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Oct 10, 2007 02:49 AM

Paradise Grill - Peruvian in Las Vegas

One word: GO!

This wonderful Peruvian restaurant on Jones St. (just south of Flamingo) deserves support, even if it feels the need to serve Mexican dishes to survive (there are only about 5000 Peruvians in Las Vegas -- not enough to fill the six (?) Peruvian restaurants in town.

Four friends and I had a superb meal there last night. The appetizers were crazy good -- the papa rellena, a fried but tender potato patty stuffed with olives, raisins, hard boiled egg, and beef; the ceviche mixto; and best of all, an outstanding mussels ceviche. The mussels are served on the half-shell, topped with chilies, corn, onions, parsley, and lime. I doubt if you are going to find a better ceviche in LV.

Entrees were almost as good. Paradise serves a proper pollo a la brasa, in this case, a whole chicken cut in eight pieces, with heaping platters of french fries and salad on the side. The pescado al mojo de ajo was a lightly-floured tilapia fillet served in an addictive garlic-wine sauce. My friends loved the grilled fish, too. Evidently so -- I didn't get a taste.

There was one big disappointment -- the parihuela. The soup was full of good seafood and shellfish, but the broth was thin, underseasoned, and needed to be reduced. It's hard to believe it came out of the same kitchen that churned out the other wonderful, hearty dishes.

There is so much on the menu that we didn't explore -- a whole section on the menu of chaufas (fried rice), saltados, tallarins, etc. We were too stuffed to eat dessert. PG does serve liquor (including pisco sours). This huge meal (with only a few drinks) costs less than $20 a person including a very large tip to the waitress, who was trying her best despite some language issues.

I don't remember ever eating Peruvian anywhere in LV besides Inka Si Senor. Based on this one meal, the food at Paradise is far superior, and has an unmistakable homemade taste. I worry about its survival (it seems to be dead except when there is a special event, such as a big soccer game).

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  1. On your advice, ate there for dinner Wednesday night. I would agree, go! The place was dead....My husband asked about business, and clearly they need more from the response.

    We had no language issues...I was prepared to speak Spanish but our waitress spoke perfect English. DH had the grilled fish and ate every bite. It was tasty. I had a beef tallarin. This is almost like a see the Chinese influence. In fact, it reminded me of tomatoe-beef chowmein, which I happen to love!!

    We both got addicted to the aji....the creamy sauce that contains some kind of hot pepper and cilantro...I guess its the Peruvian salsa. DH tried to get the recipe from them to no we bought a bottle to take home. It is wonderful on bread...and the waitress kindly brought us some extra crusty slices to enjoy with the aji. Yum!

    We were also too stuffed for desert...but did buy a few Peruvian chocolates as we were leaving. They said "Nestle" but are imported from Peru. And they taste so much better than American chocolate bars....we're still trying to decide why!

    5 Replies
    1. re: janetofreno

      The influence of Chinese food is all over the cuisine, and in many cities, ethnic Chinese from Peru run Peruvian restaurants. You might want to try chaufa, Chinese-style fried rice dishes.

      If you like ceviche, you should definitely try it here -- it's among the best I've tried at any price point in Las Vegas.

      1. re: Dave Feldman

        I definitely will the next time. I'm not sure why I didn't order it this trip...I love ceviche! Thanks!!

        (I will be working about five blocks from there, and they are open for lunch. A good thing......)

        1. re: Dave Feldman

          You've touted me on some good grub before, Dave, so I'll be giving Paradise Grill a workout when I get to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks. One question: does the joint have any kind of a wine list? I like a decent glass or two, as does my son, who lives in Las Vegas and who accompanies me on these eating adventures off The Strip. Or should I just stick with beer, as I was forced to do at Inka Si Senor? You're right about Inka. I found it very average most of the time.

          1. re: juno

            I believe that PG does serve wine but I'd be shocked if it was good. Maybe beer or a pisco sour would be a better bet? Another idea -- perhaps you could bring your own wine -- maybe a call would clarify this.

            1. re: Dave Feldman

              I feel obliged to report on my visit to Paradise Grill, which Dave Feldman touted me on. It was very tasty. I and two others descended upon a ceviche, a papa rellena and another starter (I forget which one), followed by chicken, fish and steak mains from the Peruvian side of the menu. All nicely done. Not a smash hit, but a decent success at the price. The joint itself was somewhat bleak, with only one other table occupied - on a Friday night - but the service was game and welcoming, if somewhat amateurish. And the price is certainly right - few mains are more than $10. One of my companions is from Colombia, which is almost next door to Peru, and she pronounced the cuisine as being pretty authentic. Beers, both local and imported, were $2.50-$3, so a couple can eat and drink heartily here for less than $50 or so, a bargain in a city where food costs are rapidly escalating. Ethnic cooking, like this one's cuisine, is the last mad buy in restos in Las Vegas. It'd be nice if the place had a wine list of some sort. But it doesn't, and it's reluctant to allow bring-your-own, though the waitress did say something vaguely to the effect of "Maybe next month", meaning January. But this may all be moot if more patrons don't come through the doors. Two tables occupied on a Friday night, plus a couple of take-out orders, simply won't sustain any ethnic resto for long. Too bad if the place has to cash in.

      2. We have eaten at Paradise Grill twice now. I will go again. The Lomo Saltada is great. The ceviche is good. Today I had a chicken breast braised in a wine sauce. It was great. The pollo a la brasa is really good too.

        The food is really cheap. It tastes homemade and has a very "fresh" feel. I think everything is made to order.

        Also, they do take out, which I tried for the first time today, and it was great.

        They also serve Cusquena beer. A bonus in my mind.

        I hope this restaurant makes it. Its very good. If you are looking for peruvian food, I recommend it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: usctrojan55

          Did you try the mussels ceviche? Better than good, in my opinion. Have you ever seen it crowded when you've been there? I worry about PG's future.

          1. re: Dave Feldman

            Thanks for the reminder Dave to go there. It is very close to my office but I have been usually heading towards Chinatown for lunch. Time to go in the other direction and head over to Paradise Grill.

            1. re: Dave Feldman

              No, it was a white fish. I asked the waitress which one she recommended.

              You're right. I have never seen another customer inside. It's a little sad because it is a great place.

          2. Since I was the one who touted Paradise Grill, in fairness I should say five friends and I had a decidedly mediocre meal at Paradise Grill a few nights ago. Only the chaufas were up to the usual level. My much-touted mussels ceviche wasn't good (neither the mussels nor the marinade were up to par) and the saltados were tasteless. They were out of several dishes but with the price of fish, this is understandable.

            I'll happily go here again. The staff is lovely and the bad experience could have been a fluke, there might have been a substitute chef, or ??? Several Chowhounds have indicated they've had good experiences lately, so I'd still encourage anyone to go.