Thursday 26 April, 2012

Feeling Lucky In Las Vegas

lucky rice

luckyrice ticket

Every Las Vegas casino wants to attract Asian high rollers, but some are more creative about it than others. And whether or not the rumors are true that Chef David Chang (of Momofuku fame) is coming to the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, the hippest casino resort on the Strip is clearly continuing its commitment to stay that way with another cool foodie happening.

Just a few weeks after its Vegas Uncork’d events, Cosmopolitan has managed to import NYC’s annual LUCKYRICE festival (founded by Danielle Chang--no relation), presenting an abbreviated and localized version as LUCKYRICE Night Market on June 23rd.

For one night only (three hours, to be exact), Cosmo’s Strip-view pool deck will be transformed into a fantasy Asian open market, with stalls from Cosmo chefs Gerald Chin (Wicked Spoon), Shirley Chung (China Poblano), David Myers (Comme Ça) and Anthony Meidenbauer (Holsteins/Public House) alongside Susur Lee (Lee, Toronto) and Angelo Sosa (Social Eatz, NYC) –both Top Chef Masters alums – as well as their fellow LUCKYRICE Culinary Councillor Pichet Ong (Qi, NYC) and visiting guests Top Chef Texas winner Paul Qui (Uchi, Austin), Eddie Huang (Baohaus, NYC), Sang Yoon (Lukshon, LA), Charles Phan (Slanted Door, San Francisco), Dale Talde (Talde, NYC) and Vegas alums Jet Tila (The Charleston, LA) and Jordan Kahn (Red Medicine, LA).

But here’s the coolest part about LNM: the event is also celebrating Vegas’ own exploding off-Strip Asian food scene, inviting along Lotus of Siam’s Saipin Chutima (Lotus of Siam), Raku’s Mitsuo Endo, Monta’s Takashi Segawa, Colin and Mags from Fukuburger, and hopefully more.

No foodie event would be complete without some fancy drinks these days, so Vegas’ own Master Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim will be shaking it up with Duggan McDonnell of San Francisco’s Cantina, and no doubt Cosmo’s own queen of the stick, Mariena Mercer. Bombay Sapphire East is co-sponsoring (or “Presenting,” whatever that means), so expect plenty of lemongrass and pepper inspired gin drinks.

Tickets are a very reasonable $88 (if you can’t chow down your money’s worth in three hours, you don’t belong there), but should you wish to spend more and be snootier, you can get early VIP admission for $125.

By the way, if you haven’t heard of LUCKYRICE before, it’s “Culinary Council” includes none other than Daniel Boulud, Anthony Bourdain, Floyd Cardoz, Anita Lo, Masaharu Morimoto, Eric Ripert, Marcus Samuelsson and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. With any luck, maybe a few of them will also drop in to check out the evening.

The resort is also expected to host Cochon All Stars again later this year. Stay tuned…

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