A&E

Robert Solano brings his popular Bomb Tacos Downtown

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Chef Robert Solano shows off a Bomb shrimp taco.
Photo: Steve Marcus

Robert Solano at Bomb Tacos

Bomb Tacos owner and chef Robert Solano has been known to Las Vegas foodies for nearly a decade, first garnering accolades as executive chef of shuttered upscale Mexican restaurants La Madonna and Mundo. After departing from Mundo-offshoot Mingo Kitchen & Lounge in Downtown’s Art Square, Solano went back to basics, beginning with the beloved taco.

The vibrant Bomb Tacos on Durango Avenue—painted in bright pinks, yellows and teals—was such a hit, Solano opened a second location Downtown just a year later. “Bomb Tacos was all spur of the moment,” Solano says. “I didn’t know what kind of menu we were going to have, and we didn’t know what it was going to look like.”

Solano knew what he didn’t want, however. “Usually you go to a taco shop and see horses or houses or some old Mexican guy with a big hat and a guitar, you know what I mean?”

The Guatemalan-born chef knew a run-of-the-mill taco experience wouldn’t do, so his menu is full of traditional offerings with a twist. “I’m not adding mayos or mustards or vinegars that don’t belong,” Solano says. “I’m not reinventing anything. It’s very basic, and that’s what people like about it.”

Standards like carne asada, chicken, carnitas and al pastor—loaded up with onion, cilantro, guacamole and cheese—are joined by such less traditional options as the crispy beef brisket taco and the bistro taco, the latter featuring with a fried egg.

There are vegetarian options, too, like an out-of-this world fried cauliflower taco (derived from Solano’s fried shrimp recipe), or the hearty mushroom tacos marinated the way one would meat.

But Bomb Tacos is more than a restaurant or a perfect Downtown pre-game spot. It’s got heart, too. Solano recently hosted a Guatemala relief fundraiser for those affected by the Fuego volcano in his home country. The chef donated 100 percent of the proceeds. “We wanted it to actually mean something,” Solano says. “We wanted to work for it.”

BOMB TACOS 3655 S. Durango Drive #27, 702-262-0141; 616 E. Carson Ave. #140, 702-826-3515.

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