Thursday, June 14, 2018

Vista Vegas Views and Craft Cocktails at 16 - A Handcrafted Experience at The M Resort Spa Casino

Vista Vegas Views and Craft Cocktails at 16 - A Handcrafted Experience at The M Resort Spa Casino
By Kat Thomas, Editor In Chief,  Edible Skinny

A few weeks ago, Edible Skinny was lucky enough to attend an opening night celebration for the new restaurant 16 - A Handcrafted Experience.  Perched on the 16th floor of The M Resort SpaCasino, this bar and restaurant’s intimate space offers stunning, floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor patio. The result: vista views of the Las Vegas skyline paired with a intricate menu of handcrafted cocktails and interactive shared plates.
We started out the evening with a round of mid-century modern cocktails made from scratch with fresh juices and herbal-infused elements.  My perfect Prohibition starter drink was their Thyme Drop made of Absolut Citron, Limoncello, Amaretto Disaronno, Fresh Sweet & Sour and sprigs of Thyme.  My dining companion, Matt, opted for The 16, the ultimate handcrafted experience, a libation combining a variety of 16 different flavors to create a not-to-be-missed signature cocktail.

Mies van der Rohe stated, “God in the details,” a truth you can see in the smaller elements of 16.  From the etched Coupe glasses that the Thyme Drop were served in to the Moscow Mule in an intricately detailed copper cup this is where 16 shines. (Sidenote: many barsdon’t even carry copper Mule cups anymore because of the highthievery rate… and with coolness of these cups I feel that rate might double…)

Along with a choice of signature, classic, and mid-century cocktails, 16’s guests have the  opportunity to sample a variety of fine wines and liquors via The M Resort's popular "Wine ATM."  Those who want to try a bit of everything can choose one, three, or five-ounce pours from a rotating selection of 40 options available nightly.

After sampling some vino selections it was onto the food!  We began with some Brazilian Bread, my first time trying such.  This gluten free cheesy bread was donned with sea salt, making it the perfect palate satisfier till we got to the the meatier dishes.  Our inner carnivore was embraced with their Grilled Wagyu Tableside with a hot lava stone mini grill, tongs, grilling salt and pepper and side dishes of peppers and mushrooms.  Many of 16’s food experiences are interactive activations, thus making them the ultimate shareable plate, perfect for date night or an evening out with friends!

The M Resort Spa Casino is a Forbes Four-Star resort located on more than 90 acres on the southeast corner of St. Rose Parkway and Las Vegas Boulevard.  This shelter for Vegas Locals and those not interested in the craziness of the Strip, it is known as an Emerald Oasis! Situated higher in elevation than other resort-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, The M Resort provides optimal views of the world-famous Las Vegas skyline from its guest rooms, suites, conference center, and restaurants.  The resort offers 390 guest rooms and suites, over 92,000 square feet of gaming, seven restaurants, multiple bars, the Forbes Four-Star Spa Mio, a state-of-the-art fitness center and a 100,000 square foot events piazza.

But more of the food and drink because as one of my dining companions stated: “we’re getting classy as Frack!” (with a BattleStar Galactica reference subbed in...).  For our next round of giggle water, I opted for The Paper Plane, a drink as stiff as a Raymond Chandler novel, composed of Bulletin Bourbon, Aperol, Fresh Lemon Juice, and Amaro Nonino.  Matt went Jimmy Buffet tropical shirt fun with the Desert Sunset composed of Cruzan Light rum, fresh sweet and sour, Cartron Grenade Pomegranate Liqueur. It was like a Bob Ross painting in a glass (which is totally a compliment!).

Opting for Chef’s Choice, bestowed upon us next was the Tuna Sashimi on a block of ice with a kaleidoscope wheel of Bluefin, Bigeye, and Yellowtail.  This was complemented by yet more seafood of the classic mixed Fry Basket variety. Crispy calamari with capers (those little buggers make this dish!), popcorn shrimp, fresh mozzarella, served with spicy sun dried tomato aioli.  It made us feel like New England was right around the corner. And of course we had to try our server’s favorite dish: the Braised “Smokin” Wagyu Short Rib. Tender, smokey, and donned with edible flowers this dish was Mos Def everyone’s favorite at the table!

