Masa Takayama, the Michelin three-star chef and master behind New York’s artisanal sushi bar Bar Masa, has opened a two-prong dining venue in the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas’ City Center. Designed by Richard Bloch Architect, the cavernous Bar Masa seats 150 people in a casual, airy space. The tempting menu offers Japanese dishes with the chef’s distinctive modern twist such as Peking duck with foie gras, Omi beef tataki with white truffle, spicy cod roe pasta with a julienne of purple shiso flowers in addition to a wide selection of inventive sushi dishes.
If Bar Masa is Takayama’s sushi temple then Shaboo is his sanctuary. The more intimate Shaboo, which seats just 52, is set inside Bar Masa, and the menu changes daily. Each table is inlaid with its own induction stoves allowing guests to use the shabu shabu method of poaching their own meat. The Omi beef is imported from Shiga Prefecture in Japan, and the fish is imported daily from Tokyo’s Tsukiji market. A Shaboo meal might begin with a serving of white truffle sunomono to prime the palate, followed by perfectly sliced toro (an essential component of any Masa menu) accompanied by Petrossian caviar. Next come meats, fish, and chicken accompanied by innovative dipping sauces, such as lobster bisque for seafood or a citrus-infused ponzu for the beef. The meal is finished with seasonal specialties such as winter chocolate truffle, soba tea ice creams, and icy pomegranate sorbet. (877.230.2742, www.arialasvegas.com/dining/barmasa.aspx)