Before he began his culinary career, Akira Back had quite a different calling: professional snowboarding. Akira began his snowboarding career at the age of 15, continuing until he was 22 and appearing in snowboarding videos and magazines along the way. After he decided to get off the slopes for good, Akira attended the International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Colorado, and in 1993, he got his first job as a sushi prep cook at Kenichi in Aspen, Colorado. As a result of his hard work and success, Akira was later brought to Kenichi in Austin, Texas, then served as the opening chef at Kenichi in Kona, Hawaii.
Akira’s dedication to his craft and success did not go unnoticed, and in 2008, he opened his own restaurant: Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge at the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Focused primarily on classic Japanese ingredients, Akira put a new and inventive spin on his dishes that earned him a fair amount of recognition. Akira was named a “Rising Star” by Restaurant Hospitality magazine in 2008, hosted the James Beard House dinners in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012, and was named “Best Chef in Las Vegas” by Las Vegas Weekly. In addition to his critical success, Akira has also appeared on “Iron Chef America,” “The Today Show,” Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and “United Tastes of America.”
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Specialties & Resources
At Yellowtail, Akira blends traditional Japanese ingredients with the inventive, exotic twists that have garnered him so much attention and acclaim. Drawing on his unique background and culinary experience, Akira has put together a menu that has made Yellowtail one of the most sought-after restaurants in Las Vegas.
In addition to a series of unique specialty rolls and an extensive sushi selection, offerings include tataki salad with yellowtail, big eye tuna and salmon; spinach oshitashi with red beet and tosazu vinaigrette; seaweed salad with wakame, hiyashi-wakame and sesame; miso soup with tofu and wakame seaweed; big eye tuna pizza with micro shiso and truffle oil; lobster carpaccio with sweet shaved onion, cilantro and amazu ponzu; tuna tataki with kizami wasabi and mustard sumiso; salmon with serrano, cucumber and garlic citrus; kobe beef tataki with spicy daikon, garlic and sea salt; toro caviar with kochujang and microgreens; Korean red snapper with chojang and orange masago; seared foie gras with corn croquette and kochujang spiced honey; duck prosciutto with pickles and micro beet; seared diver scallops with orange relish and yuzu sake butter; and filet mignon toban with truffled black pepper sauce.