There’s no shortage of places to get a great steak in Las Vegas, but to find the cut above, you have to do a little digging. While many restaurants purport to carry the prized meat, there are just nine in Sin City that boast a coveted bronze Tajima statue, the official certification given by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association to establishments authorized to serve real Kobe beef.
This rare steak comes from Tajima cows raised in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan — a long way from the Nevada desert. But despite the distance, Kobe is a hot commodity, especially if you consider that less than 40 restaurants in the United States are certified to serve it.
The pure, buttery feel of Kobe on the palate is enough to send most people into a frenzy. But couple that with the undeniably beautiful backdrop of some of Las Vegas’ one-of-a-kind resorts and you will be served up an unforgettable night out.
Here are five unique locales that offer this ultra-exclusive cut.
When defining luxury in Las Vegas, this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star standout has always set a high bar, and the same is true for its meat program. It was the first resort in the country to feature certified Kobe beef, which can still be found on the menu at its Four-Star restaurants SW Steakhouse and Mizumi.
The hotel’s signature steakhouse offers four cuts of the prime beef: tenderloin, New York strip, rib eye and rib cap. Each is sold in a four-ounce minimum portion and is characterized by its sweetness, velvety flavor and delicate texture. Snag a seat on the patio to catch the light show (every half-hour from 8 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.) on Wynn’s Lake of Dreams while you dine.
You also can do dinner and a show at Mizumi, where slivers of Kobe are cooked on a hot stone right on your table. The paper-thin protein is smooth as silk, though much more flavorful.
One of the Strip’s most sophisticated properties, ARIA is practically expected to have Kobe on at least one of its eateries’ menus. And the Four-Star address does not disappoint. Forbes Travel Guide Recommended dining institution Jean-Georges Steakhouse delights with simply prepared options in three-, six- and nine-ounce portions.
To sup on succulent steaks, make your way to Wolfgang Puck’s Four-Star CUT Las Vegas within this Four-Star Strip staple.
Here, executive chef Matt Hurley features 100 percent Tajima Kobe rib eye in two-ounce portions. If you want a peek at the goods before ordering, he’ll be happy to take you back to the pristine refrigeration cases that grace the entrance of the kitchen, proudly showing off premium meats.
Also within the displays are three types of Japanese wagyu (note: all Kobe is wagyu, but not all wagyu is Kobe): olive-fed sanuki from Kagawa Prefecture; miyazaki from Miyazaki Prefecture; and private reserve from Chateau Uenae Lake Farm in Hokkaido. These are considered some of the rarest steaks in the world. There are people who even laud them as higher quality than Tajima Kobe.
Off the Strip in Henderson, this sprawling retreat debuted a classic Kobe experience this spring at Hank’s Fine Steaks.
The four-ounce rib eye is served with its authenticity label (upon request), as well as simple sea salt, garlic and Worcestershire sauce. The meat itself is so perfect it really needs no accoutrements — other than a chilled Vesper martini, that is.
Start with a jumbo crab cake and a wedge salad and you can claim full immersion into Las Vegas’ steakhouse dining culture.
Located within this Downtown Las Vegas resort, Vic & Anthony’s is the only restaurant in this part of town to offer premium Japanese beef. Sliced thin and served rare, the Kobe cuts melt in your mouth, but it is not the only Japanese meat on the menu. Vic & Anthony’s also showcases A5 Japanese wagyu filet mignon from Kagoshima Prefecture.
While beef is clearly the star, other exceptional steakhouse dishes such as Szechuan-pepper-crusted tuna, pear and blue cheese salad, and roasted pepper-crusted bacon with bourbon-barrel maple syrup and root beer glaze round out the creative menu.