Elvis Didn’t Sing at the Wedding – Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas

ritz carlton, las vegas - smoked salmon with israeli cous cous
Oh me. Oh my.

It seems that I have…*sigh*

It seems that I have…led you on. Through this innocent flirtation, I have been leading you astray, never outwardly lying nor stating a mis-truth about me and my Delicious Life, but…well, not ever correcting you in your incorrect assumptions, skipping away from direct questions with a flip of my hair and a mysterious smile, only to return whence the subject has changed. Just letting you believe what you wanted to believe based on what you read, letting you conjure your own image of me in your mind – it’s a fabulously charming image, no doubt. She who bathes herself in Absolut Citron before slipping into her Cynthia Rowley wedges, hangs on the arms of dashing young men, flits from one cool restaurant to the next hot restaurant during the week, dances the night into the morning on the weekends, and still pulls off dinner parties for fifty of her closest BFFs with elegance and grace, all the while never missing an episode of her beloved double fantasy Tony and Tyler. She’s crazy. She’s an LA girl. She’s a party girl. She’s a tiger in the kitchen, but a kitten…in the dining room.

And even in an introductory post about a “wild” less-than-24-hours bender in Vegas – well, I don’t believe that I even used the words “wild” and “bender,” and yet, that is the picture you see. That is the illusion I would have you believe, that I touched down at McCarran, straight off the plane from LA, I’ve got my Bucci Bag, I’ve got my Pradski dress. And I. Am. Ready. To party all night? So it would seem. So very much so it would seem. Past experiences driving up the I-15 with friends, America West, Pharaoh’s Pheast, the palmolive-tinted tart…it was all smoke and mirrors.

Forgive me, won’t you? Even though I most certainly know what I do? I haven’t told you everything.

I did not party in Vegas. I didn’t stroll through any casino in my usual “Vegas ho” gear except to get from the lobby to the elevators. I didn’t step foot within a 50-foot radius of a single club.

In fact, I was not even in Vegas with friends.

I was there with my Mom.

For a wedding.

For her friend’s son.

Yes, I had the exact same initial reaction you are having now when Mom told me that she needed me to go with her to this wedding. First, I balked at the suggestion of going to Vegas, then immediately after, I’m sure I had a look of utter disgust at the idea of someone having their wedding in Vegas. I mean really now, who gets married in Vegas other than drunk-to-the-point-of-blacking-out clubbers who have known each other all of three-and-a-half hours since they sloppily met on the balcony in the main room of Tao, and…Britney Spears? Getting married in Vegas is stupid, cheesy, and well, it’s kind of trashy. Or so I thought.

Mom and I were staying in The Luxor because that’s where the wedding party had provided rooms for the guests. Believe me, had it been my choice, we would have been…back in LA. Anyway, as we got ready for the evening wedding, taking turns at various brightly-lit and full-length mirrors around the room, I couldn’t help but imagine how horrible it was going to be. The wedding was taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel, which, in any other tropical, VIP, ooh la la setting, is a high-end luxury hotel. However, the Las Vegas Four Seasons is right there on The Strip, right next to the Luxor, which kind of implicates it as one of those Vegas hotels – lobbies clanging with slot machines and crowded with wandering tourists clad in Reeboks, Dockers shorts, hooded sweatshirts tied around their waists and clear plastic visors embellished with flamingoes. We finished primping and headed out, but not before my Mother gave me a once over and insisted that I carry a different purse, which of course, she pulled out of the bottom of her suitcase, planned that way since LA.

Thankfully, the wait for a cab was only 15 minutes since it was still long before Vegas prime time. As we inched along the velvet rope of the cab line, cringing at each shrill blow of the doorman’s whistle, Mom gave me the full life story of her friend’s family (the groom’s side), the bride’s family, and eveything else I needed to know to be a smiling, politely nodding, charming wedding guest.

When we got to the front of the cab line, I almost choked. The chariot that awaited to take my mother and me to a wedding, and at the Four Seasons no less, was orange. Orange is not an odd color for a cab, but the cab was covered from tip to tail in bright orange fur. The cab looked like a genetic experiment with bright neon orange Finding Nemo and fuzzy dice gone horribly, horribly, mutantly, wrong. I looked at Mom, who was laughing her head off. She grabbed my arm and pulled me into the cab. I found it that it was a marketing and promo effort for Avenue Q, a show at the Wynn.

