I know it has been a long time since our last post but over the past months we have still been dining at fine and delicious restaurants! We will try to blog about all of them as much as possible, especially during slow times of going out. For now, since it’s the holidays, we will be eating out A LOT – we are in Vegas! Look forward to many exciting posts by us here :)
Trattoria Nakamura-Ya is a unique little restaurant in the middle of an area filled with a very wide range of different and unique Asian restaurants – Chinatown! Specifically, it is in the same lot as Monta. What’s so special about this place is that it is Italian and Japanese fusion. Very cool, right? I did not know what to expect coming here, being my first time having this type of cuisine. As a result, I found out that I really liked it. There are many pastas with just the right amount of Asian twist, and then there are some cool unique things as well. We decided that to be able to try as much as possible, we would share all of our dishes.
To start, we tried three different types of carpaccios (a personal favorite!).
Evoo & ikura carpaccio (from the daily specials)
This dish was fresh, light, and clean. Almost like an “amuse-bouche”, it doesn’t have a strong bold flavor. A subtle raw white fish is nicely drizzled in olive oil plus has the right amount of saltiness and a hint of the sea coming from the ikura. A good way to start the meal. (In case any of you didn’t know, evoo = extra virgin olive oil)!
Nicely sliced pieces of octopus with an aoli mayo-type sauce to compliment. Dried pieces of garlic add further flavor, as well as slices of black olive. Chewy, but in the good kind of way; the type of unique texture that octopus should be like.
Kobe style beef carpaccio
This was so so good! Everything in the dish tastes great together, the oiliness gives a pleasant moist texture, and the arugula is not too strong. Plus, the thinly sliced marbled fatty beef tastes fantastic. And of course, a beef carpaccio can’t be complete without parmesan cheese and capers!
Might I also add that their bread is truly delicious!! It came warm and fresh to our table, with butter on the side. It is super soft, and fluffy but dense – almost like Philippino pan de sal. I was impressed by how good it was.
Spaghetti “ikasumi” squid ink
What I really like about the spaghettis here – besides the taste – is the texture and the way they are cooked. The noodles are fairly thin; there is a nice smoothness about them that makes them pleasant to eat. Although they are not cooked al-dente, this is not a problem because the thorough moistness of the pasta creates a texture with a slippery silkiness – like soba noodles minus the taste. Also, they are not so filling.
This squid ink spaghetti was good although simple. You could taste garlic but it was not too strong. The pieces of squid were cooked just right; not dense and chewy at all. The only thing is that you have to be careful when eating this because you can easily stain your lips black!
Spaghetti uni tomato cream
Of course, we had to order this tasty-sounding dish; an uni/tomato spaghetti? Who wouldn’t want to try this. As I expected, it was really good. The uni taste is not very prominent, but you can still taste the faint hint – good for people who aren’t huge fans of sea urchin. Mixed with tomato, this creamy blend of a sauce is delicious! I really really enjoyed this. Although some people may think it needs more taste of uni, I think that the way they made it is just right. It’s no wonder it’s their best seller! If you ever visit Nakamura-Ya, you’d be crazy not to give this dish a chance.
Salmon & ikura fettuchini (from the daily specials)
Probably my least favorite of the three pastas, this was satisfying but not as amazing. Something neat about this is the ikura. Never have I had a pasta dish with this ingredient. It sounds a bit strange, but I can now tell you that it simply adds a saltier fishy taste, besides the existing salmon. Interesting combination of flavors, but not my favorite.
Mochi & salted caramel gelato
So instead of the typical ice cream-filled mochi you’d be expecting, this dish came with the gelato on the side. In my opinion I would have preferred the traditional style better – I would like to see how it would taste in one whole bite compared to this way. The mochi had a pasty bean-like chewy taste (if that makes sense)?! On the other hand, the gelato was very very tasty; smooth texture with mini chunks of chocolate Dibs-like pieces folded in.
Green tea panna cotta
I am a huge fan of panna cotta. The top layer of soy milk particularly stands out to me (mouthwatering, but I can’t place exactly why I find it so different. It’s very silky), and the green tea underneath has a nice matcha taste and manages to be creamy. I would describe this as being good, and it’s not too sweet!
This is your typical good tiramisu, no wow-factor. There is a lot of cream at the top – becomes more spongy towards the bottom (which might I add was a bit dry). Then at the very bottom is where you will find only a small amount of sponge soaked in coffee.
The service is friendly here, the waitresses were dressed up in cute Santa outfits for Christmas. We didn’t have to wait too long for anything, and with our reservation we were seated right away. The space is soft and fairly intimate, not too packed, comfortable, and casual. It is a very cool concept. They have an award in the 2012 Desert Companion for Ethnic Restaurant of the Year (http://www.desertcompanion.com/article.cfm?ArticleID=472), so if you’re looking for someplace new to go, I’d say to give this place a shot.