Kyara…. 2nd visit

Kyara
6555 S Jones Blvd
Ste 120
Las Vegas, NV 89118
(702) 569-4405

Now this was the visit I was wanting from the previous visit. Flavors were delicate, yummy and textures were there! For the first time, I thought that the bomb items would naturally come from the “special” menu, but this time, we went with the gut feeling and ordered more instinctively from the main menu. This time is was truly good.

Bonus appetizer:
*Deep fried yamaimo (Mountain Potato) – It was like eating delicate fries. The potato had tempura batter and very lightly salted. Crispy and delicious!

*Albacore w/Drew Special and Tuna Carpaccio- I’m going to group this dish with the Tuna Carpaccio in terms of flavor. Both had tangy sauce that complimented the tuna.
*Agedashi Tofu – Kyara makes a slighty darker and saltier sauce, but I appreciated the delicately fried tofu cubes.
*Eggplant Steak – This was on the saltier side, but I enjoyed it overall
*Butabara – Bacon slices on a stick!!!! Being the piggies that we are, we ordered one order each of the salt and soy sauce/terikyaki-ish versions. I’m a lover of most things greasy and bacon. This was a winner and the soy sauce version was the overall winner of the two.
*Kaisen Chawanmushi (steamed egg custard with seafood) – This was probably our favorite of the evening. The steamed egg custard was perfectly salty infused with the essences of the seafood within it. Slurped it all up.
*Chicken Garlic Ponzu – This is basically a super tender pice of chicken cutlet with my fav flavors of garlic and ponzu.
*Tori Meshi – soboro (seasoned ground chicken) with rice, hearty rice and seasoned chicken. Good!

Conclusion: I am warming up to Kyara. It’s definitely not Raku caliber Japanese tapas, but it will do if you forget to make a reservation for Raku.

Chicken Garlic Ponzu Tuna Carpaccio Tori Meshi Butabara Deep fried yamaimo Agedashi tofu Eggplant Steak

Kyara

Kyara Japanese Tapas
6555 S Jones Blvd
Ste 120
Las Vegas, NV 89118
Neighborhood: Spring Valley
(702) 569-4405

Excitement soon turned to disappointment after the first bite. Everything we tried seemed more middle of the road flavor and we tried a lot of stuff. Perhaps, I’m comparing the “wow” factor that I get from Ichiza, but Kyara isn’t there, yet. The only wow items were actually the two desserts.

What we ate….
1. Daikon Salad – visually appealing but just tasted like it was dunked in regular soy sauce.
2. Maguro and Ume Madai sashimi – Not so fresh
3.Maguro Yukke – Tasty because it was slathered with spicy ponzu concoction
4. Albacore w/Drew Special – Similar dish from what Naked Fish has to offer over there. It has ponzu and jalapeno. One of the better tasting dishes, but only because you can’t go wrong with ponzu
5. (Sunomono) Abalone sashimi – fresh, but bad choice on our part. Abalone sashimi is kinda crunchy.. hmmmm
6. Gyutan (beef tongue) – just a tad too salty
7. Beef tataki – ponzu sauce to save the day again
8. Spicy tuna and rice crackers – enjoyable crunchy texture with spicy/sweet tuna
9. Dashi Maki Tamago Yaki – Sweet egg omelet, meh
10. Age nasu – fried eggplant, meh
11. Deep fried skewered fish – fluffy fish, but i’m not sure about the cheese imbeded with it.

DESSERT… wowsers
1. Vanilla Tofu Mousse – the tofu was so smooth and creamy and it wasn’t too sweet. perfect compliment with the raspberry sorbet
2. Chocolate Fondant (a.k.a. Chocolate souffle) – The server failed to mention during the meal that this particular dessert takes 10-15 minutes to make. Definitely remember to order before you’re done with your main meal if you don’t want to wait. …. but…. WORTH THE WAIT!! This rivals the best souffles out there! Ooey gooey warm and sweet.

Conclusion: Through so many dishes, I couldn’t help but feel that there was something missing. I won’t give up, yet, Kyara. I know that you’re trying to break out and do something different than your sister Naked Fish. I hope you shine soon. 3/5 beeps.

Daikon Salad Maguro, Ume Madai Sashimi Maguro Yukke Alacore w/Drew Sauce Abalone Sashimi Beef Tongue Beef Tataki Spicy Tuna and Rice Crackers IMG_0551 IMG_0552 IMG_0553 Vanilla Tofu Mousse Chocolate Fondant

Got Robbed

Bar Masa
Aria Hotel & Casino
3730 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV
(866) 359-7111

Yes, it’s supposed to be another outpost of Chef Masayoshi and his famous Masa in New York, but somehow I can’t help but feel that we got seriously robbed. As evidence of an uncrowded Saturday night, I think other people realized this, too.

