Roy Choi Shares First Look at His Vegas Restaurant
When L.A. legend Roy Choi announced that he was working on a restaurant called Best Friend at the Park MGM in Las Vegas—his first out-of-state venture—speculations started flying. Would there be Kogi tacos? Would kimchi pizza (a staple at the chef's POT Pizza Joint) make an appearance? Would this "baby step," as Choi put it, eventually lead the chef to consider outposts in farther-flung destinations like, say, New York? And, perhaps most importantly, when would it open?
This week, the food truck king gave us some answers. First, the opening date. Bloomberg reports that Best Friend's debut will coincide with the beginning of Lady Gaga’s residency at the neighboring Park Theater, which starts on December 28. As for what Gaga fans will find on the menu when they wander over for a post-show bite, Choi dropped a few hints.
“Remixed and remastered,” is how the chef described the lineup, meaning guests can expect to find Chego-style rice bowls, Locol burgers, tamarind cod, and chow fun Bolognese alongside his famous tacos. "It is the only place to sink your teeth into all the flavors from Kogi-to-Commissary and everything in between, along with fresh new ideas I’ve been cooking up for years," Choi said in a statement. "It's Koreatown in a capsule—a portal to the streets of LA, but also rooted in what makes Las Vegas...Vegas. Hip hop-to-bibimbop. Kimchi-to-spaghetti. BBQ and late-night food." After hours, Best Friend will serve an edited version of the main menu.
Diners will enter the restaurant through what the chef calls the Liquor Store (pictured above)—a bar-slash-merch-shop selling reimagined 1980s cocktails (piña coladas, fuzzy navels) and fresh-pressed juice alongside kimchi hot dogs and Best Friend-branded hypebeast-wear. “It’s going to feel a lot like L.A.,” Choi told Bloomberg of his new venture's concept. “I’m calling it ‘Los Vegas.’ ”