One could argue that Las Vegas has become the restaurant capital of the United States, with world famous chefs and glorious restaurants at every turn. But this is Las Vegas, so to come up with the dining experience that encompasses all that this city is there is one destination that you must visit and that is KOI, located inside of Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.
Food and service are at such a high standard in Las Vegas that you have to realize that I would not speak of KOI in such a superlative fashion if it was not a given that they two qualities were off the charts. So what is it about KOI that creates a dining experience that gives you everything you would want from a night out in Las Vegas? Once you take a seat, this will no longer be a question.
The first thing that you must do is bypass the dining room and head for the back room, a reservation and a request in advance should make this happen. Immediately you will notice the spectacular view of the Las Vegas strip with the focal point being the water show at the Bellagio.
There is nothing better than coming into a restaurant trying their signature dish and finding out that it lives up to the hype. Well almost nothing better, the one thing that is better is finding another dish that is even better than that signature dish. KOI in Las Vegas managed to do that while also providing an atmosphere that is fitting of Las Vegas. KOI is famous for its crispy rice that comes topped with spicy tuna or yellowtail tartare and deservedly so. While often imitated, the original is the one you must have, the combination of the fresh fish and the crunch of that rice is a flavor explosion. As good as the crispy rice is, the salmon carpaccio just might steal the evening. To find a salmon carpaccio is unique all by itself, but when you when you comibine the flavors of black truffle and citrus sauce you are left with a dish that takes your taste buds through a multitude of flavors with each bite.
The Japanese flavors are evident throughout the menu, but don't sell KOI short on the American dishes. If red meat is to your liking, two dishes will keep you coming back again and again to KOI. The Wasabi braised short ribs take the rib to a new level, giving that familar messy dish a bit of class to fit with the KOI setting. Not overwhelmed with sauce, but enough to let you know you are eating a rib, these fall apart, tender, mouth-watering ribs let you know they are a rib at first bite. The soy sesame glaze gives it a very rich flavor that hits you at each bite and the meat is more tender than any rib I have come in contact with. Speaking of tender, the Kobe style filet mignon is going to give the ribs a run for their money in that department. What you are going to get with this steak is simply the highest quaility meat, cooked to perfection and placed in front of you with asparagus and mushrooms. You might think a steak is a steak, that is until you take a bite, this filet almost melts in your mouth and you will know right away you aren't eating just any steak.
To pair with the many traditional Japanese dishes offered at KOI, you will find a lengthy menu filled with every type of sake that you could imagine. While a little sake is a must to keep with the cuisine there is one drink that is a must. The Strawberry Bellini Martini is one of those rare concoctions that allows you to run through a gamut of flavors. Prepared with Absolut Vodka, peach schnapps, champagne and fresh strawberries, you get one strong drink that is smooth, light and full of flavor, this one goes right to the top of my martini list.
Don't let you KOI experience end just because your dining experience comes to a conclusion, you can let your night continue at the KOI Ultra Lounge. Located inside of KOI, you will find all of the qualities of a Vegas nightclub while being on a much more intimate level.
For more information on KOI, visit: www.koirestaurant.com