Crystals’ stores good venue for ‘whales’

Dec 22, 2009 5:00 PM
Around Town by Eileen Di Rocco |

WINDOW SHOPPING: If you can’t get to New York’s Fifth Avenue or Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive to gawk at the stores where the rich, famous and not-so-famous beautiful people shop, you can now head to Crystals right here in Las Vegas.

Once we finished looking at all the wonderful artwork at the upscale shopping mall at CityCenter last week, we turned our attention to the stores. Of course, without beaucoup bucks this is strictly a window shopping excursion.

Although shoppers were sparse and almost all were just looking, too, we have no doubt the whales who come to town for New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year will be buying; this is their venue.

But, if Santa brings you a little cash for Christmas you might want to check out places like Tiffany & Co., which offers a wide array of exclusive collections in a 10,000-square-foot, two-level store. Probably most noted for their diamond engagement rings (there were several couples checking them out), Tiffany also offers sterling silver jewelry, watches, gifts and accessories along with the signature designs of Elsa Peretti, Paloma Picasso and Frank Gehry.

Louis Vuitton is another of the two-level stores. In addition to the well-known luggage and handbags, they offer men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, watches, jewelry, sunglasses, textiles, ties and accessories.

If you’re looking to add a little spice to your life, you might want to stop at Kiki De Montparnasse, which specializes in romantic, sexy items. But Kiki is also kinky. In addition to the usual array of lingerie and various sensual bath and body fragrances, you can also pick up a nifty pair of gold plated handcuffs, leather accessories and instruments of pleasure.

If your idea of entertaining is more conventional, you will enjoy browsing for a new book for your coffee table or library at Assouline. The publishing company creates fine illustrated books, luxury editions and a gift line dedicated to fashion, photography, art and design.

Other stores include Ilori, offering exclusive designer eyewear; Mikimoto, originator of cultured pearls; Nanette Lepore, noted for her vibrant prints and fitted, flirty silhouettes; Tom Ford, showing an extremely modern vision for menswear; Bulgari, Cartier, Bally, Van Cleef & Arpels, Porsche Design and Marni, among others.

WALMART? What was CNN’s Susan Lisovicz thinking Wednesday morning when she compared the opening of Aria and CityCenter to the opening of a Walmart store?

BURGERS & SHAKES: If you want something a little less high-end, but still interesting, try BLT Burger at The Mirage. The attitude is casual, the milkshakes are cool and the burgers are great.

The creation of acclaimed Chef Laurent Tourondel, this burger joint offers beef, American Kobe, lamb and turkey served on soft buns with all the trimmings you can imagine. The guys in our group ordered the Tex-Mex with jalapenos, chili, avocado, salsa, jack cheese and onion sour cream. The girls chose Tandoori (one lamb, one beef) with mint-cilantro yogurt sauce, olives, red onion and tomato. We all shared sweet potato fries with chili spice (yum). We also tried the fried dill pickles, which were much better than we thought they would be.

The circular, open-grill kitchen added interest as we were able to watch our meals being prepared to perfection.

We counted 20-plus beers on tap, enough to complement almost any burger, and the wine list was extensive. Also, the numerous flat screens offer a great view of the ongoing games no matter where you’re sitting, and the rock and roll music gives the BLT that old-fashioned burger joint atmosphere – a great place to enjoy a bite to eat with friends.

Merry Christmas to all. See you around town.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Eileen Di Rocco