When you step up to Beauty & Essex at the Cosmopolitan Resort in Las Vegas, don’t be put off by the pawn shop out front doubling as a secret entrance. It’s not one of those places that try to hide its true intentions in order to make things more intriguing. There is no speakeasy vibe behind the secret door. That pawn shop is actually a real store. Go ahead and buy something if you don’t believe me. Once you make it past the interesting artifacts and collectibles in the store you’ll understand that the Pawn Shop might just be part of the décor or perhaps it serves as a stopping off point for those people with no sense of adventure.
Either way, you’ll be happy you found the secret door the minute you retreat to a dark booth in the bar and plunge your evening into a series of mini experiences that will put a true Vegas stamp on your night. Make sure to hit the lounge before your dinner and then get a feel for the space after your meal. It will be two different experiences.
What Should You Expect
Be prepared, it can get loud. The restaurant has an energetic atmosphere so you’ll either love the idea of whispering into someone’s ear to have a conversation or spend the entire evening talking at the top of your lungs. This is not a bad thing, just a lively dining room with a lot of action. The lounge area is quieter and perfect for a date night rendezvous. You’ll find that the bar is great for a pre-dinner drink and gives you a great view of the surrounding activity. If you are going solo this could be a good spot for a small meal. Since most plates are shareable the ideal party would be two, maybe three. Four people require a second order of any of the favorite dishes.
The Food and Cocktails at Beauty & Essex Las Vegas
The food coming out of the kitchen is perfect for sharing so you’ll find that ordering a few items works well for a social table. The loud dining room and cocktail program call for a lot of interaction anyway. There are some surprises on the menu that will leave you wanting more but on each of my visits there have been some glaring misses. The kitchen can be a bit inconsistent. With that said, what they do well is done very well and when combined with the atmosphere, the cocktails and the service it becomes a place that should be visited more than once.
What You Should Try at Beauty & Essex Las Vegas:
- Yellowtail Sashimi with pickled jalapeno and a barrel aged ponzu is zesty with flavor and within the clutch of addiction. Yes, everyone does yellowtail sashimi these days but that does not mean that they are doing it right. This is done well.
- The Rioja-braised shallot marmalade that flows over the roasted bone marrow will have you licking your fingers. It will leave you with a desire to lick the bone. Anytime that you actively want to spread warm fat on a piece of bread should be considered a successful meal.
- Thai style deep fried shrimp will make you happy but the gem is the green papaya and mango slaw that the shrimp is residing on top of. Ask your server if you can get a little more of that because it is a treasure.
Cocktails: The Woodsman seems a little too grown up for this place but once you settle into it you realize that the extra sweet that they have added into the bourbon and citrus make it fit well in this setting. The Emerald Gimlet with Elyx Vodka dances with a relaxed version of its gin cousin but floats more basil and lemon notes to keep you from drifting off into a sunshine haze. Instead, it fits well into this pseudo nightclub atmosphere. If you are feeling like you should have a classic cocktail but Las Vegas is making you feel adventurous order the Oaxacan Old Fashioned and savor the fireside flavor of mescal along with tequila and a bit of spicy liqueur to round out what normally would be your classic Old Fashioned.