If you read about my trip to Las Vegas (las-vegas-january-2018.html), you read a bit about our experience at the Beatles' LOVE show. The show ended sometime around 9 p.m. and, naturally, we were hungry. We didn’t want to walk too far so we decided to find something within the casino (this show is located inside the MIRAGE). It was late and, again, it looked as though places were starting to close.
Then we stumbled upon Otoro. Honestly, it was the ceiling that was calling out to us. Plus, I had been craving sushi earlier in the day so this was perfect. My husband, Vuong, was down and he'll pretty much eat anything when he's hungry.
As we were perusing the appetizer section of the menu, I felt like getting some type of vegetable and we went ahead and ordered the mushroom meatballs.
I was expecting ground mushrooms balled up to simulate actual meatballs but once we took a bite, it definitely had meat in it (duh, I must've been too tired because I missed the "meat" part or meatballs). Anyway, it was really good and tasted like a lighter meatball, if that makes sense. Even though it was covered in sauce, it didn't have that heavily drenched taste you sometimes get. The dish came with vegetable tempura as well.
I'd say this was a light appetizer and enough to sustain you until the main course.
Anytime we eat at Japanese restaurants, we try to get out of our comfort zone and order something that we haven't tried before. If you've followed me or know me personally, you'd know by now I'm always down to try new food. Vuong, on the other hand, can be a bit cautious. I mean he started out with a very "vanilla" palate in the beginning of our relationship!
We ordered 2 pieces of the mackeral or saba nigiri (note: nigiri is with the rice pad underneath the raw fish, sashimi is the raw fish itself so make sure you know the difference when you order).
This particular fish has a very sea-like, fishy taste and did not win over Vuong at all. First thing he said after popping the whole thing in his mouth, "OH MAN!! That is different." And, yet, he swallowed (which, I'm a bit surprised by because he looked like he was going to choke). However, I like it because it reminds me of some of the fish I used to eat when I was a child. So, it almost tasted like home (as in when I'd visit the Philippines). LOL - not really a good description of my childhood but that's as close as I can get to describing what it tastes like for me. This fish will either be a hit or miss with people. Needless to say this was a miss for Vuong but I'm so happy he braved it. Must be true love. J/K ;P
For these next two dishes, we ended up sharing. After Vuong's experience with the mackeral, he went back to ordering something he was familiar with...basically anything with tempura shrimp - definitely a safe option. So he ordered the Purple Rain, located in their Specialty Roll section. This is ones of their hand rolls consisting of shrimp tempura wrapped in rice and topped with spicy tuna (raw) and orange tobiko (fish eggs or flying fish roe, to be precise).
This comes with 8 rolls and is a bit on the filling side. You can find a version of this at any sushi restaurant and 8 rolls are typical.
We also ordered smaller hand rolls - the Philadelphia Roll (contains cream cheese, avocado, and raw Scottish salmon) and the Spicy Tuna Roll (contains cucumber and, well, raw tuna). When I mention "smaller," there are 6 rolls instead of 8 and they're generally smaller in size. These didn't taste too different from similar rolls we'd order at other restaurants but the fish seemed fresher.
Vuong's fave part of our evening - the dessert! For those of us that know him personally, we know all about his deep connection with anything sugary and sweet. Even I'd be jealous (or maybe threatened) if sugar was a person.
When looking at the dessert menu, we wanted something that we hadn't eaten in a while and that was MOCHI. It came with 3 assorted flavors: lychee, green tea, and raspberry. If you haven't had mochi, it's basically flat balls of ice cream inside a doughy sweet rice covering and dusted with a bit of powdered sugar. You can never go wrong with the mild taste of green tea. The other two were lightly sweet and very flavorful.
A definite win for the both of us!
When I mentioned that the ceilings called out to us, just check out the photos I took of the interior below. The images depict exactly what I mean. Many times, ceilings are neglected in a design but there was no shortage of detail here! I loved how organic everything seemed...the flowing ceilings, the indoor tree, the natural stone look of the lights...it almost felt "cave-like."
A photographer from Cashman Photography was going around the restaurant picking out people that might be interested in a photo op. We were one of the first couples she approached. Being in the middle of the restaurant, I had second thoughts. Surprisingly, Vuong said "OK." He is NEVER one to attract attention.
She was then telling us how to pose - some had my hand on his arm or he had his arm around me. The last photo, she had him give me a kiss on the cheek while I look at the camera. That one actually turned out to be his favorite.
Sure, people were looking at us but it was all positive vibes. No weird or rude looks coming our way (but, really, if you think about it, who really cares because we won't be seeing them again anyway). It was a fun night out - great show, feeling satiated (but tired) and we were ready to walk back to our suite!
To check this place out, visit www.mirage.com/en/restaurants/otoro.html?icid=GMB_Restaurants_Otoro
~ XOXO, Mari
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