Wait!  ANOTHER sake bomb?!!  Okay...twist my arm!  Here we go!  “SAKE ROK!  SAKE BOMB!!!”  Hey!  Here comes Godzilla!  Wow!  This sushi is FABULOUS!  Look!  Our host is dancing on the bar!  What IS this place??!!

This is Sake Rok, a new thrill-ride of a restaurant, located in The Park Las Vegas, between the Monte Carlo and New York New York.  Sake Rok features modern takes on Japanese food, an Asian-tinged industrial chic decor, and a beautiful multi-culti family of servers - all friendly, efficient, and (dare I say it?) easy on the eyes!  They’re talented, too - doubling as entertainers throughout the night; donning costumes, doing choreography, and lip-synching to ’70’s, ’80’s, and ’90’s pop songs!  This is definitely not the place for a quiet dinner for two.  You go to Sake Rok to eat, party, and have FUN!

The space is quite large - the main dining area and mezzanine seat about 200 people, and the Sakura Terrace, an event space on the top floor, has a view of The Park, the T-Mobile Arena, and the Vegas Strip.  They’re open for lunch and dinner, with bar & lounge service until the wee hours.  The downstairs space includes a cocktail bar, the sushi bar, and at the far end, a DJ booth, and exposed brick walls featuring decorative neon signage with Asian lettering, and a screen for video projections.

I came with two friends in tow, and we were shown to our table.  We studied our enormous, plasticized menus, and Caesar, our server, took our drink orders.  Our MC, Jacs, came by, looking like a fabulous LGBT hippie, with long multi-colored hair, rainbow-tinted false eyelashes, and long flowing robes.  We were in for quite a show, apparently!  At any rate, our cocktails arrived.  Two of us started with the Asking For Trouble - a mix of jalapeño tequila, peach liqueur, fresh lime, pineapple juice, and almond syrup.  This spicy, yet refreshing concoction, packed substantial heat, balanced out by the fruitiness of the peach and pineapple.  The almond syrup provided nice contrast, with a subtle sweetness.  A nice start to the night!

The chef had arranged a tasting menu for us, featuring some of the popular dishes, and almost immediately, our food began appearing.  First out: the Edamame - steamed soybeans, with sea salt and lime.  Simple and tasty, with the lime setting them apart from the standard edamame found elsewhere.  We also tried the Shishito Peppers, which were lightly grilled and served with crispy garlic, sea salt, and lime.  These mild peppers had a wonderfully verdant flavor, with an occasional burst of heat.

As we started in on our appetizers, the lights went down and the staff gave us a Disco Medley, complete with Travolta-esque moves, colorful afro wigs, and Jacs dancing on the bar in a lavender spotlight.

Next up: the Salt & Pepper Shrimp - delicious, crispy shrimp, coated with dry miso, crispy garlic, and shichimi - a seven-flavor spice mix.  Served with a shiso aioli, these shrimp were outstanding, with a light spiciness that lingered on the tongue.  We also sampled the Berkshire Pork Dumplings - delicate little dumplings with a surprisingly full-bodied pork flavor.

About this time, we were coerced into trying our first Sake Bomb - a half-full pint glass of beer, with 2 chopsticks perched across the top, and a cup of sake balanced atop the chopsticks.  We said the magic words “SAKE ROK!  SAKE BOMB!!!” and pounded on the table, causing the sake to plunge through the chopsticks and into the beer.  The last step was to chug the crazy concoction!  Now, I hate beer AND sake, but I did FOUR of these babies!!  At Sake Rok, I got caught up in the moment...and enjoyed it!  We also got another performance from the staff - this time a recreation of Madonna’s “Vogue,” with one of the female staffers being carried in a full splits position above the heads of several male servers.

The Crispy Sashimi Tacos were winners; both the Big Eye Tuna, with tobanjan (a spicy soy paste,) cucumber, and avocado, and the stunningly good Yellowtail, with soy ginger, avocado, and cilantro.  Yum!  The Hamachi Serrano made our palates sing - thin slices of fish in a citrusy white ponzu, topped with thin slices of Serrano pepper, and garnished with micro-chives, micro-cilantro and micro-beet shoots.  Delicate, yet so flavorful!

Our next two dishes complimented each other perfectly. The Hangar Steak with broccoli, chanterelles, and aka miso, was cooked beautifully, but to my taste, needed just a touch of salt.  The Toban Yaki - wild, Japanese mushrooms with charred scallions, sautéed in a yuzu-soy, and topped with a coconut foam, which was stirred in for an exotic creaminess, was perhaps our favorite dish of the evening, striking just the right balance of earthiness, citrus and salt.  When the hangar steak was dipped in the excess sauce from the mushrooms, it ate perfectly!

Next came two of Sake Rok’s specialty rolls: the Girl On The Beach Roll - shrimp, snow crab, cucumber, and avocado, topped with tuna, and drizzled with Screaming O Sauce.  On each side of the plate, was the El Chapo Roll - spicy snow crab, shrimp, and avocado, with a spectacular, tomatillo sauce, which gave the roll a tart, lightly acidic pop of flavor at the end.  So addictive, El Chapo himself would’ve approved!

Oh, yes...Godzilla!  Well, throughout the evening, we kept seeing the Godzilla Platter going out - a party-sized selection of sushi, served on trays featuring large Godzilla figures, which breathed smoke!  When asked about dessert, we made a special request: Could they present our dessert on a Godzilla tray?  They were gracious enough to comply, so we had Sata Andagi - scrumptious Japanese doughnuts with a delectable Asian pear marmalade for dipping, and a selection of ice cream filled rice cakes called Mochi, which came in chocolate/strawberry, mango, green tea, and passionfruit.  Mmmm!

Between the fabulous food, the sake bombs, songs like Cameo’s “Word Up” blaring from the sound system, the ultra-clever Boy Band Medley, performed to giddy perfection by the staff, and more, our evening at Sake Rok was sensory overload, in the best way!  This is a place you MUST experience for yourselves!  

Trust me...Sake Rok ROCKS!!!