There was consistently a playful element to 16’s food presentation!  For dessert the Bananas Foster style dish was reinvented as Banana-Chocolate Twigs aka sweet banana flavored egg rolls (once again, totally a compliment!).  And the classic Lava Cake was transformed into an upside chocolate cake that was crowned onto a fishbowl filled with ice cream; once lanced gravity drizzled the chocolate sauce onto the creamy vanilla goodness housed below!

So if you’re looking for that perfect late night tale to tell with stunning views and drinks that would be fit to sip after you’ve discovered the Maltese Falcon, look no further than 16 - A Handcrafted Experience at The M Resort Spa Casino.
Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at

Friday, June 8, 2018

The OG Man In Our Life - A Father's Day Product Review

The OG Man In Our Life - A Father's Day Product Review
By Kat Thomas
Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, storyteller, singers of song.”
--Pam Brown

Edible Skinny would like to take this moment to thank Dads (yeah, all Dads) for all they do!
From being our rock to teaching us to rock it out!

From teaching us the rules to teaching us the importance of breaking them.  

We never say it enough, but we are forever grateful for our forever lessons from learning to tie our shoes to the art of negotiating.

And in honor of the original King of the Castle, here are some Father’s Day suggestions for the OG man in our life!

For the Artsy On-The-Go Dad - Capture (V3) Camera Clip ($69.95)
This simple hack is Auh-Mazing for your Canon Rebel toting Dad!  The all-new Capture is the most secure, convenient, accessible way to carry your camera.  Unlike a standard camera strap, Capture keeps your camera rigidly stable while hiking, biking, or moving around the studio.  Unlike a clunky camera bag, Capture keeps your camera instantly accessible with the click of a button. Includes 2 components: a metal clip that clamps to any backpack strap, belt, or bag, and an Arca tripod-compatible plate that screws into the bottom of your camera.  Your camera locks into the clip, where it is held securely. Press the lockable quick-release button to remove. Holds well over 200 lbs., making it strong enough for the heaviest of pro camera/lens combinations. Their Version 3 updates have evolved Capture be way smaller and way lighter, with all-metal build.  So here’s to the perfect gift for the Dad that wants to capture every moment (with Capture of course)!

For the Let’s Go to Yosemite For the Weekend! Dad - Energizer’s PowerKeep Wanderer ($180.00)
For Half Dome Hiker that wants to guarantee the shot when he gets to the top!  Have the ultimate power to charge your phone or tablet, off the grid; Energizer’s PowerKeep Wanderer features lightweight solar panels with a 10,000 mAh power bank which allows consumers to haul their gear and charge their devices.  The durable, flexible, removable lightweight solar panel (not clunky at all) was created by Ascent Solar Technologies. PK10K power bank can be charged from the sun, AC, or any USB charging port. The backpack also features a 2L hydration bladder so you won’t be thirsty when you get to the top.  So whether it’s music, photos, or video, rest assured you’re iPhone 10 will have plenty of juice! ;-)

For The Always Looking For the Next Great Spotify Playlist Dad - Decibulz’s Wireless Headphones ($64.99)
Decibulz’s Bluetooth Wireless earphones were created so you can take your music with you no matter what you’re doing!  Whether it’s running, working out, or relaxing at Urth Caffe, Decibullz allows you to listen to what you love while doing what you love.  After sampling them for a few days, we couldn’t believe it we ever listened to music with corded headphones…. Decibulz’s earphones can be “thermofitted” to the unique shape of your ea.  Similar to moulding a mouth guard you put the earplugs in hot water for 5 minutes, take them out, wait 30 seconds, and then mold the warm and pliable plastic to the exact shape of your ear.  The result? Extreme noise isolating earphones that fit comfortably and won’t ever fall out, whether you’re running or doing backflips. These Bluetooth Wireless earphones are sweat and water resistant.  And if you mess up the molding process, just put the earbuds back in hot water and start over. So help Dad cut those cords in style with Decibulz.

