Hello, Yu-Or-Mi Sushi and the Durango Casino & Resort in Spring Valley, Las Vegas, Nevada

As a Las Vegas local, it’s always exciting to see new things open up in town. December 5, 2023 was the grand opening of the Durango Casino & Resort, a new hotel, casino, and resort in the Rhodes Ranch community in Spring Valley of the Las Vegas Valley in Nevada. Although I wasn’t in town to attend the grand opening, I managed to find some time a few weeks afterwards around Christmastime to check it out.

After parking in the structure and making my way into the building, I started my journey at Yu-Or-Mi Sushi to grab some food before exploring.

For my entrée, I ordered a chirashi bowl. If you’re not familiar, chirashizushi means “scattered sushi,” which, in practice, translates to strips of sashimi over a bowl of rice. A poke bowl is similar, but the sashimi strips are cut up into smaller cubes. Although poke bowls are technically eligible to be called chirashi bowls by definition, no reasonable restaurant would ever serve a poke bowl and call it a chirashi bowl, because they are just going to disappoint sushi enthusiasts.

Yu-Or-Mi clearly failed here. Not only did they serve a poke bowl in lieu of a real chirashi bowl, but the amount of fish included was so little that it couldn’t have been more than a few strips’ worth (while real chirashi bowls usually contain ten or more decently-sized slices of assorted raw fish). They filled the rest of the volume with pineapple and avocado, and even then, that mixture was only enough to just barely cover, with a thin layer, an astronomical amount of rice.

I can confidently say that this was the absolute worst chirashi bowl I have ever had in my entire life.

My friend got vegetable gyoza with truffle soy sauce and chives.

I like eating meat, and I especially like eating fish. Sushi is my favorite food. I tried one piece of this, and I liked these vegan dumplings better than the chirashi bowl. That should be an indication of how bad the chirashi bowl was.

My friend’s mom got a vegetable tempura roll with asparagus tempura, sweet potato tempura, avocado, and crispy shallots.

At least the menu was fancy, I guess.

After finishing my underwhelming meal, I walked around the resort to explore what else it had to offer.

There was a nice flower arrangement and some Christmas decorations near the entrance (because, as a reminder, I stopped by around Christmastime just over a week ago).

Down the hall, there was a lounge and bar.

Through this lounge, there was access to the outdoor pool area. It was closed to the public at the time, but they said it would reopen soon.

Around the casino area, there was a huge sports viewing area.

There was also an outdoors area called the George Sportsmen’s Lounge.

The George had its own entrance separate from the main casino; I left through that exit and looped back around to the front entrance of the resort.

Here is the view from the parking garage of the western suburbs.

Overall, I thought the Durango was nice, but not particularly special or iconic. I walked through the casino area and noticed that it already has a very unsettling lingering odor of cigarette smoke, which I think heavily detracts from the perceived quality of the resort.

I think the thing that makes the Durango stand out is the fact that it’s out in the suburbs, so it’s much easier for locals to stop by without having to deal with the chaos of the Las Vegas Strip. It also has plenty of free parking—there is a huge lot by the front entrance, and there is a large structure that connects to the northwestern corner of the building.

I don’t actually remember what the name of the lounge near the pool is, and I can’t seem to find it on Google Maps. However, it was nice enough that I would consider stopping by there with my laptop on days when I want to get out of my condo to get some fresh air and have a change of scenery while getting some work done. I assume it would get busy on the weekends, but it seems like a spot that’s preferable over a coffee shop because of how much of a luxurious vibe it gives off.

I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to spend living out in the suburbs, because I am considering the possibility of moving back into a residential high-rise on the Las Vegas Strip like where I used to live a few years ago, but because of its close proximity to the beltway, the Durango is quickly accessible and might still be worth it as a coffee shop substitute, even with the bit of an extra drive.




Hello, Echo & Rig in Henderson, Nevada

After a lot of back-to-back sushi restaurants, I finally went to something different—a steakhouse. Now that I’m back home in Las Vegas for a bit until my next leg of travels, I met up with a friend and our restaurant of choice was Echo & Rig in Henderson, a suburb of the Las Vegas Valley in Nevada.

While we were browsing the menu and deciding what to order, we got some complimentary bread. The photo makes it look a bit washed out and unappetizing for some reason, but in-person, it was great. The outside was a perfect balance of crispiness and softness, and the inside was extremely soft. The butter had a unique texture in that, even though it had the consistency of butter spread, it still had the flavor intensity of pure butter.

To start, my friend ordered pork belly burnt ends. I tried a few pieces and it tasted very intensely of pork. Pork is usually on the lower end of my tier of pref­er­ences of different kinds of meat, but I do have to acknowledge that the pork belly burnt ends were very well prepared. Although the flavor was ex­treme­ly intense, it was a clean intensity (as opposed to tasting gamey). They also managed to capture the burnt flavor while having a relatively mild lev­el of bit­ter­ness.

My first appetizer was steak tartare. It wasn’t the best beef I had ever tasted, but it still had a rich and tasty flavor. The bread had a perfectly light amount of butter and the sourness of the pickled Castelvetrano olives added a great tang to complementarily contrast with the meat.

My second appetizer was lobster cigars with chili mint sauce. I usually like lobster, but this was the worst dish out of everything I ordered. It basically tasted like cheap deep-fried vegetable eggrolls from a fast-serve Chinese chain restaurant with a hardly-detectible infusion of lobster essence. I tried it both with and without the sauce, and it did not help.

My friend’s main entrée was an F1 Wagyu filet mignon with a side of mac and cheese.

I tried a few pieces of the mac and cheese and it was a bit too creamy and cheesy for my liking. However, flavor-wise, I think it would be great for some­one who likes cheese. I’m not entirely sure how to articulate it, considering that I don’t consume much cheese so I’m not experienced enough to pin­point exactly what was different about it, but it tasted “more gourmet” than other mac and cheeses I’ve had before.

For my entrée, instead of getting a main meal, I decided to get three more small plate appetizers as a bit of a “build-your-own” kind of dinner. First was wood-fired octopus with celery leaves. The octopus was well-prepared and the celery leaves formed a very unique pair with the octopus. The sauce was also rich and flavorful without being too salty or sweet.

However, the beans posed an interesting conundrum. I’m almost never one to say something is too bland, but the beans … were too bland. Well, at least in the state that they were served. These were very large whole beans, so I would be enjoying some octopus with sauce and then bite into a bean, which would crumble and cause an explosion of blandness in my mouth. Until I managed to clear out the bean, it would be a bit too bland. To put it simply, this dish had a sinusoidal wave of flavor—it had high flavor when I wasn’t eating a bean, and low flavor when I was eating a bean, as opposed to having a con­sist­ent steady average throughout the consumption of the dish.

I think there are two potential solutions to making this better. The first would be to slightly reduce the saltiness of the sauce, then cook the beans in salt­ier water so they absorb more of the salt—this would transfer some of the flavors into the center of the beans while still maintaining an overall net-neutral level of sodium across the dish. The second would be to cook the beans a bit firmer and then slice them into smaller pieces so it’s easier to mix in with the rest of the dish and not cause a burst of blandness.

Next was crispy pig’s head terrine with violet cherry sauce. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of pork, this was the first time I had seen this on a res­tau­rant’s menu, so I wanted to try it. To me, it just tasted like shredded pork with stuffing. Unlike the pork belly from earlier, the pig’s head did have a very light gamey taste. However, the greens on the side were a perfect level of sourness that balanced everything out well.

My final dish was bone marrow carne asada topped with onions and with a side of orange slices.

I did my best to prepare this with the tools I was provided—which wasn’t much. I wasn’t given a spoon, so I scraped the marrow out onto the plate with a fork, chopped it up a bit with the side of the fork, added in the carne asada, squirted on the orange juice, and stirred. It would’ve been helpful to have a small bowl on the side as well, as it would’ve allowed me to mix the final result into a more even and spreadable consistency.

Flavor-wise, this was my favorite dish. It was everything you’d expect from bone marrow—savory, creamy, buttery, slightly nutty, and extremely fatty. The juice from the orange wedges had a very interesting effect—it made it so it the bone marrow and carne asada smelled fresh and citrusy on the way up to your mouth, but once you were actually eating it, it did not interfere at all with the umami.

For dessert, we shared a Grand Marnier chocolate soufflé with a side scoop of vanilla ice cream. Because the portion sizes on the appetizers were de­cent­ly satisfying, I was already very full by this point, so I don’t think I was able to enjoy the soufflé as much as I could have. The cream sauce they had was a little too sweet, but bites of just the soufflé and the ice cream together served as a refreshing conclusion to the meal.

