Vegas Uncork’d @ Border Grill
445 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Dining date: 1/27/15
This past week, Bon Appetit and Las Vegas hosted a Vegas Uncork’d preview at downtown’s Border Grill. It was a fitting location, given Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger’s restaurant has two locations in Las Vegas and has been a consistent participant in the annual food event. This evening’s event served to garner attention to the April fest, as well as celebrate Border Grill’s 30th anniversary.
Now in its 9th year, Vegas Uncork’d has moved up a little earlier this year to the last weekend of April. As usual, it will amass dozens of big-name chefs cooking their way through various different seminars, tastings, classes and sit-down meals. The 20+ event, 4-day Uncork’d has been a tradition in my family for many years now and I’m looking forward to what 2015 has to offer (see 2014 here and here).
Border Grill hosted a Taco Tuesday to celebrate, bringing in guest mixologist Craig Schoettler (Aria) and guest chef Royden Ellamar (Sensi) in addition to its resident bartenders, chef and cooks.
We first tried Schoettler’s offerings.
En Fuego fortaleza reposado tequila, del maguey chichicapa, apry, lime, cara cara oranges
Carnivale novo fogo cachaca, grand marnier, fresh lemon, paprika
Cumin Marinated Grilled Chicken cilantro sauce, pickled tomatoes, rice
My favorite bites of the night were probably these, BG’s take on an arroz con pollo. The chicken had a nice crust, great texture, with bright flavors. I don’t even think this is on their regular menu..but it should be.
Seasonal Oysters with Trio of Granitas cocktail with shaved horseradish, smoky chipotle vinegar, cucumber serrano tomatillo
Baja Ceviche shrimp, lime, marinated sustainable seasonal fish, tomato, jalapeno aioli
Peruvian Ceviche aji amarillo, ginger, lime, cucumber, avocado, crispy plantains
Oysters were being shucked all night with a trio of sauces. A couple of ceviches were on hand as well.
Tacos de Alambre grilled aspen ridge rib eye, braised tongue, applewood smoked bacon, roasted poblano, chimichurri
These ribeye & tongue variety were my favorite of the tacos. Rich and beefy with a vibrant chimichurri.
Black Garlic & Chile Smoked Lamb Neck and Trotter cara cara orange & radish salsa
Charred Octopus Taco octopus, crushed potato, bone marrow, piri piri sauce
These two tacos were Ellamar’s creations. The lamb taco brought deep savory flavors contrasted by citrus and radish; the octopus taco was certainly lighter but didn’t have the same pop in flavors.
Crispy Rajas Taco creamy potatoes and roasted chiles, mexican cheeses, guacamole, grilled corn relish, chipotle crema
Aguachile Verde Shooter crab, mango, avocado
Bright and refreshing, yet quite spicy.
Blanco Margarita tequila blanco, fresh lime, organic agave nectar
La Diosa Verde
Two Border Grill cocktails finished off the night, including one of their house margaritas.
The Border Grill truck was on hand to serve up mini churro bites.
Plenty of good food and booze is a great way to draw some buzz for Uncork’d and celebrate an LA restaurant mainstay. I was happy to be a part of it and I’m stoked for another year of Vegas Uncork’d.
Note: This was a hosted event.