José Andrés is host and executive producer of the PBS television series Made in Spain. He has authored several cookbooks including one featuring recipes from his PBS series, Made in Spain: Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen and Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America.
China Poblano offers a tapas influenced menu of Asian and Mexican dishes. Not a fusion menu, each dish is clearly designated as From China or From Mexico. With the exception of my starter, on my visit I concentrated on the selections from Mexico.
My meal started with Lotus Chips, thinly sliced fried lotus root with star anise salt. The chips were light, crisp and disappeared quickly.
For my second course I had a difficult time choosing between the Pescado Estilo Baja (seared fish with fresh cabbage, house-made mayo, pickled ancho chiles and onions) or a grilled chicken taco, one of the day’s specials.
At my server’s suggestion, I chose the chicken taco, the perfect combination of moist bites of chicken infused with the flavor of the grill, avocado sauce and scallion. The simplicity of the menu description did not prepare me for the complexity of flavors. I was left wondering how such a variety of tastes could be imparted into a few simple ingredients.
Next up was a Chicken Mole Tamale, probably the best tamale I have ever eaten. Perfect massa filled with chicken in a flawless mole sauce delivered a flavor punch.
I finished my meal with flan served with pineapple bites and salted caramel sorbet. While enjoyable, I personally was not a fan of the combination of the pineapple and salted caramel.
I chose to stick with the Mexico flavors for this visit and am looking forward to returning and trying some selections from China like the dim sum choice of Golden Pigs, fried delicate steamed buns with Chinese barbecue pork and condensed milk, or the Swallow a Cloud, Hong Kong-style wonton stuffed with shrimp, pork and bok choy. My server said that the Mango Stick Rice is one of her favorite desserts on the menu.
Which brings me to the service at China Poblano. My server was attentive and very knowledgeable about the menu. Each dish was attractively presented which contributed to the feeling that each was an offering worth savoring.
The décor is unique and inviting with several small tables along with accommodations for larger groups and two separate bar areas where you can watch drinks being mixed along with some food preparation.
China Poblano is tucked away on the second floor of The Cosmopolitan, 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South, (702) 698-7900. It can be accessed by elevator or by riding the escalators inside the giant Cosmopolitan chandelier and following the signs as you exit on the second floor.
If you are accessing from Las Vegas Boulevard, enter from the pedestrian crossing next to Planet Hollywood on the opposite side of the Boulevard. Once in the Cosmopolitan take a left and walk straight back to the China Poblano entrance.
I was glad to have accidentally found China Poblano while exiting The Cosmopolitan. I discovered exceptional food, outstanding service and reasonable prices. I am looking forward to future visits to work my way through their menu!