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STRIPLVDINING - NOBU by Vegas Food Nerd

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If there is one accurate word to describe the dining scene in our fine city, it would have to be:  NEW!  

Brand new cuisine, hot new chefs, and trendy restaurants are springing up around the Valley, faster than Elvis could gobble up a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  As a food lover to the max, trying new places is always enticing, but the classics that help to pioneer our new gastronomical scene are truly worth visiting again and again.  Without these “now” Mega Chefs, our city would be stuck in the never-ending cycle of $ .99 shrimp cocktails, and steak and egg specials.   

So with all the new sushi spots popping up here and there, I command you to experience at least one meal at the classic haunt, Nobu, before you try any of the others.  I command you, and so does Chef Matsuhisa, and his longtime partner legendary film actor, Robert De Niro.  Nobu is about to become new again with the planned opening of its new restaurant and tower at Caesars Palace this fall.   At 11,200 square-feet, and with 327 seats, Nobu Caesar’s Palace will be the restaurant’s largest branch to date.  The new outpost will specialize in new Japanese cuisine, and will offer several Teppanyaki tables, a sushi bar, and private dining with a large lounge and bar.

So before the mega new Nobu graces our city, head back to the soon to be cozy version of Nobu at the Hard Rock Hotel and enjoy all it has to offer.  Go in with an adventurous attitude and enjoy some of their signature dishes.  Nobu recommends you start with a few cold dishes, move onto some hot dishes, and then end with some sushi or sashimi.   

At a recent visit, we enjoyed some unique and unforgettable flavors that I highly recommend trying.  First we started with the Toro, and Salmon Tartare.  You are served a round portion of each, both sitting in a pool of wasabi sauce and topped with caviar.  The flavors blended and melted on your tongue – just incredible.  On the side, be sure to try the Yamamomo (a Japanese mountain berry), which is meant to cleanse the palate.  Next came the yellow tail sashimi with jalapeno and citrus ponzu sauce.  Delicate and buttery with a slight spicy tangy kick, this was devoured by the entire table with happy grinning faces.

On to a few hot dishes, first up:  the dish that launched Nobu to fame – the not to be missed – black cod with miso.  Glazed with mirin, sake, and miso on the outside, and a sweet creamy inside, this dish is worthy of all the hype bestowed upon it.  It is garnished with a hajikami (pickled ginger shoot).  Then a dish suggested by our waiter was next up on the table:  seared scallops with a delicate butter sauce served atop sautéed brussel sprout leaves.   The scallops were tender and flavorful, but the brussel sprouts were the true start of this dish, and not one leaf remained.  Then a seasonal special of tempura-fried soft shell crab in a sweet chili sauce was presented to us.  Its freshness was unbeatable and the tempura crust blended perfectly with the crab.  Usually, not a fan of the soft-shelled little guys, I loved this dish and the chili sauce was a perfect fit to swirl the legs in and enjoy.  We also tried the soft shell crab sushi along with this dish.  While good in its own right, it didn’t compare – I felt the rice in the roll overwhelmed the subtle flavor of the crab.

Then in Nobu fashion, we had one more dish of the cold variety:  sweet shrimp sashimi.  I didn’t realize when the dish was ordered, that the sashimi comes with a very special accompaniment, tempura fried shrimp heads.  A bit of a surprise, but I said to be adventurous, right?  The sashimi was sweet and delicate with just the right amount of tenderness.  The heads?  They were amazingly tasty – crispy, briny goodness.  And finally, no meal at Nobu is complete without their decadent warm chocolate fondant cake in a bento box with a scoop of green tea ice cream.  It’s everything it sounds like.  So before you head to the “latest”, don’t forget to try one of the greatest.  Nobu is worth visiting again, and again.   

VegasFoodNerd.com

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