Notes from the Advisor

How would you like to go to at least one casino or bar every day? I don’t mean just walking in to make a delivery; I mean going there to drink, eat or even gamble? Not only do I do that; it’s my job. Every month I go on my own whirlwind tour of casino visits so I can try—or sometimes just look at—as many different things as I can in preparation for compiling that month’s issue of the Las Vegas Advisor. I’ll bet you have no idea how many old things change and new things pop up in a city like this, but I’ll give you a taste:

• Irene’s Grill, 5480 W. Spring Mountain Road, just debuted a 16-ounce New York strip dinner for $8.95 that will blow your mind. A lot of steak specials are chintzy on the steak. This one’s big! It’s a full meal and available 24/7 (maybe hit it on a Sunday when Bloody Marys are a buck all day).

I love the classic “value-gourmet” restaurants that all the “locals casinos” have. Canal Street at the Orleans isn’t the best of ’em, but it has something that stands out: the seafood tower appetizer. It comes with chilled shrimp, oysters, king crab and lobster—lots of it—for just $38 for two. You might not know that’s a good deal unless you compare a lot of seafood towers.

The newly opened Café Nikki at the Tropicana runs the “South Beach Happy Hour” from 4 to 7 p.m. daily. Appetizers are $6 and drinks are discounted by about 50 percent, including a good mojito for $5. This one hasn’t been discovered yet, but it will be, especially when that whole Nikki Beach thing kicks off in the spring.

• Johnny Fontane’s bar no longer has a kitchen, which means one of Vegas’ great pizza plays is no more.

Maxim magazine came to town to find Las Vegas’ best nachos. Maxim also likes to write about gambling and they aren’t very good at it. But they seem to know something about lifestyles, so I’m thinking that might extend to knowing something about what constitutes good nachos. They picked Diablo’s Cantina at Monte Carlo and the Peppermill. The Peppermill? Really? I’ll try it.

The Gold Coast closed its poker room. Shame.