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Mitch’s Las Vegas Discoveries+More

  • I’m now working in Las Vegas, where SRO will have a presence in addition to Los Angeles and Nashville, and I’ll be dividing my time between here and Los Angeles (the company‘s headquarters). Rana and I are living in Summerlin North, adjacent to Red Rock Canyon and 15 miles from the Strip and airport. When things get back to normal in this world, I’ll be in L.A. regularly for meetings and events, with Rana joining me on various trips to see family and friends.  Wishing everyone good health + (sanitized) sanity in the days ahead…
    — Mitch Schneider, 3/27/20

     

  • 12/2/21
    Last night was a perfect one to see comedian + actor Eddie Griffin; it  marked the birthday of his hero—Richard Pryor—which he noted from the outset. As part of his ongoing residency at the newly remodeled + atmospherically hip Sahara Las Vegas, Griffin dug his heels deep into racial injustice, vaccination mistrust, religious hypocrisy + more (he grew up unhappily as a Jehovah’s Witness). With drink in hand, Griffin remains freewheeling, outrageously funny + enlightening. He can make some folks feel uncomfortable, but I think they’re better for it. We started the evening by admiring the vintage Sahara hotel photos in the lobby before segueing into the excellent + stylish Uno Mas Tacos. Really nice to see a taco with Impossible meat on the menu. Extra points for that, not to mention their beaded lighting fixtures. 💡

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    11/30/21

    Master chef James Trees owns three restaurants here in Las Vegas that are at the top of the list: Esther’s Kitchen, Al Solito Posto and Ada’s Wine + Tapas.  Now Trees’ soul-satisfying creativity lights up Mozz Bar, his Italian sandwiches food counter at Resorts World’s impressively sprawling food hall. Try the eggplant Parmesan sandwich, with pomodoro sauce, mozzarella, basil + arugula, on a soft house-made sesame roll—it’s the stuff that dreams are made of. Definitely putting Mozz Bar into my regular rotation.

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    11/22/21


    It’s not hard to find, but you do have to be on the lookout for it: Here Kitty Kitty Vice Den, the speakeasy at Resorts World. Walking through the massive Famous Foods Street Eats area, you’ll see a sign for Ms. Meow’s Mamak Stall + then a sexy hostess will lead you behind a hidden door where everything is glowing + the lighting is sympathetic. There are fancy cocktails, including one that’s called Ghost Kitty with Bombay Sapphire Gin + banana juice + rice milk. It’s a cool intimate place, tucked away from the food hall + casino crowds, with modern design + traditional Chinese touches + even mini disco mirror balls. Definitely worth a visit—and if you like cats…

  • 11/5/21

    Sometimes you gotta go into the rabbit hole of desserts. And last night we did just that, Hong Kong style, at the Vegas outpost of the Asian worldwide chain SweetHoney Dessert, located on the second floor of sprawling Shanghai Plaza in Chinatown. You can’t go wrong with their soft and creamy strawberry soufflé pancakes or the coconut soufflé pancakes combo, while sitting outside on their terrace with the Palms Hotel (which will hopefully reopen in 2022) off in the distance.

     


  • Scored a last minute ticket this past Friday night to see Tommy James and the Shondells at the packed Golden Nugget Las Vegas, one of my favorite venues in town. Really satisfying gig—the ‘60s pop-rock icon jumped headlong into “Draggin’ The Line” and closed with “Mony Mony” before an encore including “Sweet Cherry Wine.”

    With a muscular + tight six-piece band behind him, his voice was still thrillingly resonant. For me, it was especially cool to see James do his signature hit “Mony Mony” having heard Billy Idol perform his excellent version a week before at the Cosmopolitan. The hits kept coming: “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” “Crimson & Clover” + more.

    These songs were all released on Roulette Records, which was controlled by scary Morris Levy as a front for the Genovese crime family. This is all part of James’ 2010 page-turning autobiography “Me, The Mob and the Music,” which he said onstage was finally close to being made into a big Hollywood movie.

     

  • 10/27/21

    Always fun to drop into Hash House A Go Go on Sahara…between their “twisted farm food” with monster portions (I had the relatively sane sundried tomato, basil + goat cheese egg scramble) and the best music in town (I heard Spoon, Curtis Mayfield, Ramones, T.Rex + Killers while there yesterday). Couldn’t resist taking the heavenly churro waffle to go!

  • 10/25/21

    Still a thrill to see Billy Idol—badass + sincere—light up a room. “I want to thank you for making my life so fucking great,” he said onstage this past Saturday night at the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan to a packed crowd as part of his residency there.

