Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mother's Grill - Chinatown, Las Vegas

Yes, Las Vegas has a Chinatown. And they have a website. So, if you know me, you know that I absofuckinglutely looooove Chinese food. Especially Springfield-style cashew chicken. Yeah, that's right, we created that deliciousness in SW Missouri. But, I digress. So, when I'm in the US, I have to try to have American Chinese food at least once. So, while taking a taxi back to my hotel one afternoon, I asked my taxi driver, who was Asian incidentally, "So, can you recommend any good Chinese restaurants around here?" And because I didn't want to seem racist, I hastily added, "Or Mexican restaurants?" The nice fella informed me that there was a Chinatown located maybe a mile behind my hotel, recommended a restaurant to check out there, and told me they had a website I could look up to get directions and such.

So, I browsed around the web site and decided that I would take Doug there after he arrived one night for dinner. Who would've thought we'd have a Chinatown nearby? Now, our getting there was an adventure, which I will tell you about now. Apparently I'm shit at telling directions outside of Missouri. I think Korea has broken my internal compass. So, my directions from the hotel to Chinatown said to turn 'x' direction on Spring Mountain Rd...Spring Mountain Rd curves around my hotel, so I had no clue which direction was which, so I panicked and turned the wrong way. Of course. So, we drove the wrong way for a bit looking for a place to turn around and head back the other way with the idea to take a cross road back over to Spring Mountain Rd. Nope. We end up on a highway type road. Shit. I pull us off on a road name that I recognize and kind of head towards what I hope will be a road that can take us back to where we want to be. If not, we'd just stop somewhere random and eat since we had tickets to see Penn & Teller later that evening. Finally, I say to Doug, "Ok, the next light we'll turn left and see where it takes us." We turn left, and I see Hangul (Korean) on a building, then Chinese characters. Doug and I look at each other in startled disbelief - I had somehow bungled us directly into Chinatown! Moral of the story - buy a damn compass.

This is the only non-blurry pic...

We look around at our options, and I inform Doug that we're having Korean BBQ. Since he won't visit me in Korea, I'll bring a bit of Korea to him.
Yes, he is using a fork. The boy can't use chopsticks to save his life.

We ended up going to a place called Mother's Grill. It wasn't bad and it was reasonably priced, I think.
A few of the meat options

There were a few issues I had while trying to order our food. We waited for several minutes for the guy to bring the meat out for us to cook, but apparently since we only ordered 1 order of meat, they were going to cook it in the back and bring it out. A minute later, he comes out with the raw meat and tells me that they hadn't started it yet and turns on our grill so we can cook it ourselves - very nice of him :)
The meaty meat

So, then, since I'm apparently the demanding kind, I asked him if we can have some sesame leaves for the meat. He said that for the type of meat we ordered, the salad was the base for it. I wasn't happy with that since a lot of the leaves in the "salad" were bitter and I wanted sesame leaves, dammit. So I then asked him, "Well, can I purchase some sesame leaves on the side?" He looked kind of surprised and said, "Oh, well, yes. Give me a second." A few minutes later he comes back out carrying a small plate and looking kind of sheepish, "I'm sorry, the leaves are very small, so I'm not going to charge you for them." They were tiny. It was pretty comical to hold up a leaf half the size of my palm - I didn't take pictures of them, my bad. I think I ended up kind of sandwiching the meat between two leaves for most of it.

So, that was our Korean BBQ adventure in Las Vegas. It was no Hwasarang and not as good as the BBQ in Korea, but if you've never been to Korea, then you won't know the difference :) There are a lot of restaurants in Chinatown to choose from: Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese... So if you want to get off The Strip for a bit, I definitely recommend checking the area out!

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