el segundo sol

My photo, not unlike my brain, is a little fuzzy...

My photo, not unlike my brain, is a little fuzzy…

So, you’re in Vegas with a group of party animals. You’ve been tearing up the clubs, harvesting cash from the tables, and being treated like a rock star by your casino tycoon friend. Your endorphins are going crazy when you realize you haven’t eaten and need some food. What do you do to nourish yourself without sacrificing your rush?

That’s right, you hit up a high-end Mexican restaurant that doubles as a discoteca…we decided on El Segundo Sol, located right thar on the Strip. So, we put on our fancy pants and got a table for the entourage.

After receiving the menu, the first thing I noticed was that it seemed pretty expensive for tacos. They run between $13 and $20 per order. BUT, how many tacos are in an order? Well, it depends. Each order is served with the meat in a nice little cast iron skillet boat thingy. It also comes with a stack of freshly pressed tortillas, rice, beans and pico de gallo. So, you basically make a bunch of tacos out of what you’ve got. I’d say, there are about 5 tacos per order. So, when you break it down, it’s really not that much per taco.

One side note: you can’t mix and match tacos, which is why I travel in a large posse. That way, I can make everyone else order tacos and try theirs. Ok. On to the tacos.

I tried four different tacos, and I was very impressed with each.

I was going to order the baja shrimp tacos, but one of my compadres ordered them, so I strategically changed my order. I ordered the braised pork, which is basically a stewed al pastor. It comes with grilled pineapple, just like al pastor, but doesn’t have onion. The meat is tender and covered in a slightly spicy adobo sauce. It’s a very comfort food-ish. Me gusta.

The mahi mahi is also a very tasty taco. The fish comes as a large filet and is cooked perfectly. There isn’t any breading that dominates the taco, so you can really taste the fish. It is served with a chipotle cream, which adds a nice bite, along with an avacado and tomatillo salsa. Me gusta, tambien.

Now for that shrimp taco. But first, let me tell you that my opinion on a shrimp dish may be jaded. I love shrimp: shrimp cocktail, shrimp po’ boys, jumbo shrimp, shrimpy shrimp, whatever. As long as you remove the poop chute running down its back, I’m down to eat it. So, it may come as no surprise that I love the baja shrimp tacos. I love the crunch of the shrimp, combined with the smooth texture and acidity of the avacado and tomatillo salsa. While there’s nothing here that is earth-shattering or trail-blazing, I think this is a very fine taco. Me encanta.

The last taco I tried was the good ole carne asada. This is the most simple taco on the menu, and, in my opinion, the best. The meat is marinated to a point where you can taste the spices. Yet, it isn’t overdone, so you can enjoy the flavor of the prized skirt steak. The meat itself could be sold and loved by itself, but making it into a bunch of tacos just makes it that much better. I’m a traditionalist, of sorts, but I think this is the crown jewel of El Segundo Sol.

This is definitely a different scene than I’m used to in Logan Square in Chicago, but I’d welcome this any day. At least the tacos.

Ok. Back to the club.

No, my friend Molly was not with us.

No, my friend Molly was not with us.

  • Location:  3200 Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV (Across from The Wynne, on the Las Vegas Strip)
  • Tourists:  Josh, Julia, Alejandro, Dawn #1, Hunter, Tyler, Dawn #2, Jeff, Colleen
  • Tacos sampled:  braised pork, mahi mahi, baja shrimp and carne asada (also have chicken, braised beef, vegetarian, roasted salmon, baja fish and crispy tacos with either tinga chicken or braised beef)
  • Toppings:  cilantro, rice, black beans, pico de gallo and sour cream (all on the side)
  • Salsa:  salsa roja, salsa verde and pico de gallo
  • Extras:  chips
  • Tortillas:  freshly pressed and griddled/flour; thick
  • Atmosphere:  swanky, Miami Vice, dark, taco club, Gringo
  • Price:  $13.25-$19.95/platter
  • OVERALL RATING:  8.5
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