Casa Playa

Casa Playa is a fantastic Mexican restaurant located in Encore on the Las Vegas strip. It showcases marvelous fresh seafood, seasonal ingredients along with a housemade masa menu. The menu from Chef Sarah Thompson is for family style eating, featuring pork belly al pastor and whole snapper tempura, with housemade tortillas. The beverage program includes a very large tequila and mezcal selection.

We started out with a dirty martini and awaited the giant spread of dishes prepared for four of us last night. Octopus, Machete, a salad with a lovely vinaigrette, a huge plate of chile roasted eggplant topped with salsa and a unique mixture of greens, branzino zarandeado (a fish), American Wagyu short ribs, scallops with Asian pear and persimmon. As you can see from the pictures, dishes were large and accompanied by many different mild and spicy sauces. Next course was chicken, with roasted onions, carrots, and a mole sauce. We topped off everything with way too many desserts. The pineapple raspado, consisting of passion fruit, vanilla ice cream, and mezcal caramel was delicious. The highlight of the night was a large ball, La Flama Blanca, that was lit on fire ( see video in this article )—with caramelized banana ice cream, dulce de leche, pecans, and flaming rum. Service was perfect at every course. Sarah came out and visited with us, and gave us her background.


Along with it’s bright decor, great seating, every dish is served with the best garnishes and presentation. Chef Thompson has created a brunch menu highlighting masa pancakes topped with piloncillo caramel and pineapple, and spicy shrimp and chorizo-filled masa empanadas. The  brunch setup also features interactive stations of made-to-order tacos served on hand-pressed heirloom corn tortillas, fresh fruit smoothies, and a selection of refreshing agua fresca beverages, no holds barred, unlimited access.

Sarah Thompson, is Casa Playa’s executive chef. “I was a culinary professional who enjoyed Italian food when I started working in a Mexican kitchen,” explains the Boston-raised Thompson, who attended culinary school in New York before joining the Michelin-starred Marea, celebrated for its Italian seafood. When she was recruited to work at Cosme, the famed upscale Mexican eatery, Thompson discovered the delights of Mexican cuisine.

“That opened my eyes to a different culture and a cuisine that really spoke to me,” she says. “Each region is so specific; the food in Mexico City is totally different from what you’ll enjoy in Oaxaca, and they’re both amazing.”

Before Encore’s Casa Playa, Thompson traveled the country searching out unique and refined flavors, coming up with exotic dishes. “My goal is to take the best of the country’s cuisine and then elevate it,” Thompson notes of using wagyu beef in her tacos. “When you eat here, I want you to recognize Mexico’s fantastic flavors, with a bit of surprise as well.”


Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday: 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Friday and Saturday: 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Weekend Brunch: Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Closed Monday & Tuesday


Upscale casual chic.

Children under 5 are not permitted.