Best Place To Eat With Your Fingers

Firefly on Paradise Tapas Kitchen & Bar

Celebrity chefs, white linen napkins and multi-million dollar interiors are popping up almost weekly in the major casinos, but some of the hippest food experiences in Vegas can be found a couple blocks away on Paradise Road. We’re talking about food and drink you enjoy wearing jeans, not jackets. Forget the silver fork…try food you eat with your fingers and the hottest new spot in town is Firefly on Paradise Tapas Kitchen & Bar. The name is a clever twist on the kitchen command to “cook food quickly” or “fire it on the fly” – shortened to Firefly. Tapas are small, inexpensive appetizer-sized dishes that come streaming from the kitchen to your table and into your mouth. The meal is the party and the party is the meal with tapas. It’s about serving, eating and sharing with old and new friends. And you can fill up without spending a fortune. Firefly specialities include: ceviche of grouper with avocado on a crispy corn tortilla; smoked salmon toasts w/ crème fraiche; and skewers with ahi tuna or beef tenderloin. Open nightly till 3am.

Café Ba-Ba-Reeba

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! is a premier Spanish tapas restaurant located in the Fashion Show Mall and is known for  tapas, the hot & cold appetizers of Spain; paella, a typical Valencian rice dish served with vegetables and meat or seafood; and sangria, Spain’s famous wine “fiesta” drink made from fruit, wine and liquors. This boisterous Spanish restaurant is thronged by tourists and locals alike who clamor for the tasty, inexpensive tapas. You can nosh on several small plates of food as you imbibe your beer, wine or glass of sherry, make an entire meal out of tapas.  Instead of offering only small plates, this eatery has altered the menu to be equal parts tapas and full entrée portions. There are two outdoor patios – the north side offers live salsa/merengue music on Thursdays and Saturdays, while the front patio provides a bird’s-eye view of all the action on the Strip. Two distinctive menu offerings at Café Ba Ba Reeba! are the toro skewers and the paella. The former is a unique presentation wherein a large hanging hook is delivered to your table upon which a skewer of shrimp, lobster, chicken or beef is placed, served with its own special sauce. The latter — a traditional rice dish with as many variations as there are regions in Spain — requires a little extra waiting time, as each order (priced for two or four people) gets special attention from the kitchen.

Jared Talla