Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar opened on Wednesday, Jan. 1, as one of the first venues at the much-anticipated Caesars Entertainment development, The LINQ. The high-energy retail, dining and entertainment district introduces a new concept in Mexican dining, combining a DJ, mechanical bull, a vast tequila and cocktail selection and a blend of authentic and innovative Mexican fare by Executive Chef Ernesto Zendejas.
“We couldn’t be more excited for Chayo to debut as one of our first tenants at The LINQ,” said Jon Gray, Vice President and General Manager of The LINQ. “A restaurant headed up by the talented Chef Zendejas alone would be a huge asset to The LINQ. When you add an incredible selection of tequilas, the best outdoor dining in Las Vegas, a great interior design and amazing partners, it’s a home run. Chayo is going to bring a great vibe that we know visitors are going to love.”
Located just steps away from the Las Vegas Strip with direct access from The Quad Resort & Casino, Chayo is situated near the beginning of The LINQ corridor, which leads to the Las Vegas High Roller Observation Wheel, offering unobstructed views of the world’s largest observation wheel. The expansive ground-level patio is framed by lush trees and leads to the main dining room with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open up to create an indoor-outdoor space. Once inside, a custom-made, highly-stylized mechanical bull stands as Chayo’s mascot and the centerpiece to the 12,000-square-foot room. Nicknamed “Chayo,” the bull tempts guests to take tequila-fueled rides set to music by a DJ playing an eclectic party mix.
A granite-topped bar winds through half of the dining room, lending to the intoxicating party atmosphere of the restaurant. The overall design of Chayo blends the old with the new, from exposed beams and distressed fixtures to contemporary lighting. Thick ropes strung tightly from floor to ceiling create abstract separations between booths, and ornate frames showcase classic Mexican photographs and artwork. The wall along the stairway leading upstairs is lined with green, white and red sombreros that reveal a Mexican flag, leading to a smaller, second-level dining room with its own bar. A fire feature runs in a line through the entire length of the upper level patio, offering a cozy and picturesque spot to dine and drink.
Zendejas, who has received widespread acclaim for his culinary talent, has crafted a mouthwatering menu that appeals to lovers of authentic and modern Mexican food, alike. Small bites, priced from $9 to $14, include freshly-made guacamole with the option to select between pork rinds or tortilla chips; queso fundido, a combination of poblano peppers and Monterey Jack and Chihuahua Cheeses; pork sopes made with crispy tortillas topped with homemade black beans, spicy Mexican chorizo, crispy potatoes, a drizzle of Mexican crema and a sprinkle of queso fresco; and bass ceviche topped with mango and avocado.
Appetizers, priced from $8 to $14, include tortilla soup made with queso fresca; mango and watercress salad tossed with jicama and honey vinaigrette; cilantro cream soup complete with serrano pepper and roasted pine nuts; and an array of tostadas and tacos. Entrées, priced from $18 to $32, include Ahi tuna served with fingerling potatoes and mole verde; grilled chicken accompanied by sweet potato mash and ancho chile cream; flank steak complemented with yucca fries and chimichurri; pork tenderloin adorned with cactus leaves and mole negro; and an array of fajita selections.
The “para la mesa” selections include a couple of chef favorites for guests who want to indulge in a more decadent dinner. The “de la tierra” is a combination of flank steak, Spanish chorizo and pork tenderloin; and the “del mar” is a blend of seasonal fish, prawns and sea scallops. Each dish is served with a side of flour tortillas, spring onions, grilled cactus leaves, black beans, Mexican street corn and cilantro rice.
The “drunk menu,” priced from $9 to $17, is offered daily from midnight until close. Selections include nachos adorned with queso fundido, Mexican crema and chicken or steak; carnitas tacos topped with Mexican herbs; chicken or steak quesadillas; pork torta complemented by red onions and queso fresco; and pork sopes.
Refreshments are in no short supply at Chayo, with more than 50 tequila selections, and an array of spirited cocktails. Some of the specialty cocktail selections include Don Margarita made with Don Julio Silver Tequila, Cointreau orange liqueur and fresh lemon and lime juice; the Puncho Villa with Tanteo jalapeño tequila, fresh lime juice, fresh watermelon juice, muddled cucumber and fresh mint; and the Buenos Dias, a combination of Ciroc peach vodka, Red Bull and fresh pineapple juice. In addition to the specialty cocktails, available to order by the glass or pitcher, Chayo also offers wines by the glass, priced from $7 to $18, and an array of domestic beers.
A semi-private dining room is situated on the main floor, and accommodates up to 40 for a seated meal, while all of Chayo accommodates up to 320 guests.
About Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar: Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar, which spans two levels and 14,000-square-foot at The LINQ, Caesars Entertainment’s dynamic new mixed-use development, is open from 11 a.m. to late daily.