Longtime local restaurateur Adam Corrigan is at it again. The new Spanish tapas bar Toros completes his triumvirate of cozy neighborhood spots in the Valley’s western suburbs, with the established, lounge-ish Sedona and the tavern John Cutter. Toros is next door to John Cutter, tucked into a way-out-there Summerlin strip mall often overrun by cyclists on their way to Red Rock. It’s a natural fit. Toros’ small plates, shareable paellas and on-tap Estrella are the makings of a perfect post-hike or post-ride feast.
The casual, circular space is decked out in rustic wood and iron. Tall pub tables are matched with heavy, colorful chairs, and big, sturdy, almost-communal wood tables are flanked by high-backed benches. Décor elements set a slightly Old World vibe, but there are football-friendly flatscreens to bring you back to reality. Splashing elevated design onto food and gaming is a signature of Corrigan’s venues.
Are the tapas at Toros different from the Firefly food we know so well? Not really. The menu indicates the region of origin for each dish—the albóndigas meatballs with crispy potatoes ($6) were born in Madrid, por ejemplo—but the flavors seem mostly Americanized. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Ham and cheese croquettes ($6) are crispy, meaty and creamy. A perfectly portioned filet of beef ($10) arrives atop a cake of potato confit with bits of apple, everything swimming in sweet sauces. The stuffed dates with bacon ($6) are bigger than most other versions, crammed with rich goat cheese. Other more inventive bites include roasted chicken in saffron sauce ($6), lamb chops in romesco ($10), calamari and artichoke in savory squid ink ($7) and Catalan tomato toasts with Manchego cheese and jamón Serrano ($7).
There are plenty of Spanish wines to taste, and sangrias ($6 or $26 for a pitcher) are solid. Summerlin is a Bloody Mary-happy ’hood, and this one ($10) takes the Caesar route with Clamato and lots of lemon and lime.
Toros also offers six versions of paella ($32-$36), which seems like too many because I rarely see local diners indulging in this classic, homey rice dish. Maybe they’ll get turned on by paella negra ($32), black rice laced with shrimp, squid and crab meat. If you’re looking for a seafood entrée, it’s hard to skip the richly flavored Catalan stew sarsuela ($18), featuring all manner of shellfish finished in a brandy sauce.
Small plates are big all over, but Spanish food generally hasn’t performed well in Las Vegas. The Strip has strongholds Jaleo and Julian Serrano, but local Spanish spots have opened and closed with little fanfare. The relaxed atmosphere and customizable menu at Toros should buck that trend. Now Summerlin suburbanites have another place to meet friends for tasty drinks and snacks close to home, convenient and unpretentious.
Toros 11760 W. Charleston Blvd., 901-4100. Daily, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.