Vegas is a lot like chocolate. Both are decadent. Both are fun. And both have a deliciously naughty side. At least, that's what Max Brenner would tell you.
The mastermind behind Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man, Brenner is Willy Wonka with less hair and a slight Israeli accent. His empire reaches from Australia to Philadelphia, and, starting August 5, it reaches Las Vegas, too.
"The whole concept is kind of revolutionizing the world of chocolate," Brenner explains of his shop and café, now open at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. As opposed to the gourmet chocolate market with its focus on cocoa percentages and sourcing, Brenner's enterprise is pure, unadulterated fun. Just try picking up a piece of chocolate pizza or taking a hit from a chocolate syringe without smiling.
Brenner's menu veers into the sensual side of chocolate, too. Some of his chocolate-drenched dishes are souvenirs from his relationships—you might call it courting via cocoa. "A lot of the romantic creations in the restaurant were once a unique creation for somebody, for a girl." If the dish worked well enough with his date, eventually Brenner made it for his customers, too. "If I'm in love, I express it in chocolate," he explains.
If he's in the opposite mood, Brenner also expresses it through chocolate. "If I'm not in a good mood, I tend to eat a lot of chocolate. Chocolate makes me happy," Brenner says. "Chocolate in general is a product with a smile."