With fresh seafood and distinctive AI-generated artwork, the new Kaia Handroll inside of Las Vegas’ AREA15 emphasizes the “art” of sushi handrolls.
Meaning “of the sea,” Kaia Handroll offers a modern take on sushi handrolls inspired by traditional Japanese flavors and techniques. Crafted by head chef Joseph Soto, the new eatery joins AREA15’s already stacked roster of colorful cuisine and cocktails.
Without fault, Kaia Handroll is the perfect date night spot for any night of the week. The space is vibrant in itself, but is also wonderfully located inside of the AREA15 district, where you and your date have an adult playground full of activities you can dive into right after your meal. Think: VR experiences, ax throwing and zip lining. With a daily closing time of midnight or later, it’s very night owl friendly, too.
Seating at Kaia Handroll is barstool style, making the space feel really close and intimate. But even in a smaller-scale space, there’s no lack of AREA15’s usual eye-catching flair here. The walls of the restaurant are adorned with a gallery of AI-generated artwork that subtly transform to tell the story of the restaurant’s namesake, Kaia, and her crew of worldly explorers.
Combining augmented reality with the dining experience, you can also use your phone to activate a unique AR moment on Kaia Handroll’s menus. If you’re willing to download an app and scan a code, you can see Kaia Handroll and other artwork spring to life on the physical menu.
Now, while you’re looking hard at the menu, do yourself a favor and order both of the starters. The Kaia Poke Stack is like a flavorful take on Japanese nachos, with seaweed salad and fresh poke layered between every bite. And the Japanese Caesar Salad is fresh and full of fun texture with crunchy furikake-parm crisps. (Plus, there’s something really joyful about eating a caesar salad with chopsticks, too.)
For the sushi itself, the restaurant offers an array of fresh handroll selections and chef pairings, including specialties like yellowtail, blue crab and bluefin tuna (as well as classic and vegetarian options).
You can choose from one of the preset handroll menus to sample the variety of your liking, but no matter what you do, the Lobster Truffle handroll is an absolute must try. Make sure you order the Signature Sauce Set while you’re at it, the Yuzu Kosho sauce is divine with every handroll. You really can’t go wrong.
For libations, Kaia Handroll offers a limited selection of sake, beer and spirits. The Bushido Way of the Warrior Sake is the most popular pick from the menu. But off the menu, ask for the Ikezo Peach Sake Jelly Shot in lieu of your standard dessert cocktail, as it will bring on the nostalgia of aloe jelly drinks from your childhood.
When it comes to taking care of your sweet tooth, Kaia’s strawberry mochi is the fan-favorite dessert. But the ube cheesecake, layered with coconut shavings and drenched in passion fruit caramel, is probably one of the best cheesecakes you will ever have.
Kaia Handroll is located in the center of AREA15’s SPINE directly across from Oddwood Bar and next The Beast by Todd English. It joins AREA15’s existing lineup of unique and immersive food and beverage offerings throughout the District, including The Beast by Todd English, Lumin Café by Elizabeth Blau inside Illuminarium, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Lost Spirits Distillery, Datamosh inside Omega Mart, LIFTOFF Bar & Ride and Oddwood Bar, Dream Weaver Milk & Boba Bar and Rocket Fizz candy shoppe.
Kaia Handroll is open daily, from noon to 1 a.m. Reservations are not accepted at this time. Barstool seating is first come, first served.
For more information about Kaia Handroll, visit kaiahandroll.com.
3215 S. Rancho Dr.
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Photo credit: Eric Roberts