Las Vegas’ best Japanese restaurants feature wonderfully fresh seafood that arrives in town just as many visitors do: on an airplane. Some of the world's top sushi chefs now call Las Vegas home, thanks to the fresh fish that's flown in on a regular basis. Some of the world's best sushi restaurants are finding their way to Las Vegas, including celebrity-favorite Nobu, which has its largest and most innovative restaurant inside Caesars Palace.
While the seafood at these restaurants may be extraordinary, their dishes don’t stop at the sushi. Las Vegas is home to some of the world's top teppanyaki restaurants, including two Benihana locations. The skilled chefs are entertaining and talented, impressing diners with that fancy knife work while creating delicious food.
Several local Japanese restaurants provide guests with authentic experiences, like Raku, the notable eatery in Chinatown that attracted the attention of Anthony Bourdain when he filmed in Las Vegas. Chinatown is located just west of the Strip and includes restaurants serving all types of Asian food and is earning a reputation as a destination for foodies.
Many of the Strip’s Japanese restaurants are designed to be as visually stunning as the food, featuring elegant interiors with waterfalls, gardens and other beautiful backdrops. A meal at one of these restaurants is an experience you won’t forget.
Here's a look at 10 Japanese restaurants in Las Vegas that are sure to please palates of all types.
Yonaka Modern Japanese
Since its opening in 2013, Yonaka Modern Japanese has steadily gained attention for its innovative dishes. Yonaka serves their dinner dishes tapas style, using traditional Japanese ingredients incorporated with international flavors and inspirations. The emphasis is on high quality, with most seafood being flown in from Japan. The distinctively different style at Yonaka is seen in dishes like the Buta Shisito appetizer, with Shishito pepper, house-made bacon, Thai basil and peanut. For lunch, Yonaka takes its inspiration from a wide variety of favorites, offering a menu with sushi and sashimi, but also serving dishes like the Yonaka Burger topped with gruyere, roasted tomato, caramelized onion, miso walnut bacon, cilantro kale roasted jalapeno pesto on a house-made brioche bun. The menu here is sure to keep guests busy trying to decide which dishes to have. (702-685-8358)
The charismatic chefs at Benihana do hibachi, and they do it well. This Japanese-style steakhouse is the type of place tourists flock to, and for good reason. The food, prepared on teppans (griddles) right in front of diners, ranges from seasoned steaks to spicy shrimp to flavorful chicken, with a handful of hot vegetables and pillow of steamed rice thrown in for good measure. Nearly as good as the food is the show that the chefs put on, whether it's their own stirring rendition of "Happy Birthday" or a wild game of "catch the shrimp." A plant-lined stream flows through the seating area, giving the place a touch of the exotic. (702-732-5755, 702-732-5821)
Osaka Japanese Bistro
Recognized as far abroad as Japan for the quality of its cuisine, family-owned Osaka has been serving local folks since 1967. The quality of the food at Osaka is the reason the restaurant consistently wins the local paper's reader's choice award as one of the best Japanese restaurants. Within the restaurant are three venues: a sushi bar, tatami rooms, and a teppanyaki grill. Choose your section, and then sit down to exotic maki and nigiri, or enjoy chicken or steak from the set-price teppan menu. Always popular, the restaurant attracts families and couples alike, and it makes for a terrific late-night destination too. (702-876-4988, 702-480-5155)
With its striking Strip views and sumptuous sushi selections, it's no wonder sushi fanatics love Sushi Roku. One bite and it's easy to see why Sushi Roku has such a devoted following. Executive Sushi Chef Haruhiko Takeshita selects only the best and freshest fish on a daily basis and presents his special dishes with a secret ingredient brought over from his family-owned Japanese restaurant in Gunma, Japan. Must-tries include the Yellowtail Sashimi with diced chilies and the Makoto Roll--spicy yellowtail and shrimp tempura wrapped with seared tuna and served with a spicy creamy sauce. The servers at Sushi Roku are well trained on how to create a customized tasting menu based on guests' preferences, so if you're feeling adventurous, feel free to leave the menu in your server's hands. (702-733-7373)
Sen of Japan
