Thanks for visiting my blog again! My viewership increased a lot this year and that means you guys are checking in frequently. I appreciate the support.
How many of you dined at a steampunk restaurant before? Is there a such thing as steampunk restaurants? Of course they exist! You can find steampunk influences in all kinds of nooks and crannies. But steampunk dining experiences are few and far between. I found one called the RX Boiler Room in Las Vegas. Specifically, it's located in the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino. You can find the Boiler Room in the Mandalay Bay's shopping area. My parents and I vacationed in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago, so we gave the Boiler Room a shot. The chef and owner is Rick Moonen, who also owns an expensive seafood restaurant in the same hotel. I thought the experience was delightful. The Boiler Room has a fun steampunk décor and a menu that will make anyone happy who enjoys fine dining. I guess the menu is American. It seems pretty eclectic. This place also caters to steak lovers. The restaurant has a really good selection of steaks with variable amounts of marbling.
Take a look at the entrance. I think it's really cool. The Boiler Room's front entrance repurposes a lot of items. I don't see a lot of cogs, but it still screams steampunk in my opinion. It almost looks like the pieces were taken from a junkyard, giving the entrance a post-apocalyptic vibe. I'm going to break up the entrance in several pictures, so you can see the different parts.
They also had a cute sign near the ceiling with traditional steampunk gears. Smart advertising, if you ask me.
Let's explore the interior. The Boiler Room's stylistic elements are combinations of different things. In a way, it's a fancy restaurant. But it also has a laid back and casual feel. The dining area is very classy with a combination of Victorian and contemporary themes. If you're the social type, maybe the bar is a better location. The restaurant has a huge bar that still fits the steampunk image. They keep the lighting relatively dim, giving the place an intimate ambiance. I found alchemy symbols all over the ceiling. Maybe it's the idea of food through alchemy. It's a fun concept. Here are some photos of the waiting area.
Take a look at the bar. It's basically a regular full service bar with a slightly whimsical touch.
Time to explore the rest of the interior. The restaurant had multiple steampunk props and crafts throughout the dining area. This is the section where we ate. It was quite fancy and elaborate to say the least. Granted, a lot of the restaurants on the Las Vegas strip have upscale interiors.
Here's an interesting contraption. I think it's hiding beakers and items you would find in a laboratory. Experiments, perhaps?
A random propeller on the wall! Airships and industrialization are quintessential elements in steampunk, so this little prop works just fine.
I thought this prop was particularly cool. Maybe it's supposed to symbolize time travel in some capacity. I'm probably overcomplicating it, but the artwork is still fascinating.
The servers used carts like this to serve our food. It's nothing special, but still appropriate for the motif. This little cart appears old fashioned and wooden with brass accessories. I'm not sure if it's really made out of wood though.
This cabinet evokes some Victorian and steampunk elements. You'll find all kinds of random goodies in this cabinet.
Now that's what I call steampunk! This prop is an iron octopus with a diving helmet. Totally awesome.
This is one of the tables. I really appreciate how they blended the ideas of Victorianism and fine dining with the punk element. In a way, the table setting is quite fancy. Take a closer look. All of the chairs are different and mismatched. They also look kind of old and dinged up. I thought it was a nice touch.
The Boiler Room also had a giant display of potions. It took four photos to squeeze in everything.
I'll bet you guys are dying to hear about the food. No more suspense. The restaurant doesn't have a particularly big menu, but it still has some variety. I saw a decent range of choices, including seafood, steaks, a pasta of the day, a poultry of the day, a couple more choices of red meat, appetizers, and side dishes. Most of the dishes are a la carte and the menu isn't cheap. It's definitely not the most expensive restaurant in Las Vegas, but prepare to spend some money.
My mother ordered the filet mignon and it looked really good. She enjoyed it very much. I tried a bite of her filet and it was absolutely tasty. The meat was very tender with a lot of flavor. My father ordered the short ribs and it came with mashed potatoes. He seemed to like his dinner quite a bit. I declined to try the short ribs because it's not my type of meat. But they looked quite good and probably less fatty than most short ribs.
I had a really interesting version of chicken parmesan with penne pasta. The sauce was homemade and the chicken tasted amazing. It was juicy and cooked with a lot of ingredients to give the chicken a great taste. We know how it goes. Chicken can be bland and dry, but they did an excellent job with this particular dish. The mozzarella actually came from a buffalo instead of a cow. Interesting, right? The pasta was a different spin on the traditional side of spaghetti. I'm pretty sure the pasta was cooked in a pan with the other ingredients. It was much firmer than the pasta you'll eat at most restaurants. From what I could tell, the pasta was cooked with tomato sauce, cheese, red pepper flakes, asparagus, and more. It had a really good flavor. Overall, I was thrilled with the outcome of my dinner.
