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Find the secret door to reach new ‘exclusiva’ restaurant

Updated October 15, 2021 - 5:52 pm

They’ve done everything they could to keep it a secret, but the news is out.

La Cocina Exclusiva, from the owners and operators of El Dorado Cantina, opened at 5 p.m. Friday in a space adjacent to the restaurant’s Tivoli Village location.

The space has housed a number of restaurants over the years, most recently Hamptons. After that closed, the El Dorado owners took it over and use the downstairs part when their own restaurant reaches overflow status.

But the upstairs part is making a transition this evening into La Cocina Exclusiva, with an emphasis on the “exclusiva.” Find the door concealed as part of the wall, slide it back and head up the stairs to the intimate dining space that seats 25 to 30 and has a balcony and bar.

It’s conceived as speakeasy-meets-global cuisine with a focus on progressive Latin. Specialties include a seafood tamale with shrimp, crab and escabeche in yellow curry with Oaxaca cheese, sofrito and cilantro in squid-ink masa, and plant-based yam croquette tacos, made with breaded yam and Oaxaca cheese with chile de arbol, soy cream sauce, pineapple, red onion, granular “caviar” lime and micro-cilantro.

Running the kitchen are John Miranda, corporate chef of El Dorado Cantina’s three locations and La Cocina Exclusiva, whose experience includes time with esteemed chefs Joel Robuchon and Pierre Gagnaire, and Robert Miestrell, executive chef of La Cocina Exclusiva, who most recently was senior sous chef at the Waldorf Astoria.

Hours are 5 to 10:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The place is so secret it doesn’t have a website, but you can call 702-447-0502. Shh.

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

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