAD
CASINO RESTAURANTS ARE GREAT, BUT THESE INDIES ARE WORTH A SHORT DRIVE.
Lotus of Siam
Adventurous eaters go for northern Thai specialties such as Issan sausage, though the restaurant also delivers excellent green papaya salad and charbroiled prawn curry.
953 E. SAHARA AVE., 702-735- 3033. www.saipinchutima.com/
The Bootlegger Bistro
Loungey entertainment is on offer most nights at this Rat Pack era–inspired haunt. The big platters of Southern Italian cuisine are reasonably priced, and the seafood del diavolo is unreasonably tasty.
7700 S. LAS VEGAS BLVD., 702-736-4939. www.bootleggerlasvegas.com/
Long before casinos were hyping haute cuisine, Rosemary’s was serving excellent New American offerings like ham and crawfish risotto and cashew-crusted salmon.
8125 W. SAHARA AVE., 702-869-2251. www.rosemarysrestaurant.com/