Thursday Night: Las Vegas

Yahoo TravelMay 8, 2014

Ah, Thursday night—the only truly social night of the week. It’s the night when babysitters are booked, friends convene and drinks are imbibed. There are no family obligations to fulfill, no amateurish weekend crowds to elbow through—and the possibilities are endless. The night starts after work and ends whenever you want. In any city. All over the world.

This week, we present the perfect Thursday night in Las Vegas:

5 p.m.

Hop in a cab from your hotel on the strip and head to the new Container Park, in the heart of Vegas’ revitalized Downtown. Do a little bit of shopping in the Park’s boutique fashion shops and art galleries surrounding the giant praying mantis sculpture. You’ll want to take a selfie with the giant insect. It shoots flames out of its antennae at random intervals. Browse the hand-crafted jewelry at Art Box or chat up a personal stylist at American Vagabond.

A flame-breathing praying mantis will great you at the entrance to the new Container Park. (Photo: Mike Bindrup on Flickr)

6:30 p.m.

It’s time for a cocktail. Fremont Street (you’re still Downtown) and its environs are excellent for bar-hopping, so have a beer in the back garden of Park on Fremont, a cocktail at mixology den Commonwealth, a margarita at La Comida, or a shot at The Griffin, where the jukebox is among the best in Las Vegas. Whatever you do, don’t grab any food just yet. There’s much better dining elsewhere in Vegas, on and off the Strip.

8:30 p.m.

Oddly enough, some of the world’s best seafood is found in the Mojave desert. My favorite Vegas restaurant is Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas. The restaurant is best known for its colossal langoustines, which arrive, still alive, after flying in from an undisclosed location. If you feel like splurging, order some of those on top of a tasting menu, which features ridiculously difficult-to-find seafood from the Mediterranean and beyond. You can also have a wonderful meal just sitting at the bar for a plate of chef Paul Bartolotta’s spaghetti bottarga.

Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at Wynn Las Vegas. (Courtesy:Wynn Las Vegas)

An off Strip option is Kabuto on Spring Mountain Road. Part of a strip mall full of world-class Asian restaurants, Kabuto offers simply prepared sushi (no crazy rolls here) with the highest-quality ingredients from the Japanese fish markets. The $48, 10-piece nigiri tasting, which includes aperitif sake, a hand roll, and dessert, is a steal. If you want to order by the piece beyond that, we highly recommend ultra-silky wakaremi, a fatty cut of tuna that's even better than toro.

11 p.m.

Most of Vegas’ most well-known nightclubs, including XS (an oldie but goodie), Marquee, and Light, are often closed on Thursdays, giving you a chance to explore the DJ-centric Hakkasan at MGM Grand, which attracts talent like Tiesto, Hardwell, Nervo, and Afrojack.

For a more organic, relaxed night, hit the new LINQ dining and retail center in the middle of the Strip. This is where you’ll find the High Roller ferris wheel, where you can sip champagne while taking in the best views of the city from one of their party pods. Also at the LINQ is Blvd. Cocktail Company, where you can enjoy carefully crafted drinks, do some bowling, or catch live music at the 80,000-square-foot Brooklyn Bowl.

LINQ. (Photo: Kenne Jim)

2 a.m.

If you’re still out, you’ll probably need a hangover-prevention meal to be in any sort of shape to face the rest of the day. Late-night dining options include the adobada tacos at Tacos el Gordo on the Strip, the heavenly pan roasts at Palace Station’s Oyster Bar, and the skewers and Japanese fish specials at late-night chef hangout Aburiya Raku

Not ready for bed? You can keep the party going at Rose.Rabbit.Lie, the Cosmopolitan’s new supper/cabaret club. Sit in their study, order dessert or an apéritif off the obscenely long list of champagne and wines as you take in their eclectic shows. You’re welcome to stay until the club closes at 4 a.m., so sip slowly or just order more.

How about some late-night taco dining at Tacos El Gordo. (Photo: TheKarenD)

Andy Wang is founder of Consortium Projects HQ, a custom publishing firm specializing in luxury real estate, destinations, and food.