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Feb 18, 2010 03:58 PM

Las Vegas- Kobe or Japanese Wagyu steaks??

My husband and I are heading out to Vegas in April and we are looking for a good steakhouse (preferably on or near the strip) that serves a good Kobe or Japanese Wagyu steak. I have looked around and online and found Cut, Stripsteak and Steakhouse, are there any others?

They all have Wagyu, but can't seem to find some actual "kobe". Is it even available in Vegas? I did read the thread from about a year ago but was wondering if there were any new places or opinions.


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  1. There is almost no actual Kobe beef in the U.S. Unless you like fat you would be happy with a Wagyu steak. Most steaks in the store are USDA Grade Choice or Select. Good steak houses are Prime or High Choice. Wagyu would likley be about 2 Grades fatter than prime and kobe is usually about 2 or 3 Grades fatter than Wagyu. As a Montana carnivore I would have no interest in kobe beef. My suggestion would be try some given to you. There are many producers who think they have something special and are willing to give you a sample, about like Walmart used to.

    Hope this helps you out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bigshed

      I have to disagree completely with you. All Kobe is Wagyu but not all Wagyu are Kobe. The differences are in the region but the bloodlines we have here in the US go all the way back to the Kobe region and others. Real wagyu will be DNA verified, what you may have had is a wagyu angus cross which does it no justice. Real wagyu or Kobe is in the genetics that can not be duplicated no matter how you feed out your angus. The best part is the rich buttery fat that will melt
      in your mouth. I am raising full blood wagyu right now and using a full blood bull that will produce calves that are A5 80% of the time. That is the highest score in Japan, same as the A5 Kobe beef down to the DNA. It's similar to award winning California sparkling wine and the French champagne it has been beating. Also note that the USDA prime on the marbling scale goes to 5 I believe and that's where USDA stops grading and wagyu will go all the way to 12. Just beware of where you get your meat, most restaurants and butchers call anything with wagyu influence wagyu and it's not.

    2. Like bigshed said, true Kobe isn't available in the United States. However, true Kobe isn't necessarily the best, anyway (and Kobe comes in different quality levels). There are several competitors in Japan, some of which are available in the United States.

      "Wagyu" is a more generic term than Kobe; it means "Japanese cow", and can refer to several breeds of cattle. Sadly, both "Kobe" and "Wagyu" sometimes get used to describe meat that is (1) not from Kobe, and (2) is actually an American Wagyu-Angus hybrid.

      As a practical matter, the best beef is likely to be Japanese Wagyu. Next best is so-called "American Kobe" or "American Wagyu" (I hate those names).

      The easiest thing to do is concentrate on the quality grade, and the marbling score. The highest quality level will usually be described as A5; the "5" is the quality level (the highest possible); the "A" is the yield. In addition, the marbling score determines how nicely marbled the fat is. A score of 8 is very good, 9 better still, and 10 about as high as you'll usually see (the top possible score is 12).

      1. As Larry said, Kobe isn't necessarily the best prefecture, quality wise. The top three(generally recognized, in no order) wagyu breeds are Ohmi(Omi), Matsuzaka, and Kobe. If I recall correctly, Ohmi is/or was actually the official wagyu of the Imperial Household; however, Matsuzaka was the most expensive per/lb last time I was in Japan-one store owner told me that an entire Matsuzaka cow sold for nearly $400k US in 1989. Unfortunately, I have seen Matsuzaka beef only once in the States(or so I was told). The bottom line is that the highest scored A-5 beef never leaves Japan.

        Here in Las Vegas, you have found the main steakhouses for Japanese beef with my preference being Cut. Cut served Kagoshima Wagyu last time I was there. Craftsteak has A5 as well, although I don't recall which prefecture. Pretty much every high-end place will have some type of Japanese beef(varied quality levels obviously) like Prime, Botero, etc. A newer restaurant is Bar Masa, which serves Ohmi Wagyu-tataki style. Masashi is a teppanyaki off-strip joint that sells purported Japanese beef although, frankly, I've purchased Greg Norman Australian from Butcher Block that looked better, I wouldn't go back even if they had A5.

        As a note, I would also recommend Carnevino, not for Japanese, but they have arguably the best meat aging program in the US. Their reserva beef is aged over 6 months. Last time I was there, we had an 9 1/2 month aged steak. Totally unusual, and different flavor and texture, with Jamon Iberico like essence. I have never had steak similar to those, it is an experience.

        Hope this helps....Any of the places you mentioned will satisfy your craving for that heavenly meat, have fun and don't eat too much:)

        5 Replies
        1. re: palmdoc1

          Off topic somewhat, but are there any reputable online sources for purchasing quality Japenese Wagyu and/or quality American Wagyu? There are many listed when doing a quick search, but is there one source that stands apart?

          1. re: Dan Wodarcyk

            I have seen Cost sell it online. Can't go wrong there I guess :)

            1. re: Dan Wodarcyk

              Dan, I haven't purchased American wagyu online; however, for japanese beef, of the best restaurants in the west source beef from here.

              1. re: palmdoc1

                Thanks very much. You obviously know your steak. The adirectfoods website has some good options that I'll have to try. Back on topic, I had an amazing meal at CUT Los Angeles a year ago and opted for the true Japanese Wagyu filet. It was stellar, worth the price (which I do not remember) and a terrific array of sides.

              2. re: Dan Wodarcyk

                Snake River Farms is where CUT gets their American Wagyu...


              1. re: shamu613

                Great link Shamu. Thanks!!

                Thanks for the schooling in Japanese Wagyu. We were leaning towards Cut and I think between the answers here and on the other thread, we will be making a reservation there!!

                1. re: HeidiCT

                  Here are the pictures from my last two times there. I called ahead and got the tasting for 185 pp I believe. You will not be disappointed with Cut.

              2. Okada at Wynn has Japanese Kobe, $180 for 5 ounces.