Saturday, July 12, 2014

Moko Tapas Bar

I was in the mood for eating at a new restaurant and came across Moko Tapas Bar, which specializes in Asian fusion tapas inspired by Korean cuisine:



The owner, Ryan, was very hospitable and was nice to talk to.  Ryan told us that he used to work in a restaurant at Chinatown and wanted to open up his own restaurant.  He later on partnered up with Chef Hong and they eventually opened up Moko Tapas Bar a few weeks ago.  Ryan also said Chef Hong makes everything from scratch, he will only use fresh meat (none frozen), and refuses to use a microwave!



We started off with the Chilled Cucumber Noodle - cucumber noodle, cherub tomato, cold vegetable soup.  The cucumber noodles were fantastic with it's clear broth.  The broth was a bit sour, yet soothing.  If you like sour foods, this is for you:


Eggplant Salad- grilled eggplant, cherry tomato, grilled shishito pepper, and moko dressing.  A nice, light combination of vegetables:


Chicken Pottage- poached chicken with ginseng, boiled rice, and egg yolk.  This dish was similar to the chicken rice porridge I ate growing up whenever I was sick.  Anyways, the presentation of the chicken and egg yolk made the pottage look more appealing:


Smoked Yellowtail Sashimi - an apricot wood smoked yellowtail, micro green mix, Fuji apple, kelp powder, and sweet Korean apricot sauce.  The soft yellowtail was smoked to perfection!  I wish I could order like nine of this:


Spicy Chicken Thigh- yogurt and sake marinated thigh, kimchi, sweet potato, sweet and spicy sauce.  This was an interesting dish because the chicken thigh was cut opened with the sweet potato and kimchi filling added inside:


Omiza (schisandra berryCrème Brûlé- A crème brûlé made with the omiza berry that includes the five tastes of sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, and salty.  My taste buds tasted ALL these flavors at once, it kind of felt weird, but in awe at the same time!  These berries could be an ingredient in a Willy Wonka candy bar:


It was a great experience dining here!  I'm glad I got to eat my first Korean fusion foods at Moko and that we had the chance to chat with the owner.  If you're an adventurous eater, you should check this restaurant out!

Moko Tapas Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 07, 2014

Island Flavor

 If you're originally from Hawaii now living in Las Vegas aka da 9th island, you must be every now and then get homesick.  Since I've met many people from Hawaii over the past 10 years, they talk about missing the ocean, going to the beach, loved ones they've left behind, and eating local Hawaiian food on a daily basis.  Being that said, I always ask my friends from Hawaii what are good restaurants to eat at since they are more of the experts!

My friends have recommended Island Flavor, a Hawaiian restaurant located along Durango Rd near Windmill Ln.  They serve huge portions of Hawaiian comfort food and just dining there makes you feel like you're in Hawaii.

My husband ordered the Chicken Katsu Loco Moco-  two eggs any style and fried katsu on top of rice, and smothered in brown gravy.  This was my first time seeing this dish.  Usually at other Hawaiian restaurants I see Loco Mocos which have hamburger patties instead of the chicken katsu:


I ordered the Mixed Plate, you can choose any two of the Local Favorites items.  I got the Furikake Chicken- boneless chicken deep fried and tossed in furikake glaze.  I think this was also my first time seeing this chicken dish so I had to get it!  I definitely tasted the furikake in the glaze and the chicken wasn't too oily for being deep fried.    The second dish I chose was the Beef Teriyaki Steak bottom sirloin with their special Asian sauce broiled and sliced thin.  I'm not that picky in how I want my steak prepared as long as it is tender.  Their teriyaki sauce was indeed special - tasted like it was custom made:


For dessert we shared this chunky slice of Guava Cake.  Guava is a tropical fruit that taste almost like a cross between pear and strawberry, but you'd have to taste the fruit yourself and see if you haven't had one yet.  This cake was light and spongy and its guava flavor was strong: 


If you need to cure your homesickness from Hawaii or if you just like Hawaiian food, check out Island Flavor and try their ono (delicious) grinds (food)!

Island Flavor on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 05, 2014

SOHO Japanese Restaurant

In Las Vegas there are amazing restaurants outside of the Strip and SOHO Japanese Restaurant is one of them.  Expect to be waiting in line no matter what time you come, it is worth the wait!

When my husband and I arrived, we were told there would be a 15 minute wait and that our waitress to be had to clean up the bar of where we were going to sit at.  We waited more than 15 minutes, but I saw that the waitress was multi-tasking a lot of things in a short period of time.  By the time she sat us she apologized for the longer than expected wait.

The specials:



Started off with Edamame.  It was the first time I had it with a dipping sauce:



Yellowtail Yuzu Soy- Topped with micro cilantro, garlic oil, ponzu, and garlic dust:



I love Salmon Sashimi:



Behold, the SOHO tadas!  This is a Mexican and Japanese fusion dish.  At the front is Hamachi - Salsa Verde, middle is Tuna - Hawaiian Poke Sauce, and at the back is Salmon - Pico De Gallo.



The second batch.  At the front is the White Fish - Shiso Pesto, middle is the Shrimp - Mango Salsa, back is the Tako (octopus) - Kimchee:


A nice, simple presentation of the Japanese Omelette (tamago):


Spicy Tuna Hand Roll:


The executive chef/owner, John Chien Lee, had heard about our long wait and gave us a Hydro Bibb Black Cod- marinated miso cod (my fave), lettuce cups, and garnished with crispy wontons.  How nice of him:


Our waitress asked if we liked scallops, we said yes and later was given another dish on the house!  This is the Hokkaido Scallop. This opulent dish did not have a "fishy" taste at all.  It was cleaned thoroughly and the garnishes paired well with the shellfish:


Lastly, we were surprised again with another free dish!  This is Soho Maki- egg rolls with chicken, shrimp, cabbage and sweet chili sauce as a dip.  This is similar to the Filipino lumpia:


All of the dishes we had were spectacular!  After meeting the Chef John, we could tell that he was passionate about his job and wanted to make sure all his customers were satisfied.  So if you enjoy eating Japanese food, you HAVE to eat at SOHO!  

P.S. Happy Hour is on Mon-Sat from 4pm-6pm.

Soho Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon