Grace Bascos

Correspondent

  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Grace Bascos is a correspondent who lives in Las Vegas and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. Bascos has been eating, drinking and writing about Las Vegas since 2005. Originally from Chicago, Bascos now dishes on Sin City-related dining for magazines like Vegas/Rated, Vegas Seven and Luxury Las Vegas. She also loves to travel in search of good food and proper techno.

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  • On June 1, 2013
    Grace Bascos answered the question: Grace Bascos

    What are the hottest upcoming concerts in Las Vegas?

    All the great music acts come through Las Vegas, but Vegas really gets bumping when all the acts play in one venue.

    This June 21-23 Electric Daisy Carnival returns to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and 345,000 revelers will rave in the desert. Originally created for those who are into electronic dance music, or EDM, Electric Daisy Carnival has turned into a multi-night, multi-sensory experience that gets bigger and bigger every year.

    Since it's the desert, the party starts after the sun goes down, and the neon lights of the carnval begin. Over 200 DJs and performers will take over the six stages each night, with acts from all genres. Modern dance pop lovers will get down on Nicky Romero, Manufactured Superstars and Avicii, but those who are looking for more underground sounds can enjoy Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice and John Digweed.

    But not all the action is relegated to the Speedway. Lots of clubs have the acts play in their venues for after parties or pool parties. There's lot of electronic music happening in Vegas that week. EDC is more than just a concert; it's an insane party with almost 350,000 of your closest friends.
  • On June 1, 2013
    Grace Bascos answered the question: Grace Bascos

    What new dance shows are in Las Vegas?

    New dance shows are opening all the time on the Las Vegas Strip. Most recently, original winners of America's Best Dance Crew, Jabbawockeez, just unveiled their newest show at Luxor.

    Jabbawockeez, best known for their white masks, precise synchronization and mad acrobatics, features PRiSM, in new custom, 830-seat theater. Audiences can expect music that they love as well as some original tunes produced by the group’s own recording artists, as well as new choreography and athleticism that pushes these hip hop dancers to their limits.

    If you've never seen Jabbawockeez before, you're in for a treat. This is a crew of some of the tightest dancers that have ever been seen. You can't see their faces behind the masks, so they look more like a cohesive unit. It may look like they're too serious, but this is a fun show that will get you moving for the night too.
  • On June 1, 2013
    Grace Bascos answered the question: Grace Bascos

    What are the best hotels in Las Vegas?

    There's certainly no shortage of hotels in Las Vegas. Depending on how you'd like to spend your stay is how you should determine which hotel is for you.

    Feeling rowdy and want to mingle with a young, good looking crowd that seemingly swarms the casino floor in droves? The Cosmopolitan is for you. Poolside you can find great music showcases in the evenings. Bypass that massive line for Marquee on the second floor and head to the third floor for bites from the Secret Pizza joint (down an unmarked hallway) or the club-like environment of STK Steak house.

    Feeling like you're in the lap of luxury? Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is center-Strip, non-gaming, and as indulgent as it gets. Guest service is highly lauded at any Mandarin Oriental around the world, and this one is no exception. On the 23rd floor is the Mandarin Bar, offering sweeping views of the Vegas skyline as you sip on one of their signature cocktails, while down the hall Twist by Pierre Gagnaire is an unparalleled fine dining experience.

    Feeling like you want a classic Vegas experience with a great location? Look no further than Caesars Palace. Caesars has remained an institution in Las Vegas, and has continued to grow along with the city. Just this year Caesars opened the Nobu Hotel within, along with the largest Nobu restaurant in the world. Also, this is where you can live any version of the film The Hangover you wish (just don't end up on the roof).
  • On June 1, 2013
    Grace Bascos answered the question: Grace Bascos

    What is Las Vegas’ dining scene like?

    The Las Vegas dining scene is exactly like the buffets with which you associate Las Vegas. There's lots of options right in front of you, there's something for everyone, and it's all tempting.

    When it comes to Strip dining, while there are still eateries that rock the 99-cent shrimp cocktail or prime rib dinner, dining has become elevated thanks to first, Wolfgang Puck's Spago at Caesars Palace, an influx of celebrity chefs, and finally the invasion of French master chefs such as Joel Robuchon, Guy Savoy and Pierre Gagnaire.

    Some people come so they can say they ate at Gordon Ramsay's spots at Paris Las Vegas, some want to say they had the best meals of their lives at Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand or the Forbes Travel Guide Four Star Picasso at Bellagio. But more often than not, visitors still love the buffet (the best ones being the newest Bacchanal at Caesars Palace and Wicked Spoon at The Cosmpolitan) - it's one of the places where you can still have it all in Vegas.
  • On June 1, 2013
    Grace Bascos answered the question: Grace Bascos

    What are the best attractions in Las Vegas?

