Diego Brings Bold Colors and Vibrant Cuisine of Traditional Mexico to Las Vegas Strip

July 12, 2004
A Restaurant of Taste - From the Flavorful Cuisine to the Exquisite Design

Diego, the newest restaurant on MGM Grand's extraordinary roster, combines the vibrancy of traditional Mexican cuisine with sophisticated sensibility for a thoroughly modern dining experience.

Opened in June 2004, Diego's culinary creations take cues from the street stalls of urban Mexico, the vendors of market towns and the regional flair of home-fire cooking. Tapping into a legacy of ancient techniques and family secrets, dishes produce flavor intensities not soon forgotten. From this divine, authentic base -- squash blossoms, tequila-dressed roasted cactus, Oaxacan red mole and slow-roasted goat -- Diego adds distinctly contemporary twists. Spanish influences produce a brothy Mexican "paella," "roll-cut" rib-eye updates standard carne asada and "roll-em" yourself soft tacos provide playful presentation.

The chile varieties alone are enough to emblazon guests' senses: poblano, serrano, chipotle, habanero, jalapeno, ancho, anaheim, black pasilla, guajillo. The menu also features small sharing plates in the traditional tapas-style, organic vegetable dishes and salads, and large-size entrees. A mobile Salsa Cart features six original varieties, allowing guests to customize this classic Mexican condiment.

"Mexican food is a perennial favorite," said Gamal Aziz, president of MGM Grand. "At Diego we offer our guests food steeped in Mexican tradition, but updated in surprising ways. With an extraordinary design by Vicente Wolf and a legendary tequila selection by one of the world's tequila masters, the overall Diego experience will surely change the way our guests think of Mexican restaurants."

Latin-born Vicente Wolf, the 2003 James Beard Winner for Restaurant Design, has created a space that embraces the vivid colors of Mexico's cultural landscape. His "forward-thinking approach to color" marries a vivid palette of fuchsias, magentas and greens with traditional Mexican elements such as wood, copper and terra cotta. "At Diego color is used in an architectural way, defining spaces rather than decorating them," says Wolf. "The result juxtaposes color and form, so that the bold colors do not dominate the aesthetic. We've brought traditional Mexican design sensibilities to the thoroughly updated Las Vegas cityscape." Several water elements, stacked slate and a whimsical projection of floating clouds bring an earthy balance to the colorful flamboyance. Two vertical conveyor belts framing the bar complete Wolf's design. Rotating systematically to display Diego's vast selection of tequilas, the result is both playful and functional.

Speaking of tequila, Diego has become the desert home of Tequila Master Julio Bermejo, the only American knighted as such by the Mexican government. Bermejo, who oversees the extensive collection, has chosen only 100% Blue Agave tequilas and mezcals. "The tequila selection at Diego reflects the traditional way tequila has been served for years," Bermejo notes. "When tequila was first made, it was always 100% Agave. At Diego we aim to serve the same ... with a few unexpected twists thrown in."

The creative thinkers behind Diego's cocktail program have crafted opportunities to enjoy this traditional libation in distinctly non-traditional ways -- a trio of fresh fruit sorbet tequila shooters in strawberry, lemon-lime and mango jalapeno and frozen margaritas come in every fresh fruit blend imaginable -- even frozen on a stick!

Diego pays homage to the country's culinary traditions through bold flavors, honest ingredients and modern techniques.


CONTACT: Stephanie Davis of MGM MIRAGE, +1-702-891-7517; or Jennifer
Baum of BULLFROG & BAUM, +1-212-255-6717