The Light Group Announces Kumi at Mandalay Bay

Chef Toshiyuki Motoyama
The Light Group
continues to redefine the Las Vegas food and beverage scene with the soon-to-debut Japanese restaurant, Kumi. With an opening scheduled for summer 2013, Kumi will join the recently introduced Citizens Kitchen & Bar and Red Square as the latest addition to Mandalay Bay’s dining scene (Pictured: Chef Toshiyuki Motoyama)

“With the opening of Kumi, The Light Group is continuing to completely revolutionize the dining options at Mandalay Bay,” said Andy Masi, CEO of The Light Group. “The last of our three new restaurants at Mandalay Bay will further exemplify what sets us apart from others: high-quality food with impeccable service.”

At Kumi, The Light Group will team up with Chef Toshiyuki Motoyama to offer fun and approachable Japanese cuisine for an American palate, while using fresh and innovative ingredients. As Executive Sushi Chef, Motoyama will combine his traditional edomae background with influences of Thai, Peruvian, Latin and other Asian cultures in an effort to always keep Kumi’s dishes interesting and exciting.

Kumi will be an inviting and engaging venue, featuring modern twists on authentic Japanese design. Conceptualized by Toronto-based firm Munge Leung, Kumi’s 10,000 square feet of space will offer various dining areas with seating for up to 300 people. Upon entering, guests will immediately be drawn to the bar adorned in traditional Japanese symmetrical patterns in shades of cobalt blue and white. Rather than a conventional bar display, beverage selections will be showcased in traditional Japanese jewelry cases creating various vignettes across the bar.

Kumi’s main dining room will be decorated with raw natural woods, hammered steel accents and touches of red lacquer. The ceiling will be adorned with the Japanese culture’s customary sweeping calligraphy in gold leaf balanced against a matte black background. Consistently drawing from Japanese tradition, tabletops meant to feel organic and natural will be paired with lounge chairs finished with pieces of authentic kimono fabric in blue and white tones. Adding to the whimsical feel of the room, custom light fixtures will adorn the walls, each made with glittering lights and woven candlestick chandeliers.

The anchor of the dining room will be Kumi’s sushi bar, featuring glazed cobalt blue tiles in a scalloped pattern inspired by common Japanese homes. Adjacent to the sushi bar will be a back rotunda with walls painted with giant interpretations of cherry blossom trees. Letting the cuisine speak for itself, all tables will have views of the sushi bar to allow for an open-kitchen feel, so guests can watch as Chef Motoyama masterfully prepares each dish.

Born and raised in Yokohama, Japan, Chef Toshiyuki Motoyama is formally trained in the traditional edomae sushi technique. Beginning his culinary career at a young age, Chef Motoyama studied under the famed Mr. Yamada at Kyu-Bei in Japan. At the age of 19, he traveled to New Jersey where he worked at a variety of local restaurants. When he was 27, he ventured to the west coast where he took the position of Sushi Chef at Izaka-ya in San Jose, California.

After three years at Izaka-ya, Chef Motoyama traveled cross-country once again and landed in Miami, Florida. Here, he worked as Sous Sushi Chef at Zuma in the city’s downtown neighborhood, and eventually opened Stephen Starr’s Makoto at the posh Bal Harbour Shops. In 2012, Chef Motoyama joined The Light Group team for their first Miami venture working as Sushi Chef at Umi Sushi & Sake Bar at the iconic Delano South Beach.

Kumi is one of five new venues The Light Group is opening at Mandalay Bay in 2013. LIGHT Nightclub and DAYLIGHT Beach Club will be debuting on April 26, 2013 and May 25, 2013, respectively.

President & COO of Mandalay Bay Chuck Bowling said, “As Mandalay Bay continues to redefine the resort experience in 2013, the opening of Kumi brings yet another extraordinary culinary option for our guests. Whether our resortists want to enjoy a quick drink, dinner with friends or a late night bite, the exceptional quality of Japanese cuisine mixed with the high-energy atmosphere will make the restaurant a true destination.”

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