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Jaleo Las Vegas features a handful of dishes that diners who have supped at Andres’s whimsical, six-stool Minibar back East will recognize. Witness the delicate, two-bite pastry cones filled with minced cured salmon, egg, shallots, chives and a sparkling sprinkle of roe.
Small and large, the fillips at Jaleo Las Vegas are meant to extract a "wow!" from the audience, says Guzman, who oversees a kitchen staff of 38 (vs. 35 for both lunch and dinner crowds in Washington). "Jaleo is becoming playful," agrees his boss, who had a role in hiring Spanish designers and artists to dress the chic dining room, including the intimate restaurant-within-a-restaurant dubbed "e" to the side. That glass-topped foosball table on the terrace of the restaurant? Vindication for Andres, who says that as a kid he was not allowed to eat and play at the same time.
In Vegas, Viva Jose Andres
» China Poblano, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S., second floor. 702-698-7900. chinapoblano.com. Dim sum $9.88 to $12.88, noodles and soups $8 to $22, tacos $7 to $16.
» Jaleo Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S., third floor. 702-698-7950. www.jaleo.com. Small plates, $5 to $34; paella $18 to $34.
The party-like scene and edible novelties appear to be good for the newcomer’s bottom line: The check average for a meal in Las Vegas is 20 to 25 percent more than in Washington, says Andres.
About those signature shoes, made in Majorca: Tempted though they may be to, ahem, keep them as mementos, customers are discouraged from doing so. The kitchen sends out multiple orders of croquettes in sneakers in different sizes and colors.
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