Food writers around town are falling all over themselves singing the praises of this joint on South Rainbow near Flamingo. Insofar as it is something new on our food scene — a Spanish/Russian(?)/Bulgarian(??)/Georgian(???)/Bosnian(???????) tapas place — there is a certain appeal to discovering a world of food that usually gets short shrift in America.
The meat-cheese-starch-heavy menu is too long, but head-scratching-ly compelling, if discerning the differences between lukanka, petrohan and susheniza sausages is your thing. Even if you don’t know a chushka burek* from a chebureki,** you might find yourself taken with the charms of this place, if you’re the type who thinks the Double Down Dump…er…uh…Saloon is the perfectly watering hole, or if you enjoy hanging out in spaces that feel like a front/social center for the local Russian mob.
The smoke-filled interior is furnished with junk store eclecticism, and would be right at home among the hipster haunts of Portlandia or the East Village in NYC. Note to Vintner Grill cougars and other high end bar flies: You had best stay away unless a certain louche, low-end vibe is your thing.***
All that said, the food is a damn sight better than it has any reason to be.
So good in fact, ELV is looking forward to multiple return trips very soon, if for nothing else, the chance to pretend he’s an Eastern Promises lounge lizard.
The food shown above came to $42+$10 tip.
FORTE TAPAS BAR AND BISTRO
4180 South Rainbow Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89103
* Deep-fried peppers stuffed with feta cheese
** Georgian, deep-fried beef dumpling
*** Which is why, of course, Mancini is so in love with it.