At Mizumi, four distinctly different experiences await discriminating diners.
The main dining room at Mizumi.
Choosing the right moniker for a restaurant is important. A good name embodies the characteristics of the experience, giving diners an immediate sense of what to expect. A great name is alluring, memorable—and easy to find on Google.
in 2012, Steve Wynn needed a name for a new restaurant with four Japanese cuisines, including a sushi bar and teppanyaki grill, improbably situated next to a waterfall and Japanese garden in the desert. in Japanese, “mizu” means water, and “umi” is beach. Mizu umi means lake. It is also a very popular name for females in Japan, giving it a feminine quality . Mizumi, they decided, was the perfect name for a captivating restaurant with many different facets to her personality.
At Mizumi, executive chef Devin Hashimoto offers infinite possibilities for you to curate your dining experience as you wish, even if your wish is to not choose.
Teppanyaki Chilean sea bass with seasonal vegetables.
The teppanyaki is the play-within-the-play at Mizumi. Here, in an intimate room perched beside a 90-foot waterfall, which may be closed off for privacy, chefs serve dishes as they are prepared to guests seated communally around a flat grill table. The meal follows a cadence of preparation and watching, cooking, and eating. “There are many different types of teppanyaki,” Hashimoto says, describing everything from chain restaurants with shrimp-flipping antics to solemn traditional Japanese cooking. Mizumi, he says, offers a happy medium. “People are in Vegas and they want to be entertained, but they are also at Wynn, where elegance and service is what we try to uphold in every guest experience. We offer flair, excitement, and a cooking show, but in a controlled, stylish, and fine-dining environment.” Whether it’s the catch of the day with seasonal vegetables like summer eggplant or winter kabocha squash, or an all-vegetarian meal, he says, “guests get to watch their chef preparing a wonderfully executed meal.”
Lobster prepared on Mizumi’s robatayaki grill.
Nearest the garden entrance and opposite the bar is Mizumi’s gleaming robatayaki counter, where refined simplicity is on display. Here fresh ingredients are grilled over a Binchotan charcoal grill and served exactly at the moment they are ready. Barbecue aficionados know that the fuel of the fire imparts something to the food. “The Binchotan charcoal makes a huge difference,” explains Hashimoto. Imported from Japan, it is made of oak without any chemical additives and it has a long burn, making it well suited for use in a restaurant.
Robatayaki relies heavily on the quality of the ingredients and Hashimoto has sourced exceptional product like organic Jidori chicken from California, and Alaskan king crab. Here the seasonal vegetables are farm- (or ocean-) to-grill. Most robatayaki offerings employ skewers, for ease of cooking, serving, and eating, with some exceptions. The one-and-a-half-pound Maine lobster is grilled in the shell and served simply with grilled eryngii mushrooms accompanied by sesame goma sauce and a French-style Japanese yuzu butter sauce.
Pairing libations at Mizumi is as personal as choosing the experience you will have within the restaurant. Hashimoto likes to drink cold sake with his robata. “I like the contrast of hot and cold,” he explains. Wine manager Louis Hamilton takes the contrast one step further to France with a cold Chablis from Domaine Laroche in Burgundy.
From the Kitchen
Big Island abalone and black truffle chawanmushi.
The hot kitchen is where Hashimoto brings together his Japanese heritage and classical French training, in dishes like the Big Island abalone and black truffle chawanmushi, an egg custard entrée with mitsuba leaves. “The abalone are from Hawaii, and are cooked sous vide for 13 hours,” says the chef. “Then the egg custard is steamed and the abalone is added just before the custard is set.”
According to Hashimoto, Japanese and French cuisines are very similar. “Kaieski is very detailed, small plating and seasonal courses. It is like what the French do in their tasting menus,” he explains. “The pride in the products and techniques. Whether it is chicken stock or dashi, it’s the same thing. Very precise.”
That precision and artful selection of ingredients is evident in the restaurant’s Kobe Beef Hot Stone Tataki, where the certified Kobe beef is thinly sliced and served raw tableside for guests to sear —for no more than five seconds—on a hot ceramic stone. Served with a trio of dipping sauces, Hashimoto says,“It’s one of our most popular dishes. A lot of guests come back for it. But for the foodies, the chef’s tasting menu is the way to go to experience the most creative and unique dishes.”
An ultra-fresh sashimi platter at Mizumi.
There are two sides to the sushi and sashimi experience at Mizumi: one familiar and and one more adventurous. On the menu are perennial favorites like spicy tuna, California roll, and yellowtail. The fish is pristine, flown in fresh from around the globe. Snapper comes from Japan, and spot prawns from Santa Barbara are kept live in a tank in the kitchen. The oh toro tuna from Spain—raised on sustainable farms—is becoming a signature for its marbled texture and bacon-like quality.
Off the menu is the opportunity to discover something new. The omakase sashimi platter puts your dinner in the hands of the chef, who will choose based on the availability of special ingredients, whether it’s Japanese snapper presented Ikizukuri style, maintaining the natural shape of the fins, or prawns served two ways: raw tails and deep-fried heads. Typical pickled ginger may be supplanted with a delicate yamamomo mountain peach marinated in sweet sake. “Each time you dine we may have different products on hand,” explains Master Sushi Chef Kitt Xaiyasiha. If you wish to choose, he recommends asking your server about daily specials. “We almost have a secret menu—live octopus legs or jellyfish, something exotic you might be looking to enjoy.”