Tetsu raises bar for Japanese grill experience
By Brock Radke
Photos by Big French
When groundbreaking chef Masa Takayama opened Bar Masa at Aria in CityCenter in late 2009, the Michelin-starred master introduced a new standard for sushi on the Las Vegas Strip. Now he’s done the same with teppan grilling, debuting a brand new concept, Tetsu, at a thrilling restaurant-within-the-restaurant setting in the sleek, modern Bar Masa.
If you’re familiar with the flaming fun that is teppanyaki—think Benihana—prepare to have your senses recalibrated at Tetsu. This is teppan refined, with only the freshest, highest quality meat, seafood and vegetables, grilled and presented with expert accuracy. Once guided past the urban-minimalist dining room of Bar Masa, you’ll be seated at one of seven teppan tables and prepped for a truly exclusive experience. Behind the gleaming grill table rests a display of farm-fresh produce and seafood on ice, but it’s not just for show. That’s what you’ll be eating in mere minutes. There’s nothing else like Tetsu in Las Vegas.
Begin with chilled, pristine oysters with tomatillo ceviche or a spicy shrimp and mango cocktail. Two different tartare options are prepared from scratch before your eyes, either steak or toro (tuna). Refreshing cold vegetable salads such as a spicy mango and zucchini julienne or watercress with a creamy wasabi will cleanse your excited palate. The lightly fried dancing shrimp dish has already become a favorite, slightly spicy and creamy tastes mingling with the juicy shellfish. Just like the raw fish on the Masa menu, each of these dishes is delicate and beautiful in flavor and presentation. And you can borrow from the other restaurant’s menu as well, with a la carte sushi and sashimi options available. For ultimate richness, try the ikura salmon roe or the uni (sea urchin) from Montecito, Calif. Or have both.
Most teppan menus are packaged “combo” meals, where you select some meat and vegetables to hit the grill and pair with traditional fried rice. At Tetsu, you can have it your way, completely. Each item, even each vegetable, can be ordered individually, making for a customized and personalized meal with every visit. Let the grilling begin with a small seafood tasting, choosing from jalapeño calamari, Santa Barbara shrimp, spicy octopus, rock oyster or scallop. These sweet, amazingly fresh ocean bites are just a tease of what’s to come.
The entrée is your choice(s) of Australian wagyu filet mignon or ribeye, succulent duck breast or dark-meat chicken, seasonal fish such as Scottish salmon and Mediterranean turbot, or a 1 1/2 pound lobster. Each of these proteins comes to life on the sizzling grill. It’s captivating to watch your meal go from start to finish just inches away. Keeping in touch with the traditional fun of teppan-style dining, a variety of dipping sauces are served: salsas red and green for the seafood, and a spicy-sour fish sauce and flavor-packed Japanese “pesto” for your beef or poultry. All serve as tasty complements. Round out your meal with sweet corn right off the cob, earthy eggplant, rich spinach, kale or any of eight other vegetable selections. To conclude, fried rice or yakisoba noodles will make sure you’re full, and a sweet yuzu sorbet serves as the perfect final touch.
5-11 p.m. Wed.-Sun. 877.230.2742