Mother’s Day 2010 and I decided to take my wife to Julian Serrano. It was a bit of a hike from the self-parking garage but we eventually found it. It’s an odd space near the check-in desk, close to the doors leading to Crystals and is completely dwarfed by the imposing entrance to Sage. Plus, it’s open to the check-in desk and casino so it looks like more of a casual eatery than a fine dining establishment. It wasn’t more than 75% full and we were seated right away at a table for two.

//FOOD (from best to worst)//
– Creamy risotto ($10.00): Cooked to a perfect al dente texture, wasn’t mushy at all, wonderful flavors. I was craving more before we were even finished with the plate. Possibly the best risotto we’ve ever had.

– Gambas ($12.00): It looked like a very simple dish. 4 shrimps in a broth that resembled clarified butter with garlic chips and peppers. It may not have been complex, but it was executed perfectly.

– Piquillo peppers ($10.00): One pepper cut in half and stuffed with cheese and surrounded by a tomato based sauce. Loved it!

– Tuna tiradito ($12.00): The tuna looked fabulous and tasted even better. It was accompanied by a terrific seaweed salad.

– Steamed mussels ($9.00): Approximately a dozen large mussels in a medium sized black pot. Yes, the pot was deep so we had to really get in there to get some of that broth.  Delicious.

– Beef with Brie ($17.00): Not the best cut of beef I’ve had but the flavors with the sauce, brie and toast were pretty good. If they timed the dishes better I would probably give this dish higher marks. But they brought out the tuna and risotto at the same time and by the time we tried the beef it was luke warm and the toast  wasn’t crispy.

– Lobster & pineapple ($14.00): Others rave about this dish, but I was underwhelmed. Too much pineapple, not enough lobster. It was too sweet and I could barely distinguish any other flavors other than the pineapple. More style than substance, in my opinion.

One thing that really bothered me was the seating. Her seat was on a bench. Mine was a poorly designed modern chair that was about 4 inches lower than the bench and the back support only went half way up my back making it tough to get comfortable. It’s just a weird choice of seating in combination with everything else.

The service was good but not spectacular. Our server seemed to have way too many tables so we didn’t see him too often.

Everything was well executed and so meticulously and artfully prepared. In comparison to other tapas places around town (namely Firefly) JS beats Firefly on taste and creativity but the portions at Firefly are bigger. And, of course the prices are much higher at JS since it’s on the strip and a celeb chef restaurant. But, the prices aren’t outrageous by Vegas standards. In total we got 7 dishes, a cocktail, a glass of wine, and a half bottle of wine for just under $200 (including tip). That’s actually below what we normally spend at fine dining spots on the strip and we definitely left full and happy. If $100 per person for dinner is too much for you and if you’re expecting the same amount of food you would get at a national chain restaurant (Cheesecake Factory, Red Lobster) don’t come here. But, if you want quality tapas with wonderful flavors, then I recommend you give this place a try.

4.5 Stars

3730 Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89115
(702) 590-7111

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