Las Vegas off-Strip dining has been growing leaps and bounds over the years. Recently a new dining venue opened between the suburbs of The Lakes and Summerlin. Finding authentic Mexican cuisine in our area that combines great authentic food with passion and familial ties is a something that we found noteworthy, especially when it resides in a place that once housed one of Las Vegas’ best restaurants, the long shuttered Rosemary’s. Discover Salud Mexican Bistro and Tequileria, a delightful, family-owned restaurant full of charm, a full tequila program, and mouthwatering Mexican cuisine. It’s definitely worth stopping in for lunch, dinner, or happy hour.
On our visit, we were welcomed by the effervescent Stevee Topchi, one of the owners. An iron agave sculpture highlights the bar and separates the dining room. This wrought-iron agave creates an optical illusion so the many decorative tequila bottles seem to float in air. A large, alluring mural of secretive eyes that peer from a seductive calavera (decorative skull) grabbed our attention. Topchi joined us at our table and said, “We are third-generation restaurateurs. My husband, Andres, and his brother, Daniel Topchi, grew up working in their parents’ traditional Mexican restaurants. We have been eating the same dishes for the past 25 years. They are great recipes, but we wanted to take these recipes and transform them into something unique; something you can't get at a traditional Mexican restaurant.
“The menu is designed between three chefs and the family. Every item was presented and tasted repeatedly until we agreed it was perfect. The same enthusiasm went into our cocktails. No premade mixes, just fresh ingredients and juices to deliver the best quality. For tequila aficionados, enjoy a collection of over 100 tequilas and mezcal. But we know that great food and cocktails isn’t enough. Customer service has always been an important element in our family business. It's not just a meal, it's an experience. One of the family members is always here making sure your experience exceeds your expectations,” she added with a wide smile.
Margaritas were certainly on the agenda. Topchi suggested we try the Tradicional, a classic blend of blanco tequila, fresh lime and lemon juices, and agave nectar. We complied without any hesitation. Each sip easily gave tribute to the pop of flavors in this carefully crafted traditional cocktail. If you are an aficionado of tequila, order the Horizontal Maturity flight. For $100, enjoy Milagros Select Barrel Reserve, Clase Azul Anejo, and Gran Patron Burdeos.
Topchi returned to our table, excited to show off our first course. We started off with octopus salteado with romesco lime sauce, smoked pepper, and crème fraîche. Next up was a shrimp ceviche with shallots, roasted garlic, and just a hint of sesame seed oil. Our appetites were whetted. Our hunger was soon rewarded with lobster enchiladas topped with cilantro pepita cream, queso fresco, black beans, and a tasty cilantro rice.
Sipping our margarita, we noticed Topchi coming across the room, walking briskly and beaming. As she arrived at our table, she stated, “This is one of my favorites!” Placing the artfully prepared dish on our table, our eyes flashed and our palates began salivating. The bone-in short rib with guajillo chipotle mole, crispy onions, charro beans, and roasted corn on the cob beckoned us with its colorful presentation and tantalizing aromas. This dish was the standout so far. Soon our appetites were well satiated but there was so much left to try. Stopping in again just a few days later for happy hour, the street tacos of pork belly, carne asada, al pastor, barbacoa, and pollo asado were a perfect afternoon bite.
Salud is starting off on the right foot. The restaurant has been listening to its customers, always willing to take suggestions and make changes. We have returned to Salud on numerous occasions, and the service and food have consistently been on point. Lunch, happy hour, or dinner, you will not be disappointed, as Salud brings a flourish of south of the border passion with every dish and drink presented to the table.