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November 23, 2017

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Strip Scribbles: L.V. artist in ‘Ink Master’ final four; Lalique opens; Jessica Burciaga at Tacos & Tequila


Jeff Ragazzo

Jessica Burciaga hosts at Tacos & Tequila on Monday, May 5, 2014, in the Luxor.

Season 4 of ‘Ink Master’

Walter “Sausage” Frank of Las Vegas competes on Season 4 of “Ink Master” on Spike. Launch slideshow »

It’s a final four tattoo war! Congratulations to Las Vegas artist Walter “Sausage” Frank from Club Tattoo at Miracle Mile Shops of Planet Hollywood who moved forward Tuesday night into the final four on Spike TV’s “Ink Master.”

On next week’s episode, they’ll face the most inconceivable challenges to determine who will be the final three competing on the live finale. At stake is a $100,000 grand prize, bragging rights and a cover feature in Inked Magazine.

On Tuesday night, the competitors were given a quick boat ride around the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor and then told to immediately tattoo their sketch. One artist couldn’t deal with seasickness and another forgot the correct number of crown spikes.

In a second challenge, the artists were tested on Japanese snake tattoo skills, which they’d never drawn before. To make it even more difficult, the human canvasses insisted that the snakes were tattooed on their ribs, a challenging and painful placement.

After the judges eliminated Melissa Monroe, that left four remaining artists: Halo from Black Lotus in Maryland, Scott Marshall from Roselle, Ill., Matti Hixson from West Virginia and our local hero Walter.

Next Tuesday in “Fight to the Finish,” they ink breast cancer survivors’ scars and cover some of the worst tattoo mistakes from this season.

Lalique at Crystals

Maz Zouhairi, Pietro Mingarelli, Lady Tina Green and Silvio Denz at Lalique in the Shops at Crystals on Thursday, May 1, 2014, in CityCenter. Launch slideshow »

LALIQUE BEAUTY: It may well be the most beautiful jewel-box boutique on the Strip, certainly the tiniest with the most expensive items for sale — a real rich and famous discovery. Lalique is globally recognized as the undisputed master of crystal, and Lady Tina Green, one of the world’s wealthiest women, was escorted by Planet Hollywood founder Robert Earl to the opening in Crystals at CityCenter.

Tina next will design the new Lalique hotel in the South of France. I rubbed shoulders with other guests including international interior designer Pietro Mingarelli, Lalique head honchos Silvio Denz and Maz Zouhairi, Rob Goldstein of The Sands Corp. and his wife Cheryl and Vegas Magazine Publisher Josef Vann and Editor Andrea Bennett.

The Lalique boutique boasts Orgue chandeliers inspired by the Normandy cruise liner, a Champs Elysees six-tier chandelier and a Cactus Table created in 1950 by Marc Lalique. The sound system is black crystal AeroSystem One by music genius and my Parisian friend Jean-Michel Jarre. Tina and Pietro have created an extraordinary Art Deco-inspired Lalique Maison line of furniture and home accessories ranging from $1,200 to $115,000. The black lacquer and ivory silk bed is $47,000, the black lacquer Dragon Bar $51,000, matching chair $22,000, and my favorite the backgammon set for $14,000. I’m saving my pennies!

The most expensive piece in the store is a one-of-a-kind $840,000 necklace and the most expensive crystal the “Winged Victory” for $190,000. Fret not, though; Explore the majesty and beauty of the spectacular creations and treat yourself to a classic crystal fish from 1913 for $99.

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Alex Stratta, who helmed some of the Strip's most famous restaurants over the years, is now at Marche Bacchus, and his new philosophy is to give the customers what they want.

CHEF HOMECOMING: To celebrate his return to the lakeside Marche Bacchus in Desert Shore, celebrity chef Alex Stratta served an extraordinary nine-course tasting menu. It also introduced his chef de cuisine Jose Aleman, who hails from Simon at Palms Place and six years at Boa Steakhouse and Sushi Roku in the Forum Shops of Caesars Palace. Alex has reimagined the menu now that his protege David Middleton has joined Daniel Boulud to open DB Brasserie at the Venetian.

