It’s been almost a year since Chef John Chien Lee opened his Southwest restaurant, Soho Sushi after leaving his position as executive chef of Social House. In that short period of time, he’s captured the attention of critics, foodies, neighbors, and industry workers with the simple mission of offering Strip-quality dishes at off-Strip prices. Chef Lee’s jovial personality and hospitality are equally as enticing a reason to return as the food, justifying his recent award as Best New Sushi Spot of 2014 by The Las Vegas Weekly.
Chef Lee was born in Taiwan but made his way to Las Vegas via San Francisco and Stockton, California, where he began his career as a sushi chef. He worked his way up from sushi cook to executive chef at Social House over the course of seven years before deciding to fulfill his lifelong dream of opening his own restaurant. Grateful for the opportunity Social House afforded him, ethical Chef Lee did not poach employees from his former place of business when he left on good terms. In fact, he paid tribute to his ex-employer in his new restaurant’s name; Soho is an abbreviated version of Social House. Soho’s offerings are all delicious and of great value, but the rolls in particular are unsurpassed by any local sushi spot. The fish is superior, fried ingredients—such as tempura shrimp—are appropriately located on the outside of the roll so they don’t get soggy, and there is no imitation crab anywhere. Other favorite offerings include Ocean Going Trout Sashimi with pop rocks and citrusy yuzu juice, Miso Marinated Black Cod, and Bone-In Short Ribs with pee-wee potatoes and wasabi cream. At Happy Hour you can get Sashimi Tostadas for a dollar or Hydro Bibb Black Cod for four. NO matter how full you are, don’t miss trying the Matcha Green Tea Tiramisu made by Chef Leonard Phay of Social House.
Written by Jillian Plaster