LA-based chef Roy Choi confirms that his very first restaurant in Las Vegas takes the name Best Friend when it opens in late December at the Park MGM. And staying true to his Instagram feed, he continues to dub the city “Los Vegas,” mixing his Los Angeles roots with his new Vegas home.
Choi plans to take the food he makes in Los Angeles and combine it all at the restaurant in Vegas. That means rice bowls from Chego, Korean fare from his former restaurant Pot, fast food from Locol, and dishes that originated on his Kogi food trucks make the menu. Think of it as a collection of best hits, only “remixed and remastered,” he tells Bloomberg. Choi also wants to serve an edited version of the menu late at night.
The core of the menu focuses on braising and barbecuing, as well as a tamarind cod with noodles and a braised spicy chicken from Korea.
Diners enter the restaurant through what Choi calls the Liquor Store, his nod to a bar. Snacks, fuzzy white bar stools, and, of course, Best Friend merch make an appearance here. The bar serves fuzzy navels and piña coladas, along with fresh-pressed juices and boozy yard sticks of cocktails. A video tunnel leads customers to the entrance to the restaurant.
Best Friend plans to open around the launch of Lady Gaga’s residency at the neighboring Park Theatre on Dec. 28.
He tells Bloomberg: “If I can crush it in Vegas, it opens doors that normally I wouldn’t be looking at, like Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, Korea.”