Before paying for our meal and heading out, I snapped a photo of the bar area, which had some neat lighting and a nice arrangement of alcohol bottles.

Bread and butter $  0.00
Pork belly $ 12.00
Steak tartare $ 14.00
Lobster cigars $ 12.00
F1 Wagyu filet $ 58.00
Mac and cheese $ 12.00
Wood-fired octopus $ 14.00
Pig’s head terrine $ 14.00
Bone marrow carne $ 14.00
Chocolate soufflé $ 13.00
Ice cream $  3.00
Hot tea $  5.00
Sales tax (8.375%) $ 14.32
Gratuity (20%) $ 37.06
Total $222.38

Near the entrance of the restaurant, there was a shop that I didn’t notice when first com­ing in. We were there pretty late so the storefront was closed by the time we had finished our meal, but the area was still open, so I peeked inside to take a look.

There was a dry ager up against a wall that was in the process of preparing some meats; I’m always very intrigued by the entire concept of the dry ag­ing process, so I snapped a photo before I left.

We rotate covering our meals, and it was my turn this time around; the table to the right shows how much I paid.

Although it was a bit pricey, I think the ratio of val­ue to cost was pretty good. The only dish that was a huge miss was the lobster cigars.

Con­sid­er­ing how many different plates we or­dered, I’m sure they would’ve been hap­py to comp the lob­ster cigars if I had asked. However, I al­read­y have an issue of people no­ticing my cam­er­a, as­sum­ing I am a food re­view­er, and trying to give me special treat­ment, so I decided to stay qui­et and not draw attention to myself so that I could en­sure as neutral of an experience as pos­si­ble.

If a meal like this is within your price range, then this restaurant gets my recommendation. If you’re in the Las Vegas Valley but Henderson is a bit too far away from you, they have another location at Tivoli Village, and I would imagine they both have substantially similar offerings and quality.




Hello, Hanabi Sushi & Rolls in Las Vegas, Nevada

After a decently successful all-you-can-eat sushi experience about a week ago, I decided to find another one in a reasonable price range to try out and landed on Hanabi Sushi & Rolls on the northwest corner of West Sahara Avenue and South Fort Apache Road.

For my appetizer, I got soft shell crab tempura. It didn’t have as much crab meat as I would’ve hoped, but I still thought it was decent because it wasn’t over-fried and the sauce had a nice flavor to it.

Next up was some oysters. These were probably the worst oysters I’ve ever had from a restaurant in my entire life.

They were completely drenched in an extremely strong mixture of soy sauce and vinegar, so much so that there was no oyster flavor left and it was just shrivelingly intense saltiness and piercingly intense sourness shooting into my sinuses as if I had just taken a pure shot of a repulsive concoction of liquid smelling salts. To compound the problem, the oysters were extremely gritty, so it tasted like I was just biting into sand while my nose was falling off.

My next plate consisted of three limited specialty nigiri options, two pieces each per person: bluefin tuna, sweet shrimp, and Hokkaido scallops. As you can see from the photograph, I was accidentally served salmon instead of scallop. Regardless of the error, all six pieces of nigiri had high-quality fish and tasted good.

Right afterwards, my baked green mussels arrived. This was also a bit heavy on the sauce, but nowhere near as much as the oysters—the mussels were actually edible, and I could tell that I was actually eating mussels.

Next to arrive was the rock and roll, a no-rice roll with assorted sashimi wrapped in cucumber.

The fish quality was good, and I appreciated that the sauce was served on the side for this one so I could control the portion. Rock and roll usually isn’t served with a special sauce, and I never really found out what exactly this particular sauce was, but I lightly dipped my roll pieces and it definitely en­hanced the overall flavor.

As you might expect, I like to order dishes with more fish than rice to get better value for my money, so I got three miniature bowls of poke salad—salmon and octopus, as pictured below, as well as one with yellowtail, which isn’t pictured. The poke salads had a nice zest to them without over­pow­er­ing the fish; the flying fish roe on top also added a nice touch.

Next were four pieces of yellowtail nigiri and four pieces of squid nigiri. Both of these were great.

The portion size of the yellowtail was large compared to the amount of rice in the nigiri, and the yellowtail had a very strong and fresh flavor.

