Restaurants & Bars 5

Dinner @ Jaleo, 2/11/2012

zin1953 | Feb 12, 201210:14 AM

José Andres has a number of restaurants in the US, and the main Vegas outpost is Jaleo, located in the (new) Cosmopolitan.

Lynn & I went with her brother, who -- despite living in Vegas -- has never eaten here. At some point, however, he's learned to turn the ordering over to his big sister and her husband (that would be me), and so off we went . . .

We were told that the lobster paella would be about 40-45 minutes, so of course we ordered that immediately . . . and it was the first dish to arrive at our table. Good news: it arrived within 10 minutes. Bad news: it arrived within 10 minutes. Let me explain:

I thought I had ordered an array of tapas, salads, etc. and it would culminate with the paella. Having it arrive first threw the progression of dishes I had in my head out the proverbial window, but the paella was so damned good, who cares???

Next arrived the plate of green olives stuffed with anchovy and piquillo peppers, and paired with Ferrán Adrià "olives" -- little "balloons" of liquid (Kalamata?) olives that burst in the mouth, filling you with that wonderful olive deliciousness. Amazing! And for someone who deeply regrets never dining at El Bulli, this was a REAL treat!

Served with that was the Selección de embutidos -- a selection of cured meats (Jamón Ibérico de bellota Fermin, Jamón Ibérico Fermin, Jamón Serrano Fermin, Lomo Ibérico de bellota Fermin, and house-made Chorizo Palacios) paired with their Pan con Tomate. Delicious, flavorful, and indeed somewhat magical.

Next to arrive was the Manzana con hinojo y queso Manchego (a sliced apple and fennel salad with Manchego cheese, walnuts and Sherry dressing) that was crisp, light, refreshing, and very tasty.

Our waitperson, Samantha, was knowledgeable and helpful, enthusiastic without being artificial in any way. Based upon her recommendation ("I never eat veal, but this is my favorite thing on the menu!"), we ordered the Fricandó de carilleras de ternera y puré de patatas al aceite de olive (Veal cheeks and morels with olive oil potato purée). OMG, she was right! Rich, flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth lusciousness that was so sensual, so . . ., so close to being over-the-top that, were it any closer, it would be illegal!

Recovering from this silky dish of richness, we moved on to the deceivingly simple sounding Trigueros con romesco (Grilled asparagus with romesco sauce), pencil-thin -- NO, eyebrow pencil-thin asparagus grilled to perfection with romesco that we could have eaten all night long. Major yums!

Finally, we had Rape a la Donostiarra (Monkfish with garlic, Sherry and parsley oil). Again, deceptively simple in name, but don't let that stop you. Normally, I'm one of those people who don't "get" monkfish (aka "the poor man's lobster"). It's never seemed like lobster to me, and most of the times when I've had monkfish in the past, it's been overcooked and rather bland. But this . . . THIS was OUTSTANDING! Truly, the best monkfish I've ever had, and a dish I already want to have again! Thinly sliced pieces of monkfish delicately poached (sous vide?) with just a hint of garlic and sherry, and a drizzle of parsley oil . . . this was THE dish-of-the-night, and the perfect dish to end our meal on!

Well, OK, with had José Andres' grandmother's flan. This, too, was the best flan I've ever had in my life!

They have a great selection of Spanish wines, too. (They have wines from elsewhere, but to be honest, I didn't look.)

An amazing dinner, and a place we will definitely be going back to!

3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

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