The other day I was using the Yelp app on my phone, and I played around with this neato little feature called “Monocle”. Sounds fancy, I know. Turns out that it is a kind of augmented reality that gives you a real-life x-ray super goggles for the food in your vicinity. A good way to find something new if you are peckish and indecisive, as I often am. But anyway, when I looked through this magical portal, I immediately came to a decision. There was one name I recognized from my “to check out” list, Buldogis. Named from the Korean word for grilled meats (bulgogi) and the good ol’ American-ish institution of the hot dog, they combine these two culinary areas to make some pretty danged interesting food.
We wanted to get a good sized assortment of food to share, because variety is the spice of life. The Angry Dog was first to mind, because spice is also the spice of life. Although I know that hardly any restaurant worth it’s salt would have one of the few menu items be a complete level-15 Thai-style spice bomb, I still wish the Angry Dog was a bit stronger on that front. Ah well, can’t always get what you want. But I did get what I need, which is a pretty interesting bite to eat. There’s a reason why the Angry Dog is their most popular; it’s unique, fun, and it follows my personal maxim that meat is a good topping for meat. It went rather well with the one of the sides I ordered, the Angry Kimchi Fries.
In my mind, I’m somewhat spoiled when it comes to sweet potato fries. I blame the S’mores Fries at Slidin’ Thru. But of course, wherever you go, you expect them to be something of a dessert item. Not at Buldogis. Here, they pile on the kimchi, a fried egg, and more of that delicious spicy pork. I was surprised how much I actually enjoyed this. The sweet and starchy fries paired off well with the tangy kimchi and jalapeno. The egg, I was neutral on. I kind of wanted to maintain the crispiness of the fries, but the little suckers just don’t have a chance up against all the other wet ingredients, and the yolk just pushes it too far. Flavor-wise, it worked out like gangbusters.
Our second dog was the Bahn Mi Dog. I know, this Vietnamese sandwich is just a few thousand miles shy of the Korean peninsula, but the flavors were all there. Sliced up pork belly, bahn mi vegetables (cucumber, daikon, cilantro), and Sriracha mayo combine well on top of this dog to make a very interesting Bahn Mi analog.
Deviating slightly from the norm -or as normal as you can find at Buldogis- is the Euro Special fries. One of the few items on the menu that isn’t strongly influenced by Asian cuisine, but it seemed interesting. Pork belly bacon, fresh herb, cheddar cheese, and garlic mayo go on some regular ol’ fries, but really turn out to be something interesting. I’m not entirely sure where in “Euro” they were going for, but there seems to be elements of England, Italy, and France. If this was on a dog, we could include Germany and re-enact World War II. I only wish it was as focused as the war, because combining all these continental flavors is not exactly synergetic. It doesn’t necessarily lose anything, as I really enjoyed the garlic mayo and pork belly bacon, but I think if they went full-on French or full-on English, it would have been much better. Maybe an idea for a sister restaurant? Hmmm…
There is still much to try at this unique little shop. I certainly am glad that I live nearby, but maybe if the rest of you can make the trip, they can expand like so many other home grown Vegas restaurants. I am glad that this seems to be a time of prosperity for those willing to take risks with their food, and Buldogis is among the best.
As always, let me in on your experiences! Let me know if you have a hit, a miss, or a hot tip for a new place at firstname.lastname@example.org