Here’s the thing: sushi is everywhere. Literally. Close to a decade ago, it was a newfangled food trend crescendoing up the streets of New York and Los Angeles gaining the same ubiquity as Starbucks and, later, yoga studios. And unlike, say, pop-up burrito shops and, inevitably, Cronuts (challenge that statement, food forecasters – I dare you), that trend never really decrescendo-ed – partly because it’s easy to reproduce at take-out counters in grocery stores but mainly due to the fact that sushi is effing delicious. So when in Las Vegas, trust that Vegas instinct and go big, go wild, go for an unexpected combination at one of the city’s top sushi restaurants.
A number of spectacular, highly regarded Las Vegas restaurants are located in ordinary, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it strip malls: The Lotus of Siam, Aburiya Raku, and others. Kabuto is no different, serving succulent, inventive sashimi combinations that delight the eyes and surprise the palate out of their tiny 24-seater, minimalist eatery on W. Spring Mountain Rd. between Las Vegas and Spring Valley. Creations like their Black Tiger Shrimp Sushi, with avocado and wrapped in a thin slice of daikon, served with Kabuto chocolate sauce make the trip worth it. They’re not afraid to throw in mango with their abalone, or apple and mustard with their seared scallop, and they cater to an eager clientele unafraid to try out their splendid concoctions.
Speaking of restaurants located in strip malls, check out Hopper's article on how to eat like a local in Las Vegas
Upscale Las Vegas Strip dining turns into downhome backyard fusion with Sen of Japan by Hiro Nakano, the former head chef of NOBU in the Hard Rock Hotel. Caviar, foie gras, Kobe beef, black cod, filet mignon are not uncommon ingredients in their output, and neither is the sight of chocolate souffle with green tea ice cream. For a prix-fixe style spread of their best offerings, order the Omakase menu and await the series of surprises. For the full Hiro Nakano experience, do not even dare leaving without tasting the black cod.
For more fine dining experiences in Las Vegas, see Hopper's picks for Las Vegas' five best celebrity chef restaurants
Gotta stay on the Strip? Fancy a night of clubbing immediately after dinner, but also hankering for some Chinese five spice short ribs and maybe a side platter of sashimi? Despite the surprising match, they are both dishes that have been ranked highly. Would you prefer to dine under red glowing lights emanating from a massive ornamental Buddha? How about a plate of Hong Kong XO shrimp (ostensibly Chinese) served to you by a waitress in a kimono (ostensibly Japanese)? Truth: it’ll be fresh. It’ll be well-prepared. It’ll be expensive. The lavish club vibe and house music will absolutely be inescapable. And more than it’s Chinese, or Japanese, or Korean, it’ll be totally Vegas.
Before your excellent dinner, stop by Tao Beach to enjoy the party scene at one of Las Vegas' best pool parties
Nobu Matsuhisa has become a household name on the international culinary scene. With Nobu restaurants in almost every major city in the world, from Malibu to Milan, London to Los Angeles, this chain is the upscale go-to for sushi-lovers who don’t know where to go but know what they want, and are willing to pay a little bit more for it. Located in the Hard Rock Hotel, this two-star Michelin-rated restaurant provides a sumptuous setting for an always reliable sushi feast. Vibrant reds, oranges and greens splash the walls, and on the plate, a delicate and decadent presentation of unagi, abalone, saba, and whatever sea-dwelling creature might fit one’s fancy. Their Black Cod Miso is a long-time favorite and the chocolate crunch dessert is a classic end to a solid meal.
Afterward, hit up one of Las Vegas' top cocktail bars, according to Hopper, for an after-dinner nightcap
Edamame hummus with wonton chips; sashimi carpaccio, "premium tofu 3 ways" featuring white truffles, caviar & lemon oil, Tokyo scallions and sesame, filet mignon wrapped asparagus and other sumptuous fusion delights are just a few of the items on the docket at Roku. Japanophiles craving a little heaping of strange can get down on this impeccably designed upscale sushi joint nestled in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s. Grab your girls and get it.
Foodies will also want to check out Hopper's article on Las Vegas restaurants popular with local food bloggers