John Curtas is …

Return to BACHI BURGER

Returning to Bachi Burger was something we did with more than a bit of trepidation.

Keeping an open mind was paramount, as in: it was important leave our past opinions behind, and neither try to justify them or bend over backwards trying to make amends…since we seem to be the only critic in town who has ever uttered a negative word about it.

If you recall, two years ago we were less than impressed with our two meals there. But everyone in town seemed to disagree with us, so when we saw its new location had opened next to the Regal Village Square cinemas, it was time for a re-match. On the one hand, we figured nothing much had changed as the formula for the place has  pretty much stayed the same. so whatever disappointed us then wouldn’t be any better now.

On the other hand, we hoped that maybe the kitchen had now ironed out some of the rough edges (such as the overly salty Peking duck), and brightened up some of the seasonings. And despite what some might think, ELV doesn’t enjoy getting medieval on someone’s ass, and genuinely admires the pluck and fortitude of owners who are trying to do something different and bringing better tasting vittles to the neighborhoods.

So, we wandered in before a movie and found ourselves face to face with the same menu, but in a dining room that’s been death to at least five other restaurants over the past 15 years.

The good news is, the food, this time, was flawless.

The bad news is, the feng shui of the room (and the history of the space cited above) does not bode well for this Bachi’s  long term survival.

Before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight: ELV knows absolutely nothing about feng shui except how to pronounce it. But how else can we describe the effect of a large wall that runs down the center of the room, separating the dining areas, and making one side of the space feel completely unrelated to the other. The reason for it is unclear (to separate the large space into two smaller ones?), but the effect creates an odd sense of discomfort. That being said, the booth, tables and chairs are functionally comfortable.

As for that food, we revisited our old friends the Peking duck steamed buns and found them crispy, rich and meaty; the chili fried chicken as good as we remember it (with plenty of kick) and the oxtail chili cheese fries are so good they should be on a billboard.

As for the burgers, they’re still too tightly packed for our tastes, but there’s no denying the quality of the ingredients and the intriguing panoply of spices and accents that each one features. Instead of tasting like “any old turkey burger” the banh mi burger was strongly influenced by lemongrass and ginger, and Miyagi-san’s grass-fed wagyu burger (not pictured) was as beefy and rich as a burger patty can get. Only the Caesar salad disappointed — but then again, most do.

So….ELV is eating his (former) words  about Bachi Burger. The new location may be challenging, and the interior a bit odd, but there’s no better place on the west side to grab a hand-tooled fusion burger before or after you enjoy some highbrow fare at the multiplex.

ELV’s two meals for two came to $50 and $60 — each including a 20% tip.

BACHI BURGER

9410 West Sahara Ave. Suite 150

Las Vegas, NV 89117

702.255.3055

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13 Responses to Return to BACHI BURGER

  • Impressive John. I have always liked Bachi and am glad that you are open minded enough to give it another try and that you were pleasantly surprised

  • Most shopping centers tend to cluster restaurants in one corner. It’s the kiss of death. There’s never enough parking. That location has the same problem. All the parking is for the movie theater and if you want only to eat at whatever joint was in that space, you were pretty much stuck parking close to Jack-In-The-Box.

    I really wish Bachi Burger well. It’s a shame there wasn’t another space on the other side of that mall with a build out for a restaurant. I fear the lack of close parking may also be their kiss of death.

  • I’ve always been a fan, and wanted the place in Eating Las Vegas, but I don’t really consider it a burger joint, but rather Asian fusion. Maybe Lorin can run two places, but I’m not convinced. The one knock is the slow kitchen and I don’t see how having a second one will speed it up.

  • Okay, I ate there. The place was just about empty. Decor was very boring and dull. Terrible location. Food was so-so. Won’t be there long. Should of went to Island Burger.

  • The flaws with Bachi have always been consistency and service, but when the kitchen is on point – then it was a comforting yet very original cost effective meal. I fear that the new Bachi location was a bad decision from a business standpoint, but so far the food has been good albeit slightly different. Agree with John’s feng shui comment in the review, that may be the only significant and possibly insurmountable flaw. Of course I hope that I am wrong, I’d like to see this business thrive.

    John – The burgers have to be tightly packed due to the hibachi grilling, once you get past the meat density (which I also had to do initially) you can explore the complexity of the flavors brought out by the use of a hibachi. Its a one of a kind experience, that is why so many of my peers have questioned your initial review for so long, it was one of the few stand out “WTF?” reviews in my humble opinion. Glad to see you give Loren another chance, we could use more like minded chefs in this town who mix the comfort that non-foodies expect with the innovation that foodies demand.

    Max – I agree, Bachi is not a “burger” joint in my mind, there are more Korean cuisine similarities to me than anything else.

  • I absolutely agree about the sense of discomfort at Bachi Burger. I don’t know what it is – but I think the food is mostly good, allbeit expensive for an off the strip joint.

    I actually never get a burger when I’m there, as my favorite is the fish sandwich, it is absolutely amazing. Light, flakey, and perfect.

  • Sorry to go off topic… but I have to comment on Tricia’s post above. Expensive? Really? Compared to a fast food joint I would agree, but Bachi is cheeper that most good off-strip restaurants that I know of – and it does not serve fast food. A $16 – $30 guest check is pretty affordable for the caliber of food they serve at Bachi. I always wondered why the price is so low, I am surprised the can afford to stay in business with prices that low considering the volume of sales.

  • The reason bachi’s patties are so concrete-like is because they incorporate breadcrumbs into the beef. Bad idea.

  • I don’t understand the people who say that Bachi Burger is expensive. I have eaten at Island Burger and found the prices to be very similar, but the food was worlds apart. I can get a run of the mill 9 dollar burger anywhere in town. Bachi’s burger’s might not be perfect, but they have great flavor and amazing toppings that I would never have imagined on my own. Add in the truffle fries, buns, and cool drinks…it was love at first bite.

    My only complaint with Bachi was the slow service, but they seem to have fixed that at the original location. Knowing that the Summerlin location is new, I will give them a little time to work out the kinks. I enjoy their creativity and try to get all of my friends to give it a try.

  • Actually “Bad Idea” the burgers would be juicier with bread crumbs or panko since the starch would absorb the fat instead of allowing it to drain from the patties. However, Bachi Burger never used that much panko anyway. Currently, BB doesn’t use any panko in their burgers to accommodate gluten-sensitive patrons.

    I agree with the price point as I can go down the street and order a poorly madeTiger Roll for $11-12 and all that is mostly rice, tempura batter, and probably less than 3 ounces of actual fish–frozen mind you.

  • Juicier or not, Ehren, the breadcrumbs make for a tough, dense patty. Good ground beef needs no binder or filler or grease retaining additive.

  • Well Bad Idea, as I said there is no longer any panko in the patties and even when there was, it was a very very small amount–not enough to classify as a “filler.”

  • Bread crumbs make burger more dense, not moist!!! I would say the beef is subpar. Good burger joints use an 8 oz. as the standard burger. Want ot make a great burger? Had this in Italy. Mix ricotta cheese in beef. Then grill. Fantastic.

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