What went down:
1. Akanustu deep sea snapper in ponzu sauce – This was our first dish that came out and was highly recommended by the server. It totally turned me off because I felt that the ponzu sauce was overpowering the fish. All I could taste was ponzu sauce.
2. Kobe beef skewers – Very tender, very tasty and at least we got 5 skewers with one order.
3. Blue fin toro, Kanpachi and Uni nigiri- good but I’ve definitely had better and a thicker piece cut for me
4. Peking duck and foie GRAS fried rice – fatty, fatty glory. Very tasty.
5. Seared Tuna Steak – Highly recommended but a tad too fishy for me. 🙁 Even the BF did not like it and he usually likes ALL seared ahi tuna.
6. Black cod with daikon – Highly recommended by another server over the white miso cod. The fish was super tender but I didn’t enjoy the sweet soy sauce flavor. That’s just me. Perhaps, others will enjoy the sweetness.
7. Uni risotto with with black truffle – Our most expensive dish of the night and the one I had highest hopes for because of the delicious ingredients of Uni AND black truffle. I was severely disappointed. I experienced the opposite of what kevineats had with his Uni risotto. His was overcooked. Ours was undercooked and too al dente. I could appreciate the flavor of the Uni but it overpowered the black truffle. However, I was disappointed with the texture fail. It looked like what Cantonese people would call “yut pet see” = A pile of poop. Very visually unappealing, and I couldn’t make my Chinese self scrape up the rest and not waste it!

Conclusion: Trying too hard to be cool and trendy with the decor (Don’t get me wrong. I do appreciate modern decor), fancy shmancy servings rocks and awkward serving crates (Was that supposed to be visually appealing?). Cool and trendy comes at a big price tag for the check and certainly, always turns me off. All the food was pretty tasty but for the price, I felt like we were SUPPOSED to be on cloud nine. For the same amount AND quality of food, I would have been much happier at Raku, which I feel certainly can beat Bar Masa at quality any day. Not going back. Zero/5 beeps for feeling robbed.

Due to my poor pictures, take a look at this blog. It has very good pictures on the decor and how all the dishes were presented and served.
http://www.kevineats.com/2009/12/bar-masa-las-vegas-nv.htm

Raku rocks.!!!!

RAKU
(702) 367-3511
5030 Spring Mountain Rd
Las Vegas NV 89146

This experience rivals the happiness level I experience at Echigo sushi. It was a texture-gasmic experience. Everything nearly melted into my tongue like buttah… mmmmm….. buttahhh….. Raku turned out to live up the hype (minus 1 dish).

The dishes…. *bounce bounce bounce
1. Sea Urchin and Seaweed Soup (Dashi Broth?) – The sea urchin was very fresh and not fishy at all. So, we made a spoonful of the broth with some seaweed and approximately 1 tsp of the precious Uni. I think my eyes just rolled to the back of my head from the wonderful seafood flavor and the tender consistency of the uni. Uni (Sea Urchin) is definitely an acquired taste, but I would recommend that if you were trying for the first time, please go to a place like Raku that gives you the good stuff! mmmm mmmmm!
Sea Urchin and Seaweed Soup

2. Blue Fin Tuna Sashimi – Not quite the best tuna I’ve ever had, but still melted into my mouth regardless… fresh fish is muy bueno.
Blue Fin Tuna

3. Kobe Beef Miso Skewers (1 more garlic, 1 more miso) – After Crapsteak, I’ve been wanting to try some real Kobe Beef. So, these Kobe beef skewers showed me what-it-is – Tender. Juicy. Flavorful. That’s how it should be!
Kobe Beef Miso Skewers

4. Negima (Japanese Sweet Onion)/Chicken Hot Pot – This dish I did not like so much. The broth was tasty but got too salty after drinking more of it. I like salt, but it was too much for me. The cubes of chicken were too dry and gritty for me, but then, I’m not a fan of white meat.
Chicken Hot Pot The Whole Hot pot... very hot!

5. Agedashi Tofu (Homemade Tofu!!!!) – Everyone was talking about this on Yelp. EVERYONE. Guess what? Everyone is soooo right. Fresh made tofu makes such a big difference on texture and flavor. The lightly fried outside layer + the almost creamy inside of the tofu paired with some roe on top = perfect. Definitely, try it. (Broth was the same from the Hot Pot? Still too salty…)
Agedashi Tofu

6. Green Tea Icecream and Green Tea Creme Brulee Topped with Green Tea Icecream – Perfect icecream – not too sweet paired with a not too sweet whipped cream. The Green Tea creme brulee was a nice twist from the traditional kind and still smooth and creamy with the night burnt topped.
Green Tea Creme Brulee + Green Tea Icecream and fluffy not too sweet whipped cream Green Tea Icecream and not too sweet whipped cream

p.s. I added some pics for you viewing pleasure for Big Fat Greek Fooooood

dis girl ruvs japanese fooood

man o man… i ate a lot of japanese food this week, but i like it! not complaining.

