John Curtas is …

EN SUSHI

En Sushi is not in the same league as Raku when it comes to robatayaki cooking, and the sushi won’t make anyone forget Nobu, Hachi or Sen of Japan, but for a neighborhood place located in the middle of nowhere (i.e. the far ends of the Anthem earth), the food is mighty fine indeed.

As you can see from the tasty snaps, some of the dishes — potato-stuffed corn, smoked portabello mushrooms, skewered pork, fresh, dressed tofu — mirror what Mitsuo Endo does twenty (it seems like a hundred) miles to the northwest. But those izakaya standards seem a bit rougher cut, and not as fine in flavor as the same items done on Spring Mountain Road.

Coincidence? We at ELV don’t think so, since Mitsuo Endo (chef/owner of Raku) first came to Las Vegas to open En Sushi. What drove him to open his own joint is something we’ve been too polite to ask of either him or the owners of ES, but the good news is robata cooking has made it to the neighborhoods and both renditions are more than worth a special trip.

We could do without the fake crab in the shrimp starter salad, and what is touted as “fresh wasabi” looked and tasted of a horseradish-y jalapeno. (It was probably wasabi-marinated diced cucumber.) But the sashimi was as bright and well-sliced as any you’ll find off the Strip, and we’re still dreaming about the marinated and smoked duck — almost like duck “ham” in texture and taste.

There are hits and misses throughout the menu, but some don’t miss items include: those smoked and lightly grilled portabello mushrooms, fried shrimp dotted with fish roe, hamachi with jalapeno in ponzu sauce (the definitive Nobu dish copycatted to good effect), and lightly grilled pork belly, slightly sweetened with miso.

Forget the virtually tasteless fresh tofu salad (just what is the appeal of flavor-free bean curd draped with innocuous seaweed and bonito flakes anyway?), and the fake wasabi still bugs us,* but on many levels, from the clean, stylish interior, to the professional and welcoming management, to the sincere attempt to bring the best of Japanese cooking to the ‘burbs, En Sushi outshines just about any restaurant in this entire quadrant of the Vegas Valley.

Oh yeah, and the best way to end a meal here is not with the generic mochi balls, but by having Kurstin Schmitz (an Official Friend Of ELV), deliver a batch of her handmade cookies to your table. ;-}

EN SUSHI

2540 Anthem Village Dr. Ste. 120

Henderson, NV 89052

702.616.9282

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* FYI: this is what fresh wasabi looks like. (Real wasabi is on the right, dyed green horseradish is on the left.)**

** If you want to get a look at over-the-top sashimi/sushi, check out the tasty snaps on this fellow’s blog.

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7 Responses to EN SUSHI

  • I don’t know what the deal is with this “fresh” wasabi thing. I have been told by a couple lower end places that some similar looking stuff to your picture was fresh wasabi. It’s spicy alright but real fresh wasabi is taken from a root and doesn’t (anywhere on the plant) look like what is passed off as fresh wasabi in these places. Glad you enjoyed it overall. See, my side of the valley IS worth taking a trip to.

  • i guess I go there to haev the corn/potato thing. Ive been to Ryku 6 times and they are out every time

  • I guess even Max “I never met a free meal I didn’t like” Jacobson isn’t recession proof. MGM needs to open city center ASAP so they can invite max to eat for free and write, and get his job back!!

  • that looks like chopped pickled wasabi!

  • The potato stuffed corn is tasty. I was there once for dinner and for some reason a nice guy picked up my tab. And I was with my husband that night.

  • The sushi is really great here, and the tofu and udon are made fresh. I havent had a dish there I didn’t like. The staff is gracious and friendly. The lunch deals are fabulous. No all you can eat, but good quality I thought. We go there weekly. The creamy rock shrimp, skewers of duck and sea bass are all pretty yummy. Went to RA at the fashion show, and some other small places. No comparison so far.

  • It’s called Kizami wasabi, pretty much pickled wasabi root.

    En rocked when Endo san was the head chef there. He moved on to open Raku and doing quite well. I miss going to En.

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