Author: Ben Totanes


Michael Jackson One

I could say that Michael Jackson One is the best show ever in Vegas that is happening right now. Fresh and innovative, it somehow gives a refreshing feeling unlike the Michael Jackson IMMORTAL world tour. The latest Cirque provides a relaxing feeling and a happy mood most specially to MJ followers.

Although there were some unclear purposes in some acts, I must admit the show was excellently presented particularly on the technical side. The technical aspect provides a brilliant execution of the performance and I really stayed in awe at the sight of the performers doing their acts on the stage.


I hear people utter a rave review of the show which according to them is an awesome presentation which amazes the viewing public especially that watching the show made them feel that MJ came back to life. It’s one kind of a performance that people gets to crave for shows in the Sin City.

Along the way, people get the feel of Michael Jackson’s presence as they take a glimpse of the posters and decorations that make each spectator smile.

This was so far the best show I saw and I would highly recommend this Cirque as a must-see show particularly to fans of MJ.

I loved every aspect of the show which is really worth the try despite the high cost of tickets. The music and the performances were just wonderful and great that I would love to watch it again as I feel the presentation brings me back to the memories of a great performer that makes me think as if he were still alive, which millions of his fans and persistent followers stay as unrelenting and not forgetful of their greatest idol who is a music icon of all times catering to the young and the adult.

Click here to go back to the main article.

The Riviera Comedy Club

The Riviera Comedy Club really puts up great entertainment for everyone as it provides great time. It can make a whole lot of laugh to every member of the family.


There may be a little bit of lapses in some other aspects but, because the comedians give so much fun, it gives greater entertainment value compared to other shows in Vegas where tickets are priced more.

A lot of patrons claim that this comedy club offers fantastic shows with great comedy, great seats and viewers get the worth of their money while enjoying a great show and I saw that myself.


The performers of the show are excellent comedians. The club personnel extend sweet smiles creating a friendly atmosphere.

I am likewise amazed with the various pictures posted on the walls of the performers who have become part of the comedy shows, that include the pictures of Rat Pack, Dean Martin, Liberace, Debbie Reynolds, Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra and a lot more.

The comedy show features great performers as well as great performances and yet the tickets are well priced as they are affordable. With tickets of low cost, you get to watch funny and enjoyable performances.

The comedians put up a very funny show enough to tickle the crowd as they perform their hilarious tricks.

Except for the little space that somehow makes the area appear crowded, the comedy being provided makes up for the minute lapses.

I am really mesmerized as I and my friends savored the great time we were able to experience through the comedians’ funny antics that really sent the audience to a wild laughter.

Adding to the experience is the considerable service offered by the theater staff who provided great assistance and attention to clients and visitors. The comedy club received high reviews and has been highly recommended for some old-school comedy.

I recommend it as well.

Click here to go back to the main article.

Hot and Juicy Crawfish: A mouthwatering haven for seafood and savory food lovers

I grew up loving seafood and I can say give me anything out of the saltwaters and I would definitely eat it with gusto!

A seafood dining experience always excites me and if I have one place I love to go to have that experience, it would be Hot N Juicy Crawfish along Spring Mountain Road.


Hot and Juicy Crawfish Photo Credit: Las Vegas Top Picks

Upon entering the place, you’ll be greeted by the savory aroma of the food they serve. Bet it was one of the reasons why the restaurant was featured in the show Man vs. Food.

Aside from the love of seafood, I also want that hot and spicy taste for my gastronomic cravings and HnJC serves it in complete package.

The seafood is served in a bag, boiled and seasoned, and you can choose from five sauces, hot and spicy to go with your dish. The crab legs, the shrimp and the crawfish are a blast!

Hot and Juicy Crawfish seafoods in a bag. Photo Credit: Tripadvisor

Hot and Juicy Crawfish seafoods in a bag.
Photo Credit: Tripadvisor

The shrimp in garlic butter flavor is delicious. You can always ask for an extra helping of lime and lemons with salt and pepper for added flavor on your dish.

HnJC is basically a joint where it is normal to get dirty and messy while eating. It would be more gastronomically delightful to get your hands on the seafood and enjoy eating them without any pretense. But if you’re not in for the messy stuff, the staff will provide you with bibs and plastic gloves and there’s always a roll of tissue paper on every table.

Apart from the sumptuous seafood served, their Cajun fries is also great, with its crispness and tastiness.

The ambiance is very casual and it is a perfect place to hang out and spend good times with friends.

All in all, food and service was great and I wouldn’t think twice on coming back each time my mouth waters for the hot and spicy seafood they serve.

Click here to go back to main article

Rainforest Cafe

Going to Rainforest Café which is located inside the MGM Grand provides a taste of some adventure and I would say the atmosphere is quite awesome as it caters to every member of the family from children to adults.

