When it comes to business conferences, you’re usually treated to an endless line of steam trays filled with over-cooked chicken, fish along with hard rolls and a cold pat of butter. But it is definitely a nice treat to get off the ranch and try something a bit more special. At IBM InterConnect 2016 at Mandalay Bay it was Kumi restaurant that made up for that industrial hotel food and boy, did it ever!
Conveniently located just north of the convention centers and across from Aureole, Kumi is a bustling hip spot drawn up in a bit of sexy ambiance. Small bar up front, two main dining rooms with a side room for small groups, the space has a very warm feel and offers up a mix of Japanese and Korean on the menu. I managed to stop in for two visits, the first for omakase which is the chef’s choice from $65 to $150 per person. Rolls a la carte on the menu run in the $21 – $28 area, appetizers in the $10 – $15 range.
While the main dining room is appealing with a nice view of the sushi bar, the second dining room in back is spectacular! Circular and glowing underneath a jumble of a lit stick structure overhead. Wish I could describe it better but it looked good! Cherry blossom wallpaper fills out the rest of this special dining room in back.
For our first meal, we did the $90 omakase which consisted of 10 or so plates brought to the table ranging from warm apps to sushi-sashimi and ending up in hot entrees. There were a slew of great flavors but some favorites included the sashimi plate which include clam and octopus, poached lobster and sizzling filet mignon plate.
Really nicely done and not a bad deal for Mandalay Bay at the price. Unfortunately since the meal was the chef’s choice, I’m not really sure what we ate for the evening! With a smaller group, service at the table was excellent for the evening.
For visit #2 we went a la carte, with a little bit of edamame to start the meal and sushi for my main. I went with the pork belly and hot mess rolls which were well-reviewed online. But I was totally tempted to try Kumi’s pop rockin roll which caught my eye. The sushi here is obviously pretty creative and untraditional but what would you expect for Las Vegas? The pork belly roll is presented as 8 pieces and covered with a slaw, delicious stuff. And the hot mess is crab and poke with some Screaming O sauce, a spicy concoction drizzled on table-side. It’s a pleasantly spicy sauce with just enough heat. Service for this second meal was pretty stilted and challenged but with a conference of 20,000+ people going on next door, not a total surprise.
What can I say but Kumi hit all the high spots for me during my week in Las Vegas. While I do think the sushi and rolls here are pretty darn good, they are probably enhanced by the great ambiance. Think very good, but not great. However when you tie in the ambiance and decor it certainly rises above the average for what you can typically find around here. So enjoy Kumi for the sushi, decor and experience!
3950 S Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89119