Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blue Ribbon Sushi of Las Vegas

The new Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino of Las Vegas may well be the latest destination for frolicking foodies everywhere. Its eclectic restaurant collection showcases famous names like STK and Comme Ça; star chef José Andrés has a new tapas diner here named Jaleo, as well as a Chinese-Mexican venture called China Poblano. And hailing from New York, last but not least, there is Blue Ribbon Sushi.

With winning plates ranging from the popular to the rare, Blue Ribbon Sushi serves it up fresh and fastidiously perfect–for a price. As one would expect, luxury expenses that befit a restaurant inside a luxury resort are found here; the dishes are diminutive yet cost more than what you would normally find for something of similar quality.

The King Crab California Roll for $22.25 is one such example. The compact six-piece presentation—also available with crab stick for $10, or with blue crab for $14—disappears in a few bites. It is undoubtedly tasty, although this roll is easily superseded by the one of the same name at the WP24 inside L.A.’s Ritz-Carlton, which for $16 offers a couple of extra bites and boasts a richer, sweeter crab flavor.

The Spicy Lobster Roll, for $17.25, is even less scant in size, and I was surprised that a traditional hosomaki with spicy lobster would also come with the more modern touch of crispy tempura flakes inside it, although that did lend a positive element to the texture.

But Blue Ribbon Sushi is better known for its rare fish, such as the Tasmanian Sea Trout (served with a dollop of mustard aioli) and Golden Eye Perch from Japan. There is even the traditional box-style sushi, available with Tamago & Uni, Smoked Sake & Shiso, and Hamachi Shiitake, the latter of which proved an excellent choice for this square-shaped delicacy. The yellowtail-encased sushi rice was nothing less than perfect, and the pairing with shiitake mushrooms at the core was delightful.

For $22, one can cull the Kanpachi Usuzukuri out of what seems to be an infinite menu of exotic taste explorations. Usuzukuri, which is the technique by which fish is "thinly sliced" in Japanese, is definitely a word that describes this slim sashimi, which is served with yuzu pepper and ponzu sauce.

Walloped by the whopping bill, my stomach whistling a tune as my wallet sang the blues, I reckoned the joint really did deserve its name—and such a beautiful and glamorous location.

Blue Ribbon Sushi at The Cosmopolitan
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas