Taste

Restaurateur David Sim readies his next innovative Asian eatery

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David Sim and Heesoo Hwang are expanding their influence on Las Vegas’ Asian food scene.
Photo: L.E. Baskow

Savvy local eaters know the distant southwest part of the Vegas Valley has become a hotbed of Asian food, but they might not realize David Sim has played a powerful role in these restaurant developments.

The California transplant and UNLV graduate was working at Bellagio when his wife, Heesoo Hwang, pulled him into F&B. The first step was Oyshi Sushi, which opened on South Rainbow Boulevard in 2007. (It now has a second location on West Sahara.) Sim then went back to his Korean roots in 2010 with Soyo, a “barstaurant” unlike anything Vegas had experienced to that point. Next up? “My wife wanted to open an Italian restaurant,” Sim explains. Enter the Sparklings, after which the couple’s empire continued to grow, with Omoide noodle house, Goong Korean barbecue and coffee shop Loffti Cafe—all on South Rainbow.

Sim isn’t straying from the neighborhood with his next project, set to open in a few weeks at 7729 S. Rainbow Blvd., but he’s taking more risks with its food. YuXiang Korean Chinese Cuisine will be another first for Las Vegas, Sim says. “In Korea, Korean-Chinese restaurants are everywhere, but not in the U.S. They have them in LA, New York and Chicago.”

Given the growth of Korean barbecue in Vegas over the past year, Sim expects locals to embrace a new style. YuXiang will be similar to American-Chinese eateries in that noodles or rice will be available with entrées of chicken, beef, seafood or pork, but the Korean ingredients—spicy and sour seasonings and sauces—will make a difference. Common fusion dishes to expect include jajangmyun, noodles with black bean sauce and jjampong, a spicy seafood noodle soup.

Soyo was a significant trendsetter, and Goong has added a rare fine-dining touch to the world of Korean barbecue. Expect another unique experience at YuXiang.

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Brock Radke has been writing about Las Vegas for more than 15 years. He currently covers entertainment, music, nightlife, food ...

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