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Jaleo-Keep your Shoes off the Furniture

AMC1210 Jun 12, 2011 12:35 PM

My wife disliked our dinner at Jaleo among the dishes ordered; the The Croquetas de pollo, (Traditional chicken fritters) was served in a running shoe (like Nike or Adidas). We were brought up to keep our shoes off the furniture.
nothing more to say.

3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

  1. J.L. Jun 13, 2011 10:09 PM

    It's meant to be tongue-in-cheek humor. True, not everyone likes the presentation. I thought it was charming & quixotic, though I found the croquetas themselves a bit pedestrian.

    (The shoe is a Camper brand shoe, commonly found in Europe, and the "serving shoe" is, of course, brand new)

    1 Reply
    1. re: J.L.
      HaroldandMaude Jun 18, 2011 02:26 PM

      A brand new shoe is used for each order? What , do they have a warehouse of shoes in the back?

      And not, how do they clean these shoes? Dishwashing detergent between customers?

    2. m
      Martinidrinker Jun 14, 2011 05:43 AM

      Thanks for sharing the info re the presentation, that sounds so funny and will make for a great photo! What other dishes did you have and did you not enjoy the experience because of the presentation, general ambiance or the quality of the food itself? I love tapas and can't wait to try Jaleo after reading about their lobster paella.

      3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

      3 Replies
      1. re: Martinidrinker
        AMC1210 Jun 15, 2011 11:11 PM

        The best part of the meal was the cheapest, Pan with tomate, (toasted bread with Tomato). I put the Iberico ham on it and I was delighted. The ‘Canelones’ stuffed with pork & chicken with béchamel sauce, (Canelones de cerdo gratinados con salsa de béchamel) was OK. The Croquetas de pollo, (Traditional chicken fritters) just OK. The Flan was outstanding.

        1. re: AMC1210
          Martinidrinker Jun 16, 2011 12:29 AM

          I love pan con tomate, very simple but surprisingly few tapas places have it on the menu these days. I'll try the flan, thanks for that. I'm really looking forward to going there. I went to a restaurant on the roof of a casino in Madrid which had molecular food, including liquid nitrogen presentation and watermelon caviar in test tubes. The OTT circus was part of the experience but the quality and taste of the food was superb which is what really matters.

        2. re: Martinidrinker
          Dapuma Jun 18, 2011 03:30 PM

          I recently went there and was very underwhelmed

          The Lobster Pallea was ok, nothing that blew me out of the water - it was the best dish that I had

          The Croquets in a show was a strange serving they were average

          Bacon wrapped dates were solid - my dad liked them alot so that was good

          Everything else was forgetable - the red sangria was pretty good a bit sweet IMO

          thought it was very expensive for average food

          ambiance wise it kind of reminds me a shake and steak diner - it is very loud and they were over 30 minutes behind when we can for our reservation - no comped drink or anything for the delay

          after all the great reviews i read about Jaleo i was very disappointed will not be back

          3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

        3. sunshine842 Jun 15, 2011 11:34 PM

          When a restaurant resorts to off-center presentations (dog food bowls, hub cabs, running shoes) it usually makes me wonder if they're not intentionally distracting your attention away from the food itself (and in the case of the dog food bowls and hub caps, the answer is a resounding YES)

          Ugh. Sneakers? I have a pretty high squick threshold, but having food served in something that can't be washed between uses and is highly porous is pretty nasty (yes, yes, of course there's a liner of some sort, but ugh)

          11 Replies
          1. re: sunshine842
            J.L. Jun 15, 2011 11:48 PM

            That's just Jose Andres' M.O. If these sorts of presentation styles don't suit you, then just avoid Jose Andres' restaurants (and most of the rest of the new & upcoming molecular tapas eateries in Barcelona, for that matter).

            1. re: J.L.
              sunshine842 Jun 16, 2011 12:09 AM

              Notes made.

              I make a point of avoiding anything with "molecular" as a tag, anyway.

              1. re: J.L.
                AMC1210 Jun 16, 2011 09:46 PM

                My wife and I are "Old School". We have tried molecular Gastronomy, but we both like to have the food we ordered, look like the food we ordered, not Soylent Green. I do not think the Jose Andres of the cooking world will ever be main stream.

                1. re: AMC1210
                  J.L. Jun 16, 2011 11:01 PM

                  Molecular gastronomy was never meant to be mainstream. The spirit of molecular cuisine is akin to a flight of fancy, an intellectual tangent.

                  Some chefs simply realized in the past decade that all cooking, in all past human history has simply been essentially chemical manipulation(s) of starting materials (oxidation, reduction, heating, freezing, emusification, extraction, precipitation, etc.). So, why not fully embrace cooking as a series of chemical reactions and let modern chemistry techniques take food to a possible next stage of evolution? Innovation & discovery is what it's about.

                  True, the intangible emotional & humanistic aspects of cooking take a backseat with this approach, but some people (like myself) are just darned curious to find out what's next on the laboratory menu!

                  Having said all that, "meat & potatoes" cuisine is in no danger whatsoever of going extinct anytime soon. In fact, the great majority of my meals these days are still "old school"!

