My look at Hakkasan

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of Las Vegas clubs. This blog is called food plus techno, after all, not “food plus main­stream edm.” But I will always jump at the chance to see what’s new on the scene, if only because Vegas prop­er­ties seem­ingly spare no expense when it comes to build­ing these bad boys.

Last week I sucked it up through Steve Aoki and his inflat­able air mat­tress (what, does the Wynn own the rights to the raft?), to check out this amaz­ing wall of visu­als behind the main­stage, and a bang­ing sound sys­tem, even if I didn’t care much for the sounds com­ing out of them.

Check out more of my obser­va­tions here on Star­tle and Forbes Travel Guide:
Nightlife Hot Spot Hakkasan Opens in Vegas

Enter with a bang… part 1

Food and techno don’t cross paths very often, but it’s a delight when they do. Some of the most renowned techno pio­neers and DJs are lovers of good food — being world trav­el­ers allows them this lux­ury. When I had the good for­tune to inter­view Richie Hawtin last month before Elec­tric Daisy Fes­ti­val, we dis­cussed not only what was sup­posed to be his ENTER. con­cept at the fes­ti­val, but also food. Really good food. And I real­ized he had been to nearly every restau­rant in the world that I needed to go to — Noma, Mead­owood, French Laun­dry, El Bulli — and then some.

The ENTER. con­cept which Hawtin is launch­ing as part of his res­i­dency begin­ning tomor­row (July 5)  at Space in Ibiza, is a grander idea, with more mov­ing parts, includ­ing a technology-driven area (remem­ber the Con­takt 2008 tour with The Cube?), and a sake room with sake that has never before been exported out­side of Japan. Turns out Hawtin is a trained sake som­me­lier, pur­su­ing the endeavor purely out of his love for the spirit. He’s com­pleted two stages of the four-stage process; all that’s left is to con­tinue to build his palate by tast­ing sake all over Japan. Iron­i­cally, in Japan, sake isn’t cool to drink, with the younger crowd eschew­ing the tra­di­tional bev­er­age for beer and hand crafted cock­tails. “Sake is what your Dad drinks,” Hawtin laughs.

While I did cover his stage at EDC (that never hap­pened due to high winds) for Vegas  Seven, there’s a lot that I couldn’t fit into that piece. So here’s the tran­script of the recorded part of our inter­view over sake and sashimi at Shibuya at MGM Grand.

[Read more…]