Dining Out with the Harrises
The Wait Is Over—Morimoto Opens at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas
Las Vegas has a well-deserved reputation as expecting the best in the world and exceeding expectations. This culinary mega city under the neon has brilliant culinary jewels in its crown of which no other city can boast. Recently, a very big jewel was added to the lineup: yet another Iron Chef, Morimoto.
Chef Morimoto Masaharu, or known more simply as Morimoto, has now opened his namesake venue in the renowned MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He is known for his unique style of presenting his dishes and locals and visitors have eagerly anticipated partaking of his flair and expertly prepared creations.
Our experience could only be described as spectacular. Morimoto invited us to dine at the Teppan Table as he and his world-class staff led off with what we can only describe as an epic afternoon. Morimoto explained, “I have always been inspired by the glamour of the city and wanted to create an experience for my guests. I have always wanted to come to Las Vegas.” This VIP experience was accented by MGM Grand President and COO Scott Sibella, who said, “We officially welcome Chef Morimoto to the MGM Grand. This addition to our culinary choices has certainly elevated our resort and Las Vegas.”
Our breath was taken away when we first walked into the venue. The décor is best described as chic modern but with unmistakable homage to his homeland of Japan. The walls are adorned with Japanese artwork from sculptures to paintings. The bar, decked out with a cherry blossom wall, will draw your eyes right into focus for that specialty cocktail or glass of wine.
After having a few specialty cocktails created by his renowned mixology team, we then joined Chef Morimoto at the Teppan Grill for what would become an experience that we will not forget anytime soon. Joking with his guests and demonstrating his incredible knife skills while explaining the first dish was a master class from an Iron Chef on multitasking. Our first gastronomic delight of smoked hamachi pastrami paired with smoked Morimoto junmai daiginjo sake set the tone in a most perfect way. It just kept getting better when Morimoto prepared a tasty toro tartare with six different condiments and yes, dashi soy to keep our palates wanting more.
Did we just see what could be A5? The Holy Grail may be right at hand. Morimoto certainly delivered and delivered in a very big way. Hand presented by the Iron Chef himself, Japanese A5 sukiyaki with a perfectly soft poached jadori chicken egg was the definitive answer to any gastronomic prayer. There are some things in this world that you can’t get enough of and the A5 grilled by Morimoto is one of those things. With eyes wide open and ready to see what was next, we watched as Morimoto prepared and plated another classic dish for us, Japanese A-5 wagyu beef skewers with fresh grated wasabi and chimichurri that melted in our mouth.
A gift from the sea finished off our main courses. Morimoto was right on task as always. His salmon and garlic fried rice with iceberg lettuce and scallion could not have been a better way to finish off this part of this gastronomic afternoon of Iron Chef fare and flair.
The final brush stroke of this work of art gave us a very sweet selection that we just had to indulge in. Morimoto’s dessert selections were a delightfully decadent finish to a most stunning meal: A visually sensational presentation featuring coconut mango, black forest, chilled soufflé cheesecake, fiery caramel tart, tofu mousse and doughnuts had us sampling them all with upmost awe and appreciation.
Looking over the menu, you can’t go wrong with anything here. However, you must try A5 beef sukiyaki, A5 wagyu beef, New York strip and of course A5 wagyu beef filet mignon and A5 wagyu beef rib eye. For non-beef options, free range organic chicken breast and the Colorado organic lamb chop are excellent as well.
Morimoto has many other options as the menu is diverse and of course perfectly prepared. A whole lobster masala, king salmon with fresh asparagus beurre blanc is a nice option as well as nicely seared snapper with Thai curry, mussels, banana and sea beans.
Morimoto Las Vegas offers a sushi bar, teppan tables and a main dining room to satisfy whatever mood you may be in. Open 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, Morimoto is a must-stop every time you are in Las Vegas. After all, dining with the crowned Iron Chef is a distinct possibility.