Masaharu Morimoto’s long-anticipated move into Las Vegas brings him to MGM Grand, in the space that was previously home to the French-Japanese restaurant Shibuya. The large space with its ample windows looking out onto the restaurant row that connects the casino to the pool and arena is separated into four experiences. The main attraction is the massive marble sushi bar in front of a wall of original photos of Japanese art, culture and landscapes. To one side of this showpiece area you’ll find a lounge, while the large open dining room sits on the opposite end. At the rear of that dining room, separated by a glass-enclosed butchering station, sit three teppan grills (the chef’s first in the U.S.)
Sushi offerings here should be fairly familiar to most fans of raw fish. But the quality, the house-milled sushi rice and the knife skills exhibited by the chefs are all extraordinary. The kitchen menu relies heavily on favorites from the Iron Chef’s other restaurants, with a bit more variety in the steaks. But the teppanyaki from the grills—prepared without any Benihana-style fanfare—is all brand new, at least in this country. And because of the relationship between the chef and the diners at those grills, these dishes and the tasting menus are the only ones in the restaurant that require you to be seated in a specific place. So if you want to sample groundbreaking dishes such as the teppan A5 wagyu sukiyaki, be sure to let them know when you make your reservation.
Name: Morimoto Las Vegas
Serving: Japanese fusion, sushi and teppanyaki
Opened: October 21, 2016
Who’s behind it: Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto
Did you know: Nigiri should always be eaten in one bite because biting it in half can ruin the chef’s balance between fish, rice and wasabi.
Location: In MGM Grand
Hours of operation: 5-10 p.m. Sun-Thu, 5-10:30 p.m. Fri-Sat.
Dinner for two: $100-$500