Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Aria's The Buffet

SoundStage! Network contributor Roger Kanno goes by the nickname Mr. Las Vegas. He knows every slot-club and coupon deal in the city, he's mapped out shortcuts through each casino, and he's established quality ratings for every hotel buffet. So when it comes to CES meals and event planning, he's our man.

How Roger gets this knowledge is simple: research. Whereas a Las Vegas trip is a short-term thing for most people, he researches Las Vegas relentlessly throughout each year so that our annual visit for this show is a breeze.

For this year’s SoundStage! Network writer get-together, Roger recommended The Buffet at the new Aria Resort & Casino at the CityCenter Las Vegas complex even though he hadn't been there yet. None of us had ever been before either, and it was quite a hike from the Venetian. But we've learned to put all our trust in Roger and his relentless Las Vegas research, so we set out on foot for what turned out to be a 25-minute walk. Once there we realized that Mr. Las Vegas was right again.

aria_entrance

The entrance was nicely lit up with soft colors, but the inside was . . .

aria_overall

. . . decidedly simple looking. The only really noticeable thing was the red carpet. Too plain for good food? Hardly. The overall quality of the main courses was right up there with Bellagio's buffet -- our reference for top-quality buffets in this city -- and most of us felt that the desserts were better. Crab legs were a popular item providing you didn't mind waiting in a short line for them. The sushi seemed better than the Bellagio's. We all liked it and Roger summed up his first visit with this verdict: a top-quality buffet that features certain items that are "strong." The $28-per-person asking price is, by Las Vegas standards, reasonable. 

aria_group

Aria's The Buffet is definitely a Best of Las Vegas 2011 kind of place and, quite possibly, our place for the 2012 SoundStage! Network get-together as well. On the other hand, there's a good chance that Mr. Las Vegas is going to come up with an even better place.

Doug Schneider
Publisher and Founder, The SoundStage! Network

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