    His widescreen punk rock, dressed up with glam and hard rock, still dazzles. The fist-pumping hits kept coming, along with three new songs from his new EP, ‘The Roadside,’ one of which, “U Don’t Have to Kiss Me Like That,” was instantly anthemic. It was pure joy to hear Idol’s menacingly husky voice, matched with the fierce, eloquent guitar runs by Steve Stevens and the sturdy rhythm guitar of Billy Morrison. The two song-encore sealed the deal: a sparks-flying cover of “Born To Lose” (by Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers) and then…”White Wedding.” It was my first time seeing Idol (a former client) since 2014 when he released the “Kings  & Queens of The Underground “ album, for which SRO PR handled the PR including a memorable L.A. Weekly cover.

     

  • 10/17/2021

    Had a real good time seeing Rod Stewart last night at Caesars. The highlights for me were the quietest ones, like “Reason To Believe” and “I Don’t Want To Talk About It.” It was my first time seeing Rod since 1991 on the tour supporting the ‘Vagabond Heart’ album, for which Levine/Schneider handled the PR. It was his 167th show at Caesars (as he noted), and he remains forever young.

     

  • Cool how the new Las Vegas Weekly shines a super-appetizing light on the Spanish tapas scene here, including places where we’ve been/love (Pamplona + Firefly… swipe left to see Rana and me recently outside the latter) and others we need to check out (like Valencian Gold). LVW also zeroes in other non-Spanish eateries serving tapas, like Nittaya’s Secret Kitchen (right where we live in Summerlin) with its Thai delicacies including those crazy-addictive potato curry puffs. 

     

     

  • 9/10/21

    Thanking Las Vegas Weekly for pointing us in the right direction…to the newly opened Chef Kenny’s Asian Vegan Restaurant on Flamingo. We had quite a feast there this week: starting with tasty dim sum (BBQ pork steamed bun, shrimp dumpling) before moving onto to the instantly memorable entrees: Salt and pepper shrimp, Yee Shang Egglant and the House chow mein. The food was a home run on all levels—an exciting addition to the loudly buzzing Vegan food movement in Vegas. Colorful ambience, too—and the price is right. We’ll be back! (CC: Vegans, Baby by Diana Edelman)

  • 8/7/21

    In an L.A state of mind last night, we headed to Bordergrill at Mandalay Bay. Judging by how scintillating the Vegan Relleno and Chicken Poblano Enchiladas tasted, chefs/food visionaries Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken haven’t lost their touch at all when it comes to merging authentic + creative cuisine. Back in the day, Rana and I used to go to the first Border Grill which opened in 1985 as a 35-seat eatery on Melrose Avenue. 

  • 7/9/21

    Last night my wife Rana Bendixen and I had the pleasure of being in the company of Ava Berman and Carlos Adley, owners of Fremont Country Club and Backstage Bar & Billiards, over dinner at the Chart House, which has a serious aquarium, inside the Golden Nugget Las Vegas. Ava and Carlos are absolute cultural visionaries who are pivotal to the revitalization of downtown Las Vegas and beyond.

  • 6/30/21

    Walking around the newly opened Resorts World last night, it was terrific to feel the unique spirit of Los Angeles, all under one roof. There’s Fred Segal, Wally’s, Craig’s Vegan Ice Cream, the soon-to-open Mulberry Street Pizzeria and L.A. chef Ray Garcia’s Viva, where his creative Mexican cuisine delivered on all counts including those transcendent chorizo and potato taquitos.

  • 6/13/21

    Had a blast last night at the long-running “The Rat Pack Is Back” at the Copa Room inside Tuscany Suites & Casino, conjuring an era of alcohol-spiked performances by virtuosos armed with truckloads of ribald humor.  “I love Vegas like Sinatra loves Jack Daniel’s,” as Dean Martin notes on the album “The Rat Pack: Live At The Sands.”

  • 6/2/21

    People need people, right? Thanks to everyone who came out last Wednesday in Las Vegas for the 3:00 PM happy hour meet-up. It was a fantastic turnout with new + old friends including  L.A. folks (some who live here, some who don’t) + Schneider Rondan Organization clients. Good vibrations were in abundance along with drinks + soul-satisfyin’ pizza at the super accommodating Dom DeMarco’s Pizzeria in Summerlin. Definitely planning on making this a regular thing.

    Back row, from left: 

    Tour/road manager Adriane Biondo, singer Brendan Shane (The Nocturnal Affair), writer Lonn Friend,  guitarist Bruce Kulick (Grand Funk Railroad), singer Megan Ruger (The Voice), keyboardist Michael T. Ross (Raiding the Rock Vault), bassist Scott Snyder (Great White). 

