Las Vegas has the largest percentage of Hispanics in the U.S. (about 25% of the population at last count). There are hundreds of Mexican and Latin restaurants in the area. The selection is endless, from Mexican all the way down south to Argentina. Most all types of Latin cuisines are available.
Mandalay Bay, 3950 S. Las Vegas Bl. 702-632-7777
Invented by a couple of ladies you might have encountered on one of the food channels. Susan Feniger and and Mary Sue Milliken. Refreshing and light decor, excellent food with a different twist. I would not call their food creations out and out Mexican per se, but more of a Southwestern and Mexican fusion type cuisine. There is an extensive menu with lots of selection, but the main point is that someone in the back knows how to cook. Everything we have tried is flavorful – even the leftovers were good cold the next day. Dishes like the Too Hot Tamale assortment and the Portabello Mushroom Mulitas are typical – a lively variety of flavors as interesting as the spirited decor. The red salsa served with your chips is always a good indicator of the overall quality of the meal to come; here it is flavorful and moderately hot, with good smoky chile flavor. The outdoor dining area is at the edge of the jungle-like Mandalay pool area and has built-in entertainment in the form of the jogging track, good for people watching. A fun experience and a flavorful meal.
Dinner Mon. – Thu. 11AM – 10PM, Fri. 11AM – 11PM, Sat. 10AM – 11PM, Sun. 10AM – 10PM. Res.702 632 7200.
El Sombrero Cafe
107 S. Main st., Tel: 702-382-9234 A taste of Old Las Vegas, before the corporations took over. The restaurant is in a tiny old building on Main St. among weekly hotels, thrift shops, artists’ studios, trendy cafes and environmentalists. The seats fill up at lunchtime with lawyers, civil servants and financial folks who work nearby. Just great homestyle Mexican food, made by a family who has run the restaurant since the 1950’s. The food is flavorful southwestern Mexican fare, with the expected burritos, huevos rancheros, chiles rellenos, albondigas soup. per entree. Menu prices are refreshingly in whole dollars – none of this $-.99 stuff. A nice escape from the generic glitz of the Strip into the past and present of locals’ Las Vegas.
2655 E. Desert Inn Rd., Tel: 702-735-6828
Friendly little family place not too far from the strip. Average food, good salsas. The reason I mention this place at all is because it is very clean. On certain days they have a musician (or several) playing romantic music. Extensive menu includes all the favorite dishes and quite a few seafood selections. Yes, there is also roast goat on the menu. Probably the only place in town with that item. Authentic flavor prepared by good cooks. Service and food are not bad for the price.
Toto’s Mexican Restaurant
In colorful Boulder City, in a shopping plaza, at the second traffic light as you drive in from Las Vegas. You cannot miss, there are only two traffic lights in town. Terrific Mexican food in a small, out of the way place. I dine there very often. B.t.w., Boulder City is one of those towns where it is possible to go for a walk any time of the day. It is very safe. A vicious criminal here would be a jay walker.