Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

August 16, 2006

New Photos: Wynn Las Vegas, Encore, Palazzo, Trump

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to reader Motoman, we have some new Vegas photos from I believe July 2006. Enjoy:

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Read archived comments (33 so far)
August 17, 2006 10:49 AM Posted by motoman

Yes, July 2006. Click over to page 2 of the Wynn set to see the B Bar. Esplanade photos show the unfinished paintwork which "should" have been fixed by now, tho it's odd it still looked like this over a month after Hunter's audiowalk....

August 17, 2006 1:06 PM Posted by detroit1051

Motoman, thanks for the great photos. Now, I have a much better idea of the B Bar. In fact, I'll make it my first stop when I arrive Monday. I'll need a drink after the hassle of flying across the country.

Steve has really taken advantage of the walkway intersections with his improvements to both Corsa Cucina and now the B Bar.

August 17, 2006 2:19 PM Posted by motoman

The B Bar was full the whole time we were there, which was a weekend not long after opening. It does fill what had been a void there, and makes you further appreciate the whole "flow" of the place compared to other resorts.

The Corsa Cucina area is where I noticed the only $10 Blackjack tables someone mentioned here earlier. Probably they're there to catch the Self-Park crowd coming in, and those waiting for their poker seats next door. But they use the nasty shuffling machines and have the "Dealer hits Soft 17" rule. Yuk.

August 17, 2006 3:13 PM Posted by Mike E

Interesting observations, moto. I suppose that is the "poorest" side of the hotel :-). Also, directly in front of the baccarat is pai gow, two Asian-dominated games. To keep them pleased, you've got Red 8, Wing Lei, and Tower Suites a short stroll from there. I love this kind of stuff and I can't wait to dissect Encore like this when it opens.

August 17, 2006 7:39 PM Posted by Adam F

Great photos. I'm going back in under 2 weeks... i'll try to take some pictures if anything changes from early july, and upload them to photobucket or something for you all to see. The pictures i have from my first trip this year in june/july weren't of anything spectacular. I just had a couple of strip shots from the wynn/fasion show bridge and some of wynn's room. hmm.... i wonder if the ex-keno lounge will be replaced by something by then, or if something is already there, anyone know? I heard something about retail, but it seems out of the way for retail.

August 17, 2006 7:47 PM Posted by Hunter

I'll be back tomorrow and I'm bringing my camera, though I don't have many hot pics except for maybe Encore.

While Photobucket is fine, keep in mind that we take photo submissions at

As far as I know, that Keno spot will be retail and as far as it being out of the way, Mojitos is right there and it does okay... That is a heavily trafficked corridor, especially for guests.

August 17, 2006 7:58 PM Posted by Adam F

Your right, i completly forgot about mojitos! The more i think about it, that would make a good spot for retail, there are a lot of people lined up to get into the buffet and terrace point. My fingers type faster than my brain can think of everything :S

August 17, 2006 8:16 PM Posted by Mike E

Hunter, good luck tomorrow and have fun. Give us an update on the new buffet in the high limit room that occupies the space where the semi-private room once was. During our last trip, it seemed like they were redoing it yet again the night after you left.

August 17, 2006 8:24 PM Posted by motoman

Mike E.,
You've got this "dissection" thing down, don't you? ;-) We'll love to hear your "biopsy" of Encore when it opens, as I already fear I won't be able to afford to stay there....

As for the $10 Blackjack, I think it snags a lot of players from the Sports Book as well as those waiting for poker, since Wynn's poker room is allegedly one of the hottest in town. Low table limit a good way to sqeeze a little more out of (oops, I mean, give a little more action to) those who got spanked at sports/poker....

As for "flow," I think those who insist on driving don't get the full "wow" experience as those who come in the front door. Their loss.

August 18, 2006 12:35 AM Posted by motoman seems an updated photo of Encore's progress (8/5/06) has been posted at

The shape of the building is now clearly visible. He also tells about the soon-to-be former employee parking building. I did not know it was built as part of the Desert Inn refurb, and that Wynn added to it since.

August 18, 2006 7:58 AM Posted by Adam F

I wouldn't know, but what about those who use valet parking? You still enter through the front door.

