NO FLIM-FLAN AFFAIR, JAVIER’S IS MORE THAN CASUAL CUISINE

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Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International

Even as you are approaching Javier’s from the casino floor, you can tell right away it’s not your typical taco joint. A tent of thick white ropes anchor the bar area created by designer Dodd Mitchell. The lounge features 4,000 metal nail heads and leather booths are accented with corset-style lacing. Hand-crafted pottery from Guadalajara, Mexico, reclaimed vintage belts on the windows and door frames, and abalone tiles covering the private dining room’s walls and ceiling offer a Spanish feel.

Although Mexican food is known for being inexpensive, that’s not the case at Javier’s, which opened in the space formerly occupied by Union at Aria Resort & Casino. The team at Javier’s takes their Mexican food to the next level, touting that the restaurant “has the energy of your favorite Mexican restaurant with the high-end cuisine you expect from a dinner on The Strip.”

An entrée of Carne Asada is $50 but, of course, Javier’s grills 12 ounces of New York Steak prime center cut to make the dish and so it’s well worth the price and is like no Carne Asada you have ever tasted. It’s served with grilled pasilla chile stuffed with cotija and Monterey Jack cheese that may be simple in its conception but has a nice crunchy texture with a cheesy interior that cuts the little bit of tartness of the chile.

My amiga ordered Seafood Enchiladas ($27) which were stuffed with shrimp and Dungeness Crab sautéed in butter, garlic, onion and wine, then covered in a tomatillo sauce, and melted Monterey Jack cheese. It was a mix of great flavor and the ingredients were fresh.

Our server cited Mar Y Tierra ($65, steak and lobster), an 8 oz. grilled filet mignon prime center cut accompanied by a Maine lobster tail sauteed with poblano chiles and onions in a wine, garlic butter sauce, as one of the restaurant’s more popular entrees.

For a flan finale, Javier’s flan is a dreamy creamy custardy affair with the taste of vanilla bathed in a caramel sauce. If you don’t think you like flan, try this one and you will change your mind.

Javier’s, Aria Resort & Casino, CityCenter, www.arialasvegas.com
Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to midnight

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