Run, don’t walk, to Bachi Burger

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.


Bachi Burger

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.

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 4:10 am  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. OMG thanks for trying this one! It’s right up the street from me but the name of the place put me off. Thank goodness for you guinea pigs trying places out for us!

  2. […] 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 […]

  3. Thanks for your comment Donna! I too assumed Bachi Burger was another trendy burger joint–the name is kind of misleading. The menu was a total shock, but in a good way!

  4. Hmm. Wow how much did Bachi pay you for that review? You got to be kidding me. The menu looked amazing no doubt and insanely cheap. They have a ton of work to do. I tried the Ban Mi burger. Good concept but terribly constructed. U get a bowl of sauce to dip a huge burger in? Maybe a spoon would be nice. I got the truffle fries. I watched them sit in the window at minimum 5 minutes. The waitress tried to bring them then the cashier denied her and made her wait until the burger was ready. Sure enough they were cold when they arrived. Hello? The burger had great flavors. the actual meat was insanely overcooked especially for such a “gourmet” burger joint. Additionally, the cold truffle fries had 0 flavor of truffle. The menu says Black truffle and doesn’t say oil kind of a sham but I didn’t realistically think I would get real truffle for 3.5 The aioli was good with the fries.. #1 the manager didn’t ask my opinion or anything I was definitely one of the first customers ever to go in. Seems weird not very friendly. I will try them one more time soon hopefully they get it together.

    • Jack,

      To piggy back on what Michael said, we went unannounced, only to tell the owner who we are and what we do after we got all of the food. We paid full price for everything and received no special treatment at all. Never ask for it, never look for it.

      Sorry you had a bad experience there. I think there’s a few things we all have to keep in mind. Bachi Burger is still, as of the writing of this comment, just a few days over a week old. They have the same problems that all restaurants have when they first open up, and it should be treated as such. We had some issues with the service, but I have yet to experience “excellent” service at ANY restaurant with a kitchen that is geared for culinary industry pros, which I strongly feel Bachi Burger is.

      As far as the fries go, did you say something to the manager about the cold fries? And as far as truffle oil vs. actual truffles, I can’t recall a single menu that specifically points out that it is truffle oil anyway, whether it is on a potato, mac and cheese, an aioli or otherwise. I think these days it is understood, and as you said, at $3.50 it’s a no brainer. It is bad on them that they left off the word “oil” on the menu…although I’m sure it was a simple oversight and not a malicious bait and switch.

      As far as dipping the burger in a sauce, dipping a sandwich in a something is not an unprecedented thing. French Dips and Monte Cristos come to mind first. If you didn’t like that idea, did you ask for a spoon?

      I had a burger, although just the regular American Wagyu, and I found it to be cooked just fine, and in fact juice squirted all over my arm upon the first bite. Sorry to hear your meal wasn’t up to snuff.

      I know they are working on resolving some issues with the staff, although at the very friendly price point, I’m not going to hold my breath for James Beard Award worthy Outstanding Service.

      Thanks for your comment. Here’s to hoping you have a better experience next time you go back!

  5. Thanks for your feedback, Jack. Neither Mike D or I think of ourselves as critics as much as food enthusiasts with good palates and strong opinions. We had some bumps as well during our (opening week) visit, but honestly I was so stoked about the menu that the few bumps didn’t bother me much.

    One of the way a food blog can contribute, over traditional media, is to shine a light on places early on and help build a customer base. It’s truly depressing when a promising place opens to zero buzz or support (the tapas place Bar Match comes to mind). So while it may not be fair or objective to rave at this early stage (my opinion was, as stated based on one early visit), I think based on location, menu and pricing alone, Bachi Burger deserves some cheering.

  6. BTW, we went unannounced to Bachi Burger, and they certainly didn’t pay us. Also, I couldn’t comment on the burgers as I didn’t try one my first visit. Soon…

  7. I just got back having dinner at Bachi Burger. I had the Kiki’s Burger with garlic salt and pepper fries. I was very happy with the overall experience. The burger was well-prepared and the fries along with the chilli garlic aioli were very good. Our server was very attentive and asked how we were a few times throughout the meal. For the price, it’s hard to beat. I will be going back again.

  8. […] gets around to reviewing Bachi Burger.  Possibly because both Mike Dobranski and I sang its praises here and here (months before Mr. Curtas got around to his review), John Curtas trashes Bachi Burger in […]

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