August 20, 2006 8:30 AM Posted by John

Well, you can say the same thing for almost anyone who self-parks at the "luxury-esque" hotels (Wynn, Bellagio, Venetian, etc.). When you valet, you come right through the main entrance and at Bellagio, are greeted by the Chihuly sculpture, at Wynn, you are greeted and welcomed by the amazing mosaics and the floral arrangements, and, to a lesser extent, at Venetian, you are greeted by the giant oculus-type thing. When you self-park at any of these hotels, you lose the grand entrance, and don't quite get the full experience.

Now, I will say, the Wynn had really done something at Bellagio that he couldn't carry over to Wynn LV. The parking garage location. With Bellagio, you walk out of the garage elevators, turn a corner, and there you are in the lobby, but with Wynn, you have to walk through the Casino, and back through the casino to get to your elevator. Now, I do realize that Wynn couldn't place the garage so close to the main entrance, because he didn't have the space, but I was just making a point. Also, has anyone noticed that Steve has made a conscious move to make Wynn's garage much more tolerable to guests. He finally installed a set of door and some A/C units, separating the elevators and the garage itself on each floor. They actually make the elevator areas much more comfortable than Bellagio's garage (which needs to have its doors replaced).

Has anyone else noticed, that the $10 tables area, is the only BJ pit, with overhead flatscreens, playing non-stop sporting events? I don't know if it is because of the pit's proximity to the R&S book, or what reason it is, but I thought it was just interesting that Wynn put flatscreens above the pit there.

August 20, 2006 12:11 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Here is a recent review dated 8-6-06 from Philip Greenspun's Weblog regarding Wynn Las Vegas and the fact that it is arguably the most overrated hotel on the strip. I couldn't agree more with his comments and observations.

Wynn Las Vegas is the latest and greatest hotel on the Strip. It was built and is managed by Steve Wynn, the man behind the Mirage and Bellagio. Wynn is built on the grounds and golf course of the Desert Inn, dynamited in 2001. The Desert Inn was quiet and all of the rooms had balconies on which one could sit, read a book, and enjoy the desert air. What happened to make the Desert Inn unprofitable? �Starwood bought it and they didn�t understand the casino business,� a bellman said. �I worked at the D.I. for 24 years. The new managers came in and fired the casino hosts because they were expensive. A casino host makes a base salary of $250,000 per year and then gets a percentage of whatever the people he brings in lose. So you can see why someone would want to cut them out, but it turns out that you need these guys.�

The Desert Inn had 700 rooms; Wynn has 2700. The hotel portion of Wynn is a big high-rise with plate glass windows that don�t open. Forget balconies. When you�re in your room, it is like being in an office building. When you�re in the rest of the facility, it is like being in a shopping mall. The surfaces and finishes are sort of luxurious, but the environment makes one desperate to get out and see what the air feels like.

Because the Wynn is so huge and makes so little use of information technology, there is no advantage to being a guest. If you want to get your car out of the valet, you need to have your ticket. They don�t record the name of the owner or the room number associated with a car. If you lose your ticket, we were informed, you have to drive around the entire lot with a valet and look for your car. When you find it, you have to prove that you own it (good luck with an airport courtesy car!). If you want to walk out on the terrace and see the waterfall, you have to pay $20+ for drinks. If you want to visit the Ferrari dealership on the ground floor, you and your fellow Wynn guest will have to pay $20 to get in (and then pay $38 for a baseball cap or $280,000-400,000 for a car (more than a brand-new four-seat Robinson R44 helicopter)), just like the rabble who walk in off the Strip.

The entire hotel and casino pulses with a Pop music beat. The pool area doesn�t open until 8:00 am and the music is loud in every corner of the patio. If you want to use the exercise machines, you have to pay an additional $25/day. If you and your friend want to escape back to your room and use the Internet, it will cost you about $24/day to hook up your laptops. When you�ve just about finished writing a Weblog post and hit �submit�, Wynn�s service will decide that you need to renew your agreement to pay for Internet service. Your work will be thrown away and your browser redirected to a screen where you promise to pay them.

