Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 | 2 a.m.
Avocado toast may be the trend of the moment, but guacamole is an enduring classic. Its incredibly simple base recipe — chopped avocados, onions, tomatoes, chiles, cilantro and lime juice — provides a blank palette for endless variation.
Ingredients can be added or subtracted at will. And preparation can range from coarse chopping to crushing to blending. The only constant is, of course, avocados and a reliance on fresh, high-quality ingredients.
Las Vegas, with its usual flair, offers the ultimate guacamole experience with tableside preparations that offer consumer choice, up-to-the-second freshness and a sense of excitement. In honor of Mexican Independence Day and National Guacamole Day, which both fall on Sept. 16, here are five local restaurants that offer the most delightful tableside guacs.
El Dorado Cantina
Chef Francisco "Paco" Cortes has created four specific tableside guac options for this popular 24-hour restaurant. At $16 an order, it’s the priciest on our list, but well worth the splurge (enjoy it for $10 Sept. 14-16). In addition to “traditional,” diners can enjoy tropical (pineapple, mango and bell peppers); bacon blue (bacon and blue cheese); and triple spice blend (serrano, habanero and Fresno chili peppers). Pair with a tequila flight for ultimate enjoyment.
3025 Sammy Davis Jr Drive, open 24 hours, (702) 722-2289, eldoradovegas.com.
Gonzalez Y Gonzalez
The tableside King Crab guacamole ($11.95) is fit for royalty. The dish ups the ante on the restaurant’s traditional tableside guacamole fresca ($9.95) with the addition of king crab, pico de gallo and smoked bacon. To top things off, it’s served with blue corn chips and spicy pita. Pair with the chips & dip trio ($6.50), which includes chile con queso and two types of salsa. Bonus: This Strip restaurant offers a 10 percent locals discount off food. New York-New York, (702) 740-6455.
With three locations, this locally born favorite offers tableside guac somewhere near you. For $8.50, the Lindo preparation pairs tortilla chips with a classic recipe: Hass avocados, jalapeno, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and fresh lime juice. Complement the guac with an order of the Nopalitos appetizer, which consists of grilled Mexican cactus, onion, tomato, carrots, cilantro and jalapenos.
2655 E Desert Inn Road, 702-735-6828; 10082 W. Flamingo Road, 702-838-9990; La Loma 645 Carnegie Street, Henderson, 702-837-6828, lindomichoacan.com.
Juan's Flaming Fajitas & Cantina
This casual Mexican restaurant offers a tableside bonanza. In addition to tableside guacamole ($8.79), where diners are invited to pick their own ingredients, Juan’s also “fires up” its flaming fajitas tableside. For cost-conscious diners, Juan’s offers non-tableside guac ($4.29 for small and $7.29 for large). Give your chips variety by adding an order of queso dip ($4.99) or queso fundido ($5.69).
9640 W. Tropicana Ave., (702) 823-1400, juansflamingfajitasandcantina.com.
Viva Zapatas Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
Even though Viva Zapatas has a revolutionary theme (it’s named after Mexican freedom fighter Emiliano Zapata), the tableside guacamole ($8.50) is completely classic. It uses Hass avocados, jalapeno, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lime juice, and is accompanied by tortilla chips. Turn the botana, or appetizer, into a meal by adding a shrimp or fish ceviche ($12.95) or campechana ($17.25), a seafood cocktail with oyster, octopus and shrimp.
3826 E Craig Road, North Las Vegas, (702) 643-8888, vivazapatas.com.