TAO Las Vegas

by Andie Mitchell on July 9, 2010

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This is what I call working remotely.

Working at Foodista is lovely on so many levels, and perhaps now I’ve discovered a new one: the mobility. Traveling to Vegas was possible because much of my job is online; all I need is my laptop. So like any responsible employee, I took business on the road and set up a workstation at Tao Beach yesterday afternoon. Needless to say, it was sublime. I was able to write, tweet, blog, and interact with the rest of the team, all from the comforts of a lounge chair. A girl could get used to this.

The only snafu I’ve run into is the now-constant burning sensation I’m experiencing in my eyeballs. A mixture of SPF 50 and staring into the sun.

After a day in the sun, I returned to my hotel room, suited up, and headed to the fitness center for three (quite pleasant) miles of movement. The facilities at the Canyon Ranch Spa are top notch. At least a dozen or so of each cardio machine (each with their own television), a sprawling weight room, a rock climbing wall, and several group exercise classes available at varying times. All of it is included in the resort rate- an amenity that isn’t always free at other luxury hotels/casinos I’ve visited. Every January Daniel and I go to Atlantis in the Bahamas for a Caribbean poker tournament and I end up paying $50 for a week’s pass to their fitness center. It’s madness.

Before we move on to the food portion of this post, let me again remind you that my camera battery has died. Day two in Vegas and I’m without photos. Essentially, God has turned his back on me. But thanks to an hour of Google image searching, I’ve got some stand-ins for your viewing pleasure. Trust me, you don’t miss my mug on the screen.

Daniel was at the Rio all day, playing in the World Series of Poker. The tournament allows for a 90 minute dinner break at 6:45, so we used that window to dine at TAO Asian Bistro (and Nightclub) in the Venetian.

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The three-floored interior is lavish and modern. Sleek eastern design with lots of rich wood, a warm color palette focused on red and black, bronzed Buddhas, and rose-tinted dim lighting. The vibe is what you’d expect from a Vegas hot spot: swanky and seductive.  The mood set by the tempo of a techno-driven DJ.

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I really enjoyed the chic modern feel of the place. The upscale ambiance goes a long to flavoring the overall dining experience, no matter where you are.

But the real question must be asked: How was the food? In a word: Delicious. I’m anything but concise, so here goes…

Daniel and I ordered two small plates to start: the Tao Temple Salad and the Hot and Sour Soup. The salad was composed of mixed baby greens, endive, radicchio, crisp wonton flakes, ginger, and a light citrus vinaigrette. I thought the salad was a delightful blend of fresh ingredients, a perfectly hefty size, but the dressing added very little flavor. It tasted mostly of oil. Still a perfect starter, though.

The Hot and Sour soup was a nice consistency- much better than the typical gelatinous goopy bowl that I’ve found at a lot of Asian restaurants, but it lacked a real kick of flavor and spice. Not bad, but not great.

We then moved on to the sushi. I adored the Chef’s Roll, which had tuna, salmon, avocado, tobiko, tempura flakes, and a drizzle of spicy mayonnaise. The peak of freshness. The roll had that perfect melting quality to it- creamy mouthfuls of vinegar-seasoned rice, flavorful fatty fish, the crunch of tempura and tobiko, and a hint of spice.

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I also commend TAO on the sashimi. A lot of sushi places slice the fish a bit too thick for my liking- making me feel like I’m stuffing a salmon log down my gullet. Here, it was thinly sliced, buttery, and the yellowtail and white tuna tasted so fresh that I questioned whether Vegas was in fact sitting on the coast. For the record, it is not.

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And while the sushi was wonderful, I’ve had delicious sushi before. In New York, in Philadelphia, in Boston, and Washington. As divine as the raw fish will be, the real reason to dine at TAO is this:

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The Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass with Wok Vegetables. Truly one of the ten best bites of food I’ve had in my life. How can I describe the taste of the sea bass? Like salt meets butter meets sweet cream. Luscious. As rich as Oprah and Bill Gates…combined. It barely had a chance to flake because it just melted on my tongue. Like edible cashmere: smooth and luxurious.

My vision is now blurring and I’m verging on transcending time and space just thinking about it.

It’s time to head out for some Vegas festivities. I was about to say Strip festivities but realized that doesn’t quite sound right…

We’re headed to see Cirque du Soleil “O” tonight at the Bellagio, which I’m just thrilled about. That’s the performance where they submerge themselves in water. I’ll be back with details on the Vegas happenings later!  Have a lovely Friday!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa @ Endeavorous July 9, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Wow, your hotel and dinner (and job) look amazing! I’ve never been to LV but it’s on my list. Enjoy Cirque du Soleil! I saw a show down at Disney World once and it was incredible — I need to see more!

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Jessica @ How Sweet July 9, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I am so envious! Absolutely LOVE Vegas. We went our our honeymoon. We can’t wait to go back!

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actorsdiet July 9, 2010 at 10:00 pm

make sure to go to bouchon!!! we also enjoyed the mario batali place in the venetian, though i can’t remember the name of it now….enoteca something?

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kenzie (Healthy Purpose) July 10, 2010 at 10:32 am

LOL. have fun with your strip activities :) food looks great.

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guestlist for vegas clubs August 6, 2011 at 4:50 am

Love the blog.

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