Dining

[Best of Vegas 2015]

Best Undercover Sushi Experience: Kumi

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The master at work: Takaaki Ebashi behind the bar at Kumi.

The best parts of eating on the Strip are the unexpected discoveries. Maybe the best burger is at a seafood house, or an Italian-themed resort’s New Orleans-based celebrity chef serves the greatest barbecued ribs.

Or maybe you stride into a trendy Japanese restaurant known as a pre-club hot spot, sit down at the small sushi bar and allow a former sumo wrestler named Takaaki Ebashi to thrill you with the most amazing, hit-after-hit, piece-by-piece, edomae-style meal of your life. Maybe the way Takaa-san gently slashes aori ika (big fin reef squid) makes it feel and taste like nothing else ... and then he adds mint leaf and sea urchin to the next piece. His cucumber roll is galactic, his souffléed tamago peerless. He just smiles and makes another bite, then you smile bigger.

Only Strip restaurants have the talent and resources to make culinary dreams come true, even if you haven’t imagined them yet. They’re still there, waiting to be discovered. Mandalay Bay, 702-632-9100.

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Brock Radke has been writing about Las Vegas for more than 15 years. He currently covers entertainment, music, nightlife, food ...

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