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. ;-}
2540 Anthem Village Dr. Ste. 120
Henderson, NV 89052
* 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.