Elaine and Scott Harris
Elaine and Scott Harris
Las Vegas has a well-deserved reputation of exceeding expectations. This culinary mega city under the neon has brilliant culinary jewels in its crown of which no other city can boast. Recently, a very big jewel was added to the lineup; yet another from Iron Chef Morimoto.
Chef Morimoto Masaharu, or known just as Morimoto, has now opened a namesake venue in the renowned MGM Grand. He is known for his unique style of presenting dishes, and locals and visitors have eagerly anticipated partaking in his expertly prepared creations.
Our experience could only be described as spectacular. Morimoto invited us to dine at the Teppan table as he and his world-class staff led an epic afternoon. Morimoto explained, “I have always been inspired by the glamour of the city and wanted to create an experience for my guests. I have always wanted to come to Las Vegas.” This VIP experience was accented by MGM Grand president and COO Scott Sibella. “We officially welcome chef Morimoto to the MGM Grand. This addition to our culinary choices has certainly elevated our resort and Las Vegas,” he said.
Walking into the venue took our breath away. The décor is chic-modern but with unmistakable homage to his homeland of Japan. Japanese artwork, from sculptures to paintings, adorn the walls. The bar, backed by a cherry blossom wall, drew our eyes right into focus for that specialty cocktail or glass of wine.
After a few specialty cocktails created by his renowned mixology team, we then joined Morimoto at the Teppan Grill for an experience we will not forget anytime soon. Joking with his guests and demonstrating his incredible knife skills while explaining the first dish was a master class from an Iron Chef on multitasking. Our first gastronomic delight of smoked hamachi pastrami paired with smoked Morimoto junmai daiginjo sake set the tone in a most perfect way. It just kept getting better when Morimoto prepared a tasty toro tartare with six different condiments and dashi soy to keep our palates wanting more.
Did we just see what could be A5-grade wagyu beef? The Holy Grail may be right at hand. Morimoto certainly delivered in a very big way. Hand presented by the Iron Chef himself, Japanese A5 sukiyaki with a perfectly soft-poached jadori chicken egg was the definitive answer to any gastronomic prayer. There are some things in this world that you can’t get enough of, and the A5 grilled by Morimoto is definitely one of them. With eyes wide open and ready to see what was next, we watched as Morimoto prepared and plated another classic dish for us, Japanese A5 wagyu beef skewers with fresh grated wasabi and chimichurri that melted in our mouth.
A gift from the sea finished off our main courses. Morimoto was right on task as always. His salmon and garlic fried rice with iceberg lettuce and scallion could not have been a better way to finish off this part of this gastronomic afternoon of Iron Chef fare and flair. The final brush stroke on this work of art gave us a very sweet selection that we just had to indulge. Morimoto’s desserts were a delightfully decadent finish to a stunning meal. A visually sensational presentation featuring coconut mango, Black Forest, chilled soufflé cheesecake, fiery caramel tart, tofu mousse, and doughnuts had us sampling them all with upmost awe and appreciation.
Looking over the menu, you can’t go wrong with anything here. However, you must try A5 wagyu selections: the sukiyaki, the filet mignon, and the rib-eye. For non-beef options, the free-range organic chicken breast and the Colorado organic lamb chop are excellent as well.
Morimoto has many other options as the menu is diverse and, of course, perfectly prepared. A whole lobster masala or the king salmon with fresh asparagus beurre blanc is a nice option as well as nicely seared snapper with Thai curry, mussels, banana, and sea beans.
Morimoto Las Vegas offers a sushi bar, Teppan tables and a main dining room to satisfy whatever mood you may be in. Open 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, Morimoto is a must-stop every time you are in Las Vegas. After all, dining with the crowned Iron Chef is a distinct possibility.