There is a lot of hype surrounding Vegas, and because of that, it can be hard to be impressed when you go. Everything is so talked up, so expected to be spectacular, that the element of surprise is often removed. However, Tao was everything I was promised it would be. A beautiful lounge-like interior, soothing decor, wonderful wait-staff, and amazing food. Tao truly was worth the hype (and the money). If you love Asian food (and not just sushi, though that is what my husband and I had), definitely put Tao on your list.
There are three floors at Tao, and my husband and I were sat on the third floor. This was great because we were away from the commotion, and yet we were on a balcony, so we could overlook everything. Mainly, we could see the three-story tall Buddha, with his giant hands and feet. But we could also people-watch, which is almost a sport in Vegas. Of course, we spent most of the time oohing and ahhing over our food, paying more attention to our plates than to other diners.
As I said, my husband and I made this a sushi dinner, so we started with the crispy tuna sashimi roll with edamame. I have to apologize, because we ate this before we were able to take a picture. This was truly delicious - the roll was wrapped in a crispy, tempura skin, and the tuna was in large chunks. It had a sweet sauce with it, and the plate was specked with edamame. This was a wonderful treat, and a great way to start our meal.
For our next course, we went with a vegetable - the field asparagus tempura. It was tender, flavorful, and crispy. And there was a lot of it!
While there were plenty of entrees to choose from (labled as “From the Sea”, “From the Sky”, and “From the Land” on the menu), we continued with our sushi theme. We had two pieces of salmon, which were almost buttery in texture. We followed that with two specialty rolls, in soy paper: the spicy tuna roll and the crunchy spicy yellowtail roll with crushed onions. Both of these were amazing. The fish was so fresh (remember, we were in the desert!), and the flavors were unbeatable. There was no minced fish here, but large pieces once again. The spicy-ness came from the bed of spicy mayo below the rolls. And the onions on the yellowtail roll added a wonderful hint of savory and sweet.
This may not seem like a lot of food for two people, but the rolls were so large, that it actually was the perfect amount. Which is not to say that I couldn’t have kept eating, because I definitely could have. Everything was so delicious, we debated ordering seconds. However, we decided to end our meal on the sweet side, and got two desserts.
Our first dessert was an apple wonton with vanilla ice cream. This was wonderful -a delicious apple-pie filling inside a sweet, fried wonton, drizzled with caramel. The second was simply heavenly - chocolate souffle served with coconut ice cream and edible chocolate chopsticks. Both of these dishes were wonderful and beautifully presented. They were pure bliss.
I highly suggest Tao. I have to say that this was my favorite dining experience in Vegas. The atmosphere was perfectly trendy. The food was amazing. And, it was worth the hype. How often does that happen?
Tao is located in the Venetian Hotel and Casino in the Grand Canal Shoppes at 3355 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Phone: (702) 388-9301