Morimoto Restaurant Review - The Restaurant Las Vegas Has Been Waiting For

The Las Vegas dining landscape is always changing and raising the bar to out of this world levels when it comes to dining experiences. There seemed to be one thing missing and that was a restaurant from famed Japanese chef and star of Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” Masaharu Morimoto.

Sushi Bar (Photo Courtesy MGM)

The Las Vegas culinary world is finally complete with the opening of Morimoto inside of MGM Grand. This opening came with amazingly high expectations and the only thing higher than the expectations are what Morimoto actually delivers and that is simply about as close to a perfect dining experience as you will find anywhere.

Wagyu Carpaccio

To match the high level of the food itself, Morimoto needed an ambiance that was on the same level and it delivers just that. You have to begin with the beautiful bar as you make your way into Morimoto. A fabulous place to begin any evening and if you are someone who enjoys sake, it doesn't get any better than the aged sakes including the 10-year aged Koshu. From there you have a sushi bar which has a backdrop of black and white breathtaking Japanese photos. You can also choose to sit in the dining room that lets you have a view of the sushi bar as well as the MGM grand walkway. And finally the Teppan tables that showcase all of the amazing cuts of beef and allow you to see them carved up your liking at your table.

Sake and Vodka Martini

Sticky Ribs

You know you are on your way to one memorable dining experience when the appetizers are about as good as anything you have eaten in recent memory. The Kakuni, a ten hour pork belly is beautifully flavored with a soy scallion juice and while pork belly itself is a lean piece of pork and so tender it falls apart with a touch of your fork, it still maintains all that richness and fatty goodness. Sticky ribs are a fall of the bone creation again slow cooked to create a tenderness with each bite but it is the spicy tamarind glaze that really makes each rib explode with flavor. Carpaccio, Morimoto does it three different ways and no one could fault you for going with the magnificent wagyu beef version, but I would step out on a ledge and try the whitefish or octopus versions as you are not going to come across these very often. Two of the other unique dishes to begin your meal with are the oyster foie gras and tuna pizza.

Pork Belly

Fresh fish is at the forefront of Morimoto and that freshness comes through in the entrees, sushi and sashimi. The crispy whole branzino is not only cooked to a flaky and succulent perfection, but much like the restaurant it is a work of art. Somehow the entire fish is served to you without a single bone in it. To watch how they pull that off would be amazing but you can simply stare in awe and then enjoy what is a large amount of fresh branzino. The choices are really endless when it comes to fish, there is the braised black cod that has a great ginger soy reduction, the fabulous ishi yaki buri bop, yellowtail on rice that is cooked at your table in a hot stone bowl and for those looking for a mixture try the seafood toban yaki which brings together lobster, king crab, mussels, clams along with a red miso sauce.

Whole Branzino

The selections for sushi and sashimi are some of the best you will find anywhere and there are two ways to go. The chef's combination, which you can order different size plates that will give you an assortment to try or share with the table. The other way to go is try some of these great fish that you might have not come across before such as; fluke, Japanese mackeral, fresh water eel, amberjack and Japanese red snapper, just to name a few. You literally could just pull a seat up to the sushi bar and stay occupied sampling different varities of sushi and sashimi and pairing them with sake and you would be more than content.

Wagyu Steak

The Teppan room shows off the cuts of beef from Snake River Farms, including the ribeye, New York Strip, the amazing 54 ounce Mishima prime tomahawk ribeye and finally the Japanese A-5 Wagyu. After seeing these cuts and then tasting them you are going to be too spoiled to enjoy any other steak. Even three ounces of the Wagyu just to share amongst the table is worth getting to enjoy this true delicacy.

The menu might be a little overwhelming, especially when it comes to trying to choose among all the sushi and sashimi choices. The staff at Morimoto makes it easy as they know the menu inside and out and make recommendations based on what you let them know and they always steer you in the right direction. It is tough to put bring all of these components together, but Morimoto brought every component together from the bar, to the staff to the flaming fiery salty caramel chocolate tarte, that is the only way to finish your evening off.

Nothing in life is perfect, but if you want a meal that you will walk away saying that is about as flawless as it gets, then Morimoto is the place to visit on your next trip to Las Vegas.

For more information and reservations, visit: Morimoto

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