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What is the appeal of Yusho?

(The reviews of the dishes make this post very long. The first two paragraphs of this post explain the question. You don't need to read on if you don't want to)

Yusho opened to such great anticipation and praise by the food community in Vegas. It regularly gets great reviews from critics. It's heralded as the most exciting culinary development Vegas has received in years. But my group and I hated our meal there. Whenever I read another glowing review, it makes me wonder whether it's my palate that just doesn't get it. I feel I am pretty well-eaten, having done marathon food adventures in many major cities, but I just didn't like Yusho. My friends are equally well-eaten and they came out actually angry at the place.

Design and decor aside, the food itself was just nothing impressive. To make matters worse, the cost to food ratio was HORRENDOUSLY off. It felt like each dish that arrived made us sad just looking at it. And then we got even more sad as each taste was just not good. There was nothing new or exciting or interesting about the food. In the end, we paid $48 each to sample a few dishes and we left hungry. I don't see how Yusho will survive, especially at Monte Carlo. I've walked by it many times and it is usually pretty empty. I dined around 6pm on a Friday and we were one of only two tables.

This sentiment is also expressed by some on Yelp, but they are less prevalent than the glowing reviews. Is it just that the kitchen has really solid days mixed with some very very bad days?

Summary of my meal: Almost everything we got was not hot enough, lacking seasoning, lacking acidity or some other component for balance, and cost at least 2x too much.

Here's what we ordered:

House pickles ($9)
Decent, but perhaps pickled too long, since there really was no taste besides the acidity. Serving size about the size of one of the banchan side dishes you get at a Korean tofu house.

Octopus ($13)
Quite bland. Octopus lacked char and the entire dish lacked acidity. It was a strange dish that really didn't hit any flavor notes at all. Just bland. And what little octopus was in the dish was cut into very small pieces. Again, portion like a Korean tofu house banchan dish.

Chicken Drummies ($9)
This was one of the worst of the night. It sounded amazing on the menu (red miso, garlic, sesame), but the result was none of those flavors. It had a sweetness to it, but that's it. The chicken did not have a nice fried crust, nor was it really heated through. The skin was that unpalatable soft undercooked texture. Worst of all, the meat itself had absolutely zero flavor. It was essentially unseasoned chicken, slightly undercooked, hidden under a sweet sauce. It had none of the qualities you'd want in a chicken drumette. Serving size was three or four drumettes.

Duck Breast ($12)
Again, a very disappointing dish. $12 for a single skewer containing four thin slices of duck, each wrapped around a small piece of enoki mushroom. Execution was lacking with this one. The duck had no seasoning at all. It was cooked rare to the point of being chewy, yet had none of the gaminess you'd associate with duck. The mushroom wrapped inside was okay. My big problem with this dish was that it did not seem to have ever been put on the grill. No sear, no char, no signs of any treatment besides putting the duck-wrapped enoki on a skewer. It was a dish screaming for salt and a few minutes over charcoal. And the portion size was off. Have you ever been to a bad Mongolian BBQ place where they put bacon-wrapped Lil' Smokies in a row on skewers? That's the portion size.

Crispy Cod Steam Bun ($8)
So with no portion size listed on the menu, we assumed you'd receive two baos per order. We had four people. We ordered two different baos expecting two of each. Nope, it was a single bao (and a very small one at that!). The crispy cod version was better than the pork shoulder. It was an okay dish. Not much to say other than it was average, with no standout qualities except the price.

Pork Shoulder Steam Bun ($9)
Again, a single bun. And this one was not good. The pork shoulder was dry and flavorness. It needed salt and acidity. What I got was just a muddled one-note flavor. If BaoHaus NYC can do exciting bao for $3-$4 each and the famous Ippudo gives you two for $9, why did I just pay $9 for a single bao that was completely non-memorable?

Japanese Griddle Cake ($17)
Finally, we had a good dish. It was an upscale version of Okonomiyaki. It tasted like okonomiyaki, which is good. They did not mess around too much with it. This dish finally showed that the chef knows how to salt and can make something with a complex flavor. This was the first time anyone at the table described it as "pretty good" instead of, "eh, not really special at all". It was also the only dish to come out at a good serving temperature. It felt like it was cooked for us and brought straight from the kitchen.

