I was visiting family in Las Vegas this past weekend, and I think I have NEVER in my life had so much outstanding homemade Mexican food; Chilaquiles, Ceviche, Pan Dulce, the list goes on. While I would love to spout about the authenticity and delectability of my family's home-cooking, the spotlight tonight is on one of Vegas' supremely innovative and accessible eateries China Poblano.
Jose Andres is slowly emerging as one of my favorite chefs. It may help that he apprenticed under Ferran Adrià, the head chef of El Bulli, often considered the single greatest restaurant in the world, BUT, what really sets Andres apart from other celebrity chefs is a pure love for experimentation that is only equaled by the taste of his cooking. Andres incorporates the concepts of Molecular Gastronomy into his cooking. Molecular Gastronomy is a style of cooking that combines scientific method with culinary innovation and in the wrong hands can sometimes be more conceptually interesting than pleasing to the palate but Andres brings a child-like energy that eschews the pretensions of many of his counterparts.
His new concept at China Poblano, at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, is a curious new direction that demonstrates Jose Andres is a Haute force to be reckoned with. At first glace, China Poblano seems to be a fusion restaurant, a concept I normally recoil from, but Andres is less interested in combining these two cuisines as much as he is interested in having them side by side. Some of his classic well known gastronomical concoctions like the Salt Air Margarita can be found on the menu, a drink well deserved of its reviews and reputation, but what one might find surprising is that apart from the drinks, the food at China Poblano is not a molecular gastronomical affair. Instead Andres restrains some of his more conceptual impulses to present straightforward street food from their respective countries of origin and focuses precisely on what is most important, the taste.
Salt Air Margaritas (There are no words...okay maybe there are, FUCKING FANTASTIC)
Fresh house-made chips, tortillas, guacamole, and salsa rojo
Ensalada Cesar "Alex Cardini"
Queso "Fun-dido". Pun intended.
Viva China. Warm oyster (BLEH) on top of beef tendon (not that bleh), not recommended, ESPECIALLY if you're drinking and hey it's Vegas, you're drinking.
Dan Dan Mian
Cold Tea for Two. A delicious concoction of Tequila, Beer, and Green Tea. Don't let the dainty teapot and green tea aspects fool you, this punch packs, well...a punch.
Apologies for lack of outfit in this post, I had one but then realized I looked like I had eaten too much, and hey, I did. No regrets, this is a promise for more style posts in the upcoming weeks. I need to run, or dance, or do anything that requires physical exertion and/or movement.