We also ordered some extra side dishes. My parents ordered asparagus and it was cooked properly. Sometimes vegetables we cook at home turn out mushy, but the Boiler Room's asparagus was nice and firm. Don't get confused. It was fully cooked, not raw. I wanted to try Rick Moonen's tater tots. Believe it or not, they were incredible! It blew my mind! They're not ordinary tater tots. The Boiler Room's tater tots are much larger than the ones we buy in the grocery stores and made from scratch. I'm not sure what they blended in the potatoes. There were some chives or green onions and possibly some cheese. The server also gave us some ketchup and ranch for dipping sauces. Another great way to add some punk to dining experience! Enjoy some tater tots with your fancy meal! The a la carte sides were also large enough to share and that was another perk. I drank hot tea as my beverage of choice. It's an appropriate drink for a steampunk dinner, right?
Our server was really good too. She was attentive and prompt. It didn't take very long for her to take our order and refill our drinks. Some of the other staff also walked by and asked if we needed anything else. I thought everyone was polite and helpful. Isn't it nice to see good service? Nowadays, I feel disappointed with a lot of servers at the local restaurants.
Basically, I can't complain about anything. The Boiler Room had a really fun ambiance, excellent food, and good service. It's totally worth the money.
I think the menu changes frequently. You guys should read it online. I'm leaving a link for the RX Boiler Room's page through the Mandalay Bay's website. This is a great restaurant for steampunk fans and anyone who enjoys fancy dining. Unfortunately, the prices might scare some people away. If you win some money in Las Vegas, try the Boiler Room! I doubt you'll be disappointed. Have any of you guys eaten at the Boiler Room? Leave a comment and let me know about your experience. Regarding news, I attended the Long Beach Comic Con yesterday. I'll write a nice post about the event next week with plenty of pictures. It was a lot of fun! Thanks a lot for reading my post and I'll see you next time.
Q: It’s good to see you guys again! We have another special guest. Charles Mason II is a professional steampunk artisan who has a lot of experience. He makes costume accessories, foam projects, prosthetics, and almost anything else you can envision in the steampunk aesthetic. Charles also worked as a special effects makeup artist and has experience as a professional baker. Needless to say, he’s a well-rounded artist. How are you doing today, Charles?
A: I'm doing fine, Stephanie. Thank you for asking.
Q: Every steampunk fan has a unique opinion about the genre. What does steampunk mean to you?
A: It's a place that best reflects my unique style and it happens to be a match made in heaven. During my whole life, I got by with junk in my drawers and stuff that people threw away on a daily basis. I harnessed recycled material into my new art form.
Q: Do you have a favorite version of steampunk? Victorian, Wild West, post-apocalyptic, or something else?
A: When I first started, I was drawn to a mixed media of post apocalyptic and alien tech. After studying steampunk clothing and characters for months, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to make a new version early on. I don't have a name for it, but my style is original. You can run across a picture of my pieces and you know it's mine. That's how much my style has made an impact on the Internet in this world.
Q: I don’t believe steampunk is limited to a particular age group, but it definitely appeals to young adults. Why do you think steampunk is so popular among teenagers?
A: I'm glad you brought that up. When I’m attending conventions from the East Coast to the West Coast, I see a pattern with the young steampunkers. We don't have enough true hearted heroes who are willing to give and teach. I approach the shy ones talk to them about their dreams and aspirations of what punk means to them, hoping that I can help harness their true talents inside their young minds. I work with children at my workplace Home Depot. I help run one of the largest kids workshops in the nation because it's about giving back to not only the community, but kids that need a guiding hand or someone to look up to.
Q: Supposedly, the Mortal Engines will be released as a live action film at the end of 2018. It’s based on Philip Reeve’s book series of the same name. As a steampunk fan, is that exciting news to you?
A: It's very exciting and I really want people to understand the steampunk genre in its true form. I haven't seen it done right with TV for some odd reason. It has a curse for getting off the ground and becoming a mainstream thing. I'm currently working on a TV project. I have my fingers crossed, hoping that I can help steer steampunk in the right direction.
Q: Your official website is Lord Mason’s Extraordinary Designs. What kinds of steampunk projects do you create?
