Julian Serrano, Las Vegas

Julian Serrano at the new hip Aria at City Center

Here's a quick rundown of the items we consumed:

   Octopus a la Plancha with spicy smoked paprika on top of a turned and blanched potato. All of the elements were cooked properly and well seasoned.

   Whitefish ceviche with jalapeno, cilantro, red onion, lime, and coconut milk. Probably the highlight of the evening for me. Clean flavors, yet rich with the addition of the coconut milk.

   Stuffed piquillo pepper, tender, fully skinned and fresh tasting with a side of tomato coulis. Simple, as it should be.

   Flank steak as tender as it could be, simply marinated and grilled. Impressively tender, really.

   The Garlic shrimp they were pushing was the weakest of the night. We’re not some hacks out of the buffet line looking for more shrimp. Come on.

   Padron peppers with salt, nice finish on the meal. I’ve had these peppers all over the place and I keep ordering them. I love how simple and delicious they are.

Table service was a little sloppy, but our server tried hard. Wine service was pushy on the more expensive bottles. We ordered a simple albarino with our meal and it worked fine. I’ll call our wine guy the ‘Sales Guy” simply because a true sommelier wouldn’t push a $400 dollar bottle “that’s out of this world good”. For $400 in Vegas, I can think of other things to do for that price, thanks.