Okada’s new chef exploring dimensions of Wynn classic

Like most restaurants at Wynn, Okada has a dramatic design, in this case a sweeping suite of rooms framed by a bucolic pond and garden with the best tables facing a bucolic waterfall. This is truly Japanese reverence to nature, and that includes new chef Devin Hashimoto and his rethinking of the basic concept here, namely pan-Japanese food.

Hashimoto, a thirtysomething, Hawaiian-born chef of Japanese ancestry, is really a protégé of Alex Stratta. He met Alex at Mirage, and worked his way up the ranks. He is Okada’s third chef, following a French-trained chef, Takashi Yakihashi, and his successor, Japanese native Masa Ishizawa, who cooked a more traditional style of food.

This remains one of the most beautiful and dramatic restaurants on the Strip. Sliding glass panels open to the waterfall and garden; when the evening gets too hot or windy, they are closed. A series of giant black chopsticks with faux gold tips are arranged below the ceiling, a brilliant conceit that gives the room an Art Deco, pre-war elegance.

It’s no surprise the most sought after tables skirt the rail next to the garden, graced by a floating island in its center. Poetically named the “Floating Pagoda Table”, this might be the most beautiful table in the entire hotel, and is a most romantic one, though designed to seat 10.

For more of Max Jacobson’s thoughts on chef Devin Hashimoto’s Okada, visit UnicaWorld.com.