Las Vegas is the city where crustaceans go to die. Apart from the copious amounts of tea I drank this past weekend at the World Tea Expo at Mandalay Bay (see Squid Ink for the dispatches), I also ate lots of seafood. The populace at large, in fact, seems to have seafood on the brain. I spotted this sweater and necklace at the Betsey Johnson store at the Miracle Mile Shops at the Planet Hollywood Resort.
Then, at one of the casinos, there was this unique and vaguely disturbing vending machine called The Maine Lobster Game. “You catch it, we cook it free!” the machine proclaims.
There is a fierce debate on the Yelp boards as to which of the buffets has the best seafood. The Bellagio, the Rio, and the Wynn seem to be the top competitors. This is what the crustaceans look like at the Wynn, where I ate one night.
On the recommendation of my Jamaican cab driver, I also ate at the Rio's seafood buffet. I neglected to take photos, however, so mesmerized was I by the clips of various Discovery programs playing on the flat-screen TV's outside the restaurant. As you stand in line, you watch grizzly bears grabbing salmon, and the grizzled old men from Deadliest Catch hauling in pot after pot of Alaskan king crab from the Bering sea. It whips you into a kind of seafood frenzy.
Then, staring at these guys swimming around in the massive aquarium at the lobby of the Mandalay Bay, it's tough not to wonder, “What do they taste like?”