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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

     

  • 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

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