Where’s the Beef?
This story first appeared in the August 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The haute burger craze spreads to Sin City with the opening of the BLT Burger at The Mirage. BLT Burger is the debut Las Vegas outpost of chef Laurent Tourondel’s 11 BLT restaurant empire, and the second devoted to his French-tinged interpretation of a typical American hamburger joint.
The 11 burgers on the Vegas menu feature patties made from the de rigueur Angus and Kobe beef to ones crafted from salmon, tandoori-style lamb and falafel. As an homage to Sin City, Tourondel put a special hamburger on the menu: the Stripper, a 7-oz. beef burger served sans bun. Hamburgers are priced from $7 to $17 and cooked on an exposed grill in the middle of the restaurant.
House cocktails include the Showgirl, made from vodka, guava nectar and lime, and special milk shakes such as the Fuzzy the Bear, made with peaches, peach schnapps and vanilla ice cream.
Designed by the New York-based Rockwell Group, the interior is pure Las Vegas: A yellow-glazed lava stone bar is lit by chrome pendant lights, while a floor-to-ceiling sepia print of the surrounding landscape hedges in the dining area, which seats 198.
BLT Burger at The Mirage Hotel & Casino,
3400 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-792-7888.
— Max Padilla
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has opened Wasted Space, a new lounge on the Strip that co-founder and motocross star Carey Hart has tagged as the first ever “anti nightclub.” Wasted Space leaves the pompous theatrics of club-hopping behind, and instead looks to create an atmosphere that boasts an authentic rock ’n’ roll vibe through fashion, art and music.
Since opening in mid-July, the 5,000-square-foot venue, co-owned by Hart, baseball player Jason Giambi and Good Charlotte rockers Benji and Joel Madden, has attracted every visiting rock star in town, with some even taking to the stage for impromptu performances.
Holding a crowd of up to 500 people six nights a week, Wasted Space features live music two nights a week featuring both established rockers and unsigned acts. Cover charges range from $10 to $25 at the door, depending on who is playing that night.
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino,
4455 Paradise Road; 702-693-5000.
— Elisabeth Miller
Fans of bad boy Ed Hardy designer Christian Audigier can now physically experience the designer’s lifestyle vision at Christian Audigier Nightclub, his new Treasure Island venue.
Audigier has partnered with the Pure Management Group, the same team behind Lax and Pure in Las Vegas, and produced a club that feels authentically like the shaved-head, tattoo-sporting designer. Red velvet walls are lined with Audigier’s signature roses and skulls, ceilings are pierced by black chandeliers, black fake-crocodile leather booths border the room and the bar is made of shiny black pebbles and red mirrors. While the decor is definitely strong, the real centerpiece of the club is a pair of large-scale water tanks filled with exotic jellyfish.
The expansive liquor list will also include Audigier’s own line of wines and champagnes.
Christian Audigier Nightclub at Treasure Island,
3300 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-894-7580.
Surf and Turf
The old Luxor Steakhouse has been reinvented as Tender Steak & Seafood.
Designed by Thomas Schoos of Tao, Koi and the The Penthouse Restaurant at The Huntley Hotel fame, the restaurant now has a decidedly old Las Vegas feel. Guests pass through grand cherrywood doors and a marble foyer to find a restaurant covered in rich wood and plush leather booths.
The menu offers a wide range of steakhouse favorites and a few new twists, with much of the food sourced from local organic farmers. All cuts of meat are USDA prime and aged for 21 days; sides include baked vegetable chips and organic wild mushroom risotto. The menu also boasts raw oysters, as well as other seafood, and a range of caviars.
Tender Steak & Seafood at the Luxor,
3900 Las Vegas Boulevard South; 702-262-4778.
— Chloe Popescu