For For the Dad Carrying Some Serious Gear - 5.11 Mission Ready™ 2.0 ($249.99)
Dad’s LOVE gear, they just do!  And they need something to drag all their gear around in… ENTER 5.11’s massive Mission Ready™ 2.0.  The Mission Ready rolling duffle provides reliable, multifunctional storage and transport options designed to excel in a wide range of operational and recreational settings (TOTALLY sounds like something that would come from a company that supports the public safety and first responder community, right?  Well guess what THEY DO!). This bag can fit video camera gear, baseball catcher’s gear, AND a teenage child and everything they require for an overnight. Mission Ready 2.0 has a wealth of travel-friendly features and customizable storage options that keep whatever you chose to house inside safe, organized, and secure.  Plus it’s moisture and weather resistant for those two months of rain we get in LA! ;-)

For the Mixologist Dad - Ketel One Botanicals ($24.99 per 750mL Bottle)
For the Dad always questing for the next cocktail concoction ingredient, enter Ketel One Botanical!  Distilled with real botanicals, infused with natural fruit and botanical essences, and crafted with the care and passion of 11th generation family distillers Carl Nolet Jr. and Bob Nolet.  Lower alcohol-by-volume (ABV) cocktails are becoming the staples at the world’s leading mixology bars, and with 30% ABV these spirits are an exceptionally smooth, fresh-tasting drink with no carbs, no artificial sugars no artificial sweeteners, and only 73 calories (40% fewer calories than a glass of white wine).  Plus, it’s made with 100% non-GMO grain. Available in three varieties in beautifully illustrated botanical-inspired bottles include: Peach & Orange Blossom, for those who enjoy lush, juicy white peaches and bold notes of fragrant orange blossoms; Cucumber & Mint, for those who appreciate crisp cucumbers and light tones of fresh garden mint; and Grapefruit & Rose, for those who seek zest, mouthwatering grapefruit and the refined elegance of rose petals.  So bust out the big ice cubes, splash some tonic, and allow Dad to craft some kickass botanical cocktails.

For the Swirling Whirling Wine Dad - Castello del Poggio Moscato ($13.00 per 750mL Bottle)
Hello, to the Sweet Life!  Americans obsession with Italian wines are not ending anytime soon, so let Dad embrace it with style.  A product of “spensieratezza,” the Italian word expressing lighthearted carefreeness, this below fifteen dollar bottle of wine is mildly (and we mean mildly) sweet with hints of honey, musk, and white peaches on the nose.   With colors of deep cornfields and golden sunset reflections, its taste is light on the palate with low minerality recalling hints of white tuberoses and honey. This is the perfect wine to sip after a surf sesh! Pairs perfectly with savory BBQ, spicy dishes, salads, guilt free desserts, and Santa Monica sunsets! Saluti!

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at

Friday, June 1, 2018

Hello Netherlands!


Hello Netherlands!
By Kat Thomas and Matt Bourquardez,  Edible Skinny

In early Spring Edible Skinny was lucky enough to spend 8 days in The Netherlands. And while on our trek of this Dutch wonderland, we discovered this country far and wide.  We saw it all in Koninkrijk der Nederlanden (aka the Kingdom of the Low Countries) from Amsterdam’s fairy tale canals walks where we were trailed by local cats to the clandestine cannabis coffeeshops to Pancakes, Pancakes, and more Pancakes! (the Dutch LOVE their Pancakes!) to the solitude of the North Sea and its citadel windmills that soldier on against 25 mph winds to the salaciousness of the Red Light District

So here’s to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and life always giving you Pancakes, Pancakes, and more Pancakes!

Mercure Hotel Amsterdam City
We LOVE LOVE LOVED this hotel!!! Located on the Amstel river, it was the perfect amount of distance from Amsterdam Centrum with easy access to the Metro and bikes available for rental.  From its complementary Sauna, Steam Room, Ice Bath, and Gym (gotta LOVE Europe’s embracement of the art of relaxation) to the STACH in the Lobby (a chain of corner grocery stores that sell gourmet coffees, pastries, wine, and juices), it was perfect spot for  just arriving Americans. The rooms had plenty of USB plugs (great for Americans who only brought a few converters…) and free WiFI that was strong enough to stream Netflix (for those jetlagged 9 hour difference nights)! The Hotel Lobby bar, festooned with hundreds of metal fish schooling around it, invited us to connected with multiple Americans while sharing some local beers.  

