The Adventurist Guide to Downtown Las Vegas

Author - ShaRhonda

LipSmacking Foodie Tour

restaurants

Whether you are a local or a visitor, finding a great place to eat in Las Vegas can be a challenge for many reasons. Location, price, proximity to other activities; so many things to think about! One of the great ways to sample restaurants and explore an area is to take a guided tour. If you are food fans like we are, you take a food tour. One of the most interesting tours that takes you to four fabulous Downtown restaurants is the LipSmacking Foodie Tour.

20160723_191422This tour begins in the Carson Kitchen. A lovely restaurant founded by the late Chef Kerry Simon. Carson Kitchen features American Comfort food in new and interesting ways and top notch cocktails. You will really get a feel for the place as you get to sample four great dishes: Crispy Chicken Skins with smoked honey, “Devil’s” Eggs with crispy pancetta and caviar, Roasted Young Beets with pistachio, orange, and goat cheese, and Veal Meatballs with a sherry foie gras cream. We absolutely loved every single item on the menu. Thankfully our wonderful guide advised us to pace ourselves as we would be eating more on the tour.

On the way to our second stop, our guide gave us a little history of the businesses that began with the Downtown Project in Las Vegas. We got to peek into a secret nightclub.  (You’ve got to take the tour for more on that!) Our guide also pointed out several places that we could enjoy some live entertainment, dance, and have a few cocktails. The second stop on the tour was two blocks away in the Lobby of the Ogden.

20160723_175408We arrived at Itsy Bitsy Ramen and Whiskey ready for an adventure. This cozy place features a DJ in the evenings and noodle bowls that you customize to your taste. We were treated to a signature cocktail, Sake-To-Me, (we highly recommend it!) and a beautiful array of dishes. We sampled a Snow Crab Hand Roll, Shrimp Pot Stickers, Japanese Sweet Corn and the Chef’s Ramen Selection. So much to taste! The presentation was beautiful and each dish was unique and delicious.

20160723_182935A short walk from Itsy bitsy was our third stop, Inspire. We traveled south down Las Vegas Blvd. and our guide pointed out some of the other eateries and bars. Inspire has a very low-key façade. This space was once a 7-Eleven and was completely gutted and totally remodeled for the needs of the new owners. It is very inviting once inside and we were greeted by an enthusiastic employee. We walked around in the lounge area up front and took in the atmosphere of the bar. Our tour began with the Inspire Theater. It is a complete theater with a stage and seating that was acquired from an old church somewhere in the Midwest. The theater has comedy shows, drag shows, musical performers and even political rallies! We were treated to the view of the theater from Tony Hsiehs’ private box on the second floor. This venue houses one of the top ten private lounges in the world.  365 Tokyo only seats 10 so members, who pay a membership fee (call for information on fees)  must make reservations. Outside on the third floor is a nightclub. This may be the best view of Fremont Street. We sampled craft beers from local brewery Tenaya Creek and took some photos of the amazing view before heading to our final stop.

20160723_190756We walked east on Fremont to sixth and our guide told us about the Market. We took a short stroll through Container Park exiting on Carson in front of our final destination-Glutton. We were greeted with a signature cocktail and some incredible featured dishes. We started with Ahi Tuna Tacos, then sampled Braised Pork Flatbread, Wood Roasted Cauliflower, Pickled Tomatoes, Caramel Corn Profiteroles, and for dessert a Peach Cobbler. Everything looked as wonderful as it tasted!

You must consider LipSmacking Foodie Tours for you and your guests to get a taste of Downtown Las Vegas. If your stomach is growling you should go to VegasFoodieTour.com immediately, and tell them we sent ya!

Sin City Pickers

antiquesIf you live anywhere near Downtown, or are a frequent visitor, I’m sure you’re familiar with Antique Alley and all of the wonderful shops there. Many shops specialize in certain things such as Vegas memorabilia, clocks, vintage items and/or collectibles. Possibly the most unique place to shop is at the south end of Antique Alley. It is Sin City Pickers. The two story green building is located on the northwest corner of Wyoming and Main Street. From the time you enter the space you will be engulfed in 10,000 square feet of shopping nirvana. This amazing venue has a wide selection of items from vintage and collectibles to albums and rare finds. Sin City Pickers is a unique space which houses many different stalls for vendors to sell their wares.

20160509_122022Many of the stalls have specialty collectibles such as tea sets, vintage signs, ceramics, furniture, and clothing. There are stalls where you can buy, sell, and/or trade items. Sin City also offers a space for local artists to display and sell their art.

Sin City may look different when you visit because every six months the stalls rotate to allow for different vendors and artists. There are booths that support different charities. Owner/manager Katie Hughes-Appel donates to charities such as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Absence of Hunger which is an organization that provides meals to elementary school children to take home so that they have food to eat for dinner.

20160509_121731The second floor of the building houses a fantastic toy and collectible store. This stall has everything from Barbie to Star Trek. You can definitely get lost looking through the stacks of comic books and shelves of action figures. There are items for all ages and every level of collector.

