Julian Serrano

Usually the task of choosing a restaurant while we’re on vacation is left in my hands since I’m so obsessed.  But on our recent Vegas trip, Mark and Allison were the ones to discover and suggest Julian Serrano for our big night out with Greg and Susan.  I think Mark was drawn to the restaurant after seeing the chef’s impressive resumé and learning that he had studied molecular gastronomy before opening the eponymous restaurant a few years ago.  The restaurant boasts a massive tapas menu – so large that we were concerned it would not be possible to properly execute all of the dishes.  But apparently it is.  Every item we tried was absolutely amazing.  Since I’m telling you upfront how good it all was, I’m only going to describe the ones that I still can’t stop thinking about:

  • 2 Charcuterie Plates (one mixed, one just serrano ham)
  • Pan Manchego
  • Spanish Tortilla – topped with a piece of bread that was smothered in some amazing aioli to the point that it was soggy and could be spread on the tortilla
  • Chicken Croquetas
  • Bomba
  • Albondigas
  • Stuffed Dates
  • Oxtail
  • Chicharrones – most interesting version I’ve had since they were made with pork belly and covered in sticky sweet melted sugar
  • Tuna Cones
  • Yellowtail – served around a crispy sweet potato haystack with a dallop of horseradish cream.  Though the tuna cones were good, this was a more unique take on a raw fish dish.
  • Black rice – BEST ITEM ON THE MENU.  Order two.  The squid ink rice was almost like risotto in a creamy saffron sauce and then topped with large chunks of squid and lobster.  We should have ordered two.  Heck, we should have ordered 12.
  • Paella mix – packed with all sorts of seafood, meat, and veggies.  Definitely order a paella when you sit down because it is as good as any paella in Spain.  Since we were ordering so many other items we ordered the paella for two.  They can increase the serving size of any of their paellas, but the two person version is quite large.  We saw a table by us order the 4-person size and it was massive.  Only do that if you’re eating nothing else.
  • Churros

When we finished our meal we wanted a round of after-dinner drinks and some of us were getting sleepy and requested some sort of hot toddy, like a Bailey’s and coffee.  Our waitress suggested a drink on the menu with two lines of ingredients.  It was served over ice and included vanilla, some sort of clear alcohol, and two shots of espresso.  It was incredible.  We all sucked it right down.  It was the perfect end to a perfect meal that could make a Vegas believer out of any non-gambler.

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