Somewhere long ago, in a land far far away, when things like restaurant awards were being handed out by publishers looking for ad revenue, someone saw fit to describe ISLA Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar as one of our top Mexican restaurants.
It wasn’t and isn’t.
What it is is a large, casino restaurant putting out passably “Mexican” food for turistas who wouldn’t know the real thing if it bit them on their huitlacoches.
How one can have a whole “Mexican” meal, of four different “specialties” and not taste one, dicernable Mexican spice or seasoning in the whole enchilada is beyond ELV’s meagre brain.
The guacamole was given some spice from the pumpkin seeds decorating its top, and there was a wedge of lime to juice things up, but if those weren’t present, all you would have on your hands is a mashed avocado.
Likewise, the tortilla chips were thick, none too fresh, and hard as a rock, the rock shrimp “ceviche” strangely free of any lime or other acidic accents, and the corn cakes with special toppings — beef, pulled pork and chicken — so tepid they could’ve been baby food.
On the bright side, the “skirt steak pyramid” was a lot of well-cooked, reasonably tender beef for $25. Surrounding and topping it were all sorts of do-dads (a swirl here) and gee-gaws (a limp onion there) of no appreciable flavor — Mexican or otherwise.
Our trip down Mexican Mediocrity Lane cost us $63.69 (no booze, one virgin margarita) + $14.31 tip.
You have been warned.
ISLA MEXICAN KITCHEN AND TEQUILA BAR
In the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino
3300 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89136