BACHI BURGER Doesn’t Cut the Kim Chee

Despite the hype, and an Asian spin on an American classic, Bachi Burger falls short

John Curtas

Wed, Jun 30, 2010 (4:10 p.m.)


Bachi Burger’s Kalbi Burger

Photo: Beverly Poppe

Semi-Asian food in burger form, made palatable for white people, was all I could think of during my two visits to the new Green Valley joint Bachi Burger. If you’re the type who wouldn’t be caught dead in a pho parlor on Spring Mountain, or dipping anything in nuoc mam (fish sauce), or finds the very idea of kim chee (fermented cabbage) off-putting, then consuming these flavors in the form of an overcooked burger is probably the ideal way to introduce you to the wonders of Korean and Vietnamese cuisine. If you’re a purist who likes his burgers beefy, his shrimp balls floating in soup, and his kalbi (marinated short ribs) grilled fresh—accompanied by sour, pungent sauces and highly spiced dips—then you might leave wondering what all the fuss is about.


Bachi Burger
470 E. Windmill Lane
11 a.m. – 2 a.m., closed Sunday

This place wouldn’t exist were it not for David Chang’s East-meets-West cooking, which seduced the national food media five years ago. Chang’s Momofuku empire popularized, for New Yorkers anyway, the idea of eating pork bellies on steamed Chinese buns (with hoisin sauce!). Unfortunately, the ones here are nothing but limp pork fat with a smattering of accents: scallion, radish, cilantro and a thin-sliced, tiny boiled egg. Even worse were the Peking duck buns—so salty they should’ve been called Dead Sea duck. Better by far was the chili chicken, a small mound of nicely spiced nuggets. My standard Angus burger was, oddly, plenty juicy but woefully overcooked, and lacking in beef flavor. Finely ground and tightly packed does not a great burger make—even with a very fresh and slightly sweet bun.

The more innovative burgers—Banh-Mi (a combo of beef, pork and shrimp) and Kalbi (marinated beef and pork)—are what’s crowding this place most nights, but of the two, only the Kalbi packed a punch of good meat seasoned with chili paste, ginger and garlic. My Banh-Mi (named for those weird, cheap Vietnamese sandwiches) could’ve been anyone’s turkey burger.

On the plus side, our Portuguese doughnuts were undercooked and gummy, but salvaged by a decent coffee gelato.

4 thoughts on “BACHI BURGER Doesn’t Cut the Kim Chee

  1. Nice for some white fag that eats for a living. Trash that think about nothing but themselves, you are the kind of people that we don’t need in this world. Not white people, but ungrateful lowlives that get a kick out of ranting on a place that is actually really good. You suck

  2. ELV responds: @Anon apparently harbors a cauldron of seething resentments against white fags/trash and ungrateful lowlives(sic).

    And others who “get a kick out of ranting on (sic) a place…”

    Like many vociferous defenders of Bachi Burger (see the comments in the LVWeekly from months ago), he is in need of a dictionary, and a lesson in 6th Grade grammar.

    And manners.

  3. I too was disappointed by Bachi Burger :(

    I wanted to like it, it’s close to where I live, I love burgers, I love asian foods in general, I liked the vibe, the prices were okay, and I was happy with the service provided by appropriately cute young asian waitresses.

    Unfortunately, the reviewer nailed what was a complete deal-killer for a place containing the word “Burger” in it’s name: I was not asked how I’d like my burger cooked (medium-rare, like 99% of people that truly appreciate good beef) and it arrived killed by overcooking (I’d say slightly beyond well-done) to the point of dry blandness.

    A vastly superior, albeit less interesting, burger can be had from any one of the innumerable “Nevada-style” pubs that litter Las Vegas. Perhaps the interesting menu, ambiance and pretty little servers can keep Bachi Burger alive, but I think the ownership would be well-served to educate themselves on the art of cooking a burger to order.

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