Some good things about Wynn: comfortable beds, large and intelligently designed bathrooms (though it would have been nice if they cleaned the bathtub between our first and second night), friendly, helpful, and well-informed staff. The nightly show, Le Reve, is fantastic. The stage is a big round swimming pool with elaborate platforms for the Cirque de Soleil alumni to run around on. Prodigious quantities of rain fall from the ceiling. People fly and then dive.

Practical travel tips: If you have the $400+/night to spend on a Las Vegas hotel room, but want a bit of fresh air, consider the Ritz Carlton in Lake Las Vegas, a short drive east. Some of their rooms have balconies, a feature that hotels on the Strip have been eliminating due, supposedly, to suicides by distraught gamblers. If are on a tighter budget and want to be in a place where you can walk out of the casino into a public street, consider downtown Las Vegas where you can stroll on the shaded and misted Fremont Street. If you really want to hang out at Wynn, stay for $45/night across the street at The Frontier where you can drink $1.99 margaritas while viewing the nightly female mud wrestling and bull riding. Now you have an extra $350/day and can easily afford the services of the Wynn ($85 for a man�s haircut, $70 for two people to dine at the buffet, etc.). When you�re done with Wynn, you get a bit of fresh air strolling back across the street to your hotel room.

August 20, 2006 12:38 PM Posted by Hunter

Funny that someone posted a Greenspun piece. He's written several computer science books/MIT course stuff that I've read. He's a smart guy but very opinionated. A good writer for sure.

Anyway, while I may personally disagree with his overall analysis, there is one thing here that I totally agree with. See, I'm here at Wynn Las Vegas right now (sitting in the awesome bed) and I can say the music has been horrible. I can't stand that pop beat music and it's always playing in the casino. Bellagio has Sinatra, Martin, etc... Much more conducive to their theme of elegance.

His question about 'why did they tear down the Desert Inn' is naive. He knows why and it's not that the DI wasn't making money... It was not making nearly enough per square foot (not even close to close) since it was so small.

Wynn Resorts owns the Desert Inn brand and I personally would love to see a small 500 room boutique hotel built as one of the buildings around the eventual Wynn Park that will sit on the golf course. A place with windows and balconies that open up on to the eventual lake, etc... There are clearly people that want that sort of experience and they would be willing to pay for it.

August 20, 2006 12:39 PM Posted by Hunter

I should also add that given what I know about Greenspun from his writing, I'm surprised he didn't hate it a lot more.

He doesn't seem like the kind of guy that would dig Las Vegas - too artificial and inorganic.

August 20, 2006 12:57 PM Posted by detroit1051

"He's a smart guy but very opinionated. A good writer for sure."

I agree, Hunter. I just read some of his blog and his bio. At least he's a dog lover!

"Wynn Resorts owns the Desert Inn brand..."

Now, that's something I didn't know. It still is a classic brand, and I hope Steve makes use of it.

Will we get a report from you soon? Will you be there Monday? I arrive at Bellagio Monday afternoon.

August 20, 2006 1:22 PM Posted by Hunter

I'm leaving tomorrow around noon so I think we'll miss each other.

My report and photos will be fairly abbreviated this time around. This trip was a real vacation as opposed to the trips where I spend all my time doing site stuff. Those trips are usually solo trips but this time I'm here with my wife and another couple.

It's been great so far. Awesome dinners at Bartolotta (much better than when we went detroit!) and Delmonico. Okada tonight. Tryst last night which was insanely packed - they have issues getting people into the club in an organized way even if you have a massive table reservation and were hooked up by VIP Services. That's something they should work on. Out 'till 6am last night and now just getting up and about.

Had a massage at the spa yesterday - really great therapist. Probably heading back to the steam room in a bit.

All that said, I'll write a re-cap and I do plan to go out later today and take some photos of Encore's progress and probably over to The Mirage to get some Onda shots and see progress on Revolution and Japonais. If someone has a photo request and I get it in time, I'll make an attempt to get a shot.

August 20, 2006 1:35 PM Posted by Mike E

Sounds like fake nostalgia to me. He's probably just bitter and I actually doubt he stayed there.

The amount of misinformation in the second paragraph is enough to view the article as a joke. I stayed at DI two weeks before they closed their doors. I didn't have a balcony and 95% of the other rooms didn't either. Casino hosts don't make $250,000 a year. Even Steve Cyr, super-host extraordinaire, divulges his salary in his biography and it's not even close.

