Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

July 29, 2006

Wynn: Another Chef Leaves

Posted by Mike E

Takashi, the chef Steve lured from Michigan to open Okada has left to open a restaurant in Chicago. Wynn's website has already erased all mention of Takashi. Who will be next?

Okada was/is an excellent restaurant. The new chef comes from San Francisco according to the Wynn site.

I've noticed how Bellagio's restaurants have become more corporate since MGM Mirage took over. I hope Steve keeps the individual identities of his restaurants.
Taksahi Leaves Okada


Read archived comments (14 so far)
July 29, 2006 8:59 AM Posted by John

Well, this is interesting, that is the second chef to leave, but if the new Okada chef is as good of a replacement as bringing Walzog to SW was, then there is nothing to worry about. I saw the replacement on the Wynn site, but I also noticed that they haven't named Walzog's replacement at Country Club yet, they still have McPherson listed as Country Club's chef.

About Bellagio, I think one of the prime examples of the corporate blandness of the restaurants is Cafe Bellagio. I remember when Steve owned the resort, the Cafe was beautiful, bright, and airy. I can remember the intricatemouldings that were present on all of the supports, I can also remember beautiful chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. All of that has been replaced by bland chandeliers, boring, dark colors, and intricate mouldings covered by bland wall coverings. Its a shame, how some of the amazing room designs that had existed at Bellgio, are gone forever thanks to MGM Mirage Deisgn.

July 29, 2006 9:21 AM Posted by mike_ch

Some dishes will be replaced on the menu, I suspect life will go on. With as much money as Wynn has been throwing around on this place, I don't think the food will go downhill now.

Speaking of Wynn, a curiousity about him: Have you ever noticed that in the casino there are NONE of the twinkling chasing lights you see in the other casinos? If you look at machines that naturally come with chasing lights as part of their design, the lights have been turned off. Rumor has it Steve prefers things this way, the chasing lights bother him.

Well that's well and good, but the showroom area is now awash in twinkling, chasing lights. I wonder what gives?

July 29, 2006 11:11 AM Posted by Sean

Ah Crap,

I have dinner reservations there for Aug 23. At any rate, I'll report back.

July 29, 2006 2:00 PM Posted by John

Funny, I posted a comment this morning that didn't go through.
Oh well, I was just going to say if the Okada replacement is as good as Walzog replacing Klien at SW, they there should be nothing to worry about. I also noticed that it didn't take very long to name this replacement, I mean McPhearson is still listed as the chef at Country Club, and I have been told a few times that a new chef is coming in a few weeks, but I haven't seen new chef, so..

Also, I was going to add to Hunter's comment on Bellagio's restaurant. One prime example of that comment is Cafe Bellagio. I can remember, when I first had lunch there, that it was bright, airy, and cheerful. It had the ornate and intricate mouldings on all of its supports, and had these beautiful chandeliers. Now, the room is much darker, and much more bland. It has no style, the mouldings were coverd in ugle green and brown wall coverings, even the intricate and amazing chandeliers that were present during the Steve days, were replaced with very bland chandeliers. Its really kind of sad, because it truly was a beautiful space, that didn't need to be renovated. Oh, well.....

July 29, 2006 3:50 PM Posted by charlie

I believe this was mentioned on the "Eye on Las Vegas" website. Their inside information restaurants/nightlife is really accurate.

July 29, 2006 4:42 PM Posted by detroit1051

Holy Cow! Charlie, that's a great site. I never knew there was so much news and gossip about restaurants and nightclubs. And, you're right, Takashi's resignation was in Eye on Vegas a month ago. I'll have to read it every week. Thanks.

July 29, 2006 5:30 PM Posted by Mike E

What a shame. I love Okada, and I'm sure the replacement chef will be excellent, but Takashi had a personality about him and I really enjoyed the couple of times that I got to chat with him. The staff at Okada had nothing but praise for him, too. Hopefully Wynn will hire a similar kind of personality.

July 30, 2006 3:19 AM Posted by John & Shirl

Couldn't agree more w/ the comments on what MGM has done to Bellagio. They've accomplished similar destruction at the Mirage.... hard to believe someone would pay so much $$ and do so much work to make something look worse. We had dinner at Olives on our July trip and even the food and service were marginal. The Bellagio & Mirage used to be two of our favorites... I doubt we'll ever stay at either one again.

July 30, 2006 9:36 AM Posted by John

I agree with you John&Shirl, the last time I was at the Mirage, I had a terrible meal at Kokomo's, and someone in my party got sick at Caribe Cafe. It may just be a matter of time, before all of that Steve Wynn design disappears from his former properties forever. Oh well, that is just the way it is in Vegas, though, you have to continually change to get people to take interest in your resort. We'll just have to wait and see, if the changes at these resorts, were for better or for worse.

July 30, 2006 11:55 PM Posted by motoman

Just nitpicking here....

...but didn't Walzog replace the original Country Club chef just days before opening?

July 31, 2006 7:55 AM Posted by detroit1051

Motoman's right. I had forgotten that Walzog was named Country Club Grill chef only a few weeks before Wynn opened. He replaced Jimmy Sneed who left/was asked to leave over a "difference of opinion".

August 1, 2006 10:09 AM Posted by John

About eyeonvegas, they are reporting that, in their Quickbites section (in today's issure {8/1}), that MGM Mirage has submitted plans to the Clark Country Board of Approval to demolish Excalibur and build a new property.

Here is the snipit:

Quick Bites

- One of our sources alleges that there is sentiment within the MGM Mirage organization that would rather have a Cirque show at Mandalay Bay than the popular Mamma Mia production. Our source continued that because the show is meeting its contractual quota for audience members, there is nothing MGM Mirage can do it about it, for the time being. Another source from within the organization had indicated that plans have been submitted to the city for approval on the site of the Excalibur and that it will be demolished.

August 1, 2006 9:30 PM Posted by macauphoto

I read a couple of comments above about the curiousity of the new chef at the Country Club Grill at Wynn. The new chef is Rene Lenger.

August 28, 2006 7:11 AM Posted by jvoglic

Hi guys. I worked with Rene Lenger, new chef at Country club, for a year before he leftand I can say that this guy is great chef and very easy to work with. We had issues at the end because of my vacation, but still, it was great experience