Mexican restaurant Casa Playa opens in Encore Las Vegas
Just as Mexican Independence Day arrives, so does a new Mexican restaurant in Encore Las Vegas. Casa Playa opens its doors today with coastal Mexican cuisine that celebrates the playacitas of seaside communities. The restaurant, which occupies the former Elio space, sits adjacent to the Encore Beach Club with a menu from Executive Chef Sarah Thompson, cocktails from resort mixologist Wynn Mariena Mercer Boarini, and a collection of mezcal and tequila from the agave expert Noah Arenstein.
Thompson’s menu features Mexican blue shrimp ceviche crudo with baby coconut, tomatillo and cucumber; yellowfin tuna tartare served with pasilla pepper and avocado; and seafood platters with Kusshi oysters, Hokkaido scallops, king crab legs, lobster tail and shrimp cocktail. From the aperitif menu, diners can order a black truffle tostada with Cabot coated cheddar cheese and cream of corn; duck tamal confit with mole de la casa and ricotta cheese; and octopus served with coloradito mole and escabeche potato. Diners can opt for main dishes such as whole cauliflower al pastor with pineapple butter and cashew nut salsa macha; branzino a la talla topped with guajillo adobo, herbs and salsa cruda; and Yucatan chicken pibil made with orange annatto adobo and potatoes, or choose to order family-style dishes such as whole roasted carnitas with a crispy skin, smoked agave syrup, salad chipotle cabbage, chili toreado and charred cucumber salsa or Casa Playa’s surf and turf with wagyu carne asada, lobster and chorizo, short-ribbed suadero, green chorizo ââand serrano.
Mercer Boarini has spent her time at Wynn revamping and creating cocktail menus, and here she offers a range that includes margaritas like the Temple of Doom made with Mal Bien Espadin Mezcal, Grilled Pineapple, Chipotle and lime; Forbidden Fruit frozen margarita with El Tesoro Blanco, mango, lime, chamoy caramel and mango trinity salt; and Dawn City with Basil Watermelon Vodka with Gray Goose Essence and Mint Cucumber Agua Fresca.
On the tequila and mezcal side of the menu, Deputy General Manager Arenstein offered a rotating collection of agave spirits sourced from areas ranging from Oaxaca in southern Mexico to the US borders in the north. The program offers a number of barrel choices, some from rare lots of 200 bottles or less, which can be ordered as a drink, organized flight, or fully paired tasting. Highlights of the selection include Neta Mezcal Tepextate, Cascahuin Extra AÃ±ejo Tequila, Fuenteseca 18 years old. Tequila and Vago Mezcal Tobala from Aquilino, which, with a limited batch of 125 bottles, is only available at Casa Playa.
Wynn Resorts’ creative studio Wynn Design and Development created the look of Casa Playa with vibrant colors and patterns that celebrate Mexico. Two light fixtures with cascading marigolds anchor the main dining area, while the living room provides guests with a chic setting.
Casa Playa, Encore Las Vegas, 3121 Las Vegas Boulevard S., 702-770-5340. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 6 p.m. to midnight.