Scenes from the Desert
Greetings from Las Vegas! If you missed my post from a few weeks back I've relocated part time to the Mojave Desert where I've purchased a home and will now escape from the Bay Area madness periodically to cleanse my soul. I'm back again this weekend to do some eating, drinking, and shopping while taking in the gorgeous sunsets that occur each evening behind Red Rock Canyon and La Madre mountain near my home. Last night I did a bit too much of the drinking part. I was on a roll. The weather was hot and the booze was cold, and when you add tequila to that magical set of conditions you really can't expect any other type of outcome.
My wife and I found our desert island (or maybe just desert?) happy hour place the last time we were here, and last night we put a serious dent in its liquor inventory. Cantina Laredo is one of the best sit-down Mexican restaurants I've been to in years and I can't get enough of it. The food is fresh, healthy, and flavorful. The drinks are strong, but well-made and light on the sugar. The atmosphere is glamorous and festive, yet totally affordable. You can get a big bowl of arroz con pollo for seven bucks while sucking down five dollar margaritas and gorging yourself on chips and salsa—my ultimate kryptonite. The staff is super friendly and chatty. AND....you can choose frozen margaritas as a happy hour option!!! It wasn't until we went to Hopdaddy in Austin last year that my wife and I discovered balanced, non-goopy, frozen cocktails were becoming a thing (like good wine in a box or craft beer in a can). We must have gone back three times during our four day stay. Now we can get the same thing by driving ten minutes from our home here in Vegas. Next time, however, I won't be driving.
You know frozen cocktails are really becoming a trend when you walk into a hipster haven like Momofuku and they have a frosty machine as well. We strolled in for lunch today and sat down for some hangover helper—mint mojito flavor or asian five spice with sake! While I can imagine it must seem like a pain in the ass for true Las Vegans to visit the strip, it's a piece of cake for Bay Area ex-pats like ourselves. Momofuku is located in the Cosmopolitan, which has a huge underground parking garage. While it's big and there are a lot of cars, it only took us about ten seconds to find a spot. Contrast that with the traffic in the Mission St. garage on Saturday mid-day when you want to go shopping downtown and you won't know whether to laugh or cry. Nothing is a hassle in Vegas. Inconvenience is never a hurdle here. While I might have to wait in line or have a reservation to eat at Momofuku in New York, here I can easily park and walk in whenever I please!
It's funny. We can't get away from hot soup even though we're in the middle of the desert in the middle of summer.
However, now that they've now opened Milk next door, you can cool down with some soft serve after heating up with a steaming bowl of ramen. Cereal milk ice cream is always on the menu, but now they've turned their addictive crack pie into a frozen delight! We did one of each as it was hard to choose.
That's the great thing about the desert: when you're here you can have it both ways.