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Beni Velazquez plans new venture; Brian Howard at the ballpark

Longtime Las Vegas chef Beni Velazquez, best known from his stint at the Arts District’s now-closed Bar + Bistro, is preparing to open a new Latin-Chinese fusion restaurant called ChinaLatina at 4865 S. Pecos Road, near Tropicana Avenue. The chef tells us he’s hoping to open in September, and describes the concept as “a New York-style fast-food Chinese-restaurant-type feel with my Latin flair.” He promises menu items such as fried rice with Spanish chorizo, potstickers filled with lechon and a “Chinese-style cheesecake.” chinalatinalv.com.

Chef Howard at the ballpark

Sparrow + Wolf chef Brian Howard will be the featured chef for Las Vegas Ballpark’s club-level tasting series Saturday evening. His creations will include grilled peaches with arugula, ricotta salata and yuzu vinaigrette; grass-fed steak tartare toast with confit egg yolk and shredded-nori wasabi; and lasagna with miso bechamel and furikake. Guests with club-level seats can purchase the Chef Tasting Experience. Howard also is the creator of the ballpark’s Flydog hot dogs.

Locale launches brunch

Chef Nicole Brisson’s Locale, 7995 Blue Diamond Road, launched its new Sunday brunch last weekend. Served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., its a la carte offerings include pizza with sunny-side-up eggs, guanciale and chili; stuffed French toast with ricotta, orange zest and fresh strawberries; a fritatta with broccoli rabe, corn, tomato and prosciutto; and a burger with Chianti mustard, habanero red pepper ketchup and cheddar or Gorgonzola dolce cheese. Bottomless mimosas, Bellinis or rosé are $20, Bloody Marys $9. localelv.com

New items at El Dorado

El Dorado Cantina is rolling out some new menu items at its original location at 3025 Sammy Davis Jr. Drive as it continues to move toward opening a Tivoli Village location. Inspired by Chef Paco Cortes’ recent travels through Mexico, they include some new takes on guacamole, new taco choices such as filet mignon, braised duck and lobster, and a tableside Caesar salad. eldoradovegas.com

Another Beard House dinner

Once you dive into the Las Vegas food scene, you’re probably going to want more. That’s a lesson the James Beard Foundation seems to be learning in a very delicious fashion. We told you last week that, following the vegan dinner Las Vegas chefs prepared at the James Beard House in Manhattan July 10, another batch of Las Vegas chefs are headed to the house for an omnivore meal Sept. 7. We’ve now learned that Vegans, Baby founder Diana Edelman is planning a return with yet another group for another multi-course plant-based feast. That dinner will be Nov. 13, with the lineup of chefs still to be determined.

The Crack Shack opens

The Crack Shack has opened at Park MGM, serving fried chicken with a variety of house-made dipping sauces; the signature Firebird sandwich with a spicy fried chicken thigh, ranch, crispy onions and pickles on a potato roll; french fries with schmaltz (chicken fat); and deviled eggs with French toast crumble and candied bacon. Hours are 9 a.m. to midnight Sundays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. crackshack.com.

Tacotarian to expand

Tacotarian, which opened on South Fort Apache Road last August, has announced plans for a second location, at 1130 S. Casino Center Drive in the Arts District. Opening is expected in the fall. tacotarianlv.com

Sightings

Gregg Popovich, president and head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, at La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway at Wynn Las Vegas.

Have an item for Kitchen Confidante? Email hrinella @reviewjournal.com or amancini@reviewjournal.com.

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