Friday Food: Morimoto Las Vegas

While in Vegas last week, I had the pleasure of dining at the newly opened Morimoto Las Vegas in the MGM Grand. I’ve had the opportunity to dine at Morimoto in New York on several occasions, and I was always blown away by the inventiveness of the dishes and the bold flavors. When the Tampa CVB invited me to join them at Morimoto LV, I couldn’t say no! Like it’s NYC sister, the ambience is modern and trendy. It has some sleek elements, though far less than the Chelsea Meatpacking District location. The vibe is much much more Vegas, contemporary but more large group friendly. 

The addition of this restaurant really ups the scale of the MGM Grand, which for years has felt far less “grand” than other Vegas properties like the Cosmo or Venetian/Palazzo. I was really impressed with the work MGM had done, and like its National Harbor property, it is really giving off luxury feels again. (We also learned in one of our sessions that MGM is making a concerted effort towards wellness, both in air quality and lighting). Very impressive! 

 

As a group, menu selections can be a challenge. We decided to order a large group of dishes and mostly dined family style. Our server was excellent and made some recommendations for us that we gladly took. While we were eating, we noticed a man walk in, and begin chatting with the staff. After nudging each other, and (creeping) looking closer, we realized that it was Iron Chef Morimoto himself! It was tremendously exciting. After our meal, we were able to catch his eye and beckon him over. He obliged us, and came and chatted for a few. He was incredibly nice, and it was definitely a moment we’ll all remember!

 

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These are the spicy tuna tacos. I could not partake (pepper allergy rears its ugly head), but they looked stunning and everyone was raving about them.

 

 

 

Beef Carpaccio. Similar sentiments.

 

 

 

These beautifully glazed spare ribs were equally impressive. We weren’t confident about the glaze regarding my allergy, so I took a small piece of meat from inside, without the sauce. Wow. Perfectly cooked, and the meat was wonderful.

 

 

 

 

This was chicken and rice cooked in a hot stone bowl. I believe it’s the Ishi Yaki Bop. They prepared it for us table side, and the presentation was beautiful. I tried a little of this, and it was wonderful. I remember having a similar dish when Shannon and I were in San Francisco last year, and this was not even comparable. Lightyears beyond any other dish with the same name.

 

 

 

 

 

You cannot go to Morimoto and not get sushi. I highly recommend ordering the chef’s choice, and delight in what he sends you. The salmon and eel were particularly fresh. I always like to get sushi in Vegas (they are so particular about getting the fish fresh because they are a desert town, the sushi is always a cut above normal, but this was truly exceptional).

 

 

 

 

Stacy ordered the Udon, and I can’t say that i’ve ever seen it presented more beautifully.

 

 

 

 

I ordered a side dish of duck fried rice and was blown away. The wok that created this was clearly well seasoned, and each grain of rice was packed with flavor. Everyone kept commenting on how delicious it was. Who knew such a simple dish could be such a highlight of the meal!

 

 

I can’t resist a California roll on the west coast. Real crab cali rolls are just so much better than the imitations!

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much to the staff of Morimoto for a wonderful service and excellent meal! We were also so thankful to Chef Morimoto for being so kind as to honor humor us with a conversation and photo. When next you are in Las Vegas, be sure to check out this fabulous restaurant!

 

 

 

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