Follow Us

Copyright 2019 Schneider Rondan Organization All Rights Reserved

Lighting It Up In Las Vegas

I love the lighting fixtures in Las Vegas + photographing them—they mesmerize me. Here are eight of them:

Planet Hollywood (The Strip)

Golden Nugget (Downtown)

AZILO Ultra Lounge (Sahara Hotel)

Pepper Club (inside The English Hotel in the Arts District)

Sahara Hotel (The Strip)

The Dorsey Cocktail Lounge (The Venetian)

The Lobby Bar (Red Rock Resort)

Resorts World (The Strip)

Finally, while this is not a lighting fixture, I was instantly attracted to the classic and lovingly revitalized neon sign Vegas Vickie inside the Circa Hotel downtown.

Five “Sweet Spots” in Las Vegas

Where to go? What to eat? In a city of endless possibilities like Las Vegas, here are five places which definitely hit a sweet spot.

Taqueria Casa del Sabor: This westside Mexican eatery on Sahara Ave is the brick-and-mortar offshoot of popular food truck downtown. It’s a terrific spot to try an huarache (consisting of anoblong-shaped masa base, with refried beans, meat, cheese and salsa) anytime (it’s open 24/7).

A plate of food on a table Description automatically generated

Laguna Pool House and Kitchen

The Caesar Salad, with the scene- stealing Parmesan cracker, tastes as good it looks at this beautiful pool-adjacent spot on the sixth floor of Palms Place.

A plate of food on a table Description automatically generated

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux: The pickle-on top hamburger sliders are perfectly soul-satisfying at this eatery at Harrah’s—it’s the Vegas outpost of the Baton Rouge-originated restaurant with a Louisiana-centric menu.

A group of burgers on a paper Description automatically generated

Krung Siam: The Cognac-marinated steak is an instant standout at this stylish Thai gem on Spring Mountain Rd—one of my favorite culinary streets in America. And, like Lamoon (another recommended Thai eatery on Spring Mountain), it’s open to 2:00am (yes!).

A plate of meat and salad Description automatically generated

BRERA Osteria:

Located in the fabulously lit St. Mark’s Square in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, this Vegas branch of the downtown L.A. Italian restaurant smartly offers an “everyday brunch” menu (until 4pm) with their distinctive take on the frittata. This healthy and heavenly textured creation brings together steamed spinach, Asiago cheese, San Marzano tomatoes, spinach, and stracciatella.

A plate of food on a table Description automatically generated


“Las Vegas Mixtape” Column: “A Vegas Tight Ten”

“Las Vegas Mixtape” Column
“A Vegas Tight Ten”

Might Las Vegas be to the 2020’s what Paris was to the 1920’s? Consider Vegas’ array of top-chef restaurants, the various Cirque du Soleil and Spiegelworld productions, the abundant music superstar artist residencies, and the growing number of outdoor music festivals.

Don’t leave out the EDM clubs with the major DJ’s, the immersive art experiences, the innovative modern hotel design, and the “Atomic City” vintage cool architecture. Plus, there’s all the marquee name comedians who appear here. Vegas simply can’t be beaten as a world-class electrifying city. And speaking of comics (see Kathy Griffin below), here’s my “tight ten.”

Sadelle’s at Bellagio

The secret to achieving world peace may well be found in a bite of “Strawberry Tall Cake.” If all the world leaders were fed a piece of this soft and creamy creation—on the menu at Sadelle’s at Bellagio—there might not be any more wars.

The opulent NYC-originated eatery (which opened in 2019) is also known for its divinely presented three-level “Sadelle’s Tower,” with Scottish salmon, bagel (baked in house), tomato, cucumber, and capers. There are also the dreamy views overlooking the pool and Bellagio’s dazzling Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. Add in the mood-elevating experience of being served by a gracious staff wearing old-school salmon-colored tuxedo jackets and green ties, and you won’t ever need therapy again.

Strawberry Tall Cake at Sadelle’s

Kathy Griffin, Mirage Theatre

It was absolutely breathtaking to see Kathy Griffin at the sold-out Mirage Theatre in her first show in five years.  Griffin was greeted with a thunderous and lengthy standing ovation before her act began, and later she name-checked her famous friends—Stormy Daniels and Sia—who were seated in the first few rows.

In a 90-minute-plus seamless set, Griffin was as bold, defiant, and hysterical as ever. Her performance was both a compelling personal and comedic triumph. She walked us through—and found the humor in—her five years of hell, marked by lung cancer (which she acknowledged has somewhat weakened her speaking voice), pain med addiction (she’ll be three-years sober on June 25), PTSD, a three-day stay in a psych ward (where she learned there was no concierge to assist her), and the death of her mom.

