After a test dinner Hooper knew he had found his man. The restaurant, at Mountain’s Edge, situated in the same shopping mall that Hooper’s Locale is located, opened up about 3 weeks ago and is already doing great business.
Chef Bryan, from the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, learned his craft from his mother. He also worked with some of the finest chefs where he perfected his craft.
You will recognize many of the dishes, especially if you are fan of Mexican cuisine. But everything has been updated with new twists.
For instance, they have a stylized Mexican Caesar Salad made simply with leaved Romaine, cristini, parmesan cheese and a light Caesar dressing. The lettuce isn’t cut and looks like a wedge salad when it arrives. When people have questioned why a Caesar is on the menu in a Mexican kitchen Hooper reminds folks that the original Caesar salad began in Tijuana.
Other appetizers include a very well-constructed Ceviche made with a variety of fish including shrimp and Mahi Mahi plus avocado and a decidedly tart, citrus marinade. A custom item is Elote En Plato, with a list of charred corn, Pico de Gallo, aioli, Fresno chili and Cotija cheese.
Enchiladas are given a new twist as well. The Queso is made with a custom Luchador cheese blend and crèma. There is a choice of red, Verde, or mole sauce. Luchador rice is a tender, moist affair and the frijoles are made with pork belly to give them a unique taste.
Fajitas are available with protein picks that include steak, chicken or shrimp. A large amount of bell peppers, charred onions and tomatoes are combined with the meat.
One of the best-selling items is the Pescado Ala Poancha that is a crisp half Dorade with calabaza, chayote, tomato and honey chipotle sauce. Burritos and Chimichangas are memorable. The Triple Threat is full of Adobo beef, chicken or pork. Pinto bean puree, Cotija cheese, jack cheese, salsa verde, crema plus enchilada sauce will fill you up in grand style.
For those looking for a piece of beef consider the Arrachera Steak that features grilled, marinated carne, French fries, onion and Jalapeno ancho sauce.
Happy Hour is in session Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 6:15pm. They offer $2.00 tacos, draft beer for $4.00 and $8.00 margaritas. By the way if you order more than $50.00 of food they will provide you with 2 margaritas for free.
El Luchador is open for dinner only at the moment. But Hooper says the next step is to start a brunch and then midday fare will be introduced. They have a patio area that has already become popular.
El Luchador is an evolving spot for modern Mexican cuisine.
El Luchador Mexican Kitchen and Cantina, 7825 Blue Diamond Rd #101 at Buffalo, Las Vegas.(702) 260-8709. Open 7 days a week for dinner. www.luchadorlv.com.