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Apr 8, 2011 02:51 PM

Jaleo v Jullian Serrano

Looking for a place to enjoy some small plates with family before the reception dinner at Sage the following evening, will be staying at the Aria so both places are close for location

We want some Paella and some other random offerings - which is going to be a better place to go? What are the pro's and con's if any to each?

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  1. if the paella isnt great - what other small plates style place might be good to go that wont break the bank so to speak - seemed like jaleo served pallea but the flavors were dependent on the day ? anyone have any experience with them?

    i was originally thinking LoS/Raku but without a car i figured it wasnt worth trying to get there and the cab would eat up any difference in price for being off the strip

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dapuma

      I'd go to Jaleo. It's the only place in the country with the paella setup it has. Really excellent. Also, the tapas are wonderful.
      Serrano is great too. But Jaleo gets my pick easily.

    2. I would go to Jaleo in a heartbeat! Not that JS is weak but right now the Cosmopolitan is the place to be and Jaleo is excellent. And BTW, we ate at e a month ago (astoundingly good) and we got a taste of the paella. It is wonderful.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LVI

        Im hitting up Jaleo when Im in Vegas next month....since I already booked Sage, I figured Id spread out my dining to other hotels. Its fun when you can have dinner and then gamble a bit in the hotel afterwards. Spread the weath. lol. Ya right.

      2. I loved the Paella at Jaleo way more than at Julian Serrano. So much more flavor. The paella at JS is decent but found it a bit overpriced and not really that much flavor. The lobster was tasteless as was the shrimps, the oysters were excellent however.

        As for tapas, you can't go wrong with either place. My choice would be Jaleo. Another added plus is that Jaleo is a bit less expensive.

        Also, Jaleo is very casual. They play the music so loud that you have to yell just to talk to the person next to you. JS is a bit more quiet.

        7 Replies
        1. re: A5 KOBE

          sounds like jaleo is the winner, thanks everyone

          How big the paella at Jaleo

          They said it was for 6 people on the menu online, is that right? Do they have a smaller one?

          We will be a party of 4

          1. re: Dapuma

            Paella is small. You can share with a party of 4 but you will be fighting for it. Maybe two orders will be fine.

            1. re: A5 KOBE

              Would you say the Paella is a must? Or stick with other of the small dishes.
              Dont want to fill up on Paella unless its stellar. lol.

              1. re: century81

                I personally loved the Paella. It was a seafood paella that day and it had so much flavor of the sea with some smokiness as well since they cook them over wood. It blew Julian Serrano's paella out of the water. One of the best dishes of the night along, great Sangria as well.

                I'd say, if the paella that night (changes everyday) appeals to you then go for it. The night I went it was seafood and I love seafood. The rice has so much briny seafood flavor and it was right up my alley. It changes from day to day so it really depends on what your preferences are.

                1. re: A5 KOBE

                  i hope its seafood paella and sangria is exactly the plan, glad to hear that it is good, hopefully they will have the seafood paella the day we are there

                  was there any small plate that was a "do not miss"

                  also if we have 4 people will that give everyone enough to sample it or will we need at least two - want go get a few small plates to share as well

                  1. re: Dapuma

                    For the most part, one dish will give 4 people at least one sample, at least from the dishes we ordered. You can always order more later on of the dishes you liked the most, that is what we did.

                    Chicken croquetta - awesome fried little chicken croquettes served in an enormous shoe

                    Stewed calamari with onion confit - loved this dish, tender tender calamari and great flavor of onion confit

                    Chorizo wrapped in crispy potato - there were great, would love to have a bucket of these while watching a football game drinking beer. Nothing real exciting about this dish as it was simply chorizo wrapped with thinly sliced potato and fried but they were a hit.

                    Gin and Tonic oysters - loved these, flavor of gin and tonic with a raw oyster

                    And of course the paella, my fav of the night

                    1. re: A5 KOBE

                      A5, nice choices, I will be at Jaleo with some of my "boys" in May and I am really excited about it. I think we need to open this up as a new topic: best dishes to order at Jaleo (non paella).

        2. I"m really surprised that there's such a strong consensus for Jaleo. I went to both places two weekends ago and my meal at Julian Serrano was much better.

          One major point of consideration is that Jaleo was an end-of-service quick bite with four people, while Julian Serrano was a full dinner for 10, so we were able to try way more dishes, and we were probably getting the JS kitchen at its peak, while Jaleo's was winding down.

          At Jaleo, we had the lobster paella (excellent), patatas bravas (potato chips with aioli and romesco? really? I understand being playful and changing up classics, but potato chips that appeared to be from a bag?), jamon croquetas (fine), aceitunas ferran (fine), and steamed mussels (fine). Nothing was bad, other than the patatas bravas, but nothing was great. Service felt rushed, which I sort of understand, as we made the last seating, but is also a bit of a pet peeve of mine - if you don't want customers at 10:45, don't seat customers at 10:45.

          At Julian Serrano, we had a terrific server who gave me honest feedback on whether or not dishes were suitable for a large group (most of the new-wave stuff wasn't) and helped me decide how many dishes of each tapa to order . She was spot-on with everything except for the fried calamari - the portions were enormous, and we over-ordered (2 orders would have been enough).

