VEGAS RESTAURANT ROUNDUP: Mysterious Exit #2 for Famed Bellagio Chef, Vegas Beardless Again, More!

Posted on: June 11, 2024, 11:05h. 

Last updated on: June 11, 2024, 01:00h.

Chef Roy Ellamar’s surprise 2021 departure from Harvest by Roy Ellamar — the much-celebrated, Hawaiian-tinged fresh American dining spot he opened at the Bellagio six years earlier — has never been satisfactorily explained. Now, under similarly mysterious circumstances, Ellamar has left another restaurant he founded.

Renowned Vegas chef Roy Ellamar has exited his second restaurant in three years. (Image:

Ellamar brought his famed fluffy banana bread to Fine Company at the off-Strip Downtown Summerlin shopping mall with LEV Group last September. But now, nine months later, he’s gone again.

“It was going in a different direction than I had wanted it to go in the beginning,” the chef vaguely told Eater Vegas. “I think [LEV Group] just wanted something different than what I was willing to give. I think if you look at the menu now, you can see what I’m talking about.”

Vegas Stiffed (Again)

When the James Beard Awards, considered the Oscars for restaurants, were given out on Monday in Chicago,  the lone Las Vegas finalist for Best Chef: Southwest didn’t win. Steve Kestler, chef-owner of Aroma Latin American Cocina, lost to Rene Andrade of Bacanora in Phoenix.

This makes the second consecutive year that Vegas was stiffed in the most prestigious category of the most prestigious culinary awards. Last year, Oscar Amador, chef-owner of Anima by EDO, was also a finalist who didn’t win.

Dining Ins & Outs

The closing notice posted to the Chinglish Facebook page. (Image: Facebook)

Chinglish Cantonese Wine Bar and Kosher Chinglish, sister Chinese restaurants that both opened in Boca Park in 2020, have now both closed.

Though the closing notice posted on its Facebook page didn’t specify a reason, co-owner Ken Heck, speaking with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, blamed “untenable” costs and competition for skilled chefs from the Strip.

Gjelina, which specializes in “produce-forward” California cuisine, will open at The Venetian by the year’s end, according to Eater Vegas. It will be the restaurant’s third location, joining outposts in LA and New York.

A new restaurant called the International Taco Company is about to open at 7686 Las Vegas Blvd SSuite 140, which is three miles south of The Strip. The new restaurant replaces the JJ Asian Foodies sushi bar, which has already moved to Moon World Plaza at 8000 W. Sahara Ave. #160.

Raymyn Café, a new Korean instant noodle restaurant, is about to open at the Las Vegas North Premium Outlets at 855 S Grand Central Parkway.

Southern Taste Seafood, at 939 Empire Mesa Way in Henderson, was closed on June 7 by the Southern Nevada Health District for scoring 25 demerits.