Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto further cemented his role as clown prince and most favored attendee of the Las Vegas food festival circuit during the Vegas Uncork'd Grand Tasting event at Caesars Palace. The chef sang for the TV crews, bum-rushed the photographers platform to check out some camera equipment and then pulled shapes for the snappers.
Off camera, the city still waits on an updated timeline for his first Las Vegas restaurant, destined for the Mirage. Morimoto Las Vegas was first rumored in 2012, then formally announced just prior to last year's Uncork'd. Back then, a promised early 2014 opening in the current Japonais space sounded plausible.
When asked for a current progress report by Eater Vegas, Morimoto cheerfully replied, "sometime soon, but I have been saying sometime soon since last September."
But a hint of progress might be found at the Mirage itself. New plywood for the resort's forthcoming 24-hour coffee shop, Pantry, is covered in advertising promoting all the property's restaurants, except Japonais. Pantry is pushing for a September debut.
Last year, Japonais staffers were told to prepare for a possible June shuttering. The Mirage has gone to great lengths to make plans to relocate the existing staff when the time comes and offer them chance to return, once Morimoto Las Vegas is operational.
A three to six month contribution is expected once work begins and the Japanese team designing the space is rumored to have been obsessively dedicated to the project.
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