Alex was sensational with charred octopus, seared prawns, warm duck confit, seared swordfish, roasted salmon, roasted tenderloin of beef and braised lamb shank. For dessert, a Megan Romano warm bread pudding with bourbon cream was one of six desserts the award winner creates. Marche Bacchus hosts Jeff and Rhonda Wyatt have given Alex free reign at their adorable wine store restaurant with a pleasure-packed menu of more than 22 incredible items.

Fine dining casually under the stars on the lake with turtles and swans makes for a truly remarkable and special night, and, Alex, so happy to see you back in Las Vegas at the top of your game! In another culinary note, chef Brian Massie’s new Light Group restaurant name at Red Rock Resort has been updated to be Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar.

‘Sexy de Mayo’ Fiesta With Jessica Burciaga at T&T

Jessica Burciaga hosts at Tacos & Tequila on Monday, May 5, 2014, in the Luxor. Launch slideshow »


Latin bombshell model Jessica Burciaga hosted Cinco de Mayo at Tacos & Tequila in the Luxor minus boyfriend Tyree “DJ Drama” Simmons. Dressed in a neon green cocktail dress with white Manolo Blahnik stilettos, Jessica wore a sexy mustache to drink her tequila shots and presented a $1,000 check to Stacey Alexander as the winner of the Cock-a-Doodle Duels finals.

Actor John Ratzenberger (“Cheers”) enjoyed cocktails and bites at the bar in Social House at Crystals.

“The Expendables” star and MMA hero Randy Couture was at Andiamo Italian Steakhouse in the D Las Vegas with hotel owner Derek Stevens. Also at Andiamo separately: DJ Paul from Three Six Mafia, Mark Boone (“Sons of Anarchy”) and Horny Mike (“Counting Cars”).

Actor Marlon Wayans toured the haunted house at Circus Circus with Fright Dome owner Jason Egan and tried to scare the monsters as they woke from the dead.

Bryan Ferry, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Julian Serrano and MLB legend Don Larsen dined at separate tables in Barry Dakake’s N9NE Steakhouse in the Palms.

“Bar Rescue” host Jon Taffer dined at nearby Nove Italiano, and Scott Kirkland of Crystal Method watched Franky Perez at Lounge at the Palms.

Actors Nicholas Turturro (“NYPD Blue”) and Gary Valentine (“King of Queens”) enjoyed cigars on the patio at Casa Fuente in the Forum Shops.

Loveable 103-year-old Seattle grandmother Evelyn Kottman became an Internet sensation listing Las Vegas at the top of her bucket list. Tourist officials here made her dream come true, and upon landing Evelyn said her first wish was to see the handsome hunks of Thunder From Down Under at Excalibur. That dream also came true!

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Hypnotist Anthony Cools tempers the mood during the Stifler show in the Lounge at the Palms on Saturday, July 14, 2012.


Hypnotist Anthony Cools celebrates his 20th showbiz anniversary with a VIP show at his theater in the Paris.

San Gennaro Feast at the Rio

Violin player Sandor Beke entertains the crowds near the food booths during the San Gennaro Feast at the Rio on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011. Launch slideshow »

The 35th annual San Gennaro Feast starts five nights of food, fun, carnival rides and entertainment with opening-night bands Love Shack, The Fab and Sam Riddle. Pasta, pizza, prosciutto and parmigiano are piled high at Grand Canyon Shopping Center through Sunday. Details:

Fremont East’s entertainment district becomes one big festive block party with the debut of the six-hour Wednesdays Downtown party featuring a food truck village, the world’s greatest happy hour, a “Dirty Bar Fight,” a “Silent Disco” and a Painters Lounge. The inaugural spring series will be held every Wednesday through month’s end.

Hunter Hunted, 21 Pilots and NoNoNo play Brooklyn Bowl at the Linq.


A huge contingent of celebrity chefs arrives on the Strip with sabers for the champagne ceremony to kick off the four days of Vegas Uncork’d, plus our candid conversation with singer LeAnn Rimes, who opens up about her soap-opera life ahead of her weekend concerts at Orleans Showroom.

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.

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