After snapping photos, it was time to get our grub on. I was huuungry!
After dining at Jaleo by Jose Andres in Washington, D.C. last fall, afternoon tea at Tres by Jose Andres earlier this year, and most recently at Bazaar by Jose Andres, the latter two at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills, I was rapidly becoming a Jose Andres groupie.
Just as cousin D entered the restaurant, a man stopped her to ask about her lei. I don't know if she made any money from him, but he also stopped by our table later that evening. If only the men came out in droves for us truly single ladies, and not the ones near the end of their bachelorettehood.
The bridesmaids decided that with 24 girls, the easiest solution for dinner was the $45 prix fixe menu which included 10 tapas, paella, and two desserts.
The menus were nicely commemorated with the names of our bridal party. How nice!
We started off with gazpacho shots or the fancier title: chupito de gazpacho estilo Algeciras (Spanish classic chilled soup with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and bread).
Pan con tomate (Spanish toasted slices of rustic bread brushed with fresh tomatoes). Cousin A doesn't like tomatoes so I got both her gazpacho and bread. Yum. Yum.
Jamon Serrano Fermin (Spanish 18-month, salt-cured Serrano ham).
After the initial tapas, the pace slowed down a bit so I could look around. We were seated between two open kitchen areas, the closest being the grill and paella. I was so impressed with the huge paella pans with the wood fires underneath and snapped away.
The grill cook noticed and decided to pose for my camera. :)
We also ordered White Wine Sangria for the group. So pretty with the berries and mint leaves.
The girls and the waiter made sure my glass was constantly refilled. I think I had about three glasses.
Croquetas de pollo (Spanish chicken fritters). The croquettes were served in a shoe at Bazaar as well so this didn't weird me out as much as it did the girls. Creamy inside. Spanish croquettes are one of my favorite tapas.
Endivias con queso de cabra y naranjas (Spanish endives with goat cheese, almonds, and oranges). The sweetness of the oranges nicely balanced the bitterness of the endives and the sharpness of the goat cheese. Some of the girls didn't like this as much so I ended up eating two.
Ensalada de tirabeques con albaricoques, manzanas, y jamon Serrano (Spanish warm sugar snap pea salad with apricots, apples, and Serrano ham). Crunchy, slightly sweet, slightly savory. I love all the versions of salads that I've had at Jose Andres' restaurants.
"The very, very famous tapas" gambas al ajillo (Spanish shrimp sauteed with garlic). The version of this dish I had at Bazaar was wonderful. This version was just so-so. Several of my cousins thought this was too bland so I ended up eating a couple of shrimp instead of just one. They insisted. Seemed like every dish the girls didn't like, they just shoved more on my plate. I didn't mind!
Papas arrugas (Spanish Canary Island-style wrinkled baby potatoes served with mojo verde and mojo rojo). This is my least favorite Jose Andres dish. I just don't get it. I ordered it at the Jaleo in D.C. because I stumbled upon someone's blog in which the person raved and raved about this dish. How it was boiled in super salty water until the skins shriveled up. But the potatoes still tasted so bland to me, and without the dipping sauces, the dish couldn't even rank up to French fry level. Sadly, even highly buzzed and quite hungry, this dish still didn't improve upon the second attempt.
Random guy coming to talk to the bachelorettes. Seriously men! Hit on the single women!
Carne asada con piquillos "Julian de Lodosa" (Spanish grilled hanger steak with piquillo pepper confit).
Someone passed out these "Scratch a Dare" game cards. I was supposed to "sit on lap" of "best looking guy" and "act like you love him." Ha! I don't do dares. I always opted to tell the truth.
Our paella was ready!
It was huge!
After showing it to us, they brought it back to the kitchen to spoon into plates.
Setas al ajillo con La Serena (Spanish sauteed wild mushrooms with La Serena potato puree).
Paella de verduras de temporada (Spanish traditional paellla of seasonal vegetables). This was a little bland to be honest, but at this point I was sooo full it didn't matter too much.
Pastel de chocolate y avellanas (Spanish chocolate hazelnut cake with praline ice cream and salted caramel sauce).
Flan de estilo tradicional de mama Marisa con espuma de crema Catalana (Spanish classic custard with "espuma" of Catalan cream and oranges). I don't know why they didn't translate foam because even I know what espuma means. And mama Marisa, is that Jose Andres' mom?
The desserts went over better with our group.
All in all, I really enjoyed our meal, but then I'm an admitted Jose Andres fan. My cousins? Not so much. Half? Most? Thought the food was too bland and the portions too small. Add in sangria and tax and tip and the total was $66 for each of us. That's what we'd typically spend for half, or the whole, group when we dine out. I think if we had ordered ala carte and divided the bill, it probably would have come out cheaper, or about the same. But as a fixed price option, and especially with such a large group, I thought it was pretty good.
Near the end of our meal, a couple came up to the table with two shot glasses for the brides.
I've never really thought about it before, but bachelorette parties in Vegas sure seem fun. Or I guess, it depends on your party because some other bachelorette groups didn't seem to enjoy themselves as much as we did. People seemed happy and excited to be around, and for, the brides. Will have to keep that in mind if I ever get the chance.
Then it was onto Marquee Nightclub to dance the night away. Sometimes it's good to be a group of 24 girls. We got to skip the line and got in for free.
So crowded inside though.
So we opted to be outside where the girls managed to chat up some guys who had a cabana. But it was on the far end and they said it was too boring there. I liked boring! It was quieter and I was chatting with a guy who was a "professional" photographer. Well, I was asking him about equipment and stuff anyway before they dragged me away. And I tried to, but can't remember his name to find his website. Oh well. Perhaps he wasn't as good of a photographer as his friend made him out to be.
Then the girls chatted up another group of guys who had table service and were there for a bachelor party. These guys were way nicer and freely shared their alcohol. They were in town from the Bay Area because I vaguely remember chatting about my short-lived time up there after college.
My cousin's friend kept shoving vodka cranberries at me, but after nine drinks, I was done for the evening. What can I say? I'm an old fogey and can't party like the younguns' do. Some of the girls, who wanted to switch out to better dancing shoes, walked me back upstairs before they went back downstairs again to dance the night away.
Bachelorette party in Vegas! So much fun! Whoohoo!
I should've better paced myself because I've been out of practice for a long time. I sure regretted it the next morning...
Posts in this Vegas series:
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas - Las Vegas
Cousin D's Bachelorette Party
Jaleo by Jose Andres ($45 Prix Fixe Menu) - The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas - Las Vegas
Pho Kim Long Vietnamese Restaurant - Las Vegas
Volcano Tea House - Las Vegas
Jaleo by Jose Andres
3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Monday to Thuursday, and Sunday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to midnight
1 year ago today,
2 years ago today, Chinatown - San Francisco.
3 years ago today, Suon Kho Xa Gung Toi Ot (Vietnamese Braised Pork Chops with Lemongrass, Ginger, Garlic, and Chilies).
4 years ago today, an individual batch of Cherry Cinnamon Jam.