Milpa Becomes First and Only Restaurant in Vegas Off the Strip to Grind Corn and Make Masa from Scratch with Handmade Tortillas

Do you remember the first time you ate a stone ground heirloom blue corn tortilla? It’s like any other and unforgettable right? That very moment of tasting the unique flavor, is what sparked the concept of Milpa for owner and international chef DJ Flores.

After working in some of the best restaurants in the world, DJ contracted COVID and subsequently got fired as chef from a restaurant on the strip. With community in mind, DJ decided to courageously start his own restaurant during the pandemic and bring back that authentic Mexican taste he never forgot about, while also providing a healthy twist. He opened Milpa, a healthy Mexican restaurant in Las Vegas providing high quality ingredients, handmade stone ground heirloom tortillas, and most of all, a taste of homemade Mexican culture.

A community based restaurant that provides locally sourced items & ingredients and provides a space for community events, Milpa lives up to its name: the milpa, which is a crop growing system used in Mexico & Central America where corn is planted alongside squash and beans to help eachother grow. Like the milpa, when one grows, we all grow. Here, he decided to be the first off the strip to make the masa (dough) for his handmade stone-ground heirloom tortillas instead of buying processed masa, like most.

The process used to grind the corn to make the masa in-house is the same one used by the Mesoamerican civilization 600 years ago, one called nixtamalization. Every morning the masa is made fresh to make homemade tortillas, tetelas, tamales and more. With corn brought from small farmers in Mexico thanks to their partner Masienda, while using the molino, Milpa brings a piece of Mexico that the local Vegas community hadn’t seen before.

Also offering vegetarian and vegan dishes, their bowls showcase the grains that also characterize Mexican gastronomy and demonstrate that corn isn’t the only ingredient that steals the show here. With all fresh organic or heirloom vegetables you can truly savor and dressings made from scratch that always include a mexican ingredient, Milpa really is a culture you can taste. A Nevada Grow client, Milpa is now looking to open more locations soon. 

By: Idania Ramirez, NV Grow