Julian Serrano (Las Vegas – Aria)

It’s Vegas Baby!  It seems like ages since the last time we visited Las Vegas so we jumped at the chance to come here in early December (especially since the Mayan calendar predicted the end of the world on Dec 21, 2012).  This is the first in a string of posts based in Sin City – mainly to help me remember where we ate and to plan for our next visit :-)

The thing about Vegas is that there’s such a dichotomy of new and old with things constantly changing…  Take, for example, the new Terminal 3 for McCarran International Airport – a much needed upgrade that just opened in June of 2012.  It’s very utilitarian and nothing like the one at YVR but still better than the old terminal that I remembered from our last visit 3 years ago.

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On our last visit to Vegas, they were still building the sprawling CityCenter (next to the Bellagio) so we were pleased to try out the new Aria Resort and Casino.  After our flight and shuttle service to our hotel, we needed to find some food.  Since our trip included a $100 credit for restaurants at Aria, we decided to try something in the Aria first.

Apparently early December is a slow time in Vegas and a lot of shows and restaurants are closed down (I think there were at least 2 restaurants in Aria that were closed while we were there including the Buffet).  It didn’t leave us many choices so we picked Julian Serrano – a Spanish tapas restaurant located off the lobby of the Aria.

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Sautéed Baby Spinach ($10) with pine nuts, shallots, raisins, and apple.

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Fresh Calamari a la Plancha ($14) – tender grilled calamari drizzled with lemon parsley extra virgin olive oil on top of caramelized onions.

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Steamed Mussels ($12) simply done with shallots, garlic, and brandy.  For the price, there were plenty of mussels (albeit rather small).

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Traditional Spanish Chicken Croquetas ($12) – fried with a béchamel sauce and quite delicate – these little croquetas flaked apart easily with their light coating.

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Tuna Cones ($14 for 3) – ahi tuna cubes mixed with cucumber and avocado and served in crispy wonton cones drizzled with ponzu sauce.  Most of the filling was on the top of the cone with the avocado stuffed in the bottom of the thin cone.

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Mixed Paella for 2 ($50).  The paella take about 35 minutes to make so we noshed on the other tapas until this arrived.  This was a ginormous serving and, despite being made for two people, it easily fed all four of us.  The paella was super and came with lobster, mussels, chicken, spanish pork chorizo, and veggies mixed in with saffron rice.

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The menu here is pretty extensive so you shouldn’t have a problem finding something that you’ll enjoy here.  Whatever you do, make sure you try one of their paellas.  It’s a little more on the expensive side but the dish is quite filling.

The price point on most of their other dishes weren’t too bad and they were all pretty good.  Definitely a good place to go in a group to share a bunch of different items.

3730 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV

www.arialasvegas.com/dining/restaurants/julian-serrano

Julian Serrano on Urbanspoon

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Posted on December 18, 2012, in Restaurant Review, Spanish, Tapas and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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