Valencian Gold’s Jeffrey Weiss already planned to close his paella restaurant in the southwest when the pandemic started. The goal was to do a little renovation, tinker with the menu, get a liquor license, and reopen. That all happened, maybe on a longer timeline than anticipated. The Spanish restaurant reopens on August 19, moving away from build-your-own paellas to tapas, charcuterie, and paellas meant to share in a neighborhood bar setting.
The renovation brings a new patio at the front, odes to painter Salvador Dalí inside, a bar with Spanish cocktails, beers, and wines, and more.
“People were coming in and they loved the food,” Weiss says of the restaurant before it closed. “We were doing really well but they’re going, ‘Hey, do you have any sangria? Do you have any beer? Can we get the paella in the pan?’” People liked the fast-casual of making their own paella, but Weiss realized that customers wanted him to do the Spanish food he spent his career making. After all, he wrote Charcuteria; The Soul of Spain, a 2015 James Beard Award nominee, and worked with chefs in Spain including José Andrés.
The new menu features paellas for two to four or four to six, all forged over a wood fire. Vegan varieties such as the Super Mario come with wild mushrooms, chickpeas, and green beans while the Vegan AF uses a variety of vegetables and flowers with a vegan aioli. Traditional versions highlight the namesake Valenciana with chicken, judia verde, and gigante beans; paella de mariscos with mussels, clams, prawns, and calamari; arrós negre with calamari, prawns, uni, and squid ink; and fideuà with mussels, clams, prawns, and sepia. All are in the $18 to $30 range, depending on the size.
Tapas options include poached seafood, chicken and jamon croquettes, house-made chorizo casero, warm guiri dates with blue cheese and bacon mojo, bullfighter’s steak, patatas bravas, and rabo bar fries with braised oxtails and tetilla.
Weiss expanded his charcuterie options with a rotating selection of Spanish cheeses and meats, with whole legs of Spanish jamon hanging by the bar ready to be sliced to order for tapas and tastings.
Now that Valencian Gold has a liquor license, Weiss can offer a wine list with varietals from Spain and modern takes on traditional Spanish and surrealist-era cocktails, such as the Who’s Your Papi, a riff on the Sazerac, and the Canary Islands colada with Diplomatico rum Mantuano. Sangrias, slushies, clara con limón, digestives, sherry, and beers round out the drinks.
The entire space went through a makeover with the addition of a bar, ornate gold touches, and murals painted by artists such as locals ISI Group, and Valencian street artist Xolaka, who traveled from Spain to Las Vegas paint. Paella pan art by local Las Vegas artist MoreEnvyOne decorates the walls.
Valencian Gold will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 4 to 10 p.m. with a happy hour, dubbed the Golden Hour, from 4 to 5 p.m.
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