John Curtas is …

BACHI BURGER

Have you been to Bachi Burger? Is the question every semi-foodie, foodie-wannabe, and psuedo-hipster-foodie has asked ELV in the past few weeks.

And after one meal there, we’ve decided that’s just who this place is aimed at.

‘Cuz it sure ain’t aimed at people who love great hamburgers.

Unless you define a good burger as one that’s packed so tightly you’d swear it just came out of a freezer, is overcooked to death, and under seasoned to boot.

“Oh, but you’ve gotta try the Banh Mi burger,” they all told me. “It’s fabulous!”

It is if your definition of fabulous is, an overcooked mishmash of beef and pork, that’s once again way too dense and dry, and garnished with a piece of Vietnamese shrimp ball and a smattering of pickled vegetables.

“And you’ve gotta get the duck buns….Wow! They’re the best!” was yet another refrain we’ve heard from eaters who are apparently so starved for something that’s not a five dollar foot long, they’ll go ga-ga over the saltiest pieces of duck breast we’ve had in a coon’s age.

How salty were our Peking duck buns?

They were so salty:

- We’ll never be in danger of drowning again.

- Deer were lining up at the back door for a lick.

- The Mclhenny Company wants to mine them for Tabasco Sauce.

- The Dead Sea is jealous.

- Frito-Lay wants the recipe.

- Mormons are making pilgrimages here.

You get the picture.

Our guess is the enthusiasm over Bachi Burger is because it’s not a chain and it’s something new.

But finely ground, tightly packed, overcooked meat does not a great burger make.

Nor do lame imitations of Momofuku-type steamed bun sandwiches.

On the plus side, the burger buns were soft, sweet, eggy and fresh, and were, in retrospect, the best thing about the sandwiches.

It’s all very depressing to ELV, because, once again, some chef or restaurateur (cf. Lola’s, Carlito’s Burritos) strikes out with a good idea, and then can’t execute it, either because they’re undercapitalized, understaffed, or just plain too un-talented to pull it off.

Or maybe they will pull it off. Because people here are so starved for something different they’ll overlook the poor execution.

Or maybe that execution will improve.

Hope springs eternal.

BACHI BURGER

470 East Windmill Suite #100

Las Vegas, NV 89123

702.242.2244

http://www.bachiburger.com/

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10 Responses to BACHI BURGER

  • Now this was a food critic at his best – bitter and sweet.

    ELV – it sounds to me as you are experiencing 2012 mind shift of enlightment, ascending to a new level of humanity and higher expectations of this LAS VEGAS dining scene, beyond the strip.

    Its obvious you found food god on your recent travels to NY, I wonder how your backlash will be on this towns vastness of mediocracy in dining choice.

    best review of the year.

    cheers

  • ive not gone here yet, been invited many times but always found an excuse to get out of it! i hae heard good and bad
    now momofuku;s pork and chicken buns arent that great, ill take some cheap dingy place in chinatown over momofuku. milk bar is terrible, noodle bar is just blah, nothing special, still need to hit ko and ma peche, maybe next month!

  • Spend more time developing your palate and less time trying to be a clever writer. I just had an incredible meal at Bachi Burger, and except for your praise of the buns, you seem to have had a completely opposite experience.

    Then again, real food critics know not to base a review on a single visit.

  • Ordinarily we’d agree about not basing a critique on a single visit…except when it comes to hamburgers and their ilk.

    If a place doesn’t know how to form, season and cook a meat patty (the first time we try it), we’re not going to waste our time giving them a second chance.

    Those who like hard, overcooked “burgers” will love this place.

  • John,

    I couldn’t possibly disagree more. Since Bachi is in my hood and one of the only late night places of quality in the area, I’ve gone there at least a dozen times since their opening.

    I don’t think it’s fair to what they’re trying to do to compare them to a more traditional burger. Sure, in the sense that it’s ground up cow between two halves of a bun it’s a burger…but comparing the two doesn’t do either justice.

    There are plenty of examples thinner-pattied burgers never coming out med rare, but they put so much liquid in the mix, each bite is loaded with juice and flavor. I can’t possibly imagine the food you described in this post coming from this place.

    Give them a second chance. Let’s hit it up for lunch someday…my treat.

    Mike

  • Headed to Bachi Burger last Friday. A random outing to see if ELV is right on the money or just hitting this place hard with tthe rule stick.
    Fimiliar with the henderson strip mall dining scene, I firgured there would be a wait considering we arrived at 7pm.
    Browsing through a city life, from the pile that was half stacked in the corner of their waiting area… the server came to ask if we had reservations, because the wait would be 90 minutes. My wife and I looked at each other and laughed, and thought’ “this place”.

    Yes Bachi Burger – this place. The last time I waited 90 minutes to be seated in this desolate dining wasteland was on valentines day; and guess what? That restaurant had a bar and a comfortable waiting area/lounge, instead of rickety made china garbage chairs.

    So enjoy the hype while it last, because for the random foodie, who randomly steps out for drink and eat – Bachi Burger is disqualified and unworth the wait. Come on, 110 degrees outside, in a stripmall, jammed between a trash can and subway.

    If your guest have to wait 90 minutes to be seated and the fact you are suggesting mandatory reservation, something is a bit wrong and disorganized with the execution of your service. Granted you may be trying to raise the bar for an eating experience, but from what I saw in the noisy no vibe dining room was a bunch of hipsters, white las vegas yuppies (whole foods shoppers) expanding their palate, and the 20% obese that populate this country; grazing happily on less authentic food that is all hype.

    Enjoy the hype while it last. If you manage your money like your dining room, it will all be gone.

    Im sure Im not the first person with this bitch. At least ask if your guests want a beer or some shit while sitting in your shitty ass waiting area.

  • didnt like it at all and was quite frankly offended that they had the nerve to charge extra for ketchup. will never return ever. 60 bucks for three burgers, three fries and three non alcoholic drinks was just ridiculous for a neighborhood burger joint. should have stood in and cooked. disappointed.

  • dude, your picture captions do not at all match what you said in your article broman.
    consistency brosworth.

  • “# 5 Mike Dobranski Says:
    June 17th, 2010 at 3:00 pm
    John,

    I couldn’t possibly disagree more. Since Bachi is in my hood and one of the only late night places of quality in the area, I’ve gone there at least a dozen times since their opening.

    I don’t think it’s fair to what they’re trying to do to compare them to a more traditional burger. Sure, in the sense that it’s ground up cow between two halves of a bun it’s a burger…but comparing the two doesn’t do either justice.

    There are plenty of examples thinner-pattied burgers never coming out med rare, but they put so much liquid in the mix, each bite is loaded with juice and flavor. I can’t possibly imagine the food you described in this post coming from this place.

    Give them a second chance. Let’s hit it up for lunch someday…my treat.

    Mike”

    so creepy brolington.

  • unless the captions are ironic in which case the “psuedo-hipster-foodie” is YOU!
    caught you broblerone.

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