[Chef Talk]

Talking Filipino food and ramen burgers with Joe Elevado

Chef Joe Elevado of Andrea’s at Encore.
Photo: Sam Morris

You opened Andrea’s last December. Has the menu changed much in year one? It was rather large when we first opened, but we’ve been changing it up, pushing the envelope a bit. One of my bigger goals was to get some Filipino food in the forefront, and we have pancit on the menu and a crispy pork shank that’s a variation on a traditional dish. We have a lot of great Chinese and Japanese-based dishes, even some Thai, but you don’t really find [Filipino] stuff on a lot of fine dining menus.

Is there a little education involved with Filipino food? It can be challenging. Most people know adobo or pancit or lumpia, but the more ethnic dishes can be difficult because some of the ingredients can be strong, like shrimp paste. I have a dish I’m working on for winter based on kare kare, which is braised oxtail with a peanut sauce.

You cooked at Social House on the Strip before taking a break from Vegas and then returning at Andrea’s. Have Vegas diners changed? Since there’s a club aspect to Andrea’s, I knew what I was getting into from my time at Social House. You think about clubgoers coming to eat and you think about fun stuff like sliders and rock shrimp, but I think diners are more sophisticated here now. They’re ordering a lot of different things.

But you still have sliders: the ramen burgers. Yes, they’re on the menu now and doing really well. It’s kind of fun to make our own version of this [famous] dish, but ours has different toppings.

Tags: Dining
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