Tuesday 17 January, 2012

Getting Reacquainted with Social House

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Social House, originally at Treasure Island, has been re-opened inside Crystals at City Center for some months now, though it's been somewhat under the radar since, and I’ve been tardy in having a proper meal there myself.

It was my loss: Social House is easily the strongest culinary destination in Crystals, and even though Elevado has moved on, (to LA's L'Ermitage), it remains one of the Strip’s most creatively approachable, ingredient-driven Japanese restaurants. No, it does not necessarily compete with the most adventuresome Japanese eateries in town, such as Spring Mountain’s Iburiya Raku and Ichiza, but this is a more relaxed, lavish, internationally-appealing experience, with strong quality and technique. The kitchen understands how to balance salty, sweet, sour and bitter with crispy, crunchy and soft textures for mouth-pleasing bites. That talent is all too rare.

The menu is broad and full of temptations, some pricier than others: Those with a sense of adventure and time to linger might best opt for the Chef’s Omakase (a $95 prix fixe) which is sure to satisfy.

I may be in the minority here, but I actually prefer this version to the original at TI. While that location (currently functioning as Khotan, but closing soon to be replaced by, um, Senor Frogs) was a string of design-forward curiosities, this is a more functionable, dramatic space with some semi-private booths and a smart bar in front. It works.

Here’s what I enjoyed:

For dessert, we also enjoyed a cinnamon cake with sambal foam, and coconut donuts.

Other items on the Social House menu blend Asian inspirations more overtly: kalbi beef sushi rolls, kurobuta pork larb, chicken confit... Lunch offerings include ramen, chicken adobo and even a version of Hawaiian loco moco. In addition to a full bar, Social House also has an interesting siphon coffee program, with a  variety of single-origin beans.

Social House

Crystals, City Center
3720 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV
(702) 736-1122


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