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Roy Choi’s Upcoming Las Vegas Restaurant Has Finally Been Revealed

Prolific Los Angeles chef Roy Choi has famously ventured from a food truck to restaurants exploring varying styles of food pertaining to the theme of the restaurant, like Hawaiian food at A-Frame, and even, his game-changing Korean short rib taco birthed at the Kogi food truck.

With each new restaurant — whether the entire menu oozes with traditional-Korean flavors or is more of a fusion fare — he remains perched in Los Angeles, California. Choi’s status amongst Angelenos attributes to expanding in LA county, but at the top of this year, he announced his big move of opening a new restaurant in Las Vegas where a piece of L.A. will go along with him. After much anticipation for this new restaurant, Choi finally unveiled the entrance, dining area, and the name— ‘Best Friend,’ planning to open this December.

 

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It is located right on the Las Vegas Strip, in the new Park MGM Hotel, and this piece of Los Angeles pertains to Choi and Angelenos themselves. For Choi, the restaurants he opened in his hometown have a place at this establishment: “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.”

 

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The first step into ‘Best Friend’ is the ‘Liquor Store’, which is essentially, a small neighborhood bodega: mildly quaint and retro — the mild barred by the extravagance of Las Vegas. This remixed version of Los Angeles with bright colors and neon lights makes it as Vegas as it could get.

“It’s Koreatown in a capsule — a portal to the streets of LA, but also rooted in what makes Las Vegas, VEGAS,” says Roy Choi. From the looks of it, the ‘Liquor Store’ boasts relics and iconic figures from the City of Angels along with nods to Choi’s musical tastes: an N.W.A poster, Biggie’s quote ‘It was all a dream’ fluoresced with neon lights, and a ‘Koreatown’ neon sign, too.  An early look at this entrance feels like a game of I Spy, the premise being: How LA is this LA-inspired restaurant?

In a previous interview with Foodbeast, Choi stated: “I want people from L.A. to walk in and be like, ‘FUCK YEAH‘ and ‘OHHH SHIIIT‘, you know? I want you to roll up with all your friends and feel at home. And then I want people from elsewhere to feel like they’re getting a good glimpse into what it’s like to live in Los Angeles. We’re very aware that this is gonna be a Vegas restaurant. So we won’t shy away from the big and spectacular. If they can recreate the cities of Paris and Rome in Vegas, I want to recreate Los Angeles, too, with varied levels of nuance.”

Yes, the food and the origins carry the culture of L.A., but what seems to matter to Choi more is the atmosphere. He wants to mirror L.A.’s laid-back, yet urban vibe; highlighting the quaint, corner-shops and passing cars bumping N.W.A, Tupac, and The Pharcyde (so, expect to hear all of the hip-hop classics blasting throughout the restaurant).

Los Angeles’ food in Las Vegas is a symbol of Choi extending his vision past the L.A. city limits, but beyond that, it is a creation made through collaboration with his own best friends — utilizing Sean Knibb and David Irvin’s design, Patrick Martinez’s neon art, and Travis Jensen’s photography.

As ‘Best Friend’ opens up in December, it will capture the vibe of Choi’s hometown but resonate around the culture — where diversity, is formed by the food and people— and that, is what makes this L.A.-inspired restaurant truly L.A.: “I want Best Friend to energize the minds of people looking to experience the best in life. Whether they are from Hollywood or Hong Kong, D.C. or Down Under, I hope all guests are licking their fingers with their mouths full saying ‘holy shit!’ as they reach across the table for another bite. L.A. food in Las Vegas. Los Vegas. Best Friend. Forever.”

Photos: MGM Resorts International
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Adventures Hit-Or-Miss Restaurants Video

Guy Fieri’s Trash Can Nachos Are The Craziest Nachos We’ve Seen

If there’s one thing we all love about Guy Fieri, it’s his over-the-top, original style combined with his fearless attitude when it comes to creating mouthwatering food in the kitchen.

On a recent trip to Las Vegas, the FOODBEAST team had a chance to try Guy Fieri’s Trash Can Nachos, aka The Craziest Nachos We’ve Ever Seen. It starts with a unique “Trash Can” presentation, which reveals a towering stack of tortilla chips, melted cheese, savory bites of house-smoked brisket ends, sliced jalapeños, and pico de gallo.

Topped with Guy’s secret house-made barbecue sauce, crema, and more cheese, this is a culinary experience we’ll never forget, as it was clearly beyond any normal nachos ever.

These Trash Can Nachos can be found at Guy Fieri’s Kitchen & Bar inside the Linq Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. To be honest, this is something we hope doesn’t have to stay in Vegas — because it’s that damn good.

Created in partnership with Caesars Entertainment

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Adventures

VEGAS: How Aria’s Five50 Pizza Bar Stole My Heart From Secret Pizza Kitchen

Gotham Pizza Five50 Aria

My favorite part of Marquee’s two-year run as the most coveted nightclub from late 2010 through 2012 was the pizza that followed. While bias could be argued because of overstimulated (LED Walls, Bass Drops, PEOPLE) and inebriated (7 and 7’s or Grey Goose) states of mind, The Secret Pizza Kitchen at the Cosmopolitan would always deliver in the clutch. Two beautiful slices of pizza that helped you sober up just enough to fall asleep on the cab ride back. Now, there is a new rising of the pizza tide and it’s happening next door at Five50 Pizza Bar located in The Aria.

Here are the two innovative pizzas you have to try. First up? The Farmstead: prosciutto, creme fraiche, OVER-MEDIUM FARM EGG, and country olives. If you missed the over-capitalization, this pizza has a yolky egg on it, and it’s glorious. Oh, and the dough is prepared by Aria’s master pastry chef. Just in case you were wondering. Pictured below.

aria five50 pizza bar farmstead

aria five50 pizza farmstead

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The second must-have. The Truffle: TRUFFLE SALAMI, Bechamel, Parmesan, Thyme, Shaved Truffles. I’m not a put-truffles-on-everything type guy, but in this case? Truffle on Wayne. Truffle on Garth. Pictured below.

aria five50 pizza truffle

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As a seasoned veteran of Internet haters, the comment that is immediately coming after talking about truffle and farm egg pizzas is, ‘But what about the real pizza?’ I get it. There are a lot of people that don’t necessarily want something brand new, but rather tried and true. And for those people, take a look at The Gotham. Pepperoni, Sausage, Salami, Mozzarella and Grada PadanoSit down, shut up and eat the goddamn pizza. Pictured at the top and below.

aria five50 pizza gotham

aria five50 pizza gotham

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If you get the lucky chance to meet Chef and Managing Partner Shawn McClain, of Custom House and Sage – you’re in for a treat. A true conversationalist, one can immediately see the respect and passion he has for creating his own versions of pizza pie. The name Five50 has a double meaning. First, it’s a cost of a slice (at least for now). Secondly, it’s the oven temperature that McClain uses. At 550 degrees Fahrenheit the pizza bakes at a temperature in between a traditional East Coast baking oven (300-400 degrees) and a Napoli-style oven (typically over 900 degrees). You can witness the results.

The Restaurant itself is open from 11:30 AM – Midnight, Slice Counter from 11 AM – 2 AM. My hope is that its popularity extends the hours of the slice counter. Final note for those who read through the entire post – Five50 has a 50-cent craft beer happy hour from 5-5:30 Tuesday-Friday (non-football days).

Five50 Pizza Bar at the Aria Resort & Casino

3730 Las Vegas Blvd. (Casino Level, Adjacent to Sports Book)

Las Vegas, NV

(702) 590-7550

Five50 Aria Pizza Bar