2012 ALEDM Review of Matsuhisa Vail
We had been delaying our visit to Matsuhisa because we didn’t want to be disappointed (Matsuhisa, Solaris Vail, 141E. Meadow Dr., Vail, CO 81657, tel. 970-476-6628, web: http://www.matsuhisavail.com/). In the late 80’s when Nobu Matsuhisa was new in LA we went to his tiny hole-in-the wall restaurant on La Cienega many, many times. We always had the tasting menu and it was always original, delicious and fun. We decided to blow a $500 windfall we unexpectedly received. We went to Matsuhisa with a couple we like very much and we had a fabulous meal and evening. Jordan, a manager of Matsuhisa was there and was very friendly, attentive and informative. We really like that! Our server was a young woman who was professional, friendly and over-worked. For the “shoulder season,” it was very crowded. And noisy. We were going to move tables but it occurred to us that no matter where we moved, it would be noisy. The chairs were comfortable but the room was overly warm and, because the chairs were made of leather, at the end of the evening Dimitri said the seat of his pants were damp with sweat.
We decided to get one $150 Omakase tasting menu (in Japanese it means: “I’ll leave it to you.”). The plates would not be split in the kitchen, rather the plates would be put between us and we would use our chopsticks to eat from the main plate. Jordan said that they would orchestrate the pace of our friends’ appetizers, salad and mains to harmonize with our 8 courses. We accompanied our meal by a small hot Dai-Ginjo saki. We started with a sashimi of blue fin tuna with jalapeño and a wonderful sauce. There were 3 pieces and it was perfect—Dimitri had 2 delicious morsels and Audre had one. The next plate was octopus on cucumber with another yummy sauce. This time there were 4 pieces and we each had 2. The third plate was our standout favorite. It was 4 thin slices of mackerel rolled around sea urchin. The sauce was excellent and the flavor added by the urchin (or uni in Japanese) was divine. After that dish there were five more: a sushi assortment that was very good (even for people like us who are underwhelmed by sushi), a waygu (Kobe beef from Australia) beef (with a yummy morsel of foie gras), two others that we can’t remember and a miso soup at the end of the meal. The amount of food was perfect for the two of us. All of this was followed by a dessert plate with a Bento box chocolate delectable, a vanilla bean ice cream, fruit, and coconut banana spring rolls. Wow! Excellent and we highly recommend you try it! We spent $189.70 plus tip. Domo Arigato Gozamimu to you Nobu!
My husband and I **love** Matsuhisa Vail! Every time we're in town, we have at least one meal there. We've been nothing but impressed! Particularly interesting is that every time we're there (sitting at the bar usually), we meet people who are locals. Locals dining in a restaurant is always a good sign. Love the bartenders too - very friendly and fun to talk to.