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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mastro's

Hi, I’m Kenneth Watrous. I’m writing about seafood places in Las Vegas, and the opinions here are only mine.


Last month, we went to Joe’s. This month, we’re writing about Mastro’s.


Mastro’s is one of those places that elevates dining into the older days. It has a feel of a place from the 60’s before all of the chains made even private and mom and pop places have a certain similar feel to them. The d├ęcor is broad with a combination of blue and white and blue and gold themes. The grand chandeliers are where I see most of the older feel, they really add something to the place. So do the wood-worked layers seen throughout. They are sort of structural and sort of like sculpture. They are pretty nice. The best pat is called The Tree House and is surrounded by the wood structures and looks out on the rest of the shopping center. The staff is efficient, given the size and number of seats through the place. The wait times are on the long side of what I like, but the food is worth it and the kitchen certainly handles a lot while also handling a large volume.
This is one of the few places that I go that has sushi offerings in addition to more coastal seafoods. Sushi restaurants are usually their own thing and the competition leaves little reason to offer it in other places, but Mastor’s does a few change ups and rolls that reflect their own style. The Hamachi is my recommendation here. It is thin sliced and topped with green onions. It has a lot more of a traditional fish flavor and less of the Japanese styling to it.
The appetizers offer a solid cross section of the rest of the menu and can be seen as a trial menu. The vanilla battered shrimp is practically a desert, but can make for a good starter with its light and bright flavor that gets you ready for heavier stuff to come.
Mastro’s also does the steak house line up with a good set of meats including lamb, beef, chicken, and tuna steaks. When it gets into the seafood this is a place that celebrates more fish over crustacean. They have fine lobster and crab dishes, but they really excel at having a wider variety of fish than most places. Offerings include tuna, bass, salmon, char, snapper, sole, and even swordfish. If you are looking for a taste of seafood that is heavy on the sea and not on the flavors of the coast, this is really the place. There is a depth to the flavors that gives each its due. It isn’t just a different piece of fish with the same toppings, seasonings and sides. Each is dressed up special to enhance the flavor and to also reflect the regions that are best known for catching and supplying each of the central ingredients.
Speaking of sides, Mastro’s doesn’t just offer filler sides, each of the sides is a meal itself. There are some regional flavors reflected here, especially in the selection of potatoes which has everything from a baked to a scalloped. They have cheese infused, lobster flavored, some sweet potato alternatives and the like. Picking a different potato or vegetable to go with a meal can really change up the experience and offers an interesting mix-and-match style. The waitstaff is excellent here in explaining what textures to expect and which things will go well. They will also steer you away from a few of the combinations that are either redundant or will clash too much.
The desert options are all rich and give that same sense of all over the world appeal. Options in the ice cream even aren’t just ice cream but gelato and sorbet. Most of it is in the option of either hot or cold desert, with a few that offer both. The deserts are also the kind of thing that adds to the whole experience. I suggest doing the full 5 course experience at Mastro’s. It takes some fortitude and planning to be ready for that much food, but the large selection and knowledgeable staff will help design a meal that is as much an adventure and experience as it is food.

-Kenneth Watrous
Find more about me on www.kennethwatrous.com or follow me on twitter at @KennethWatrous