I was first told about Japanese whiskey (whisky?) a couple of years ago. It isn’t the easiest booze to find in Las Vegas, but I’ve enjoyed whiskey from Japan and Taiwan (mmmm…Kavalan). The Palazzo is one of my favorite casinos in Las Vegas but I’ve never been to SUSHISAMBA.
The addition of the largest Japanese whisky list in Las Vegas might make change that. I’m a sucker for a sherry cask and the Akashi Single Malt 5 yr Sherry Cask has my attention. You can read the details in the press release below.
LAS VEGAS, NV… February 7th, 2017 – SUSHISAMBA, the internationally acclaimed restaurant on the Strip that blends Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisines into what Zagat calls “inventive” and “incredibly flavorful” is unveiling the largest Japanese Whisky list in Las Vegas, and one of the largest in America.
“We are constantly seeking things that complement and bring something special to the SUSHISAMBA brand,” said Shimon Bokovza, CEO of Orange Brands Management. “After conquering sake for the past 15 years we are looking forward to expand our offering and introduce Japanese Whisky to our guests in a new and exciting way.”
Thanks to constant refinement and attention to detail, Japanese Whiskies have been in the spotlight in recent years garnering global accolades and gaining in popularity. These delicate tasting Whiskies modeled after the scotch tradition—double distilling malted and/or peated barley before it’s aged in wood barrels – have been shaped by three men commonly referred to as Founding Fathers of Japanese Whisky: Shinjiro Torii of Suntory, Masataka Taketsuru of Nikka and Kiichiro Iwai of Mars.
The SUSHISAMBA list has been curated around these three Founding Fathers and it features 26 Whiskies without age statements all the way up to Whiskies aged 28 years, in all varieties: Single Malt, Pure Malt, Blended Whisky, Blended Malt Whisky, Sherry Cask Whisky, Whiskies that have been distilled in the Japanese Alps, or Whiskies that have been distilled in the most northern island of Hokkaido where the distillery is nestled between mountains and the Sea of Japan. The impressive collection also includes some rare award-winning selections such as Akashi 5YR Sherry Cask, the Mars 3 & 25, Nikka Taketsuru 17yr Pure Malt – a line dedicated to the founder of Nikka.
In celebration of the launch, starting February 16, SUSHISAMBA will offer a specially curated menu featuring Japanese Whisky. The menu will showcase the versatility of the Whiskies presented with a variety of SUSHISAMBA dishes from Crispy Tempura Minter Sweet Oysters with Butter Lettuce to Whisky-Soy Marinated Robata Pork Ribs. Each dish will highlight the flavor profiles and nuances of the paired Whisky.
“Japanese Whisky is traditionally paired with chocolate, cheese, and smoked meats,” said SUSHISAMBA Executive Chef Joel Versola. “The real excitement here is that we’re going much wider with our pairings. There is an element of surprise”
The limited edition Whisky menu was specially curated by SUSHISAMBA Las Vegas Executive Chef Joel Versola, Assistant Corporate Sushi Chef John Um and Executive Pastry Chef Michael Outlaw with expert pairings by Hayes Swope and will include:
This classic riff on an Old Fashioned sees Japanese Whisky treated to a wash of the highest grade wagyu before being stirred with maple and salted caramel. Served over ice.
CRISPY TEMPURA MINTER SWEET OYSTER WITH BUTTER LETTUCE
osetra caviar, scallion, spicy sweet and sour mignonette
Passion Fruit Whisky Sour
Iwai Japanese Whisky, passion fruit shaken hard with yuzu, egg white. Served ‘up’.
