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Only in Las Vegas can you go to a pawnshop and dinner and be at the same place.

This week we headed over to Beauty & Essex located inside The Cosmopolitan. When you arrive you have absolutely no idea there is even a restaurant here. Instead you see a storefront.

At the pawn shop you can buy anything from jewelry to guitars. Everything in the store is for sale except for one item that proudly sits in the main case in the front of the store – a Biggie Smalls doll appearing as if he is overlooking the store. Biggie is not for sale.

It’s cool to look at all the items in the store but I’m here to eat. However, I don’t see a restaurant? In the back corner of the store there is a white door that blends into the white wall. When you push that door open you walk into a swanky restaurant, nightclub-type scene.

You are impressed with the atmosphere the minute you walk in and being hidden behind the pawnshop really is cool. We were there on a Monday and the place was hopping so I can only imagine how crazy it must be here on the weekends.

The menu concept is neat as you can go with a group and share different tapas-style small plates or get full entrees. We did a little of both on this visit. Each of us ordered a small plate and we shared so we all could try something different.

The first item was the Pulled Chicken Arepas served with a jalapeno salsa verde and manchego. This was tasty as the combination of chicken, salsa and the manchego, which is a buttery cheese, was just the perfect combination sitting on top of a crisp.

The next two items were, in our opinions, the showstoppers as we ordered the Grilled Cheese, Smoked Bacon & Tomato Soup Dumplings along with the French Onion Soup Dumplings.

Let’s start with the Grilled Cheese Dumplings. What’s better than grilled cheese with bacon and being able to dip it in tomato soup! We are in a swanky restaurant so we aren’t going to be dipping our grilled cheese but Beauty & Essex took care of that little dilemma.

They serve this dish on little spoons that hold a nice mouthful of tomato soup. Sitting right on the spoon atop that tomato soup is the grilled bacon and cheese dumpling.

Words cannot describe how good this dish was until our final appetizer arrived – the French Onion Soup Dumplings. These were just pure genius. They served these dumplings soaked in French onion soup and then baked them in an escargot dish covered in cheese.

Each dumpling had a skewer in it so you could pull it out of the escargot dish intact in all its delicious cheesy goodness. We honestly couldn’t decide which one of those two appetizers we liked better. I just know I will be getting both again next time I go.

Now it was time to order our main course and all three of us ended up ordering the same thing, which was pretty lame as doing that we couldn’t try each other’s dishes. The unanimous choice was the Beauty & Essex Burger, but this isn’t your ordinary burger as the meat was a combination of ground brisket, short rib and lamb.

The burger is topped with goat feta and comes with a side of BBQ fries dusted in their special seasoning – they were great.

The service was good as our waiter was very friendly, attentive and helpful with recommendations on the menu.

I give Beauty & Essex a Rating of 3.50 Forks.

You can find Marco at or follow him on twitter: @MarcoInVegas

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