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Japan will resume exporting its beef to the U.S.—but will anyone notice?

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Don’t think that just because a menu says kobe or wagyu that the restaurant is serving Japanese beef.
Jon Sperry

The best beef is back. Japan is set to resume exporting its scrumptious cow meat to the U.S. for the first time since foot-and-mouth disease caused a steak suspension in April 2010. After a lengthy additional review of food safety measures related to possible radioactive contamination, the green light is on and the meat is coming. But don’t think every steakhouse and burger joint with the words wagyu and kobe on the menu will start serving actual Japanese beef. It’s a luxury item, and though Vegas has plenty of restaurants that specialize in those, neither supply nor demand will be huge. “The price will be outrageous, so it will be limited to the places that can afford it,” said CUT executive chef Matthew Hurley, whose Palazzo restaurant will have it. Does Japanese beef taste better than USDA prime steak? Yes, if you appreciate the extra dimension provided by a finer, more abundant marbling of fat to muscle. Is this too much technical talk about meat? Yes. Order a ribeye and be done with it? Sure.

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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