Jamon Jamon Tapas

$ $

During the darkest days of the pandemic, Jamon Jamon Tapas emerged as one of the local restaurant world’s rare positive stories. Opened in July of 2020 as a North Las Vegas ghost kitchen before expanding to a brick and mortar in early 2021, foodies were quickly buzzing about it, even as they dined out less frequently. By the time we polled our pros that fall, it was named by several (including one celebrity chef, a pioneering Chinatown restaurateur and a top food Instagrammer) as a top spot for Spanish cuisine.

Spaniard Rafael Salines Catalá spent nearly a dozen years cooking his native cuisine on the Strip, in the kitchens of both Jaleo and Julian Serrano. Yet he’s retained a fierce loyalty to tradition, eschewing American influences in favor of authenticity. The result is a menu packed with unexpected treats such as braised pork feet, beef tripe a la Madrileña (tripe, chorizo, morcilla and arbol chile) and a whole roasted 16-pound suckling pig. The less adventurous will be relieved to find excellent renditions of more familiar dishes such as patatas a la brava, gambas al ajillo and (of course) paella.

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