Tuesday, December 27, 2011

las vegas (xmas) - mesa grill + jaleo

we slept in on saturday before heading to caesars palace for lunch at mesa grill - my 2nd time - and to check out the forum shops. quite possibly the greatest sneaker of all time, the air jordan XI, was released by nike to a mad frenzy at midnight on the 23rd, but at $180 i just couldn't pull the trigger.

concord colorway

 undaunted, our meal at bobby flay's southwestern eatery consisted of:

cactus pear margarita
tiger shrimp + garlic corn tamale
blue corn buttermilk waffle
spicy chicken + sweet potato hash
we headed back to luxor to get ready for dinner as well as to see mystère, my first foray into the world of cirque du soleil.

dinner was at 6:45pm at jaleo, the spanish tapas joint by josé andrés, at the newish cosmopolitan hotel. i actually tried to get reservations at his exclusive joint é - reservations are only via e-mail - but they had a special holiday menu thru the 31st which came in at a hefty $350 PER PERSON.

nevertheless, i was excited for jaleo, as they spent a reported $1 million for their paella pit - individual wood-burning grills to make the catalanan specialty. plus, i've been itchin to try their spherical olives, where by science they are able to extract the essence in liquid form and create this unique explosion of taste in your mouth.

whimsical menu
spherical olives
warm brussels sprout salad
croquetas de jamon iberico
lobster paella
their famed "paella pit"

their warm brussels sprout salad was unlike any preparation i've had of the finicky vegetable. each leaf/bud is separated and prepared in such a delicate manner it's like a new version of the same ingredient.

christmas eve was topped off by the 9:30pm performance of mystère at treasure island. though i can't say there's much of a storyline, the incredible display of acrobatics, humor, set design and theatrical production were a visual feast. i'm quite curious to see how 'o' stacks up in comparison...

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