Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Nobu: Las Vegas

When you go to Las Vegas, there are so many choices for restaurants. All different cuisines in all different price ranges. The variety can seem overwhelming. So, I took some time to carefully choose where we would dine on our trip.

For me, one of the obvious choices was Nobu, a high-end Japanese restaurant located in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. I have been to Nobu twice before and each visit had been superb. But I had not had their omakase before, the chef's tasting menu. So, I made reservations for our first night in Vegas at Nobu, with my goal to order their omakase.

For the omakase, you basically tell the chef how much money you want to spend. He then creates a multi-course meal to fit that budget. You never know what you will receive. It is all a surprise, and usually a very pleasant surprise. If you love food, and trust the chef, this is a great way to experience the best the chef has to offer.

We began the evening with a bottle of chilled Sake, a delightful Daiginjo that pleased most everyone. We would follow that up over the course of the night with a few bamboo pitchers of an excellent Junmai Ginjo. The Sakes were smooth, flavorful and went down so easily. Nobu has a very good list of Sakes and they make an excellent accompaniement to their food.

One of my friends and I chose to do the Omakase while the others just got a bunch of other dishes. I did not take notes as I was there to fully enjoy the experience. Thus, I don't have a lot of details about all of the dishes I ate. Plus I did drink a lot of Sake. But, I do know the experience was superlative. I enjoyed every dish I received, and there were plenty of them.

One of the best dishes came with chunks of Japanese Wagyu beef, true Kobe beef. Such a silky smooth and flavorful meat. There was another dish with a halved lobster tail filled with succulent lobster meat in an intriguing milky-colored sauce with a touch of sweetness. Even the raw fish dishes were more than typical Nigiri sushi. The fish was but the main star, accompanied by various sauces, oils, veggies and more. In each of those dishes, including items such as yellow tail and abalone, all of the ingredients created a harmonious whole, just the perfect mix of flavors. I did order a separate order of unagi, eel with BBQ sauce, and it too was delicious, large pieces of cooked eel with a sweet BBQ sauce.

Not only is the food delicious, but it is presented in such a beautiful way as well, each dish a work of art. It is obvious the great care and passion that goes into the creation of these dishes. Service was excellent, with our servers being personable, attentive and accomodating. There were no flaws in my meal and I cannot recommend enough Nobu. It can be considered pricey, yet you are also getting top quality food and service. It won't disappoint though so give it careful consideration if you are visiting Vegas in the future. I know I will return to Nobu on my next trip to Vegas.

Nobu (Hard Rock Hotel) in Las Vegas


Anonymous said...

Richard, that all sounds mighty delicious to me! I hope you'll pardon me if I ask what may be the obvious question - so that I might someday budget what not to lose at blackjack - and that is: how much did you tell the chef you wished to spend for your omakase? $100? $200? Substantially more? Inquiring foodies want to dine (and proffer profuse arigatos)!

Richard Auffrey said...

Hi Russ:
The omakase starts at a minimum of $100 and then goes up from there, generally in $50 steps. I actually went for a $250 omakase, but then I had also just won a bunch of money earlier that day so could afford the big splurge.

I am sure you could have a good meal at any of the price points.

Anonymous said...

Yikee-crikey!! I guess I better be on my game!!