Restaurant review: Kabuto Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada
5040 Spring Mountain Road
Las Vegas, Nevada
Since so much about your sushi experience can be tied to the fish that is available on a particular day, or your memories of how all of the flavors came together, I like to bucket sushi restaurants into four categories instead of an absolute ordered list:
- Top tier: I fly out of my way to have sushi there. If in the city I will try to go more than once.
- Mid tier: If I’m traveling to the city, I’m going to make a reservation.
- Bottom tier: If there is a social event at the restaurant, I will go.
- Not ranked: If there is a social event at the restaurant, I will decline.
Kabuto is unequivocally in the top tier, and is only the third US restaurant that I’ve been to that I put in that category1.
Kabuto serves traditional Edomae sushi. Edomae sushi is very unlike what one would experience in the vast majority of sushi restaurants. It is a very simple style which emphasizes quality ingredients and exacting preparation. This is not the place to order a California roll, Philadelphia roll, or anything that would require mayonnaise in the preparation.
The restaurant is extremely small, with ten seats at the sushi bar and an additional eight seats at two tables. I would recommend sitting at the sushi bar, both to marvel at the sushi making process as well as to be able to eat the sushi at it’s freshest… right when the sushi chef puts it on your plate.
Preparation of the sashimi course for the omakase dinner
Your initial options at Kabuto are between the omakase and the nigiri sampler. The omakase consists of a small appetizer, a selection of sashimi, a few small cooked dishes, nigiri sushi, a hand roll, miso soup, and dessert. The chef creates the sushi selection for you individually, so aside from working around allergies you will be presented with what the chef wishes to serve you. The nigiri sampler is similar to the omakase but is just the appetizer, 10 pieces of nigiri sushi, a hand roll, and dessert.
After the set sushi course, the chef will ask you if you would like additional pieces of sushi. Their daily menu provides a list of 20-30 sushi pieces to choose from. All of their sushi is flown in for them, so everything they have is very fresh.
Although all of the sushi I had was fantastic, the best of the best for me was the wakaremi and the kamashita fatty tuna. The chef explained to me that wakaremi is a small triangular piece of tuna from close to the fin. It is as fatty as chu-toro, but was better than any chu-toro I’ve ever had. I didn’t ask what made the Kamashita tuna different from the other o-toro, but it was also better than any o-toro I’ve ever had.
Wakaremi sushi from Kabuto
In my opinion, Kabuto is among the best sushi restaurants in the world. I will certainly be coming again on future visits to Las Vegas. I only wish Las Vegas was a natural international airport connection, as I would happily schedule extended layovers to be able to go to dinner here.
The other two are Sushi Sasabune Honolulu and Sushi Sasabune LA. I put Sushi Sasabune NY in the mid tier category. ↩