Plus of course Griffin fended off lawsuits and death threats from the MAGA and QAnon followers for posing in 2017 with a mock-severed head of Trump. “That’s me, the face of Isis,” she cracked, rolling her eyes, and adding, “I would never cave to these suckers.” Griffin is truly one of comedy’s greats. Seeing her perform was like watching a masterful trapeze artist defy gravity. Long may she fly. She returns to The Mirage on October 6.

Kathy Griffin poster at The Mirage Theatre

Firefly Tapas at Hughes Center

When you don’t know exactly what you want to eat, tapas are a good way to go, and it helps that Firefly Tapas is open every day from 9:00am to 11:00pm. The long-running (20 years) and moderately priced Spanish eatery is in a new, bigger location on Hughes Center Drive (off-Strip) with multiple rooms, an outdoor patio, and imaginative, colorful décor.

On the night we dined there after 9:30pm (when restaurant choices are limited), it was delightful to move from the scene-stealing Patatas Bravas—“roasted red potatoes, aioli and spicy tomato jam”—to the smoked salmon toast, beet salad, and fish sticks. With its outstanding varied menu, Firefly is still a thrill.

Patatas Bravas at Firefly Tapas

The Beverly Theater, Downtown

It’s hard not to be impressed by Vegas’ newly built crown jewel, The Beverly Theater. It’s both an art house cinema where every seat is truly a great one, thanks to its smart design, and it doubles as a musical performance space. The downtown venue has elegant modern mid-century design and an upstairs outdoor terrace (called Segue) where a jazz ensemble plays for free on weekend nights.

I made two visits to The Beverly during its brilliantly curated multi-day program of music documentaries. I saw “Little Richard: I Am Everything,” which paints an intense portrait of the complex King of Rock and Roll via “interviews with family, musicians, and cutting-edge Black and queer scholars” (per the synopsis). It slayed, as the kids say, as did the revelatory “What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears?” It’s about how the superstar band fell from grace after they were essentially blackmailed by the US government to tour behind the Iron Curtain; by accepting this “deal,” the band’s Canadian lead singer, David Clayton-Thomas, avoided having his green card revoked. Upon their return to the US, the all-important counterculture media—without knowing at the time why the band did this tour—trashed the band for being a tool of Nixon, which led to the dissolution of the group’s most successful lineup.

Outside of The Beverly Theater

Pepper Club at The English Hotel, Arts District

If I was on death row, the following four dishes would comprise my last meal request, courtesy of The Pepper Club inside Todd English’s boutique English Hotel. Start me with their Cucumber Salad with ume vinaigrette, and plum sea salt. Bring on the Crispy Rice, consisting of coconut rice, spicy tuna, avocado, micro greens, and 23kt edible gold flakes. Seduce me further with the Orange Miso Salmon, plated with bok choy, mushrooms, serrano rings, fried garlic, and orange miso glaze. Then please take me right up to heaven with the Yukon mash and crushed wasabi peas dish that’s known as Wasabi Creamy Mash.

The flavors and textures from this meal, which we enjoyed on their sprawling outdoor patio, are still dancing in my head, so I’m giving a major thumbs-up to the restaurant’s wondrously conceived and skillfully executed “Asian Ocean Fusion” menu.

Wasabi Creamy Mash at The Pepper Club at The English Hotel

“OPM” at The Cosmopolitan

You’ve got to hand it to the Spiegelworld folks. With their three hit Vegas shows—”Absinthe,” “Atomic Saloon,” and “OPM” (formerly known as “Opium”)—they’ve perfected an absolutely winning, hyper-paced, and seamlessly choreographed mix of the imaginative and the naughty. And they throw the best parties in town. At The Cosmopolitan, home to both “OPM” and Spiegelworld’s “Italian American Psychedelic” restaurant Superfrico, Spiegelworld honored the so-called “Star Wars Day” (May 4) with a “modified take on the show’s romp through space” (their words). This was followed by an open-bar bash with Superfrico’s terrific “Ultimate Pepperoni Square” pizza (love that “pickled chili”). Some came attired in “Star Wars” costumes; others simply dressed to the nines.

The show itself was mesmerizing, teeming with jugglers, body contortionists, acrobatic dancers, and sexy arial acts, with a dose of magic and wickedly funny sexual humor. Bonus point: hearing “Heads Will Roll” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs smartly integrated into the show’s musical mix.

Moia Peruvian Restaurant, near Downtown

Everyone needs a Comfort Food Night, and for mine, I chose the new Moia Peruvian Restaurant over on Bonanza Rd. I went for the excellent steak with the pasta and pesto sauce—and I didn’t look back. My guests also happily threw caution to the wind by choosing the Pollo Saltado entrée that came with both rice and French fries. You can do the same and (why not?) add in a side of their soul-satisfying beans.

