Just wanted to see what other Vegas-people consider good to GREAT Japanese food, that's nowhere near The Strip. (ooookay, a few blocks away is allright) A place for us locals to enjoy and relax, with a good meal away from the craziness of our beloved city. Now, if there are intrepid tourists that manage to find our gems as well, the more the better, right?? ^__^
My picks, in no certain order:
Fuji: On the corner of Pecos and Tropicana, this place has been here for YEARS. The owners/chef/staff are all very friendly, helpful and efficient. It's a small place, but actually manages to have a Teppan-Grill that's either packed full, or empty. I've noticed that by 8pm most nights, it slows down a bit and it a very relaxing place.It seems they get probably 75-80% of local busines. The food? I think it's tasty, fresh and authentic. They make from scratch a ginger-sesame dressing that's to die for with their salad. They do serve sushi by the piece, and it's okay- it's not the place to go for, if that's what your really craving. They make excellent tempura dishes and have a tasty sukiyaki as well. The gem there is the Sesame Chicken. Deep-fried chicken breast with a fantastic sesame-soy-ginger glaze that never fails to impress me. They make to me, the best tonkatsu in the city. Open till 10pm.
Sushi Kaigenrou: This gem is across the street from the Hard Rock hotel and the Hofbrauhaus. One door away is a Japanese video shop. (fun place to get new anime, for those who care about it) Me and my husband went there 2 weeks ago, and they have changed their menu a bit. A great place for sushi, they also have "bar food" like yakitori and little plates of food to order. Kaigenrou is tops for ramen in town, to me. We used to eat at Togoshi Ramen on Swensen and Twain- but have stopped now that we have a better alternative. They have a really delicious spicy ramen, and do a great curry ramen. The chashu ramen's good as well- the slices of pork getting more and more delicious as it soaks in the piping hot broth. This place seems to -really- cater to Japanese tourists (it IS only a few blocks from McCarran airport!) fresh off the plane. Some staff speaks better English than others, some of the cute girls who take orders have a "deer in the headlights" look when they see a non-Japanese eating there!!*LOL* Polite and fast, if a bit akwads service. They serve beer of course, plus shochu cocktails. They also have a small "market" in the store, for minor essentuals. (Pocky, anyone?) Open VERY late, till 2am daily. It can get busy, but isn't as well-known as Ichiza-ya on Spring Mountain, so it's my best bet when craving late-night ramen.
Ichiza-ya: Ahhh..This place used to be so wonderful. Untill about 2 years ago, when the college kids caught wind of it's super-late hours, cheap eating and tons of drinking to be had there. On Spring Mountain Rd, in the Chinatown area. It's on the 2nd story of a 2-level strip-mall. Just right past the "main" Chinatown Mall.
It still caters to a traveling Japanese crowd, but there's a larger mix of college kids, anime fans, trendy people getting dinner before going clubbing, and then locals who want good food. A BIG warning: This place gets PACKED. I've had to wait an hour just to get a table, and this was at 9:30pm, on a THURSDAY. I've had some of the best table-service here, and some of the worst. I guess it depends on how busy they are, and if they are short-staffed. This place has a great bar menu, and make a mean-wicked apple chuhai cocktail. A very full sake and beer list, and boy, it really seems like EVERYONE'S drinking..ALOT. It's also a very very noisy resturant, another reason why we've stopped going there as much. Food is very good here, made fresh and if your so tempted, you can even chat with your chef at the bar-counter. They used to make the -best- age-gyoza (deep fried gyoza) but last time I was there (a month ago) it's off the menu, and they told me they don't make it anymore. That's sad, as they really were fantastic. I disliked their ramen quite a bit, they don't give you any choice on your base for the soup. It was very fishy and unappealing to me. The best thing there is Mapo/Mabo Tofu. Rich, (they use fermented black beans in it, I have a feeling it's why it's so so good) spicy and just the best I have ever had.Some of the cooks there will make it milder than others. I prefer it spicy and ask for it that way. If you like sushi, they are okay.. A unique thing they offer is a "sushi party" for a set fee, you get everything to make your own rolls at the table! Kinda weird, if you ask me. Of all the times i've eaten there, i've NEVER seen anyone do this. Ichiza-ya is good, but has some major things going against it for me anymore.Too loud. Spotty, even horribly slow service. Long waits just to get a table.
Okay, that's all I'm posting for ronite. I'll post later today with my other review of Shuseki, a couple of blocks away from Ichiza-ya, and better in alot of ways.
I'm interested in other's opinions, so post away!
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