Scotch 80 Prime Will Be Latest Las Vegas Restaurant to Serve True Kobe Beef
As of April 2016, there were only eight restaurants in the whole United States serving real Kobe beef, according to an Inside Edition investigation. Come May, there will be one more on the list: Scotch 80 Prime, which will open at the Palms Casino Resort off the Las Vegas strip.
At the time of the investigation—that word sounds terribly serious, but then again, paying upwards of $100 for a mislabeled product kind of is—only three Las Vegas restaurants served actual Kobe beef: Jean Georges Steakhouse at Aria Resort and Casino, SW Steakhouse Restaurant at the Wynn Las Vegas and Bazaar Meat by José Andrés at SLS Las Vegas. According to the report, these were the only three restaurants in the city able to provide the telltale certificate and Kobe beef gold statue to verify authenticity.
While this list probably merits updating since 2016, the fact remains that most "wagyu" on menus is not true Kobe. "American wagyu" or "American Kobe" are misleading and unregulated terms that can refer to four breeds of Japanese cattle (i.e., wagyu) that have been imported and usually crossbred in the United States. Unlike certified Kobe beef, they haven’t had to pass strict Japanese certifications and are not Tajima-gyu cows, whose pure bloodlines date back as far as the 1600s. None of these terms are tightly federally regulated in the United States, so restaurants suffer little penalty for their improper use.
Scotch 80 Prime, however, will be the real deal. Per a press release sent to Food & Wine, the restaurant will offer “carefully sourced certified Japanese KOBE beef” under supervision of executive chef Barry S. Dakake, who’s spent his career cooking behind the stoves of steak titan Charlie Palmer. Palmer’s eponymous steak empire, Charlie Palmer Steak, now encompasses five locations. Dakake previously helped open up one of those locations at the Las Vegas Four Seasons Hotel, and before that, he worked at Palmer’s Michelin-starred NYC flagship Aureole. He later went on to help launch Aureole’s subsequent Las Vegas location.
As good as the steak promises to be at Scotch 80 Prime, the restaurant is ambitious on other fronts. There will be three million dollars worth of of Scotch whisky to blow your money on—including a Macallan Fine & Rare 1937 single malt scotch—and caviar towers stacked high with vodka shots. In a throwback to the tableside service of classic 1950s steakhouses, there will be towers of seafood set aflame, and a "Liquid Nitro Dessert Trolley" with what appears to be flambéed banana splits, evocative of Bananas Foster.
Scotch 80 Prime will be housed in the newly renovated Palms Casino Resort, whose second and final stage of renovation is expected to be completed in 2019.