Devin Hashimoto at Mizumi

When Steve Wynn’s inevitable break with investor Kazuo Okada became official, Okada restaurant was redesigned and reimagined, eventually emerging better than ever with a new name, Mizumi. In large part, credit for that success goes to young Hawaii native Devin Hashimoto, who has successfully altered the menu with dishes such as his ishiyaki tartare bibimbap, a Korean-inspired rice bowl (the chef’s wife, Donna, is Korean-American), spicy king crab and taro tacos with a “shell” composed of the starchy root, and starters such as yellowtail sashimi and jalapeño gelée. Hashimoto wasn’t content merely to stand on the sushi and teppan formula from the old restaurant, so he re-did about 40 percent of the entire menu, adding fusion dishes and his own creations. This took both courage and vision from the chef, who has quite a pedigree. He was, for six years, sous-chef at Alex, so he’s versed in sophisticated European cooking as well as the Asian food he grew up with. He does, for example, meltingly tender short ribs (the one dish we miss most from Alex) and several other items with Euro touches, such as foie gras with his uni, sea urchin. Another specialty here is robatayaki (the popular genre consisting of bite-size, charcoal-grilled items such as the yaki rice ball), delicious chicken or beef skewers, and shishito pepper with ponzu sauce. This chef does it better than anyone in the city, save, perhaps, Mitsuo Endo at Raku. All hail this new star!

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Cocktail Culture


By Xania V. Woodman

Following the kitchen’s lead, Fox Restaurant Concepts beverage manager Mat Snapp is committed to using house-made syrups and infusions at Culinary Dropout wherever possible. “Everything tastes better when you put time, effort and energy into it,” Snapp says. His original creation, Bells & Whistles, actually had its beginnings in the kitchen, at a barbecue festival’s cocktail competition. “I wanted a cocktail that mirrored all the great things about barbecue: some smokiness, some sweetness and some heat.” Simple syrup infused with charred bell pepper and jalapeño does the trick nicely.