Location: 3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109. 702.698.7000 (Cosmopolitan)
Date: September 24, 2011
Cuisine: Spanish Tapas
Rating: Fun Tapas Bar
é is the “secret” 8 seat restaurant located within the more mainstream Jaleo, a small chain venture of José Andrés’ bringing moderately authentic Spanish tapas and paella with a modern bent to America.
One of the staff from é (who secured us our no wait table) recommended this excellent and approachable Spanish red. “The 2000 Dehesa la Granja Seleccion received malolactic in French oak barrels followed by an additional 2 years in the oak. It offers more complex aromatics (mineral, cedar, spice box, smoke, leather, and black fruits) but is compact, a bit too structured in the mouth, and the finish is somewhat abrupt. If time pulls this wine together, my score will look conservative.”
The menu. Many of the dishes are variants of Spanish classics.
“Endives, goat cheese, oranges, and almond.” Bear in mind that we did JUST EAT a huge four hour tasting menu — and there are only two of us eating this “post dinner snack.” So we started light. These were very tasty, with bright bright flavors.
“Gambas al ajillo.” In Spain usually called Gambas pilpil. Basically shrimp boiled (fried?) in olive oil and garlic. These were very typical of what I must have had 30 times in southern Spain. The quality of the shrimp here was higher than is often the case at cheap places in Spain.
The only problem with the Jaleo implementation is that in the interest of expediency they don’t cook the paella as long as they should (at least 45 minutes). Instead they force it at a little higher temperature. This doesn’t allow for the maximum paella effect.
“Arroz con cosillas de cerdo iberico de bollota.” Made with the famous black-footed iberico de bellota pig. Ribs in particular. This was an amazing paella, and the sweetness of the pork leant the rice a sweet meaty goodness. Yum!
Overall, Jaleo seemed good. I can’t quite judge it fully as we didn’t have a real meal, just a “snack,” but I enjoyed what we had and having spent a month recently in Spain I have a pretty good palette for the stuff. It tasted pretty Spanish — filtered through a bit of internationalization.