All my high-pitched, squawking preconceived notions about Vegas hotels, even though this was to be the Four Seasons, dissolved into a quiet admiration when we stepped out of our mobile fuzzy Nemo. The Four Seasons maintains its identity, even amongst the garish, gaudy glitz and pseudo-glamour of Vegas. The doorman was polite and respectful, inquired about where we were headed, and directed us to an easel in the lobby. The lobby was hushed, not uncomfortably, but refreshingly. There were no tourists. There were no gaming tables. There were no slot machines. The Four Seasons is a hotel, not a mega casino-resort. Our heels clack clack clacked on the floor as we headed toward the staircase. I love hearing that.


roses are red you need something blue…

The wedding was on the second floor. Mom spied her friend on the landing and immediately, they latched onto each other as only Korean ah-joo-mah life-long friends do. Introductions all around, and of course, I was the charming daughter, answering questions about what I’ve been doing since I was eight years old, sometimes interspersed with what little Korean I know, politely curious questions about how they have all been, and of course, genuinely admiring how beautiful my Mom’s friend looked in her mother-of-the-groom outfit. I can be smooove when I have to be.

The ceremony was t
he same as every other wedding ceremony I’ve ever been to. Like every other ceremony, it was also very fast. Isn’t that always the case? A bride plans and plans and plans for months, sometimes years, on end, and then the most important part is over in less than 30 minutes. While the families and wedding party took the official photgrapher’s pictures, the guests poured out into the hallway to wait. And eat.


tender and impossibly warm

ignore the ’70s toothpick

Wedding food is not commonly known as “very good.” Sometimes it’s “good,” but even that classification is relative because by the time the wedding party has finished taking photos of the bride and groom in every permutation of poses with members of the opposing families (oops, did I say “opposing?” I totally meant to), the guests are famished. However, I was surprised by the passed hors d’oeuvre from the the Four Seasons.


knobby and gnarled breadsticks

swiped from a passing tray – tuan tartar

Tiny squares of seared filet were tender, impossibly warm, and tastefully garnished with a fairy brushstroke of horseradish cream and a slice of cornichon. Though I usually snicker at toothpicks, as it reminds me of retro 1960s cocktail parties with Li’l Smokies and cheeseballs, these were holding shimmering ribbons of bacon around water chestnuts. Yes, a bit 70s, but still delicious. I missed some of the dishes since I was spending quite a bit of time appreciating the hosted bar, but I did turn around to snap a photo of a tray of knobby, gnarled breadsticks stacked like logs. The last thing I grabbed off a passing tray was tuna tartar heavily fragrant with sesame and garlic. I scraped the tuna off with my top teeth, tossed the somewhat hard toast round in the trashcan, and washed it down with my cocktail. Mom grabbed my arm with her left hand, gripped her wine with her right hand, and ushered me into the dining room. We sat down at the groom’s family’s table. I felt like a VIP. Or maybe that was my third cocktail.


better than jordan almonds

The dinner reception, like the ceremony, was nothing extraordinary. The room was dim and well-decorated, and each place was tastefully set. There was no band nor dj, just jazzy background music playing over the speakers. Somehow, that appealed to me, as the hyperactive emcee-type DJs always seem to be somewhat jarring to a wedding mood. The one thing that stuck out to me like a fashion model amongst ugly people was the wedding favor. The bride and groom, I found out later, are “just like that.” Instead of giving each guest some “memory” junk trinket with their names and their wedding date on it that would end up in the trash can with all the lipstick-stained cocktail napkins and toothpicks, they had chosen to put that $3 per guest toward a charity of the guest’s choosing. I checked off the Red Cross on the little slip of paper and dropped it into a vase on the table.


chipper chicken or siffut

israeli couscous, something new

Our dinner was, again, “good.” Let’s not forget that we had experienced the one of the seven wonders of the dining world, Pharaoh’s Pheast buffet, for lunch. I have to be honest, I don’t love salmon, but chose it because I wanted to try Israeli cous cous, which I had often read and heard about, but never tasted. At first, I thought they were albino baby peas! They were soft, slightly chewy, and something I’d love to make at home. Israeli cous cous. It sounds so exotic. Okay, and I really wanted to eat the fried shallots on top of the salmon :)

Mom and I didn’t stay for much longer after we finished dinner. We watched the “program” all the way through to the cake-cutting, then left before the dancing started. Mom wanted to hit up Ra in our hotel before it got too crowded.

Just kidding. I said I never straight-up lie like that.

The Four Seasons
3960 Las Vegas Blvd, South
Las Vegas, NV 89119
702.632.5000

www.fourseasons.com

** a year ago today: how eggs, like guys, can win me over **

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Catherine April 5, 2006 at 6:00 am

At least the fish dinner looks tasteful!

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2 Sam April 5, 2006 at 6:09 am

ha ha – i was laughing at that cab on sunday!

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3 Somi April 5, 2006 at 6:38 am

you should taste Iranian foods too. They taste really delicous.

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4 sarah April 5, 2006 at 7:22 am

cat: it was salmon, which i normally don’t eat out too much, but it was lightly smoked and caramelized, so it was pretty good :)

sam: oh sam, laugh at my pain, too ;)

somi: is that like persian food? i have tried it many times. i love it. just haven’t blogged about it yet :) thanks for stopping by!