Grilled Yellowtail Collar ($40)
This was one of the specials and we ordered it without knowing the cost. It was also the biggest disappointment of the day. The collar was horrible. It didn't seem like it came straight off the grill. Parts were lukewarm, the entire collar was lacking seasoning, and it had a fishiness combined with an iron-ness that was just unpleasant. Parts of the edges were a bit too charred, leaving a burnt fishiness. A decent sized collar, but a ridiculous price. It came with nori to make yellowtail collar nori tacos, but the nori combined with the burnt fishiness was not very good.

Logan Poser Ramen ($21)
And we end with what was the most disappointing dish. All the reviews raved about it, so we had to get it. When the waiter plopped this miso soup bowl-sized portion of soup onto the table, we were confused. Did we order that? All we had left was the ramen. Oh, that WAS the ramen. $21 for a miso soup bowl-sized serving with very little soup and even less actual noodles. Suspended on the bowl lip was the 2X Fried Chicken. The chicken was flavorless and very overfried. It was room temperature and it was greasy. The broth itself was strange. There was a sourness there that I couldn't place. As I got near the bottom, I finally realized it was mustard seeds. Mustard seed in ramen? The other dishes I ordered could have used the acidity, but this ramen did not need it. The broth also lacked complexity and depth of flavor, resulting in just a strongly flavored soup that felt heavy and muddled. The noodles themselves were not special either.

We also ordered a single drink. After tax and tip, we were in for $48 each. And we didn't have enough food. And it's not like I just like Flintstone-sized steaks. I love e by Jose Andres, I love Sushi Nakazawa in NY, etc.

My friends and I eat out decently often and enjoy trying new places. We recently had sushi at Jayde Fuzion which we hated, and one of us commented, "You know how bad that was? It was worse than Yusho.". So we now use Yusho as our benchmark for a bad meal.

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  1. Your experience actually meshes with what friends have reported to me; hence why I have not felt compelled to try Yusho yet until there has been time to work out the kinks, especially since the precision of execution is so important for that style of cooking (admittedly, spending a lot of time in Vancouver and the lower mainland of B.C. also reduces an urgency). But it does touch upon something that makes Las Vegas rather unique, and hence the importance of a place like Chowhound, and reviews like yours. For a city of this size, and with the importance of the food and beverage industry in the grand scheme, Las Vegas does not have a full-time professional food critic. We have representatives like John Curtas and Al Mancini who have knowledge and experience, but they are also only part-timers on this scene. The Review-Journal relies too much on advertising relationships in the industry to dare genuine criticism, and the same could be said of the local weeklies (Vegas Seven, Las Vegas Weekly, The Sunday). What ends up happening on too many occasions is the quick rubber-stamping of places where reputation ends up counting for too much, especially when it is driven by the personality/karma of a particular chef.

    If one were to take the time to search the archives of the local critics, they would quickly find glowing first takes of Bratalian by Carla Pellegrino (which has done little but float along rather aimlessly); there was the quick rush to label Bradley Ogden’s Hops & Harvest as a great addition to the off-Strip scene (lasted about a year before closing); I shudder to think about how different reviews of China Poblano would be if the name of Jose Andres was not listed anywhere; and on and on. It is the issue of the part-time critic being caught in that awkward position of wanting to maintain relevance, despite not having the time to properly evaluate a new venue (a person can genuinely critique their experience at a restaurant from a single visit, but not the restaurant as an entity) . So there are often forced quick reviews of openings where the reputation of a chef is leaned on, and the actual realities often take a back seat (to credit Curtas, he will rarely ever comment on any place until he has made multiple visits). To avoid the risk of “falling behind”, the critic can take what appears to be a safe gamble in order to be among the first, and the consumer can end up being the loser.

    Could Yusho be the latest on the list of places in which pre-conceived notions overly impact the senses? I am not sure when I will find out, but at those price points (the Poser Ramen is $15 in Chicago), there will not be any particular hurry, not when Raku, Yonaka and soon Omae (the quality control I have been shown so far leads me to believe that project has a legitimate chance to stand up to reputation) are readily available. But your review is well taken from this end, not just for Yusho, but the overall Las Vegas dining arena.

    12 Replies
    1. re: QAW

      The local 'critics' are all comped, all beg for free meals, and none have much culinary experience outside this city. I think you're being far too kind.

      Yusho is now opening its second location in Chicago and as such is clearly doing something 'right' in a major food Mecca.

      That being said, I have to admit the inflated prices here are a bit difficult to swallow no matter how much I like Merges.

      For my part, I quite like his admittedly inauthentic take on Japanese street food and it is definitely something unique for Las Vegas - but much like most things on the strip I'm not entirely sure one is getting what they pay for at all.

      All told, I too wonder how long Yusho will survive here without a rebrand - though most of the complaints I've seen levied were for OVER seasoning and not under - so perhaps they've been reading and the pendulum swung too far?

      1. re: uhockey

        While strip pricing is inflated as a rule, usually you don't feel like you were swindled. It seems many people who go to Yusho have that "I got robbed" feeling. The size of the portions are just nowhere near what they should be for the cost. And it's not even purely about quantity. If they're going to make each dish petite, the execution must be perfect. A $21 bowl of ramen is a lot no matter what, but if the noodles had good chew, the broth showed depth, and the resulting taste was a ramen unlike anything you've ever had before, you wouldn't complain. But this was 1/4th the quality of a normal ramen shop at 3x the price. I don't really see much that is unique, either.

        Other places might be pricey, but you feel like you got something good out of it. 800 Degrees next door is a bit more expensive than LA, but for $10-$13, you get a great pizza with excellent crust. My favorite breakfast item in Vegas is the "Lobster & Shrimp Frittata" at Tableau. It's $32 and has this amazing balance of egg and seafood, with little explosions of salt from the salmon roe. It's served in an excellent environment and I feel taken care of. Yusho has terrible decor (it's a bit too Chipotle-y for what is easily a $75-$150 per person meal) and their food just fell flat.

        As for the seasoning, my dishes were mostly underseasoned (except for the ramen broth, which was overly salty). Hopefully they did not overcorrect. Either way, even if they got the salt level down, their dishes still seem to each lack something. Some acidity here, some smokiness and char there. I had a similar problem with Sage, but nothing as bad as Yusho.

        Agreed that there's very little chance of survival for them at Monte Carlo. MAYBE if they were in China Poblano's space at Cosmo. In N Out should eye the space for their first on-strip location. Although it probably wouldn't be allowed with Shake Shack on the way.

        1. re: ah6tyfour

          "My favorite breakfast item in Vegas is the "Lobster & Shrimp Frittata" at Tableau. It's $32 and has this amazing balance of egg and seafood, with little explosions of salt from the salmon roe."

          that sounds AMAZING.

          1. re: ns1

            It's very good. One of the few reasons I'd ever be on the strip before noon.

            http://s3-media1.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphot...

            1. re: ah6tyfour

              might have to scrap our usual stop to Bouchon and head to Tableu.

      2. re: QAW

        It really is odd that Vegas doesn't have a professional reviewer for all things food. I have definitely since learned not to trust those magazines. I really wish the newspapers could do better. Someone in Los Angeles should foot the bill for a full-time food critic in Vegas and market it towards the Southern California crowd who descend on Vegas weekly. LVRJ could just subscribe to that column.

        To date, Yusho has been the most unlike the reviews. Usually, there are things that are good and at least the cooking is sound. Yusho exhibited no competency whatsoever.

        1. re: ah6tyfour

          Wouldn't it be great if we could get Jonathan Gold on loan for a month or so each year? But the base issue of "no negative reviews" would likely not change - that is the ongoing problem of Las Vegas still being as much a resort as a city. Consider the reviews in the weeklies to be close cousins to paid advertisements.

          There needs to be clarification on one point - no one is ever going to see John Curtas "beg" for a comp. He will be comped on occasion, and will always mention in any critique that he writes if he did not pay for the meal. What the public does not see are the number of comps that are offered and declined. Through the years I have found his knowledge of the culinary world (and yes, he is known outside of Las Vegas, from serving as a judge for shows like Iron Chef America to taping a series for the Travel Channel that is still sitting on the shelf) to be a valuable asset, whether it be through his writing or PM's that we exchange, and because he does not need the income from his food commentary, I have found an integrity to his processes. He does not hesitate to criticize, but these days he does not do much public posting.

