Is it possible that Bandito Latin Kitchen and Cantina may never open? According to a source close to Mike Minor, the Chef has given up being involved with the project and has told friends and family that he couldn’t get behind the restaurant because it wasn’t going to have his vision of a unique Mexican-inspired BBQ and was going to become another “Americanized flavorless restaurant with super sweet alcoholic drinks.”
Ken Harman, the owner and partner of the Bandito Restaurant released a very diplomatic statement however, “While the two men remain friends and have a mutual respect for one another, they were not able to come to an agreement on the final vision for the project. Harman remains on track to open therestaurant in late April or early May. Mike is one of the most talented chefs in the city and I wish him nothing but success for his next project. We are moving forward with Bandito, though we are eliminating the BBQ aspects of the menu, which reflected Mike’s signature cooking style. Bandito will still aim to serve the best Latin food in town, with a heavy emphasis on the food of Mexico, along with great cocktails and service all within a friendly, neighborhood restaurant vibe.”
This creates a unique problem for the restaurant, as its investors and supporters were looking forward to it opening specifically because of Chef Minor, who had been experimenting with his unique style of Mexican BBQ dishes in his food truck, including burnt end burritos with Oaxacan barbecue aioli, cole slaw, duck fat fries and Monterey Jack cheese; smoked chicken enchiladas with Oaxacan string cheese, caramelized onions, mole Colorado, cotija cheese and crema; and al pastor sopes with crispy corn masa, al pastor meat, guacamole and habanero pineapple salsa.
The website as of this writing hasn’t even changed mentioning that Chef Minor is behind the genius of the restaurant, and even Eater Las Vegas implied that it might not even open despite the press release. It’s still slated to open this spring, but with only a few months to find a new chef or create a non-chef inspired menu, one can only hope that it doesn’t become another The Mixx disaster.
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