PB&J doesn’t mean the same thing to executive chef Gene Villiatora that it does to most folks. At Xtreme Sushi & Asian Tapas Bar, Gene’s PB and J roll is a medley of prawns, bacon, and jalapeno, all rolled with a creamy dash of avocado. He puts a similarly creative spin on his other sushi inventions, whether by incorporating fixings like Cajun albacore and garlic ponzu or deep-frying classic rolls like the California and Philadelphia.
His inspired take on culinary staples isn’t limited to sushi. Gene integrates Japanese and other eastern flavors into original tapas, from miso-glazed kobe burgers to Thai-style salmon with peanut butter curry sauce. On select evenings, he also hosts multi-course dinners centered on steaks aged for 28 days, the maximum amount of time steak can go before it qualifies for retirement benefits.
Samurai Sam’s aims to help its customers eat smarter by offering fast-food meals made from healthy Japanese recipes, a novel concept that resulted in the eatery being lauded by Entrepreneur magazine as a top Asian-fast-food franchise. At more than 40 locations in 17 states, cooks top bowls of steamed rice or yakisoba noodles with wok-cooked vegetables, lean meats such as chicken and salmon, and their signature Samurai Sam’s teriyaki sauce. The kitchen staff also craft salads from crisp lettuce, cucumbers, and other fresh vegetables tossed with light dressings, chicken breast, and wonton strips or crunchy noodles. Egg rolls and crab puffs, which are grilled instead of fried, help round out the health-friendly menu.
In 1971, Jimmy Nishiyama introduced the city of Las Vegas to Japanese hibachi cuisine. Three decades later, and the friends have stayed very much in touch. During that time, South Geisha House Steak & Sushi, Nishiyama's brainchild, has grown to fill three locations and eight menu pages. Colorful specialty sushi rolls, such as the baked Japanese Lasagna––cream cheese and mayo atop a crab-meat and avocado roll––make fitting partners for grilled lobster, filet mignon, or scallops in hibachi dinners. Nearly 30 varieties of sake trip merrily across the palate, while the Geisha martini blends sake with plum wine and a treasure trove of James Bond jokes.
Smoke rises up from Bee Gee Kitchen's handmade charcoal-fueled grill as it sizzles with the bamboo-skewered meats, seafood, and vegetables of Japanese yakitori-inspired dishes. Chefs adorn the skewers in their own signature sweet and spicy sauces and also specialize in a variety of hibachi, udon-noodle, and teriyaki dishes. Waiters carry steaming dishes out into the cheerful dining room, where bright green walls and sunlight beam down upon rows of tabletops. Outside, cars line up before a drive-thru window, picking up freshly prepared dishes to enjoy at home or while taking repeated laps around their favorite roundabout.
Seven days a week, world-class DJs bump hip-swaying beats at KOI Lounge, the Strip’s freshest take on the boutique nightclub. Plush lounge seating lines the border of the circular space, which overlooks Planet Hollywood’s sprawling casino, with the spacious, onyx-hued dance floor glittering with gold flecks even in the low lighting. Partiers replenish their energy with the kitchen’s Japanese-inflected cuisine, which—working in tandem with Asian-inspired decor and European bottle service—lends the venue an international vibe typically achieved by serving vials full of international waters.
Teriyaki Boy serves up health-friendly eats that integrate Japanese and Chinese influences without the use of oil or MSG. Their cooks grill or bake shrimp, tofu, Angus steak, or chicken before tossing them into teriyaki bowls or teriyaki wraps, which bring together the proteins with rice and vegetables. Tender filets of salmon and mahi mahi also make an appearance in bowls with rice or soba noodles. Morsels of Mongolian beef, sesame orange chicken, or sweet and sour pork broaden the flavor spectrum alongside sips of boba smoothies.