Question of the Day April 24, 2015
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Q:What do you hear about Masaharu Morimoto's restaurant opening at The Mirage? Seems like it should have been opened by now
A:The fate of Chef Morimoto’s restaurant is a mystery, even to MGM Resorts International, apparently, where repeated inquiries vanished down the memory hole. Morimoto’s new Mirage restaurant was first rumored in 2012 and formally announced in May 2013, with a projected early 2014 opening. Instead, it is Morimoto’s eatery that has been the mirage. Two years after being announced, the official website link for the restaurant takes you to a generic listing of Mirage restaurants, with Japonais still literally and figuratively where Morimoto was supposed to go.
"It has long been a dream of mine to have a restaurant in Las Vegas. Ever since I opened my first restaurant in Philly I have wanted to have a flagship Morimoto on the Strip. Now is a fantastic time because I have an opportunity to work with The Mirage, one of the great iconic Las Vegas resorts," Morimoto told USA Today. Evidently his desire has not been strong enough to bring the dream to fruition, leaving diners to dream about the Vegas-only delicacies that Morimoto was expected to create.
At 2014’s Vegas Uncork’d food festival, held every spring, Morimoto was on hand, singing, posing for photographs, and making noodles – but offering no specifics of his behind-schedule restaurant. Pressed by EaterVegas.com for an opening date, Morimoto demurred, saying it would be "sometime soon, but I have been saying sometime soon since last September." Indeed.
In October 2014, VegasChatter.com confirmed the obvious: Morimoto wouldn’t be opening that year. It predicted a summer 2015 rollout, but that touchstone appears to have gone out the window as well. Chatter suggested a precedent for what might occur: "There's been speculation … that the change will be more in line with what happened to Japonais in Chicago when the dining spot closed for remodeling and reopened as Japonais by Morimoto."
The bottom line is that, despite all the advance ballyhoo, and much interest from potential diners such as yourself, neither Morimoto nor MGM Mirage Int'l has anything to show for it.
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