Extraordinary dining in Las Vegas: Nobu at Caesars

Of the 30 Nobu restaurants in the world today, only two offer teppanyaki, the flattop-grilling concept originally made famous stateside through the rather pedestrian Benihana chain. This opulent experience elevated to its highest form ny the noble Nobu is now available in Perth and in the Caesars Palace restaurant connected to the lobby of chef Matsuhisa’s new eponymous Vegas hotel. We were recently gently guided through these buzzing Sin City corridors designed by the acclaimed David Rockwell to our own grillside seats. Bowed columns of bamboo line the exterior of the restaurant to resemble the structure of a traditional Japanese ikebana basket used in the art of flower arranging. The restaurant features colorful, patterned private dining pods, and floating above are oversized light fixtures inspired by Japanese tea whisks. All materials have been hand-crafted and curated to create a complete luxury experience. The evening began serendipitously with “Cracked Basils,” beautifully balanced signature cocktails starring muddled strawberries, soju and Grand Marnier. Our dedicated grill-master assumed his place at the top of the table, preceding a spectacle of delicacies with a side of show. We began with garlic-slicked edamame and thinly sliced hamachi, elevated by its high quality and garnish of black caviar. These were followed by marshmallow-sized diver scallops lightly seared on the grill before taking their place in a bowl of bright green jalapeno-garlic-cilantro puree. As an example of its commitment to a truly tailored meal, the menu offers prawns from several points on the globe, including a variety from Madagascar, a dish we relished with a pleasantly tart citrus sauce. The crux of the evening, after our focused server switched us to a fine red, was A5 Wagyu, the coveted grade of marbled Japanese beef. It was sumptuous, the closest we’ve had in the U.S. to the melt-in-the-mouth beef that’s seduced us many times before in the Land of the Rising Sun. We finished with a crab-speckled XO rice (Iberico is among additional options), featuring a whole egg tossed high in the air that landed perfectly on the chef’s spatula with dramatic, acrobatic flair. Much more than the agilities of Cirque du Soleil or the sexy enticements of Crazy Horse, Nobu Vegas offers sizzling entertainment that can truly be savored. Its balance of flash, quality and attentiveness make it a Nobu worth catching up with for a distinct, original take on the master’s beloved cuisine. If you’re lucky Nobu himself will be present and a chat with this pleasant and humble gentleman is a most rewarding experience. But all the staff are polite and professional, especially the wiz of a manager, Bryan Shinohara, who orchestrates the seating and tempo with grace. Nobu Caesars Palace is a sophisticated, whimsical and wonderful dining indulgence worth every penny. Nobu at Caesars Palace, 3570 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV, 866-733-5827; http://www.noburestaurants.com/las-vegas-caesars-palace/experience/.

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