The highly anticipated Mexican restaurant La Neta Cocina y Lounge makes its debut at Downtown Summerlin with stained glass murals and modern takes on traditional Mexican fare along with mezcal and margaritas. The restaurant from Ryan Labbe and his company, 81/82 Group, which also has Más Por Favor Taqueria y Tequila, the Chinatown Mexican restaurant with a secret speakeasy in the back, takes over the former Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken space, as well as a vacant location next door, to bring a 5,336-square-foot Mexican haven.
Inside, diners can find exposed brick walls accented by wooden beams and vaulted ceilings. Overhead, chandeliers light the space, while a living tree, coming in September, anchors the dining room. The lounge at La Neta features a living wall art installation decorated with greenery, creating an indoor garden.
Chef Israel Castro created the menu along with Lanny Chin, bringing dishes such as cochinita pibil with braised and slow-roasted pork with habanero onions and topped with chicharron crumble. The Taquero Mucho comes with choices such as chicken, carne asada, escabeche, mushroom, and panela cheese. Castro also has his rendition of paella, served with shrimp, calamari, lobster, oysters, and fish topped with white wine lemon butter. Other menu highlights include a chicken relleno, a stuffed chicken with arroz verde and poblano cream, and a savory roasted acorn squash served with sauteed seasonal veggies, garlic, and spritzed with a herb vinaigrette.
The lounge offers the margarita de la casa served with blanco tequila and El Jefe Carajillo with spiced rum and horchata foam. Other playful cocktails include the vodka-based Birds of a Feather and Como La Flor with gin and elderflower.
La Neta Cocina y Lounge, Downtown Summerlin, 1770 Festival Plaza Drive, Suite 200. Restaurant open Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Lounge open daily from 3 p.m. to close.