    Front row:

    Manager Paul Geary and me

     

  • 4/12/2021

    It was a lazy + super sweet Vegas Sunday. Started in Chinatown at Take It Easy Roasters which has a traditional Colombian bakery. The “dalgona matcha”—honey milk topped with a whipped matcha meringue garnished with fresh cracked sea salt + chocolate shavings—was transcendent. Same goes for the vegan + gluten-free banana bread loaf with seared pecans, plus the bunuelo with cheese. Next up: the Arts District, where we stopped into the antique store Main Street Peddlers before heading back to Chinatown to wander around the sprawling food paradise, Shanghai Plaza, to check out future possibilities. Headed next to Pamplona Cocktails & Tapas Las Vegas, an off-Strip eatery on Sahara that surpassed all expectations + was priced right. Roasted beets salad with mushroom, goat cheese. Roasted potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and oil.  Shrimp in chili garlic oil with white wine. Homemade beef meatballs in Spanish tomato sauce with green beans. Couldn’t say no to dessert. The fried brioche bread with Spanish custard, caramelized sugar + cinnamon powder was sweetness to the square root of infinity.

  • 4/5/21
    Rana + I had a perfect Vegas Sunday, starting off at the eclectic Gäbi Coffee & Bakery in Chinatown where the “honeydew latte” tasted as surreal + delicious as it sounded. Headed next to the fun + smart  Charleston Antique Mall on Decatur Blvd…then moved on to dinner at the top-shelf + well-priced Lemongrass at ARIA (pad Thai, black pepper shrimp, sesame chicken). Friendly waiters in chic uniforms + dazzling lighting fixtures in an epic dining room (plus a gorgeous bar area) add to the experience. Walking around the eye candy-rich Aria lobby is always a treat, and we then got in extra steps next door at the massive, high-end  The Shops at Crystals. Didn’t have to pay for parking once…thank you, Vegas!

     

  • 3/25/21

    Celebrated nearly one year of living in Las Vegas last night by going out on the town and supporting businesses…with my wife Rana supplying the abundant polka dots. Started with an early dinner at the fairly new Main St. Provisions in the The Las Vegas Arts District before heading to the Delirious Comedy Club at the nearby Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino where it was a real treat to be in the audience for the first time in over a year. The restaurant’s throwback cool ambience, and its imaginative take on modern American comfort food was soulful and tasty. We had the shrimp + rice grits, the charcoal oven burger with apple smoked walnut cheddar + demi sauce, and the braised greens in an “oat milk white wine broth, crispy shallot and pumpkin oil” (say what?). Over at the club, there was a bigger crowd than I thought there would be—around 75 people, with socially distanced seating…folks laughing while masked…hardly easy I imagine for the three excellent comics (separated by 12 or so feet from the front row) who couldn’t see the facial expressions of those they were entertaining.

  • 3/6/21

    Pleasures abound at many excellent off Strip restaurants in Las Vegas, and the massive Limoncello Fresh Italian Kitchen on Sahara is among those leading the pack. We returned for a second time this past Friday night, and the Pappardelle Bolognese and Gnocchi Norma sautéed with eggplant hit our sweet spots, not to mention the limoncello (kindly offered to us complimentary by owner Giuseppe Bavarese). It’s a grand + fun place to eat, with subtitled black-and-white movies projected on the back wall, their fresh fish on display and subtle cocktail lounge disco sounds.

  • 2/24/20

    And the hits kept coming last night…in the form of one soul- satisfying plate after another at 8 East, chef Dan Coughlin’s Pan Asian eatery inside the new Circa hotel/casino in downtown Vegas. We’ll definitely be back for  more of those ginger chicken dumplings, pork belly bao, Tokyo crepe, sizzling noodle, and stir fried green beans. Afterwards, we walked around the Circa, with its iconic Vegas Vickie neon sign, not to mention the go-go dancers lighting up the casino floor (their black masks suggested something other than life during a pandemic). Stepped outside the hotel’s doors to the Fremont Street Experience…a total sensory overload a la “Blade Runner” with eye-popping light shows displayed on the massive LED canopy that runs around four blocks…whew!

  • 2/7/21

    Checking in from the massive art installation + entertainment space Area 15 + having lunch (Singapore Noodles) there at acclaimed chef Todd English’s new food hall,  The Beast. Taking my hat off to all of the creatives who have made this what may be one of the most exciting places on Earth.

