the dorsey cocktail bar

in honor of thirsty thursday and me having intense vegas withdrawals, i thought you all would love to hear about a bar you must visit if in vegas, especially if at the venetian. i went to the dorsey cocktail bar for the first time last december and knew i had to make a reservation for my mom and i for labor day weekend.

one of the reasons i fell in love with the dorsey is because it reminded me of one of my favorite movies of all time – beauty and the beast. as a child, i also said if i could be any princess, i would choose belle. and while i loved her yellow dress and the relationship she had with the staff members of the castle, what i envied most was the library. as an avid reader, there was nothing more captivating. and strangely, the first time i walked into the dorsey, i felt like i was in a sultrier version of the beauty and the beast library. what made it better? the craft cocktails they serve and on this most recent visit, the bomb ass dj that was spinning everything from lauryn hill to ja rule to biggie to megan the stallion.

during covid, a reservation is highly recommended and the minimum is two drinks per person and one appetizer per two people. trust me – you will want more than just that the second the first sip hits your lips.

felecia and i ordered the following cocktails: spicy flamingo, sunflower and easy street. the spicy flamingo is kind of like their spin on a spicy watermelon margarita – who doesn’t love watermelon with a little kick? don’t be deceived by the name sunflower – that drink came with the perfect punch since it is gin based with absinthe but balanced perfectly with floral and citrus notes. easy street is named perfectly because the cucumber and vodka is super smooth and goes down easy.

something i loved was how the bartenders did not take offense to modifications to a cocktail. my mom is definitely a vodka girl and made an adjustment to the spicy flamingo to have it made with vodka instead of tequila. it did not disappoint.

there is ample space to spread out and be comfortable – this was especially crucial during covid. the music is played at a volume where you definitely enjoy it but do not need to yell to have a conversation. and for people like us who like to stay in the venetian, is there anything better than getting buzzed downstairs and just taking an elevator back up to your suite? absolutely not.

when planning your next vegas trip, make a little reservation on opentable beforehand and thank me later.


k. tap

vanderpump cocktail garden

over the weekend, i took a much needed road trip to vegas with my mom for an early birthday celebration. on saturday, we were lucky to have hillary join us for the day as we adventured to the most magical place in vegas – the vanderpump cocktail garden.

it is like stepping into the most beautifully lit forest. the experience was outstanding and the garden certainly had the lisa vanderpump touch. an added bonus? i have never seen a more efficient line/check in process. every single person working there was friendly, knowledgeable and aesthetically pleasing. and of course, the food and drinks were to die for.

if you are familiar with villa blanca, you probably already know and love the goat cheese balls. well guess what? you can get them here, too! we also did the crispy chicken sliders and the truffle potato puffs. not only was everything fresh and decadent, it was the perfect size to pair with a cocktail.

speaking of cocktails, our waitress, ashley, was able to answer all of our questions. she also returned in the blink of an eye with the most amazing drinks for us to try. my mom and i both went with the “please her, caesar!” and hilly had the “puff the magic dragon” – both were insanely delicious. my drink was vodka and champagne based while hilly’s drink was mezcal based. there truly is something for everyone.

both ashley and brandon (another employee at the cocktail garden) were just delightful. we felt right at home. when brandon realized he was in the company of a fellow virgo, he asked my mom what her favorite spirit was. when she replied with vodka, he brought these amazing shots for the table with an edible flower that numbs your mouth a bit and enhanced your tastebuds. my mom was SHOOK. she said that in all of her years of drinking, she has never had drinks this delicious or unique.

it was the perfect way to kick off a week of celebrations and we can’t wait to go back.

have you been to the cocktail garden? if so, what did you get?


k. tap

national relaxation day

it is fitting that i am typing this post from an airbnb in indio, ca on national relaxation day. even with us being quarantined, it is still easy to go extended periods of time without carving out specific chunks for relaxation. not only have i been intentional about carving out time, i have been specific about who i spend said time with.

for me, relaxation is about being with people where our relationship is effortless, bubble baths, being in a beautiful space (sometimes, this is improved when i am not at home), enjoying good food and drinks, and waking up without an alarm clock.

what ways do you like to relax/unwind?


k. tap

herb & sea

to say i love san diego would be a gross understatement.  it is the perfect escape when wanting to get out of la but not be too far from home.  it helps that one of my closest friends, hillary, moved here a few years back.  we make a conscious effort to visit one another.  when looking for a little staycation during a time when i would typically be catching a flight somewhere tropical, a quick drive to san diego seemed like the perfect solution.


when choosing where to go to dinner, the choice was easy.  we love to support small businesses, we love seafood and a dear friend of ours, sara, is both the executive chef and partner at a restaurant in encinitas.  last night, i finally got to experience herb & sea.