The squid was probably some of the best I’ve had. It’s tricky to describe the texture of squid nigiri to someone who hasn’t had it. The exterior is a bit firm; once you bite into it, it retains just enough firmness that there is a small amount of resistance against your bite, but it is still soft and tender enough that it is easy to chew. When first putting it in your mouth, you almost feel like it’s about to pop, but when you bite down, it doesn’t fully surrender to your teeth and still maintains its form. That description is what I would consider being “squid-ey,” and the squid from this restaurant was very “squid-ey” in a great way.

My next plate had three more “one order per person” dishes: sea urchin, salmon roe, and sea trout. Again, as you can see from the photograph, there was another error in my order and I didn’t receive sea trout. I’m not actually even sure what I received, but it was extremely fishy and had a strong ocean taste. It wasn’t bad though, and it added a bit of flavor variety to my lunch because I usually don’t order dishes that are so aggressively ocean-ey.

Uni is my all-time favorite food, and this uni did not disappoint. The seaweed holding the uni and rice in the gunkan together was a bit stronger than u­su­al in flavor, though it wasn’t so strong that it affected the ability of the uni flavor to shine through.

For dessert, I got some pineapple sorbet. The size of the scoop was generous, and it was fairly unremarkable—which to me, was a good thing. It was ex­act­ly what you’d expect from straightforward and good-quality pineapple sorbet without any oddities.

Similarly to the other all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant I went to a week ago, I showed up at an unusual time between lunch and dinner when it’s not that busy except for some delivery drivers showing up for pickup. I was the only customer in the restaurant throughout my entire meal, and consequently, I got great service.

Dinner all-you-can-eat  $ 33.95
Water  $  0.00
State and county sales tax (8.365%)  $  2.84
Gratuity  $ 10.00
Total  $ 46.79

The table to the right shows how much I paid.

I went before regular dinner time started, but I still paid the dinner price for all-you-can-eat so I could order the premium items that aren’t available at the discounted lunch price.

I’m a fan of omakase and other “chef’s choice” experiences, and when I go to a sushi res­tau­rant, I’m not too picky about choices and all I care about is eating great fish, so I didn’t mind the mistakes with regards to the wrong fish coming out on two occasions. However, they are still technically mistakes that should not have been made.

Excluding the oysters, I liked everything else, and this restaurant is definitely on my “recommend” list if you’re focusing more on nigiri. I noticed from some reviews online that people were dissatisfied at the pricing of this restaurant relative to its quality, but I disagree with them—I think their all-you-can-eat price is reasonable considering the ratio of fish to rice, the quality of the fish, and the available selection of premium fish options.




Hello, Super Sushi in Spring Valley, Las Vegas, Nevada

After a busy few weeks of traveling, helping a friend move into a new house, doing a long chain of work, and eating lots of fast food and at quick-serve res­tau­rants, I finally had an afternoon free to go visit and dine in at another all-you-can-eat sushi spot. Today, I decided on Super Sushi in Spring Valley, an un­in­corporated town in the Las Vegas Valley in Clark County, Nevada.

Upon my arrival, I was taken over to the back of the restaurant and seated at the bar. I’m not sure if this was just coincidence for today, or if I just picked an awk­ward time between lunch and dinner when it’s usually not busy, but I was literally the only person in the restaurant for the hour or so I was eat­ing, and the only other people stopping by were delivery drivers picking up orders.

I went with the all-you-can-eat menu. Because today is Sunday, I wasn’t able to take advantage of the discounted weekday lunch price. Super Sushi also has a premium upgrade where you can pay a little bit more to gain access to some pricier dishes as part of the all-you-can-eat experience.

For my appetizer, I started with some poke salad. The picture below makes it look smaller than it actually was because the bowl was shaped like a ladle, but the portion size was massive—and big portion sizes were a recurring theme across the board with menu items. You may think that portion sizes don’t ultimately matter for all-you-can-eat, but it did make a difference on multiple occasions.

The poke was fine, but the fish was much firmer than I would have hoped. I generally expect poke to be made out of the “scraps” of the fish’s flesh that can’t otherwise be used for nigiri or other cuts of sushi, so it’s not always guaranteed to be the highest-quality fish, but this was notably less tender than I’m used to.

Next was sashimi moriawase that had four pieces each of salmon, tuna, and yellowtail.