  • 1/28/2021

    This is a Chinatown gem that folks have pointed me to: the palatial and artfully appointed Gäbi Coffee & Bakery. Ordered the quite mesmerizing Butterfly Latte: Butterfly Pea Tea, Steamed Milk, Banana Pure.

  • 1/12/2021

    Really digging the Chinatown area of Las Vegas, the 3-mile stretch of shopping plazas just west of The Strip. Not only for its vast array of Pan Asian restaurants, but for hipster spots like the Golden Tiki bar and cool non-Asian restaurants too that we’ve yet to try like Taquito Street, Taco Stand, Mas Por Favor, and Sparrow + Wolf.  Lots to recommend like the imaginatively prepared Thai food + those seductive chandeliers at Lamaii; the eclectic LaMoon (coffee + desserts +  Thai specialties); and the Asian pastries at Diamond Bakery + Crown Bakery. Next on the list to try: Take It Easy, the coffee-anchored spot with cheese-filled Colombian breads, plus the cavernous Gabi Coffee and Bakery. 

     

  • 12/13/20

    Bounced around downtown Vegas yesterday, hitting the Fremont East District…that’s the restaurants/bars area which the late visionary Tony Hsieh “helped turn into a destination neighborhood” (Eater)…also dropped into the Hsieh/Downtown Project-conceived Downtown Container Park, where all the retail stores + restaurants are housed in metal cubes + shipping containers (took home excellent food from the Pinches Tacos there). Marvelled, too, at the nearby hotel signs for the iconic El Cortez Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas and the new Circa Resort & Casino.

  • 12/7/20

    Good time yesterday in the Arts District: memorable pepperoni pizza at Good Pie…fun displays at Main Street Peddlers Antique Mall…a “welcome” sign outside Hudl BrewingCo…and an anti-shrine to plastic water bottles at the Recycled Propaganda art gallery/retail store (look closely).

  • 11/30/20

    With the indoor capacity of Las Vegas restaurants + bars reduced to 25% right now, my wife Rana + I went out last night to support two local businesses. We started with excellent dim sum at Orchids Garden (they serve it all day) + then moved on to the best bar in the land: the  tropical-themed The Golden Tiki in Chinatown, with a very smart DJ, Rex Dart, spinning smokin’ rarities from different eras that extended the buzz of our drinks (the tequila-driven “Tiki-LA Sunrise” + the cachaca-fueled “Strawberry Batida”). Both the restaurant + bar closely adhered to social distancing + masking-when-necessary rules, for which we applaud them.

  • 11/24/20

    Proud to be a member of the The Neon Museum Boneyard—for me, the happiest place on earth.  A recent addition to museum—which preserves classic Las Vegas neon— is the towering Hard Rock Café guitar sign. Back in 1990,  I was at the Hard Rock Cafe’s opening with then-client Aerosmith when they went up in a cherry picker to christen the sign and then performed in a tent outside. The Hard Rock Hotel subsequently opened in 1995 and closed this past February to make way for an eventual Virgin Hotel. “Baby, things change…” to quote Dwight Yoakam. 

     

  • 10/16/20

     Missing all the Indian restaurants in the San Fernando Valley since leaving there this past March, Rana and I were seriously jonesing for Indian food in our adopted home of Las Vegas. Last night we got an excellent fix at Mint Indian Bistro—chicken tikka (pictured), aloo gobi, bhindi bhaji, potato samosas, aloo paratha—and it tasted like the Indian eateries in Tarzana and Woodland Hills.  Major thumbs up for the service and ambience, too. 

     

  • 10/11/20

    You’re looking at heaven on a plate—enchiladas with breakfast potatoes and vegetables—courtesy of chef Jose Aleman at his restaurant Sin Fronteras. Last night Rana had these next-level enchiladas, and I did the soul-satisfying huarache with chicken. Thanks to Las Vegas Weekly for the heads up. 

  • 9/25/20

    Really great things are happening and predicted for the revitalization of downtown Las Vegas. Now let’s support + frequent all the Covid-affected businesses so they can hold on through the “storm.” Outstanding “Downtown Rising” editorial + photos by Las Vegas Weekly

    https://lasvegasweekly.com/news/2020/sep/24/downtown-rising-the-revitalization-of-city-core/

  • 9/9/20 Letty’s de Leticia’s Cocina

    Seems like we’ve been following Frida Khalo here in Las Vegas, or is she following us? There she was again last night at the newly opened Letty’s de Leticia’s Cocina in the Arts District, reminding us, in her immortal words: “At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” We celebrated her spirit with outstanding gorditas, torta Cubano and Mexican grilled corn with crema + queso cotija. We gotta go back and try the potatoes/cheese taquitos + chicken tinga empanaditas.

     

  • 9/2/20 Frank & Fina’s Cocina

    Fell in love last night with the deservedly long-running Frank & Fina’s Cocina in Las Vegas. Soulful albondigas soup, followed by organic soy chorizo + sweet potato tacos, topped with cilantro, avocado and cotija cheese. We’ll be back! 

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    8/30/20 Hattie B’s

    Missing Nashville + all my good friends there! So I stopped in yesterday to the Cosmopolitan where Nashville’s Hattie B’s has an outpost at the Block 16 Urban Food Hall. (I originally got turned onto Hattie B’s by SRO PR’s Lyndie Wenner who heads our Nashville office.) Dived into those crunchy chicken tenders plus the pimento mac & cheese + Southern greens. No room left for the banana pudding, but…there’s always tomorrow.

  • 8/26/20 Tivoli 

    I seek out nirvana wherever I can find it. Last night it was in a dreamy chocolate tart at Leone Café at Tivoli Village.

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    8/14/20 Arts District

    Bounced around the Arts District last night in our recently adopted Las Vegas hometown. Started with excellent tacos + tostadas at Casa Don Juan (a shrine,  inside + out, to Frida Kahlo), window shopped at the vintage stores (Antique Alley Mall, Retro Vegas), picked up a menu at the all-vegan Tacotarian, and walked by other eateries we gotta try like Esther‘s Kitchen and Cornish Pasty Co

     

  • 8/1/2020

    Flew to Paris this afternoon for lunch at Mon Ami Gabi…glorious AC inside and 111 degrees out there on The Strip… Interestingly, the temperature today in the real Paris is 100°…

  • 7.26.2020

    Sending everyone flowers on this Sunday! Courtesy of the fantasy-rich Wynn Hotel...home to artist Jeff Koons’ “Tulips” installation.

  • 7.20.20

    Masks of the times—with Rana’s love for Scottie dogs. Out last night at “8 Noodle Bar” inside Red Rock Resort for exceptional Asian fusion food (moderately priced, too). Officially now addicted to their Mochiko Chicken (Crispy Chicken, Pickled Cucumber, Carrot, Daikon, Spicy Sauce). The Pork Belly Bao Bun was pretty magical, too. We’ll be back.

  • 7/4/2020 Las Vegas Weekly

    Happy 4th of July! Another standout cover from @lasvegasweekly. They do high-quality, glossy slick covers…every week there’s another terrific one that I look forward to.

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    6/30/20 Smash Magazine

    Picked up a copy of the March/April issue of the local Smash Magazine, looking longingly at all the cool shows I missed at the Brooklyn Bowl here due to the pandemic. I would have been at these gigs—Hot Chip, Orville Peck, Asking Alexandria (with Hyro The Hero) and American Aquarium—if not more.

     

  • 6/27/20 Eggslut

    Having moved to Summerlin three months ago, I was feeling a little homesick today for Los Angeles. Headed over to the Cosmopolitan Hotel and had the Fairfax sandwich at the Vegas branch of Eggslut. It worked wonders!

  • White Castle, 6/11/2020

    Nice surprise! White Castle in Las Vegas, connecting me immediately to my Bronx roots (the White Castle on Boston Post Road near Allerton Avenue).

  • Tarantino’s Vegan, 6/6/2020

    Last night Rana and I checked out the excellent off-Strip Italian Vegan eatery Tarantino’s here in Las Vegas: imaginative food (“Chick’n Parmesan” and lasagna with “beef crumbles” and “almond ricotta”) with ultra-positive ambiance.

  • Arts District (cat mural, T-shirt photos), 5/26/20

    Kicked around the mural-rich Las Vegas Arts District yesterday, stopping into the Recycled Propaganda art gallery + store (smart message T-shirts) and dining on the patio at the Latin eatery Makers & Finders.

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    Stay Fresh and Wash Ya Hands graffiti, 3/29/2020

    Pandemic graffiti in front of the Majestic Repertory Theater in the Arts District of Las Vegas, our new home. Rana and I today drove around there and cruised up and down the ghost town Strip. Then we headed west to downtown Summerlin to pick up food curbside at Shake Shack. Times like these are made for fried food…

    http://www.elmoremagazine.com/2020/04/music-news/mitch-schneiders-photos-pandemic-graffiti

Hash House A Go Go

10/27/21 Always fun to drop into Hash House A Go Go on Sahara…between their “twisted farm food” with monster portions (I had the relatively sane sundried tomato, basil + goat […]

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