Latke with Sour Cream, Salmon Roe, Salt Cured Egg Yolk
Sashimi Course with Honey Sweetened Mushroom Infused Soy Sauce – Fluke, Octopus, Spanish Big Eye Tuna, Scottish Salmon, Kombu Cured Japanese Snapper
Sake Butter and Soy Grilled Japanese Whelk and Mexican White Shrimp
Panko Crusted Fried Oysters in Miso Hollandaise, Tempura Japanese Whiting with Organic Mushrooms and Mushroom Sauce
Japanese Sea Bream and Hokkaido Hairy Crab with Caribbean Style Johnny Cakes, Braised Collard Greens in Habanero Broth
Chocolate Pot du Crème, Vietnamese Coffee, Miso Honey, Coconut Ice Cream
Japanese Cheesecake with Berry Sauce
More than a bit impressed by Dan Krohmer’s Other Mama just a few weeks prior it was on the invitation of a friend from Los Angeles that a party of six sat down for a prix-fixe Omakase experience at 7pm on Friday night, and although the event’s organizer was late due to traffic on I-15 no other aspect of the evening was less than perfect – the space abuzz with energy and service never to lack.
Setting no guidelines for the kitchen, just a ‘cap’ of $60 each before tax, drinks, and tip, the meal was actually served in two sessions in order to ‘catch up’ late arrivals, an opening course of crisp potato pancakes topped with two types of egg and sour cream satisfying in both its savory taste and texture, the inspiration for the dish actually hatched just a day prior as part of an upcoming project with a friend.
Taking more pride than most in the quality of his fish, a long list of purveyors cited by a Chef who has clearly benefited from relationships made across the years, course two featured five pristine specimens and although both the silky tuna and cured snapper were amongst the most memorable bites of raw fish in recent memory it was, in fact, the housemade soy that really raised eyebrows, a near supersaturation of umami with just a touch of sweetness to offset the salt.
Continuing to up the ante in terms of ingredient novelty, course three followed a whole lot of smoke from the small kitchen’s grill and with buttery aromatics greeting the nose from a distance a first experience with whelks for some had both the novice and veteran singing the tender gastropod’s praises, no less the duo of shrimp that could have been an afterthought were it not for the snap of skin giving way to nearly raw flesh intense with natural sweetness and an almost creamy texture.
Progressing to the fried segment of the meal with another duo, in this case a traditional fry-up of panko-crusted oysters upgraded by housemade miso Hollandaise alongside meaty tempura whiting and mushrooms, the final savory of the night was without doubt the most high risk but also the most dynamic, each delicate bite of hairy crab as good as it gets while Sea Bream took a bath in spicy broth with braised collards and golden orbs of sweet bread to sop up every last bit.
Impressed again by the Miso Honey Ice Cream and finding the fluffy Cheesecake a bit sweeter and as such more appropriate for ‘dessert,’ the meal came to its end along with equally impressive scoops of Vietnamese Coffee and Coconut Ice Cream while the Chocolate Pot du Crème was an unexpected stunner, its creaminess on par with any in the city but the richness of the cocoa far more pronounced.
FIVE STARS: Overcoming limitations of location, lack of a Public Relations firm, and a city rare to embrace anything challenging the status-quo, Other Mama is quickly ascending to the level of an off-strip destination restaurant for locals “in the know,” and while some seem content to keep Krohmer’s little-restaurant-that-could all for themselves I cannot personally think of a more deserving place to send visitors looking for something a little different and certain to wow.
RECOMMENDED: Trust the Chef.
AVOID: Wasting money at less interesting “sushi restaurants” in the major casinos.
TIP: The restaurant does not officially offer an Omakase menu, but specials change daily to allow for substantial customization…and since Chef Krohmer is always around, it probably won’t hurt to ask if something more personal can be arranged from a seat at the counter.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.