As for the music, I kinda' like it. It's not what I would listen to outside of Wynn's casino, but it does add to the energy (and how can I forget the time I was drunk, playing pai gow, and singing George Michael along with the dealer at the top of my lungs). Only at Wynn, baby.

August 20, 2006 1:39 PM Posted by detroit1051

Thanks for the report, Hunter. I'll be interested in whether you notice any change at Okada with Takashi replaced by Masa Ishizawa.

August 20, 2006 1:49 PM Posted by Mike E

Wynn's website has been updated with the permanent chef for the Country Club. What he has to say is the most thorough of all the other chefs.

August 20, 2006 2:59 PM Posted by Adam F

The music at Wynn is fine to me, what i can not stand is the repeated apple ipod/itunes commercial outside the fashion show mall. It even invades its way over to Wynn, even when just walking around the front of the property.

Does anyone know if anything has changed at The Buffet at Wynn. I mean do they change the food served at all. I was there in early July, and i'm hoping that they have some variety of different things for late August...

Hunter, i hope i'm not to late, but when you head over to the mirage, can you get a few exterior shots of the LOVE windows?

August 20, 2006 4:10 PM Posted by josh

Do you think you can try to identify what they are doing in the Bellagio near the conservatory where they have it walled up with signs that say more luxury?
Thanks, and by the way, I just went to the Mirage 2 days ago,and I think Japonais looks amazing, much better than the rendering

August 20, 2006 4:14 PM Posted by Hunter

Japonais does look very good, I agree. I took a bunch of shots and I will post them when I can but that might be tomorrow.

I got some Mirage exterior shots for Adam, though some may already be posted, I can't remember.

Haven't been over to Bellagio yet but I will see if I can figure it out.

Got some photos of the Palazzo model that's up at The Venetian as well as some new shots of Encore's progress.

August 20, 2006 7:08 PM Posted by motoman

Oops, I think I didn't submit the Mirage/LOVE pics last time. Sending 'em to Hunter now....

August 20, 2006 7:52 PM Posted by John

The iPod thing has been terrible, at least, since Deccember. It was especially annoying, when I was sitting on the terrace at Sugar and Ice, enjoying the rather mellow and relazing tunes that were playing, and all of a sudden, I hear "Lose yourself" by Eminem. The ITunes music is so bad, that I could hear it from my room on the 52nd floor.

A quick question, does anybody know if the vid screens at Fashion Show can move? I mean it looks like the are all on a track, but I have never seen them move from their location at the far north of the plaza-type area.

Also, Hunter, were you able to get pics of what is going behind the walls at ShoeIn, oh.. and, could you get some pics of Social House at TI (I would love to see what the hydraulic tables look like). Thanks.

August 20, 2006 9:20 PM Posted by motoman

John, good observations about the parking. I do think the flatscreens with sports at Wynn's $10 BJ tables are due to proximity of Sports Book, again, to give the players some action before/between or even during sporting events.

MikeE, I agree completely: "As for the music, I kinda' like it. It's not what I would listen to outside of Wynn's casino, but it does add to the energy....Only at Wynn, baby." (Although I now have Emma Bunton stuck in my head...thanks Adam! da da da da....)

Hunter, what kind of Renaissance man are you, only twentysomething and into Beatles, Sinatra, Martin.... ;-) There is nothing like the Dancing Fountains accompanied by "Luck Be A Lady," but then Bellagio has an entirely different vibe than Wynn. Not better or worse, but very fine indeed (and I personally prefer the "modern," theme-free Wynn).

August 22, 2006 8:35 AM Posted by Adam F

motoman, lets not forget Midnight at the Oasis...

John, the iTunes commercial recently has been playing Jerk it Out, have a look for yourself... I have seen the screens move at the Fashion show, although they are ususally all together because they need to have one giant screen for iTunes :P

August 22, 2006 9:03 AM Posted by detroit1051

"Do you think you can try to identify what they are doing in the Bellagio near the conservatory where they have it walled up with signs that say more luxury?"

Josh, I'm at Bellagio now. I asked a security guy who said it's going to be a sales office for the CityCenter condos and condo/hotels. I liked the store that was there before. It had a lot of unusual items including signed first edition books. I never saw anyone buying anything, so the sales office will be a better use of the prime space.

