STRIPSTEAK is celebrity chef Michael Mina’s clever innovation of the American steakhouse. The sleek, modern décor acts as a stunning backdrop for showcasing sophisticated reinterpretations of classic favorites. Executive Chef Benjamin Jenkins translates Chef Mina’s distinctive vision with ease, infusing approachable American fare with gourmet flavors and the highest quality ingredients.
STRIPSTEAK entices diners with its open-air dining room, visible from Mandalay Bay’s promenade. A glowing white plexiglass bar with Mod-style red and blue accents promises chic mingling over delectable cocktails while lounging in semi-circular swivel chairs. The lounge’s colors and geometric patterns are repeated through the rest of the restaurant to create a lively and supremely stylish environment. Large glass dividers separate intimate banquette seating from the more traditional tables that are scattered throughout the space, creating the suggestion of privacy without being closed off from the energetic activity of the dining room. In an inspired conceptual move of form following function, wood block walls visually reference chopping blocks, conforming beautifully to the modernist design scheme while subtly reminding diners of the restaurant’s main attraction: the steak. An illuminated meat locker near the open kitchen further concentrates attentions on STRIPSTEAK’s exquisite culinary offerings.
Mina Group restaurants have garnered their esteemed culinary reputations by revamping traditional dishes with creative and thoughtful gourmet touches. STRIPSTEAK is no exception. Executive Chef Benjamin Jenkins transforms steakhouse classics with the flavorful integrity of fresh and seasonal ingredients, cutting edge kitchen techniques, and an haute cuisine refinement to produce dazzling dishes that are more than worthy of the Mina name. STRIPSTEAK’s Mac and Cheese, for example, is given an indulgent twist by the addition of truffles while the infusion of appetizers like Tuna Poppers and Cauliflower Soup with Asian flavors like ponzu sauce and vadouvan curry add unexpected complexities. What most distinguishes STRIPSTEAK is its unique method of meat preparation. The restaurant’s selection of Certified Angus, American Kobe, and Japanese Kobe, as well as its other meat varieties, are slow-poached in one of the kitchen’s six circulating, slow-poaching chambers for several hours before they are given a smoky finish by mesquite-stoked grills. This distinctive technique makes each cut of meat impossibly tender and succulent.
Our meal begins with a trio of flavored duck fat fries and three accompanying dipping sauces. Each flavor gives the crisp, golden fries a new personality: the Smoked Paprika Fries with its associated Barbeque Sauce impart a spicy smokiness, the Truffled Fries with Truffle Aioli overwhelm the senses with a delicious pungency, and the Herbed Fries with house made Ketchup offer the simple satisfaction of a classic pairing with added herbal nuance. The trio exemplifies the STRIPSTEAK philosophy of blending approachable and traditional American comfort foods with gourmet sophistication. Satisfying and surprising, each fry is an accessibly delicious amuse bouche.
The Shabu Shabu, an intriguingly uncharacteristic addition to an American steakhouse menu, does not disappoint, arriving steaming to the table. The large bowl of mushroom consommé, surrounded by little raw Kobe beef-wrapped bundles of daikon radish, enoki mushrooms and scallions, invites eager participation. Dipping a beef bundle in the consommé, we are given the control over the cooking experience, deciding how thoroughly cooked, and how mushroom-infused, we want our Kobe to be. The mushroom broth deepens the meaty flavor of the Kobe, while citrus notes and the crispness of the vegetables brighten and lighten each bite.
Traditional Crab Louie gets a new, gourmet identity in STRIPSTEAK’s Lettuce Cups. Diced Dungeness crab meat and avocado nestle inside Bibb lettuce cups in clusters around a bowl of spicy sriracha vinaigrette for dipping. Crisp, creamy, and cool, the bountiful bundles are a bright and refreshing starter. The spiciness of the sriracha creeps in and emboldens the flavors of the buttery, sweet crab and avocado, awakening our palates in preparation for the rest of our meal.
The Beet Salad pays homage to the pleasures and flavorful integrity of seasonal ingredients. Crowned by a tangle of fresh greens, the roasted pink, golden, and purple beets spill out on the plate, accompanied by large, tantalizing slices of soft, white burrata. The earthy sweetness of the beets predominates, punctuated by a subtle nuttiness from drizzled walnut oil. The burrata is a revelation in milky creaminess and a marked departure from lesser quality mozzarellas, contributing an added note of refreshment.
The 8 Oz. American Kobe Rib Cap and Colorado Lamb arrive together to initiate our serious feasting. Strips of the Kobe are laid out simply on a steel serving pan, displaying their succulent red centers to mouthwatering effect. Tender and smoky, the Kobe epitomizes the marvels of STRIPSTEAK's distinctive steak preparation and makes us converts to this slow-poach method.
The Colorado Lamb lends a distinctive Mina Mediterranean flavor to STRIPSTEAK. Large lollipops of tapenade and red pepper-rubbed lamb balance together in a teepee-like structure on the plate, exuding a delightfully heady aroma of rosemary and spices. The impossibly succulent, pink meat reflects its flavorful 12-hour slow-poach journey, permeated by the olive oil and rosemary jus it’s steeped in. The earthy brine of the tapenade accentuates the deep gameyness of the lamb that intensifies the savory satisfactions of the dish.
The Truffled Mac and Cheese and Spinach Soufflé offer rich accompaniments to our meat dishes. The Mac and Cheese embodies the homey comfort of its classic inspiration, while infusing it with the luxurious pungency of truffles. The addition of broccoli crowns to the mixture offers a welcome, healthy counterpoint to the cheesy decadence.
The Spinach Soufflé’s presentation, however, captivates and steals the show. It arrives as a large, green cloud to the table, that, when pierced, deflates into a delicious airy custard. Like the Truffled Mac and Cheese, it is a brilliant reinvention of an American classic: creamed spinach. Amplified by the use of a parmesan cream, that imparts a subtle but sharp hint of cheese to the dish, it is a sophisticated side that balances an ethereal lightness with enough of a creamy heft to hold up against the bold, hearty flavors of the meat dishes.
To conclude, we are served STRIPSTEAK’s artful Cheesecake. Unlike the simpler presentations of our entrees, the Cheesecake has the appearance of a modernist sculpture, with the white square of cheesecake juxtaposed with orange kumquat spheres and geometric dollops of caramel sauce and Chantilly cream. The subtle sweetness of the cheesecake is permeated with the fruity tartness of the kumquat for a memorably tropical twist on this familiar dessert.
Although STRIPSTEAK may be Michael Mina’s first steakhouse, he certainly has mastered the concept and made it his own, supported by Executive Chef Jenkins and his skilled team. An evening at STRIPSTEAK promises to confound expectations, balancing the simple satisfaction of quality ingredients with Mina’s own patent flair for the extraordinary.