GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

December 19, 2013

Las Vegas Weekly

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NIGHTS C O C KTA I L O F T H E W E E K > A CHRISTMAS STORY Andy Caldwell will spend his holiday on the decks at Light. NOT-SO-SILENT NIGHT Party spots point to opportunity and consistency for keeping their doors open on Christmas For most, Christmas Day is entrenched in tradition: swapping gifts, eating candied ham and watching the exploits of young Ralphie with loved ones. Even local nightlife sticks to custom, which is why it will be business as usual for several party spots on December 24 and 25. And why not—Christmas is arguably the biggest birthday celebration of them all. On December 25, Light will employ Bay Area producer/DJ Andy Caldwell, and Surrender will feature Philadelphia native and resident open-format beatslanger Mighty Mi. Reps stressed their respective clubs' commitment to their Wednesday industry nights in explaining why doors would remain open for Christmas. "We wanted to be sure to offer our locals and guests the opportunity to come out after the festivities and enjoy some drinks and good music with family and friends," says Pauly Freedman, director of operations at Surrender. In addition, ladies-night events will take place at Ghostbar and the new Geisha House on West Flamingo Road. Revolver will have a Naughty or Nice party (see Hot Spots). And Crazy Horse III will be celebrating "XXXMas." You can even pre-party during Christmas Eve, at spots such as Hyde at Bellagio, Piranha, Beauty Bar—it's Nickel Beer night, after all—and Surrender, which booked DJ Sharam to celebrate Persian Christmas, says Freedman, adding that "Las Vegas has become a destination for concerts and festivities during this holiday period." –Mike Prevatt CHECKING IN WITH ... LAX sets itself apart by favoring live performers over EDM DJs It's Saturday at LAX Nightclub and the line is a mélange of cowboys hanging around after NFR and the post-Jay Z concert crowd. ¶ At one point in the evening, the DJ has the chutzpah to segue "The Imperial March" from Star Wars right into Baauer's "Harlem Shake"—with Darth Vader and a bunch of stormtroopers rolling up to the DJ booth for the now-iconic dance. And since this was the Sexy Santa Holiday Party, there was definitely a twerking Mrs. Claus there. Yeah, it was that kind of night. ¶ Compare that scene, say, to that of Light or Hakkasan—newer clubs that have made the EDM-plosion part of their identity—and the vibe difference is obvious. But that's exactly what LAX is banking on. It has more or less eschewed the BPM-centric programming of other clubs, though it did dabble in it a few years ago. ¶ Today, the club emphasizes open-format DJs and live hip-hop and R&B performances. In 2013, LAX featured the likes of Method Man, Jeremih, Too $hort, Miguel and Keri Hilson, the latter to return for the club's New Year's Eve fête. And such bookings match the gothic Hollywood mansion look of the club, which lacks the huge screens and intricate lighting systems of EDM-friendly venues. ¶ Seven years sounds like a long time for a club, but age ain't nothing but a number. If its quasi-counter-programming approach or (admit it) twerking elves sound like your kinda scene, LAX is definitely worth revisiting. –Jorge Labrador LAX NIGHTCLUB Wednesday-Monday, doors at 10 p.m., (closed through December 26). Luxor, 262-4529. Settebello's Summerlin location features the forest-y Miguel Douglas Summerlin residents no longer have to trek to Green Valley to satiate their Settebello fix. The Napoletana Pizzeria's new location at Village Square serves up the same soft, foldable crusts, but the west-side spot has something the east side doesn't—craft cocktails. One in particular may even ignite a westward customer migration. The Miguel Douglas ($11) appears to be another unassuming, citrus-y cocktail in a coupe. But then the fresh wood/forest aroma gently drifts your way. Steve McCarthy of Clear Creek Distillery worked on perfecting this cocktail's key ingredient, the Douglas Fir Eau de Vie, for 10 years. It's made from an infusion of hand-picked Douglas fir buds into clear brandy. –Sabrina Chapman 1 ½ oz. el Jimador Tequila Blanco ½ oz. Douglas Fir Eau de Vie ¾ oz. fresh lime juice ½ oz. grapefruit syrup (recipe below) 2 drops of saline solution k Zest six large grapefruits with a microplane, then juice. Double strain juice and weigh on gram scale. Add equal parts sugar into juice and stir in zest. Combine all in a saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let sit one hour. Strain out grapefruit zest and pour into container. k Add syrup and remaining ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist. ANDY CALDWELL COURTESY LIGHT GROUP; LAX COURTESY; SETTEBELLO COCKTAIL BY BILL HUGHES BE OUR GUEST WOOD THAT BE A TREE IN MY DRINK? 32 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 19–25, 2013 32_Nights_20131219.indd 2 12/17/13 3:23 PM

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