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  • TAO RESPONDS TO CHARGES OF RACISM

    Sakebomb
    To be fair, the cheongsam is a great look. (Photo by Joe Torrance | SPYONvegas.com)

    Activist Christine Lu started a Twitter dustup when she spotted a billboard with Tao’s severarl-years-old “happy ending” advertising campaign near LAX. “Drove by the racist @VenetianVegas sign again at LAX. Mayor @Ericgarcetti can you take this degrading sign down?”

    Tao, apparently, wasn’t moved by the charge that they were perpetuating stereotypes about seedy Asian massage parlors. According to the LA Weekly, Tao’s response letter was a sigh of weary resignation:

    We regret that you take such offense and see it as a perpetuation of an unfortunate stereotype that is cultivated FAR MORE heinously by the hundreds (if not thousands) of Asian massage parlors in L.A. and Las Vegas… not to mention the hundreds of billboards that scream out REAL happy endings. However, as a gesture of good faith we have decided to remove the billboard since it offends you so much. In the future, perhaps your focus would be better directed at the real source of the stereotype, actual happy ending massage parlors and their advertisements, not our harmless ad that elicits far more chuckles than letters such as yours.

    They could have just cut to the chase:

    BUSTA HYPES TAO BEFORE GAME

    Busta
    We’d call it the “Busta Bowl,” but there’s kind of a connotation there. (Photos by Brenton Ho)

    As Super Bowl weekend performers go, some protege of former college player Suge Knight would seem the way to go. (As opposed to in-house entertainment for World Series week, which should always be K7.) But at least Busta Rhymes earned his nickname in tribute to former Vikings wideout (and Uzi enthusiast) George “Buster” Rhymes.

    Close enough for government work. Bussa Buss led the way for Tao’s pre-Super Bowl party Saturday night, where he ran the mic for half an hour.

    Meanwhile, over at Lavo, Chad Michael Murray was in for dinner, soaking in all that One Tree Hill glory.

    Busta_h1 Busta_h2

    JUICY J’S GOT SOUL. HEADPHONES.

    JuicyJSoul
    (Photo by Brenton Ho)

    The headphone convention that is CES rolled on last night at Tao, when Soul did their official iteration of the “Come on, EVERYONE can’t buy Beats” parties that have taken over the town all week.

    Juicy J was in to do “Bandz a Make Her Dance, “Bounce It” and, in tribute to late Three 6 member Lord Infamous, “Stay Fly” and “Slob on my Knob.” Which is delightful, that we can sit here and somberly report on an artist rolling into a club to do “Slob on my Knob.”

    Swizz Beatz was at the restaurant, not, somehow, promoting any headphones whatsoever.

    JUICY J ENTERTAINS THE CHAMP

    JuicyJ
    (Photos by Scott Harrison. Tao photo by Al Powers)

    The Joint wound down 2013 with Juicy J who did strip-club anthem “Bandz a Make Her Dance” among other faces for a crowd that included Floyd Mayweather. Juicy moved on to Body English with Mike Will before the night was over, while Mayweather was spotted at Tao that evening as well.

    Leg-droppin’ Miguel did his midnight kiss with girlfriend Nazanin Mandi at Tao before ripping into “Sure thing,” “How Many Drinks?” “Adorn” and “Power Trip.” The champ had a table with friends. Friends other than the roster of Michigan State, we mean.

    LISTEN UP, BROTHER!

    hulk
    .Macaulay Culkin looks terrible these days.

    Well, you know somethin’, Mean Gene? Professional wrestling legend Hulk Hogan was spotted dining with three friends at Tao in the Venetian on Dec. 20. The group enjoyed spicy tuna tartare, Chilean sea bass, lobster wontons and Chinese sausage fried rice, but Hogan seemed horrified of the rare and fearsome Yokozuna roll.
    Hogan politely interacted with fans, took photos and threatened anyone who didn’t train, say their prayers and take their vitamins.

    1212THURS: THE ROUNDUP

    BadSanta
    We’re suddenly filled with Christmas cheer. (Photo by Gabe Zapata | SPYONvegas.com)

    You’ve worked hard this holiday season. Shopping. Decorating. Getting blasted on nog. It’s time you took some time to appreciate the season for its true purpose: Girls in slutty Santa suits. Tao has you covered tonight with its Bad Santa party, offering up $5,000 for Santa’s naughtiest helper. Screw the two front teeth, this is all we want for Christmas. (more…)

    WHERE YOU’RE DRINKING ON THANKSGIVING


    We also won’t be wearing pants this Thanksgiving. (Photo by Tony Tran | SpyOnVegas.com)

    And don’t say “At home, with my family.” We all know you’re a damn liar.

    Thanksgiving is traditionally a slow week in town, which is kind of hard. It’s right when you need an outlet that doesn’t involve your great-aunt complaining about Obamacare for five goddamned minutes. You do have more options than usual this year–and you’ll have them on a night that figures to be relatively relaxed, as these things go.

    Assuming you can roust yourself from a gravy coma, Tao does its 8th Annual Terminate the Turkey night, with DJ Five holding it down. Hakkasan gets in the mix this year, with DJ Cyberkid in the main room. Haze mixes it up a little with Yo! #HazeTBT for Throwback Thansgiving as DJ Scene goes old-school. And Pure and LAX are both open for their usual Thursday business as well.

    And if you’re in more of a live music mood, the Double Down brings in The Fremonts.

    The important thing here is you drink enough to black back out after you just started coming to from your day-drinking blackout. Trust us, you really don’t want to remember what you said to your step-cousin about her fourth baby by a third father.

    LAUREN CONRAD FETES LITTLE BROTHER

    Conrad
    Is that a banana reading your menu, or are you just happy to see us? (Photos by Al Powers)

    Lauren Conrad is getting married to William Tell, and if we’ve set it once, we’ve said it a hundred times: If you’re going to get married, get married to someone who has their own overture.

    Conrad and Tell brought her little brother, Brandon Conrad, to Tao Friday night to celebrate his birthday by dressing like a banana. Lauren put in the bare minimum effort, sticking on a set of bunny ears and calling it a night. It’s literally the most disappointed we’ve ever been with anything to do with The Hills.

    Conrad_v3 Conrad_v2 Conrad_v1

    KIM, KIM’S TWO FRIENDS, DO 33RD

    KimBday
    Well hello there, motherhood. (Photo by Erik Kabik. Additional photos by Kabik, Denise Truscello)

    Kim Kardashian showed off the best thing about having a baby Friday night at her 33rd birthday party at Tao. Well, the best thing about having a baby for the rest of us, anyway.

    After the Kanye West show at MGM Grand, everyone in the fam gathered at Tao–Khloe, Kourtney, the terrifyingly single Kris, Scott Disick–along with Naya Rivera, Tyga and Blac Chyna, Jonathan Cheban, Simon Houck, Robin Antin and Chris Rock, which is vaguely disappointing for some reason.

    The club dropped 33 bottles of Ace of Spades at the table and ran a montage of Kim-at-Tao photos behind the DJ booth. Tyga jumped on stage for a bit. Faith Hill was there in a skybox, but was not expressly partying with the Kardashians.

    But the real stars of the show were Kim’s post-baby boobs. And if we were thrilled about them, just how happy was Kanye, who actually gets to touch them?

    KimBday_KanyeLeer

    He’s that happy. He’s happy enough he’s going to burn a hole in the top of her boobs just by staring that hard. Remember this. Remember this, the perfect photo of this happy marriage, when the divorce hits in 18 or so months.

    KimBday_v1 KimBday_v2 KimBday_v5 KimBday_v4 KimBday_v3