Michael and Wendy Jordan’s Rosemary’s Restaurant (1999-2011) stood out as a beacon of quality in a neighborhood then dominated by cookie-cutter chains. That’s no longer the case in this not-quite-Summerlin section of town—interesting eats abound all over Sahara and its surrounding streets. The newest has popped up in the former Rosemary’s spot, and it’s already making its mark.
Salud Mexican Bistro arrived this summer compliments of Stevee and Andres Topchi, whose relatives run the popular Toto’s in Boulder City. Salud is less traditional than Toto’s, with a modern Mexican menu plus creative cocktails, singing similar songs with a fresh voice.
Start with a cucumber and grapefruit gimlet ($14) or a funky mezcal Old Fashioned ($14). If you want a margarita, they’ve got you covered there, too. If you’re having a few, better order the bountiful munchies platter ($14) with nachos, taquitos, and huge chicken and beef flautas. But be careful—you’ll fill up fast.
Salud’s food is too hearty to sample several dishes in one sitting, but don’t skip the Octopus Salteado ($11), tender seafood drenched in a tongue-tingling romesco-lime sauce. It could pair nicely with the campechana seafood cocktail ($16)—mussels, crab, avocado and more in a chipotle broth.
Familiar fare like fajitas, burritos, tacos and even combination plates find a home on this menu, but everything’s a bit different, like the pork belly tamale you can choose for a two-fer combo ($16); the beef cheek barbacoa or lamb birria that could plump up your burrito ($14); or the coconut shrimp or mushroom chipotle taco options.
Early entrée highlights include shrimp enchiladas ($25) with a bone marrow-guajillo sauce and duck carnitas ($25) braised in red wine and citrus. The mushroom cream sauce on the Mexican gnocchi ($17) is delicious even if the pasta is a bit on the heavy side. Still, it demonstrates Salud’s creativity and willingness to experiment, and that’s the kind of kitchen that will keep us coming back instead of eating at some boring franchise joint.
Salud Mexican Bistro 8125 W. Sahara Ave. #110, 702-665-6423. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday, 4-10 p.m.