          I can not make a precise measurement on the gap between Yusho and the reviews yet, but will submit China Poblano as my "Hall of Fame" entrant on that front. The irony is that for all the deserved criticism of Yelp, in this rare instance those reviews may be the most useful - a lot of young hipsters that do not know who Jose Andres is rated the place for the food put on their plates, without pre-conceived notions. Those ratings have not been very favorable to the restaurant. I like Andres a lot, and am particularly looking forward to his upcoming venture at the SLS, but the critical fawning over China Poblano was ridiculously reputation-driven (IMHO).

          1. re: QAW

            I'm still pissed at John Curtis for saying Bradley Ogden was serving the best food the suburban valley has ever seen (not exact quote, but close), when in fact he knew Bradley and Bryan were just leasing out their name.

            I assumed Bryan would be cooking- stupid me and out $175 for a completely inedible meal.

            It closed after less than six months.

            1. re: BubblyOne

              We can have some fun with this, clarifying a bit more for non-residents of Las Vegas, because it ties directly back to the OP, and subsequent points made in this thread - many have been just a bit too quick to anoint Yusho, with reputation perhaps overshadowing realities. I mentioned Ogden's failed experiment in an earlier reply, and it only takes a quick read to get to the crux of the matter -

              Review Journal (http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-...

              )

              Vegas Seven (http://vegasseven.com/2013/06/19/hops...

              )

              Las Vegas Weekly (http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/dining/...

              )

              John Curtas (http://www.eatinglv.com/2013/06/hops-...

              )

              There was the stereotypical "Las Vegas critic" phenomenon of using Ogden's past reputation to rush positive judgments of a place that never really got off the ground (and the person responsible for the layout and design of that space should be set off in a corner with a dunce cap). There have been a few too many examples of this in recent years.

              It happens universally, of course, and in a day and age in which food blogs and forums are so common it becomes a minefield to sort through (those that are inexperienced are even more likely to allow reputations to influence their senses, especially when it becomes "chic" to praise a new place). But in the Las Vegas media it is a little more to the extreme. Hence why a place like Chowhound can be such an asset - there is a higher element of trust in discussions here, and hopefully there are some takeaways from this thread that will be meaningful to the readers.

              1. re: QAW

                It's a shame that the Eating Las Vegas guide was not a viable option to continue in some form. I really enjoyed the 3 differing opinions.

                1. re: BubblyOne

                  It would cost them nothing to do it online - fact is that the 'critics' are afraid to lose their comps by writing a negative review. When eater published my first look at Daniel Boulud's spot their publicist actually had the audacity to write eater and ask who I was and why they'd publish me - as if I was intentionally writing negative press about the place (which, of course, Radke and Mancini have gushed over.) Nevermind that I've been to every single one of Daniel's New York spots and generally enjoyed them.....something I'm fairly sure the 'critics' cannot say. Ridiculous.

            2. re: QAW

              I like Curtas' in general, but like myself and several others he is just a 'blogger,' albeit a very good one with a solid following. Before moving here it was ONLY his reviews that I sourced aside from Max.

        2. $40 for YT collar and $21 for ramen is a crime.

          this is $13? re: Octopus
          http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/yusho-...

          omg the duck breast
          http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/yusho-...

          please for the love of god tell me this wasn't $21
          http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/yusho-...

          oh wait it definitely was, with spoon for comparison:
          http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/yusho-...

          1 Reply
          1. re: ns1

            Exactly...

            The small dishes really were the size of those small banchan dishes at Korean tofu soup places (maybe even a tad bit smaller).

            At least that person's duck breast looked like it spent some time on the grill! Mine had absolutely no char. It was a very sad-tasting dish.

            It amuses me that someone else also called it a miso soup bowl. =)

            The yellowtail collar that comes with the AYCE sushi buffer at Sushi Mon (which is why I suddenly remembered to post about Yusho) is infinitely better. All of us were comparing Yusho's yellowtail collar to Sushi Mon, and we all wished it could have been as great as Sushi Mon's.
            http://s3-media1.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphot...

