January 10, 2010

Rick Moonen's RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay

Tucked away at Mandalay Bay is this wonderful restaurant by Rick Moonen: RM Seafood Perhaps you were a fan of Top Chef: Las Vegas and remember the episode of Restaurant Wars took place here? If you haven't experienced this place, then you have no idea what you're missing!

Dining on The
Las Vegas Strip is difficult for vegans, but RM does make a fantastic vegetarian sushi if you ask your server. There is a "Seasonal Veggie" roll on the menu, but be sure to remind your server that you do not eat any fish whatsoever to ensure that there aren't any hidden treats like fish flakes or crab meat (sometimes considered "vegetarian" by traditional sushi chefs!).

From Las Vegas Weekly: Moonen, who wrote the terrific Fish Without a Doubt, a home cook’s survival guide full of techniques and recipes for all manner of sea creatures, is a champion of sustainable seafood; or, in other words, fish that are caught in an environmentally sound, socially responsible manner, and which are not in danger of being fished out, like the dreaded Chilean sea bass, aka the Patagonian toothfish
I've had the pleasure of dining at rm 3 times, and each time the vegetable sushi is unique and creative. The size is also manageable - sometimes sushi chefs pack a veggie roll so full it barely fits in your mouth! I'm not complaining: it just means they are actually excited about the fresh ingredients they have on hand & want to show them off. I'm all for it.

The experience of dining at rm is worth the trip in and of itself! The decor is clean & sophisticated - really makes dining out feel "special" which, let's face it, if I want to eat in a restaurant that looks like my own comfy kitchen, then I'll just eat at home! I want to be wowed when I go out to eat!

There are a few other items on the menu that are
lacto-vegetarian (*) or can easily be converted to vegan:
  • Edamame (vegan)
  • RM baby lettuce & wild herbs salad (most likely vegan but ask about the dressing)
  • Grilled eggplant & hallumi cheese panini (*)
  • Asparagus mascarpone ravioli (*)
  • Heirloom tomatoes (ask to remove the sopressata)
  • Marinated beets & watermelon
  • Bib lettuce & wild herbs (again, ask about the dressing)
Check out the dessert menu (all menus on the website are downloadable pdfs) and you'll find a lacto-vegetarian paradise. Vegans on the other hand...may want to ask about the banana spring rolls for an exact ingredient list. It says on the menu that there is a caramel-passion fruit sauce - can they just top it with a passion fruit reduction instead? Or nothing? Who knows. I haven't asked. I always go for the teas as a nice ending to my sushi.

In all, rm is worth the experience, and it is nice that the sushi chef is willing to put together a pretty and delicious veggie roll. Being a seafood restaurant, though, the choices are inherently limited. Although... one of their incredible
Mojitos will make you forget all about that!

Located in the entrance to Mandalay Place
Between The House of Blues and the Lion King Theatre

Las Vegas Blvd. So.
Las Vegas, NV 89119