The Michelin-Starred Las Vegas Strip Speakeasy With A Year-Long Waitlist

As far as dining and drinking experiences go, even the best menu can be made better with a little intrigue and engagement. That explains the resurgence in the concept of speakeasies, which first got their start in the U.S. as purveyors of alcohol during the prohibition era. Secrecy was a crucial practical concern back then, as it was illegal to produce, sell, or transport alcohol due to prohibition laws. Now that alcohol is legal once again, the speakeasy concept has evolved into something quite different.

These days, contemporary speakeasies are not hidden away out of concern for breaking the law, but rather to create an air of exclusivity around these establishments. Only in-the-know patrons are aware of their locations and how to gain access. And when it comes to said environs, many speakeasies and hidden bars are actually located inside other restaurants. This is the case with a Las Vegas dining experience helmed by a world-class chef, which offers a little something extra to adventurous diners looking to expand their palates.

An unforgettable, secluded dining adventure

In 2022, Michelin-starred chef Tetsuya Wakuda wowed Las Vegas diners with his new restaurant Wakuda, which infuses cooking methods from France with a Japanese culinary approach. The glitzy establishment is located inside The Palazzo at The Venetian Resort. In addition to the expansive menu featuring delights including imported Tasmanian wasabi and other bank-breaking ingredients like Omi beef, the interior design of the restaurant is also intended to be awe-inspiring. Every accent and feature is meticulously selected to create a sense of vibrancy and energy, from the 30-foot-high entryway to artwork from famed Japanese artist Shohei Otomo, who uses ballpoint pens to create lively, stunning pieces.

In addition to the main dining area, guests can also experience Wakuda's omakase room. Omakase is a dining concept that allows the chef to specially select ingredients based on seasonal availability and optimal flavor pairings, and Wakuda's version can be found at the end of an unassuming hallway, obscured behind a steel door. For $500 per person, guests are privy to carefully considered menu selections like sashimi and wagyu beef, as well as a made-to-order cocktail tasting. However, Wakuda's omakase room is a highly prized experience, with a waiting list consisting of thousands of eager diners. That means there's plenty of time to prepare for Wakuda's hidden omakase room and all that it entails in order to ensure absolute enjoyment.

How to have an amazing omakase experience

The appeal of omakase is hard to deny, especially for lovers of fine cuisine. However, the experience can be a little intimidating for the uninitiated. In this case, there are a few key points to keep in mind to ensure you get the most out of the dinner. First and foremost, don't be afraid to converse with the chef and ask questions. Because the menu is custom-tailored to the diner's specific tastes and palate, you can usually expect plenty of communication with the chef. The more involved you are, the more enjoyable the experience will likely be.

Also, don't expect to love every single dish you receive. While you should be open-minded and receptive to eating ingredients you've never tasted before, you may encounter some flavors that you're not entirely sold on. It's best to just be honest — but respectful — when discussing the items you've been presented with. Finally, give yourself plenty of time to enjoy all the dishes. Many omakase experiences last at least two hours, which ensures diners have the opportunity to savor every bite. At Wakuda, the omakase might take as long as three hours.