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California is HERE in Las Vegas

May 23rd, 2011 • by Sandy Zimmerman

Hotel California Restaurant- Grand Opening VIP Food Tasting Party

(Sandy Zimmerman)

Attending openings is always exciting because there are so many surprises and the anticipation always perks my curiosity.

Even though the Hotel California Restaurant and Cantina was built in Las Vegas, the owner/ President, Jimmy Maddin, said, “My restaurant is like living on the coast of California, you can almost hear the waves.” Well he did say almost. Jimmy continued, “I wanted to provide a swim-up bar atmosphere without the water.  People can sit and relax with something to eat and drink while they enjoy the experience.” Use your imagination when you visit!

Owner/ President Jimmy Maddin, his family and Executive Chef

Jimmy explained, “We call our menu Urban Kitchen (Cochina Urbana). The dishes are fashioned after those typical small carts you see with someone cooking on almost every corner along the streets of Mexico.”

The Hotel California Restaurant specializes in Baja California cuisine; In fact, this is the only restaurant in the United States serving Baja California cuisine certified by the Governor of Baja, California.

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California is HERE in Las Vegas (Continued)

I have always enjoyed the cuisine during our visits to Baja California, but what is the difference?

Jimmy answered, "The best way to describe Baja cuisine is if you can catch it in the ocean, grow it in the garden, or raise it that is Baja cuisine. The meals are simple but with great flavor.  Our food is not frozen we bring it in six days a week.

We try to lead the way to serve healthy food in Las Vegas. Whenever you think of healthy food it does not have to be plain and tasteless but ours is delicious.

If anyone wishes a special meal prepared just for them, between our Executive Chef Martin San Roman and I, we've had 65 years experience in the kitchen. We have seen it all, heard it all, and think we have the ingredients to do whatever you want with French, Italian or any cuisine. We will see what the people want and that is what we will serve."

During the Sneak Peak and Private Tasting opening night party, a Shaman performed a blessing ceremony for the restaurant.

I sat outside in the patio under a partial roof and extra large umbrellas shielding guests from the sun.

First they served appetizers outside, then the entrees were ready for everyone to move into the dining room. The Mexican Linguini was perfect for everybody because they had a choice of feasts from the sea- shrimp, scallops, mussels, Spanish chorizo or grilled sauteed vegetables.

I really was thrilled with the grilled Seabass marinated in the tres (three) chilies mayo. The eight ounce beef tenderloin filet was the culinary star of the evening, so very tender, so delicious! Their delicate sauces offered choices to guests, try one or more to experience the different flavors.

This was a great way for friends or family to taste these entrees, to be able to dine small plates-style. Even the desserts were special because their pastry chef formally worked with Thomas Keller.

This is a great place to have a party!  With 8.600 square feet, the Hotel California has enough room to seat 300 people in addition to having a block party with nine tents and a stage.

Hours: 11 am-11 pm, Sunday-Thursday; 11 pm- 2 am, Friday-Saturday;

Live Entertainment, no cover, no minimum, on Friday, 10:30 pm- 1:30 am;

Sandwiches: $10-11;   Special Plates: $14-25;   Starters: $7-13;  Salads: $7-13;

For information, call 463-5200. The Hotel California Restaurant & Cantina is located at Boca Park Fashion Village, 1050 S. Rampart Blvd., at Charleston. www.hotelcaliforniarestaurant.com