Fuku for beginners

Do you Fuku?
Photo: Jet Tila
Jet Tila

Maybe you’ve heard rumblings of Fukuburger recently or seen the brightly colored truck surrounded by a crowd in Chinatown. Well, here’s the low down: The homey that started this phenom is Colin Fukunaga. He’s no novice to the food biz by any means. Colin cut his teeth and earned his stripes for years with P.F. Chang’s as a managing partner before moving on to Tao. He’s seen all sides and is an OG in the biz. What adds another cool layer to this guy is that he’s that rare dude that everyone knows and respects. We all know a guy like that; everyone he meets only has nice things to say about him. The guy who mentored someone or gave a hand while a friend was in need, that guy. So when a homey like that makes it, you feel good supporting him.

I rolled out to Fuku at the behest of my friend (here comes the plug … BOOM!) Marissa Rose, a fashion and beauty guru and inspiration to thousands of women. Hard working mom by day, fashionista by night, She and Colin have been friends for years, and yes, she has a Colin good guy story from the past too (puke)!


Here are a few tips for making your Fuku experience fabulous:

Tip 1. Bring a folding table and something to sit on. Our chairs of choice that night were five-gallon Home Depot buckets—stackable, cheap and double as a wastebasket! You’ve got you own VIP seating now, dude. And mind you, when you roll with Marissa you are rolling with LV royalty. Not two minutes after arriving, we were joined by two of her old homeys. It’s the Fuku synergy that brings friends together

Tip 2. Roll deep. To you non-urban types, this simply means bring some friends to make this an experience. More peeps mean more food, more drink and more shizz talking! They also mean more potential peeps to get on the mic …

Tip 3. No BS, the food is gonna take a while, so order ASAP! Some homeys from tip 2 order OOE-style. What does that mean? Order one of each item that Fuku has. Hell, order multiple OOE’s! Marissa liked the Buta-burger, miso glazed with bacon, and I love the Tamago. Who doesn’t like a runny sunny-up egg oozing onto the burger? Try every amazing burger, plus the Fukumoco Locomoco, a Hawaiian dish with a seasoned meat patty over rice smothered with brown gravy. You also cannot miss the macaroni salad—perfectly al dente, seasoned somewhere between savory, creamy and just sweet enough to marry with the fries.

Tip 3.1. Bring some beverages. Someone in our posse had some Coronitas (yes, mini Coronas) stashed in their pockets. Burgers + beers = more fun! Buy some cool drinks that he sells of the truck, like Japanese soda and lemonade, or BYO and make a party out of it.

Tip 4. Bring a big ass knife, some utensils and some extra wet naps. Being a good chef, I always have my knife kit with me. So I busted out my Shun deba and split each burger and entrée into four pieces for sharing. If I had some fancy skewers, I could have made burger bites.

Tip 5. Tip, you cheap bastard! This is one of the best deals in town, so kick down some bones to the homeys in the truck. Grease the tip jar and you will get props from the team and a yummy gummy.

Tip 6. Last, but not least, decide if you want a meal or an experience. Most nights, Fuku is parked on Spring Mountain Road in the BofA lot in Chinatown. Cool place to get your Fuku on. But on Wednesdays, Fuku is on the Westside for Westside Wednesdays. This, to me, is the best way to experience Fuku. They are parked in a lot adjacent to Red Handed Tattoo Gallery, which has a fun little DJ system set up. The homeys at Red Handed spin rap, urban and pop while you drink, eat and socialize. At 10 p.m., the open mic starts. I’m not talking coffee house spoken word, pot brownie, chill open mic; I’m talking about your chance to go up against resident MCs and other wanna be rappers all in good fun. Think 8 mile without the violence or vomit. And Collin has been known to line pass or give free grub out to those who rock the crowd or royally suck.

You can’t help that the food is going to take a while, because they are cooking it all to order. Props! But relax, you’ve got making of a perfect locals night out in Las Vegas with friends, some drinks, entertainment and that amazing feeling of supporting a local business owner who’s doing some cool food and has been a pillar to so many people. I’ve been in Vegas a little over two years, but this night out at Fuku will be one of the most fun and memorable experiences of my time here. Follow all my tips above, come with a great attitude and you will have a blast.


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