Akira Back is a rarity. Las Vegas is full of talented and famous chefs, many of whom were household names before expanding operations to Sin City. Back is different—he came to Vegas and made his name on the Strip before branching out. Not only does he maintain Yellowtail at Bellagio and Kumi at Mandalay Bay, he’s opened eponymous restaurants in luxury resorts in India and Indonesia in recent years, and coming very soon, another project in his native Seoul, South Korea.
Back’s subtle blending of Korean and other Asian flavors into hip Japanese cuisine has become his Vegas calling card, and this unique style is best represented in a single, sublime dish at Yellowtail, jeju domi. This sashimi of Korean red snapper accented with spicy and sweet gochujang red chili paste is one of the best raw fish bites in all of Las Vegas, a seemingly minimalist plate that explodes with sharp, clean flavors. Back has become an iconic Vegas chef, and this is the signature dish you must experience to best understand his genius. Yellowtail at Bellagio, 702-693-8865. Monday-Thursday 5-10 p.m., Friday-Sunday 5-11 p.m.