September 23, 1999
Hard Rock Hotel
4455 Paradise Rd.
Las Vegas, NV
I'm not sure that Peruvian-Japanese food is an easy sell even in Peru or Japan, but we've got in Vegas and boy is it a treat for the senses, I'm talking about NOBU of course; the somewhat confusing fusion restaurant in the Hard Rock Hotel. I say confusing only because the cuisine at Nobu is best described as Japanese-Fusion-Peruvian, which is quite a mouthful, but then again so is the food. The genius behind the food is Nobu Matsuhisa, celebrity chef extraordinaire and probably the best known Japanese chef in the western world, his flagship, Matsuhisa, has been the toughest table in the Los Angeles for years, and the New York Nobu was proclaimed the best sushi restaurant in town almost from the day it open, so let's give credit where it is due. My main man Matsuhisa is the number one Nobu on both coasts and in London as well. He may not be manning the stoves or the sushi bar most nights, but his renditions of Japanese and South American food will startle you with their ingenuity. The genius combines lots of vegetables with unpronounceable names of some of our freshest fish to compose tasting menus or omakase--that astonish with fearless originality--start with Matsuhisa's new style sashimi, like sparkling fresh Pacific snapper barely cooked by sizzling olive and sesame oils, then artfully displayed in a citrusy soy yuzu sauce or a sweet miso glazed black cod, and you will taste how Nobu deliciously defies all the cliches of Japanese food. Boston scallops, that tasted off-the-boat fresh, are dotted with cilantro and chili paste along with the off-beat soft-shell crab sushi rolls and are two more deceptively simple dishes that demonstrate why Nobu is on top of the restaurant world. Simply put, you won't find fresher, healthier or more interesting food anywhere, and for goodness sake, dont forget the raspberry infused sake. Domo arrigato Nobu Matsuhisa.
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