Winning rave reviews from diners and critics, Sen of Japan is a local favorite that visitors are starting to discover. The finely prepared food is served in tasteful but comfortable surroundings, and its off-the-Strip location helps keep the prices reasonable, although not cheap. The former head chef at Nobu at the Hard Rock opened Sen of Japan, and his expertise is obvious in the delicious food. Cold and warm appetizers; sushi and sashimi; grilled, braised, and fried dishes; and tempura give diners a wide selection satisfying options. Sen of Japan may be a little out of the way, but once you arrive you'll be glad you made the drive. (702-871-7781)
One of the Strip's most striking restaurants, Mizumi offers guests a taste of "new Japan" courtesy of rising star chef Devin Hashimoto. In addition to sushi and sashimi selections, classic entrees, robatayaki selections prepared over authentic Japanese charcoal grills and teppanyaki offerings, Chef Hashimoto pays homage to his Japanese heritage with unique creations like the Baked Sweet Miso-Marinated Black Cod with cherry blossom pickled baby vegetables, or the Jidori Chicken and Black Truffle Teriyaki with baby corn, yellow wax means, squash and maitake mushrooms. While the menu is sure to delight taste buds, Mizumi's atmosphere is truly magnificent. Whether seated in the main dining room or the theatrical teppanyaki room, there are unimpeded views of a captivating Japanese eco-garden designed to transport guests from the desert to the Far East. (702-770-3320)
Raku in Las Vegas' Chinatown attracts chefs from all over the city. It's a popular foodie destination, having been on its fair share of travel and food shows. Some of the menu's stars include pork ear, pork cheek and homemade tofu. Diners will find specialties usually only available in Japan. The food here attracts the most dedicated food lovers with its wide menu of delights, like Steamed Foi Gras Egg Custard, or Kobe beef in several preparations. This Japanese restaurant has expanded, but it's still a small place, so reservations are a must. Plan on a short cab ride from the Strip. (702-367-3511)
At Kabuto, the speciality is Edomae Sushi, prepared traditionally. This style of sushi originated in the Tokyo area as street food nearly 200 years ago, and has evolved into a refined experience. Small pieces of raw or marinated fish are applied to bite size pieces of vinegar rice, and is more commonly known as nigiri. These masterpieces of fresh fish are designed to be eaten as soon as the sushi master makes it. Kabuto's menus includes three types of Omakase courses and a brief a la carte menu that includes an appetizer, sashimi, miso soup, and dessert. Kabuto's Chinatown location is just west of the Strip, and well worth the short drive. (702-676-1044)
Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi worked with design leader Philippe Starck to create Katsuya at the SLS Las Vegas. This beautiful space is a feast for the senses and is a perfect complement to the artful and delicious Japanese dishes. Chef Uechi masterfully translates Japanese flavors for the American palate. Guests can enjoy unique rolls and spectacular sushi and sashimi platters, specialty cocktails like the Watermelon Cucumber Mojito, and Wagyu beef and seafood dishes. Other featured dishes include the Lobster & Truffle "Chawan-mushi," Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Wagyu Fried Rice. The superb food at Katsuya has been drawing attention from critics and foodies since its opening, and has earned a loyal following. (702.761.7611, (702) 761-7000)
Nobu Restaurant and Lounge
The new Nobu at Caesars Palace is Chef Nobu Matsuhisa's largest and most innovative restaurant to date. With more than 325 seats, the restaurant offers a sophisticated yet whimsical experience and features a sushi bar, exclusive private dining area and an impressive selection of dishes including Nobu's signature items such as the Rock Shrimp Tempura and Yellowtail Sashimi with jalapeno and squid "pasta." It also features three teppanyaki tables--a first for Chef Nobu's U.S. restaurants--along with the Las Vegas debut of brick-oven dishes. Guests can experience the essence of Chef Nobu's cuisine with a multi-course Omakase menu spotlighting either Nobu signature items or the chef's daily creations. (702-785-6628)
About Terrisa Meeks
Terrisa Meeks is a native born, life-long resident of Las Vegas. She became a traveler long before she could walk. Terrisa has traveled throughout the United States, from Maine to Hawaii, but she especially enjoys exploring the Southwestern United States.
Las Vegas is a place she's watched grow and change. While she always enjoys visiting the Strip, Terrisa's true passion is for exploring the lightly-visited Mojave Desert. She gets giddy over hard-to-find back roads, quirky museums, and ghost towns. Her happiest travel moments involve vast expanses of wilderness and a good map.
Read more about Terrisa Meeks here.
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