Other Mama—Small Plate Creativity Galore

Situated in a non-descript strip mall at Durango and Twain, Other Mama has been procuring rave reviews since it opened in March, 2015, and has garnered an impressive number of accolades including Best Restaurant Off Strip Vegas Seven and Desert Companion; Best Dream Come True Las Vegas Weekly “Best of Las Vegas 2016”; Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year Eating Las Vegas; and Best Restaurant Cocktails Vegas Seven “Best of the City 2016”.

One of the prime reasons for Other Mama’s early success is Executive Chef/Owner Dan Krohmer, a Placerville, CA transplant who spent nearly two years in remote Kumamoto, Japan learning the disciplines of sushi and kaiseki on the job. Other valuable on-the-job experiences included working for farm-to-table restaurants, where he furthered his appreciation for quality ingredients and simple preparation; spending time at Morimoto, Philadelphia as sous chef, executive sous and sushi chef; working for a catering company serving musicians on tour with musical acts including Taylor Swift, Neil Young, Jay Z, Godsmack and Metallica; and in Las Vegas, working alongside the legendary Michelin-starred Takeshi Omae.

Chef Dan says he named his restaurant in honor of his great grandmother, who raised his dad. Inside the restaurant you’ll find a cozy atmosphere with bright blues and reds peppering the space, a hand-painted wall mural, an open kitchen and wood tables and chairs. Also prominent is a blackboard listing daily sashimi choices, daily specials and where the seafood which is procured daily was sourced from. In fact, the seafood is so fresh that some of it, such as the scallops and lobsters, arrive live and are kept in a tank until the day they are served.

In this reporter’s opinion, the best seats in the house are at the raw bar, where you have a bird’s eye view of chef’s handiwork, but also where you can see Lead Mixologist David English in action. David’s honors include the Cocktail of the Month award from Desert Companion, Best Bartender Award from Eater Las Vegas and most recently the Nevada Restaurant Association bestowed on him the Bartender of the Year honor. David’s unique and bold cocktail creations, some of which change seasonally, are all named for women, such as the Geraldine made with bourbon, grilled pineapple, house cherries, burlesque bitters and togarashi; and the Ingrid comprised of vodka, Triple Sec, huckleberry balsamic shrub and cava.

Beer fans, like myself, will appreciate Other Mama’s beer list—that is way better than most eateries—with 21 brews, most of which are unique, rare beers not found elsewhere, including Evil Twin Wet Dream Brown Ale with coffee, Bruery Terreux Rueuze a sour Belgian-style Gueuze and the tart Stillwater Tropic Punch. Those that like sake with their sushi are covered, with nearly a dozen choices with the likes of Rihaku Wandering Poet, or you can go with a flight of three 2-oz pours of house choice sakes.

The focus of the menu is Japanese-influenced small plates, fresh oysters and sashimi. Chef Dan says he likes to surprise people who may have never seen a white sushi chef, but other surprises await in unusual combinations you may not have seen anywhere else. Take for example, Oyster Rockefeller with foie gras and creamed spinach; French Toast topped with caviar; Tostada with live ME lobster, habanero aioli, cherry tomato, avocado and cabbage on a homemade tostada; and Ceviche of octopus, shrimp, white fish and habanero with house-made sweet potato chips.

Desserts change nightly, and during our visit we enjoyed the chocolate walnut brownie with candied orange and house-made rummed cherries, but there is always house-made ice cream in flavors such as Nutella and miso honey.

The prices, which fall within a range of $9-$21, are quite reasonable, especially considering the quality of a restaurant that has already collected such a wide array of honors in its first year and a half of existence. For the ultimate experience of Other Mama, I suggest the seven-course Chef’s Tasting Menu, available every Friday and Saturday evening in limited numbers for $75 reservations must be made in advance by calling 702-463-8382, in which you will get a true sampling of Chef Dan’s mastery of fresh, seasonal, sustainable seafood. Tell them I sent you. You’re welcome.

3655 S Durango Dr #6

Open 5-11 daily