One of the saddest parts of Monte Carlo transforming into Park MGM was seeing the iconic Diablo’s Cantina disappear. Diablo’s was reintroduced at Luxor, but other than the name, it is a completely different restaurant. It is now just a restaurant, where as Diablo’s used to be an experience.
You are still going to find some very good Mexican food and great service, but if you were a fan of the old Diablo’s, don’t expect the same the experience. It really comes down to if you knew the former Diablo’s and the rock n’ roll, party atmosphere and the staff that matched that attitude, or not. If you did, and you go in expecting the same thing, it simply falls short.
Diablo’s does still start you off with their tortilla chips and in-house made salsa and guacamole that are both fresh and full of flavor. If you are looking for a richer choice to start your meal off, the queso fundido is a combination of melted oaxaca, manchego and gouda cheeses. You can add chorizo, which is a must, but again, don’t expect this to be close to the original baked queso version. It is a nice appetizer though.
Two of the highlights off the dinner menu include alambre tacos and the beef barbacoa enchildas. Diablo’s did a great job of elevating the alambre taco with a combination of chorizo, poblano peppers, OMG cheese blend, cilantro and onion, and you can never go wrong with a taco filled with filet mignon. The enchiladas are done in the classic style, but the use of the really flavorful and tender barbacoa takes this well beyond the typical enchilada. The Diablo’s menu is very wide-ranging, and has all of the classic Mexican dishes you would expect to find, including taquitos, quesadillas, ceviche, tamales, fish tacos and carnitas.
The cocktail menu also brings a lot of flavors, many of which begin with various tequilas. The mango picante brings sweet and spicy together in a very subtle way. The bubbly citrus mojito has a unique twist to the classic drink with rum, elderflower and muddled mint topped with prosecco. You can also beat the Las Vegas heat with a frozen strawberry margarita or piña colada. The one disappointment on the menu (if you knew the old Diablo’s) is The Vixen. As with the overall experience itself, this is a fine cocktail, but the old version was a truly amazing cocktail, filled with fresh raspberries, and a drink you would always look forward to enjoying each visit. The name The Vixen is the same, but the drink is completely different and not for the better.
If you are looking for really well done Mexican food, Diablo’s is certainly the right place to visit. Sometimes keeping the name but not keeping a lot of what built that name recognition can create a little disappointment in the experience. That is the case with Diablo’s: it is a nice restaurant, but it seems as though, with many things in life, sometimes that change can never live up to our memories.
For more information, visit: Diablo’s