                  1. re: J.L.
                    AMC1210 Jun 17, 2011 12:39 PM

                    I would love to have the Molecular gastronomy legion use their tremendous talent in improving the taste of what we eat. Like improving the taste of tomatoes. It seems to me that chowhounds are always searching for that-great flavor and taste.

                    1. re: AMC1210
                      J.L. Jun 17, 2011 03:02 PM

                      The lab guys (& gals) are attempting exactly those types of things, too!

                      In the process, they are debunking many long-held cooking myths and offering new, legitimate shortcuts to preparing many traditional dishes, all while keeping all the same great flavor.

                      I suggest perusing "Modernist Cuisine", a new tome by billionaire ex-Microsoft CTO (and "food as science" guru) Nathan Myhrvold, should you be more interested.

                      1. re: J.L.
                        AMC1210 Jun 17, 2011 04:32 PM

                        I'm interested, but with 2400+ pages and a price tag around $500. I think I'll wait for the abridged version.

                        1. re: AMC1210
                          J.L. Jun 17, 2011 05:58 PM

                          I said just to peruse, not to purchase. :-)

                          1. re: J.L.
                            Martinidrinker Jun 18, 2011 10:38 AM

                            Ouch! If the publisher had any sense, they'd bring out an affordable abridged version. Chefs also need to think of texture, not just taste. Food is meant to be an all-round experience, not just sight, taste and smell.

                            1. re: Martinidrinker
                              twyst Jun 29, 2011 12:14 AM

                              The publisher seems to be doing fine for now, I was on a 4 month waiting list before I was able to get my copies. The books are flying off the shelf.

                              1. re: twyst
                                J.L. Jun 29, 2011 12:16 AM

                                Gorgeous food photos, huh?

            2. a
              AMC1210 Jun 16, 2011 09:49 PM

              To have Pan con Tomate served to me as a foam would be silly, and IMO Andres would agree.

              1. nolanani Jun 20, 2011 05:50 PM

                The Pollo Croquetas were in a paper cone inserted inside the shoe. Lighten up people! It was noisy and the food was perhaps not worth the money, but it was fun and the service was outstanding. Donnie W, our waiter, is truly an asset. I asked Donnie what the rules were concerning ordering and how the food would be brought out and he responded with "There are no rules. You tell me what you want." The Papas Arrugas were good even if they are just tiny, wrinkled potatoes.

                12 Replies
                1. re: nolanani
                  J.L. Jun 20, 2011 08:01 PM

                  nolanani's view of Jaleo is akin to mine...

                  1. re: nolanani
                    sunshine842 Jun 20, 2011 11:32 PM

                    okay, so skip the hygiene questions.

                    The shoes are considerably more expensive than any of a long list of things that could be used to hold food. They take up room to store, they're unwieldy at best, and the hygiene issue as approached purely from a cost basis. All of which increases the overhead for the restaurant, which adds to my tab...don't mind paying more for the food, but I really, really don't like paying more so you can bring me my food in an effing sneaker.

                    Just put the damned things in a bowl or basket and quit trying to draw attention away from the food itself. I like atmosphere as much as anybody else, but stupid gimmicks are just annoying. (that goes for the hubcaps and dog bowls, too)

                    1. re: sunshine842
                      J.L. Jun 21, 2011 12:02 AM

                      Luckily for you sunshine, I surmise that 99.8% of all other restaurants in the U.S. do NOT put shoes on tables as serving ware. Therefore, you have many, many others eateries to choose from. No one's putting a gun to your head and forcing you to go to Jaleo to eat out of that shoe.

                      But I'm also glad there's 0.2% of eateries out there which try to make food more fun and interesting for certain patrons, both in inventive cooking technique and unusual presentation styles. I think it's fun to try some of these places, featuring chefs who break from the norm and depart from conventional molds.

                      So yeah, I'm willing to pay (and pay handsomely) for that "unwieldy", space-consuming, un-hygienic & expensive shoe... A shoe which sparks discourse such as this thread; a shoe which reminds me that there are people with all sorts of different dining preferences (and wallet sizes) in our diverse society.

                      3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

                      1. re: J.L.
                        sunshine842 Jun 21, 2011 02:02 AM

                        but you're willing to pay extra for a goofy presentation when they're not even good croquetas? If they were nirvana in a paper cone, then I'd be more willing to overlook the rest of it , but every minute a chef is screwing around thinking about shoes on the table is another minute he's NOT thinking about the croquetas on the table...and the food is, at the end of the day, the reason why you go to a 'destination restaurant' like this in the first place.

                        You said yourself that they were 'pedestrian', which is a pretty funny comment for something served in a shoe, but paying top dollar for goofy presentation and pedestrian food doesn't sound like all that great an experience.

                        The other comments on this thread are pretty faint praise-- forgettable, average, not worth the money, and underwhelmed are not the terms that exactly make me run to the door with my car keys in hand -- for a restaurant and a chef who are supposed to all that a bag of chips (in a pair of size-9 Doc Martens).