When you’re inside then you are in for an experience that gives a touch of uniqueness as I find it a different experience described as far from the usual.


The whole family gets real entertainment with the various features of the place which offers a whole lot of experience from the venue to the ambiance. My experience may not be the same as others’ but I would suggest it is a great haven for families who would like to seek a perfect place to go despite some grievances on the food preparation which I find not so special but on the part of the personnel who provide service to the customers, they have at least attributed to invigorating the lost enthusiasm for they have displayed much attention and good service to their clients. They made sure that the clients will have an enjoyable stay in the venue.

The simulated rainstorms with thunder and lightning have provided fun especially with the younger generation and may be for the whole family, the gift shop would have been a perfect shop containing a wide array of selection.

Click here to go back to the main article.

Village Seafood Buffet

If you happen to drop by the Village Seafood Buffet at the Rio, this place will surely titillate each and everyone’s palate!

We really love the seafood preparations and they are so amazing. What with their sashimi, crabs, oysters, clams and what have you…You’ll get to love this seafood buffet once you get to experience it… the soft lobsters and prime ribs and a lot more to choose from. I have only one objection, though…and it is the cost.

I could have given it a five-star rate but because I have a little bit of a problem with the cost you have to spend, I am just giving it a four-star rating.


But if you consider the quality of the food, perhaps you would think on second thoughts that you have gotten your money’s worth, anyway.

The seafood maybe expensive, but it somehow gives you satisfaction and a feeling to crave for more dining experience at this buffet restaurant.

This buffet compliments my too-much liking for seafoods.

The food perfectly suits my taste. The Village Buffet experience gives me a soothing experience which had made this place my favorite seafood adventure however the long lines may be.


And mind you! It definitely gives you a compensating feeling, going to the restaurant if you get to be in Rio. I used to read some kind of unpleasant reviews and I was just surprised when I visited the place out of curiosity to check and see for myself all the negative reviews the place has been getting.

But, Whoa! My exploration proved all the bad reviews I have heard of as wrong. See! Instead of getting a feeling of disgust, I was impressed, instead.

Of course, I’m talking of my personal experience and personal opinions. Added points may include the place being clean and it offers an abundant array of seafoods which every seafood lover would love to savor because you have a variety of food to try on as it features a huge buffet selection.

If you are among the seafood lovers in town, your stay at the Rio wouldn’t be complete if you do not try this wonderful place of seafoods…

Wanna bet? Because everytime I get to set foot in Las Vegas, the Rio Village Seafood Buffet tops the list of the places I have to include in my itinerary and a must-do activity that I wouldn’t let pass in this seafoods restaurant.

Click here to go back to the main article.

Pampas Churrascaria: Definitely Great Brazilian Cuisine

Pampas is located along the strip in Vegas, at the Planet Hollywood.

We went there at dinner time and the food was good and steaming hot. The dinner meat rodizio was mouthwatering! The meat wrapped in bacon tasted a bit salty for me. Nevertheless, it was delicious.


There’s an array of good food and seafood platters. The top sirloin was cooked on point and was so moist and tasty that even after dinner, the taste lingered in my mouth. Haha! Tha flank steak lacked softness but I liked it too. The mussels, shrimps and salmon were perfect.

Everything tastes good for me. I can see my friend having that smile maybe because he felt and saw that I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve never been to a restaurant where I definitely liked all the food I tasted.

The service was okay. Meat servers came very often and the staff are very friendly and attentive. The drinks are good and our water refill was regular.

The salad bar had plenty of selections and you could not go wrong with whatever you choose. They had a variety of vegetables and cheese and I loved the fried banana and the grilled pineapple too!

The desserts will definitely make the ones with a sweet tooth ask for more. The white chocolate cheesecake was yummy.

We’ve had some special requests on how we wanted our food cooked like charring our sausages and lamb and they were just happy to oblige.

The location was great. The food was pricey but it’s worth it. Pampas Churrascaria is an awesome place to dine. It may not have been the first time that I have tasted any Brazilian cooking, but I told my friend that I loved everything and thanked him for having that mouthwatering experience.

I could say the food was great and I would definitely be spending another “food binge” at Pampas!

Click here to go back to main article.

D’ Pinoy Joint: Authentic Filipino cuisine at its best

It is just fitting that we find a Filipino restaurant on the second day of our trip, so we searched Yelp for a restaurant close by.  We initially went to Cafe de Cebu on Flamingo Road.  The place was however very small, and when a group of 12 were seated a few minutes ahead of us, we were simply turned away.  Bummer.  So we went back to Yelp and found D’ Pinoy joint literally just a few yards away, so off we went.

If you are a Fil-Am living in Las Vegas, it is most likely that you’re facing a serious problem looking for a place to satisfy your palate craving for that authentic taste of Filipino cuisine. Sometimes, you just want to have that feel-at-home experience and have a taste of the food you would love to come home to after a long, hard day at work.

