Greek Isles finds its niche in the sun

Jan 25, 2005 11:44 AM

If you’re unfamiliar with the Greek Isles Hotel & Casino at 305 Convention Center Drive, you might remember the property by a couple of previous incarnations — it was Debbie Reynold’s Hollywood Hotel and before that it was the Paddlewheel.

For some reason, the "no man’s land" halfway between the Strip and Paradise Road has been a graveyard for many businesses. The nearby Royal Hotel has changed hands and lost its casino; even the long-time pharmacy across the street finally closed its door last year.

Nevertheless, the Greek Isles seems to have found a home, at least for now. Its modest casino is a bright-and-airy affair with Mediterranean artwork on the walls and about 100 slots and video gaming machines on the floor.

Most of the latest games are here, as well as linked progressives. Players will also find multi-denomination video poker and video keno games.

But the casino isn’t the star attraction here. Yanni’s restaurant has become one of the better Mediterranean bistros in town. If specialties such as moussaka, grape leaves, hummus, spanakopita and shish kabobs pique your culinary interest, then Yanni’s has the right recipe.

If you’re unfamiliar with Greek or Middle Eastern cuisine, you can still feast on a great leg of lamb, sea bass, swordfish, grilled salmon, pork chops, breast of chicken, New York Strip steak or any other coffee shop dishes.

In addition to a great restaurant, the Greek Isles is home to a couple of modest though entertaining production shows.

First, the well-traveled "Tribute to Frank, Sammy, Joey & Dean" seems to have found receptive audience at the Greek Isles. Actually, it’s nice to see the Rat Pack hasn’t been forgotten as Las Vegas plunges full steam ahead into the 21st century.

A couple of the show’s stars, Luis Velez and Pete Wilcox, do drop-dead impressions of Sammy Davis and Dean Martin, respectively, while Sandy Hackett does a fair rendition of a wise-cracking Joey Bishop.