SMOKED OCEAN TROUT ROE
plantain chip and wasabi crème
Suntory Hakushu 12 yr Single Malt
ROBATA GRILLED HAMACHI KAMA
sea salt, lime, spicy agave ponzu sauce
Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt Whisky
WHISKY-SOY MARINATED ROBATA PORK RIBS
pickled vegetable, aji panca barbecue sauce
A5 WAGYU ROLL
portobello mushroom, avocado, black sesame and sherry bourbon truffle sauce
Akashi Single Malt 5 yr Sherry Cask
BRAISED BEEF CHEEKS
saffron red rice, Japanese mushroom, grape seviche, red wine-soy whiskey reduction
Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky
CAFÉ BOM BOM
dark roasted coffee custard, chocolate hazelnut crumble, sweet cream ice cream, Japanese whisky foam
Japanese Cherry Manhattan Granita
Iwai Japanese Whisky, Antica Formula Carpano vermouth, cherry bitters, maraschino cherry syrup. Served ‘up.’
Whisky connoisseurs will have a chance to pre-order the entire menu with 48-hour notice on an ongoing basis and for limited time SUSHISAMBA will offer one featured course with a pairing for guests to experience each week until April 10th.
I was invited to check out a new Italian deli/restaurant in the southwest part of Las Vegas named Plantone’s Italian Market. The restaurant is located in just south of Ikea in the same plaza that’s home to Skinny Fats (this space was previously occupied by Mac Shack).
A friend and I stopped in for lunch and split a couple of items. The “Angry Sicilian” hero was recommended multiple times so we started with that. We also split an order of lasagna since it was a bit chilly outside.
The Angry Sicilian ($9/$14.95) is a basic Italian hero/sub with prosciutto, capicola, soppressata, mortadella, house-made (and delicious) mozzarella, roasted red peppers, lettuce, tomato, onion, EVOO, red wine vinegar, and oregano.
The ingredients in the sandwich are excellent. The mozz and peppers are as good as I’ve had in Las Vegas. As good as the ingredients are they’re just part of a sandwich. Anyone from the east coast will tell you that the key to a good sandwich is the bread.
The soft roll was nothing more than a vessel to get the good stuff in my mouth. If you’re watching carbs, you might want to get this as a salad instead. The peppers and mozzarella were the highlights of the Angry Sicilian. The sandwich was very good but the bread didn’t offer flavor or texture that the ingredients deserve.
The peppers and mozzarella were the highlights of the Angry Sicilian. The sandwich was very good but the bread didn’t offer flavor or texture that the ingredients deserve.
The lasagna was excellent and a nice starter when split in half. It’s a hearty way to start lunch on a cool day. Again, the ingredients were flavorful and the sauce was very good.
The sauce is the key to any pasta or pizza. I’m looking forward to trying a pasta dish with fewer ingredients so I can see how the sauce it without the cheeses and meats.
Even though I’m only about 15 minutes away, Plantone’s isn’t in a part of Las Vegas that I visit very often. I probably wouldn’t have visited without the invite.
I’m glad that I was given the heads up on this deli/restaurant and will happily return when someone is looking for a place to grab a quick bite in that area.
Visit Plantone’s Italian Market for a menu and more information.
For the past year, I’ve generally written for other people and websites. You see those links posted here when I see the articles are live. That’s taken me away from this blog and the VegasPhotoBlog.
I usually visit bars, restaurants, and casinos in the touristy areas. The majority of my opinions are shared elsewhere. As you’ve seen I share those articles with other websites. However, I’ve been visiting more local bars and restaurants than ever before.
I rarely write about my local experiences because the traffic gods say that most of you want to read about the cool new spot on the Vegas Strip. I understand that because I used to be the same way.
I generally share my thoughts on local bars and restaurants directly with those who are specifically looking for something away from the action. I’ll be sharing more about those local joints for those people on this blog.
I won’t waste time with places I don’t like unless I have a really awful experience. I have a few bars and restaurants saved to share and a few more that I know I’ll be visiting soon.
I’ll probably end up using a lot of this elsewhere when I compile a significant number of recommendations. The reviews I write will be short and sweet like when I visited Therapy in downtown Las Vegas.
The photo above is from Evel Pizza which will be one of my first new recommendations.