The New York-born Momofuku restaurant empire may still be defined or at least identified by chef David Chang’s savory ramen and irresistible pork belly bao buns. But Momofuku Las Vegas may have quickly built its own reputation, one for unusually rich and decadent flavor combinations resulting in some mind-blowing, appropriately celebratory Vegas-style dishes. Of course, you can still get those buns and noodles, but there’s a whole new host of plates created by executive chef Shaun King and his team that you need to sample.
Many ritzy restaurants on the Strip use A5 grade beef these days, but not as a delicious blanket. The Kagoshima Wagyu potatoes ($42) drape paper-thin slices of the in-demand ingredient over crispy, tender spuds slathered with crunchy garlic and honey mustard for a truly unique bite. The new uni hashbrown ($42) takes a similar approach, topping potatoes with spicy Thai-style nam prik, crème fraiche and buttery sea urchin. Too bad Momofuku isn’t open for breakfast.
These are side dishes meant to be shared with your whole table, but the new hearts of palm and avocado salad ($19) with sunflower and tomato and the summery-sweet king crab and melon ($48) could cause some fork fights at that table. Try keeping the hozon bucatini ($21) all to yourself, an indulgent pasta dish that will have your brain thinking carbonara even though there’s no cream involved; it’s all about Chang’s trademarked seasoning blend made from fermented nuts, koji and salt.
My favorite new dish is perhaps the most simple, the cedar-smoked wild Alaskan king salmon ($50). There’s serious smoke on this fish but it’s balanced beautifully with lemon and sunflower and it’s a great alternative (or addition) to the big-ticket Momofuku family-style feasts like salt and pepper lobster and shrimp or the 64-ounce beef short rib rack. Menu versatility continues to keep ‘em coming.
MOMOFUKU Cosmopolitan, 702-698-2663. Daily, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5:30-11 p.m.