This July, Chef Rodelio Aglibot, known as “The Food Buddha,” brings enlightenment to taco creation at Mercadito at Red Rock Resort as part of Mercadito Hospitality’s national Tacos for Strength campaign. Throughout the month of July, Mercadito features an Asian fusion approach to Mercadito’s ongoing list of unique taco recipes. Las Vegans can indulge in a multicultural approach to tacos with “The Food Buddha’s Pastrami Kung Pao Style Taco” during dinner for $16.50 (four per order). A percentage of the proceeds will benefit Share Our Strength.
For July, Chef Rodelio Aglibot unveils his Pastrami Kung Pao Taco – diced pastrami, red bell peppers, white onions and sliced scallions seasoned and caramelized with Kung Pao Sauce, topped with crushed roasted peanuts and julienne celery leaves on a flour tortilla. Aglibot’s original Kung Pao Sauce comprises of chicken stalk, soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, oyster sauce, black vinegar, fish sauce, sambal oelek, chili oil and chili flakes to add its unique kick.
This taco melds together traditional Mexican cuisine with Asian inspirations. “Bringing my heritage to the way I approach cooking food from all over the world always aids in my creative recipe development,” said Rodelio Aglibot. “Because my parents were my first culinary mentors, it’s important for me to incorporate my Asian roots. In the end, it makes for interesting multicultural dishes.”
Raised in Hawaii, Chef Rodelio Aglibot continues to take inspiration from both his island roots and Filipino heritage. In 2001, Aglibot served as executive chef of Koi Restaurant in Los Angeles. After two years as executive chef at Koi, Aglibot created Yi Cuisine led by his own creative concepts, which Food & Wine magazine named one of the “Best New Asian Restaurants.” By fall 2006, Aglibot helped see the Sunda New Asian restaurant in Chicago to fruition by spring 2009 and oversaw its culinary program until 2011. In the midst of overseeing Sunda’s culinary program, Aglibot partnered with BLT Restaurant Group in New York to create a new Asian Gastropub and served as corporate executive chef beginning in 2010. During this partnership, Aglibot guided 15 restaurants in the United States and took on the responsibility of all new concepts opening under BLT’s flagship.
In 2011, The Learning Channel (TLC) premiered Aglibot’s new show “The Food Buddha,” chronicling Aglibot’s dedication to his heritage and creative menu development. Aglibot has appeared on a number of national and local television news and talk shows such as the “TODAY Show” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Today, Aglibot serves as Vice President of Culinary Operations for the lifestyle hospitality company Interestco, LLC. Aglibot lives by his own philosophy. He states, “A tragedy in life is not to find oneself and one’s passion…an even greater tragedy is to know one’s passion and deny oneself of its treasures.” His food style has been described as unpretentious and his knowledge of ingredients and food traditions are unique to his cooking style.
Each month, chef and owner Patricio Sandoval invites a different chef to “think outside the tortilla” and create a taco inspired by their culinary or personal passions, which will be served in all Mercadito restaurants with a portion of proceeds going to Share Our Strength. Since its inception, Tacos for Strength has sold more than 5,000 tacos and raised thousands of dollars to benefit Share Our Strength.
Mercadito is open seven days a week. Dinner and late-night dining: Mondays 3 – 10 p.m.; Tuesdays – Thursdays 3 p.m. to 11pm; Fridays 3 p.m. – midnight; Saturdays 11 a.m. – midnight; and Sundays 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Mercadito brunch service is 11a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Mercadito also offers two daily Happy Hours 3 – 6 p.m. daily and 8 – 10 p.m. Sunday and Monday; 9 – 11 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday; and 10 p.m. – midnight Friday and Saturday. Reservations are recommended through Open Table or by calling 702.979.3609. Mercadito is located at Red Rock Resort at 11011 W. Charleston Blvd.
Mercadito offers a variety of special promotions including: all-you-can-eat tacos for $24 every Sunday and Monday, 15 percent off for military members all day Monday, 30 percent off food and drinks for industry guests on Takeover Tuesdays, and the ultimate ladies night, Chicas Night Out, every Thursday evening.