LAS VEGAS - TAO Asian Bistro, located on the Grand Canal Shoppes level of Las Vegas's Venetian Hotel, is awarded the #1 spot on Restaurants & Institutions magazine's annual list of the top 100 grossing independent restaurants in the country with a staggering $55.3 million in food and beverage sales in 2006.

Owners Rich Wolf and Marc Packer, along with partners Noah Tepperberg, Jason Strauss and Louis Abin, opened the 42,000 square foot entertainment complex in September 2005, which includes a restaurant, lounge, nightclub and banquet room and just recently debuted TAO Beach, a European-style beach club by day and exotic nightclub by night. The duo also owns the popular New York outpost, which opened in October 2000 and was the fourth highest grossing restaurant in America in 2006 on R&I's list.

"Marc and I are obviously thrilled with the news and we're even more pleased with the fact that the public is enjoying a concept that we've put so much effort into creating," states Wolf.

Wolf and Packer are no strangers to highly successful restaurants and nightclubs. Wolf and Packer were the co-creators of Angelo & Maxie's Steakhouse in 1996, which was sold to a public company in 1999 for one of the highest prices ever reported for a single unit restaurant and Wolf is the current owner of The Stanton Social in New York's Lower East Side. Packer owns Marquee, one of the most popular nightclubs in the country. He is also the owner and creator of Rue 57 Brasserie Parisienne et Sushi Bar and the Greek-inspired Avra Estiatorio in New York. Packer conceptualized Big Apple classics such as Wolf's Sixth Avenue Delicatessen, Canastel's, and Pietro's, which all have a special place in the city's culinary history.

Designer Thomas Schoos, who has revolutionized restaurant design with New York City's original TAO, among many others, energized the soaring space with a stunning array of exotic Asian antiques, art and symbolism balanced against contemporary sensibilities. Antique Buddhas, a vertical rock garden, a bar top made out of ancient Asian coins and a wall on which over fifty antique opium pipes are suspended inside brightly-colored individual insets are just some of the unique design elements. The focal point of the 400-seat restaurant is a spectacular hand-carved 20-foot high Buddha. The menu created by Executive Chef Sam Hazen is as exotic and seductive as the setting, exhibiting influences from every corner of the Pacific Rim and showcasing the freshest global ingredients.

TAO Asian Bistro is open seven days a week from 5 p.m. to midnight and until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the lounge from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., and TAO Nightclub, Thursday through Saturday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. TAO Beach is open daily, 10 a.m. until sunset. TAO Beach nightclub is open Saturdays from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m. On Sundays, "Sunset Sundays," a guest list-only event is open to the public from 5:30 p.m. until late. Reservations for the nightclub or TAO Beach can be made by calling (702) 388 - 8588.