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Akira Back has spent the past few years opening signature restaurants in Asia -- even scoring himself a Michelin star in Seoul. But it was Las Vegas that put the former pro snowboarder on the culinary map. When Las Vegas casino nightclubs were in their infancy, Yellowtail was the pre-club dinner spot of choice for celebrities waiting for their red-carpet entry to Bellagio’s now-shuttered Light. The fact that this is still the preferred sushi spot of celebrity journalist (and all-around arbiter of what’s hot in Vegas) Melinda Sheckells is a testament to how Back’s cuisine has far greater staying power than any flavor-of-the-month DJ.

While Yellowtail is listed here under favorite Strip sushi spots, the menu goes far deeper than the fresh fish flown in daily from around the world. His warm and cold small plates put modern spins on traditional Japanese and Korean fare. There are also a handful of larger entrees such as steak, short ribs, chicken and salmon, offered with just the slightest touches of whimsy. Enjoy it as you watch the dancing fountains out the windows.

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