Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mozen Restaurant @ MO LV, Las Vegas




MOzen is MO's all day dining venue and it is a pan-asian restaurant described as a kitchen theater with sushi bar, noodle bar, rotisserie and grill. The menu contains items from Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Thai cuisines. I had dinner and breakfast at MoZen.

My dinner at MOzen was excellent but expensive. The total with tax and gratuity came to about $160. This included a starter, a small plate, a noodle dish and dessert.

The tuna carpaccio was excellent. Lightly seared toro tuna is served with garnishes and drizzled with truffle oil. It is accompanied by a light salad.

The Kobe braised shortrib was spectacular. It was priced at $28. I am always a bit skeptical of meats labelled Kobe served in the US, especially since it gives a restaurant the excuse to charge and arm and a leg for an entree. I usually expect Snake River farms or some other American-raised ersatz variety when Kobe is placed on a menu. However, one bite told me otherwise. The meat had that very distinctive truffley unctuousness of Kobe, probably with a high marbling grade given the intense flavor from the fat, though braising would pretty much render much of that out. The restaurant manager visited my table and confirmed that it was Kobe beef from Japan. Quite lovely.

I wanted to try the noodle bar and opted for some La Mien noodles (hot chili oil on the side). They were serviceable, but I would have like more green herbs or even a small assorted herb salad on top of the noodles to brighten the flavors. The beef was somewhat chewy. The broth was flavorful and the noodles were good. Probably not my favorite dish, and if I were to return for dinner I would not order it again. I would caution diners to be very specific about spice. The cooks are fairly heavy-handed with the chili oil, and even though I asked for mine on the side, the broth was still fairly spicy.

Dessert was a passionfruit panna cotta, served in spheres. It was a creative presentation, but perhaps a bit too much gelatin in the panna cotta in order to hold them in their spherical form: the texture was a bit tougher than I prefer.

"Thank you Mr. Ether!" the manager said as I left MoZen. "Thank you Mr. Ether!" three more staff members chimed in sync shortly thereafter. "We have a table for you for breakfast tomorrow, see you then!" I was told.

My breakfast at MoZen the next day was delightful. My breakfast was included in my room rate, and the hotel only adds the gratuity you choose to provide your waiter to your bill.

A fan of their Kobe, I went for the Kobe fillet with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. This was accompanied by french fries. I was fearful that this would be too much food for me, but I thought it would be important to fortify myself for a day-long fast to follow in the hotel's spa.

The meal started with an amuse bouche from the chef, a small shot of carrot-ginger juice which awakened my senses with its spice. The orange juice tasted fresh squeezed and the coffee was good, hot, and my cup was always full.

Service at MoZen was excellent and the dining room sports great views of the Crystals shopping complex at CityCenter. I would have no problem having a quick dinner here and look forward to wonderful hearty breakfast experiences. Guests looking for romantic, exceptional dinner venues or celebrating special occasions may wish to look elsewhere.

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