A restaurant, inside a restaurant, similar to the concept of Charlie Trotters and Charlie Bar formerly in the Palazzo. “Shaboo” is the most expensive Shabu Shabu you will ever have. I didn’t go in there, (I stole these pictures off of google). Its rumored to be $500 per person.
Tai Sea-Bream with White Truffle [$48.00]
Our first course comprised five slices of sea bream sashimi, dressed in a tangy sauce, garnished with bitter greens, and topped with white truffle. It was fantastic, with the fish itself crisp, snappy, fresh, wonderfully balanced by its accoutrements. After I inhaled the heady aroma of truffle, the essence of the fungus made itself known in a big way on my palate. This then gave way to the mild, delicate sea bream, while the finish was delightfully tangy. A perfect amalgam of disparate tastes and textures.
Ohmi Beef Tataki with White Truffle [$120.00]
Ohmi is a type of wagyu beef, and expectedly, it was rich, fatty, tender, and unconscionably unctuous. Taken alone, it was quite flavorful, with a nice peppery tang on the midpalate. Eating the Ohmi with the truffle, I first noticed the immense gravity of the meat, which was then followed up by the distinct earthiness of the truffle in a long, lingering close. Very good.
Sushi Canapé [$48.00]
We then moved on to some sushi “canapés,” basically a cut cucumber maki roll topped with various accompaniments:
- Kanpachi and Truffle – A strong truffle essence on the attack led to the crisp, fresh, essence of kanpachi. Very nice.
- Scallop and Shrimp – The shrimp and scallop combined to form a creamy, soft, subtly sweet admixture, while the finish possessed a great vegetal tang and crunch. My favorite.
- Salmon and White Onion – Here was a creamy tartare of salmon, with a soft smoky flair, effectively balanced by the pungency of onion.
- Tuna Tartare and Caviar – We finished with a luscious purée of tuna, mild in flavor and deftly accented by the briny tang of caviar. The roe was really the key here
Calamari with Jalapeño Salt [$18.00]
It’s pretty hard to mess up fried calamari, and certainly this tasted as it should, with a crispy outside leading into a nicely chewy interior. The slight heat from the pepper, meanwhile, was a great foil to the mild sweetness of the squid. Tasty and good for snacking.
Uni Risotto with Black Trumpet Mushroom [$48.00]
I had high hopes for this dish, but was let down. The sweet, briny essence of sea urchin was unfortunately muddled and lost here. And while I appreciated the earthiness and weight imparted by the mushrooms, they weren’t enough to save the dish. I also felt that the rice was overly soft, and wanted a more “al dente” consistency.
Popcorn Shrimp with Romesco Sauce [$24.00]
You can’t really go wrong with popcorn shrimp, and this was no exception. I liked how the shrimp were crisp on the outside, but still had soft, creamy interiors, preserving the essence of the crustaceans. The sweet tanginess provided by the romesco (a pepper-, garlic-, and tomato-based sauce) was nice, but the key was the bitterness imparted by the greens.
Naked Oyster in Citrus Sauce [$26.00]
Next up were some of the largest oysters I’ve seen in a while–plump with a nice meaty consistency. They were mildly flavored, delicately briny, with their subtle sweetness accented by the tart citrus dressing on the attack, which led to a nicely tangy, slightly bitter finish.
Fatty Deep-Sea Snapper from Chiba, Japan. Here we have our first à la carte sushi selection, a soft, mildly-flavored, but surprisingly oily fish. My dining companion even compared it to a hybrid of tai and hamachi.
Yari Ika with Salt and Yuzu Zest [$14.00]
Spear Squid from Kyushu, Japan. Gorgeously soft, chewy texture, with a light flavor accented by the tang of sea salt and the zest of yuzu, finished by the heat of wasabi. Very good.
Tako with White Truffle Sauce [$11.00]
Octopus from Chiba, Japan. I quite liked theoctopus here–sweet, supple, a canvas on which the earthy truffle could really sing. Lovely.
Grapefruit Granité [$7.00]
A grapefruit granita with grapefruit juice and my favorite liquers… Cointreau, and Grand Marnier: jarringly cold, but immensely fruity and refreshing, imbued with the pure quintessence of grapefruit. A perfectly light dessert. After a huge dinner, I shy away from giant chocolate cakes, so this is my ideal dessert in any setting.
If you can’t afford $500 for dinner, there is an early $49 menu I’d love to try. $24 for wine/sake pairing
Bar Masa @ Aria at the City Center
Las Vegas, NV
FOR RESERVATIONS, CALL 877.230.2742