GOP's young gun Rubio lived in LV

Marco Rubio, one of the transcendent stars in Tuesday's Republican rout, has Las Vegas roots.

He's being billed as the "great right hope" after the Miami-born Rubio rode a wave of Tea Party fervor to easily defeat Gov. Charlie Crist and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek for one of Florida's U.S. Senate seats.

Rubio was 8 years old when his Cuban-born parents moved here in 1979. Years earlier, his parents fled Fidel Castro's Cuban revolution.

Rubio's father found work as a bartender at Sam's Town, and his mother was a housekeeper at the Imperial Palace.

Six years later, the Rubios returned to Miami, with the father becoming a bartender at the Mayfair Hotel.

As a state lawmaker, young Rubio became a protege of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the 2000s.


Two Las Vegas eateries rank among The 100 Greatest Cult Restaurants in America, if we can get away with claiming a spinoff of a Los Angeles icon.

Pink's Hot Dogs came in third in the survey by the website, and Hash House A Go Go was No. 31.

Pink's only other location outside L.A. is at Planet Hollywood Resort.

"With a line that rarely includes less than 30 people, you may find yourself thinking that Pink's isn't worth the wait. You'd be wrong," according to the article.

Amen to that, brother. My introduction was a half-hour wait in drizzling rain.

Hash House A Go Go is such a hit that it recently expanded to a third location, the M Resort, after the original on West Sahara Avenue led to a Strip location at Imperial Palace.

"It is the best casual and comfortable breakfast food to get you going for the rest of the day -- so good, that hungover Vegas visitors happily line up," according to the magazine.

If the rumors are true, another popular L.A. destination, Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles, will be landing here, and, we predict, selling like hot cakes.

At the top of the survey: No. 1 Hot Doug's in Chicago, and runner-up Tartine Bakery & Cafe in San Francisco.

And, yes, Ben's Chili Bowl, a Washington, D.C., landmark, made the Top 10 at No. 9.


Under the watch of a nearby eight-member security team, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, dining at Vintner Grill on Wednesday night with wife Landra and another couple. Reid ordered gnocchi romano with spiced eggplant caponata. ... ESPN baseball analyst Orel Hershiser, MVP of the 1988 World Series, joining KKLZ-FM, 96.3, deejay Mike O'Brian and The Wedge Brothers on the Sedona patio Tuesday night. Hershiser belted out "Walking in Memphis" and "Sweet Caroline" for the encore. ... Hip-hop artist and actor Nelly, making the rounds Tuesday night on his 36th birthday. He showed up at Moon Nightclub (Palms), arrived at Blush at 2:30 a.m. to celebrate with DJ Funkmaster Flex and danced at Sapphire. Also at Blush: Rapper T-Pain and Eddie Murphy's former flame, Nicole Murphy. ... Actor R. Lee Ermey, the bellowing ex-Marine drill instructor who hosted "Lock 'N Load" on the History Channel, at Cozymel's Mexican Grill on Tuesday night. ... Prop comic Carrot Top and Joe Jackson, patriarch of the Jackson family, at the Savini Wheels corporate party at Nico Santucci's Parisian Palace on Tuesday, opening night of the SEMA convention.


"After the Giants won the World Series, they had a riot in San Francisco, overturning Priuses and lighting clean-burning bonfires." -- Jimmy Kimmel

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or Find additional sightings and more online at