The Bulldog
After a quick post flight nap we hopped onto the Metro via our I amsterdam City Cards (which gives you unlimited access to Amsterdam’s GVB public transport system (which includes all buses, trams and Metros in the city) for 24, 48, 72 or 96 hours).  We exited at Amsterdam Centrum and headed over to the Bulldog for some legal cannabis. Amsterdam’s first coffee shop, their legacy started in 1974 in a sex-shop located in the cellar of house number 90. What started as a living room for friends where they secretly smoked joints is now an Amsterdam (and Canadian) institution with 4 Cafes, 5 Coffeeshops, 3 Souvenir Shops, and 3 Hotels worldwide.  Our first night in Amsterdam we got a gram of Sativa and 2 Hot Chocolates with Whip Cream (it costs extra… there’s a reason why cheap dates are known as “Going Dutch”) and our complimentary cookie (making up for the Whip Cream) and relaxed into the chillest vibe in town. Open from 7am to 1pm it’s an experience not to be missed!

Sufficiently stoned we headed over to Burgerland, an all night joint located around the corner.  There we consumed two of Amsterdam’s most prevalent offerings: Burgers and French Fries. While we nooshed on these Dutch staples we learned about Irish Beef (a grass fed beef that’s known to be leaner in cut and always comes in pieces versus a burger patty!).  This bovine delight was topped with one of the city’s favorite souvenirs: Old Amsterdam Cheese. Our French Fry sauce (which naturally we had to pay for...) included the requisite mayonnaise! We had begun our Dutch cullinary adventure!

Amsterdam Noord
The next day we hoped a quick (FREE) ferry ride across the River IJ and Amsterdam's harbour, to Amsterdam Noord (North). Created during the Golden Age of Dutch trade, it later became a substantial industrial district. Today's Noord has grown into the much-revered bastion of Amsterdam's alternative culture, the heart of Amsterdam’s indie art scene, having refurbished many old shipping warehouses to host trendy eateries, exhibition, and performance spaces, artist studios.  Noord’s rebirth was accelerated by Amsterdam’s urgent need for unexplored real estate for Amsterdam's growing population. While there we swung on the swings of the area’s multitude of parks, checked out the I amsterdam Sign (they’re strategically placed throughout town and are fantastic IG spots), and dined at the Super Duper FAB SMAAQT! The restaurant’s cozy interior, decorated with warm woods, bricks, and leathers, complimented the best burger we had in Amsterdam (which is saying a lot!) on a black pepper bun!
Amstel Boathouse
The next day we dined at the Amstel Boathouse, located right on the Amstel River.  There we experimented with one of the Dutch’s favorite appetizers: Bitterballen. Bitterballen are crispy deep-fried breaded rounds with a tender, savory filling traditionally made with beef.  Think of it as a deep fried meatball that is more mushy in the middle. Neither Matt or mine favorites, we were still glad we were able to experience a classic Dutch dish!

Albert Heijn
One of my favorite things to do in other countries is go supermarket shopping!  Grocery stores are windows into different cultures. While exploring them you get to see what’s favored in different cuisines (in The Netherlands it’s meat and potatoes… Shocker!) along with differences in packaging!  So we entered Albert Heijn, the largest and oldest Dutch supermarket chain founded in 1887, while there we bought wine for 6 Euros, prosciutto for 5 Euros, and Strawberries for 12 Euros!

I amsterdam City Card
While in Amsterdam we rocked our 72 hour I amsterdam City Card.   The I amsterdam City Card is the most convenient and affordable way to experience Amsterdam as along with the aforementioned public transport pass.  Our card procured entrance to over 50 world class museums around the city including Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Rembrandt House Museum, ARTIS Royal Zoo, and Amsterdam Museum.  The I amsterdam City Card also allowed us various boat cruise options through the charming canals that grace the city; we chose the Lovers Cruise. Along with endless forms of entertainment it also allows for over 60 discounted offers around Amsterdam.  

The Rijksmuseum
One of the museum’s we scoped out with our I amsterdam City Cards was the Rijksmuseum, a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam.  The museum is located in Museum Square (where’s there’s another I amsterdam sign for more selfie taking…).  The Rijksmuseum is the largest art museum The Netherlands and is also frequently the most visited museum in all the land.  The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art at any given time (with more than a million in reserve).  It’s most treasured painting is Rembrandt’s Night Watch (with crowds the equivalent of seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre).