          2. I'd like to chime in here, but probably not about what you might think. Am I a fan of Yusho? Absolutely. But I have no problem with a contrary opinion. But to complain about the prices? I pay $8.50 for a Heineken on the strip, $10.00 with tip. Now THAT'S robbery!!! Back home I pay about $13.00 for a twelve pack. All prices are way over inflated in Vegas. I spend $50 just going to Grand Lux Cafe for an app, a sandwich and an iced tea.

            3 Replies
            1. re: LongIslandChef

              Yes, but you know exactly what the Heineken will be like and you will enjoy it. And they chill it for you to an appropriate drinking temperature.

              For me, the experience at Yusho was like the reviews proclaimed it the most amazing Heineken due to some special way they serve it. So I go visit and see that it's $14. Well, that's fine...it's on the strip and it's a well-regarded place, as long as it's good! And then the waiter drops off a 1oz shot glass pour of it that tastes just a tad too warm and a bit flat. You have in your mind what you expect for the price (quantity and a certain expectation of quality).

              Could I ask what you found appealing about Yusho? I'm really trying to figure it out because it's not just official reviewers saying it's good. Most yelp reviews are proclaiming it as some of the best food they've ever had.

              1. re: ah6tyfour

                I don't care how cold it is, a $10 Heineken is a $10 Heineken ;-)
                As For Yusho, I never ordered a la carte, always went with the omekase, so for that alone it was a completely different experience. I enjoyed the flavors, the presentation, the pacing of the meal, the service (other than the recommendation of a $1000 bottle of sake) and I never walked out hungry. I also loved how they were open so late every night, which they aren't anymore. I'll be back in Vegas in Sept and will be going to Yusho at least once. Will be interesting to see if it has gotten better or worse over the past few months.
                Don't get me wrong though, there were definitely misses with some of the dishes I was served, but for me there were many more dishes I loved as opposed to dishes i disliked

                1. re: LongIslandChef

                  My wife and I dined at Yusho partially based on your reports. I'm glad we went. We ordered the omakase and enjoyed the food. But I do think the price/serving size ratio is way out of whack. I'm not expecting massive quantities of food but even my wife, a petite person, mentioned it.

                  I can easily see how some people just can't get over the price/quantity ratio no matter how good the food is.

                  We ended up getting a slice of pizza at Five Fifty although that was several hours later after much drinking and gambling.

            2. I am a new user to this board and was just in Vegas for a long weekend. After reading through the board for close to a month I decided to go to Yusho because of all the good reviews. Although I was nowhere near as disappointed in it, it was not the restaurant that some on here have proclaimed the best new in the Valley. There were some real hits (pickles, fried chicken, Logan Ramen,Hot bartender, forget her name) and misses (drummies, duck, NY Strip). I mentioned some that the reviewer thought was bad while I thought it was good. Which you would expect from a restaurant. Food is very subjective. However the criticism I couldn't agree more with is price point. It is a joke what they charge for some of these dishes.

              Take the NY Strip for example. We see steaks at the same price and far exceeding it up and down the strip. However, if I am not mistaken, either this was the smallest cow ever or this was simply just half (or even 1/3) a steak. Prices here are just too exorbitant. And finally I just have to laugh when I was reading uhockeys comment (I'm sorry, you put a lot of work into your reviews I am sure). For a person to criticize those getting comped meals when in fact he has, in several posts written the he "called ahead to a restaurant to "let them know I am coming" is a bit hypocritical.

              13 Replies
              1. re: 1GoodBite

                Where have I stated that I 'called ahead to let them know I am coming?'

                1. re: 1GoodBite

                  I've been reading uhockey's reviews on here for years now and I don't remember him ever saying something like that.

                  1. re: 1GoodBite

                    "he "called ahead to a restaurant to "let them know I am coming" was something I recall reading about the restaurant critic John Mariani.

                    1. re: 1GoodBite

                      Welcome to the board!

