What’s ELV’s favorite phrase these days?
“This thing has more moving parts than a Mexican soap opera.”
It’s also one of the more interesting, flavorful and unique sushi rolls we’ve had in a ‘coon’s age, made all the more so by having been cooked up by a couple of gaijin: Rick “Fishboy” Moonen and Adam “No Nickname Yet” Sobel.
It all begins with excellent, short-grained, Japanese rice that is perfectly cooked. (Note the plump, shiny individual grains barely holding themselves together.*) It is then mixed with just a whisper of seasoned rice wine vinegar, and rolled with sliced avocado, pre-marinated branzino (Mediterranean sea bass “cooked” in citrus — ceviche-like — to firm it up), and combined with the star of the show: the “secret” ingredient, itself marinated in buttermilk before being deep-fried and placed, still warm in the center of the roll. The whole kit and kaboodle is then brushed with a kaba-yaki sauce (the usual treatment for freshwater eel), before being sliced and served with a dribble of roasted orange glaze over the top.
It’s that “secret” ingredient, that ELV and his staff thought would be awful in a sushi roll, but, as it turned out, provided a beautiful contrast in earthiness and crunchiness to the smooth starch and fragrant seafood.
Can you tell what it is simply by looking at the picture?
And as long as we’re talking about excellence at RM, here are a few tasty snaps…… of the new menu there, including Sobel’s take on the In-N-Out cheeseburger (you’ve heard of tribute bands — this is a tribute burger), shrimp and Anson Mills grits, and 16 different ice creams for you to play guessing games with at your table. (The assortment comes with a chart for you to fill in while you compete and score points against your tablemates for who has the best palate.) Expect some real curveball flavors like ancho pepper, white pepper and roasted garlic. After those, distinguishing between mango and papaya is a breeze.
In the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino
3930 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
* In the most exotic and expensive Japanese sushi restaurants, the grains are arranged within the roll or individual pieces so that they line up, perfectly parallel to each other. As far as we can tell, there have been no reported suicides or insanities resulting from this activity. But we don’t advise trying it without a trained, Japanese sushi chef and a psychiatrist present.