A Chinese And Mexican Restaurant? Who Knew!

I'm back from my blogging hiatus and will be making a serious effort to keep this blog better up to date! With all the travelling I've been doing, it's been hard to keep up with this blog, along with the fact that I eat so few meals at home now! Well, one way to remedy this is to blog about the food I eat while I'm on the road. While it's not always the best food, I occasionally get the chance to try some really phenomenal restaurants... especially when I'm in Las Vegas!
For this trip, I was set on trying out China Poblano, one of Jose Andres' new restaurants at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, one of the newest hotels on the strip. I've never heard of anyone else doing Mexican and Chinese food together, and I was intrigued! When we arrived, I knew we had made a good choice. The front of the restaurant looks like Chinese and Mexican takeout counters, complete with neon OPEN signs that were completely incongruous with the rest of the Cosmopolitan. Once you get inside, the decor is frankly bizarre, but kinda awesome (there was a giant Mexican wrestling mask on the wall that was actually  TV screen, so the images kept changing).
 Everything is served Dim Sum style, and the tables are also long and communal with benches on either side. The menu, surprisingly, keeps most of the Mexican and Chinese food separate. I was hoping for more fusion, and my favorite dishes that we ordered were the ones that combined the tastes of the two cultures. My favorite dish of the evening (besides the dessert) were the Huitlicoche noodles (a Mexican dish) with Chinese spices (I don't remember what kind). It turns out (not that I knew this at the time) that Huitlicoche is a kind of mushroom that grows on corn! Sounds a little gross, but hey, it was good! My colleague really enjoyed his Dan Dan noodles as well. The Chicken Ji Song, chicken in lettuce cups with fried sweet potatoes and a spicy asian sauce, were also very good. My favorite thing, however, was the dessert. We got the Chocolate Terra Cotta Warriors caramelized bananas/sesame which were not only very cool to look at, but delicious! I've never had sesame and chocolate together before, and it's a great combo. The sesame was blended so it didn't have the same texture as it normally would.
What ever possessed Jose Andres to create a Chinese and Mexican restaurant is beyond me, but it somehow makes sense when you're in there. Right on the menu, it says "What brings Mexico and China together? You could start with the Spanish galleons that first sailed the Pacific in 1565 in the reign of King Philip II. Along with the lucrative trade in silk and silver, they brought Asian spices and fruit to Mexico, and New World peppers to the Middle Kingdom of China. They also brought the legend of an Asian girl kidnapped by pirates and shipped to Mexico, known as La China Poblana. These dishes continue a voyage, first dreamed by Christopher Columbus, that has connected East and West for the last five centuries."

Overall, was it the best Mexican or Chinese food I've ever had? No. But the restaurant is fun, has a great ambiance, it reasonably priced, and definitely worth checking out if you're in Las Vegas.

China Poblano (Cosmopolitan) on Urbanspoon

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