Japanese cuisine and culture — the art of gracious entertaining — is at the Mikado, JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa. Starting with your boat ride through the lagoon and under a bridge, Mikado suddenly appears, tranquil, and welcoming, just beyond the rustic red bridge that spans a blue koi pond.
The restaurant — accessed by floor-to-ceiling glass panels — wraps around a Japanese garden with mossy rocks, tiny stone bridges, ponds, dwarf trees, and pines. Inside, large rooms feature a steaming, fiery teppan-yaki table where chefs swiftly slice shrimp, chicken, and steaks into bite-sized pieces, tossing them to sizzle on hot stoves.
Asian artifacts — an ornate dragon gong, ceramic Buddhist heads, a stone elephant, an antique lacquer desk, and delicate ink-on-silk paintings of wading cranes, rice paddies, the branch of a fir tree with misty temples and mountains in the distance — add to Mikado’s authenticity understated by rosewood chairs, green granite tables, stone floors, and teak accents.
Enjoy a lively sushi bar experience where master sushi chefs artistically create dozens of specialty rolls, nigiri, and sashimi. It was here that the JW roll — a concoction of lobster, tuna, sea bass, cucumber, and avocado wrapped with seaweed and rolled in tempura fl akes — was invented.
Or select appetizers and sushi while waiting for your favorite teppan-yaki chef to sharpen his knife and begin his dazzling performance at your table. Teppan-yaki dinners include miso soup, salad with ginger dressing, shrimp flambé, vegetables, steamed rice, Japanese tea, and ice cream. Tasogare specials — twilight dinners — are available during the first seating Sunday through Thursday.
House signature beverages, premium cold and hot sake, Japanese beers, and a full spectrum of California wines and spirits add to your pleasure at Mikado.
Open for dining nightly at 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. Reservations are recommended.
Text by Pamela Bieri