I'm in a Bellagio Suite. It's clean, but it sure needs renovating. Disappointed last night, no turn-down service, so no fresh towels.

August 22, 2006 10:51 AM Posted by John

Detroit, do you know if there are any plans to renovate the Bellagio (main tower) suites? I've seen pics of the suites in the Spa Tower, which look nice (even if all of the velvet reminds me of MGM Grand), but it would be nice, when/if they renovate the main tower suites, that they try to keep the Italian villa theme. Also, Detroit, do they still have the metal keys for the Bellagio suites? If that is one thing, that MGM Mirage really messed up on, was replacing the metal keys (which were only seen in one other casino, Mirage) with a generic key card, and then when they installed the locks in the Spa Tower, they installed silver readers, they don't fit in with the color scheme of the hallways, gold does. Also, has anyone else noticed that MGM Design really like Silver on everything. They replaced the gold luggage carts, with silver carts, most of the velvet rope poles are silver now (at Mirage), and there is a large amount of silver in the new signage they have installed.

A question about all of the CityCenter sales centers. How many of them are there going to be? I had heard a rumor that the Residences at MGM space, was going to be switched into CityCenter space, and I saw that they are building a giant showroom/mall next to NYNY (where the Carrow's and a LaQuinta Inn used to be), but how many sales centers do they need for this project?

August 22, 2006 4:54 PM Posted by detroit1051

John, the last I heard, the suites will be renovated in '07. My Host is back from her weekend tomorrow, and I'll ask her for an update.

Yes, MGM has replaced a lot of gold with silver in Bellagio. I'm not impressed. And, yes, they use the plastic key cards on all floors. Personally, I like them better. I leave Bellagio Thursday, More later.

August 22, 2006 6:05 PM Posted by John

Oh, so they finally changed the readers in the elevators and the suites are all keycards. Well, I guess thats another Wynn-ism that is gone.

Also, Detroit, I don't know if you have been to the Mirage lately, but I've noticed that, aside from the LOVE theatre, MGM is moving toward a very blue/silver type tone. The felt on all of the tables is now blue, and i'm really not a big fan of the M - I- R - A - G - E for the betting spots on the BJ tables. Someone with MGM Mirage Design must have a huge thing for silver, and it shows, in all of their properties.

August 24, 2006 12:24 PM Posted by Dan

Any New Pictures of the progress of The Golden Nugget?

September 12, 2006 12:50 PM Posted by detroit1051

The Mirage sent out a marketing email on Japonais. I know it's a PR piece, but Japonais sounds like it will be a great place. I hope to check it out within the week.

Signature Style, Hospitality and Japanese Cuisine Debut at
The Mirage in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, August 2006 � This fall, Japonais (The Mirage, 3400 South Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89109, 702-792-7979), one of Chicago and New York City�s most adored and critically acclaimed restaurants, goes west. Renowned restaurateurs and partners in all three Japonais properties, Miae Lim, Rick Wahlstedt and Jeffrey Beers (also the restaurant�s designer) have joined forces with The Mirage to open a Japonais outpost in one the country�s most thriving culinary cities.

Las Vegas high rollers, avid foodies and night owls alike will be instantly seduced by the restaurant�s distinctive approach to ambience, service and progressive Japanese cuisine that seamlessly fuses innovative presentations, flavors and ingredient pairings within each selection. Since opening in 2003, Japonais received three stars by both the Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune, and was named �Best Restaurant� by Chicago Magazine in 2005. This July, Japonais opened in New York City�s Gramercy Park neighborhood, offering Manhattanites and travelers a taste of their signature flavor and hospitality. Created entirely for the guest, from the guest�s perspective, Japonais now brings dining as it should be to the already flourishing restaurant landscape of Las Vegas.