                        1. re: sunshine842
                          J.L. Jun 21, 2011 10:56 AM

                          Ah, but I found the rest of the food to be quite tasty at Jaleo, and worth the trip overall.

                          I don't expect any chef to hit a homerun with every single dish.

                          Glad you got the pedestrian pun.

                          3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

                      2. re: sunshine842
                        Jase Jun 22, 2011 04:54 PM

                        I'd actually look at hubcaps and dog bowls in a more favorable light if it was keeping in theme with a restaurant's image. Say they were a car oriented diner for the hubcaps or animals or junkyard theme for the dog bowl. Or even serving something like chili in a dog bowl because it can look like slop.

                        But I just don't get the shoe thing. Is there a pun I'm missing here? If there is a pun, then it makes sense. But I don't get the tie in between croquettes and a shoe. Serving it in a shoe just seems so odd to me if there isn't any kind of even vague connection.

                        1. re: Jase
                          J.L. Jun 22, 2011 05:05 PM

                          Jose Andrés likes to keep (for lack of a better term) "tchotchkes" around his eateries. The way he decorates his private dining room at the Cosmopolitan, é by Jose Andrés, is a great example of his love of hoarding such kitsch.

                          Having eaten at his restaurants over 10-15 times, no theme or connections really emerges, in my view. Maybe that's the point. Food as installation art, mayhaps?

                          1. re: J.L.
                            Martinidrinker Jun 23, 2011 07:03 AM

                            Okay, you've got me on the tchotchkes - not something I know, must Google it now! I love imagination and great surroundings when I eat. I want the whole experience, not just food, especially in Vegas where you expect a bit of fun. I'm really looking forward to going.

                            1. re: J.L.
                              Jase Jun 23, 2011 08:01 AM

                              Gotcha. Thanks for the explanation. I guess it makes a little more sense now. I'd probably be completely puzzled if I got that on my table and didn't know the background and couldn't tie it into anything. But if it tasted good, then that's all I care. At a certain point, especially at this price range, I would expect the restaurant to be diligent about sanitation and I wouldn't be worrying about that aspect. I'd be more focused on the food.

                            2. re: Jase
                              sunshine842 Jun 23, 2011 01:15 AM

                              The dog bowls were at a wing joint called the Dogwater Cafe (the fries were always limp and greasy and the wings tasted like they had been frozen and microwaved -- that place didn't last very long), and the hubcaps were at a place called Studebaker's (fun place - Wurllitzer bubbling jukeboxes, 50s and 60s music, we went anyway because it was a fun restaurant/nightclub to hang out in...the food was pretty average, though, so we tended to not eat there)

                              1. re: sunshine842
                                Jase Jun 23, 2011 08:02 AM

                                Setting the food quality aside, the dog bowl and hubcaps wouldn't faze me at all then in those settings. That makes sense because it fit in with the identity of the restaurant. But as we all seem to agree here, it comes back to the quality of the food.

                                1. re: Jase
                                  sunshine842 Jun 23, 2011 10:46 AM

                                  Oh, it was cute and definitely fitting into the theme of the restaurants (and dog bowls and hubcaps at least go through the dishwasher)...but it just seems that the more "cutesy" the dishes and presentation get, the less "edible" the food gets.

                        2. Fwagra Jun 21, 2011 05:51 PM

                          I think most or all of you have it right. This place is just silly.

                          I went there a couple of weeks ago; we were a party of six. We were greeted by a very rude hostess, for one thing. When I announced our presence, she immediately barked at me and said that she was very busy and would get to us when she pleased. (I am paraphrasing). The rest of the service was comically amateurish, especially for a restaurant with such pretensions to excellence.

                          The food was nothing special to be sure. Some of it was not very good. Oysters were shrivelled and didn't look fresh. A crayfish or langoustine of some type smelled fishy and had very little edible meat, and was covered in some type of foam. Molecular gastronomy, I suppose. But the foam served no other purpose than conveying the notion that one was engaged in molecular gastronomy. It had no particular flavour value. Croquettes of two kinds were boring. Jamon Iberico is great, but I can buy that too. Heirloom tomato panzanella was really good.

                          The croquettes served in a shoe. I doesn't work for me. It's a blatant, even desperate attempt to be singular. But, what is the message? What is the esthetic? What's the joke? Nada. Just food in a shoe! More stupid than clever to me.

                          Will definitely not return to this pretentious place.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Fwagra
                            Dapuma Jun 28, 2011 11:12 PM

                            agreed with pretty much everything in your post

                            it looks like a glorified steak and shake

                            save your money go to Sage :)

                          2. A5 KOBE Jun 23, 2011 03:42 PM

                            So don't order them. It is one dish that you can easily avoid by ordering one the many other dishes that the place offers. Go for the seafood paella, it is truly special.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: A5 KOBE
                              sunshine842 Jun 23, 2011 11:09 PM

                              the point would be that the comments from a lot of posters suggests fairly strongly that the place is long on atmosphere and short on food quality...which I *thought* is what restaurants are in business to do.

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