I've been to Las Vegas more times than I can count, and I've seen my share of crazy Vegas stuff (Iâ€™m talking about you, Hangover Doctor). But on this winterâ€™s trip, I went in with a new attitude: no work, only play and a let-it-come-to-you attitude Iâ€™ve never tried in Sin City.
I guess by making this list, Iâ€™m technically doing a little work after this vacation, but itâ€™s fun to think back on the weird Vegas stuff I saw. Obviously, this city is meant for weirdness, and you can find it in hundreds of different ways. Hereâ€™s just a little of what I saw:
1. Secret pizza
Don't see the secret pizza? That's because it doesn't have sign. Go here and turn left, then right into that unmarked hallway with the records on it.
Hidden in a hallway by Marquee at the Cosmopolitan, you can find a secret pizza restaurant. Since it has no actual name or sign, look for the long lines at weird hours â€“ itâ€™s open about 18 hours a day. In fact, I ordered some secret pizza a few years ago around 4 a.m. (kinda hazy memory), and this year I wanted to go back. The big pieces are sold by the slice, and even when the line is somewhat short, it takes a pretty long time. Donâ€™t even bother trying to find a seat, because there arenâ€™t any. I guess itâ€™s not much of a secret anymore, but it kind of is, right? Itâ€™s definitely weird.
2. Titanic-themed slot machines
I donâ€™t know, it seems a little weird to name a slot machine after a tragedy that claimed the lives of 1,517 people. Technically, the slot machine is referring to the movie, and yes, the sinking took place 100 years ago, but it feels pretty morbid to cheer when you spin up three icebergs. Whatâ€™s next, a Pearl Harbor Day slot? Too soon?
2. High-end boutiques that stay open really late
(PHOTO: Wynn Las Vegas)
Itâ€™s 11 p.m. on a Sunday night, and youâ€™re ambling through the Wynn or Caesarâ€™s Palace after playing some Titanic slots and drinking free mini cocktails. Seems like the perfect time to buy a $16,000 Panerai Luminor watch, right? Good thing you can choose from a quiet shop with a single, bored-looking man in a suit who will sell you one. Perhaps Rolex or Cartier or Jaeger-LeCoultre is more your speed. Fortunately, there are plenty of shops ready for you to drop $25k at a momentâ€™s notice in the middle of the night. Who does this??
3. Late-night sushi
Similarly, but way less expensively, I like how everything is open all the time in Vegas. I had a hankering for sushi at 2 a.m. after losing some money at the Hard Rock. No problem; there are plenty of legit, great places to choose from. I randomly picked Kaizen in a strip mall across the street. It was awesome, but yes, it felt weird to eat sushi by myself in the middle of the night, then Uber it back to the hotel. Vegas, baby.
4. Purple Reign
Each year, I considered seeing the Prince tribute act at Westgate, the former Las Vegas Hilton. Yeah, the place is pretty rundown since Elvis played there, but with His Purplenessâ€™ passing in 2016, this seemed like the right time to take the Monorail to the show. Guess what? Fake Prince was amazing. You barely have to squint your eyes (and certainly not your ears) to buy into Jason Tennerâ€™s impersonation. Of course, the weird part is that youâ€™ll be the youngest person in the audience of about 50 old drunk people going berserk for "Little Red Corvette." Still, I highly recommend Purple Reign. Don't laugh, just go.
5. The oddly-placed dive bar
Just off the center Strip lies Stage Door, a legit dive bar thatâ€™s been there forever (I remember checking it out in the late â€˜90s). Cheap-ass sketchy hot dogs, PBRs, homeless people, local and wasted frat boys â€¦ this place is weird. Really weird. Maybe itâ€™s so divey that itâ€™s retro hipster? But not as far as I could tell. Sitting there among all the ritziest casinos in town, Stage Door feels like it belongs on Packard Avenue. Just with way more slot machines and hookers. Weird.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Nov. 14, 2017
The DoubleTree by Hilton is exactly what a business traveler or visiting Marquette parent could ask for: consistent quality and a comfortable night's rest when the bulk of your day is earmarked for standing on a trade show floor.
Published Nov. 7, 2017
A few years ago, CNET ran a story posing the question, "How can 30-year-old receivers sound better than new ones?" Ben Carp still hears about this article all the time, and for the most part, he agrees with it.
Published Nov. 4, 2017
If Apple wants its customers to think differently, this phone is the most different one yet. There's a lot to like about this flagship device ... but also quite a bit that will annoy you at first. But if you're committed to using an iPhone, you'd better get used to it. Apple has shown the world the future of mobile phones, and there's no going back.
Published Oct. 28, 2017
Milwaukee is a city that's in love with motorcycles, even though our summer riding season is a bit shorter than in other places. But bikers here are a hearty bunch, gearing up to extend their riding into fall and beyond.
Published Oct. 25, 2017
Sturgeon Bay feels quite a bit different than Fish Creek and Sister Bay; it's a place where people live and work, and it's much more than a tourist trap. It's also a great home base for a fall family vacation in Door County.
Published Oct. 20, 2017
Building a bug-out-bag is a smart idea. Whether preparing yourself for a tornado or something more sinister (like the zombie apocalypse, for example), experts suggest you have three days of supplies on hand for whatever life throws you. Publisher Andy Tarnoff did the taste testing so you don't have to.
Published Oct. 17, 2017
It doesn't get much more old-school than Baked Alaska. And, to the best of our knowledge, very few places in Milwaukee still serve it. One place that does, however, is the very retro supper club that is The Packing House.
Published Sept. 25, 2017
The arranged marriage of patriotism, the national anthem and the American flag is completely broken. Anyone who can't see this isn't looking hard enough. So let's not just stand and mumble our way through the national anthem anymore. Let's follow our hearts and our consciences, and respect those who have a different viewpoint than we do.
Published Sept. 22, 2017
On Tuesday, we published a piece looking at some of Glendale-native Kato Kaelin's, uh, passionate tweets about the Brewers and the Packers. After it ran, Kaelin offered us some clarification on tweets.
Published Sept. 19, 2017
Kato Kaelin, America's most famous (infamous?) houseguest, has a lot of things to say on Twitter these days. A self-described Brewers and Packers fan, he has some pretty harsh words about his favorite teams on social media.