Zuma at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas features modern Japanese cuisine and world-class cocktails, all served in a sophisticated yet comfortable environment. The inspiration here is the informal izakaya dining style, which is something like a Japanese pub or a tavern. The food is served in a shareable, tapas-style way. The idea is to serve Japanese cuisine that is authentic, but not traditional. Dishes are available from a sushi counter, main kitchen and a robata grill. Sushi and sashimi includes rolls and specialties, while Zuma's signature dishes include things like a rice hot pot with mushrooms and vegetables, oven roasted chicken and rib eye steak. The robata grill offers pork belly, king crab, lamb and Wagyu beef, among other choices.
Recommended for Japanese because: Zuma's sleek, stylish interior design and menu of memorable modern Japanese dishes win rave reviews from diners and critics.
Terrisa's expert tip: Be sure to explore beyond the sushi menu--while Zuma's fish and seafood are impressively fresh, the beef, pork and vegetable dishes are also too delicious to miss.
Located west of the Strip in Chinatown, Monta Ramen has a devoted following for its distinctive types of ramen. In addition to Shoyu Ramen, which comes with a chicken or vegetable-based broth, Monta serves "Kurume" style Tonkotsu ramen with a broth made from pork bones and imported soy sauce from Japan. This style of ramen is distinguished by its rich pork broth and thin noodles. Miso Ramen, a heartier soup, is prepared with miso and oily pork broth. Basic toppings are green onions, chashu, bamboo shoots and kikurage, and special toppings include roasted pork, nori, nitamago and mustard leaf. Other dishes include fried rice and rice bowls.
Recommended for Japanese because: Monta Ramen offers guests a truly authentic Japanese ramen, with deeply flavored broth and straight noodles--as well as other delicious dishes.
Terrisa's expert tip: Monta Ramen offers not only some of Las Vegas' best ramen, it's also one of the city's best food deals. Ramen selections are all under $10.
Recognized as far abroad as Japan for the quality of its cuisine, family-owned Osaka has been serving local folks since the late 1960s. 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. Osaka strives to offer authentic Japanese fare and currently has exotics usually found only in Japan, such as aoyagi (live surf clams), awabi (live abalone) and sayori (halfbeak). Always popular, the restaurant attracts families and couples alike, and it makes for a terrific late-night destination too.
Recommended for Japanese because: Osaka has been a Las Vegas favorite for decades, with classic Japanese dishes and fresh seafood.
Terrisa's expert tip: The lunch menu offers some great deals, like the lunch special rolls, which are four pieces--none are over $10 and several are $5 or less.
Kabuki's small chain of restaurants includes a location in Las Vegas. Their casual, welcoming dining room is family friendly and their menu offers a nice range of Japanese dishes, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. Kabuki is located at the Town Square shopping center on Las Vegas Boulevard, to the south of the main Strip area. The menu includes small plates like edamame, fried tofu, grilled pork belly, soft shell crab and broiled mussels. Sushi and sashimi come in one to five piece plates. Specialty rolls include the Vegas Roll, with cream cheese, salmon, avocado and imitation crab, all deep fried. Guests will also find a selection of teriyaki dishes, tempura and seafood.
Recommended for Japanese because: Kabuki offers guests an accessible menu of Japanese food with a good selection of familiar dishes.
Terrisa's expert tip: Guests can order Kabuki to go or for pickup, and you can place the order online with the restaurant. If you don't feel like going out, you can have it delivered through any of the major food delivery services.
Winning rave reviews from diners and critics, Sen of Japan is a local favorite that visitors have started to discover. The expertly 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 of Nobu at the Hard Rock, Nakano Hiromi, opened Sen of Japan, and his expertise is obvious in the delectable 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.
Recommended for Japanese because: Located off the Strip, Sen of Japan is one of Las Vegas' most notable hidden gems.
Terrisa's expert tip: Sen of Japan offers a late night Happy Hour, Monday through Saturday, from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., when guests can enjoy discounts on food and drinks.
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 Japanese cuisine 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.
Recommended for Japanese because: Mizumi's captivating decor is the perfect backdrop for its award-winning Japanese food.
Terrisa's expert tip: Mizumi is almost as well-known for its striking design as it is for its food. Diners should definitely take some time to appreciate the restaurant's view of the Japanese gardens, waterfall and koi pond.
Raku Japanese Charcoal Grill in Las Vegas' Chinatown attracts chefs from all over. 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, Iberico pork and homemade tofu. Look for an impressive attention to details at Raku, like the five types of soy sauce or the monthly sake sampler featuring three selections from Japan. Diners will find specialties here that are 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.
Recommended for Japanese because: Raku has earned a stellar reputation as one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas.
Terrisa's expert tip: While Raku Grill offers some dessert selections, you'll want to head over to nearby Sweets Raku, located in the same plaza, for serious sweet treats.
At its location off the Strip in Las Vegas' Chinatown, Kabuto's 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, a dish more commonly known as nigiri. These masterpieces of fresh fish are designed to be eaten as soon as the sushi master makes it. Since the specialty at Kabuto is nigiri and sashimi style sushi, you won't find sushi rolls like maki or hako. 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 is just west of the Strip and offers two seatings per night at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Recommended for Japanese because: Kabuto serves traditional Edomae Sushi in an intimate setting where diners can enjoy finely crafted sushi freshly prepared by the chef.
Terrisa's expert tip: Reservations are highly recommended at Kabuto and can be made up to two months in advance. The limited seating for their two nightly seatings fills up quickly.
Chef Masaharu Morimoto gained recognition as one of the stars of "Iron Chef" and "Iron Chef America," an accomplishment that was the result both of the quality of his food as well as his striking stage presence. Now with a Las Vegas restaurant open, fans of the chef and his acclaimed food have another place to enjoy his creations. Morimoto Las Vegas includes a cocktail lounge, sushi bar, main dining room and a teppan grill. Tuna pizza, oyster foie gras and braised black cod are some of the menu's featured items. The beautiful, peaceful design features exotic photographs and provides a comfortable, inviting atmosphere for guests to savor their meal.
Recommended for Japanese because: Chef Morimoto is known to many from "Iron Chef," and his Las Vegas restaurant gives guests the chance to sample his expertly prepared food.
Terrisa's expert tip: Morimoto is conveniently located not far from MGM's front desk and main entrance, putting it closer to the front of the hotel than to the Grand Garden arena.
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, like 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.
Recommended for Japanese because: Nobu at Caesars Palace offers guests the best of Japanese fare, with high-quality dishes from sushi to teppanyaki.
Terrisa's expert tip: Nobu carries a selection of rare sakes imported from Japan, one of which is a hand-made with a slow-drip process. Japanese craft beers and whisky are also offered.