Highlights: Julian Serrano Tapas, ARIA Resort & Casino, Las Vegas

Julian Serrano Tapas is a restaurant I have walked past countless times between my stays at Park MGM (both times), Cosmopolitan (and again), and of course, the Aria. This time, however, I was fortunate to receive an invitation to try it out! Highlights include of course the food – delicious, flavorful, and rich in background, as well as the great service and ambiance.

 

My standard restaurant reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting.

  • Highlights
  • Ambiance
  • Atmosphere
  • Menu
  • Drinks
  • Appetizers
  • Entrees
  • Desserts
  • Service
  • Closing

Sponsored – this restaurant review is sponsored by the establishment and property in general. No additional compensation was received for this post other than the exchange of product.

 

Ambiance

This restaurant is near the pedestrian entrance of the Aria, next to the Crystal Shops and the check-in lobby. There are three restaurants in the area with the other two being Sage & Catch. Julian Serrano is an upscale establishment, with fruits and fancy glasses and vases on shelves.

 

Atmosphere

Music was decently loud, with plenty of both young and old in the tables around. As it was upscale, people were dressed nicely, with many couples, groups, and families. Julian Serrano is an excellent date spot for Spanish-style food, much of which is sourced from Spain.

 

Menu

A simple leather bound folio, with two pages. No inane charges such as a ridiculous concession fee, or even an auto-gratuity listed. The beverage menu is similar, with Spanish Gin & Tonics and Sangria prominently displayed. They also have a page for specialty cocktails and more for beer & wine, etc.

 

Drinks

We ordered a range of everything – Platinum Pear Cocktail, Cava Sangria, and the Hand-Peeled Gin & Tonic. Drinks were made with strong pours, and sweet & delicious. They arrived a minute after our appetizers.

 

Appetizers

We started with a charcuterie plate with manchego goat cheese, chorizo, salami, and a tomato sauce to clean the palate. There was a surprisingly delicious and sweet flatbread with star of anise and some salt that was a standout. Cheeses were milder and more approachable than your traditional cheese tasting options. Our waiter, Pedro, said these and many others on our dining adventure were traditionally Spanish items. There were baked garlic in the plate as well – not sure if we’re to eat that with the cheese & bread?

 

Next were a yellowtail sashimi and chicken croquetta which arrived at the same time. The yellowtail sashimi was delicious, with some crunch and sliced radish in the dish. Excellent, well-balanced texture in the bite. The chicken croquette had a great aioli in the middle, with a nice creamy texture, and not too fried. Definitely both melt-in-your-mouth options.

 

Last appetizer was the assortment of pickled peppers, olives, and pickled garlics. The garlic here was amazing in the vinegar and olive oil sauce, which my guest drank. The olives were decent, and I did not try the peppers. This arrived about eleven minutes after the first three appetizers, so there was some good rest in between.

 

Entrees

Carne asada arrived after another eleven minute timeframe. It was slightly tough with decent flavor, although it was not heavily spiced. There was a good mushroom champignon sauce on the meat, however.

Twelve minutes came a shrimp soup, which was flavorful, in a slightly spicy sauce. Additionally, the shrimp was tough, but with good consistency and a nice crunch throughout the dish. There were some dried garlic slices and bay leaf as a nice flavorful tough to the soup and sauce.

 

After another eleven minutes came a chicken skewer with soft lemon aioli, which had a buttery taste. The chicken felt dry, yet crispy, with a slightly charred taste. On top was a creamy mushroom sauce with red onions and peppers.

 Next was a grilled tiger shrimp dish from Vietnam, after a ten-minute period. It came with dried garlic and potato salad, lightly touched with EVOO. The shrimp had a soft melt-in-your-mouth consistency, and a section of meat that had the same texture as lobster – bit tougher and sinewy, but delicious. You have to work for your meat!

 

They checked on us ten minutes later – at which point we asked for some scallops. After another twenty minutes, they arrived – seared, topped with almonds and accompanied by shishito peppers, apricots, and onions. They were soft and creamy, and delicious. As my lady does not enjoy scallops, this experience was something I get to relish.

Seared Scallop Skewer

 

Dessert

Fifteen minutes later, they brought over two desserts – a churro, with spicy chocolate and salted caramel, and a caramelized French toast with some bitter macadamia nuts and vanilla ice cream. Apparently the French toast was likened to something you would expect as a dessert from a Spanish grandmother.

 

Service

Our waiter – Pedro, along with the manager – Johnathan – took excellent care of our table, Checking in on us regularly, informing me about the details of the promotion. They also crafted the menu for us – working with a certain marketing budget, allowing us to be flexible in drinks and food options. I merely asked that they showcase what they consider their best offerings to present a holistic view of their product to me (and of course to you, the reader). They talked much of the authenticity of the food – sourced meats, appetizers, etc. from Spain.

 

Closing

Of course, in any sponsored post is a concern of journalistic integrity, and they may have been giving us better service than other tables around. So, everything here you can take with a grain of salt, but the food was quite good and I would come back to Julian Serrano Tapas on my own to have a great dining experience. I did monitor other tables around us, and they had similar experiences – waiters and managers checking in, ensuring a pleasant time, trying to engage the diners more than simply taking the order, but getting to know them even just a bit better.

Pricing for this Tapas place was quite reasonable, and you should reasonably expect to spend somewhere in the $50-100 range to eat comfortably, depending on what you order. Our meal came to about $75 per person. Is it expensive? For a nice dinner with good food, I think it’s quite reasonable! You are in Las Vegas, so enjoy, treat yourself, and experience Julian Serrano.

 

 

Sponsored – this restaurant review is sponsored by the establishment and property in general. No additional compensation was received for this post other than the exchange of product.

Featured Image is the delicious French toast dessert. Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which, should you click through and/or make a purchase, grant me a commission. Also, I only post in the best interest of my readers. Lastly, thank you for supporting my blog and my travels. 

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