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I Went on an Exotic Vacation to...Atlantic City?

Growing up in Philadelphia, Atlantic City was always an option if we ever wanted a quick getaway. As kids, we would go all the time with our parents for a day trip or weekend adventure and as young adults it was great for gambling (when there were no closer options) and the nightlife. It was an exciting destination and it was just close enough to make it convenient and affordable. However, its no secret that throughout the years Atlantic City has transformed several times. There were times when it was thriving, times when it was deserted and grimy, and times when we thought it was finally making a comeback only to see it fall again. We have ridden the roller coaster of change several times and yet for some reason, we never give up on Atlantic City. Recently I was fortunate enough to spend a weekend at the Tropicana and I can confidently say that I had a great time. My main reason for going was to try two new restaurants that recently opened, Olon and Okatshe, by Jose Garces. These restaurants were both equally beautiful even though they had completely different themes and settings. Okatshe is a playful and modern take on a traditional Japanese izakaya. The coolest part was having to walk through a hidden door inside a small candy shop and then getting transported into what felt like the vibrant streets of Tokyo. The small plates, yakitori, and sushi were all equally exciting and overall delicious. Next we tried Olon for brunch, which had a very beachy and relaxing vibe with a massive raw bar as soon as you walk in and a huge "make your own" bloody mary bar. I almost forgot that I was actually at the beach until I saw the beautiful Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop of this aesthetically beautiful restaurant. Plus, with the unseasonably warm almost 80 degree weather we were having that day I really felt like I was on an exotic vacation. Although I still have a love hate relationship with Atlantic City, if you plan your trip properly you will end up having a great time.

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