Michael Mina, the world-famous chef has paired with restauranteur Ayesha Curry for their new International Smoke in the MGM.
Together they have created an entirely new style of cooking with robust flavors, great presentations, and plenty of mixed ideas to pick from. Starting with barbecue and cooking styles from all over, they feature roasted shellfish with entrees designed to share.
We started with a very clever drink, Lilikoi Mai Tai made with Selvarey rum, goslings, lilikoi, and pineapple served dazzlingly in a Spam Can.
That’s right, the old tried but true Spam with a slice of lime and an umbrella. Why not try Ayesha’s Fresh Baked Cornbread glazed with Thai red curry butter or Jerk Duck Spring Rolls?
On our table, we had roasted shellfish with a crab & Thai coconut soup shooter and grilled cheese sandwich. Citrus beets, Falafel, and a Truffle Caesar salad followed and after that, the Tokyo Fried Chicken and Shaking beef came out cooking right at our table.
The place is buzzing and everyone loves the atmosphere. Next up was Verlasso Salmon and Mediterranean Branzino, a fish for those who have never heard of it, along with a little Pacific Swordfish. One of the entrees was a hefty portion of Braised Jamaican Oxtail—Curry grew up with this type of cooking. They also have St. Louis cut pork ribs, which are first grilled and then smoked, with a choice of their signature international sauces: American Barbecue, Vietnamese Chili-Lemongrass, and Korean Sesame-Gochujang.
Our group next tried a trio of the St. Louis cut pork ribs with the oxtail, Korean short ribs, and some lovely Brussels sprouts.
Off the wood-fired grill, a selection of steaks and seafood with wine sauce or yuzu ponzu, and plenty of Shishito peppers or chipotle chimichurri.
There are many great craft cocktail options and 135 rotating beers, with at least 35 in the house at any time. They serve plenty of locally made Las Vegas beer.
The restaurant is located in The District on Restaurant Row at MGM Grand. They have a happy hour starting at 4:30 and dinner starts at 5. 702-891-3924.
Mina currently has restaurants in San Francisco, Boston, Miami Beach, and Waikiki along with many others. Ayesha Curry is a well-known chef, host of the EllenTube series “Vampire with Ayesha Curry”. Be sure to try this great new space, I give it 5 stars.