From the small chain of upscale steak and seafood places begun in Scottsdale in 1999, Mastro's in Vegas is in a tree house like structure in an upscale mall on the strip, and sells pretty good food and cocktails for fairly high prices.
3720 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89158 - (702) 798-7115
Est. Feb 5, 2010
If you did not know, or lest you forget, that Todd English is a famous chef, the four-time James Beard winner's bar has lots of display cases with nothing bout his book in them. The P.U.B. ("Public Urban Bar" -- okay) is more comfortable than most strip bars, and if you'd like a good beer cheap, you can have it for free if you can drink it down before the 7-second hourglass on the bar runs out (veterans recommend a low-carbonation beer, like a nitro pour). The one attempt I saw was a success. But there's a limit of 2.
The cocktails are not particularly interesting, but there's a good selection of beers and upscale bar food.
The front room is the "8 1/2 Ultra Lounge" with brick and fireplaces, and the back room is the "Piranha Nightclub" -- together described as the "reigning queens of gay Vegas nightlife." Oontz oontz oontz.
4633 Paradise Rd Las Vegas, NV 89169 - (702) 791-0100
This is my favorite bar in Las Vegas. That's a bit short of the assessment of Anthony Bourdain, who called it one of the top five bars in the world, and the bar's self assessment as "Known the world over as the happiest place on earth." But it is a swell bar -- nice divey, punk atmosphere with just enough hints of debauchery remaining, a good mix of patrons (I even ran into my friend Sara Tobak there), and a range of good bands both touring and local. I didn't catch them here, but "Thee Swank Bastards," who always tear it up at Tiki Oasis, are regulars, along with The Vermin and Blue Man Group side product "Überschall." The night I came by there was a nifty set by the Lords of Altamont.
Lords of Altamont, Double Down Saloon, 10/21/2912
BTW, the fabled Ass Juice, which is optionally served in a toilet shaped shot glass, came about like this:
'It began with a Jagermeister knockoff called Bekturova that the bar got a few bottles of. "It was disgusting," [owner] Moss says. "Even bums wouldn't drink it." He made a sign offering shots of the stuff for $3. Then $2. Then $1. Still, no takers. "So I crossed out 'Bekturova,' wrote out 'Ass Juice' and I sold out immediately," Moss says. "I go, 'I can make my own Ass Juice.' (lvrj)
4640 Paradise Rd Las Vegas, NV 89169 - (702) 791-5775
Est. Nov 1992