founded by brian malarkey, who you might recognize from top chef, herb & sea is truly a gem.  even amidst the pandemic, they have found a way to create an extraordinary dining experience.  rather than each get a starter and an entree, we had sara suggest some of her favorites.  because this was not hillary’s first rodeo, she had an item or two that she knew we should tack on as well.




it was unreal.


we started with drinks (we got the mezcal and flowers and even as someone that typically gravitates towards vodka, it was to die for), burrata, oysters, hamachi crudo, smoked salmon dip and shrimp toast.  there was nothing i would not order again but i will say this – i could have ordered 10 of the hamachi crudo plates and still wanted more. it was that good.




for our main courses, we went with the local field greens, linguini and crab, peaches and prosciutto pizza and the crispy boardwalk potatoes (which aren’t pictured due to us being in a trance from all of the goodness on our table).




and for dessert, there was a special cheesecake with tropical fruit and berries and for you chocolate lovers, a lava cake.


i really cannot say enough great things about this restaurant, the drinks, the food and the quality of service.  brian happened to be there while we were dining and stopped by our table to say hello, ask how our dining experience was and wish us well.  there is something magical about restaurants like this one where you can tell that every single person who works there genuinely loves people, food and what they do.


if you find yourself in the san diego area, stop by herb & sea. you will be happy you did.



k. tap




k.tap’s dirty 30 in sin city



i have been trying to write this post for almost a week but really wanted to make sure i did it justice.  it needs to be detailed, informative, provide tips/connections, full of gratitude and just fun.  all of that requires energy i did not have prior to waking up this morning in boston so here we are.


first things first: if you know me, you know i love birthdays.  turning 30 was an incredibly huge deal to me.  so huge that i started discussing plans shortly after my 29th birthday.  by june 13th (yes, a full eight months before my 30th birthday), i sent out an aggressively detailed paperless post.  it had dates, a location and polls for the guests to vote on re: what hotel to stay in.  i wanted a firm rsvp sooner rather than later but when coordinating what ended up being close to 40 people over a 72 hour period, that was tougher than anticipated.  if i could do it all over again, i would definitely hire a day of/week of coordinator.  if i had a dollar for the number of text messages i received leading up to the event that could be found in either the paperless post or one of the group strands i sent (broken down by night so no one had to suffer with being on a strand that had nothing to do with them), i could easily pay my rent for next month without touching my checking account.  even though it was tough to coordinate that many people, each person i invited was someone i wanted there because they played a role in me becoming who i am today.


the rundown:

my friends reens and sam flew into lax on wednesday night (the 12th) so i was able to pop a bottle of champagne at 12:01am with them on the 13th.  i went to work that day and when i got home, they loaded up my car and we went to go swoop up my mom and the largest suv ever to take to vegas.  the four of us drove to my aunt’s house (on the way to vegas) to pick her up and continued on our journey.  we checked into the mgm signature thursday night and reens and sam decorated my hotel suite.  they did not leave until 4am and i did not go to bed until nearly 6am.  it was worth it.  the suite was ready for action – fully decorated, a stocked fridge and the most delicious cupcakes baked by my dear friend, genevieve.  if you are in the la area, contact her.




people really started arriving on friday.  i decided that each night, i would host a pregame starting at 9pm both so people could get a buzz on and actually be able to have conversations to get to reconnect or meet one another before we were in a club with music so loud that it was thumping in our chests.  that night, we went to this newer club at park mgm: on the record.  it was smaller, intimate and predominantly hip hop based.  it was the perfect way to kick off the weekend.  the marquee was such a sweet touch.



*for details on my friday fit, click here.


saturday, more people arrived and i knew this night would be absolutely nuts because my mom, godmother, aunt sheila and aunt tannisha would all be joining us out.  we ended up going to omnia, and more specifically, the hip hop room.  it was a tight fit for 30 people but it was truly a blast and we made it work.  everyone’s feet were in pain the next day because there was non stop dancing and screaming song lyrics while slamming shots.  truly a sight to be seen.  and of course, my mom wanted us to arrive as one so we took a party bus there.  she is the best.  also, i tend to feel like in the years since my grandmother passed, she finds a way to show up at each of my birthdays.  this weekend, it was in the form of bottle service girls wearing her absolute favorite color – purple.



