Jaleo by José Andrés

Restaurant: Jaleo

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


So what does a true Foodie Club member do after eating a 22 course tasting dinner at é by José Andrés? Why have a second dinner of course!

This is the final part of my mini-Vegas series. Be sure to check out the opulent Twist and é reviews.

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.

Certainly the build out in the swank new Cosmopolitan hotel in Vegas is well… swank.

Tapas bar — literally.

Seems pretty Spanish.

They have an elaborate paella station. Racks are situated here where the traditional big pans can brew up this good stuff over wood fires.

Oooh, and the wine list is an iPad app. Which is a cool idea but at current is slightly slower and more awkward than a traditional paper list.

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.

Here is photo of a typical example of this I got one afternoon in Cordoba. At Jaleo, they plated them out of the crock, but in spain it’s always served sizzling right off the stove.

Now on to the paella. Which, like rissoto, is all about the rice. In this case Bomba. This rice absorbs a lot more liquid than lamer rices.

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 a banda con bogavante.” Rice apart from the lobster. The lobster was excellent. The paella itself a tiny bit bitter from the saffron. Still, a very enjoyable dish.

“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!

The dessert menu. Even “after dinner snacks” need three courses.

“Helado de aceite de oliva con cítricos texturados. Olive oil ice cream with grapefruit.” Two flavors of ice cream, a bit of grapefruit.

And a drizzle of olive oil.

Interesting contrast again of the sweet and slightly oily salty. A satisfying conclusion.

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.

Click here for the 22 course meal that proceeded this — the same night!

For more Food Club extravaganzas.

For more Vegas dining reviews click here.

4 comments on “Jaleo by José Andrés

  1. Kip says:

    Next time you all are visiting your parents, we’ll go to the Jaleo in Bethesda.

  2. […] that it was not in the least overwhelming. In fact, afterward us hardcore foodies went and had an entire second (albeit smallish)  three-course meal outside at Jaleo. Those less dedicated to gluttony went to gamble. It’s also worth noting that the service was […]

  3. […] Bazaar (REVIEW HERE), but also to brunch at Trés, and just last week to é by José Andrés and Jaleo in […]

  4. […] and figuring as I’ve recently hit everything else Jose Andres (é by José Andrés and Jaleo in Vegas and a recent Saam meal), stopped […]

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