Rent A Bike Amsterdam
Amsterdam has more bicycles than people: an estimated 1 million bikes to 800,000 residents. So it seemed fitting that we would have to explore the city on two wheels!  Our rentals came from Rent A Bike Amsterdam (one of the least expensive places in town with a 24 hour rate of 10 Euros plus deposit). Every single day Amsterdammers collectively travel 1.2 million miles on bike, so as we whizzed past the picknickers and boot campers of parks such as Het Vondelpark we felt right at home!  Just watch out for other two wheelers as bike accidents can be quite nasty! Best to invest in that adorable bike bell (that for Kat it said “I LOVE MY BIKE”).

It took three years to rehabilitate the old tram depot into a food hall that offers more gourmet food than you can ever consume.  Wood-oven pizza? Check! Poke bowls? Check! Spanish Tapas? Check! There’s even a restaurant/nightclub that has a “pool,” and when we mean pool we mean an empty swimming pool with pillows for that perfect IG shot (they’re everywhere…. EVERYWHERE!!!).

Coster Diamonds’ Factory and Diamond Museum
Another free entry through our I amsterdam City Card, we toured Coster Diamonds’ Factory and Diamond Museum.  Coster Diamonds has played a key role in helping Amsterdam become known as “the City of Diamond “ and the sparkle and shine of this location didn’t disappoint!  Annually Coster Diamonds welcomes some 350,000 visitors who come to marvel at the extensive collection of loose and set diamonds, and admire the Dutch capital's largest collection of stones weighing over 1.00 carat.

Lovers Canal Cruise
Everything is Amsterdam is better when viewed from a boat, and a quick one-hour tour is a great way to acquaint yourself with the city!  Our boat cruise was included in our I amsterdam City Card allowing us to experience the city from yet another vantage point (Centraal Station looks completely different (peaceful)  from the water than when running to make a train to the northernmost point in The Netherlands (chaotic)). Our Lovers Canal Cruise included GPS Audio Guide available on board in over 60 languages to educated ourselves on a bit more Dutch culture.  And with Hop-On/Hop-Off ability and departures happening two to four times per hour, there’s no reason not to get to know the beautiful Dutch capital on a charming canal boat!

De Vier Pilaren
Pancakes for breakfast (or lunch or dinner).  You can't spend a day in Amsterdam without sampling the nation's favorite dish!  For in the Netherlands, pancakes are actually considered a main meal, or in the case of poffertjes (small fluffy versions), a sweet snack.  While in Amsterdam we dined at the carousel like De Vier Pilaren. This mobile restaurant used to travel the funfairs of Holland before settling on the waterfront dock “leidsebosje” and becoming a popular tourist destination….  Dutch pancakes are thinner than the US version, and they’re served either savory or sweet with Stroop (molasses) and powdered sugar. So Pancakes, Pancakes, and more Pancakes!


Arguable the best ice cream in Amsterdam. What started as one small shop near the Albert Cuypmarkt has quickly expanded to become one of Amsterdam’s most ubiquitous ice cream shops. IJscuypje makes their ice cream on location from fresh, delicious ingredients.  Stand-out flavors include devious Dutch Chocolate, refreshingly Key West Lime Pie, and signature Champagne Ice Cream made with Moet and Chandon (only in the summer). Along with the cold stuff, Ijscuypje makes some mean French Fries (with t-shirts claiming “Fries Over Guys”).  The potatoes come from a local farmer and they then double cook the fries for the perfect amount of crispyness. Sauces choices (for an additional cost, naturally) included Pimente (spicy mayonnaise with peppers), Truffle (truffle and mayonnaise, no explanation needed), and Oorlog (a combination of homemade satay and mayonnaise).  

The Red Light District
XXX is the logo of Amsterdam (though ironically the reason isn’t dirty in the least…) but with Kat’s burlesque background, we had to explore De Walle aka The Red Light District.  De Wallen is the largest and best known red light district in Amsterdam, consisting of a network of alleys containing approximately three hundred one-room cabins rented by prostitutes who offer their sexual services from behind a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red lights.  Window prostitution is the most visible and typical kind of red light district sex work in Amsterdam with the "kamers" are a large tourist attraction.  A great book documenting the life and experiences of an Amsterdam prostitute is David Wienir’s Amsterdam Exposed (reviewed a few weeks ago by Kat).

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at

Matt Bourquardez is a Writer for Edible Skinny. He has traveled the globe and rarely sees his house.