�Las Vegas is a natural location for a Japonais restaurant,� says Wahlstedt. �The city is an exciting food destination right now, fueled and inspired by some of the world�s greatest chefs. My partners and I are thrilled to bring Japonais to The Mirage and the city.�

�The opening of Japonais at The Mirage adds to the growth and excitement currently happening at the property,� said Scott Sibella, president of The Mirage. �The Mirage continues to emerge as a leader in the city�s dining scene. We feel confident that Japonais will add culinary excitement and high energy to The Mirage, a resort that mirrors the stimulating, vibrant energy of Japonais.�

Japonais offers the best of both worlds � signature sushi and cold appetizers by world-renowned Sushi Chef/Partner Jun Ichikawa and hot appetizers and entr�es by celebrated Chef /Partner Gene Kato (both from Japonais in Chicago and New York City). Upon completing intensive culinary training in Japan, Chef Kato returned to the U.S. and worked as Chef de Cuisine at Mimosa Grill (Charlotte, N.C.) and as Chef de Cuisine for Upstream, based in Charleston, S.C. While at Upstream, Kato met Miae Lim, and the two agreed to launch Ohba together and later Japonais. Executive Chef Sushi Chef and Partner, Ichikawa is known for his ability to blend years of training with a naturally creative eye resulting in some of the highest quality, most innovative sushi in the country. A position with Honda Restaurant (Kanda, Japan) resulted in the Chef moving to the United States to study under the Master Chef at Honda Chicago. A stint at Hatsuhana followed where he met Lim, and the two developed the Mirai Sushi concept and later Japonais. Together the chefs blend two sophisticated, innovative culinary styles creating a menu that is beautifully composed with the guests� needs and preferences in mind. Classic French technique is married with clean and simple Japanese ingredients, as the chefs take a progressive approach to create a signature menu with �wow factor� and sex appeal.

�We feel that the cuisine of Japonais is signature to our brand: it is at once progressive but also approachable,� says Lim. �We hope that our new guests in Las Vegas will become fast fans, and we are going to develop special, new dishes just for them.�

Signature hot appetizers (Les Entr�es Chaudes) include Japonais� signature and popular �The Rock,� thinly sliced marinated New York Strip Steak cooked on a hot rock right on the table; Kani Kani, a flavorful combination of snow crab claws wrapped with shrimp and crab mousse in a spicy passion fruit sauce; and a variety of Robata selections created especially for the Las Vegas location including Smoked Wagyu with Ginger Wasabi Ponzu, Togarashi (Japanese Seven Spice) Burger Yaki with Wasabi Truffle Mayo, Sweet Shrimp and Diver Scallop with Yuzu, and Spicy Chicken with Shiso and Mint Leaf Buds.

Delectable hot entr�es (Les Plats Principaux) consist of Grilled Hamachi, fresh Hawaiian hamachi served with crispy shrimp dumplings in a light wild mushroom broth; Miso Zuke Barramundi, broiled miso marinated Australian bass served with fried bass cheek, peach sansho glaze and a shaved radish salad; Chestnut Chicken, roasted chestnut encrusted organic chicken with flavorful shiitake rice and tangy ginger lemon sauce; and the whimsically named �Le Quack Japonais,� Chef Kato�s unique take on Peking Duck served with tender maple leaf smoked duck, tangy hoisin sauce, mango chutney and soft mushu wraps (half or whole duck available).

Master Sushi Chef Ichikawa uses the finest fresh fish to create signature cold appetizers (Les Entr�es Froides) such as Bin Cho, delicately marinated baby tuna with shaved diakon in a zesty citrus-sake vinaigrette; Kani Nigiri, two pieces of warm and spicy baked King Crab, and Sweet Ceviche, sweet shrimp tartare marinated in ginger yuzu and served with a rich avocado mousse and lightly fried taro chips. The Chef�s Special Tasting offers guests the opportunity to sample a variety of fish selections including toro tartare, sea urchin and squid, and monkfish foie gras wrapped in fluke and octopus.

Integral to the Japonais dining experience are the innovative sushi rolls that spotlight beautifully prepared, clean flavors prepared with the chef�s signature flair. Sushi bar specialties include Spicy Mono, a delightfully spicy octopus roll topped with spicy tuna tartare and sweet unagi sauce; Tuna Tuna Salmon, delicate salmon tartare graced with sliced tuna, avocado sauce and wasabi tobiko sauce, and Crispy Shrimp and Salmon, a crispy panko shrimp roll topped with marinated salmon sashimi and wasabi tobiko sauce.

