The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2013

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Page 118 of 152

Out of the Comfort Zone by Breanne DeMore/ photos by Mona Shield Payne AT NOBU LAS VEGAS, BAR MANAGER JOSHUA MONSIVAIS IS ALWAYS UP FOR A CHALLENGE A fter bussing tables at Nobu at Las Vegas's Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for three years, Joshua Monsivais decided to move out of his comfort zone and work for his spot behind the bar. Barback to bartender to bar manager in four years, he isn't ashamed to admit his struggles along the way. "It was extremely overwhelming and after the first night; I definitely thought about going back to being a busser. But I kept with it and started learning one category at a time." That learning paid off and soon enough, Monsivais was creating drinks. "I just started with drinks that I thought tasted good, and then I started challenging myself to add more variety—to take things that I didn't necessarily like and make them delicious." Something his clientele definitely appreciates. "We get a lot of regulars and then others who have dined in Nobu locations all across the world. So I try to keep things diverse." So when he was promoted to Bar Manager, what did Monsivais change? "Nothing at first," he says. "My goal was to maintain the standard that had been set, and is expected from a Nobu dining experience, and then little by little, I built on it." For Monsivais, a large part of his contribution has been his inclusion of more Japanese whiskies. "We were the first Nobu to offer a Japanese whiskey flight and we still have the largest selection in Las Vegas," explains Monsivais. "My program philosophy aligns with Nobu's. When people walk in the door, we want them to be open to trying things they've never tried and getting out of their comfort zone. Japanese whiskey is something I'm really passionate about. So when they see me get so excited talking about it, they get excited to try it." Offered in both three- and five-course flights, Monsivais insists that Japanese whiskey pairs perfectly with the amazing cuisine prepared by Nobu's exceptional chefs. "Our chefs are so talented and creative, and I absolutely keep the cuisine in mind when I am creating drinks," he says. Aka-Shu as served at Nobu Las Vegas at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 2 oz. The Hakushu Single Malt 1 oz. fresh lime juice ¼ oz. Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur ¼ oz. St-Germain Liqueur ¾ oz. housemade grenadine Shake with ice. Strain over ice sphere, garnish with orange segments and top with 3 dashes cherry bitters. "The sweet and smoky balance of the Aka-Shu pairs so well with our cuisine," says Joshua Monsivais, Bar Manager. 118  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2013 TP1013_104-152.indd 118 9/23/13 10:34 PM

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