Mai Tai Bar
Imperial Palace Casino, Las Vegas, NV

The Mai Tai Bar at the Imperial Palace is located right off of the main gambling floor. It looks and feels like an design afterthought since it is shoved into a corner. We hit the Mai Tai bar after walking up and down the Las Vegas strip late on a Friday night. Wanting something cool and refreshing, a Mai Tai would definitely hit the spot. Our $5.00 Mai Tais were handmade and shaken for us by our bartender Tyrone who really knew how to whip them up into a satisfying golden orange color with a layer of dark rum. He topped the drinks off with a cherry, slice of orange, and a piece of pineapple skewered on a large toothpick which was balanced on top of the drink with a nice little umbrella.

Sipping our refreshing Mai Tais we surveyed the garish gaming floor from which issued forth a cacophanous roar of people, music and slot machines. Periodically losers and winners would stagger to the bar for straight bourbon or tequila shots before disappearing back into the flashing noisy mess of the casino. Since the Imperial Palace is one of the older and nastier casinos, from which the stench of cigars and cigarettes will never be washed out, you can be guaranteed to see many freaks and oddities of nature.

There is nothing relaxing and soothing about drinking a Mai Tai at the Mai Tai Bar in the Imperial Palace, but it is there that you can hold a little bit of paradise in a glass while watching the collapse of Western civilization.

Taste: ****
Atmosphere: ***
Date Visited: January 16, 1999
Reviewed By: Tom Csicsman at zoltan@excite.com

How could we not like the Imperial Palace's Mai Tai Bar? Although the Imperial Palace isn't one of the "glamour" spots on the strip, it does have a certain charm. The Mai Tai bar is no exception.

Our $5.00 Mai Tai was served in a small glass with an orange and cherry on a swizzle stick and an umbrella in a slice of pineapple. The foamy drink was pink-orange in color, with rum sitting on the bottom. It contained creme de moya, orange juice, and orange curacao. The Mai Tai was a bit small for the price and perhaps made a bit too "safe" for our tastes; we like the bartender to take a chance or two with the preparation of a drink. But overall, the drink was smooth and sweet with a good rum taste and alcohol ratio.

ipmaitaibar.jpg (28244 bytes)The Mai Tai Bar is towards the rear of the Imperial Palace, near the guest elevators. It is a small straw-covered bar, with a modest, private back room. Although the television in the back room detracted, we did feel quite apart from the casino and could really relax. Dark bamboo chairs and tables were attractive and comfortable. The mirrored shutters and bamboo touches on the walls were nice as well.

Things at the Mai Tai Bar are just as garish as they are throughout the Imperial Palace. In addition to large lighted signs hyping various drinks, we also had to contend with the Imperial Palace's notorious waitress' costumes. Words cannot do these things justice. How you view them probably depends on your gender, so the ladies may feel free to subtract a point or two from the overall rating just for this item. Most men, however, will likely appreciate the neon blue kimono-type outfits worn by the waitresses, complete with low-cut fronts and high-cut mini-skirts.

The Imperial Palace also runs a luau with all-you-can-drink Mai Tais, so when you are in Vegas, be sure to check it out.

Taste: ***
Atmosphere: ****
Date Visited: July 22, 1998
Reviewed by: Kevin Crossman, Julie Crossman, Craig Pfannenstiel

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