Next time, I plan on surrendering to the Duo de Arroz con Mariscos y Cerciche, a seafood combination with sweet potatoes and Peruvian corn. Remember, this is your night to indulge, and Moia is the place to do it.

A fantastic dish at the Moia Peruvian Restaurant

Iggy Pop at the Palms’ Pearl Theater

“I’m worth a million in prizes,” sang Iggy Pop at the Pearl Theater. Damn right. The man whose “Lust For Life” is stadium size delivered a thrillingly ferocious show from start to finish. Even though the Godfather of Punk is somewhat hindered by a twisted spine, the 76-year-old performer remains a “streetwalking cheetah with a heart full of napalm,” to quote his poetic lyrics from the lethal chestnut “Search and Destroy.”

The gig was packed with other highlights including “T.V Eye,” “Nightclubbing,” “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” and a surprise cover of Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side.” At one point, Iggy asked the sold-out throng—“If I was hitchhiking, would you pick me up?”—before launching into “The Passenger.” Hell yes, Iggy—please get in the car and show us the “city’s ripped backsides.”

Upcoming shows at The Pearl include Keith Sweat August 4 and 5.

Dam Roast House & Browder Bookstore, Boulder City

For a perfect Sunday afternoon in Vegas, try leaving it—for historic Boulder City, a gambling-free small town located around 25 or so miles southeast of Vegas. We stopped into antique stores like Goat Feathers Emporium and the charming Dam Roast House & Browder Bookstore which serves exceptional coffee. The iced Spumoni Latte—a blend of pistachio, cherries, and chocolate—and the vanilla-and-lavender-flavored Day Dreamer Latte lifted us immediately. Their vegan banana bread and blueberry scone also hit the right pick-me-up notes on a lazy afternoon.

Next, we drove through the mountains overlooking Lake Mead and crossed into Arizona. I want to return to Boulder City to not only eat tapas at Casa Don Quixote, but to pick up a copy of the book “Cartel Wives,” which I neglected to buy at the bookstore.

Outside of Dam Roast House & Browder Bookstore

Dom DeMarco’s Pizzeria & Bar in Summerlin

In a city where are at least hundreds of happy hour deals, it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out why the one at Dom DeMarco’s Pizzeria & Bar is consistently packed weekdays between 2:00pm-6:00pm. Their pizza is transcendent—they “proudly serve the same pizza made famous at a quaint little place in Brooklyn, DiFara Pizza”—and the price is more than right.

At a recent happy hour, I ordered the 12-inch “DiFara Special,” with DiFara sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, grana Padano, and basil. It’s ordinarily $14, and it was half off—costing only $7. That, my friends, is cheaper than most fast food. Plus the eatery boasts a “$9 menu and 50% off all beer, well drinks, and wine by the glass” for happy hour.

Dom DeMarco’s also has one of the best outdoor patios in the city, recently upgraded with a new pergola that has ceiling fans and a portable air conditioner, so you won’t melt like cheese this summer.


Eleven More Places To Eat Right Now in Las Vegas

So many places to have excellent + diverse culinary experiences right now in Las Vegas—the choices are absolutely mind-boggling. Here are 11 picks—all over town. Go forth, explore and indulge.

A picture containing dessert, food, sweetness, tableware Description automatically generated
The scene-stealing Strawberry Tall cake at Sadelle’s at Bellagio.

A plate of food with chopsticks on it Description automatically generated with low confidence
The Kirti Kaur, which Saffron, The Vegetarian Eatery in Chinatown describes as “angel hair zucchini noodles dressed in a creamy chimichurri pesto with a burst of fresh citrus, topped with a satisfying pine nut crumble, and garnished with red peppers and finishing salt.”

A plate of pasta with cheese and sauce Description automatically generated with medium confidence
The baked ziti at Don Vito’s in the Southpoint Hotel prepared with just the right amount of meatballs, Italian sausage, ricotta + melted mozzarella.

A plate of food on a table Description automatically generated with medium confidence
The dreamy Pad Thai at Lamaii in Chinatown.

A plate of food on a table Description automatically generated with medium confidence
The terrific steak with pasta +  pesto sauce at Moia Peruvian Restaurant near downtown.

A bowl of food with a toothpick Description automatically generated with medium confidence
The outstanding Potato Bravas at the off-Strip Firefly Tapas

A bowl of cucumber salad Description automatically generated
The tasty + gorgeously plated Cucumber Salad at the Pepper Club at the English Hotel in the Arts District.

A plate of food on a table Description automatically generated with medium confidence
At Leticia’s Cocina & Cantina, the essential Costeño Relleno: chile poblano filled with shrimp topped with salsa verde, served with black beans + cilantro rice.

A plate of food on a table Description automatically generated with medium confidence
The so-good Chicken Parmigiana at Aromi Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar in Summerlin North.

