Korean fusion street food—the flavors that ignited the nationwide food-truck trend through the success of LA’s famous Kogi BBQ—is a tiny movement in Vegas. Our first Korean taco stand, HanShikTaco, is gone, but the tasty little neighborhood restaurant KoMex Fusion picked up the slack. More recently, in August, a Korean hot dog joint called Buldogis opened in the Village Square shopping center at Sahara and Fort Apache.
The name is a play on the traditional Korean barbecue dish bulgogi, thinly-sliced, marinated beef caramelized quickly over a hot fire. At first glance, the menu at Buldogis seems to be all about the condiments, with a wild variety of mayos, mustards, slaws and fresh vegetables topping the dogs. But the meat is the thing here. Both the beef and the sweet-and-spicy pork bulgogis are delicious, but the real winner is the dog itself, a big, juicy, all-beef bite that’s closer to a hot link than a mediocre ballpark frank. It’s full of spicy, garlicky flavor, perfectly fine on its own or with a bit of garlic mustard embraced by a fresh, soft bun from the local Great Buns Bakery.
- 2291 S. Fort Apache Road, 570-7560
- Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
But Buldogis doesn’t operate in the world of simplicity and subtlety. These guys bring the hardcore flavor bombs. The starter dog has beef bulgogi, Asian slaw, grilled onions and mayo, and the Angry Dog steps it up with pork bulgogi and diced jalapeños. There’s a Hawaiian Dog with pineapple salsa, pork belly and honey mustard. Not everything is under the Asian influence; there are regionally inspired “American” dogs like the Chicago, with tomatoes, onions, peppers, pickles and celery salt, and the West Coast, with pico de gallo and avocado mayo.
I wouldn’t say there’s a healthy option here, but wisely, the kitchen crew serves up rice bowls with your choice of these innovative toppings. And then there are Angry Fries, mountains of sweet potato fries covered in homemade kimchi, pork bulgogi, shredded cheese, green onions, jalapeños and a fried egg. It’s a dangerous dish. Don’t go it alone.