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5 s'kat April 5, 2006 at 12:36 pm

Ha! I knew there was something impossibly fishy about the whole Vegas thing!

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6 santos. April 5, 2006 at 12:40 pm

the four seasons is in the mandalay complex, along with like, two other hotels (reid is loyal to the mandalay, i prefer the hotel at mandalay). you could’ve walked from the luxor lobby through the mandalay bay shops into mandalay bay and to the four seasons. it’s no more than a 10-15 minute air-conditioned schlep through non-smoking, almost casino-free hallways (you could convince your mom to do the walk by telling her the casino in the mandalay is better than the lux….)

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7 david hong April 5, 2006 at 1:19 pm

The Four Seasons is wonderful at Las Vegas!

Cheers to the bride for allowing the wedding at Vegas! She must golf and like sports!

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8 sarah April 5, 2006 at 4:38 pm

s’kat: yes, and thank goodness it wasn’t MY wedding, right? ;)

santos: i love The Hotel! i stayed there last year and didn’t ever want to leave the hotel room. everyone would want togo and gamble and i was like…you guys go ahead. i’ll juts kick it here in my room with the mini bar. LOL! and yes, we figured we could walk through ( i think someone at the frnt desk told us that ) but, then, but…i guess i would never have gotten to ride my chariot of orange fire.

david: actually, they picked vegas because both of them were from different hometowns, lived in different cities, were in the midst of moving to nyc together, and ALL of their friends were all over the globe, so they didn’t know where to do it, so they figured they’d do it somewhere everyone could fly for cheap, and still have a decent time.

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9 Anonymous April 5, 2006 at 6:19 pm

I don’t typically care for salmon, but that picture looks really YUMMY!

Referring to your previous post: I’ve never heard that Asians don’t like gambling but I guess that is true for the most part.

I’m korean and I like to gamble. Blackjack is my friend. :) My friend’s flip mom moved to Vegas specifically to gamble. I always thought the cheesiness of Vegas would go right along with the whole Asian obsession with karaoke. haha.

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10 jackt April 5, 2006 at 10:09 pm

hahaha i just saw your pic caption for the menu. “chipper chicken”!!! haha my favorite movie. don’t forget the “vaal”.

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11 Maure April 6, 2006 at 3:18 am

israeli couscous should really be
a pantry staple of your young lady.
it’s so freakin’ versatile – excellent hot or cold and is always
a crowd pleaser. i know it’s carried at whole foods and surfas – even saw it at albertson’s, in the kosher food aisle near the oh so sad looking gefilte fish.

p.s., i want to party with your mom some day.

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12 Maure April 6, 2006 at 3:48 am

p.p.s.

“a year ago today: how eggs, like guys, can win me over”

i knew you were a romantic at heart, not the hard-boiled girl you appear to be.

i gotta feeling that you’ld just melt at the sight of a dozen eggs delivered to you by the fdd guy, that and a grab-bag of takeout from
jp’s around the corner are your
weakness.

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13 Daily Gluttony April 6, 2006 at 3:55 am

ha ha, i have to agree w/ jackt…i loooove the “chipper chicken” line! Did the groom wear a “blue tuxah-do”? LOL!

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14 hermz May 5, 2006 at 5:03 pm

I saw Avenue Q in NY with Julie, and I highly recommend it the next time you’re in Vegas. :) Stupid Wynn, though… he’s all into Broadway, and he bought out several plays. Meaning, Avenue Q will be shown nowhere in the US except for NYC and Vegas. He “owns” it. >:(

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15 hermz May 5, 2006 at 5:03 pm

I saw Avenue Q in NY with Julie, and I highly recommend it the next time you’re in Vegas. :) Stupid Wynn, though… he’s all into Broadway, and he bought out several plays. Meaning, Avenue Q will be shown nowhere in the US except for NYC and Vegas. He “owns” it. >:(

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16 Jess September 13, 2006 at 7:16 am

My husband and I had a great experience in staying at the hotel under the same name last year, imagine!? It’s in Cyprus – in Limassol Four Seasons!!! I have only good memories about it, moreover it was our honeymoon!!! Cyprus itself is a fairy tale!!! Las Vegas is also very exciting, especially its wild nightlife!!! But as a matter of fact there is a little difference between staying at the hotel with the windows looking at the see and at crowded roads!!! When you’re looking through the windows of the hotel and see this unbelievable game of the colors of the see and this unforgettable beauty, you understand what you are living for!!! It impressed me mostly with its splendid yachts, villas, restaurants, casinos, clubs, an excellent service and delicious food and drinks!!! Thus, I sincerely advice you to visit this wonderful part of the world!!! But for honeymoon it’s perfect!!!

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