Eating Out

Kame Omakase – Modern Japanese Off the Las Vegas Strip

Dining on the Vegas strip gives me sticker shock, even compared to the SF Bay Area. Luckily, there’s a growing number of excellent off-strip options with more reasonable prices. Kame Omakase, located 30 minutes out in Summerlin, is one of those spots. During the 2-hour meal, Chef Eric Kim takes a small group of diners on a fun, highly-educational, and flashy modern omakase experience.

While there were areas for improvement, notably in sushi technique, Chef Kim’s engaging personality and his menu of rare ingredients at a fair price make this a recommended experience.

The omakase menu kicked off with a trio of lobster, sea bass, and raw oyster. I enjoyed the variety – from the tart, crunchy beet with the mild sea bass to a cool, briny oyster with creamy uni.

Kame Omakase - Lobster Ball, Kumamoto Oyster w/ Uni and Caviar, Sea Bass w/ Pickled Beet
Lobster Skin Ball, Kumamoto Oyster w/ Uni and Caviar, Sea Bass w/ Pickled Beet

Next was chawanmushi with foie gras. I liked the combined creaminess, and the foie was relatively delicate in flavor.

Kame Omakase - Foie Gras Chawanmushi
Foie Gras Chawanmushi

The chilled barnacle course was memorable in appearance but the taste was pretty bland.

Kame Omakase - Barnacle
Barnacle

The signature “live lobster” was very Vegas flashy – uni, toro, caviar, and gold flakes on top of raw lobster. This was my first time eating raw lobster, and I preferred the creamier texture and fuller taste of raw shrimp.

Kame Omakase - Live Lobster, Uni, Toro, Caviar, Gold Flake, Yamamomo (Mountain Peach), Kelp, Real Wasabi
Live Lobster, Uni, Toro, Caviar, Gold Flake, Yamamomo (Mountain Peach), Kelp, Real Wasabi

Continuing the live theme was raw (as well as cooked) Hokkaido hairy crab. What a treat to try this rare ingredient for my first time! Unfortunately it wasn’t peak season so the crab meat was not as sweet as it should have been. I still prefer Maryland Blue Crabs for their sweetness, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this dish. The side of miso butter was wonderful with the crab meat.

Kame Omakase - Hokkaido Hairy Crab - raw and cooked, served with miso butter
Hokkaido Hairy Crab – raw and cooked, served with miso butter

During the crab course, Chef Eric did a mini show and tell – pulling out a box of live hairy crab shipped in sawdust. He also displayed a gigantic tuna collar.

Kame Omakase - Hokkaido Hairy crab
Hokkaido Hairy crab, shipped live in saw dust
Kame Omakase - Tuna Collar
Tuna Collar
Kame Omakase - Clam Miso Soup with Black Cod
Clam Miso Soup with Black Cod

The next part of the meal was a series of edomae-style omakase with 11 pieces of nigiri. I don’t have traditional edo style often, so my palette is not refined enough to evaluate all the nuances. I will say I had some standout pieces, though I also noticed some stringy cuts and general execution problems.

My favorites included kama toro (even fattier than otoro!) and raw geoduck (which was surprisingly crunchy – a sign of freshness).

Kame Omakase - Red Snapper
Red Snapper
Kame Omakase - Premium Red Snapper, yuzu
Premium Red Snapper, yuzu
Kame Omakase - Amber Jack
Amber Jack
Kame Omakase - King Salmon
King Salmon
Kame Omakase - Hokkaido Scallop and Uni
Hokkaido Scallop and Uni
Kame Omakase - Hokkaido Octopus Leg
Hokkaido Octopus Leg
Kame Omakase - Geoduck
Geoduck
Kame Omakase - Akami (lean cut of bluefin tuna)
Akami (lean cut of bluefin tuna)
Kame Omakase - Kama toro (fattiest cut of bluefin tuna)
Kama toro (fattiest cut of bluefin tuna)
Kame Omakase - Otoro (fatty cut of bluefin tuna)
Otoro (fatty cut of bluefin tuna)
Kame Omakase - Mackerel, ground sesame
Mackerel, ground sesame

After the nigiri, the meal continued with more modern dishes. The uni risotto was one of my favorite courses – the grains were creamy, yet distinct.

Kame Omakase - Hoikkado Uni Risotto, Kelp, Japanese Rice
Hoikkado Uni Risotto, Kelp, Japanese Rice

The A5 waygu from Hokkaido was apparently even higher quality than the A5 Miyazaki I usually see. We were served two cuts – “eye” and “cap”. I preferred the higher marbling of the “eye”. Looking back at this dish though, the incredibly sweet green peach side stole the show. The peach flavor was extra concentrated, like no other peach I’ve had!

Kame Omakase - Hokkaido A5 Wagyu (eye and cap), Green Peach, Australian Flake Salt
Hokkaido A5 Wagyu (eye and cap), Green Peach, Australian Flake Salt
Kame Omakase - Hokkaido A5 Wagyu Certificate
Hokkaido A5 Wagyu Certificate – better than Miyazaki according to Chef

Closing out the savory courses on a high note was lobster in uni beurre blanc with green tea soba. The bright, yet subtle orange notes were a great contrast to the richness of the sauce. I could inhale plates of this!

Kame Omakase - Lobster Claw, Manila Clam, Shimeji, Green Tea Soba, Uni Beurre Blanc, Orange
Lobster Claw, Manila Clam, Shimeji, Green Tea Soba, Uni Beurre Blanc, Orange

For dessert was a fun hojicha duo – ice cream and hot tea brewed to the same strength of the ice cream. I loved the same tasting notes in two very different forms.

Kame Omakase - Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea) Ice Cream with Cup of Hojicha
Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea) Ice Cream with Cup of Hojicha

Throughout the meal, I sipped on sake, including this excellent bottle of creamy Junmai Daiginjo recommend by Chef.

Kame Omakase - Daishichi Minowamon Junmai Daiginjo Kimoto Sake
Daishichi Minowamon Junmai Daiginjo Kimoto Sake

It was worth venturing far off the strip for this fun omakase dinner. A second location of Kame Omakase is expected to open later this year in Chinatown, bringing this experience a bit closer to the main strip.

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