Momofuku Las Vegas


(Kathy S. ) #1

A little perturbed that HO doesn’t have a Las Vegas board. (Can we at least be grouped with the rest of the West?) Everyone visits Las Vegas, amirite? And the most asked question is, “where should I eat?”

Well, I’m a gen-you-wine Las Vegas native, lived here for eight years, so fire away with your questions. I’m fairly up-to-date on the food scene and I’ve eaten all over town, although I eat out less frequently these days.

Here’s my review on Momofuku Las Vegas, I ate here last April and I was impressed, this was my first David Chang restaurant I dined at.

I started with a Spring Fling, cocktail made of vodka, stawberry, rhubarb, cinchona, $16. This was delicious, light (maybe a bit too light) and fruity. It was served in a wine glass, like a craft wine cooler, but in a good way. The rhubarb added an unusual tart note and the cinchona made it all interesting.

Next, I got the Shoyu Pork Ramen (pork belly & shoulder, slow poached egg), $17. This just blew my mind. Now this is ramen. Everything about it was good, the pork belly was delightfully unctuous, the pulled pork flavorful (put my pulled pork to shame), the broth smoky, and noodles were perfectly chewy. All this for $17! It was almost the same price as a slice of birthday cake! Anyone who says they had better ramen in our town needs to have their taste buds examined. And we have awesome ramen in our town, but they just don’t compare. This was the best ramen I’ve ever had.

Lastly, I got the famous birthday cake to go. It was mediocre in every way except the price, $14 a slice. Skip. Wasn’t a complete loss, I finally got to say something bad about Momofuku. Whew, do I gain membership in the jaded foodie crowd?

Overall, Momofuku is a winner in every way: food, price, service. I love it. Definitely made it into my rotation. Actually, I can’t wait. What am I doing tomorrow?


#2

Strong words indeed. I haven’t been to Vegas for a while, but what are some of the better ramen options in town now?


(Kathy S. ) #3

You’ve come to the right town for ramen, Vegas does ramen well.

Of course, there’s the old stand-bys:
Ramen Sora is a local’s favorite located in LV Chinatown.

A relative new comer is Ramen Tatsu off of Jones, in one of the tastiest shopping centers in Las Vegas (sorry for the Yelp page, it’s all I have right now).

And my personal faves, but not public faves, are Fukumimi Ramen and Jinya Ramen. Fukumimi has an excellent ramen made with sesame paste (not for everyone) and a great chashu. I’ve always had a good experience at Jinya.

That should get you started, there’s many more excellent ramen places I haven’t tried, but are on my list. And there’s even more mediocre ramen places I’m not even mentioning. If you want some opinions on one, let me know.


#4

Thanks for the recs!

You mean like a tantanmen?


(Kathy S. ) #5

Yes/no it’s like tan tan mein.

It’s not like Chinese tan tan mein, it’s not spicy but you can request for it spicy. I guess there’s Japanized Chinese food in Japan and this dish would fit into that category. I’ll try finding the blog post that explains the differences in Japan-Chinese food and Chinese food and the different regional dishes too. This is what the tan tan mein looks like at Fukumimi


(Kathy S. ) #6

I can’t find the post, there was this Yelper named Tetsuro who knew all things Japanese-ramen in Las Vegas and beyond. You can google him and get bits and pieces of what chukka ryori cuisine is all about, Chuka Ryori being a fancy name for fusion Japanese-Chinese food.

I guess Chuka Ryori tan tan mein is difficult to make (according to Tetsuro) and the broth is more an emulsion of miso, sesame paste and doubanjiang. I’ve had it at Chin-Ma-Ya in LA (unfortunately shuttered) and it seems to always be served with a ball of spicy ground pork and greens.

But I stand corrected that it is absolutely NOT ramen, in the purest sense, although it’s always served with ramen noodles and not Chinese egg noodles.


#7

I had lunch at the bar at Momofuku in the Cosmopolitan on a weekday. Sitting at the bar was nice as you get a good view of the kitchen. I’d been once to the original Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village a few years ago and remember enjoying the ramen a lot more than I thought I would, and also remember the pork buns being quite good. I also remember the ramen looking much like it does in your photo. Both the ramen and pork bun were on the lunch menu in Momofuku’s Vegas outpost. I wanted to try some new (to me) things though and had:

Hawaiian Kampachi ($26)
bacon ponzu, fresno chilies, sorrel

Fresh fish in a slightly acidic ponzu sauce that had a bit of smokiness. Good but kind of expensive.


Shrimp Bun ($7)
spicy mayo, pickled red onion, iceberg

Nice white flour bun. I overheard that they used to make the buns on-site but had to get them made elsewhere as they couldn’t keep up with demand since they sell thousands of them on weekends. Good crispy fried shrimp patty on top of shredded lettuce and mayo. Came with a bottle of their ssam sauce to squeeze on for some extra kick.


Chilled Spicy Noodles ($16)
Sichuan sausage, candied cashew, Thai basil

This was really good. There were thin noodles in kind of a spicy pesto like sauce, probably made with Thai basil rather than basil. Lots of sauce. I’m not sure what exactly Sichuan sausage is (was expecting something like lapcheong) - this was more like a loose cured pork sausage with I think some Sichuan peppercorn and chilies. I was thinking about adding pork belly for an extra $5 and I’m glad I didn’t - there was a lot of Sichuan sausage already. The cashew bits added a little crunchiness, and there were also some sliced pickled jalapeños in there that added some zing. There was I think some Sichuan peppercorn in the pesto as well as I experienced a bit of mala numbing. This was the best value of the dishes I had.


Signature Birthday Cake ($14)

I liked their birthday cake although it was expensive. Moist crumb with a not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting. There were also thin layers of crunchy crumbles in the frosting layers that added some crunch. The slice is large enough for two to share.


Menus


(Kathy S. ) #8

Sounds like a delicious visit!


#9

What is that orange gloppy-looking thing in the bun? The mayo?


#10

On the bottom? Yep that’s the mayo.


#11

Oh, I meant the orange stuff facing the camera above the mayo then.


#12

Oh I see, that is some pickled onion, and then the fried shrimp patty on top.