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Julian Serrano @ Aria - the long overdue full review

Discussion in 'Restaurants & Buffets' started by JillyFromPhilly, Jun 4, 2012.

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  1. JillyFromPhilly

    JillyFromPhilly Tourist

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    Let me start this review off by saying that generally, I'm not a big fan of Tapas - it's so omnipresent it has become cliche, and too many places have jumped on the Tapas bandwagon that don't do it well - and I've been to far too many of them - so initially Julian Serrano wasn't even on our radar going into our first stay at Aria back in January - so the fact that the wife & I have now had lunch there at least 4 times over our last two trips should tell you something right off the bat about how good it is.

    One of my criticisms of Aria would be that there's a dearth of good lunch options on site. You pretty much have a choice of Lemongrass [good but not great Thai], Cafe Vettro [beautiful room, slow service, hit or miss food] and Julian Serrano. So moreso than anything else, it was the fact that there was slim pickings when it came to lunch options that I relented & tried Julian Serrano - and boy, am I glad I did.

    Over the course of several visits we've probably sampled almost everything on the menu - and while not every dish was a home run, there were few - if any - that I would categorize as a complete strike out, either. Some of our personal faves have been the pancetta iberica, the black rice with squid & lobster, the sauteed peppers, the simple yet delicious grilled lamb chop, the beef and foie gras canneloni - and the paellas - definitely worth the wait for them to whip a plate of one up for you. There's classic Spanish flavors, molecular gastronomy, simply fresh seafood, incredible charcuterie - something to please everyone, and also everything for someone with a big appetite and an even bigger spirit of culinary adventurism.

    It's also - how do I put this delicately? - a great place to get blitzed, too :drunk: There's all kinds of craft cocktails, extensive menus of tequila, sherry & spanish wines - a wonderful house sangria - they even had Lagavulin, my favorite single-malt Scotch! There's a bigger dining room with plusher seating in the back, but if you want to just get your eat & drink on while watching the never-ending carnival of Vegas visitors stroll by on their way between Crystals and Aria, try to get one of the smaller tables up front by the bar - it really has the feel of an outdoor sidewalk cafe, but in air-conditioned comfort - and it's a great place to people watch from while you blow your tastebuds away with plate after plate and drink after drink of all that Julian Serrano has to offer - you'll never get bored, and you'll never want to leave!

    Though perhaps the only negative - you can wind up enjoying yourself so much it's easy to order up so much food & drink while gawking at the passing rabble that you can quickly run a tab up well into the hundreds of dollars [even for lunch] if you're not paying attention - or maybe getting a little too buzzed - so those not on a comp or on a limited budget be forewarned to keep a mental tab of what everything you're ordering is costing - but after the number of wonderful afternoons we've spent there eating, drinking & laughing while we watched the world go by, I can't say it isn't well worth the price even if you do go a bit overboard.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  2. Bommen

    Bommen High-Roller

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    I love these restaurant reviews, keep up the good work! Also if u started to get a feel for good tapas u have to try Jaleo which is at least a step above from Julian Serrano. Or even better check out there hidden restaurant E inside (i can't vouch for it myself but could only imagine since the regular restaurant has such great food).
     
  3. Blacklegs22

    Blacklegs22 Low-Roller

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    Great review Jilly, couldn't agree more, especially about the cocktails and wine...last time there wife and I shared a pitcher of the red sangria... a very generous pitcher! Spent the next couple hours after lunch stumbling around Aria in a semi-drunken stupor...very easy to catch a buzz in that place...:drunk:
     
  4. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Great review! I had read mixed reviews on this place for the past year, so I tended to avoid it. Finally gave it a shot on my last trip to vegas and really loved it. Cannot wait to go back again in august
     
    Let's hope they don't abandon me at the airport again!
  5. Nittany1

    Nittany1 VIP Whale

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    Completely agree Jilly.
    I avoided it on my first two trips to Aria but tried it over New Years and like you,glad we did.
    I'll be back in 9 days and looking forward to lunch there at least once.
     
  6. heatherlovesvegas

    heatherlovesvegas VIP Whale

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    We loved it too! Great meal. Haha I agree though, easy to rack up a HUGE tab. But it's worth it.
     
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