Julian Serrano was the place for my late tapas dinner when I stayed at Aria. I made the reservation directly through the Aria website, and I had a $50 food credit that was included in my room offer to spend however I wanted.
The restaurant is located near the reservations desk, along a "restaurant row" of sorts, and it's not hard to find. The design is sleek and modern, and the restaurant is open to the rest of the resort on three sides. My late evening reservation found a few other diners enjoying their tapas with quiet conversation in the main dining area, or watching Sports Center on the flat-screen TV's above the bar area. I chose a small booth near the center of the restaurant but against a wall, with a view of most of the restaurant and outside areas (all the better to people-watch, my dear).
My waiter was quick and attentive, willing to describe any dish I wished to know more about. In the end, I decided to try a couple of tapas I’d seen on the menu at home, as well as one of his suggestions and my waiter offered to bring them out one at a time, about 15 minutes apart, so I could take my time and enjoy them all completely.
First I tried the White Ceviche, which is something I don't get to eat too much of at home. The dish was spicy, but just okay. This was one of my own choices), and I was actually disappointed in it. I think it actually needed more lime to give it a good balance. I'm not exactly sure what the "chips" next to it were made of, but they didn't look familiar and I opted not to taste them.
Next I tried the Creamy Risotto, which was also one of my own selections. I had been eyeing the risotto since I first found their menu online, and it didn't disappoint. The dish was very good and quite large and filling for a tapas dish. The warm risotto paired with almonds and mushrooms made it quite earthy and very delicious. A slice of fresh Parmesan cheese was presented on top of it, and I chose to break it up and mix it in while the dish while it was still warm. So good. I probably could have had twice as much of this dish and gone away just as happy.
My third dish was the one recommended by my waiter: Salmon Roulade. It was very good! This dish was presented almost like a large sushi roll on top of a piece of lightly toasted, and very delicious, bread. The roulade mixture inside was very flavorful and fresh. I broke everything apart and ate the bread along with the salmon. I didn’t leave a bite of anything on my plate.
I took my time and savored everything, and my intermittent conversations with the waiter were entertaining, as well. It was nice to be able to sit back, relax, and just watch the world of Vegas go by for awhile.
All in all my tapas meal was a little over $38+tax (+cash tip) for my three tapas and an iced tea, so I didn’t even use my full food credit. Awww. I was too freakin’ full to eat another bite, though.
I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who likes tapas and wants to enjoy a wide variety of dishes served in a quiet but elegant setting. It's yet another Vegas restaurant I'll be more than happy to visit again. There were several other tapas on the menu that I would have loved to try, but there's no way I could possibly try any more than three at one time by myself. I'd give my whole dining experience a solid 8 out of 10.
To view the Julian Serrano menu, check out their hours or make a reservation, follow this link: