Nobu Matsuhisa’s massive new restaurant at Caesars Palace (over 11,000 square feet) offers a lot more than the classic Japanese fusion menu from the legendary, innovative chef. It’s only the second Nobu restaurant in the world to offer teppan (Australia has the other one). As you might expect, the experience here is elevated far beyond the Benihana-style grilling high jinks so closely identified with teppan-yaki dining. There are three tables with built-in iron grills, each seating a maximum of eight people. Reservations are a must, and everyone in your party must eat from the same menu; there are four options ranging from $90 to $280. These dishes are from the cream-of-the-crop menu, a decadent meal that leaves a lasting impression.
Nobu Caesars Palace, 785-6628. Teppan hours: Daily, 5-11 p.m., reservations mandatory.
XO and Jamon Iberico fried rice
Why not use the world’s favorite pork product to kick up your fried rice? A little spicy funkiness from XO sauce goes nicely with the bits of salty meat blended into this little bowl of perfection.
Teppan-style foie gras
Foie becomes a different bite once seared on this scorching grill, still luxurious and smooth but also benefiting from an intense caramelization that brings out different flavors. Brilliantly complemented by a plum wine teriyaki sauce, it’s stacked on braised daikon, topped with crunchy garlic, and served with a bit of sweet potato purée on the side.
Japanese A5 Wagyu
Of course, the newest Nobu serves the best beef you can get in the States. In fact, there’s a special seven-course A5 Wagyu Beef Banquet menu available at the teppan tables, too ($688 per person—better save up). But this quick-seared taste is plenty, served with three sauces: a Peruvian chile purée, a citrus soy and an indulgent, creamy truffle sauce.
Lobster miso cappuccino
Miso soup is traditionally one of the final courses during a teppan-yaki meal, but this stuff is unbelievable. Rich, sweet broth with a savory foam on top and a chunk of tempura lobster for good measure, this is one of the most sublime things I’ve tasted this year.