Viva Las Arepas, which carved a late-night niche for itself from a tiny kiosk in the parking lot of Dino’s bar, has relocated — but fear not, hungry denizens of downtown, for the enterprise has relocated to a brick-and-mortar spot just a block south, at 1616 Las Vegas Blvd. South. And a lineup of full dinner and lunch dishes joins the street fare that made the place popular.
The restaurant is using a wood-fired oven to roast chicken and beef, and the same oven heats a grill to blacken and crisp its eponymous arepas, the corn-flour white pancakes that serve as a delivery vehicle of choice for everything from butter and cheese to roast meats and salads. On the expanded menu, you will find chicharrones with fried yucca, ribs, and new sides. Empanadas are on the menu, as are their wheat flour dough cousins, pastelitos. One of those options is a great little dessert pie of traditional white cheese and guava paste.
Chicken soups (with arepa, of course) and South American-style ribs are also on the menu, along with the familiar stalwarts of pabellon (shredded beef) and perico (a breakfast mix of eggs, onion, tomatoes, ham and cheese). You also can find cachapas, which are thinner, crepe-like variations of corn pancakes. Three salsas are served, including the cilantro-mayo mix — the house favorite.