Nestled modestly in a strip mall across from the Palms, Tatsujin X is a showcase for teppanyaki, a traditional form of Japanese flattop cooking in which chefs prepare the food in front of diners with a bit of flair. While most Americans are familiar with this (Benihana, anyone?), Tatsujin X has more in common with elevated edomae sushi destinations such as Yui and Kabuto than with the acrobatic shrimp emporium. It’s a unique representation of an authentic dining style not seen elsewhere in the valley.
So it should come as no surprise that Las Vegas’ most renowned Japanese chef — Mitsuo Endo of Aburiya Raku and Raku Sweets fame — is involved. The opening of Raku (a 2017 Desert Companion Restaurant Awards Hall of Fame honoree) marked a seismic shift in the dining scene that inspired waves of innovative chefs and restaurateurs from Japan to look West for new horizons. As with most successful Japanese restaurants, Tatsujin X’s focus on quality ingredients and clean preparations is paramount. Menu highlights include dashimaki tamago, a savory Japanese omelet saddling a mix of king crab and uni, and a Brobdingnagian grilled oyster bathed in ponzu situated atop edible marinated kombu and savory okonomiyaki, a thick Japanese pancake. But these dishes are just a precursor to the crescendo in which lightly seasoned cuts of steak (or buttery fish, if you’re so inclined) are painstakingly seared with surgical precision. The accompanying trio of dipping sauces is practically unnecessary, as the simply prepared meat itself is the star (although a pairing with the namesake Tatsujin fried rice laden with shiso is a must). Very much like the sleek, contemporary restaurant itself, Tatsujin’s presentation is strikingly simple, eschewing adornment in favor of showcasing the ingredients themselves. It’s never ostentatious or showy, yet it’s dazzling in a way that makes Tatsujin X right at home in Las Vegas.