Jose Andres gets a second chance after the Jaleo misstep. China Poblano is not a good idea but it exists anyway. Half a Mexican menu, half a Chinese menu but never do the two cuisines mix. They should but oh well. You know what? It actually works.
Mind you, this casual spot seems best for lunch. Fun, quirky décor that is part Lucha Libre, part Chinese brothel, it is an inexpensive (by Vegas standards) spot with an enticing menu and friendly service.
To start things off, a couple tacos. Lobster with salsa Mexicana, arbol chile sauce and the seared fish with ancho pickled onions. While the lobster taco is nice, it is a gigantic rip-off at $10 (this being the one occasion the place seems out of step pricewise). The fish taco accounts itself better. You may try the duck tongue taco with fresh lychee (should have ordered that) or soft beef tendon taco with Kumamoto osyters, scallions and a Sichuan peppercorn sauce.
Next up, the Chicken Ji Song, China Poblano’s take on chicken and lettuce cups. They are quite good, with fried sweet potatoes imparting a surprising element to an old standby.
Lastly, at the suggestion of the waiter, the shrimp mojo. Done up in a sweet black garlic and roasted poblano pepper sauce, these are absolutely dynamite. The sweet/spicy combo is killer, the shrimp plump, the whole dish worthy of a repeat order. In this dish Jose Andres wins.
So, while China Poblano may not be a Vegas destination spot, and doesn’t exactly give you what you’d expect from Andres, if you find yourself in The Cosmopolitan it’s a good enough bet.
Why go? You have mojo.
Monster rating: 3½/5 Monsters
3708 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109