Paid In Full pays tribute to the Japanese gastropub

Updated February 17, 2018 - 4:25 pm

The chef-owners of Paid in Full clearly like to play with their food, and all the better for anybody who wanders in.

Mike Plourde and Jason Olson — Strip veterans whose history includes Bellagio and MGM Grand — have said their restaurant is based on izakayas (Japanese gastropubs), and the influence is clear. But they’ve taken the tradition and leaned it onto its side with flavors and textures that create fresh, new combinations.

One example is Udon Fries ($5) Animal Style. Thick Japanese udon noodles were fried and, when hot, end up puffy and crispy, with a pleasingly chewy interior. The “animal-style” designation is a wink at the same-name fries on the “not-so-secret”menu at In-N-Out, which have become a cult favorite. At In-N-Out they’re topped with grilled onions, melted cheese and the company’s Thousand Island-esque “spread;” Paid in Full’s udon would be weighed down with all that but get flavor and textural contrasts from the latter.

Textural contrasts also were hugely appealing with the sweetbread katsu ($10). Sweetbreads (the animal product, not the bread) are sort of creamy when properly cooked and these were, emphasizing the crunchy coating on the half-dollar-sized pieces. The plate was completed with a crisp tangle of frisee mix, the austerity of which might have been too much of a bounce off the richness of the offal were it not for the diced bacon sprinkled throughout. The bulldog sauce on the side — served with the katsu in any self-respecting Japanese restaurant — was just the right touch.

Crab croquettes ($9) also played up the contrasts, the crisp coating yielding to a creamy treatment of the sweet crustacean, flavored with Old Bay Seasoning. A blistered shishito pepper draped over the four croquettes brought it all back to earth.

The hits just kept on coming. Crispy tapioca ($5) was the starch finely ground, molded and cut into flat squares and fried, then graced with a deeply flavored Parmesan and a sprinkle of nori. Paid in Full specializes in the izakaya favorite takoyaki, of which the octopus version of these fritter-like balls is the classic. But if octopus isn’t your thing there are four other choices, and in the smoked salmon variation ($10), the four balls rested on a pool of dill cream and were sprinkled with red caviar for literal pops of flavor.

For dessert, black sesame panna cotta ($6) was topped with a conserve of tart cherries and stabbed with a shard of black and white sesame brittle, just the right mix of their sweet and mellow natures.

Service was great but be advised that dishes arrive in the Asian style — as soon as they’re ready.

Plourde said the restaurant’s name, which comes from an ’80s hip-hop song, is a reference to having worked your way up to having your own place, and they’ve certainly achieved that. Finding Paid in Full after dark is a bit of a challenge because the quasi-industrial sign that matches the vibe of the place isn’t lighted. But at least until that’s remedied by Daylight Savings Time kicking in or somebody buying a spotlight, it’s a challenge worth meeting.

Las Vegas Review-Journal restaurant reviews are done anonymously at Review-Journal expense. Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.comcomcom or 702-383-0474. Follow @HKRinella onTwitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Get a sneak peak of Palace Station's newest renovations
Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson gives a first look at what Palace Station's $192 million renovation will bring. Some areas will begin opening to the public next week according to Nelson. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
U2 in Vegas through the years
U2 in Vegas through the years
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Black Tap In Las Vegas Makes This Instagram-ready Golden Knights Shake (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre Premieres Until December
‘Until December’ debuts at ‘Ballet & Broadway’ season finale (Carol Cling Las Vegas
Celebrate The Golden Knights With Knights-inpired Latte Art (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single Ramsey, who shot to fame after a viral video of him yodeling at an Illinois Walmart surfaced, just debuted “Famous.” “If I'm gonna be famous for somethin'/I wanna be famous for lovin' you/If I'm gonna be known around the world/I wanna because of you, girl” Mason Ramsey, “Famous” It’s been quite the rush to stardom for the 11-year-old, who appeared on The Ellen Show and performed at Coachella earlier this month. “I’d been to Nashville a few times before, but never thought something like this would happen. It’s a dream to sign with Atlantic and Big Loud.” Mason Ramsey “I loved recording ‘Famous’ and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala. (Janna Karel Las Vegas review-Journal)
"Hamilton" Fans Line Up Overnight At Smith Center To Get Tickets
"Hamilton" fans line up overnight at Smith Center to get tickets. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 concerts to see in Las Vegas this week
You can visit the speakeasy in The Mob Museum's basement... if you know the password
6 new foods hitting movie theaters in 2018
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like