Komex: It’s Korean, It’s Mexican, It’s Delicious!

Komex Fusion Express EntranceJudge a restaurant by its location and you’re sure to miss some of Las Vegas’ finest food. So, when my girlfriend suggested we check out Komex Fusion Express in the middle of a strip mall at 633 North Decatur Blvd. Suite H, I figured in might be worth a shot. I had never even heard of a Korean/Mexican fusion restaurant, so I knew I would be in for an eating adventure!

Komex Fusion Express Kitchen

Nobody comes here for the decor.

Komex is a small place with a few basic tables and plastic chairs. It appears to be mostly intended as a take-out restaurant, though they do offer full dine-in table service. We sat at one of their simple black tables, adorned with a paper Chinese Zodiac placemat, some napkins and silverware. The tiles on the floor are worn and dated, as is the wood panel siding on the walls. I’ve suddenly been transported to a Chinese takeout restaurant circa 1975. No, wait! It’s Las Vegas 2013 and I’m about to embark on an eating adventure, and nobody comes here for the decor.

Our drinks arrive: A can of Coke ($1), and a Mexican Coke in a real glass bottle made with cane sugar ($2). Along with them comes a free bowl of chips with a small cup of salsa and another of guacamole.

Fried Wontons

Fried Wontons

The chips are thick, crunchy, appear to be made from flour and have more in common with fried wontons than they do with corn chips, but they have a light flavor and hold up well to the salsa and guacamole. The salsa was fresh and had a nice mild flavor with a touch of clilanto. The guacamole was excellent! It had a buttery soft texture and tasted quite fresh. Very nice for a freebie!

We were just hungry enough for an afternoon snack, so we ordered the “Bulgogi Nachos” ($7.99) – hey I love bulgogi and I love nachos, so why not? We also ordered their “Fried Wontons” ($1.50). The wontons came out first, five crispy fried wontons stuffed with ground meat and served with duck sauce. They were mildly seasoned, served warm and went well with the accompanying sauce. They didn’t last long. Soon after the nachos arrived.

Komex Fusion Express Bulgogi Nachos

Bulgogi Nachos

For those that don’t know, bulgogi refers to a sweet, tender Korean barbeque beef, and Komex makes some of the tastiest, most tender bulgogi I have ever had. They take that amazing meat and pile it high over a pile of chips (like those in the free appetizer), along with more of that fresh salsa, mozzarella cheese, korean hot sauce and jalepenos. The result? I have had many a plate of nachos in my life and these are, without a doubt, the best nachos of any kind I have ever had. Mind-blowing, lick the plate, kiss the cook, amazing. The sweetness of the meat and the cheese balances out the heat from the sauce and the peppers, and you can taste every flavor without ever being overcome by spice. Just perfect.

Komex Fusion Express CheckAfter we picked every last morsel from your plate of nachos the bill arrived, along with a fortune cookie for each of us and a fresh cut orange. Or bill came to $13.50. I wish every $13.50 I spent was this good.

Overall, the food was delicious, and cheap. I could not find a single item on their menu over $10. Komex isn’t a shiny new restaurant in a prime location, but that’s not what we’re here for anyways, right? We’re here for the food, for the eating adventure, and I assure you, this was one yummy adventure! This isn’t just someplace to consider “if you’re in the neighborhood.” It’s a place worthy of a special trip across town. You’ve gotta try it!

Website: http://www.komex.com
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Bachi Burger: Gourmet Burgers with Asian Flair

Bachi Burger EntranceNow that you’ve got your rental car, it’s time for some eating adventures. The rental center will instruct you “three rights to the Strip and I-215.” I’ve got a better idea. It’s been a long, tiring day of flying and it’s about time you got something to eat that doesn’t come in a little foil packet. Off to Bachi Burger!

Less that 10 minutes drive from the McCarran Car Rental Center at 470 East Windmill Lane lies one of the best places to get a gourmet burger in Las Vegas. It’s in the corner of a strip mall, and I’m told it was once a Dunkin’ Donuts, but don’t let that put you off. Lots of great things in Vegas are found in strip malls, and lots of great things used to be something else. That’s how this city rolls.

Bachi Burger takes the pan-asian influences of Hawaii and inflicts them on the all american burger, using high quality ingredients. Meats are angus and wagyu. Buns are delicious fresh Taiwanese sweet buns – light and slightly sweet, but with a chewy crust strong enough that it won’t fall apart as you eat. Marinades and toppings from the varied cultures of Northeast and Southeast Asia take each burger to new heights.

I arrived at Bachi Burger at noon on a Tuesday afternoon and waited 15 minutes for a table. Service was good, but perhaps not quite as friendly and efficient as I am used to in Las Vegas. My first test of Bachi was my drink. I’m a big fan of Vietnamese iced coffee, but find that only Vietnamese restaurants tend to get it right, so I was a little surprised to see it on the menu here. Bachi delivered: a nice rich brew dripping onto a cup of sweetened condensed milk from a metal coffee press and a glass of ice – perfect.

For my main I went with the Ronin burger – angus beef, caramelized onions, Japanese coleslaw, miso goma dressing, katzu bbq, yuzu citrus aioli, topped with a fried egg. It’s big, it’s messy, and all the flavors mesh perfectly. Crispy truffle parmesan fries in a wax paper cone put the final touch on a fantastic meal for under 25 bucks including tip.

Ronin Burger

Yes, the Ronin burger is a little over the top, but that’s par for the course at Bachi. Other burgers on their menu include such ingredients as nuoc mam (fish sauce) [Banh Mi Burger], kim chee [Kalbi Burger], and enoki mushrooms [Kiki Burger]. All are $10 or less. For the big spenders there’s the Shogun Burger with wagyu beef, unagi (freshwater eel), foie gras, asian pear, miso butter and yamamomo peach for $25. It sounds just crazy enough that I might try it next time I’m there. I’ll be sure to write an update if I do.

Some other specialties of Bachi Burger include house made pickled vegetables, oxtail chili fries, and grilled cheese for the kids. To drink they offer wide selection of beers, sake, house made sodas, bubble and milk teas. Desserts include poached pears and malasadas.

Las Vegas has many Asian restaurants to satisfy your taste for eating adventure, however none that I have found does as good a job of fusing American fare with the varied cuisines of Northeast and Southeast Asia. Actually, my Ronin burger was not only the best Asian influenced burger that I’ve had in Las Vegas, it was simply the best.

Tips:

  • Bachi Burger was recently featured on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” Expect a wait.
  • For those on the western side of town, Bachi Burger has another location at 9410 West Sahara Avenue.

Website: www.bachiburger.com
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