                      It's very strange how almost funny the serving sizes are compared to pricing. In all my years of eating, I have never experienced a time where I actually thought pricing was so ridiculously off. Even eating Thomas Keller's famed "Oysters and Pearls", which ends up being 4-5 small bites for $60ish, it didn't feel off. It's a very strange feeling to have while eating, no matter how fine a restaurant it is.

                      I also don't think I've ever read uhockey say something like that. He seems like a pretty decent person with a good palate. Maybe one day he'll treat me to Twist...

                      1. re: ah6tyfour

                        ...it's hard to price the constituents of a tasting menu, but from what I'm told by a friend at Per Se the ingredients alone for Oysters and Pearls cost Keller about $45. :) Of course, I just call them in advance and tell them I'm coming so I never pay a dime. ;)

                        I do agree though that there are things 'worth it' and things not - it seems like Yusho very much fit the later for you while Giada seems gaudy in price to me, especially seeing the pasta portions. Different strokes, different folks I guess. The question becomes, what about a place like Hash House a Go-Go where the ingredients are actually decent and farm sourced while plates are MASSIVE at the price.

                        As to Twist - we can go Dutch anytime you like.

                        1. re: uhockey

                          Wow, it would be amazing if the ingredient cost was that much. But if so, it shows. It is an amazing dish. Unfortunately, at least at Per Se, it sets a standard so high no other dish they put in front of you can match it. I don't see it on the current salon menu, but I remember it was available a la carte from the Salon for ~$65.

                          Giada's pricing did not seem at all disproportionate to the offering for me. The $28 serving of spaghetti is slightly more pasta than Scarpetta's $24 spaghetti. And Giada's version came with three very large prawns. In my mind, around $25ish is expected for good quality pasta made on site with well-developed flavors. And the serving expectation is 1 tong-grab twirled into a mountain and put on a plate. Based on my Yusho experience, if they were to make pasta, I think it would be $32 for a small mound served in a gyoza dipping sauce cup and it would taste like it was missing a key ingredient.

                          I try not to go to Hash House. The portions are so big they almost make me ill. Because I have no self control and will eat the gigantic fried chicken and both waffles with bacon running through it.

                          How about you go to Giada's and I'll go to Twist? =P

                          1. re: ah6tyfour

                            As soon as Giada wins a single Michelin Star or cooks a dish in any restaurant - let alone taking in 3, 2, and 1 while truly running an empire in several countries.

                            1. re: uhockey

                              If I didn't see all your reviews, I would think that you would be missing out on a lot of good places to eat with those standards.

                              I guess it only applies to Giada?

                              1. re: BubblyOne

                                It was a response to comparing Twist to Giada, no more and no less.

                                1. re: uhockey

                                  Actually, you brought Giada into this thread.

                                  1. re: BubblyOne

                                    I'm aware. It was price/portion comparison to Yusho. I did not (admittedly, jokingly) ask for someone to take me there - nor did I make the direct comparison to a Michelin Starred chef....though in a way I guess I did since Merges was at Trotter doing all the work when they got their 2.

                              2. re: uhockey

                                What does winning a Michelin Star have to do with producing great food? For her to be awarded one, she'd have to open up in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. How many thousands of amazing chefs work outside those cities and do not qualify for stars? Providence and Urasawa in Los Angeles don't have stars. Roe and Castagna in Portland don't have stars. And Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy in Vegas don't have stars either, since Michelin Guide no longer offers a Vegas guide. As for experience, how many popular and successful chefs pride themselves on being "self-taught"? How many have signature dishes "inspired by what my mom would cook for me on Sundays"? The proof of a chef's quality is the food, not some award that's only given out in three major cities in the US.

                                Anyway, we're way off topic now. This is a Yusho thread. You can bump my Giada review back up if you want to continue.

                                1. re: ah6tyfour

                                  ...those places did have stars, though. Plural. As to the 'self trained' comment, several. You are right though, different thread, though the price/portion commentary was relevant.

                      2. Las Vegas Magazine gave Yusho a great review today: http://lasvegasmagazine.com/dining/20...

                        The most interesting part about it is the image of the ramen. Based on the chopsticks and the fried chicken as size standards, the bowl served was larger than the miso soup bowl I was given. It might be an optical illusion due to the top of the bowl being wider, or maybe they realized they needed to make the dish more substantial for the price. Or they knew he was a reviewer, so they gave him a little extra.

