Michael Uzmann at Endo Edibles is the first to check out Yusho, the Japanese yakatori from Chicago chef Matthias Merges, opening Wednesday at Monte Carlo and shares the enthusiasm Eater Vegas has shown for the restaurant.
Suffice it to say that Yusho is poised to buck the trend of 'celebrity chef' Strip-side dining. Owned by Matthias Merges and nothing short of stellar in its Avondale location, where service, sourcing and skills befitting his Michelin-starred past found new footing in a reinterpreted yakitori. A visit to Yusho at the Monte Carlo begins with the space, a jazzed up version of the original with a long floor plan plus eye-popping colors juxtaposing the gleaming open kitchen and with knowledgeable servers brought in from icons like Savoy and Robuchon without any pomp or pretense. The 'experience' unfolds like few others — casually refined and a whole lot of fun, the kitchen and front of house doing each other justice even on day one.
Uzmann says that his 11 courses during the friends and family event "proved superlative. The signature twice-fried chicken is as good as ever while eggplant, pork shoulder, and crispy duck served with bao all served notice that Fat Choy is no longer the only game in town."
Granted, Yusho is not technically open, but Uzmann predicts that "only time will tell whether such a radical departure from the Vegas 'norm' will yield success." He touts the "dynamic cocktail menu including several draught options alongside the sort of food this city has not yet seen" as reasons that Yusho is the "sort of restaurant Las Vegas Boulevard needs."
Erik Chudy hits up Pizza Rock to check out the Burrata burger "American Kobe beef, burrata cheese, bacon, caramelized onion, arugula and balsamic reduction, and what came out was way more than what I was expecting." He gives the burger a 96 out of 100 for the bacon that "was crispy and great, the arugula worked very well with everything, the caramelized onions had great flavor and were cooked well enough so you could actually bite through them, and the balsamic reduction added the perfect touch of flavor. Overall this was an excellent burger with nothing negative about it; apparently this place can do a burger as well as many styles of pizza." [VBB]
Brock Radke heads to Hiromaru, the new ramen joint in Chinatown from Hironori Kawai, known for his appearances on Japanese TV and ramen contests there, as Eater Vegas first revealed here. He compares it to Chinatown neighbor Nakamaru-Ya with its Japanese interpretations of Italian dishes. "Hiromaru blends deliciously unorthodox flavors into its noodly creations, most notably in the signature carbonara ramen." [LVW]
Radke also visits 1900 Asian Cuisine in what looks like an attempt to show readers what's available in Chinatown. He recommends the soup dumplings with crab and pork, the seafood-stacked hot and sour soup and the frog in Sichuan sauce. [LVW]
HKR gives a no-grade review to Lindo Michoacan, technically visiting the La Loma location in Henderson. "There are the various combination plates for those who cleave to an American interpretation of Mexican food." She also reveals her lack of knowledge in Spanish. "Here's a not-so-familiar dish: the Camarones a la Mostaza ($19.50), from which I learned that the Spanish word for "mustard" is "mostaza" (Who knew? Definitely not me.)." Genius. [LVRJ]
· All Week in Reviews [~ELV~]