PERFECTION IN LAS VEGAS: NOBU


The great super chef NOBU

Las Vegas today overflows with an influx of star chefs, all seeking a slice of the profitable Sin City pie. But if you’re headed thataway, we suggest you forget Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Gordon Ramsay and all the other celebrity names and set your compass for Nobu.  If you have only one splurge meal to invest in, Nobu Matsuhisa’s glamorous destination presenting high-end Japanese cuisine will return dividends better than any casino jackpot.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is interior.jpg

There are two Nobu restaurants to choose from in Las Vegas: a very chic and opulent one attached to the boutique Nobu Hotel within Caesars Palace, the other, the original, in the newly-minted Virgin Hotel, formerly the Hard Rock. Both are dramatically beautiful, understated and elegant, and buzzing with a palpable vibe of happy anticipation before a rare culinary experience.  We chose the Virgin location. If you’re lucky, manager Bryan will greet you at the door like long- lost rich uncle and politely escort you to a table.  More luck falls your way if your server happens to be Jeff who, it turns out, is Brian’s affable brother.

There are two Nobu restaurants to choose from in Las Vegas: a very chic and opulent one attached to the boutique Nobu Hotel within Caesars Palace, the other, the original, in the newly-minted Virgin Hotel, formerly the Hard Rock. Both are dramatically beautiful, understated and elegant, and buzzing with a palpable vibe of happy anticipation before a rare culinary experience.  We chose the Virgin location. If you’re lucky, manager Bryan will greet you at the door like long- lost rich uncle and politely escort you to a table.  More luck falls your way if your server happens to be Jeff who, it turns out, is Brian’s affable brother.

While Nobu’s reputation as an iconic New York sushi haven remains unchallenged, some of the best dishes are the simplest — pristine pieces of fish dressed in brilliant citrus juices, seasoned with a concentration of dehydrated miso or a mini-dab of chile paste or a single, tender leaf of cilantro. The rolls of crab and avocado in yuba are barely embellished at all, but wonderfully sweet and luxurious. The head-on grilled prawns are a juicy, delicious concoction.

The menu is daunting, but fear not, the servers know their stuff and will gently guide you. Start with lobster shiitake salad drizzled in a spicy lemon dressing or Nobu-style tacos of tuna, uni or Wagyu. The sushi menu alone, hand roll or cut roll, beckons with 16 selections from soft shell crab to eel and cucumber to yellowtail jalapeno.

Dizzy with all this bounty on offer, we ordered sake from Nobu’s impressive list, sat back and admired the crowd, a well-dressed and polished band of happy diners enthused about each and every plate of artfully composed Nobu creations. Then we insisted on a bottle of Nobu’s own tasty Pinot Noirs sourced from Napa. Properly fueled, we took Jeffrey’s suggestion to immerse ourselves in the chef’s omakase, a cavalcade of eight sublime courses, no written menu, just the finest dishes plucked from the most premium cuts of fish and beef the kitchen has on any given night.

Stars of the omakase included a tiradito of halibut, Tasmanian ocean trout, tuna with sweet bean wasabi, broiled abalone, black cod in miso, and seared Waygu, a parade of Nobu’s most celebratory triumphs. Each dish was bursting with thrilling, fresh, complex flavors that sang of the sea and the piquancy of Asia Peru and faraway spice islands. At $125 a person, it was a bargain.

We saved room for dessert and were dazzled by Valrhona dark chocolate fondant with imperial matcha, a mixed berry and banana chocolate harumaki, dulce de leche, semifreddo with passion fruit, Malibu coconut and pistachio, and whisky cappuccino with cardamon cream, cinnamon crunch and espresso gelato. Some dollops of gelato and sorbet finished the evening’s repast. We did not have time to sample the hand-crafted whole leaf teas, but the Black Orchid ylang ylang fragrance with mild notes of citrus did speak to us.

An enthusiastic, fast-moving, highly attentive and knowledgeable professional team make every guest feel oh-so special. They make the unrelenting demands of their work look effortless.

Nobu Las Vegas or Nobu ANYwhere (there are 46 locations scattered throughout the world) is an experience to savor, a deep dive into extraordinary fusion cuisine that blends traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients. It’s so rare today that a place that receives so much attention and hype then lives up to everything you heard. Nobu certainly does and, in fact, exceeds  your highest expectations with unparalleled attention to quality ingredients and Nobu-style hospitality that define the premier brand. Dining here is what one dreams about: perfection. Nobu at Caesar’s, 3570 S Las Vegas Blvd; Nobu at Virgin Hotel, 4455 Paradise Road.  noburestaurants.com

 
Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: