Las Vegas: China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan

High on my list of spots to hit on a recent trip to Las Vegas was China Poblano. Located inside The Cosmopolitan (conveniently located next door to Aria where we were staying), the José Andrés restaurant offers an experience fitting for diners who aren't afraid to mix and match their dishes—but not in an enchilada egg roll kind of way. The Chinese Mexican menu is less of a mash-up and more of a "I can't decide between the two" kind of thing, hence the tagline Noodles and Tacos.  

My husband, who had already been to the restaurant a handful of times, joined me for lunch before he came down with the plague and didn't leave our hotel room for three days. Appetizing, right? 

Speaking of appetizers...we started with the lamb potstickers. They came in an order of six which pleased me because I can't stand odd numbered appetizers—think about it, most people dine in pairs. Then there's the whole, "You have it" "No, I'm full, you have it" but you end up splitting it thing. Anyway, they were very tasty and the cumin-season "crispy lace" made for a cool presentation. I also ordered the salt air margarita which I had read about on Yelp reviews but found it the "air" a little overwhelming, and that's coming from someone who would refill the salt rim with every sip of a margarita. 

Next came the When Pigs Fly steamed buns. I'm a sucker for steamed buns (I rarely eat pork, although I fell off that wagon on our recent trip to Cuba—more on that later. Cuba, not the pork.) but these were exceptionally good, a perfect balance of light but sticky and doughy with just the right amount of sauce inside.

Finally, we split the twenty-vegetable fried rice which I mostly wanted to try because it was such a divisive issue in reviews. Some people raved about it, others said it was just $20 fried rice. I fall somewhere in between. I didn't count them but at a $1 per vegetable it didn't *feel* like there that many. 

There were certainly more adventurous things on the menu such as quail egg siu mai and beef tongue tacos but considering my brain was still in another time zone and my husband looked like death warmed over, it was exactly where we needed to be. I look forward to trying it again on our next visit—the gan pung ji chicken wings are calling my name.