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MOzen Bistro

Shawn Armstrong (Favorite Local Haunts)

    
    MOzen Bistro
Executive Chef, Mandarin Oriental Shawn Armstrong Former Executive Sous Chef, MOzen Bistro

TravelsinTaste.com: The restaurant has been open since December 2009. Have you had time to get out and experiment with local places? Explore the city? Find some favorite neighborhood restaurants?

Armstrong: I work 16 hours a day, six days a week, so I don't go anywhere to eat. I'm standing up or in the elevator eating something! I have gone out a few times, though. We live really close to Red Rock Casino -- we live right there in the Vistas. I think Red Rock Casino is pretty cool. I think they have some decent dining establishments over there. I love the burger at LBS; they do a pretty good, tasty burger. I hate to say anything about chains and stuff like that, but also Café Rio. I'm from Texas and one thing, especially in Asia, I rarely had was good Tex-Mex or Mexican food. I think Café Rio does an excellent, outstanding taco salad. It's just brilliant. But other than that, no, I can't think of anything. I know, that's pretty pathetic, but that's all I've got!

   
     
    
TravelsinTaste.com: Are you enjoying Vegas?

Armstrong: Without a doubt. I had never been to Vegas until I accepted this job. Then they flew me over in March of '09. Vegas obviously does such a great job of marketing itself. When I thought of Vegas before I came here a few images flashed through my mind: Of course, there's the Las Vegas sign, Las Vegas Boulevard, then the fountains at the Bellagio, the neon signs and, of course, the opulence of the casinos. Obviously, there's much more to offer than just the Strip. The rural living in the suburbs is great. It's very family-oriented. Living in Summerland -- I can't speak to Henderson or elsewhere -- but I think they do a fantastic job of promoting an outdoor lifestyle, although I don't get to see the outdoors too often. But it's really cool and one thing I enjoy from a personal aspect. Being in Singapore so much I think we were 4 degrees above the equator. It's brutally humid 24/7, 365 days a year. Coming to Vegas was such a nice, refreshing change -- even in the middle of the summer. I can feel it a little bit more now because my body has acclimated to the dryness. The first summer, though, I thought, "This is fantastic," and it was 110 degrees. It was nothing because it can be 85 degrees in Singapore and you are drenched because of the humidity; it is sticky and muggy. You feel dirty all the time. I took four showers a day there; now I go a week without showering! (I'm just joking!)

   
     
      
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