The salmon chunks were huge—so much so that, from the photograph, it looks like I got eight pieces instead of four because each one was split down the middle. The quality of the salmon was only a little bit better than the poke—it visually looked decently-marbled, but it was firmer than most other salmon sashimi I’ve had. The tuna had minimal fat and was basically what you’d expect cubed up in a poke bowl. The yellowtail was the best out of the three—it was much more tender and was com­parable to what I would hope for from good sashimi.

Remember how I mentioned earlier that the portion sizes of everything was way bigger than most other all-you-can-eat places? This is one situation where it actually mattered. All-you-can-eat restaurants usually try to fill you up with a lot of rice and have very few sashimi options that are vastly re­duced in size compared to the amount they give to à la carte customers. I noticed that Super Sushi does not do that—the amount of fish I got in the moriawase was very satisfying.

My next set of sushi was uni gunkan, ikura gunkan, and ama ebi nigiri topped with avocado. The salmon roe and sweet shrimp were both good.

The sea urchin… was incredible. It was very confusing to me that I had been eating fish of below average to decent quality up until that point, and then suddenly the sea urchin was top-tier. It had the melt-in-your-mouth buttery texture with a very strong sea urchin flavor and a very large portion size. Sea urchin was part of the premium upgrade, and I’d say the premium upgrade would’ve been worth it even if this sea urchin was the one and only item on the premium menu.

You know what was not worth it on the premium menu? Tonkatsu. This is another time when the portion sizes mattered, and for this one, it was for the worse—the fried pork belly was humongous. This was extremely filling, and an overwhelming majority of the mass of the tonkatsu wasn’t even pork belly, but instead, a thick fried crust.

If you also go to Super Sushi, I implore you, do not get the tonkatsu. It is absolutely not worth it.

I was looking forward to trying out a variety of nigiri on their menu, but by the end of the tonkatsu, I was pretty bloated. To wrap up my meal, I got two pieces of octopus nigiri and two pieces of escolar nigiri. The quality of the octopus was decent, but the escolar was a bit sub-par—again, it was a bit too firm and lacked the soft tenderness you usually get from super white tuna.

This is the final time the portion size matter came into play. Usually, all-you-can-eat restaurants will serve a lot of rice with the nigiri so diners will get full off the cheaper rice and they can cut costs by using less fish. Super Sushi does not do this, because the amount of rice for each piece of nigiri is rel­a­tively small, so the ratio of fish you get is actually extremely high for an all-you-can-eat restaurant.

For dessert, I ordered mango mochi ice cream.

All-day all-you-can-eat  $ 25.95
Premium all-you-can-eat upgrade  $  5.95
Diet Coke  $  2.50
State and county sales tax (8.38%)  $  2.88
Gratuity  $ 10.00
Total  $ 47.28

The table to the right shows how much I paid.

I tipped almost 30% because the service was impeccable. Of course, I wouldn’t really expect any­thing less considering that I was the one and only person in the restaurant, and the waiter probably literally had nothing else to do, but either way, he was very attentive to me through­out my meal and had perfect timing when I was ready to order my next round of dishes.

Because I’m someone who usually goes to very high-end sushi restaurants, the fish quality at Super Sushi was a little bit underwhelming, but to be clear, it wasn’t bad. The fish didn’t have a “fishy” taste, each fish had appropriately sufficient and proper flavor, and I didn’t get sick after the meal. If you’re someone who doesn’t have an ultra-refined taste when it comes to fish, I think Super Sushi would be a great place to try out. In fact, even if you are picky about fish quality, I think Super Sushi would still be worth it if you’re just looking for a really good-value sushi meal, considering the affordable price point.

I look forward to my next visit to Super Sushi, during which I will absolutely not order tonkatsu (or any fried food in general) so I can actually try out more of the nigiri.




Hello, Boom Bang Fine Foods & Cocktails in Henderson, Nevada

I’m about to go on a lengthy chain of back-to-back travel, so before I leave, I decided to meet up with a friend and get some food at Boom Bang Fine Foods & Cocktails in Henderson of the Las Vegas Valley in Nevada.

For my appetizer, I ordered the waitress’ recommendation of mushroom tart. Instead, I received wild Rhode Island squid and capers with a side of house­made tartar sauce and chipotle marinara. I like calamari so I didn’t mind the mix-up; when I let our waitress know, she said that the buttons for the ca­la­ma­ri and mushroom tart were right next to each other, so the wrong dish was put into the order. She offered to give me a complimentary mushroom tart for the error.

