Chikyū isn’t like any other vegan restaurant in Las Vegas. The Japanese vegan restaurant serves a menu featuring only plant-based dishes and is nearly entirely gluten-free (including their tempura, score). Tapping into local ingredients, dishes created by Executive Chef John Le will leave you wanting more. So. Much. More.
The menu at Chikyū is large (and will grow once the restaurant opens its doors to guests versus offering only pick-up).
So … what should you order at Chikyū? We’re so glad you asked.
Las Vegas Vegan Restaurant: Chikyū
Izakaya at Chikyū
Not only does Chikyū serve sushi, but it also has a large izakaya menu (think small plates to share).
With such an extensive izakaya menu, it’s hard to pick what to order … so we’re happy to do it for you. Be warned: these dishes are small and there’s a good chance you won’t want to share them, thanks to the dishes Chef Le has created.
We’re partial to the okra sesame to start, and nasu agebitashi — the flash-fried eggplant with sweet soy sauce and ito togarashi (finely shredded Japanese red chile pepper).
And then there are the robata options featuring dishes cooked over charcoal. The miso tofu robata is perfection — cubed sliced of tofu with saikyo miso and shiro miso, and a sweet onion soy compote.
If you dig that (which you will), also order the asparagus robata, which is topped with the same compote and spiced apple.
For greens, the smoked beet salad is amazing. It comes with a drizzled with lemon avocado aioli and fried rice balls and includes generous chunks of red and orange beets.
If you still have room, try one of their gluten-free tempuras, like the tofu that’s marinated for a few days and then fried giving them the perfect soft center and flavored, lightly crispy exterior.
Nigiri and Traditional Sushi Rolls at Chikyū
And then, there’s the sushi. Chikyū’s offerings are plentiful and delicious. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any sushi you order here (or any izakaya, while we’re at it). But … if we had to narrow it down, these are the must-haves.
When it comes to the nigiri, definitely order the green mango. It comes to you pickled and topped with matcha sea salt.
Also, order the ginger-soy marinated tomato with shiso and sea salt.
Other’s to check out are the avocado nigiri with a smoked beet aioli and lemon zest, the Gunken-style gobo with sweet soy and microgreens, and the yuba topped with a spicy fried garlic reduction.
You’llwant to also check out their classic sushi rolls like the gogo roll with spicy roasted burdock, and inside out rolls such as the California roll (swear, you could bring someone here who isn’t sold on the idea of plant-based sushi and change their minds with this roll alone).
Specialty Rolls at Chikyū
Where Chikyū really, really nails it is with their specialty rolls. These divine creations named after local flowers are what make the dining experience one for the books.
The restaurant offers six of these rolls and it’s honestly hard to pick which one we love the most … and which ones to order.
So, we’ll say this.
Whatever you do — and we mean whatever you do — the Desert Gold specialty roll at Chikyū needs to be eaten.
Its presentation alone is gorgeous, but the texture and taste of this roll will leave you thanking yourself for putting it on your plate. The Desert Gold roll is two parts — a tempura-fried tofu and tapioca roll and shredded spicy tofu, negi (a Japanese long onion), ito togarashi, sesame, microgreens and secret sauce on top.
For a little more crunch, try the Snapdragon specialty roll at Chikyū. Rryngii mushroom tempura, avocado and spicy shredded tofu come inside the roll. Torched serrano pepper, pickled pineapple, sweet shoyu and habanero sauce crown it off. Yes. Please.
If you’re looking for a show … wait until the restaurant is open for dine-in and order the Ocotillo. Asparagus tempura and inari come stuffed inside the roll. Shredded tofu, avocado, spicy aioli, seaweed pearls, and simchi are on top. There’s also a dose of fire (check out the video and subscribe to the channel!).
The biggest question: what won’t you be eating? Chikyū makes it hella hard.
Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby and has emerged as the face of plant-based dining in Las Vegas and the leading plant-based restaurant consultant in the city. She spent a decade in the travel blogging world before switching gears to work in elephant rescue in Thailand. Diana travels the world to meet chefs and try vegan food, as well as speak at events focusing on travel, tourism, veganism and entrepreneurship. She’s a partner with the prestigious James Beard Foundation and curates their Vegas Vegan Dinners at the James Beard House. Diana is also a partner with Life is Beautiful, curating the all-vegan Farm Stand.