Thursday, May 17, 2012

China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Chocolate Terra Cotta Warriors
Entrance to China Poblano. Notice the two take-out counters.
(above photos: TheHopefulTraveler)
In 1565 King Phillip II of Spain began connecting Mexico with mainland China through the Philippines bringing riches and wealth back to Spain. Acclaimed Chef Jose Andres is bringing this story to his restaurant China Poblano for a hybrid dining experience.

Initially looking at the menu I was confused. Which flavors did I want. Should I do just one or a combination of cuisines. A drink to start from the China cocktails section perhaps will force my palate into a decision. The China Paloma ($14, Don Julio reposado, house-made grapefruit lavender soda) is a delicious take on the classic tequila/grapefruit combination.

All the dishes are single serving sizes and the server suggests ordering two first. From the "From China" section of the menu, I start with the Rou Jia Mo Street Sandwich ($8.88) which is a mouth-watering rich-flavored red braised pork sandwich. Next comes the Pescado Frito ($6.50) from the menu's taco list. A soft taco filled with fried fish and ancho chile pickled onions, it has a rich sauce with the perfect amount of heat.
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Rou Jia Mo Street Sandwich
Pescado Frito
(above photos: TheHopefulTraveler)
Some will say the servings are small but the flavors are intense and satisfying that I opted to satisfy my sweet tooth next. At $16.88 the Chocolate Terra Cotta Warriors is an amazing dessert. A take on the clay warriors found in China, a foot-long chocolate statue graces the plate. It is hollow but filled with a chocolate peanut butter mousse surrounded by a delectable treat of caramelized bananas, sesame and chocolate dust.

The red accents is how the interior designer connects the Chinese aspects with the green, red and white of Mexico. It's where rendering of artist Frida Kahlo sits alongside images of Chairman Mao and red lanterns combine with Mexican masks. Take out windows and counter seating occupy corners at the front representing the diverse contrast of the two cuisines.
(story continued below)

At left is a China Paloma cocktail.
The color red ties the Chinese and Mexican decor of the restaurant.
(above photos: TheHopefulTraveler)
On the name China Poblano: "In 1609, the beautiful Asian Princess Mirnha was taken prisoner. Her pirate captors intended to sell her as a slave to the Viceroy of Mexico, who was seeking gorgeous women to grace his palace. When she arrived in Acapulco on a Chinese ship, people were awestruck by her exotic looks and fantastic clothes detailed with complex embroidery and dazzling sequins. Mexican women soon imitated her style, which became known as China Poblano." (Las Vegas Review Journal, 5/1/11).

Click HERE to view the menu. Visit for more information. China Poblano is located on the second floor of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-11:30pm; Fri-Sun 10am-11:30pm; Fri-Sun: Brunch served until 2pm.

About Chef Jose Andres: A native of Spain, Jose Andres is chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup, and with partner Rob Wilder, is the team responsible for Washington's popular and award-winning dining concepts Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, America Eats Tavern and the critically-acclaimed minibar by jose andrew, as well as The Bazaar by Jose Andres, part of the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills, and Jaleo and China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. Jose was named Outstanding Chef of the Year at the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards.

Projected images of the likes of Chairman Mao and Frida Kahlo grace
the restaurant's walls.
Diners have choice to eat the counters or request for a table.
(above photos: TheHopefulTraveler)


Joseph Carr said...

I can see that you loved your meal at China Poblano. Chinese cuisine is focused on wheat and veggies, which is why they're known for being a healthy meal option. I hope you can visit other restaurants that have a fresh menu. Getting the nutrients from its main source, like veggies, is the best defense against sickness.

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