The calamari was decent. I liked the squid a lot, but the breading was a bit intense in some areas, and it was somewhat over-fried. My dinner companion is not much of a fish and seafood person, so I ended up finishing the entire plate on my own.

For his appetizer, my friend ordered corn dogs made from artisan frankfurter and Boom Bang’s “best batter ever,” with a side of ketchup and Boom Bang mustard sauce.

Shortly afterwards, my second appetizer came out—the complimentary mushroom tart that was previously promised. It came with wild and cultivated mushrooms, goat cheese mousse, and verjus. The mushrooms were great and the tart was nice and flakey, but the goat cheese smelled like vomit and made the whole dish pretty unpleasant. … I still finished the entire thing anyway, though I scraped off most of the cheese.

My friend ordered the daily special for his main entrée—14 oz. Cedar River ribeye with bordelaise sauce, truffled French fries, and roasted tomato.

For my entrée, I decided to do something a bit unusual—I decided to order the “small action” seafood plateau, which is usually ordered by a table as a shared platter of appetizers, but I instead chose to have it as my dinner. It came in a hilariously large plate, and everything was kept chilled atop a bed of ice.

First was some tuna tartare, seasoned with whiskey barrel-aged soy sauce, sesame, and avocado, and a side of baguette croutons. I found it funny that they called it tartare, as that is usually a term used for non-fish dishes. The tuna was exactly what I expected from good-quality tuna, but there was also noth­ing particularly stellar about it—it basically tasted like I was just eating a premium tuna poke bowl.

The plateau also came with Oiishi shrimp and a side of Mexican cocktail sauce. The shrimp was incredibly satisfying—it had lots of rich flavor, each one was very large, and its texture had just the right balance of tender and firm.

Third was hamachi aguachile seasoned and served with avocado, serrano, pickled red onion, and cilantro. Notably missing from my serving was the av­o­ca­do, which was instead substituted with cucumber. The yellowtail also did not actually resemble the flavor of yellowtail, though whatever fish it was, it tasted good. The dish as a whole was a bit too sour for my preference, but it wasn’t as overwhelming as other aguachile or ceviche dishes I’ve had.

And finally, a seafood platter would not be complete without oysters. I received half a dozen oysters, three of which were East Coast oysters. They tasted like normal, good oysters.

I also received three West Coast oysters, which were some of the best oysters I’ve ever had. The West Coast oysters had a mysteriously high intensity of deep, delicious oyster flavor, so much so that it was almost as if additional oyster flavoring had been injected into them. Each bite extracted more and more juices, repeatedly covering my tongue and replenishing the flavor until there was nothing left of the oysters but bolus. To be clear, I have had plenty of West Coast oysters before, and they weren’t all like this, so there were definitely something special about the ones from this restaurant.

Considering that I was getting a lot of seafood, I also ordered a side of truffle French fries to balance things out. I prefer my French fries to be a bit on the underfried and thicker side, but I still enjoyed these.

At this point, I had finished a full portion of two appetizers plus a large seafood platter and some fries, so I was pretty much at my limit for food. How­ever, my friend still had room for dessert, so he ordered pavlova with crisp meringue, Bavarian cream, and fresh berries. I tried one bite, and it was clean and refreshing; if I wasn’t so full, I would’ve definitely liked a serving of this.

Calamari  $  16.00
Corn dogs  $   9.00
Mushroom tart  $  15.00
Ribeye and truffle fries  $  69.00
Small action seafood plateau  $  56.00
Truffle French fries  $  12.00
Diet Coke  $   3.00
Pavlova  $  14.00
Manager’s comp –$  15.00
Tax (8.375%)  $  14.99
Gratuity (20%)  $  38.80
Total  $ 232.79

The chart to the right shows how much we paid.

One funny thing about this restaurant was that there was a DJ by the entrance playing very loud music the entire time we were there. It is absolutely not what I was expecting from a restaurant that advertises themselves as being fine dining… though maybe that is what the “boom bang” is sup­posed to represent? I was there to catch up with my friend, so after a lot of yelling over the music, I concluded my dinner with a sore throat.

I think the consistency and quality of the food was a bit scattered. There was nothing that was bad, but everything wasn’t excellent either. Some of the dishes were fairly average, and I sometimes don’t notice right away because of my desensitization to prices, but if I go back and think about it, there were a few things that made me think “I could get this exact same thing of the exact same quality at a different restaurant for less than half the price.”

