Is it just us, or does there seem to be a slow but steady Korean invasion taking place in Chinatown. If you’re going by numbers, Korea and Vietnam have twice as many restaurants as all the other Asian countries combined (we know, we counted).
Honey Pig BBQ occupies a remote corner of a shopping center at Spring Mountain Road and Decatur, where a pho parlor failed, and by all accounts, it’s doing swimmingly.
Maybe that’s because pho shops are becoming a dime a dozen, and are generally indistinguishable from one another…while KHP is doing something different.
And that something different in panchan cooking — laying your food out on a circular, inverted wok/grill -type contraption where the meat and the rice and the vegetables and the seafood can slowly griddle their way to caramelized perfection.
Even though it’s tableside cookery, the staff here does most of the work — laying out the ingredients, cutting up the kim chee and the meat, tossing the rice (towards the end of your meal) into a giant, steaming, mass of sweet and savory starch. If you’re patient, the rice will attain that crispy, browned underside that the Spanish call soccarat (when it sticks to the paella pan). Tossed with whatever meat, vegetables or seafood are left on the pan, it becomes something like the ultimate fried rice.
All of this goodness comes incredibly cheap. Thirty dollars gets you a heap o’ kim chee, sprouts, pork bellies and little, pink, round, sucker-laden octopi just waiting to be pan fried into a meal for two (that could easily feed four). Most of the menu items are set meals with all of the ingredients listed that will be brought to your table. The staff is quite helpful (if a bit brusque – an Asian thing that), and you’ll probably be the only round eye in the place, but that’s half the fun!
Our meal for two, including one Korean beer, came to $45 including tip.
KOREAN HONEY PIG BBQ
4725 Spring Mountain Road
Las Vegas, NV 89102-8712