Big Eye Tuna Pizza/Crispy Kalbi Roll
Baked Crab Hand Roll
Being completely honest, I’m usually not a fan of “special events,” guest chefs, or the dumbed-down truncated experience of “Restaurant Week” but at $26 (after a deep discount from the quoted $100) with friends already planning on attending Chef Akira Back’s “Chef’s Tasting” at Yellowtail I tossed caution to the wind…only to reconfirm all the aforementioned prejudices to a whole new degree, leaving the event after 2 hours hungry, a touch intoxicated, and $26 poorer albeit richer in friendships.
“Spend the afternoon with us at YellowTail inside the Bellagio Las Vegas overlooking the spectacular fountains. Enjoy extraordinary culinary selections from Chef Akira Back and libations provided by Wirtz Beverage. Chef Akira Back has chosen to feature the Big Eye Tuna Pizza, Crispy Kalbi roll and his famous Baked Crab Hand Roll among other items. Gulf Oyster Industry Counsel’s amazing Oyster bar. Salty coastal waters produce the world’s best oysters for the world’s best chefs and restaurants, harvested today as they have been for generations. Chef’s menu will be paired with specialty reserved Sakes, Wines & Spirits provided by Wirtz Beverage and custom cocktails created by the mixologists from Hendrick’s Gin and Tito’s Vodka” as described on the website, the actual format of the event was a standing circus of confusion where “reserved” tables were fed full trays of food while the rest attempted to hunt down one of four circulating servers that were frequently mobbed and stripped clean at the doors where ‘diners’ gathered like a group of kids playing World of Warcraft sit on a spawn spot.
With booze of decent quality and the modicum of food equally competent a total of six mouthfuls of food plus three oysters were accrued by myself (one literally FROM a reserved table) during the course of the afternoon, probably justifying the $26 though certainly not $100 or the overall aggravation. With no Akira in site and ‘live music’ that fell through for unknown reasons I can only assume that this ‘event’ was a money-grab intended to draw high rollers to The Bellagio or an attention-seeker for an outdated property hoping to generate new fans; both goals a miserable failure as we walked out in search of sustenance down the strip at Aria.