          First off, the dish that gave JS the win - angulas al ajillo. I'd only read about these baby eels before,but have never seen them. Each order was a generous fistful of spaghetti-diameter eel, sizzling in a cazuela with garlicky olive oil. I overestimated my tablemates' enthusiasm for admittedly wormlike creatures (that, to be honest, appeared to be squirming in the hot oil as they hit the table) and ate one and half cazuelas worth on my own. The texture was like perfectly cooked fresh pasta, and the flavor was sweet and mild, deeply infused with garlic oil, with just the barest hint of anchovy at the end.

          House made chorizo and butifarra iberica were terrific, as were the white ceviche and the black rice (which some of my dining companions preferred to the lobster paella from the previous night). Patatas bravas were classic and perfect, as was a simple wilted spinach salad with pine nuts, raisin, apple. Steamed mussels were plumper (and more generously portioned) than Jaleo's, and the almond-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon were well-received as well. I enjoyed the piquillo peppers stuffed with goat cheese, as well as the perfectly fried calamari, but these two dishes were merely very good, compared to the stellar renditions of everything else we had that night. With tax, gratuity (included), and extra tip, non-drinkers paid $40 and drinkers paid $60 - easily the best value I've had in Vegas by far. People continued to rave about the meal all weekend.

          So... there's my dissenting two cents. Hoping people don't write off Julian Serrano because of this thread - in the past, I've criticized Vegas restaurants for dumbing down their menus compared to branches in other cities (L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, I'm looking at you), and I was stunned and delighted to find angulas there. While I'm not a tapas expert by any means, I do think the execution of almost every dish I had at JS was on par (if not better) than the best versions I've had to date.

          3 Replies
          1. re: daveena

            Just got back from Vegas and had a meal at Jaleo.
            Overall the experience and food was pretty good. However, WOW what a loud restaurant and the seating is way too cramped for my liking. It also didnt help that we had a very pretentious "executive chef" from Colorado right beside us commenting on everything, including arguing with the server on the origin of the oysters. lol.

            I passed on the Paella, as I was looking for the seafood paella and they were doing a rabbit one that night.

            The stand out for the night were the chicken croquetas. Pretty much deep fried chicken pot pie.
            Delicious. I liked them very much, comfort food to the max.
            White asparagus with strawberries...this was a special of the night. Very refreshing and worked surprising for me.
            Grilled hanger steak with piquillo peppers. I pretty much stole my wifes share of this dish. It was that good. Simple dish but so good. I wish the portion was bigger and almost ordered it again.

            A couple misses for me were the squid stew with onion confit. Very fishy, slightly bitter.
            My wife didnt mind it, so I left it to her to finish.
            The shrimp with garlic, while the flavour was decent, they seemed like they were sitting on the hot plate too long. Overcooked and rubbery.

            The server was too meek for me, quiet talker and not very attentive.

            Overall, I would recommend Jaleo...but if you want a quiet dinner, head somewhere else.
            Great atmosphere, but they need to take the volume off 11.

            1. re: daveena

              We went to Jaleo last Friday night while visiting LV. My original intent was to go to Julian Serrano, but chose Jaleo based somewhat on the CH reviews. Food was creative and tasty, though way too salty. Yes, riffs on classics is a characteristic of Jose Andres, but I have to agree with the above- potato chips instead of the classic? If it ain't broke-don't fix it. Wine list was interesting, but like most places in LV a bit overpriced. While we enjoyed many of the dishes overall, and service was excellent- if we return to LV, I'll certainly give Julian Serrano a try. We did not have the paella. And like so many other places in LV, loud and smoky.

              3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

              1. re: daveena

                The tapas at Serrano are really amazingly good.

              2. The reports on Jaleo sound great and I would go there. I have been there for drinks and the paella pit looked incredible. I am eager to go back. I did eat at Julian Serrano and it was a big disappointment. Of the dozen things we ordered, the only thing I really liked was the ceviche. Everything else was ordinary to below average. I can't imagine how that restaurant is so popular or wins awards. My neighborhood tapas place is 10x better.

                3 Replies
                1. re: dfwtexex

                  Was the sangria good at Jaleo or did any of their gin cocktails stand out (if you tried them)

                  1. re: Dapuma

                    I used this blog as a resource for Jaleo last week and our group went on Saturday night. As mid 20's girls, we loved the Cosmapolitan and the atmosphere of Jaleo. We also had Reggie Bush sitting right behind us, so that was a bonus! I have to say that the food was fantastic. We had queso and a mini- baguette with ham to start followed by salads. I would let your group know that this is a true tapas restaurant with Spanish sized portions. Each person needs to order 4-5 items to get full, especially if drinking heavily. We love the house cava @ $38 and the grenache blanca @ $36, plus a litre of house sangria (spicy!). Service was slow and I did not enjoy having a floating wait staff as we never got true attention. We were there right on time for our 9:30 res, but had to wait 20 mins to sit down. I would love to go again on a week night with my boyfriend and enjoy the lenghty dining experience. If you liked Jaleo, please try Taller de Tapas in Barcelona, which in my mind cannot be replicated!

                    3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

                    1. re: willisj

                      Great picture with Reggie Bush! You girls are gorgeous too. Thanks for the review. I'm heading to Jaleo next Friday night with my buddies. Cheers!