i totally forgot about my fave hole in the wall ramen place, Yokohama kaigenro. feels like a mom pop type of japanese restaurant. has a lot of the same items as Ichiza would but more homely feel. still delish! already concluded that the ramen is decent enough for a fix here through past visits. but i’d like to highlight the butter corn and kinako warabimochi red bean a la mode during this last visit. (note: i do not recommend getting the tororo bukkake… the soba was cooked right but somehow the gooey topping on top was not fun to eat at all… minus points on that texture experience)

(702) 732-1296
4503 Paradise Road
Las Vegas NV 89109

1. butter corn? need i say more? buttery goodness and crunchy corn…. mmmmmm. do you see the butter?!!! i do!
2. kinako warabimochi red bean a la mode – the dessert was composed of mochi covered with kinako and red bean and a scoop of yummy vanilla icecream

dessert butter corn

Now, a new strip mall gem… but then i guess everything in vegas is either in a strip mall or the casino. not going to get some nice beach view anytime soon unless california breaks off… hahaha

(?? Sayako Kita) Naked Fish’s Sushi and Grill
(702) 228-8856
3945 S Durango Dr, Suite A6
Las Vegas NV 89147
www.nakefish-rikyu.com

1. soft shell crab salad – holy crap! they gave a lot of soft shell crab!!
2. GTR roll (left in roll picture)- jalapeno slice on top with shrimp tempura and tuna. spicy, tangy, crunchy = two thumbs up!
3. Ultimate Naked Fish (right in roll picture) – spicy tuna, shrimp, avocado on top of a california roll + tempura shrimp. this spicy with sriracha and definitely a weener!
4. fo sizzle my nizzle – you can’t say no to a roll with this name! deep fried jalepeno tempura filled with a bit of cream cheese and some sort of fish spicy goodness. nice crunch to it… just that it had that sweet teriyaki sauce that many other rolls share in common. but the spiciness was bomb diggity!

soft shell crab salad sushi rolls fo sizzle my nizzle

most amazing flavors ever.

So, a couple weeks ago, a few of us including paparazzi benny and foodie meesh (moi) went to bar hayama. i went in with no expectations and didn’t really know what the restaurant was about except that it has an extensive sake collection. i was very very pleasantly surprised by this eating experience. not only did the sake taste really good (significant because i don’t even like sake), but all the food was on the OMG caliber of food. this eating experience tops all the asian restaurants i have ever been to. EVER!!

ok, here’s the break down. i’ll try to remember the tastes and thoughts that were running through my mind at the moment, but it has been a couple weeks. so, whatever i write today – picture that x 5.

Toshi’s Special yellow tail sashimi with myouga – i don’t know what myouga is, but whatever it is, this was good and fresh and tasty fish. not just yellow tail sashimi, but yellow tail sashimi plus some yummy sauce
Toshi's Special yellow tail sashimi with myouga

Sauteed shishitou – they’re little japanese peppers – again, with the yummy sauce and good veggie
Sauteed shishitou

Sauteed black cod fish with mushroom ponzu butter sauce – If i had to pick one dish from the entire night to eat over and over again, this is it. the fish was so tender! it literally melted in your mouth. to top it off everyone wanted to lick the plate because the butter ponzu sauce was so good. so, we did what any other asian would do. we order rice to mop it up! that was gooooooood rice. see picture of rice –> Rice
Sauteed black cod fish with mushroom ponzu butter sauce

Main Lobster dynamite – fabulous, and i don’t even like lobster usually because it’s tough. this was tender and scrumptious!
Main Lobster dynamite>

Crispy rice and spicy tuna with balsamic vinegar sauce – the mixture of textures of this dish was very nice. crunchy rice, spicy tuna and a slight kick and sweetness of the balsamic vinegar sauce
crispy rice & spicy tuna with balsamic vinegar sauce

Steak Oscar – tender pieces of steak. TENDER.
Steak Oscar

Seafood ceviche a la yama – this was the only dish that was just okay. the flavors was just so so. *shrug* perhaps if it was overshadowed by the other dishes, it might was ranked higher.
Seafood Ceviche a la Yama

Tired of reading, yet? Here’s the dessert!

Banana tempura with vanilla icecream – Ever have some sort of tempura dessert and the tempura comes out all soft and fluffy and yucky? well this time was perfect. the tempura was freshly fried, crispy and hot on the outside, and the banana was warm and sweet on the inside, and all a cold bite of fresh vanilla icecream. mmmm mmmm!
banana tempura with vanilla icecream

Strawberry crepe with custard cream and whipped cream – need i elaborate on this yumminess? i think not.
strawberry crepe with custard cream & whipped cream

here’s a couple more pics of the place and the receipt i used to take my food notes on …-
Receipt of Notes Flames Mood

for more good food finds go here. bar hayama featured.
losangeles.citysearch.com/profile/45663604?raid=2881350

Now that i’ve hyped it up too much, go try it and tell me what you think! it’s a bit pricey, but for this omg-experience. worth it… great ambience, good service and amazing food – take your honey on a date!

Bar Hayama
1803 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90025

REVISIT: 11.06.2008 – “Disappointment”