Cabo Wabo Cantina
Sammy’s Toasted Colada – Beach Bar Rum, Coco Lopez, Pineapple Juice, Toasted Coconut
Grilled Pineapple Margarita – Partida Tequila, Pineapple, Lime, Sweet and Sour
Once Bitten – Bacardi Cuatro, St. Germain, Ginger Beer, Lime Juice, Blood Orange Puree
Grilled Banana Bread – Whipped Butter
Croissant French Toast – Warm Maple Syrup, Berries, Powdered Sugar, Whipped Cream
Huevos con Chilaquiles – Shredded Chicken, Red Sauce, Oaxacan Cheese, Poached Eggs, Crema, Cilantro
Loaded Wabo Potatoes – Queso Sauce, Melted Cheese, Housemade Bacon Bits
Fundido de Queso con Chorizo – House Chorizo, Three Cheeses, Warm Flour Tortillas, Pico de Gallo
Short Rib Barbacoa Taco, Carne Asada Taco, Baja Style Grilled Fish Taco – Mexican Rice, Refried Beans, House Pickles
Sammy’s Tequila Shrimp – Baja Shrimp, Garlic & Cabo Wabo Tequila-Lime Sauce, Mexican Dirty Rice
Dos Ceviches – Ahi Tuna Ceviche, Baja Shrimp Ceviche, Spicy Tortilla Chips
Chicken Taquitos – Shredded Chicken, House Cheese Blend, Sour Cream, Cotija Cheese, Pico de Gallo, Guacamole
Fried Ice Cream – Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Fried in Frosted Flakes, Cinnamon-Sugar Shell, Vanilla Rum Sauce, Chocolate, Candied Peanuts
Churros – Cinnamon Sugar, Cookies and Cream Dip
Bread Pudding – Warm Croissant, Custard, Vanilla Rum Sauce, Golden Raisins, White Chocolate, Vanilla Ice Cream
Rapidly approaching a decade serving Las Vegas, Cabo Wabo Cantina is one of those Restaurants the media rarely acknowledges, and although “foodies” have hundreds of alternative options both on and off-Strip the simple truth is that Sammy Hagar’s two-story joint at the Miracle Mile Shops remains wildly successful by knowing exactly what it is and playing to those strengths.
Weighing in at over 15,000 square feet, including an outdoor patio overlooking Las Vegas Boulevard and Bellagio’s iconic fountains, Cabo Wabo Cantina promises to bring “the best of Cabo San Lucas to Vegas,” and although the nearest ocean is nearly three hundred miles away both décor and staff aim to make guests feel those beach-bum vibes immediately on entry.
Inauthentically authentic, or perhaps better described as Tex-Mex for the masses, it was after greetings from a podium just inside mall doors that a party of two was offered seats juxtaposing the bar, a young man named Bronson quickly introducing himself and offering excellent service despite a propensity for calling diners “brother” and “my man.”
Playing four screens of College Football at the bar, with additional televisions dotting the interior plus two outside and a massive projector upstairs for events, it was as Ohio State began to dismantle Wisconsin that drinks were presented, Sammy’s Toasted Colada easy-drinking across 24oz of Hagar’s Beach Bar Rum, Coconut and Pineapple while the seasonal Grilled Pineapple Margarita and holiday “Once Bitten” each paired top-shelf Spirits with fresh Fruit at a fair price.
Well-known as a Happy Hour Hot-Spot, but equally under-regarded for Breakfast served from 8am until 11am daily, it was by arriving thirty minutes before transition that guests were able to access both halves of Cabo Wabo’s menu, four slices of grilled Banana Bread delicious but a bit steep at $8.95 while Chilaquiles on crispy Tortilla Chips, loaded Spuds and Croissant French Toast were all built to share and equally enjoyable with special attention warranted for the latter’s intense butteriness inside caramelized edges.
Taking a few minutes to peruse the space between courses, platinum records and guitars from Sammy Hagar’s Van Halen days interspersed with old photos and graffiti, it was while tunes ranging from rock to country played overhead that lunch options were presented, awkwardly named “Fundido de Queso con Chorizo” a bit underwhelming thanks to a lack of Meat and heat amidst gooey Cheese while Tacos fared better, both housemade Barbacoa and Carne Asada well seasoned while grilled Mahi-Mahi picked up tons of texture from Cabbage plus smoky Crema.
More than just Tex-Mex, several plates bringing beach-town vibes and coastal Mexican flavors inland, those seeking something light would be well-served to explore either or both of two Ceviches, Shrimp a bit heated by Jalapenos while Ahi eats like Poke, though in the case of the former a better bet might just be Sammy’s signature dish flamed in Garlic & Cabo Wabo Tequila-Lime Sauce with a side of cheesy Rice.
Rounding out savories with four Taquitos, $10.95 a bargain for crunchy shells packed with seasoned Chicken beneath a blanket of Cheese with sides of Pico and Guacamole, it was after refreshing the palate with House Blend Coffee that Dessert arrived, a request for two turned into three by Bronson’s “can’t miss” recommendation of Fried Ice Cream that comes in an enormous volume and manages to trump both slightly flaccid Churros as well as decadent Bread Pudding soaked in Custard and studded with Raisins.
FOUR STARS: Regardless of how you feel about the Sammy vs. David debate there’s little doubt regarding who has done more with their fame, and at the Las Vegas outpost of Cabo Wabo Cantina the former Van Halen lyricist has achieved a fantastic blend of atmosphere, booze and food that is better than you’d assume to keep packing the place with guests.
RECOMMENDED: Sammy’s Toasted Colada, Croissant French Toast, Huevos con Chilaquiles, Sammy’s Tequila Shrimp, Chicken Taquitos, Fried Ice Cream, Bread Pudding.
AVOID: Fundido de Queso con Chorizo, Churros, Fake Maple Syrup (bring your own).
TIP: Stop by between 3:00pm and 5:00pm from Monday through Friday for half-off Margaritas, Sangria, Draft Beer and select Appetizers such as Dos Ceviches, Nachos, Taquitos and Guacamole. Also visit the Cabo Wabo’s event page for football specials, black Friday bargains and more.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.