A: My official website is lordmasondesigns.com. Some people ask what they don't make well and put boundaries or borders in front of themselves when it might be too hard. I never do that to myself. I try to make everything without limiting myself. I created masquerade masks plus large and small props for the teapot that I made for a play out here in Beaverton Oregon. Also, I create night light airships, drawings, sketches, and I will try to create whatever the customers hearts desire. No project is too small or large for me.
Q: How long have you been working as a steampunk maker?
A: I started on this path back in 2010 when I made my first watch. My wife bought me a watch that didn't fit my wrist because I am a very large individual, so I didn't want to give it away or throw it away. I made my first leather band that started off this whole entire way of me steampunking everything.
Q: I’m sure you worked on many projects. Do you have a favorite steampunk project that comes to mind?
A: Oh, well, that's a tough question, but I'm going to say my 8 foot tall steampunk teapot. Creating this beast from PVC pipes and foam wall insulation was a major undertaking. But in the end, it looked so real that everyone thought it was metal and rust. I call that a big win.
Q: You were a contestant on a reality television show called Steampunk’d. Would you mind telling us about the experience?
A: It was an experience that I don't want to do over again. Creating steampunk art in a hurry is not a wise decision and developing PTSD from the show hit me hard for a solid year after the show ended. It took some deep meditation to get me back on my feet and better than ever. That's all I can say about the show or want to. It's in the past and I'm putting it behind me, looking to the future in a more positive way.
Q: Do you still keep in touch with anyone from the show?
A: Indeed I do. I made wonderful relationships and friendships with not only the cast, but with their husbands, wives, boyfriends, and girlfriends. They will always be a part of my personal family and the steampunk genre. What we had to go through together means a lot and I will never forget them. They are my brothers and sisters. The one person I don't keep in touch with is Morgan.
Q: I thought the show’s judges had a lot of interesting comments. Did you find their criticism useful?
A: Being an artist on the level I’m on is lonely and it can be really hard to take criticism from others who aren’t on the same level as I am. I took away that I must finish my pieces all the way through and not half ass it.
Q: You also create foam projects or costumes. Is it difficult to make foam projects?
A: One of my pieces turned out so good that people thought it was a real metal chest plate. I think using foam is a really fun and inexpensive way to make your vision come to life. I try to get more people on this art medium because if I’m having this much enjoyment from creating foam, I want to share it with the world.
Q: There was a time when you worked in Hollywood as a special effects makeup artist. Did you enjoy the experience?
A: I was raised on horror and sci-fi movies with a lot of special effects. My dream came true at 19. I got my first gig in a special effects shop under Screaming Mad George. But it was Mike McGee from Alex in Wonderland who gave me the courage to pursue my passion further. If it wasn’t for this man, I probably would not have done the things I’m doing today.
Q: Which movies did you work on?
A: I worked on movies and TV commercials. I think Cold Space X was the film where I built a prop space capsule that looked real. But my first film was called the Legend of Diablo. I worked as an intern makeup artist, but I also had an opportunity as a zombie, plus I did so well, they put me on the cover of the DVD.
Q: You’re also a professional baker. Why did you dive into the realm of artistic baking?
A: When I left Los Angeles, I moved to Portland Oregon to become a baker. I attended a pastry school in Portland for a year and during that time, I thought I could transform my artistic flair into food. When I do something, I go above and beyond, and it shows. Putting 10 years in the kitchen had its pros and cons, but it was time to move on.
Q: What else should we know about you?
A: Just know that I will always do my best to provide original artwork to inspire young adults, older crowds, and anybody with an open mind and open heart. I’m always trying to share this gift with the world and I’m always here when you need me. Just call or send an email and I will give you my time.
Q: That was a really cool and educational interview. Thanks a lot for joining us, Charles. You’re a very talented steampunk maker and I know we’re going to see more of your work in the future. I appreciate your positive outlook on life. Best wishes for your career and future steampunk adventures.
A: Thank you all. I love my steampunk family from coast to coast and overseas.
Another interview comes and goes. I really enjoyed talking to Charles. He seems like a tremendously talented and well rounded creator. I also thought he was very friendly, honest, and genuine. We live in such a competitive and insincere world, so it's refreshing to meet people like Charles who have great character. Please take a look at his official website called Lord Mason's Extraordinary Designs. You can commission him to make all kinds of cool steampunk projects. I'm going to post the link below. What did you enjoy the most about this interview? Leave a comment and let me know. Feel free to become a subscriber by filling out the contact page on my website. That's a wrap for now and stay tuned for my next post.