                        I also really want to know what kind of noodles Yusho uses for Ramen. To me, they're either instant noodles or they're the packaged "fresh" noodles you buy at the Asian grocery stores (the ones that come individually sealed in airtight plastic). No other noodles have that random curliness. It's definitely not the kind of noodle I like in my ramen. This person also somehow managed to get almost double the amount of soup and noodle. My bowl was only half-full.
                        http://s3-media4.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphot...

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: ah6tyfour

                          I am looking forward to trying Yusho when I visit LV in November (sorry that I had missed it in Chicago 2 years ago).

                          1. re: ah6tyfour

                            LVW also named it best new restaurant of the year in their issue this week. Beating out their also raved DB, Giada, and...well...everything they ever review in LVW. No critics, just fanboys.

                            1. re: uhockey

                              It's all very curious to me. I think it's at the point where I will have to return to Yusho just to see if it was a fluke.

                              Those "Best of" lists are usually pretty bad, no matter the city. The ones in this city are especially bad. The LV Weekly one seems like they had a list of restaurants in mind and just made up categories for them to win. And most of them seem to be new places that got Eater hype prior to opening. I do agree with one thing about Yusho. It would probably do well at Cosmo (in the China Poblano space).

                              1. re: ah6tyfour

                                "Best Chef Named Daniel to Return to Our City This Year" may as well have been a category. ;)

                                1. re: ah6tyfour

                                  fwiw, now may be the time - Merges is in town through the weekend it seems.

                            2. To rub salt in your would, Vegas Seven (okay, fine, take it with a grain of salt obviously) named the Logan Poser Ramen the BEST RAMEN IN THE CITY. :)

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: uhockey

                                BTW, have you had the Logan Poser Ramen? Does it have a sour(ish) taste? I am planning to have it when i have dinner at Yusho, but if it does have a sour(ish) taste I might pass on it. I'm not a fan of Chinese hot and sour soups.

                                1. re: ellenost

                                  Not sour at all - just "Rameny". Being completely honest I just don't 'get' the ramen fascination overall...it isn't my thing - here or anywhere.

                                  1. re: uhockey

                                    My bowl of Logan Poser Ramen was sour. It tasted a bit like that Russian Borscht soup they serve at Hong Kong cafe places. The Poser Ramen had mustard seeds in it, with the acidity and taste of some cooked cabbage. It was really weird. And really salty. It was a bowl of disappointment =(

                                    It was not "rameny" to me at all. When I think of ramen, I think of a rich, complex broth with a fattiness that gives the broth body to cling to noodles. I love ramen because it's a bowl that looks so simple, yet the technique and the depth is so complex.

                                    My friends and I compared the flavor of the ramen broth to this package of hot and sour instant udon. It's pretty close:
                                    http://theworldsbestever.s3.amazonaws...

                                    1. re: ah6tyfour

                                      Sounds like I'll be trying it for myself.

                                      1. re: ellenost

                                        Yes, please do. I really feel like I got them on a really off day and I feel terrible for disliking them so much. I need to see about going back and trying again, but I don't think anyone would be willing to go with me after our previous visit.

                                        1. re: ah6tyfour

                                          i can't in good faith pay that much money for that size bowl of ramen.

                                2. re: uhockey

                                  That distinction should definitely have gone to Monta. Or the ramen option at Omae. Such a shame.

                                3. Was just perusing their menu for my next trip to Vegas in Sept, and it seems as if they listened and lowered quite a few of the prices. The complaints must have worked.

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: LongIslandChef

                                    I just checked the online menu against the prices in my initial post. They're all the same except the pork shoulder bun, which either went down by $1 or I wrote the wrong price on my review. I'm going with no pricing changes and I just made a mistake on that one item.

                                    Did you see some other items that changed price? For me, things like the house-made pickles would need to be dropped down to $4 or $5. The bowl of ramen needs to come down to $12-14. Essentially, drop everything by around 40%.

                                    By how empty it seems to be every time I walk by, they're better off dropping everything down 30-40% than ending up on Groupon in a few months.

