Nobody in Las Vegas would deny that Alex Cordova knows how to throw a party. As vice president of marketing for Hakkasan Group, he’s probably responsible for more hangovers than some distilleries. So is it strange that his newest business venture, Juice NV (set to open mid-July at 9500 S. Eastern Ave., Suite 110), is aimed at providing Las Vegans with a healthy lifestyle alternative? Cordova doesn’t think so.
“There’s a very health-conscious mentality in our [nightlife] industry,” he says. “You have thousands who work in nightlife who consistently try to better themselves by eating healthy, or through exercise, or by just being spiritual. And what we lack in this town are avenues to do so in terms of finding great places to eat with like-minded people.”
To cater to that market, Cordova teamed with Alain Palinsky, co-founder of New York City’s Juice Press, and its chef Jermaine Jonas. The menu will be 100 percent vegan, with a large segment dedicated to “raw” foods. For those who are new to juicing, we asked Palinsky for some guidelines.
What does “cold-pressed” mean?
Cold-pressed simply means there’s less heat used to extract the juice from the product. The highest-quality juice is the one that avoids the manufacturing process the most. So most cold-press machines are limiting the exposure to blades and heat in order to get the most nutrient-dense product into the bottle.
What’s the difference between vegetable juice and fruit juice?
Vegetable juice is a way of condensing chlorophyll and other vital nutrients into something that’s more easily assimilated. Fruit juice is obviously more enticing to get people to come in [and try juice]. But depending on a person’s diet and what they’re doing, it can be a gateway into a healthier lifestyle. Obviously, the holy grail of all juice is drinking green juice. Fruit juice is not as good for you.
Are specific juices good for particular things?
Bok choy, collards and kale have more calcium and iron in them than any other leafy green. Cabbage is very good for the stomach. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, and berries have high vitamin C.
What’s a cleanse, or a juice fast, all about?
The reason for doing a cleanse is to give your body a break from processing food and rushing blood to the stomach. When your body’s in cleanse mode, it starts to clean its blood naturally. So all the juice is really doing is giving you enough nutrients to keep you well during that phase.
How long should my first cleanse last?
Typically, one to three days is the place to start. Anything over that, the person has to have some kind of serious ailment. There are a lot of places that do medically supervised [longer] cleansings. But for the novice juicer, there are very few people, if any, who will be [negatively] affected by doing a one-to-three-day cleanse of just drinking juice, no matter what condition they’re in. But anything beyond, a week to 10 days, you start getting into somewhere where I would recommend that people work under the care of a nutritionist and a doctor who subscribes to that ideology.
It’s, Like, Tuna.
Since man cannot live by juice alone—not advisably anyway—we asked Juice NV chef Jermaine Jonas for a way to curb our carnivorous instincts without stepping over the vegan line. Here’s his favorite substitute for tuna, which works on everything from a sandwich to a sushi roll.
➜ Place 32 ounces of walnuts in a Robot Coupe food processor and grind until they reach the consistency of breadcrumbs; remove from processer and set aside.
➜ Place 2 ounces chopped white onions, 2 ounces chopped parsley, 3 ounces diced celery, 2 ounces peeled and chopped carrots and 2 garlic cloves into a Vitamix and blend to a fine texture.
➜ In a large bowl, combine the processed walnuts with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon cumin powder, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 3 teaspoons Nama Shoyu soy sauce and 2 teaspoons agave syrup.
➜ Using spatula, combine all ingredients together. Refrigerate for two hours before use.