Takayama Comes Full Circle

Michelin three-star chef Masayoshi Takayama is bringing his refined Japanese dishes to a new enormous Las Vegas outpost in the $8.5 billion CityCenter on the Vegas Strip set to open on December 17, 2009.

Chef Takayama is credited for numerous and wildly popular sushi restaurants including Masa and Bar Masa in New York, and now the man behind the magic is bringing Bar Masa and Shaboo to Las Vegas next week. Chef Takayama opened Ginza Suhi-ko in Los Angeles in the 1980s before transplanting the restaurant to Rodeo Drive and eventually to New York and his fast-approaching Californian return is certainly warmly welcome by locals.

 Chef Takayama will be amongst good company as he opens his CityCenter location alongside fellow three-star chef Pierre Gagnaire of Paris, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Michael Mina in CityCenter. Takayama says, “It’s a new, gigantic building where I get to create my idea, my style. It’s more than the food.” Bar Masa and Shaboo will be located inside the Aria Resort and Casino and the expansive space will be decorated in high Strip style with 15-foot doors of teak and copper, seductively curved red leather banquettes and arched ceilings.

The menu at the Las Vegas Bar Masa will be reminiscent of that in New York, with Japanese small plates such as spicy cod roe pasta with purple sisho flowers, duck with foie gras, sizzling spicy octopus, and grilled eel with rice. Over in the more intimate 52-seat Shaboo located inside Bar Masa, Chef Takayama will be serving a tasting menu (or omakase) shabu-shabu a tables that will be equipped with “individual induction heating elements for cooking beef that is flown in from Chiba prefecture.”

When Takayama was asked why he chose to open a restaurant in Las Vegas, he answered simply, “Why not?” He calls it “coming full circle” due to the fact that on his first foray to Los Angeles from Tokyo, he recalls getting off the plan and driving directly to Las Vegas to see “flat land.”

Via: Los Angeles Times