A bagel sandwich with eggs and avocado Description automatically generated with medium confidence
The “Summerlin Girl” sandwich at Bagelmania near Resorts World.

A sandwich on a plate with a salad on it Description automatically generated with low confidence
The soft + seductive Chicken Pesto Sandwich at Burgundy French Bakery Cafe and Bistro on West Sahara.

5 Places To Eat Right Now in Las Vegas

There’s no shortage of fantastic food in Vegas town. Here are five places, and photos of their standout dishes, worth checking out right now.

Tin Wo Han at the Palms
Roma Deli on West Sahara
Sin Fronteras in Summerlin
Louie Louie in North Vegas
• Toscana at Eataly/Park MGM 

Steamed dumplings with shrimp + chives at Tin Wo Han at the Palms.

Peperoni Ripieni: Stuffed bell pepper with beef, sausage, peas, ham + rice Roma Deli, on West Sahara.

Burrito: rice, beans, cheese, crema, salsa, onion/cilantro at Sin Fronteras in Summerlin.

Japanese-Mexican fusion sushi Louie Louie in North Vegas.

Pizzetta Di Zucchini E Burrata at   Toscana at Eataly/Park MGM.

Unbeatable Authenticity + Style at Leticia’s Cocina & Cantina the Santa Fe Station Hotel

When it comes to Mexican food, my wife Rana Bendixen is ultra discerning. Fortunately, for our Valentine’s Day dinner last night, I picked a restaurant—Leticia’s Cocina & Cantina at the Santa Fe Station Hotel—that delivered on all counts, starting with their just-perfect chips + salsa.

I felt like I scored a culinary winning lottery ticket by ordering the Pescado al Pastor: seared sea bass with adobo sauce, served with tossed greens, arroz poblano (which was a white casserole rice with cheese) + habanero mango salsa.

Rana kept it simpler, ordering what she described as a deeply satisfying burrito with potato, cheese + refried beans with a side of their wonderful cilantro rice.

I already dig Leticia’s groovy offshoot—the casual Mexican eatery known as Letty’s in the Arts District—and it feels good to now be in love with the eye candy-rich + price-friendly mothership where authenticity rules the day. Plus the waiters treated us like royals. Will be headed back for their Sunday brunch—the tres leches French toast sounds dreamy.



Welcome To Los Angeles East + New York West, Otherwise Known as Las Vegas

Las Vegas is not only “Los Angeles East” but “New York West” too, given the array of restaurants from both cities with outposts here.

The 25,000-square-foot Eat Your Heart Out food hall at the soon-to-open (fall 2023) Durango Casino in the southwest part of the city will have these eateries from L.A.: Irv’s Burgers, Uncle Paulie’s + Ai Pono Cafe (actually from the OC). And from NYC, there’s Prince Street Pizza.

Meanwhile, over at the new Proper Eats food hall at the Aria, there’s Wexler’s Deli from L.A. + Egghead from NYC.

Lucky me. Having grown up in the Bronx before spending the second chapter of my life in L.A., I’m saving lots of $$$ in travel expenses by experiencing LA + NYC food right here in Vegas for my third chapter.

? ? ?


Proper Eats Food Hall at Aria

Terrific French Bakery and Eatery in Summerlin: Patisserie Manon

When you have coffee with Lonn Friend, you never know who’s going to show up. So cool to meet L.A. transplants—Stryper guitarist Oz Fox, spiritual medium/intuitive advisor Brandy Rosenberg and photographer Steve Cook—yesterday at a fave place of mine, Patisserie Manon, in Summerlin. We’re all in this photo including the eatery’s resident mannequin. Lonn may not be on social media these days, but he remains a fantastic connector!

Italian Comfort Classics In a World Gone Mad

Raising my glass to another Summerlin fine dining restaurant—the new Spiedini Fiamma at the JWMarriott, which opened in early October.

With its outstanding “Italian comfort classics” (in a world gone mad) by Chef Paula Smagacz, a beautifully designed main dining room + super-attentive service, the eatery seems destined for success.

Friends and I started with three solid appetizers—the bruschetta, shrimp scampi + meatballs with ricotta—and segued into the veal marsala, chicken piccata + salmon entrees, all served with linguini. We topped the meal off with the finely prepared tiramisu and know that we’ll be back soon to try the lasagna, lobster ravioli + pizza.

Looking at the menu, I have my eyes firmly on the enticing prosciutto + fig pizza with arugula + parmesan cream sauce.

A room with tables and chairs

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

A bowl of food

Description automatically generated with low confidence

A picture containing food, meal

Description automatically generated

A plate of food

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

A slice of cake on a plate

Description automatically generated


Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from - Youtube
Consent to display content from - Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from - Google