Beauty & Essex New York patrons would be making a mistake in expecting that its Las Vegas counterpart would be identical. No doubt there is something about the celebrated ostentatiousness of The Cosmopolitan Hotel that draws the right crowd to the restaurant. But, in many ways, its grandiosity overwhelms. In architecture, the way to emphasize height is to lower or “compress” certain sections. To underscore light, one must create a space that is underlit. This gives perspective, and it’s a principle that is compromised here.
The Pawn Room translates more like a chic boutique in a Las Vegas Hotel. It doesn’t quite capture the quirkiness of its New York kin. Even the custom chandelier in the Pearl Room shrinks in impact when compared to that of the hotel’s Chandelier Bar. The effect is this: imagine your reaction to Cinderella’s carriage as a pumpkin first. Then upon alighting you find inside a magnificent, magical carriage. That’s New York. Now imagine the resplendent carriage already beautifully transformed outside, what might your reaction to the interior be? Regardless of how good, your awe is a bit deflated. That’s Vegas.
And maybe this effect somehow carries over to its service. While professional and efficient, it somehow lacks a level of elegance and refinement that is inimitable in New York. Perhaps the hard New York life magnifies the pleasure of being pampered and indulged. Or maybe Las Vegas is just replete with high rollers; consequently, special treatment feels rather inconsequential. Or it may reflect the Vegas syndrome: the replica is lovely–not the same as experiencing the original–though you enjoy it anyway for what it is. That stated, perhaps the genius of the brand is that it’s the locals that ultimately define the flavor and texture of each location. Each blossoms as a distinct individual among a family of similar beauty. We might soon confirm this theory when Beauty & Essex Los Angeles opens this year.
For now suffice it to say Beauty & Essex Las Vegas is not B&E New York. It’s a tremendously exciting Las Vegas hotspot, a must for those who haven’t tried its Yankee siblings, and arguably among if not the best in Vegas. But for New Yorkers, it admittedly lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. It’s missing its Essex. But it’s still a damn good restaurant.
BY LOY BERNAL CARLOS & RYAN OBERMEIER
BEAUTY & ESSEX LAS VEGAS
3708 S LAS VEGAS BLVD, LAS VEGAS, NV 89109 | 702.737.0707
Monday, Friday, & Saturday: 5pm-1am
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Sunday: 5pm-12am