Japonais offers an extensive and sophisticated list of red and white wines, sake and signature cocktails. Not to be missed is The Floating Orchid, Japonais� popular drink that combines Stolichnaya vodka, Cointreau, fresh pear and lemon juices with an edible orchid garnish; a refreshing Pomegranate Cooler with Pama Pomegranate liqueur, sake, mathilde poire liqueur and passion fruit juice; and the smooth Cucumber Passion with Hanger 1 Kaffir lime vodka, passion fruit juice, lime juice and muddled cucumber.

A decadent finale to the meal is found in the Chocolate Indulgence (for two) featuring chocolate ginger mousse cake, chocolate chawan mushi, wild berry soup and chocolate truffle beignets. Green Tea Panna Cotta offers a creative alternative to a classic as it is a homemade blend of creamy citrus tapioca soup and honeydew sorbet and the Kabocha Cheesecake, an innovative and flavorfulJapanese pumpkin cheesecake served with five-spiced pineapple mousse and almond cookie crust.

At Japonais the setting complements the cuisine. Upon entering, guests are welcomed by a �glowing� fire-red canopy and dark slate platform that creates a theatrical foyer to the restaurant. Accommodating 300 people, the 11,000 square foot space features an array of distinct dining and lounge areas that allow guests multiple ways to experience the restaurant. Designer, Jeffrey Beers has created a vibrant 3,000 square foot bar and lounge overlooking The Mirage casino floor. This modern tropical haven with cascading palm trees and water elements throughout features a 110-foot long glowing �fire� wall made out of glass, providing an artistic and bold backdrop for the curving, sensual onyx bar.

The lounge accommodates 100 guests and features a Robata Grill designed especially for the Las Vegas location. Custom-designed chandeliers, a D.J. booth and circular mahogany trellises with shimmering silver and gold sheer drapery also add a dramatic touch to the glamorous setting. In the lounge guests can dine on sushi and small plates, while getting a spectacular view of the casino. Adjacent to the lounge is a private dining room with its own bar, custom copper chandeliers, trellises, water elements and colorful lounge seating. The private room accommodates dining for sixteen people where guests can sit at Japonais� custom 15-foot long �royal mosaic� table constructed of gold glass especially for The Mirage.

The main dining room, traditionally known as the Red Room, offers seating for 175 guests, a 17 seat L-shaped marble and slate sushi bar and an adjoining Golden Niche. The room is situated on a raised wide plank platform (constructed of dark wood) with additional raised seating areas throughout. Other noteworthy design elements include Japonais� signature walnut �fin� ceiling, stone columns with copper and onyx details and custom blackened steel railings.

The restaurant�s trademark walls made of red brick and blue glass (to resemble water) beautifully complement the Madagascar ebony wood screens and gold accents throughout the room. These design elements fused with dramatic theatrical lighting, create a warm and inviting restaurant space. Japonais� striking signature tree sculpture takes center stage with its magnificent up lit branches of hand crafted exotic wood and custom-made moss pods. A large square banquette surrounds the tree sculpture and is ideal for accommodating large parties.

Other atheistic details include custom-designed furniture pieces, decorative lighting and accessories by Jeffrey Beers. Once again, Beers and his team have collaborated with various artists, designers and craftsmen to create a distinctive and artistic dining environment. The designer�s use of various textures, including sumptuous velvets, colored glass, exotic woods, stone and copper combined with a rich and luscious color palette come together to create an effect that is at once elegant and refined, yet inviting and approachable.

�I always strive to design restaurants that are perfectly suited to their environment and the city they inhabit,� says Beers. �With Japonais at The Mirage, we have created a space that is sophisticated, yet sexy. The main dining room is luxurious and comfortable, ideal for long, leisurely dinners. While the lounge is expansive, yet intimate � perfect for a night on the town in Las Vegas.�

Japonais will be open for dinner seven days a week: Sunday -- Wednesday, 5.00 p.m. -- 11.00 p.m., Thursday -- Saturday, 5.00 p.m. -- 11:30 p.m. The Lounge will be open seven days a week, Sunday --Saturday, 11 00 a.m. -- 3.00 a.m.

For more information on Japonais at The Mirage, please contact KB Network News,212-777-3455,