The Strat’s SkyPod serves up excitement, fine food and fabulous drinks
Top of the World, the Strip’s revolving restaurant in the clouds, first fired up its grills more than 23 years ago when the Stratosphere Las Vegas opened its doors. Its 360-degree view sets the stage for an unparalleled classic steakhouse experience that, like much of the property, is in the midst of transition as the property colloquially known as “The Strat” is now officially The Strat Hotel, Casino and SkyPod.
The name change that accompanies $23 million in renovations has been in effect since February, and the signs of change have been increasingly evident ever since. Seafood and steakhouse restaurant McCall’s has been joined on the casino level by newly opened beerhouse and casual eatery Blvd. & Main, for example, which is adjacent to a beautifully designed race and sports book.
The top of the tower, long referred to colloquially as “the top of the Strat,” is now officially the SkyPod. Its several layers of restaurant, lounge, observation decks and thrill rides has received a makeover that is mostly complete. Top of the World’s interior has been brightened by new carpeting and furniture, with chairs that are the ultimate in comfort. A stylish new bar adds to the more modernist and mood-lit atmosphere at 107 SkyLounge. A touch screen that allows visitors to pinpoint locations such as where Tupac Shakur was shot, Wayne Newton lived and Carole Lombard’s plane crashed is now located on the indoor observation deck.
The indoor observation deck also serves drinks at 108 Drinks, and hot paninis and cold focaccia sandwiches as envisioned by noted Vegas-born chef James Trees at 108 Eats. It may be best to brave the SkyPod’s thrill rides before checking out Trees’ sliced meatball or mushroom and truffle paninis with Vietnamese-style frozen coffee, but there are no rules that say you can’t.
Actually, definitely do Insanity before lunch or dinner, or awhile after. If the thought of spinning dizziness at some 1,000 feet above ground is daunting, the vertical Big Shot shoots straight up past the top of the tower with 4 Gs of force before free-falling back down to the launch pad. The thrill it provides is indescribable, but comparable to X-Scream, which adds an extra dimension of fear by sliding off the observation deck in its track before bouncing back.
Fear takes a backseat to exhilaration on SkyJump, the descent-decelerator bungee jump that allows adrenaline junkies to jump off The Strat and drop 855 feet at speeds of 40 miles per hour. It’s a scene that Top of the World diners will view at least once during a 90-minute meal as the restaurant slowly but noticeably turns.
This fall is a good time to revisit Top of the World as executive chef Robert Lomeli adds seasonal “farm-to-fork” ingredients to the menu, but try to experience his stunning scallops, filet mignon and lobster bisque at “magic hour,” as the sun goes down. It’s an unforgettable dining experience that can only happen at the top of The Strat.
The Strat, for more information, 888.929.7849