Monday, April 4, 2011
After a harrowing, amusement-park-like ride to LAX on a ridiculously rainy Sunday afternoon (which my nerves barely survived) and an hour-long delay at the airport, I finally arrived in Las Vegas for spring break. I was meeting my mom there, and the objective for the trip was to eat and shop irresponsibly.
We began this task with dinner at Jaleo. I had hesitated in making reservations at é, and in the end, I'm glad I did. We were both so tired from the trip, I don't know if we would've made it through 19 courses that night. The casual atmosphere of Jaleo was a nice fit. We had early reservations so the restaurant was still nice and quiet when we sat down. We ordered some cava and toasted to a fabulous stay in Vegas.
Jaleo by José Andrés
@ The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
colorful and playful menus...
Ostra 'Gin & Tonic'
six oysters with lemon, gin and tonic
At $2 a piece, these oysters were relatively well-priced. If only there was no gin and tonic action going on. They had this weird sweetness to them that I really did not enjoy. I'd take unadulterated oysters over these any day.
Croquetas de pollo
traditional chicken fritters
I'm sorry, but I have a problem with shoes on the table. This was not a small shoe. This was the shoe of a grown man. It doesn't matter if the shoe is filled with delicious croquetas that have a creamy, steaming filling of shredded chicken and a crunchy, golden exterior--it's just still not okay with me. Maybe it's okay with you...
The paella pit...
Lobster paella with garlic aioli
This was the paella of the day, but judging by every other blog post of Jaleo I've seen, when is lobster paella not their paella of the day? The rice was a little al dente for me but thankfully, the lobster was actually not overcooked. It was tasty, but I wouldn't have wanted an entire plate to myself. My jaw would've gotten tired.
Calamares al estilo Pelayo
seared fresh squid stew with onion confit
Probably the best dish we had that night. The calamari was so tender, and the onion confit added a nice bit of sweetness. The only problem was, the portion was a little large for only two people. Instead of fighting over the last piece, we kept pushing it at each other. Pity, since it was really quite tasty.
Papadas de Kurobata y vieiras 'Mar y Montanya'
Kurobuta pork jowls and scallops with olive oil potato purée
Salty, salty, salty. I thought the combination of pork and scallops was interesting (and I LOVE pork jowls), but this was way too salty. Otherwise, it would have been perfection. The pork jowl not only had that nice chewiness, but it's meatiness also enhanced the sweetness of the scallops.
Pastel de chocolat y avellanas
Chocolate hazelnut cake with praline ice cream and salted caramel sauce
Dessert was better than I expected it to be. With my mom, if a chocolate dessert is on the menu (and when is chocolate not on the dessert menu?), she has to order it. The chocolate cake was soft and moist, almost like it was soaked in some kind of liquid before being encased in a ring of chocolate mousse. The praline ice cream was delightful and the bits of hazelnut added a nice crunch.