Sin City hosts many events throughout the year. One of the regular events is on Thursday evenings when there is a running game of Dungeons and Dragons. There are steam punk tea parties throughout the year. In the fall there will be a comic book fair and art exhibit. Sin City has also hosted yard sales and farmer’s markets. Be on the lookout for more events to come.

20160509_122927One of the coolest things in Sin City pickers is an electric shock therapy machine possibly from the early 1930’s! The machine has been transported here from Boston. The investigators from Southern Nevada Ghost hunters have tested the machine for paranormal activity and it registered a tremendous amount! They intend to investigate further and film an episode from Sin City Pickers. How cool is that?!

Take some time to sift through the wonderful treasures such as the over 6000 records in the new record room, vintage dolls and collectibles, and other amazing finds at the Rabbit Hole. Sin City Pickers is open 11am-6pm with free parking in front and in back of the store located at 10 W. Wyoming. Like and follow them on Facebook at Countess Katie’s Art Emporium/Sin City Pickers Antique Mall.

JinJu Chocolates

sweets

20160421_125557Downtown is the best place to experience all Las Vegas has to offer. One of the sweetest places to visit is in Container Park. JinJu Chocolates is a unique chocolate shop located on the second floor. The shop offers a variety of chocolate items you can’t get anywhere else.

JinJu Chocolates was founded by Jin Caldwell. Caldwell honed her skills as a Master Chocolatier and an award-winning pastry chef under the guidance of some of the world’s top pastry chefs in Las Vegas. Jin became a chocolatier for Ethel’s chocolates where, for six years, she provided product innovation direction for Mar’s Chocolate Inc.

Jin started her own business JinJu Chocolates in 2011. Jin uses only fresh ingredients and no preservatives. She is one of the “exclusive chocolatiers” to offer Fortunato No.4 Peru Nacional Chocolate. Jin has a simple philosophy, “exceptional chocolate should be an experience of all five senses and treasured for simplicity of ingredients.”

FullSizeRenderEach chocolate is hand crafted and absolutely beautiful. Once you’ve experienced the Berry Mascarpone or the Tropical Fruit, you will understand why JinJu was voted Best Chocolate Shop in Las Vegas in 2015 shortly after opening. You can order directly from the website or pick up a collection at one of the luxury properties on the strip such as the Bellagio, the Wynn, Caesar’s Palace, the Palms, and the Cosmopolitan.

JinJu means treasure and we are sure that you will discover many treasures when you walk through the door. Visit JinJu Chocolates on the second floor of Container Park 707 Fremont St. To help you on your treasure hunt, Jin is offering a 15% discount to all followers of the Adventurist Guide! Make sure you mention that you read the Story on our website.

The Las Vegas Ballet School Keeping Downtown on Their Toes

Las Vegas Ballet School

schoolsThe Las Vegas Ballet school is the brainchild of dancer Welthy Silva. She began the school five years ago on Main Street. She started the school because she didn’t like driving all over town to teach at other dance schools and having her own school means teaching her own way. Living downtown she saw the need for a ballet school in the neighborhood. Ms. Silva has been dancing since the age of 3 and credits dance for helping her through some tough times in life. She says that she “feels very lucky to be doing what I love and hopefully adding some sunshine to people’s lives, especially to the lives of children.”

Las Vegas Ballet SchoolMs. Silva danced with the Children’s Ballet Theatre in Durham, NC. She went on to dance professionally in venues all over the world. She has danced in shows in Berlin, Beirut and even small cabaret theatres in Tokyo and Las Vegas. She is a certified American Ballet Theatre teacher having completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum. She has experience teaching students ages 3 to 83 and hopes to share her knowledge and love of dance and to inspire happiness and beauty in life through dance.

The school offers classes for dancers of all ages and all skill levels. There are movement classes for dancers as young as three. The studio also offers classes in classic ballet, beginning ballet, pointe, and jazz. For more information please visit www.downtownballet.com.

Dancers and young performers from the school will be performing at the community event Santa in the Circle on Saturday December 5th 10:30am in Huntridge Circle Park.

Williams Costume Co. – More History than Halloween

shoppingFor almost 60 years, Nancy Williams of 20151021_122305Williams Costume company has clothed, accessorized, costumed and for a while, taught many dancers, performers, actors in Las Vegas. This downtown landmark is THE place to go for all of your costuming needs. You can rent costumes or buy them. You can put your own costume together and get really creative with the variety of items in the store. There are hundreds of masks and wigs to spark your imagination and plenty of knowledable staff to assist you. For the past six years, Yvette has been helping people with their choices in the rental and sales area.

If you are in need of bling, you will need to speak to Glenda, the Queen of Rhinestones. She has been with Williams for 18 years. She is a skilled craftswoman who can advise and assist you with all of your rhinestone and gem needs. Ask her about folded money!

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Williams has a large supply of hats you can customize, feathers, beads, fabric, trim and cord, gloves, and accessories. They have everything you need to be anyone or anything you want!

20151021_123959A visit to Williams Costume Company is a an opportunity to experience some of the fantastic history of Las Vegas. If you ask nicely, you may get to hear some stories of the golden age of Vegas. Not only is Ms Nancy Williams a former dancer and showgirl, she is also one of the famous Dice Girls! There is a replica of the famous picture on the side of the Williams Costume Co.