It is quite regrettable that some Filipino joints in Vegas fail to represent the Filipino cuisine in its pleasurable glory. Some restaurants serve bland food in buffet-style and lacks that appetizing look that will make your mouth water.

d pinoy joint

Fortunately, there’s D’ Pinoy Joint on Flamingo Road that makes you heave a sigh of relief and lets you thank “The One” above for sending this food joint to us. The D’ Pinoy Joint has taken over the old building that used to house the Thai BBQ. There are plenty of Asian restaurants that can be found in Las Vegas and we are just so glad that D’ Pinoy Joint is now one of them.

I remember waking up smelling the aroma of tosilog (tocino, sinangag and fried egg)  being home cooked by my mother, and the D’ Pinoy Joint’s version of it is quite very similar to the one I had at home. It is indeed one of the breakfast favorites I would love to eat.

Every popular Filipino food can be found on the menu and they are priced just right for your budget, yet having that taste of authentic Filipino dishes at its best!

The Pork Tonkatsu is such a big serving so make sure you’d have someone to share it with. It is actually one of the most popular dishes they serve and it comes with a very tasty banana ketchup dip.

Everything is cooked to perfection  and freshness that makes me recommend everything that you can find on their menu.

D’ Pinoy Joint is the go-to restaurant for lovers of the authentic Filipino cuisine and you’d surely be not disappointed.

On top of the good food is the hospitality and friendliness of their staff and crew which is a very important factor in the restaurant business.

From their entrees, main dishes and dessert, you’d never go wrong whatever you may choose to satisfy your craving. So if you’re looking for the joint that serves Filipino food at its best, visit D’ Pinoy Joint and see for yourself.

Click here to go back to main article.

Our Las Vegas Trip

A Filipino-American Family’s Las Vegas Restaurant and Entertainment Review

We wanted to go somewhere fun this December 2014 and decided to venture to Las Vegas to sample some of the treats it has to offer, and write about our experiences trying out the restaurants and entertainment venues.

We flew in on Christmas day via Allegiant Air out of Stockton, spent six days and headed back home on New Year’s eve, just in time to avoid the craziness . The plane fare was exceptionally inexpensive at around $285 round trip per person, including a six-day car rental at Alamo (Volkswagen Jetta), also including a $37 per person flex trip plan (so I can change travel plans without getting charged a lot more), and all the fees and charges.

We stayed at the MGM Grand, it was crowded but the check in line was moderately quick. Our room was on the 13th floor (I guess they are not superstitious), and the room itself was nice as expected in a large 4-star hotel in Vegas. One nice feature I liked is that the TV had this breakout panel where you can plugin your electronics to use the TV as a monitor. I brought my Macbook and we were watching Netflix on our TV using the HDMI port (I brought an HDMI cable with me). As I remember, there were ports for HDMI, USB, VGA, Composite input for Video and Audio (RCA), legacy Apple iPhone 3/4 interface (not lightning) and two electrical outlets.


MGM charges a resort fee of $28 per room, per night, which includes use of the fitness center, business center/computer access, in-room WIFI and newspaper.

One thing to be careful about with the in-room WIFI is to not let everyone login with their device as soon as you come in. The reason is that each room is only allowed four WIFI devices.  As soon as the device limit is reached, no one else will be able to login with a new device without calling the hotel WIFI support to remove some of the devices from their system. In our case, everyone was excited with the WIFI and logged in with their smartphones. By the time I needed the connectioin for my Macbook, our room already had reached its limit, and simply ‘forgetting’ the WIFI network on your smartphone will not take the device (Mac Address) from the WIFI system. I had to call into the hotels WIFI support to reset the devices. Each device gets a 48-hr ‘lease’ and will need to re-login with your name and room number after. Connection is reasonable, with a 3Mbps speed limit for each device.

We wanted to try a variety of restaurants during our stay. But we really did not plan out where we would go the entire time, we sort of just ‘played it by ear’. Nevertheless, we are happy of the places we tried, as it turned out to be a good array of choices a regular family of four would expect when staying on the strip and venturing off a couple of times.

Here is what we found out (click on each link to follow the reviews contributed by Emily, Sean and Erika Totanes):


MGM Buffet

D Pinoy Joint

R Steak and Seafood at the Riviera

Pampas Churrascaria

BURGR by Gordon Ramsay

PUB 1812 Michael Mina

Village Seafood Buffet at the Rio

Avenue Cafe at the MGM

Rainforest Cafe at the MGM

Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan

Buzios Seafood Restaurant

Hot N Juicy Crawfish


Riviera Comedy Club

Michael Jackson One

Jeff Dunham: Not Playing with a Full Deck

Penn and Teller