Published October 10, 2023, in my Medium column:
While many seek the bustle, party, slots and commercial lights of Vegas, I’ve never been such a person. The nearly-gone Rat Pack, old school, kitschy-glitz Vegas is much more my scene, growing up a jazz and old movie lover as a kid in the 1980s and 1990s. I don’t find much of that anymore (see Golden Steer below), even as I saw glimpses of it during my first visit to Vegas in the 1990s before the Flamingo and other great pieces of history changed their look dramatically.
Despite the exhaustion I feel even after one day of Vegas’ heat, crowds and partying, even since my 20s when fun in Vegas for me was vintage shopping and seeing small shows like Forever Plaid, there are gems worth seeking out. Here are 15 places to eat, from high to low, upscale to fast casual — and three hotels with different strengths.