I was pretty excited to check out Chica, especially during restaurant week in Las Vegas. I had heard some great things and there are not an abundance of quality South American places to dine in LV. I am probably slightly bias considering I have had the best of the best in South Florida. My strategy going into restaurant week is simple, get 1 of the preset menus and then order maybe 1-2 other things that might be a specialty or a “must”. You’d be surprised how many of the restaurant week menus didn’t have restaurant’s signatures dishes. Im convinced it’s a conspiracy…
So we ordered the $40 Dinner:
1st course: TUNA CEVICHE: Ahi tuna in apple infused leche de tigr
2nd course: PORCHETTA WITH CRISPY YUCCA HASH: Slow roasted suckling pig, crispy brussels sprouts, fried yucca, pearl onion escabeche, pork jus
**We actually sent this back and then had the ASADO NEGRO BRAISED SHORT RIB: Venezuelan style short rib, black-eyed peas two ways, epazote oil, pickled onions
3rd course: (1 of each)
- TRES LECHES DULCE DE LECHETraditional “Three milks” cake topped with toasted meringue, with exotic fruit pico
- MARQUESA DE CHOCOLATEA Venezuelan classic, made with rich chocolate mousse, espresso soaked graham crackers, served with crema ice cream
GRILLED CORN LOLLIPOPS: Sweet corn with chile piquin, lime, butter and cotija cheese
GRILLED PERUVIAN OCTOPUS: Grilled octopus, crispy quinoa, aji amarillo sauce, blistered shishito peppers, spicy guasacaca pico
EMPANADAS PABELLÓN: Crispy arepa masa stu ed with braised ground beef, sweet plantains, black beans, queso fresco and spicy guasacaca pico 12
CHICKEN CHICHARRONES: Crispy chicken bites smothered in mojo onions, with a chile-lime crema 12
For me personally the corn lollipops (which were not “lollipops” but more of the full corn with the husks pulled down ) and the chicharrones were my favorites. Really amazing crisp on the chicken and corn had such great flavor. Runner up would have to be the tuna ceviche and the grilled octopus. The tuna with the apple was a nice combo that I have not had before. Octopus had great spice and tang with the blistered shishito peppers. I was kinda disappointed in the empanadas (Florida native bias again).
As far as entrees, the pork was sadly salty, little over seasoned, and chewy. As you can imagine … not a great combo. We sent it back and had the braised short rib instead, which was so much better. I know a few people who had a completely different experience with the pork, so maybe we got a bad one. Dessert was status quo. I think the meal was decent. I went in with high expectations so maybe that was the problem. Chica is pretty pricey. We spent $120 on alcohol alone. I always say try a place twice before making a decision though so I will have to have a round 2 soon! Check out some highlights and let me know what you think!
*PS Restaurant week goes through July 30th and portions of proceeds go to Three Square, fighting hunger in Nevada.