Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rising sun: Hole in the wall?

It was saturday night and so like every Saturday my 2 best friends and I would make our way to our usual restaurant and have dinner and drinks over a nice chat.

It's been a while though that we've been frequenting the same place and were sure the waiters were as tired of seeing us as we were of seeing them.

Saturday nights at this place became like a ritual; we'd arrive almost at the same time every time, we'd order the same dishes or almost, the same wines, and the funniest part is that we'd be served by the same waiter as well. It was like a deja vu scene that was happening over and again.

So this time we thought to ourselves we should try something new. Yeah we do that every now and then. We all live in Las Vegas so we had to pick a place in the city. We tried Russian, Italian, Sushi, and so on, but we'd always go back to that one Italian place.

Yesterday was no different. We tried out a new place and swore to come back but we all know where we will be going next week.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share that place with people interested in trying out new places in Vegas. I am not a food critic for sure, but I will do my best to share my own experience and reviews about this place.

First of all, I must warn you, it does look like a hole in the wall at first sight, and is located on Flamingo between & Koval and Howard hughes. It was not hard to find for there was but one place adjacent to US bank and opposite Tuscanny Suites, and that place was it. The name might have been a little confusing however.

Driving down Flamingo, big red shining words that made up the title Sushi-grill & cafe greeted us, telling us we have reached our destination. As soon as we found a parking space, not that it was hard to find with only two other cars parked there, I looked up at the name of the place and it said Rising Sun, to the right in yellow. As we stepped closer to the entrance, a small word in different bright colors caught my attention on the glass door when I read "Steakhouse". We were trying to take a peak at the menu but that confusiuon of names alone would have made me change my mind and go in the opposite direction. But given our intention to try out something new that night, we walked in nevertheless.

The place was actually small and very cozy. Japanese vases were scattered here and there, wall ribbons with writing covered few areas of the wall, Samurai swords sat majestically on the right hand side of the entrance wall and the orange red furniture screamed of coziness and warmth. It was only 9pm, so we did not expect the place to be very crowded considering it was faily new -It used to be a Pizza joint or something that apparently did not do well and has been open for a month or so, maybe a little more- but we did not expect it to be empty either. We were seated at the far end of the room, at a table accomodating up to four people with two comfortable sofas. Facing us was a couple and to our right a table of six, all of whom looked anythign but Asian. So we figured it is more likely a new Euro-Asian kind of food and place.

The music that played was a combination of pop and techno styles in this elegant decor, as we sat looking at a four paged menu wondering what was good.

There was not a huge selection to pick from and the menu was divided in little sections like salads, meals, appetizers and rolls, though most of what I read was tempura stuff. So I ordered a Sake which came in a good sized bottle for one person, and my mates ordered the house wine.

Needless to say the wine tasted horrible and so if you do decide to give it a try and insist on having a glass of wine I recommend chosing by the bottle not by the glass.

We ordered a few rolls from what read and promised to be good, though I did miss the regular seaweed salad and Miso soup available on almost every Japanese/Sushi menu. The rolls comprised of the same standard ingredients though in a slightly different format and though I have never had any Sushi rolls over a layer of sauce, they actually were appetizing. The portions were generous, one must admit, and the rolls were well sized as well, not to mention the prices were really fair.

The food tasted fresh and the place looked clean which is a big plus in restaurants, so that kept us ordering more. We sampled a little from everything; a Tuna Poki salad, Shrimp & Crab Spring Roll which was delicious to someone who does not liek fried food, Jalopeno Tuna rolls, Salmon rolls, Shrimp rolls, Tiger rolls, it was all so yummy. The atmosphere was enjoyable despite the lack of guests and the only waitress available who spoke little English but understood most of what was said was adorable as well. All went well until dessert hour called.

We ordered a Vanilla Tempura desert and a bit oddly coffee. The cute waitress said that it was Starbucks coffee so we reckoned it must be good. The paper cups were indeed labeled Starbucks and I am sure the beans must have been purchased at Starbucks bu the Latte and coffee were more of an insult to the name than anything else. The milk was over heated and the beans tasted horrid. I could have had a beeter coffee at McDonalds to say the least. Hey people like MDs coffee.

If it was not for the coffee the evening would have been perfect. The whole thing cost us approximately USD 125 which was fair we thought. Truly though, I 've never had that much tempura before but it wa well done and tasty. So if u like cozy small places and lots of tempura rolls then its the perdect place for you. The money for the food was well worth it.

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