Photo credit: Ryan Hafey, Stephanie Garrison Latreille, Stephanie Barnes and Bryan Kuhl

Things Are Definitely Flaming at Juan’s

This restaurant is well-named, as the first thing I noticed after entering the Water St. location of Juan’s Flaming Fajitas was the scent of roasting meat and vegetables wafting through the air. Throughout my meal I observed firsthand the iconic fajita plates being delivered to tables, and coming to life after servers ignited a shot of vodka and oregano into the hot pots containing the meats and vegetables. Of course I had to experience the signature dish, which comes with choice of two meats (choices include steak, pork, chicken and shrimp), vegetables, rice and beans. I also couldn’t resist the Chapala seafood quesadilla, which was a heavenly, generous mix of scallop and shrimp with pico de gallo. The extensive menu has just about any Tex-Mex favorite you can think of, with the likes of tacos, burritos, enchiladas, huevos rancheros, carne asada, tostadas, chile relleno, flautas and several vegetarian specialties. Your meal includes rice, beans and chips and salsa with sautéed onion and peppers, so there is no way you will leave hungry.

The cheerful and lively atmosphere includes TVs throughout, a separate bar area, rustic brick walls, large windows, garage doors that are opened when the weather is pleasant, black and white vintage photographs and a replica of Pancho Villa’s bullet holster (but the bullets are actually his!). The expansive 5,500 square feet space includes a private dining room, outdoor patio seating and room for 224.

Showing up during the dinner rush (especially on weekends) can result in an hour or more wait, so you might want to time your arrival during non-peak times. Or, you can plop yourself down at Lovelady Brewing next door, call in your order and have it delivered to your table. Speaking of Lovelady, the brewery supplies Juan’s with a beer to complement the Mexican fare: the Pancho Fajita Brew, an amber ale. Also on the beer menu are a handful of other local brews, including Astronomy Hawking Hazy Pale Ale, Bad Beat Bluffing Isn’t Weise and CraftHaus Silver State Blonde.

Considering the extremely low prices (nearly everything on the menu ranges from $5-$16), a huge bargain for the quantity and quality you receive on your plate, it’s not surprising patrons are flocking to eat here. Even deeper discounts are during the daily happy hour from 3-7 p.m. with draft pints for $3.69, house 16-oz margaritas for $4.99 and house wine for $4.50 and several appetizers all under $10.

Juan’s Flaming Fajitas opened in 2013 in the southwest at 9640 W. Tropicana and the 16 S. Water St. location in downtown Henderson opened in Oct. 2018. For more info visit juansflamingfajitasandcantina.com.

Guisados—A Better Kind of Taco

When is a taco more than a taco? When it’s a guisado! I must confess I was not familiar with the term—which refers to meats slow roasted in their juices, as is commonly practiced in central Mexico—before my visit to Santos Guisados Tacos & Beer, but am now definitely a fan. The meats are tender and juicy to the nth degree and come in variations of birria santa (brisket), holy mole! (chicken in mole negro), chicken tinga (slow cooked in chipotle), cochinita pibil (marinated pork cooked in banana leaves), carnitas (pork with salsa verde) and hongos (vegan, mushrooms slow cooked with herbs). The street tacos are reasonably priced at $3.50, or mix n’ match three for $10, but show up on a Tuesday and they are only $2.

There are also regular tacos, such as al pastor, carne asada, fish and shrimp, and quesadilla, birria consome, plates and bowls and a selection of Mexican beer.

The Santos in the name is representative of the small shop’s décor, which boasts dozens of homemade candles depicting various saints. Its location on Carson Ave., a few doors down from VegeNation on one side and 7th & Carson on the other, put it in good company, as this area continues to move towards becoming a food destination, if it hasn’t already.

Santos Guisados Tacos & Beer

616 E. Carson Ave. #140

@SantosTacosLV

#PrayForTacos

Modern French Dining at Partage

Partage means sharing in French, and that’s the best way to experience this same-named restaurant. Located at 3839 Spring Mountain Rd. in the heart of Chinatown, this gourmet French restaurant offers several small dishes, such as onion soup with bread and comte cheese crust, snail with garlic and herbs béchamel croquette, hamachi with blood orange and sake broth, scallop grilled in nori leaves with roasted hazelnut, oxtail croquet monsieur with truffle oil, duck pithivier in puff pastry stuffed with buttered cabbage and seared foie gras and butternut ravioli. Entrees, with individual and large sharing portions, including rib eye smoked with choice of Applewood or hay served with potato knocchi, mushrooms and Normandy sauce; whole fish catch of the day with grilled parsnip, parsnip puree, kumquat foam and orange blossom sabayon; and pork Iberico cooked tableside deglazed with shoyu sauce aged in whisky barrel served with apple and celery tatin pie. 

