Michael Movestro goes Upscale at Morimoto Las Vegas…
You know me. I’m a burger guy; I’m a steak guy. I look for meals under $20. Why on earth would I decide to go to a fancy place like Morimoto Las Vegas? Well, it all started when I was listening to the 360 Vegas Podcast when Keren (the estrogenic balance of the program) would talk with excitement about the future opening of Masaharu Morimoto’s new restaurant “Morimoto.” Keren enjoys upscale dining, and she would go on about how amazing Morimoto’s food must be. She would talk of him like an old flame who had the uncanny ability to bring someone to orgasm by the taste of his meals.
I got an email from one of our readers, Jdubya, who asked if one of us would be going to Morimoto for a review. I sent him a link from someone else’s review as I just assumed I wouldn’t go while I was in town. Although when I arrived in Vegas, I seriously started to reconsider. On Saturday night I was chillin’ on the South Strip when I thought to myself, you know…maybe I’ll just grab a picture of the outside for a tweet. When I got to MGM, they were kinda making a big deal about the new restaurant.
I followed directions, “go past the High Limit area, face the KA Theater, make a right, keep walking.” And, when I got there I could smell it. Then I figured..well..maybe I’ll see if I can grab a seat at the bar. The hostess walked me in. I was seated at the Sushi bar. I liked the atmosphere of the place. The music was a “very mild oontz” at a comfortable listening level.
Afer browsing the expansive drink menu, and it was quite expansive (and expensive) at that. It seemed the drink menu had more pages than the food menu. There were many different varieties of beer, sake, and wines to choose from. Also, they have their own crafted set of brews. My waiter, Jeff, came back and suggested an original brew of theirs, Morimoto Soba Ale, saying “it goes great with sushi and sashimi.” I told him “Good call; I was thinking of getting the Morimoto Sashimi.”
When my plate arrived, I was intimidated. I had always seen things like this in fancy schmancy magazines and TV shows. I had no idea what to do and where to begin.
My waiter told me “There’s no wrong way or right way to eat it” (I’m sure he was just being nice) and explained the different sauces. Yes there are sauces, right here:
One was fruity, one was hot, one was kinda meh, and I don’t recall which was which. I liked the black one, and the red one, and that orange one too. Do I sound like a sophisticated food journalist? No? Correct!
I figured out the sauces and how to “drizzle” them across the plate. Mo drizzle fo shizzle and whatnot.
The Morimoto Sashimi was…well… “delicious” just doesn’t cover it. It was exquisite. It was melt-in-your-mouth while you melt-in-your-seat exquisite. My eyes would close, and I would grin as I chewed. My voice wanted to speak, and all that came out was “Mmmmm—MMMMM–Mmmmm!”— exquisite. The Morimoto Soba Ale went perfectly with the Sashimi as it has a very slight fruit taste that doesn’t overwhelm the beer or the dish but accents the meal in just the right way that you don’t feel the taste of your food is compromised.
When I was done with my Sashimi, I felt like trying another appetizer (the Sashimi was an appetizer, btw). I was torn between the Yellowtail Pastrami or the Kakuni.
I went with the Kakuni.
Although its appearance from afar beckoned to my memory a time when my dog took a hairy dump in the snow, I immediately dismissed the thought. This 10-hour Pork Belly was beyond my expectations. Cooked just right, and pleasant to the tongue, the flavors produced in each bite had me–once again–closing my eyes and grinning, and I may have done a little dance. I was happy with my choice of adding this hot appetizer to my list to go along with the cold and exquisite Morimoto Sashimi.
After my tummy was content, I signaled Jeff for the check.
Keep in mind; I had two appetizers; I didn’t have an entree. Two appetizers and a beer ran me about 65 bucks before the tip. I don’t usually splurge on food–like I said–I’m a burger kinda guy. But, this experience at Morimoto Las Vegas left me questioning if maybe a higher scale of dining should be in my future again. And, it will be. Next time, I am going back for the Yellowtail Pastrami.
[Photos: Michael Movestro]