Bachi Burger – Henderson
470 E. Windmill Ln. Ste100
Las Vegas, NV 89123
Bachi Burger – Summerlin
9410 W. Sahara Ave. Ste150
Las Vegas, NV 89117
Run, don’t walk, to Bachi Burger
By Michael Manley, on April 30th, 2010
Bachi Burger must be a mirage. First the location: an otherwise undistinguished stripmall wasteland on east Windmill near Bermuda. Right across from a frighteningly gi-normous hypodermic needle sign. Second: a menu that is at once sophisticated, varied and extremely well edited, as Tim Gunn would say. Third: prices which are impossibly reasonable given the quality of ingredients and skill of cooking. Surely the play of light on desert sand is tricking our eyes?
Allow me to illustrate:
This is the “Port wine cherry-glazed pop tart, with white chocolate yuzu ice cream.” The description alone puts to shame many of the often shockingly dull desserts at fancier strip joints (Banana bread pudding from Nobhill Tavern, please stand in the line-up next to Sage’s poached pears. Sorry Sage, still love your sweatbreads and manhattans though).
The taste? Imagine a cherry pie with the best crust you’ve ever eaten, a nicely browned lattice crust, and imagine a whole pastry of that wonderful top crust that normally is two bites from a regular pie slice. Now balance that with a just-sweet-enough white chocolate ice cream with the perfect, modernizing note of yuzu, and you have the best Las Vegas dessert I’ve eaten in 2010.
But here’s the shocker: The above dessert set me back exactly five dollars. Five dollars! For a dessert that would–in concept, execution, and appearance–put the work of half the pastry chefs on the strip to shame (pretentious steakhouse $15 funnel cakes, your prints and mugshots have been taken). How is this even possible? And in my own neighborhood food wasteland of ‘South Of The Strip But Not Really Henderson Yet?’
Did I mention Bachi Burger (bachi being short for hibachi, fyi) is open until 2 am? Jesus has clearly answered my “Lord deliver us from the PTs/Winchells/Steiner’s ‘Nevada Style Pub’ late-night-dining-hell-to-which-we-in-the-S.O.T.S.B.N.R.H.Y-geography-have-been-damned” prayers.
The dessert was preceded by several menu home-runs: beautifully glazed pork belly steamed buns, Peking duck steamed buns, and an array of house-made pickles featuring seaweed, radishes and ginger bulbs. The pickles rivaled those at David Chang’s justly-famous Momofuku in NYC. The now-standard truffle fries came with a yuzu aioli that really set them apart from their thousand cousins in Las Vegas.
It turns out that the Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion is where the Bachi Burger chef spent the last few years, and the gourmet influence and skill level are evident in the modestly-priced dishes. I assumed Bachi Burger was an import from somewhere else—southern ca maybe?—but no, something this interesting actually originated in Las Vegas. We love it when local chefs make good, and the town needs more trailblazers and less star chefs smacking their name on a steakhouse.
I can’t wait to go back to try the various burgers, and the Vietnamese-themed Bahn-Mi burger sounds especially tasty. It should be noted that while they were out of sake on our first visit, they have a quite extensive non-alcoholic beverage list, as well as a good beer menu. Also, the only Boba teas and milkshakes in the S.O.T.S.B.N.R.H.Y. geography that I’m aware of. Mike D. said it all: this is the place we hoped Match Bar would be.
A few suggestions and quibbles: the Portuguese donuts (or Malasadas in Hawaii) would be excellent with a bitter chocolate or salted caramel dipping sauce. And it would be great to tone down the behind-the-counter fluorescent lighting and cut up the dining space with some curtains or dividers to create intimacy. The room doesn’t yet feel as cool as the food. But given what I’m sure will be Bachi Burger’s smashing success as an industry hang, this is probably only a matter of time.
In the meantime, I encourage everyone to patronize and enjoy Bachi Burger—its creative, recession-friendly delights are worth several trips.
470 East Windmill Lane, Suite 100 (just west of Bermuda)
Las Vegas, NV 89123
Michael Manley is a professional musician, food nut, writer and technological retard who lives and works in Las Vegas. He posts on Twitter as TLV_Michael.