There’s such a thing as a Strip sleeper. That’s when an amazing experience gets lost among all the noise and lights and fun on Las Vegas Boulevard. There’s an especially significant selection of sleeper restaurants on the Strip, because every casino resort has a stellar dining lineup and you may not be familiar with all the offerings.
Aria is known for its incredible restaurant collection, but the authentic Mexican cuisine supplied by Newport Beach transplant Javier’s is often left out of the conversation. It shouldn’t be. The dark, artful and inviting environment and bustling center bar at this easy-access location has been a hit for those in the know since Javier’s took the place of a steakhouse space in 2012. The fresh, addictive ceviches and hearty queso fundido top the list of favorite snacks to pair with a crisp margarita at that charming bar, but be warned that those who stop by for light bites and drinks frequently end up grabbing a booth or table and making a night of the Javier’s experience.
When that happens to you, consider the velvety beef shortrib braised in chile negro sauce; the lightly battered chiles rellenos stuffed with ground beef, potato, serrano peppers and Monterey Jack cheese; or the Cabo Azul combo—a Maine lobster enchilada in a creamy pasilla sauce, a grilled relleno filled with cheese, shrimp and fresh Dungeness crab, and an Ensenada-style shrimp taco on a flour tortilla. Accidental or intended, that’s a feast you won’t soon forget. Javier’s at Aria, 866-590-3637; daily 11:30 a.m.-midnight.