Las Vegas Sun

December 16, 2017

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Photos: Creativity abounds at Ernesto Zendejas’ Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar at Linq



Executive chef Ernesto Zendejas at Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar at the Linq.

Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar

The Del Mar at Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar at the Linq. Launch slideshow »

Visitors to the new open-air retail dining and entertainment district the Linq with the world’s tallest High Roller observation wheel will find the best of Mexico City’s culinary fare there in the new Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar. There are 50 tequilas!

Chayo is a two-level, 300-seat, 14,000-square-foot monument to authentic and innovative Mexican fare from executive chef Ernesto Zendejas. The indoor-outdoor eatery with a sleek interior and arty selection of glassware and plates comes complete with a sexy bucking mechanical bull, a DJ and a vast tequila selection. It’s already played host to “Pawn Stars” hero Rick Harrison, MLB star Jason Giambi and Linq VP Jon Gray with wife Ruth Gray, who are already regulars.

During March Madness, Chayo will open early morning with a breakfast menu to start the day right. The upper patio has a perfect unobstructed view of the 550-foot High Roller’s 28 glass-enclosed cabins making their 30-minute revolution.

Dinner is a memorable experience. Chayo has the expected tacos and burritos up front at the dynamic bar, but in the back of the comfortable restaurant, the kitchen is turning out gourmet treats, authentic Mexican dishes and not an American interpretation of Tex Mex. Mucho gracias! Nothing is ordinary; it’s different than what you’d expect from an American Mexican restaurant.

Former N9NE Steakhouse and STK chef Michael Rizzo walked me through the exquisite dishes with a difference: mini lobster tacos, guacamole with pork rinds and pomegranate seeds and pork sopes. I raved about the bass ceviche and the chipotle pulled chicken.

The cilantro cream soup with Serrano pepper and toasted pine nuts could compete with any five-star restaurant in Paris. It’s a fusion of flavors with the freshest of ingredients you have to try not just to believe but also to realize that this is really unique Mexican food.

P.S.: If you ride the restaurant’s top patron, the wild bull, I wish you good luck, but soothe it by whispering his name Chayo, and it might be just a little less wild.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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