Jan 12, 2011

Vdara Las Vegas and Aburiya Raku

Thanks to my friend, I got a free pass to CES Las Vegas this year!
(CES = Consumer Electronics Show)

Sadly I didn't bring my camera to the show,
Lesson learned,
No matter what happens, camera should always be within reachable distance 24/7!

Since I cannot show you all the exciting new gadgets, 3D TVs, green engineered cars of this upcoming year,
At least I can give you some thoughts and feedbacks regarding the hotel I stayed in,
Plus possibly my top three favorite restaurants in the U.S. - Aburiya Raku!

You never know,
These information can come in handy if you ever gonna visit Vegas!

Vdara is one of the modern looking hotels inside CityCenter,
Other hotels and structures including Mandarin Oriental, Aria, etc.

Their interior design gives you a more modern yet elegant vibe -

Bathroom -

Apartment-like setting, which the room is equipped with a small kitchen -

You can request for different kinds of cookware, plates, and utensils.

View from the room during different time frames,
View 1 -

View 2 -

View 3 -

View 4 -

View 5 -

View 6 -

View 7 -

One of the hotel lighting -

I've only stayed in four other hotels in Vegas:
Venetian, Aladdin, Mandalay Bay, Treasure Island,
But of course I've visited all other hotels *just like a tourist!
By far, Vdara is my favorite,
I think 70% is due to its anti-smoking regulation, and 20% due to its fabulous view.

*Vdara smells really nice!
Unlike most of the Vegas hotels...even high-end ones...always carries a hint of cigarette..

Enough about hotels, let's talk about food!

I had a pretty old post about Raku,
Read here if you're interested,
But pardon me that some of the picture sizes are all messed up and went over the border.

If you've been reading my blog, you'll notice the change of layout couple months ago,
And that's how some of my older image sizes got over-board..
Maybe I'll spare some time to fix it one day...when I'm not around food...
(which will NEVER happen* muahaha......ah...laziness...I blame it to the confusing technology)

This is how we started out our binge eating night -

Complimentary dish that goes pretty well with our sake,
Baby vegetables with miso -

Specials of the day,
Darn it! They didn't have any dessert items ( > _.< ),
I remembered having Raku's brown sugar flan with foam, it was so darn good!

Beef liver sashimi with thinly sliced garlic, high-quality oil, and a pinch of green tea sea  salt -

Never had it before,
When I saw raw liver on the menu, there's a sudden voice in my head forcing me to order it,
And I didn't regret that decision at all.

Poached egg with sea urchin and salmon roe -

Steamed foie gras egg custard -

Front to back:
Kobe beef fillet with wasabi, apple marinated lamb chops, oden -

Front to back:
Soboro don and foie gras don -

That's just a tip of what we ordered that night,
Two people, nearly 20 dishes,
Man...I felt like I've never been this full in my life,
I left the restaurant with balloon shaped belly and a spinning head (foodcome kicking in),
It was definitely worth it!

Here's the link to Raku's newly designed website:

Go check their "commitments to quality" section under "about us,"
Good ingredients, good chef, good place, plus chef's passion for food,
No wonder this place is so DARN good!


  1. so lucky! you got a free pass? does the free pass include Vdara? ;p

  2. To Tigerfish~
    Haha sadly not include Vdara. I went there the last day becasue the hotel price was crazy during the first few days of CES. The bad hotels even asked for over $200/night during CES!