Tuesday, July 30, 2013 | 4:47 p.m.
Editor’s Note: As Robin Leach winds down his traditional summer vacation under the Tuscan sun in Italy and heads to the East Coast for a brief visit before returning to the rigors of Vegas DeLuxe, many of our Strip personalities have stepped forward in his absence to pen their own words of wisdom. We continue today with comedy magician and Harrah’s headliner Mac King of “The Mac King Comedy Magic Show.”
Howdy. I’m Mac King. I’ve taken over Robin Leach’s column for a day. Not only have I been a Las Vegas resident for more than 15 years, but I also just finished my 13th year of performing “The Mac King Comedy Magic Show” at Harrah’s.
So, in honor of that feat, I’m sharing my 13 favorite things to do in Las Vegas.
1. Penn & Teller at the Rio
My favorite show in Las Vegas is smart, funny and magical.
2. Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo
The next item on my list is a show that also is smart, funny and, in a weird way, magical.
3. Clint Holmes at Cabaret Jazz in the Smith Center
Anything at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts is going to be worth your time, but I make it a point to see their anchor artist, Clint Holmes, every month. He’s funny and engaging, has an amazing voice and never does the same show twice.
4. “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace
Outrageous circus and variety acts in an intimate, unique, in-the-round setting. Penny Pibbets’ scatological sock-puppet show is my favorite. Filthy fun. Not for the easily offended.
5. Todd’s Unique Dining, 4350 E. Sunset Road
Worth the drive to Green Valley in Henderson for Todd Clore’s delicious, beautifully thought-out gourmet food paired with a laid-back atmosphere.
6. Pasta Shop Ristorante, 2525 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway
Brothers Glenn and David supply fresh, homemade pasta all around town. But it’s at its freshest right here in their casual Italian spot.
7. Picasso at Bellagio
My favorite dining memory in Las Vegas is sitting on Picasso’s small, private patio enjoying Julian Serrano’s unmatched French/Spanish food overlooking the Bellagio fountains. Simply joyous.
8. Delmonico Steakhouse at the Venetian
There are plenty of great steaks to be had in Las Vegas, but Emeril Lagasse’s is my favorite. Plus, chatting with Master Sommelier Kevin Vogt is always a treat.
9. Brunch at Verandah Restaurant at the Four Seasons
Enjoying Sunday Brunch sitting outside, surrounded by the lush gardens of the Four Seasons pool, is kind of the quintessential Las Vegas indulgence. As an added bonus, the Four Seasons has the nicest valets in town.
10. Eat, 707 Carson Ave.
At the opposite end of the brunch spectrum from the Four Seasons is Eat. Located in the heart of downtown, chef Natalie Young’s breakfast and lunch joint is relaxing and revitalizing.
11. Marche Bacchus French Bistro and Wine Shop, 2620 Regatta Drive, Suite #106
If you’re looking for a place that makes you feel like you’re not in Las Vegas, travel 10 miles from the Strip and request a table on the lake at this lovely little French bistro.
12. Hike the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail Along Lake Mead
This gravel trail has cool views of Lake Mead as it snakes through five tunnels dug through the banks of the lake for the railroad used to construct Hoover Dam.
If I had made this list a few months ago, it would have included having dinner at Bradley Ogden at Caesars Palace, followed by seeing Garth Brooks at Wynn. Sadly, both have closed, but that’s my 13th favorite thing about Las Vegas: There’s always something new and fabulous.
Mac King takes the stage twice daily Tuesdays through Saturdays, at 1 and 3 p.m., in Showroom Theater at Harrah's. Tickets are $29.95, plus tax. For additional information on “The Mac King Comedy Magic Show,” visit MacKingShow.com, or Facebook.com/mackingshow or find him on Twitter, @mackingshow.
Check out our other guest column today from chef Shawn McClain of Sage and the new Five50 Pizza Bar, both at Aria, and Wednesday from chef K.C. Fazel of Tender at Luxor, chef Erick Stecher of SHe by Morton’s and Adam Sperling of Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Just as distinctive as it's famous neighbors Caesar's Palace and The Venetian, Harrah's Las Vegas has been entertaining guests since 1973. The 87,700-square foot casino is filled with 1,520 slot machines and 107 gaming tables. Outside the casino, guests are able to experience fun in a street-fair atmosphere at the Carnival Court, an outdoor lounge with live entertainment (including the bartenders), food stands and outdoor shops.
At Harrah's comedy is King, and that has never been more apparent then the comedy acts of Rita Rudner, the Mac King Comedy Magic Show and the Improv Comedy Club. After the show, guests are more than welcome to laugh at their friends at The Piano Bar, famous for its dueling pianos and karaoke. Most recently, Harrah's added tribute show "Legends in Concert" to its list of entertainment.
Restaurants like Ming's offers Asian cuisine, while Ruth's Chris Steak House offers guests fine steaks and fresh seafood. Toby Keith's I Love This Bar is a country-themed bar with a restaurant, live music and the occasional appearance from Keith himself.