    There are things to do in Vegas besides gamble, we swear. There's even free things do. The Bellagio, for example, is full of attractions that keep visitors streaming through the property each day. There's the world-famous fountain shows, where every 15 minutes and carefully choreographed water shoots from Lake Bellagio in sync with songs such as "Viva Las Vegas" and "Luck Be a Lady."

    Indoors, the Conservatory is an indoor garden under the atrium, fragrant with fresh flowers. The scenery changes with the seasons. Last Spring saw a Dutch influence with a giant windmill and many tulips; every Chinese New Year the animal whose year it is gets a prominent figure in the Asian-inspired garden.

    Look up when you get to registration to see the beautiful Chihuly glass flowers on the ceiling. They flowers span across the lobby in front of the desk, as if they're floating above you on a pond.
  • On June 1, 2013
    Grace Bascos answered the question: Grace Bascos

    What are the best steakhouses in Las Vegas?

    The steak dinner is a quintessential dining experience in Las Vegas. Every casino hotel has one, and their offerings range from the $8.99 steak dinner to market price cuts of dry-aged Wagyu.

    The point of the steak house, however, shouldn't be purely about the steak. After all, if they can't properly cook a simple steak they shouldn't be a steak house. Rather, steak houses have become about everything but the steak. Side dishes are where steak houses shine, such as SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas with accoutrements of black truffle creamed corn or Brussels sprouts, carrots and pancetta.

    If you want to focus on just the meat, there are spots for you to do that too. Brand at Monte Carlo has a fantastic open dining room that looks out onto the casino floor, and a 120-ounce steak if you and six friends are feeling peckish. Jean Georges Steakhouse at Aria Resort & Casino features an outstanding beef program focusing on humanely and sustainably raised beef from the U.S., Australia and Japan.
  • On June 1, 2013
    Grace Bascos answered the question: Grace Bascos

    What are the best steakhouses in Las Vegas?

    The steak dinner is a quintessential dining experience in Las Vegas. Every casino hotel has one, and their offerings range from the $8.99 steak dinner to market price cuts of dry-aged Wagyu.

    The point of the steak house, however, shouldn't be purely about the steak. After all, if they can't properly cook a simple steak they shouldn't be a steak house. Rather, steak houses have become about everything but the steak. Side dishes are where steak houses shine, such as SW Steakhouse at Wynn Las Vegas with accoutrements of black truffle creamed corn or Brussels sprouts, carrots and pancetta.

    If you want to focus on just the meat, there are spots for you to do that too. Brand at Monte Carlo has a fantastic open dining that looks out onto the casino floor, and a 120-ounce steak if you and six friends are feeling peckish. Jean Georges Steakhouse at Aria Resort & Casino features an outstanding beef program focusing on humanely and sustainably raised beef from the U.S., Australia and Japan.
  • On June 1, 2013
    Grace Bascos answered the question: Grace Bascos

    What are the best bars in Las Vegas?

    Despite being built in a desert, one of the great things about Las Vegas is that you'll  never go thirsty.

    Beer has become a big player lately for the serious drinking community, so much so that the beer equivalent of sommeliers – cicerones – have been popping up all over town. Public House at The Venetian has built itself a nice little reputation for its beer selection – and the glass wall that allows passers-by to see their massive collection from the hallway doesn’t hurt either. Public House has over 200 beers to choose from, with 24 on tap, and three seasonal cask beers. Keep an eye out for some obscure Belgian brews as well as hipster favorites like Ommegang Hennepin saison.

    Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace boasts a beer selection that aficionados have been making it a point to stop there for a pint. There’s some 40 beers on tap at the pub; some usual suspects, some nice surprises. Innis & Gunn, a Scottish craft brew, is a personal favorite of Chef Ramsay’s, and a big seller. t's even become my go-to whenver I stop in. And for it to be Gordon Ramsay’s bar, the food’s got to be good as well.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Grace Bascos answered the question: Grace Bascos

    Where is the best shopping in Las Vegas?

    While Las Vegas is filled with temples of retail such as Crystals at CityCenter and the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, that houses the likes of Louis Vuitton and Chanel, I'm not the kind of girl who finds shopping to be a leisurely activity. I am of the school of get-in, scoop up as many clothing items as possible, pile them high for a trip to the dressing room, hate everything, get out.

    So on the off chance that I would like to go buy pretty new things for myself, there's nothing better than a marathon shopping session at either of the Premium Outlets, one each located just North and South of Las Vegas Boulevard. There are off-rack outposts of Diesel, Old Navy, Gap, Calvin Klein and Banana Republic at each, so you'll find lots of familiar shops with killer deals. They're about equidistant from their respective ends of the Strip; the main difference between the two is that the one North is an indoor mall while the one South is outdoors.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Grace Bascos answered the question: Grace Bascos

    What are the best restaurants in Las Vegas?

