By Michele Polci, CMP, CPCE and Lisa Lynn Backus, CMP, CPCE
We didn’t know what to expect from Toros Spanish Kitchen and Gaming. Was it a sports bar, gaming establishment, a full service restaurant or a tapas place? The answer turned out to be a little bit of all of the above.
This restaurant has everything we have come to expect in the valley. In the center of the restaurant you will find your bit of Vegas, a sprawling rectangular bar with gaming. Spanish-inspired lighting hung overhead, creating a welcoming ambiance. There are a number of flat screens suspended over the bar and around the room: on this particular night, we were treated to televised soccer. The servers even took a cue from this and donned Spanish soccer team jerseys as their uniforms! The menu is solid, and while there are the requisite wings and burgers on the menu, don’t let that fool you- this is far more than your normal neighborhood haunt. There were old school flavors, a little modern-age presentation and plating, but the sauces will send you over the Spanish moon.
One of us loves every carb she has ever met, and appreciates the little things in life. The “bread basket” was a home run. The bread was slightly grilled and served with a piquillo pepper aioli. After the bread was long gone, a spoon did the trick finishing up all the aioli. That was our first clue that the attention to detail would make Toros stand out.
Braised oxtail is a classic dish, but not one you will find on many tapas menus with such big flavor. If you are a steakhouse kind of diner, this dish is for you. The tempranillo sauce created a wonderful richness. The use of peas and peppers brightened up this dish. The same holds true for the salmon with spinach and topped with a wave of béchamel. Attempting to get our veggies in, we had to try the grilled asparagus. They were perfectly charred with an outstanding romesco sauce. The nuttiness of the sauce was a perfect fit to our collective personalities (pun intended)! However, the crab stuffed piquillo peppers stole the show for us.
Another favorite were the scallops. Flawlessly prepared with a touch of our favorite romesco sauce, aioli and cinnamon. There were a number of Spanish-inspired dishes offered on the menu, such as paellas that are finished off in the oven to obtain that crispy crust on the outside. Don’t miss out on the innovative beverages that honor Toros’ Spanish heritage, as well.
Toros has a great vibe. Vast windows look out onto a courtyard dining area, the walls have a lively deep orange hue and wood planks from liquor barrels anchor one wall. Overhead, Spanish-influenced lighting creates the perfect atmosphere that reflects off of the tin celling. With a mixture of high bistro seating and larger wooden tables with benches, it is an eclectically perfect ambiance. Save room for the desserts, as they are super decadent! The chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream was particularly mouthwatering, and the rice pudding was nothing short of amazing. It was finished with caramelized sugar and really reminded us of an amped-up crème brûlée.
And that’s What She Said!
11760 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89138