Saturday night I invited the Manichans to our weekly dinner date night. They made reservations for us and we were totally confused because Ben called the place Gousteau’s, and we kept searching and searching for it online and couldn’t not find it. Only until we got to their house we learned that Ben kept giving the name a French twist instead of an Italian twist which meant the restaurant’s name was really Gusto.
Joy and I actually walked by Gusto the night we went to Son of Gun which was just a couple doors down. Gusto is a small restaurant with s concise menu, which allowed us to pick and choose a good number of dishes that covered most of the menu.
We started off with the Carciofi (fried artichokes) and Polpette (meatballs) and a sausage pizza. For our pasta dishes we got the Ravioli (spinach, ricotta, bacon) a much better ravioli compared to last week’s ravioli at Osteria Mozza. Carbonara, and Casarecci (lamb ragu). To finish off the meal we got the Merluzzo Nero (black cod). It was a nice dinner, and i actually preferred the more casual meal compared to Osteria Mozza.
Day 2 in Rome we were planning on getting all religious and go visit the Pope in Vatican City, but that got thrown out the window when we arrived at Termini Station to take the Metro, it was closed for the day for fixing. Not wanting to fight the other tourist on the busses i called an audible and decided to get all religious on some Pizza from Naples. So we bought a couple cheap train tickets and took a two hour train ride down south to Naples.
Unfortunately we had not planned it very well and ended up only having an hour in Naples and we barely had enough time to run down the street to Pizzeria Trianon da Ciro, order 1 pizza for takeaway, ran back to the station and ended up having to eat it on the train ride back to Rome. I really couldn’t even get a good picture of it, but it was a really good $100 pizza ($90 train tickets + $7 pizza) and definitely one really funny experience.
Back in Rome we used our Roma pass again to enter the Roman Forumwhich is where all important gatherings took place, like the killing of Julius Ceasar. The huge marble columns were crazy large and its hard to fathom how they were even built back in those times before modern machinery was even thought of. Many of the arches were built by the slaves of conquered lands and is really sad since they had to build a monument of their own defeat.
Palatine Hill is located right next to the Forum and is where all the dignitaries and other important people lived at. It was a little less impressive than the other sites, but i guess just as significant as well.
For dinner we headed out to our last Bourdain spot which was Bonci’s Pizzarium for Roman style pizza which is pizza with a thicker crust and sold by the kg, and has all sorts of toppings from various pork meats, vegetables and fungi. Everything is covered in olive oil so it gets to be messy, but a cold beer helps wash everything down.
Basketball isn’t of course the only reason for going to LVI, but getting the chance to hangout is the other reason. I rented a car from Alamo, and after some searching through all the American cars i found a Hyundai Sonata which i promptly snapped up because it had all the bells and whistles that i need for the long drive out to the desert. With the iPhone all hooked up and the car packed up with picked up another friend in Temple City and left the city by 10pm and got to the Cal by 2am.
Joy and I checked in, threw all our bags into the room and headed down to the Market Cafe for some Oxtail Soup. Even though i know that there are boiled peanuts floating in the soup, i actually ate quite a bit of the meat off the bones, and even some soup with no ill effect. Afterwards we headed back up to turn in for the night. Up until i got hit up on an instagram image i took of the food, and found out my high school friend was getting married the same weekend and a group was at the restaurant that very moment. So i put my shorts back on and went down to catch up for a few minutes.
The next day after the breakfast buffet at Market Cafe again, a group of teammates headed over to the Forum Shops to do some shopping. We spent a lot of time in the Nike Store, and H&M doing some shopping then headed over to Palace Station to check out the Oyster Bar for some Cajun style cooking. While waiting for a seat Joy and I hopped onto the penny slots to get some free beers, and Joy ended up winning $35. The food was really good and spicy and many were left a sweaty mess. Probably not the best thing to eat with a basketball game later that evening but we still managed to win.
After Saturday’s disappointing losses the team gathered up for another Steak Buffet at the Fremont Hotel rather than going to SW Steakhouse at the Wynn which we planned to go eat at if we had won the whole thing.
Joy’s co-workers also just so happened to be in Vegas the same weekend so we decided to meet up with them at Planet Hollywood after dinner and hit the dance floor at Gallery. We had a few drinks, danced a few songs and enjoyed our last night in Vegas more than i expected. Once we were done, it gathered up everyone to go to the Secret Pizza Place at the Cosmopolitan Hotel to soak up the booze before heading back to the room. The whole trip besides the Basketball losses turned out to be a really fun trip with seeing old friends, and trying to places to eat.