For my next all-you-can-eat sushi adventure, I decided to try out Sushi-Mon on West Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas. I like going to restaurants by myself with my laptop so I can eat at a leisurely pace while I get some work done. Upon arrival, because I was alone, I agreed to be seated at the bar so I wouldn’t take up a table that could be used by a group, and so I could watch the chefs prepare sushi.
All-you-can-eat menus usually have a set of premium items that are limited to one order per person. These are usually the better sashimi items that are more expensive with bigger portions of fish and less rice. I put in my first round of dishes by picking their tuna poke salad, spicy seafood salad, and screaming orgasm. All of these were great—the cuts of fish were nice and thick, so the texture was very satisfying to bite through.
Next up were two appetizers, soft shell crab and two fresh oysters. The soft shell crab was about average and what you’d expect from soft shell crab. I’d say the oysters were a little above average; they were nice and refreshing, and the garnishments weren’t overpowering so they complemented the flavor of the oysters well.
The third round consisted of three different types of carpaccio: yellowtail, salmon, and seared pepper tuna. The yellowtail carpaccio was my favorite—the fish quality was good, and it had a nice smooth zest to it from the yuzu.
With the premium sashimi dishes done, I went on to order some nigiri. Each order comes with two pieces; I ordered one each of yellowtail, salmon, sweet shrimp, scallop, and escolar. The ratio of rice to fish was a little on the high side, but still within reason. Again, like the sashimi, the fish quality was great. The scallop was particularly noticeably more tender than average.
The grand finale was sea urchin gunkan. Sea urchin is my favorite type of sushi, so if a restaurant has it, I will almost always order it. The sea urchin at Sushi-Mon was decent, but unfortunately, the seaweed that wrapped the sea urchin and rice was unusually pungent and detracted from the flavor of the sea urchin.
To close out my meal, I got two desserts—one mango mochi and one scoop of green tea ice cream. The mochi tasted the same as the mochi you get from pretty much every sushi restaurant, but the green tea ice cream was better (though “better” is subjective here—I think it might have just been extra sweet, so it blocked a lot of the subtle bitter undertones you usually get from tea-flavored ice cream).
The table to the right shows how much I paid.
Compared to other all-you-can-eat spots I’ve been to in the Las Vegas Valley at this price point, I’d say Sushi-Mon is the winner so far.
The service was stellar. Both the server and the chef regularly checked in on me to ask if there was anything else I wanted to order. Many all-you-can-eat restaurants will intentionally delay checking in on you in hopes that you get full while waiting and order less, but Sushi-Mon did not do that. I usually only see this level of service at AYCE spots if it was almost empty, but Sushi-Mon maintained that level of service even though there were a bunch of other parties at the tables.
The fish quality was comparable to a more high-end sushi restaurant. The fish tasted fresher, the flavors were stronger, and the sauces and garnishments were made in a way that they let the fish speak for itself (as opposed to making it stronger as to cover up any flavor imperfections in the fish).
The environment was also pleasant. There were TVs playing in the background, the vibe was cozy, and all the staff members were friendly. I was doing some corporate law work while I was eating, and my waitress asked me about it, mentioning that she had previously studied law—a much more meaningful and interesting conversation than the usual small talk with other servers. Even the background music was to my preference—they were playing pop and pop-punk hits from a decade or two ago.
Usually I will recommend restaurants on an if-then basis, i.e., if you like a specific thing or don’t mind about a certain thing, then then restaurant is worth a visit. However, if you like sushi in general and want an all-you-can-eat sushi experience, Sushi-Mon is an unconditional recommendation for everyone from me.
To be clear, you can obviously get better sushi from a high-end omakase experience. However, for under $50, I think you’re going to have a very tough time finding something better.