Max Jacobson: Vegas Personality and Traumatic Brain Injury Accident Survivor

Traffic accident nearly killed Luxury Travel's multilingual food & hotel critic

Photo of restaurant reviewer Max Jacobson of Eating Las Vegas and luxurytravel.about.com.
••• Luxury Travel Guest Author Max Jacobson. ©Demerara Doyle

Yes, Max Jacobson Was in a Terrible Accident

In December 23, 2013, while walking to his Vegas gym, Max crossed the street at  red light. He was hit by a speeding pickup truck that went right through the light. Max suffered serious head injuries: TBI, or traumatic brain injury.  

In the days following the accident, Max's life was in grave danger. Many TBI patients die of their injuries. For those who survive their accident, the main threat is swelling of the brain against the skull.

Max's neurosurgeon, Dr. Michael Seiff, helped save his life.

• Max was unconscious for three months
• When he came out of his coma, he could not speak
• He spent nine months in a series of hospitals and rehab facilities and came home to Las Vegas in late September 2014
• ​Max is continuing his rehab on an outpatient basis and picking up his former life, though his online passwords remain elusive
• Max is slowly but surely easing back into his life and into conversation
• He has recovered many of his former skills, not to mention his computer passwords
• I was pleased to publish, here on Luxury Travel, Max's first story post-accident, a bubbly review of FIZZ Las Vegas Champagne BarGo Max!

Max Jacobson's Background

Max Jacobson is a food, wine, and travel writer with over 25 years' expertise and a devoted following (5,000+ Facebook Friends!)

A native Bostonian, Max left a Ph.D. program in Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison to report on food and restaurants for the Los Angeles Times.

Explains Max, "I wrote a long letter to the dining editor, Ruth Reichl. I pointed out inconsistencies in the paper's Chinese food reviews. She hired me to see if I could do better."
• Max adds, "I had the reviewer job for 15 years."

When Max Met Vegas

Max relocated from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 1999 at the urging of his friend Wolfgang Puck, the first celebrity chef to open shop in Vegas.

Max caught a cresting wave and became Sin City's premier dining critic. He's a Vegas macher -- bigshot --who seems to be everywhere at once. He writes for a batch of newspapers, magazines, and websites, and he hosts dining events, festivals, and KNPR programs.

Says Max, "I've reviewed thousands of Vegas eateries ranging from battered carts ladling up Pueblan goat stew to Michelin-starred French culinary shrines." He is a co-author of Eating Las Vegas the city's indispensable dining guide, updated annually until 2013.
• Here on Luxury Travel, the Top 10 Restaurants from Eating Las Vegas

Max has traveled to all 50 states and to "95 countries, give or take," he says. When he's not dining, writing, or traveling, Max can be found cycling in Southern Nevada's mountains or plying his luck in a Vegas casino's Texas Hold 'Em poker room.

Max Jacobson's Unique Ability

There's more than one elite food and travel writer in the United States. But not a one shares Max's inimitable attribute.
• He speaks over a dozen languages including French, Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Swedish, German, Serbo-Croatian, Japanese, Cantonese, and Bahasa Indonesia
• Max can get by in Danish, Estonian, Greek, Hindi, Korean, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Nepali, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Thai, and Yiddish

"Because I can talk to the locals pretty much wherever I travel, I can really get into the culture and cuisine," says Max. "I strive for my food and travel writing to convey this insider sense, and give my readers a real 'you are there' feeling."

Max's California Hotel Stories for Luxury Travel
• L.A.'s strikingly designed beach hotel that channels Hollywood glamour, Viceroy Santa Monica
• San Diego's hotel icon, refreshed with arty room décor and the town's best dining, THE US GRANT
• Santa Barbara's secret love hotel for movie stars, now not so secret, thanks to Max: El Encanto
• San Francisco's serene Taj Campton Place Hotel
• A modest-appearing Napa Valley hotel with an excellent restaurant, River Terrace Inn
• The lowdown on California's only triple five-star hotel: Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Max's Luxury Travel Stories about Hotels in the Americas

• The welcoming, stylish Hyatt 48 Lex Hotel in NYC
•  Sociable Manhattan hotel atop one of the city's liveliest parks, W New York - Union Square
•  Dignified hotel dead-center in Max's hometown, with New England's best brunch, The Langham, Boston
•  Spectacular Relais & Châteaux hotel on wild Vancouver Island, the Wickaninnish Inn
•  Mexico City boutique hotel that's a nightlife magnet, Condesa DF

And Max's Europe Hotel Stories

• Where single-named superstars of the Beyoncé variety find privacy, Corinthia London
• The original grand hotel (1865!), newly renovated for a new century, The Langham, London
• A big hotel with a brilliant London location atop a lovely park, Hyatt Regency Churchill London
• Victorian beauty reborn in London's happening fashion district, Andaz Liverpool Street London
• Legendary French Riviera hotspot, Hotel Byblos
• Charming French-Basque seaside inn with a gifted young chef, La Réserve Saint-Jean-de-Luz
•  Deluxe small hotel on Portugal's Algarve coast with a two-Michelin-star restaurant, Vila Joya

Max's Dining Adventures on Luxury Travel

• The man explores one of America's beloved culinary travel destinations: Napa Valley, California
• Max's Tour de Québec tells you which 5 eateries are Quebec City's best restaurants
•  In Québec province;s glam metropolis: international Montreal's incredible dining scene
• Max ate his way through Mexico's capital to find Mexico City's Top Tables & Tastes
• His tasteful take on a must-visit Southern California dining destination, Terranea Resort
• This deluxe, all-suites Manhattan hotel boasts two Gordon Ramsay restaurants: The London NYC
• It wasn't easy, but Max picked the 5 Best Restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
• A taste of a top Miami restaurant, the newest in the Milos empire of supreme seafood, Milos Miami
•  Max's bubbly visit to FIZZ Las Vegas Champagne Bar
•​ Max's Tale of Two Cities: what you can expect from the Eurostar train from London to Paris