After viewing the “And Then There Was Art” exhibit in the Mandarin Oriental art gallery, we headed over to MOzen Bistro for dinner. I have to say, I’m a bit surprised by the mixed reviews on Yelp because it was quite simply, one of THE BEST meals I’ve had in my life, and I’ve been lucky enough to eat at some amazing restaurants all around the world. (I even took a Thai cooking class at Mandarin Oriental in Thailand!)
Located on the 3rd floor, MOzen Bistro features a serene, elegantly relaxed ambiance and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s tucked in the middle of the Aria and Crystals, so a window seat will afford beautiful views. The venue itself is light and airy with floor-to-ceiling windows, ultra-high ceilings and a quiet color pallette. During dinner, the lights outside were twinkling. It is the perfect location for a quiet date where you can actually hear each other speak.
The service was impeccable. Our server Julia was warm, knowledgeable and charming. The menu is pretty extensive, and she patiently answered all of our questions. When she realized that we were pretty game for anything … she confidently began ordering for us. She proudly took us on their culinary “Journey Through Asia.”
The ingredients were really high quality and ultra fresh, the food is well executed and the plating is delicate and pretty. I was a little cautious when I saw they offered many different types of Asian cuisine, but I read that there is a separate chef for each type of cuisine (Japanese for Japanese cuisine, Indian for Indian cuisine, etc) so that specialty came through. Let’s start at the beginning:
SALT AND PEPPER CALAMARI: Lightly battered calamari, tossed with garlic, scallions and five-spice salt. This was light and crunchy, not oily at all.
Then came the Bento Boxes. She ordered both of them for us so we could try a little of everything.
features an Indian Flair and contained …
BUTTER CHICKEN: Tandoori roasted marinated chicken in creamy tomato curry
GARLIC NAAN: Garlic flavored Indian flatbread cooked in clay oven. These were perfect to soak up the delicious sauces from the soups and the curry type dishes
SASHIMI: Salmon, tuna and hamachi
SALT AND PEPPER CALAMARI: Yes! More calamari
PORK AND SHRIMP SHU MAI: Chinese vinegar
ALASKAN CRAB SUMMER ROLL: Crispy Lotus root and Tangy Thai sweet dressing
featured a more Eastern Asia flair and contained …
THAI GREEN PRAWN CURRY: Prawns simmered in spicy coconut curry, with Siamese eggplant and sweet basil. They are known for this dish and for good reason! Definitely one of my favorites.
CHAR SIU BAO: With chinese vinegar. Yes, this was also in the Bento Expressions box so it was kind of perfect that we could each have one.
SWEET CORN, CHICKEN AND CRAB MEAT SOUP: Yum. I am a huge soup fan so this was so creamy and comforting.
NIGIRI: Salmon, Tuna and Hamachi.
ACHARI CHICKEN TIKKA: Chicken breast marinated with spices, served with mint chutney
KOREAN BULGOGI: Marinated stir fried Striploin, fragrant jasmine rice and homemade kimchi. Another one of my favorites!
The Chef spoiled us even further and made sushi for us, which they are well-known for, and deservedly so. Being from Los Angeles and having lived in Tokyo post-college, I can be a bit of a sushi snob, but these delicacies did not disappoint. The sushi literally melted in my mouth.
YELLOWTAIL COMBO ROLL: Spicy hamachi roll with hamachi sashimi, garlic chip and chili sauce
CATERPILLAR: Shrimp tempura, avocado topped with chili serrano, eel sauce and tempura crunch
LYCHEE RASPBERRY SUNSET: Raspberry gelée, coconut tapioca pearl, coconut cake, lychee sorbet and raspberry foam
CHOCOLATE MOCHA POT DE CREME: Coffee creameux, mocha ice cream brownies and peanut brittle
Both of these were delicious, but I loved the tangy sweetness of the Lychee Rasperry Sunset!
As for parking, you can self park at Aria or do the valet at Mandarin Oriental. We were staying at Mandalay Bay, so we took a taxi over. After dinner, the wait for a taxi was pretty long but it was post-dinner rush hour and every hotel experiences long wait times.
Final Note: Although we had dinner, and I HIGHLY recommend the Bento Boxes, I would be very excited to try their Sunday Brunch. You get an entree in addition to the buffet stations, which I can only imagine would be beautifully curated with their best offerings. Add bottomless mimosas to that, a dip in the pool followed by a massage in their luxurious spa … and that would be my idea of a luxe Sunday in Vegas!
And P.S. Yes, we did have to take quite a bit to go 🙂 I couldn’t bring myself to let any of it go to waste.
Stay tuned to read about my Nightcap at Mandarin Bar!