Editor’s Note: This story was updated on June 5, 2017
If you ask Kent Harman, the owner and operator of Bandito Latin Kitchen & Cantina (325 Hughes Center Drive, banditolv.com), which opened June 5, the restaurant is going to fill a gap in the Las Vegas dining scene, delivering Strip-quality food and hospitality with the pricing of a neighborhood restaurant.
Pulling largely from Mexican influence (think coastal cuisine, plus dishes inspired by spots like Mexico City, Guadalajara and more traditional dishes), the newest Latin American outpost featuring everything made from scratch daily, is a direct result of Harman’s time in the industry, including a decade as the director of operations for Border Grill.
Photography by Bandito Latin Kitchen & Cantina
“I wanted to take all of my experiences and put it under one place, serving food I’m passionate about and being able to deliver it to people with a mom and pop feel in a place that is fun,” he says of his vision for the restaurant. “It’s got great art, great colors, a cutting edge look to it. It’s all the things that made me fall in love with this business and the hospitality world all together.”
Harman has assembled an all-star culinary lineup, something which he refers to as an “embarrassment of riches” which features executive chef Chris Kight (French Laundry/Thomas Keller, Aubergine/Gordon Ramsay); assistant executive chef Brian Littlejohn (RM Seafood/Rick Moonen); and sous chef Renee Dungaray, who most recently served as executive chef at The Cosmopolitan’s Estiatorio Milos.
“One of the most exciting things to me about beginning this brand is that we are going to do this as a team, it’s not a focus on one particular person, it’s a collaborative effort,” says the operator/owner. “We have a team of people with the same passion and same goals.”