Morimoto Brings a Lion Dance, Giant Tuna and More to His Opening


Chef Masaharu Morimoto with lion dancers
Chef Masaharu Morimoto with lion dancers

Photo Credit: MGM ResortsIron Chef Masaharu Morimoto raised his glass and yelled “Kanpai” as he officially welcomed Morimoto Las Vegas to the MGM Grand last Thursday, Nov. 3. In true Las Vegas fashion, the grand opening celebration was a spectacle-filled evening with a lion dance parade throughout the resort, chef Morimoto’s deconstruction of a 132-pound tuna, the making of a 100-foot maki roll and an energetic party overflowing with Japanese delicacies.

A mystical show kicked off the night’s festivities with a traditional lion dance accompanied by drummers in MGM Grand’s main lobby. Chef Morimoto made a surprise appearance in the lobby to bring the lions to life by painting their eyes, a symbolic act of bringing good fortune to a new endeavor. The lions leaped and danced as they playfully interacted with the crowd.

Morimoto led the grand procession through the casino, shaking hands and taking photos with fans on the way. Once inside his latest restaurant, Morimoto deconstructed a 132-pound tuna fish with his legendary knife cutting skills, then created a massive 100-foot maki sushi roll with the fresh tuna.

Guests can find hamachi tacos, pan-fried pork gyoza, tuna pizzas and fresh sashimi and sushi rolls, while Japanese A-5 Wagyu and Colorado organic lamb chops sizzle at the teppan tables.

Morimoto’s original cocktails fused with Japanese spirits, such as the Green Dragon and Mango Lotus, refreshed guests throughout the evening.

Morimoto Las Vegas at MGM Grand is open from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.