First Impressions: Bachi Burger – Mike’s Review
By Mike, on April 30th, 2010
Unbelievable. Remarkable. Jaw-Dropping. You’ve got to be s***ting me! These were just a few of the terms used at the table last night as Michael, The Dave and myself (The Wife was fast asleep) had our first Bachi Burger experience.
When seeing on their Facebook page that they are an “Asian Inspired BBQ Burger restaurant,” my mind struggled to make an impression on exactly what the hell that is. All I can say is, you have to see it to believe it.
The menu is extraordinary, and my knowledge fails to recall anything in Las Vegas that is like it. Burgers made out of your choice of Angus or American Wagyu to twists on Vietnamese Banh-Mi Sandwiches to Pork Belly Steamed Buns to a Grilled Cheese made with Gruyere, Fontina, Camembert and Mezzo Secco cheeses; it is an eclectic mix of comfort foods done at a sophisticated level at hard-to-believe low prices.
I tried the American Wagyu Burger with Cheddar and Bacon ($9 total) and juices from it exploded all over my arm like an eager 16 year old. Fresh quality produce on top, packed with Asian inspired flavors and inside a fresh bun, the burger was quite good and unique among a city packed with tasty burgers.
The Truffle Parmesan Fries ($3.50)(no, really!) were fantastic. I don’t care that truffle oil, according to Anthony Bourdain, is “such an easy lay.” I love truffle oil and would put it on my oatmeal in the morning if I didn’t think The Wife would enter me into rehab. Real potatoes cooked well served with a mind-blowing Yuzu Citrus Aioli made tears of joy well up in my eye. I’ve had many a fried potato slathered in truffle oil, but the Yuzu Citrus Aioli catapulted these particular ones above the rest.
Pork. Belly. Steamed. Buns. Need I say more? Hoisin-tinged in flavor, but perfectly complimentary to the pork belly and certainly not to the point of gagging (my hoisin gag reflex tolerance is very low), the Pork Belly Steamed Buns ($8.50) were scrumptious and a must get among a menu full of must get items. If I were to be a totally picky bastard, which it just so turns out that I am, I think the pork belly could have stood to be braised a bit more to be even more melt in your mouth. I’m even hesitant to say that, it was really quite good.
As if the savory items weren’t good enough, the desserts may have been even better.
Macadamia Nut Toffee Cake with White Chocolate Yuzu Gelato. Yes. Say it with me one time; Macadamia Nut Toffee Cake with White Chocolate Yuzu Gelato. $5.00. What?!? I know! Luscious layers of toffee-tinged cake with a divine lemon buttercream keeping them together, all topped with toffee-candied Macadamia Nuts. Oh yeah, and lest we forget the accompanying White Chocolate Yuzu Gelato that was exquisite and would rival any non-standard ice cream you can find anywhere, I still can’t believe that it was only 5 bucks. And that it was in a strip mall on Windmill Lane. And that it is in a place that is open until 2am. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Whoever the pastry chef is, is a master. Only identified in our light prodding of owner Ehren Watada as “a friend,” the desserts had the playful vibe you look for but done at a level of sophistication that makes us food geeks damp in the drawers. The Port Wine Cherry Glazed Pop Tarts may be the pinnacle of this. Beautiful, fun, delicious and unique, the Pop Tarts might go down as one of the dishes you hear about the most among the sure to come ravings of Bachi Burger. Oh yeah, they’re only $5, too.
Ehren’s brother, Chef Lorin Watada, formerly corporate chef of many years with Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion restaurants, is heading the kitchen and we are thankful for that. The level of sophistication in these dishes is unheard of in this area, and may I be so bold as to say that because of it, Bachi Burger has the opportunity to go down as one of the most important locals restaurants in Las Vegas.
Yeah yeah yeah, I know they’ve been open for less than a week and I’ve eaten there only once, but hear me out for a second. The Watada Brothers have, in my opinion, found the bridge that is needed to educate the more unadventurous food novices of the world (the Applebee’s faithful). They present familiar comfort foods and offer them with a level of sophistication that would make even the most ardent of T.G.I. Friday’s Happy Hour supporter notice. They also do it at remarkably reasonable prices.
Bachi Burger is the kind of place where someone is going to go for this beef called Wagyu because they heard Alton Brown on the Food Network talk about it and then go back and say, “let me try this Banh-Mi thing.”
My prediction is that once Bachi Burger finds its sea legs and the word gets out about it (consider this, “the word”), Bachi Burger will be one of the top hangs for people in the culinary industry. If you do run down there right away due to Michael (his post on Bachi Burger) and I’s gushing, keep in mind that they are still in their first week of being open. The staff is still learning a unique menu, they’re still getting a feel for inventory orders (which in this crazy economy, so are all the long-established veterans in town), and they’re still working out all the kinks that new restaurateurs will have with a new restaurant.
With that said, get your ass down to Bachi Burger, enjoy some tasty food and be able to say you were there in the beginning. Oh, and one more note, I never even would have known this place existed if @DittoToo didn’t tell me on Twitter that it looked like it was going to open soon. Thanks, Jerry!
470 E. Windmill Ln. #100
Las Vegas, NV 89123
Follow Bachi Burger on Twitter at @BachiBurgerLV
Bachi Burger on Urbanspoon
Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife.
Follow Mike and Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas.