¡VIVA!—a modern Mexican restaurant from critically acclaimed Chef Ray Garcia, in partnership with Las Vegas Restaurateur and Partner Oliver Wharton and Senior Vice President of Development Peter Carrillo—is now open at the new Resorts World Las Vegas. Showcasing cuisine that is rich in culture and tradition, made using only the finest ingredients available, ¡VIVA! celebrates life through food, drink, and fun. When guests come to ¡VIVA!, they are transported to Chef Garcia’s world of immersive dining for any occasion, whether it is to try a unique Mexican dish, an exciting night out with friends, or celebrating a milestone over delicious cuisine and cocktails in a vibrant setting.
Wharton—the founder of Las Vegas-based hospitality group, A Perfect Bite Inc.—has concepted a variety of celebrated projects in Las Vegas and beyond. In addition to ¡VIVA!, Chef Garcia is the chef and owner of critically acclaimed Broken Spanish and B.S. Taqueria. At each concept, Chef Garcia’s cuisine is widely celebrated for its distinct style and culinary perspective.
“Dining at ¡VIVA! is like going to a friend’s house for a good time—music, great food, and drinks. It’s about having fun,” shares Chef and Partner Ray Garcia. “The menu reflects that and showcases what Mexican food is and what it can be through ingredients, techniques, and culture. At its core, ¡VIVA! combines my Mexican American heritage, Los Angeles roots, and our incredible Las Vegas location inside Resorts World Las Vegas, all into one.”
On the menu, guests will find a select few of Chef Garcia’s signature dishes, along with elevated, reinterpreted classics, including wood-fired quesadillas, a variety of fresh seafood crudos, handmade corn tortillas (made with heirloom corn from Central Mexico sourced by Masienda; corn is nixtamalized and ground in house, then pressed and cooked fresh to order), and much more.
Menu highlights include:
- Coctel de Camaron: shrimp, clamato, cucumber, and avocado
- Piña Asada: grilled pineapple, goat cheese, arugula, and spiced pecan
- Tamal: Tuscan kale, chile poblano, corn, and pipian verde
- Costillas: ancho rubbed lamb ribs with red cabbage slaw
- Hongo Adobados: oyster mushrooms, black garlic adobo, and salsa macha
- Chicharron: garlic mojo, radish sprouts, and pickled cabbage (a Chef Garcia staple)
- Pulpo: chorizo and salsa molcajete, and Mashima Reserve
- American Wagyu Flat Iron: a 6 oz. cut served with salsa molcajete, roasted tomato, and crispy fingerlings
Mirroring the food menu, ¡VIVA!’s bar program celebrates Mexican ingredients under the direction of veteran mixologist Michael Monrreal (formerly of Mina Group). Along with hand-crafted cocktails, sangrias, wine, and Mexican craft beer on tap, ¡VIVA! offers a vast list of spirits from around the world, highlighting both boutique producers and familiar favorites with a dedication to tequila and mezcal.
¡VIVA!’s cocktail specialties include:
- ¡VIVA-Rita!: ¡VIVA!’s house margarita with blanco tequila, fresh lime, agave, and salt air foa
- Mezcal Negroni: mezcal, Campari, house blended vermouth, and aromatic bitters
- Welcome to the Jungle: aged rum, reposado tequila, orgeat, pineapple, mango, and guajillo chile-grenadine
- Hibiscus Cooler: reposado tequila, spiced jamaica, naranja, spearmint, hibiscus salt
- ¡VIVA! Flight: a flight of five margaritas including the ¡VIVA-Rita!, Spicy Cucumber, Fresa Sandía, Passion Fruit, and Mango
The architecture and design, created by New York-based Celano Design Studio in tandem with local architect Marnell Companies, draws inspiration from Mexican culture, yet features distinctly Las Vegas touches. In addition to the main dining room, ¡Viva! offers an indoor promenade patio, a stunning bar and lounge area, an expansive outdoor patio with lush greenery, and a private dining room which houses ¡Viva!’s exclusive tequila and mezcal collection. The main feature of the bar is a spanning wood and rattan ceiling feature suspended over the bar. The ‘petals’ that make up this feature were inspired by the blue agave plant, and casts dramatic shadows around the bar from integrated lighting through the petals.
Additional highlights include a bottle display that celebrates tequila through a modern interpretation of Mexican architecture; a dazzling driftwood sculpture resembling a tree in bloom in the center of the dining room; and a vibrant mural designed by Miami-based Chalk & Brush, inspired by the culture, landscape, and patterns of Mexico, where the artist and her family were originally from. The mural features flora and fauna found throughout Mexico, with festive patterns and street style art creating different motifs within the piece. The mural acts as a backdrop for the indoor promenade patio as well as the indoor bar.
¡VIVA! is open Sunday-Thursday from 5-10 p.m., and Friday-Saturday 5-11 p.m. with plans to expand offerings and hours in the coming months. Reservations can be made via SevenRooms or by calling the restaurant directly at 702.676.6020.