*for details on my saturday fit, click here.


somehow, sunday ended up being both my favorite day/night and seemingly, the guests favorite as well.  i kicked off the day with a quick solo coffee date with marilena (since we had not seen each other since august) followed by a group brunch with about 15 of us at the only buffet i will willingly go to – the buffet at aria.  i like that they commit to not just bottomless mimosas, but bottomless drinks.  they also have a great seafood bar and truly have something for everyone, no matter your dietary restrictions.  after that, i came back and caught up with some of the girls before heading to my makeup appointment at the mac at miracle mile courtesy of my friend leighia.  if you are ever in vegas, be sure to call ahead to request mike.  his ability to work with black skin really impressed me.


i was able to come back, take a bath and pregame and give a heartfelt toast to my guests to thank them for coming and let them know what their presence meant to me.  it was a wonderful way to kick off the night.


now, when jason told me sunday would be one for the books, i don’t think i understood the magnitude.  my mom paid for another party bus since she kept winning at the venetian and rode the bus to drop us off at the club.  once we arrived at drais, it all started to make sense.  not only did we have the best table in the house with a perfect view of the stage (which would come in handy when keyshia cole performed), my face was literally everywhere.  from being screened onto our bottle service tables to being on fatheads carried in by our bottle service girls to being on every screen in the club, it was very clear that my 30th birthday was being celebrated.  initially, i think i found it to be a bit overwhelming and i was more or less in shock.  then, i snapped out of it.  i thought to myself if i am typically doing this to celebrate others whether it be for a birthday, a graduation, a wedding, etc., i should allow others to be just as excited to celebrate me.  when we left the club that night, everyone had sore feet, raspy voices and full hearts.  there was also something incredibly special about being able to ring in my 30th with my little brother, pooh bear.  we have lived in different places for more than 10 years so being in la at the same time and him being able to come to vegas meant the world to me.  i don’t know if i would ever be able to replicate that night.




after drais, five or six of us gathered in my room and i made bagels and drinks for everyone and just recapped the night.  it was the best.


on monday, people left at a variety of times ranging from 6am to 11pm.  a true testament to how people that love you will move mountains to show up for you.


now, you know i would not leave you without some useful information in the event you do something on this scale for your next birthday or event.


here are some tips:

  1. even if you feel like you are being annoying, firm up your head count at least 60 days before the event
  2. let your guests know (if money is involved) that their head is not counted until money is received (i typically am firm about this and was a bit looser this trip and took people at their word – it bit me in the ass in a variety of ways from people trying to change plans at the last minute with no consideration for the money already spent/contracts signed + me reaching the maximum amount you can transfer on venmo in one week and having to spend hundreds of dollars to withdraw my own money from vegas atm machines)
  3. have someone on the ground of where you plan on going/celebrating that is going to celebrate you the way you would celebrate your very best friend.  at this point, i think both my mom and my brother would adopt jason rose into their homes after the phenomenal time they had on both saturday at omnia and sunday at drais (truly some next level shit – my brother was blown away and he is hard to get excited about anything)
  4. give people time to recover from each event – i had an event each night (friday, saturday and sunday) but my only daytime event was a late brunch on sunday (at 1pm) that was optional.  for the nighttime events, i just had people tell me what they wanted to attend.  maybe there was a night that worked better for them than others or perhaps they had a favorite club in vegas and based it on that.  either way, people were typically rested by the time we went out at night because the days were not stacked with events
  5. be sure the guest list is visible to all attendees.  i say this because i personally hate surprises.  just because you are friends with all of these people does not mean they are all friends with each other.  whether it be exes, ex best friends or whatever the case may be, it is better when people know exactly what (and who) they are walking into.


now, for the final piece…


gratitude – the state of being grateful: thankfulness.

i truly could not be more appreciative of each person who received an invitation and took the time and money to plan to come out to vegas to make my 30th birthday one for the books.  outside of jason (who literally is the promoter you should use for all things vegas), there was only one friend who attended who lives in vegas.  that means every other person had to book a flight or road trip in.  i literally had to reference my spreadsheet to be sure i did not miss anyone but here it goes:

a big thank you to michelle, rebecca, kennie, amanda, taylor, marilena, jared, victoria, z, alan, pooh bear, tannisha, hilly, leighia, michael, michael c., michael t., sam g., godmother, auntie sheila, jess, jon, april, gio, liz, jason, vana, cortney, whitney, teki, theo, makensy, melissa and marc.  it would not have been the same without you.

and a special thank you to my mom, reens, sam and alexz for literally helping me get everything together and for keeping me sane throughout the weekend.

and jason, you are one of a kind.  i will never do another vegas trip without you.  thank you for helping me coordinate sheer madness.  let’s do it again sometime.


to all of you who reached out with a thoughtful text, card, gift or surprise in my hotel suite, i truly appreciate it more than you know.


30 already feels better than 29 in more ways that one.



k. tap


p.s. i know i am still missing pictures from this weekend so if you are holding out, send them over!