    Referring to something as the "best" is a tricky when it comes to restaurants. Dining out is one of the most subjective activities to participate in. Most everyone does it, yet everyone's opinion is different. So rather than pick the "best" in Las Vegas in terms of critics darlings or most popular, there's room to call out those restaurants that do good work every day and consistently.

    Every hardcore foodie knows that a meal at Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand is life changing, the artichoke and black truffle soup at Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace is transcendent and that Alain Ducasse's MIX atop Mandalay Bay sports both a beautiful room and a breakthtaking view.

    But not every knows that Jean Georges Steakhouse at Aria Las Vegas has one of the best beef programs on the Strip. They specialize in sourcing some of the finest, humanely raised beef available from the US and Austraila. It was one of the first restaurants to bring in true Wagyu once the embargo on Japanese beef was lifted.

    And not everyone knows that Kabuto, located off of Spring Mountain in Chinatown is hands down the best Japanese omakase experience in town. The chefs prepare each piece of sushi, made from fish that comes weekly straight from Tsukiji market in Japan, at the counter, and place it in front of you to eat.

    Or that there are chefs who go above and beyond what Las Vegas visitors and diners expect, such as Brian Howard of David Myers' Comme Ca at The Cosmopolitan. While executing Chef Myers' already well-thought brasserie menu at Comme Ca, Howard branches out to with a nightly specials program that runs the gamut from wild game menus to offal nights to a good old fashioned fried chicken platter.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Grace Bascos answered the question: Grace Bascos

    What are the best activities to do in Las Vegas?

    Sometimes the best things to do in Vegas are the things that let you forget you're in Vegas.

    The easiest thing to do if you're tired of spending (read: losing) money is to head down to the pool. It's practically free, every property has one, and the people watching is priceless. If you're lucky enough to be staying at the non-gaming Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, you've got a nice, quiet oasis located on the 8th floor of the hotel. Grab one of the well-appointed cabanas or a lounge chair and recline next to one of two pools or the jacuzzi, and you feel like you're miles away from the hullaballoo of the Strip.

    Or you could literally go miles away from the hullaballo of the Strip and check out the Grand Canyon. Except the Grand Canyon is so... far. Helicopter tour companies like Papillon can fly you out for a bird's eye-view of the North or South Rims in a matter of hours, and even offer packages where you can go on a guided Harley-Davidson motorcycle tour on the ground.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Grace Bascos answered the question: Grace Bascos

    What are the best bars in Las Vegas?

    Despite being built in a desert, one of the great things about Las Vegas is that you'll  never go thirsty.

    Beer has become a big player lately for the serious drinking community, so much so that the beer equivalent of sommeliers – cicerones – have been popping up all over town. Public House at The Venetian has built itself a nice little reputation for its beer selection – and the glass wall that allows passers-by to see their massive collection from the hallway doesn’t hurt either. Public House has over 200 beers to choose from, with 24 on tap, and three seasonal cask beers. Keep an eye out for some obscure Belgian brews as well as hipster favorites like Ommegang Hennepin saison.

    Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace boasts a beer selection that aficionados have been making it a point to stop there for a pint. There’s some 40 beers on tap at the pub; some usual suspects, some nice surprises. Innis & Gunn, a Scottish craft brew, is a personal favorite of Chef Ramsay’s, and a big seller. t's even become my go-to whenver I stop in. And for it to be Gordon Ramsay’s bar, the food’s got to be good as well.
  • On May 31, 2013
    Grace Bascos answered the question: Grace Bascos

    What are the best bars in Las Vegas?

    Despite being built in a desert, one of the great things about Las Vegas is that you'll  never go thirsty.

    Beer has become a big player lately for the serious drinking community, so much so that the beer equivalent of sommeliers – cicerones – have been popping up all over town. Public House at The Venetian has built itself a nice little reputation for its beer selection – and the glass wall that allows passers-by to see their massive collection from the hallway doesn’t hurt either. Public House has over 200 beers to choose from, with 24 on tap, and three seasonal cask beers. Keep an eye out for some obscure Belgian brews as well as hipster favorites like Ommegang Hennepin saison.

    Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace boasts a beer selection that aficionados have been making it a point to stop there for a pint. There’s some 40 beers on tap at the pub; some usual suspects, some nice surprises. Innis & Gunn, a Scottish craft brew, is a personal favorite of Chef Ramsay’s, and a big seller it's even become my go-to whenver I stop in. And for it to be Gordon Ramsay’s bar, the food’s got to be good as well.