BIG IN JA­PAN

IN­VEN­TIVE TAKES ON SCOT­TISH TRA­DI­TION, SUSHISAMBA’S JA­PANESE WHISKIES ARE SUR­PRIS­INGLY PER­FECT WITH RAW FISH.

Vegas Magazine - - Contents - BY ROB KACHELRIESS

In­ven­tive takes on Scot­tish tra­di­tion, Sushisamba’s Ja­panese whiskies are sur­pris­ingly per­fect with raw fish.

Sushisamba’s mis­sion is to have the best, most di­verse Ja­panese whisky selec­tion in Ve­gas—an am­bi­tious goal for the Palazzo restau­rant al­ready known for a mam­moth sake list and an in­ven­tive Ja­panese and South Amer­i­can menu. “Ja­panese whisky is based on Scotch, which goes back over 500 years,” says Hayes Swope, Sushisamba’s di­rec­tor of hos­pi­tal­ity and train­ing. “The Ja­panese are play­ing a lot more with dif­fer­ent mix­tures of grains and bar­ley but fol­low the same reg­u­la­tions.”

With its 30 mostly rare whiskies, it is carv­ing a unique iden­tity among its Strip com­peti­tors, in­clud­ing its next-door neigh­bor. “Del­monico Steak­house has the big­gest, best brown liquor list I’ve ever seen,” he says. “And they have six from Ja­pan.” To spread the word, Sushisamba has in­tro­duced a seven-course Ja­panese whisky pair­ing menu, in­clud­ing a pas­sion fruit sour served along­side a tem­pura Min­ter Sweet oys­ter. Swope de­scribes the Wagyu Cock­tail as “deca­dence in a glass.”while the pair­ing din­ner was de­vised as a lim­ited run, he ex­pects it to con­tinue as the de­mand for Ja­panese whisky in­creases. Dis­til­leries in Ja­pan “honor and re­spect the dif­fer­ent in­gre­di­ents and the nat­u­ral re­sources that go into mak­ing it, yet they’re play­ful at the same­time.” Palazzo,702-6070700; sushisamba.com

Whisky soy­mar­i­nated ro­bata pork ribs with aji panca bar­be­cue sauce are paired with Akashi sin­gle malt, aged five years in sherry casks.

A Café Bom Bom (cof­fee cus­tard, sweet ice cream, and Ja­panese whisky foam) finds its per­fect foil in a Ja­panese cherry Man­hat­tan granita, made with Ja­panese whisky, An­tica For­mula Carpano ver­mouth, cherry bit­ters, and maraschino cherry syrup.

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