If you’re someone who likes a more “youthful” and upbeat environment, I think you’d enjoy Boom Bang. However, if you’re looking for traditional fine dining, this restaurant might not have the type of experience that you’re looking for. I also think it could be worth it for the restaurant to do a quick review on pricing and ease a bit on the intensity of the fried foods.

As a disclaimer, note that I do not drink alcohol and did not try any of the cocktails—which I im­agine must be good, considering that they literally put “cocktails” in their restaurant name. If you like cocktails, wine, spirits, and champagne, they have a large drink menu, so you are probably closer to the target audience for Boom Bang and you may end up having a much more fulfilling experience than I did.




Hello, Jjanga Steak & Sushi in Las Vegas, Nevada

I go to a lot of high-end restaurants, and a lot of people seem to enjoy seeing what food is like at tasting menu, chef’s choice, and omakase restaurants, but I’ve also received a few requests to show some spots that are within a more reasonable price range. To fulfill that request, I made a quick lunch trip last week to Jjanga Steak & Sushi in the southwest suburbs of the Las Vegas Valley for some all-you-can-eat sushi.

They have two variants of their all-you-can-eat offering, a cheaper option for lunch and a slightly pricier option for an all day menu. The all day menu had a much broader selection that included many of my preferred sushi and seafood dishes, so I opted for the all day menu.

My first dish was amaebi topped with flying fish roe. It was a nice, thick, broad piece with a well-balanced amount of seasoning. It had the same juicy and satisfying tex­ture as you’d expect from high-quality sweet shrimp.

Each day of the week, they have a rotating special menu. I tried a bunch of items from their special menu, and the first item that came out was bulgogi inari. It was very average, and I liked it—it was pretty much exactly what you’d expect from bulgogi and rice with a bit of crispy onion at the top for tex­ture.

I also ordered a different beef dish, but I don’t remember what this was, as I can’t seem to find it on either the special nor the regular AYCE menu. It was almost as if it was a beef dumpling, but the fried crust was thicker and it was much creamier on the inside. This item was definitely leaning heavily towards the “steak” side of the “steak and sushi” coverage of the restaurant. I think this would’ve been a better entrée to eat as a closer to counteract a long chain of raw fish.

Next up was was salmon belly sashimi. As you can probably see from the photo, they put way too much screaming orgasm sauce (which is usually made with some mayonnaise, vinegar, fish sauce, and other sauces used in Japanese cuisine). I scraped a majority of it off—as much as possible without removing too much of the flying fish roe. Salmon belly is one of my favorite cuts of sushi, and I think this would’ve been much, much better if served without so much sauce.

Next up was an oyster. It was mysteriously disconnected from the shell, so I’m not sure if this is one of those situations where restaurants only use the shell for show and actually just put the oyster into an empty shell manually. Regardless, the oyster was very large and very flavorful.

After finishing my round of daily special menu items, I ordered a sashimi salad. The photo didn’t focus properly and didn’t come out too well, but I decided to post it anyway because I enjoyed the theme that this restaurant had of broad, thick pieces of shrimp.

I also got a screaming orgasm—the actual entrée, not just the sauce. It was strips of tuna sashimi topped with some flying fish roe (which, I discovered, they really enjoy using on many different dishes as a topping).

I was curious and wanted to try out a few more items from the grill side again, so I ordered a mini chicken katsu. The portion size was much, much larger than I expected, and I definitely regret ordering this because of how much sushi I could’ve had in its stead. The chicken quality was mediocre, it was slightly overcooked, and the breading was a bit excessive.

I also tried an octopus skewer. I thought it would come out raw, but it was deep fried instead. Again, it was larger than I expected, and again, it was fairly mediocre.

After eating all that fried food, I went back to some sushi. I had a lot more nigiri than is pictured here, but one of my favorite selections from this res­tau­rant was the escolar, commonly known as white tuna.

For dessert, I finished with a small piece of mango mochi.

Here is a breakdown of what I paid:

All-you-can-eat, all-day menu  $ 31.99
Tax (7.65%)  $  2.64
Gratuity (18%)  $  6.23
Total  $ 40.86

Overall, I’d say that I had a decently satisfying experience. If you also decide to pay a visit to Jjanga for all-you-can-eat and you like sushi, I highly rec­om­mend avoiding their grill menu and just sticking with their specials and sushi menu items to get maximum value for your money.