Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 | 9:02 p.m.
Executives at star chef Wolfgang Puck’s Las Vegas restaurants were awakened New Year’s Eve with phone calls from their outpost of Cut steakhouse in the 63-story Address Hotel in Dubai in United Arab Emirates.
Fire had broken out on the 20th floor and quickly exploded upward, sending blazing embers and fiery fascia pieces reigning down on the 10th floor patio of Cut. The Dubai staff was ordered to ensure that all diners and they evacuate immediately.
One of the Dubai managers was on a tour of Wolf’s restaurants here and relieved to learn that employees got to safety, but the restaurant was destroyed.
Wolf’s local partners Tom Kaplan, David Robbins and chef John LaGrone all were in Dubai many times during 2015 for the opening of the restaurant, which here has been named one of the Top Three U.S. steakhouses.
HARLEY PARADE: Riding into town on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and accompanied by 50 others on the noisy hogs can be described as the right way to kick-start a residency.
And that’s exactly what legendary musician John Fogerty will do Tuesday in advance of his “Fortunate Son in Concert” eight-show run starting Friday at the Venetian theater.
The singer-songwriter and guitarist of Creedence Clearwater Revival fame will lead the parade to Doge’s Palace entrance bridge of the Venetian, and he’s promised to call me after he checks in to preview the iconic classics from CCR days and his solo hits.
It’s not Shania Twain on horseback, Mariah Carey in a vintage pink auto or Celine Dion in an SUV limousine, but this is certain to be more thunderous.
CONGRATULATIONS: To Rio headliner magicians Penn & Teller, who 15 years ago Tuesday opened at the off-Strip property. Said Penn: “It’s the best gig we’ve ever had.” The duo, who have their own Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio, are in a six-year contract renewal that takes them through Dec. 31, 2018.
On Jan. 14, they will mark their 22nd year of performing in Las Vegas. They began at Bally’s in 1993.
And to magician Murray Sawchuck, who announced Sunday his 12-month renewal at Planet Hollywood’s Sin City Theater through year’s end.
STUPIDITY AT ITS FINEST! One leading Las Vegas restaurateur reported an almost unbelievable incident over the holiday weekend with a tourist. “It was so incredibly dumb, I thought Ashton Kutcher was hiding behind the wine bottles filming it for ‘Punk’d,’” he told me.
The customer returned the next day after his dinner to complain that his steak tartare had been served raw and as a protest refused to tip his waitress. My friend looked up the customer’s credit card charges, refunded him $19.99 in cash for the steak tartare and another $20 for the tip to embarrass him for what he should have paid the server.
“I was speechless. Just how stupid can it get? Next they’ll complain I’m serving snails when they order escargot!”
Former Wall Street banking researcher Paige Jennings changed her name to Veronica Vain to become a top porn star raking in six-figure deals for her adult-movie career. She’s known for her line, “I’d get naked on ‘Shark Tank’ if they let me.”
The brunette bombshell has flown here for this week’s Consumer Electronics Show and will host entrepreneurs, technology investors and exhibitors at Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club. She’ll explain why she left Wall Street for porn in between striptease dances. Veronica returns at the end of the month for the 2016 AVN/Adult Entertainment Expo.
Actress, director, producer and author Illeana Douglas entertained a rapt audience at Barnes & Noble on Rainbow about growing up in a hippie commune, dining out with her movie-star grandfather Melvyn Douglas and her stage and screen career during Sunday’s signing of her book “I Blame Dennis Hopper.”
Former Las Vegas madam Jami Rodman, who made global headlines hiring Olympic athlete Suzy Favor-Hamilton as one of her prostitutes along with other $7,500-a-night call girls, had a huge turnout for her book signing “Las Vegas Madam” at Books or Books on East Sunset.
“Dancing With the Stars” pro Mark Ballas enjoyed dinner at Tao in the Venetian, while 2015 Miss Universe Pageant judge and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton dined with friends at sister venue Lavo in Palazzo.
Caesars Palace headliner Matt Goss attended nearby “Absinthe” and posed for photos post-show with cast members. Luxor headliner comic Carrot Top also recently watched “Absinthe.”
Mexican pro soccer player Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez treated a large party to dinner at Andrea’s in Steve Wynn’s Encore. Javier, who plays forward for German club Bayer Leverkusen, enjoyed a special celebration menu prepared by executive chef Joseph Elevado. Before dinner, he met the cast of “Le Reve — The Dream” before watching the award-winning aquatic production.
“Pawn Stars” stars Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison and Chumlee threw a holiday party for staff and crew in the ballroom at The D Las Vegas.
Heavyweight fighter “King Mo” Lawal checked into The D fresh from his win in Japan as the Rizin Fighting Federation tournament champion. He flew back to the U.S. immediately after the victory to help corner for UFC champion Robbie Lawler in UFC 195 at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night.
DJ Tiesto dined at Nove Italiano in the Palms ahead of his NYE gig at Hakkasan in MGM Grand. The family-style meal with his group included reminiscing about his time spent at the Palms hanging out with George Maloof and spinning at Rain before he became a mega-star DJ.
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years 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 Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
With top accommodations, first-rate entertainment, high-end shopping and a slew of acclaimed chefs, the Palazzo has positioned itself as one of the most luxurious resorts on the Strip.
More than 3,000 all-suite rooms start at 740 square feet and are decorated in a modern, yet classic, Italian style. Each room features a sleeping area, with a king or two queens, and a sunken living room area with floor to ceiling windows.
A cathedral ceiling tops the Palazzo casino, while a second 80-foot dome brings natural light to the property's lobby. The 105,000 square foot casino features more than 2,000 slots and 80 table games but lacks the stale smell of cigarettes, as the property is LEED certified with smoking off limits in most of the Palazzo — including 50 percent of the casino floor.
Dining at the Palazzo is among the best of the Strip, starting with Wolfgang Puck's CUT. Chef Simon To serves up authentic Chinese cuisine at Zine, while Sushisamba combines Brazilian and Peruvian flavors with Japanese techniques. At LAVO, club-goers can dine on Mediterranean dishes before heading upstairs to the bath house-inspired nightclub.
In the spirit of Venice, The Venetian is a little piece of romantic Italy right here in Las Vegas. The Venetian is an "all-suite" hotel, with rooms accented with plush linens and Italian marble. The 4,027 suites are divided into two towers: The 36-story Venetian Tower that offers guests a taste of luxurious Las Vegas and the Venezia suites, which guarantee 12 floors of high-end elegance. The top five floors are the hotel's highest level of luxury with its private access, concierge lounge, upgraded features and even a dedicated staff.
The flagship of Venetian nightlife is TAO, an ultra-hip nightclub located inside of TAO Asian Bistro. V Bar is The Venetian's super smooth ultra lounge, made by the owners of New York City's club Lotus and Los Angeles' super swank Sunset Room.
The Venetian features 19 restaurants including Thomas Keller's award-winning French restaurant Bouchon, Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante, Aquaknox for fresh seafood and the 42,000 square foot TAO Asian Bistro. There's also the food court inside the Canal Shoppes for those looking for a quick bite.
Guests can float along The Grand Canal Shops in an authentic Italian gondola ride and pass stores like Burberry and Kenneth Cole along the way. And if you haven't caught a real celeb, on the street in Vegas, you can head over to Madame Tussauds to check out a wax version.