10 New Reasons to Visit the Strip

6. Blue Man Group. This longtime favorite show featuring a trio of playful music-making blue mutes, who previously performed at the Luxor and then the Venetian, moved to the 1,200-seat Monte Carlo Theatre in October 2012. If you’ve seen previous iterations of this show, you’ll recognize some of their signature skits (paint drumming and gumball/marshmallow canvas spitting) alongside new acts (including their amusing interaction with enormous iPads) to help keep the show fresh. You can’t help tapping your feet to the catchy beats — or wondering how they get that glossy blue grease paint out of their nostrils post-performance.
7. Sensi. At this Bellagio restaurant, which features Asian and Italian specialties, the glass-encased kitchen takes center stage. After ordering a pear blossom cocktail, I turn my attention to the man making naan just a few feet away. A minute later, the hot naan arrives to my table in a bread basket with two dipping sauces. The fresh-shucked West Coast oysters, yellowtail sashimi, and wood-roasted mussels and clams made for delicious starters. The TLC roll (tempura, lobster, and crab) with whipped avocado and siracha aioli may well be the best sushi roll I’ve ever had. And though my eyes were bigger than my stomach when I ordered, the little room I saved for the porcini-rubbed ribeye with black truffle béarnaise was well worth the indulgence.
8. Hyde. The indoor/outdoor venue Hyde Bellagio is billed as a nightclub, but if you get there before the sun goes down (opens nightly at 5 p.m.) it’s much more of a swanky lounge complete with a mixology program and appetizers. The terrace backs up to the Bellagio fountains, which is the best free attraction in Vegas. The patio’s partial glass enclosure blocks you from the spray — unless, like me, you’re there on a windy night, in which case some light mist will find its way to you. In the summer, this would no doubt feel refreshing, but during our winter visit, Hyde’s heat lamps kept us toasty.
9. Tetsu. From the communal counter in Aria’s Tetsu Teppan Grill, my eye quickly lands on the day’s produce, meat, and seafood proudly displayed on ice in the center of the room. Michelin-decorated Chef Masa Takayama’s menu changes daily to ensure you are served the freshest ingredients. Our chef offers us an inspection of each item before cooking it in front of us — including an unexpected meet-and-greet with the poor blue lobster that was about to lose his life. He was, by far, the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. The filet mignon, Wagyu garlic fried rice, caviar, Teppan vegetables, and soba ice cream amounted to an extraordinary dining combination: the best meal of my life — a rare find for this foodie.
10. Absinthe. Performed in-the-round in a small tent on the Caesar’s Palace forecourt, Absinthe is a racy over-18 variety show. Initially, I was disappointed with our last-row seats, but then I realized there are only a handful of rows in this intimate theatre and the stage is close enough to see the sweat glistening on the performers. With aerial acts, a seductive tap dance, some off-color comedy bits with plenty of audience participation, and a roller-skating duo’s fast-paced spinning routine that left me gripping my friend’s arm and praying they didn’t accidentally fly into the audience, I was thoroughly entertained. If you’re not easily offended and enjoy being thisclose to the action, Absinthe is a night to remember.
JILL SCHILDHOUSE is a writer based in Arizona.
For More Information
Call your local AAA Travel professional at 1-888-870-9392 or visit AAA.com. Or download a AAA eTourBook® Guide to Las Vegas. 
If You Go
Monte Carlo Theater
3770 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
​Bellagio Las Vegas
3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Bellagio Las Vegas
3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd. 
ARIA Resort & Casino
3730 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Caesar's Palace
3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
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