                                    1. re: ah6tyfour

                                      The menu I was looking at was found through the Monte Carlo website. If you go to their Yusho page, there's a link to the YushoLV site. I would think it was the most current menu, but you never know.
                                      It had the logan ramen for 16, I think the pickles were 6, the monster ramen was 40 and a bunch of other changes. I wonder which is the correct one?

                                      1. re: LongIslandChef

                                        Hmm, very interesting!
                                        You're right: http://www.yusholv.com/food-drink/

                                        I would be inclined to say your site is more accurate since it would be easier to update an internal website than to get Monte Carlo to update their website. But it's also possible this was the pricing pre-opening and they raised everything when finalizing the menu for opening.

                                        Ugh, even their homepage sucks. It looks like a "Learn HTML" intro class website from the 1990s!

                                        EDIT:
                                        You might be right! This yelp review has prices that match your menu (especially the flat $20 price for 3 buns...except she wrote it as $10). She also says she got six chicken drummies when her picture shows the normal service size of 4, so not sure how reliable she is. http://www.yelp.com/biz/yusho-las-veg...

                                        1. re: ah6tyfour

                                          Its definitely not preopening, the monster ramen wasn't on the menu until weeks later. I only know because I was the first to be served it :-)

                                          1. re: LongIslandChef

                                            What's the monster ramen? Is it the size of a normal bowl of ramen elsewhere? How was it?

                                            Looks like it's on the Monte Carlo website as $55. Did you end up paying $55 or $40? If $55, then that means the YushoLV website really is new pricing.

                                            Still though, $40 for their ramen? That's four bowls of ramen and an order of edamame elsewhere. And those places would use good ramen noodles and have a decent broth!

                                            1. re: ah6tyfour

                                              I had it as part of the omekase, didn't pay for it separately. However, I know it went on the menu a couple weeks later at $55 and never saw it at $40 until now. Thats why I'm thinking its new pricing.

                                              1. re: LongIslandChef

                                                Strange that you'd get the giant bowl for omekase and not the normal bowl. What did you think of it? Was it a satisfying good bowl of ramen?

                                                I can't even comprehend a bowl of ramen that's $40-$55. That would be like going to a new taco shop and paying $10 for an al pastor street taco!

                                              2. re: ah6tyfour

                                                That Ramen would have to redefine Ramen the way that Jordan Khan redefined congee to justify that tag...and Jordan was dropping a stick of echire butter and several tongues of fresh uni in his.

                                                Honestly, since you created this thread I've been planning a trip to Chicago for my sister's wedding and have seen SEVERAL complaints about Merges' A10 cost/value ratio raised. Like you, I don't mind paying a bundle for something delicious ($100 for the truffled egg at Melisse for isntance) but I do mind if it isn't good. I'm lucky to have caught Yusho Chicago on 2 good nights and here in Vegas on a night when they were inclined to shine, I guess, but dollar for dollar it certainly is not a bargain - even by 'strip' standards.

                                                1. re: uhockey

                                                  Yea, a $50 bowl of ramen is a bit far-fetched. Especially if it's not that special. It would be like Ichiza selling $9 yakitori skewers or Secret Pizza at Cosmo selling white pizza by the slice for $16.

                                                  It's a very strange feeling when that cost/value ratio is off. It's something I have never experienced to the degree I did at Yusho. It's as if Yusho just went over that edge. A small dish of house pickles for $3? Great. $5? Getting a bit high up there, but maybe they're really good! $9? Yikes, there's no way we just paid $9 for this little saucer of veggies.

                                                  You can find reservations at Alinea for $210 sometimes. Why would anyone buy a $50 bowl of ramen when you can have a cutting-edge memorable tasting menu for $210?

                                                  1. re: ah6tyfour

                                                    Again, if the ingredients justify it - like L'Arpege - you walk out going "shit - I just spent $600 on vegetables and a total of MAYBE 8oz of meat"....but they were the best vegetables I've ever eaten. When you walk out 'blah' even after a $60 meal it feels like a failure.

                                                    1. re: uhockey

                                                      I have to agree with uhockey here. I enjoyed my meals at Yusho, so the price was never a concern. However, If I had a bad meal there, I might have a different perspective.