Javier’s Las Vegas Restaurant Review – A Meal Not Fitting of Las Vegas

Las Vegas has become the one upsmanship capitol of the United States. Stunning casinos, glorious views, cocktails, shopping and of course chefs and restaurants there is a constant battle to be the latest and greatest. So visiting such a beautiful restaurant such as Javier’s at Aria Resort & Casino and see them seemingly be completely checked out, you just have to wonder why. Sadly Javier’s thinks a style over substance is enough in Las Vegas. With so many great restaurants, they are sadly mistaken.

Javier's

You can’t help but be drawn in by Javier’s with just one glance. Located in the center of ARIA, this striking bar and restaurant was clearly designed to create an atmosphere that you will remember and relay to your friends when you return home. If you want a great, albeit overpriced cocktail, Javier’s bar looks like the place to be in Las Vegas as is always brimming with people. That would be the end of it as I would certainly not go any further, unless you want to stick with some nachos and even then I can give three spots without having to think too long that will blow Javier’s away.

Black Mamba

To start off the evening how can you go wrong with guacamole with chips? But this is the crux of the problem with Javier’s, for ten dollars you get what a novice such as myself could whip up with two avocados and you better only have two people are the serving portion is, well quite a bit smaller than you might expect for ten dollars. The other appetizer on the menu that has become popular in the past few years in one form or another in most Mexican restaurants is the queso dip. The menu lists chorizo as being in the queso dip but you will have to look long and hard to find very much in this melted cheese mess. To try and understand this underwhelming dish that clearly could have benefitted from a decent amount of chorizo I tried to get an explanation only to get two versions. One was that most people don’t like a lot of chorizo and the other was that the chef mistakenly did not use enough. What the chef did use enough of was the chipotle that took the heat of the dish to a level I was not expecting. A warning to the customer of something that spicy would be appropriate. Again, you would not have to look very far in Vegas to find a better version of this dish.

Chicken Mole

I will have to give kudos to Javier’s for choosing high quality seafood from the Santa Monica Seafood Company. The issue here is Javier’s brings in high quality seafood and at least in the two dishes I tried, Javier’s would have been better just keeping it simple and letting you enjoy this seafood in all of its glory. For the second time during a visit to Javier’s I ordered scallops and they were littered with sand. Now my understanding is that this is not uncommon, although I will say for me it is a first, well now a second and only at Javier’s. I could actually live with this, as the scallops were tender and fresh, but in addition to the sand I can not understand why they would wreck a scallop with bland chipotle sauce? Onto the prawns, again you can taste that these were certainly high quality prawns, but in this instance the dish was severely over salted. My wish would have been that half of the salt from the prawns would have been shared with the scallops.

Scallops

Thinking dessert might save this dinner I found at the flan and fried ice cream were the two options. Both are authentic to what the restaurant’s menu, but at this point I didn’t find either worth my calories, I was just puzzled as to why you might not get a little more creative here, but if you do go to Javier’s it is highly unlikely that either dessert will leave you wowed, but that will have to be your decision to make. Personally I would walk a few hundred yards down to Five 50 Pizza and get a dessert that you will be talking about for months to come.

What more needs to be said about Javier’s? If you want to take in the atmosphere and energy that reverberates from ARIA while sitting in a stunning restaurant simply so you can say you were there, then Javier’s might work for you. But if you want a memorable meal, there are a number of amazing restaurants right inside of ARIA that will provide you with that experience as well as a spectacular meal. I would have to say sadly that Javier’s would be at the very bottom of the list when it comes to dining experiences at ARIA or anywhere else in Las Vegas.

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