But the optimal way to experience Partage is putting yourself in the skillful hands of Executive Chef Yuri Szarsewski and Pastry Chef Vincent Pellerin and indulging in one of the tasting menus, which change often and come in four presentations: 3 course—appetizer, entrée and dessert for $55; 5-course—2 appetizers, fish and meat courses and dessert for $80; 7-course—3 appetizers, fish, meat and cheese course and dessert for $100; and 8-course—3 appetizers, fish, meat and cheese course, signature course and dessert for $120. Each dish’s presentation is a work of art and the flavors are equally so. 

Matching the beautiful dishes is a stunning room adorned with hanging globe chandeliers, elegant cream and wood-toned booths, woodgrain tables, white brick walls, an open kitchen and a large wine cabinet enclosed in glass.

Partage is the second restaurant of chefs Yuri and Vincent, who left their home country of France after working for 10 years in several Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris, coming to Las Vegas in December, 2015 and opening Eatt Gourmet Bistro at Sahara and Buffalo. After their patrons repeatedly expressed a desire for them to open a modern French fine dining experience, the talented chef duo with general manager partner Nicolas Kalpokdjian opened Partage in May, 2018.   

Partage is open Mon.-Thu. 5-10 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. 5-11 p.m. Valet parking is offered on Fridays and Saturdays. 

For more info visit partage.vegas.

Chef Dan Krohmer Shares His Culinary Excellence with Downtown Las Vegas

The extremely talented Chef Dan Krohmer, after greatly impressing everyone with his mastery of Japanese cuisine at his Other Mama in southwest Las Vegas, has expanded his culinary offerings, venturing out to Downtown Las Vegas, opening Hatsumi at the Fergusons Downtown. The former hotel in the heart of the Fremont East District that’s being converted into shopping and restaurants is quickly bourgeoning into a Downtown destination. Opened in May, 2019, Hatsumi is a yakitori spot that models itself after a 1980s bar in Tokyo and Chef Krohmer has brought in our friend Bobby Silva to head up the kitchen, which based on my recent visit was a very wise choice. 

On the menu are beef tatake—seared tenderloin with onion, radish sprouts, ponzu sauce and chili oil; poached chicken salad—slow cooked chicken breast with cabbage, cilantro and cashews; lomi lomi—fish of the day which during my visit was ocean trout with cherry tomato ponzu; pork yoza with ginger, onion, cilantro, corn starch twill and a ginger soy sauce dipping sauce; chicken meatball skewers with tare sauce containing brown sugar, soy sauce and chicken stock; shrimp & bacon okonomiyaki—a dense cake with bonito flakes, local honey and pickled ginger; and black tea mochi (which is on the secret menu, so be sure to ask for it).

The small space with only about two dozen seats is delightfully decorated with a pink wall, long bar, open kitchen, light wood tables, white brick walls and local artwork by Ryan Brunty (who goes by the handle Depressed Monsters), whose work can be found throughout Downtown Las Vegas. His creation for Hatsumi depicted on two walls is the character Yerman, the sad, pink yeti-like creature. 

Complementing the Asian fare is a sizeable sake list, perhaps the largest Downtown, with the likes of Kanbara “Bride of the Fox,” a Junmai Ginjo made by Kaetsu Shuzo; and a better than average beer list that includes Japanese craft beers such as Echigo Koshihikari Lager and the American-made Stillwater Sake-style Saison. 

Surprisingly and thankfully, nothing on the menu exceeds $15, so no worries if you are not flush with cash. Make your way to Hatsumi soon and if you’re still hungry or on a future visit, Chef Krohmer’s La Monja (specializing in Mexican coastal fare) is situated in the same center, just steps away. 

Hatsumi

1028 Fremont St suite 100

http://hatsumilv.com