To round out an epic travel year, I spent a few days in early December celebrating my sister’s 30th birthday in Las Vegas. As the token foodie for the group that we travelled with I had suggested dinner at Jaleo, which is a Spanish tapas restaurant brought to us by José Andrés Puerta. José is well-known for his Spanish cooking and tapas. I am personally in awe of him as he spent part of his early career at El Bulli, working under Ferran Adria.
Jaleo is a fun, modern, loud, vibrant restaurant, located in The Cosmopolitan. It is not stuffy and this suited our rowdy group of 10 perfectly. The best thing to do, as with any tapas restaurant, is to order multiple plates and share them. Plates get served as they get cooked, so it is very informal, and the only complaint that I heard all night was that the daily special lamb paella wasn’t on par with the quality of the rest of the dishes.
I personally enjoyed everything that I tasted, but particularly the black noodle paella with squid and shrimp, and the traditional chicken fritters (although I really didn’t like that they were served in a sneaker – there is just something gross about that). Although I didn’t personally try it, a friend who loves seafood highly recommends the butter and sea urchin topped bread (so much so that she wanted me to call it out to you all!).
As I look back over the menu, I am filled with regret that I was unable to sample more of the menu than what I did (albeit it is a huge menu). I realize that I missed out on trying some really interesting sounding dishes, including the famous liquid olives. Gah! Although I’m not planning to return to Vegas any time soon, when I do return I will definitely be returning to Jaleo for another feast.
Foie Gras Toasts
Pressed sandwich of ibérico ham, manchego cheese, and truffle
Batter Fried Shrimp with Caper Mayonnaise and Black Olive Salt
Seared scallops with romesco sauce
Slightly spicy chorizo wrapped in crispy potato
Black noodle paella with squid and shrimp