“In Chinese cuisine, there’s a lot of mythology based on just about everything. Going into the Year of the Rooster, meaning a prosperous year ahead, we based a lot of the menu selection off the mythology itself,” explains China Poblano chef Eric Suniga. But there was another major element in creating the José Andrés restaurant’s Chinese New Year menu, available January 27 through February 11. “We had a meeting, and José said, ‘I want sea cucumber. I want abalone.’ That was a starting point for a few of the dishes.”
Andrés has brought his version of global cuisine to Las Vegas in several iterations, including tapas joint Jaleo and the animal-centric Bazaar Meat. China Poblano is perhaps the most eccentric, where half the menu is Chinese and the rest is Mexican.
For the Chinese New Year menu, each dish has a story behind it. Good Fortune and Potato ($16.88) features sautéed dried oysters with vegetables over creamy potatoes. “Taste-wise, for a lot of guests in the United States, dried oyster might be a little too much,” Suniga says. “So we thought we could mix it into the vegetables and braising liquid to mellow it out.” In Cantonese, dried oysters, or ho see, mean “good things to come.”
For those hoping for a wealthier 2017, try Tied Up for the Moment ($13.88), red-braised tofu knots topped with wok-fried shishito peppers and finished with XO sauce. It’s a spicy bite and a different texture than most tofu.
Dessert options include a delightful apple bun, hopefully leading to a sweet new year for all those who enjoy it.
China Poblano Cosmopolitan, 702-698-7900. Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.