Tag Archives: tacos

KOMEX FUSION: Gesundheit.

Note: I am on a bit of a Mexican food kick recently. Is this a problem? No? I thought so.

Fusion food gets a bad rap.  Well, good fusion food does.  Bad fusion food can go right to the garbage where it belongs.  I’m no expert on what makes Asian food authentic, but I know a good version of food when I see it.  Changing something just so you can say you changed it doesn’t make the food good or the ingredients cohesive.  The flavors still have to work well and you can’t jack up the price just because you put kimchi on a burger.  For those of you who want a menu full of delicious and familiar food options that are still new to you, welcome home to Komex.

komex korean fusion
racism.jpg

Komex is a super bare bones restaurant that looks like it might have opened a week ago.  It has a home cooking look and taste to it (in a good way) that is very hard to replicate.  You may get some less than homemade ingredients, but in a way… what could be more home cooking than that?  The savings are completely passed on to the customer, however, and this may be your cheapest meal in town during your visit.

It’s worth noting that fivethirtyeight.com did a bracket of the best burritos in the USA and included Komex in the competition.

BOOM FREE APPETIZER WITH THE MENUS.

komex korean fusion
I’m adequate!

Chips and salsa, the easy way.  Can’t complain here.

The menu is set up in a way that has all your classic Korean, Mexican and American food with fusion twists to them.  The specials menu is where a lot of the best stuff is, so make sure you check it out in addition to the staples.  This was a quick lunch with a friend, so we ordered a few things to share and a few to ourselves.

Value incarnate.

It’s hard not to order the fried wontons.  They’re nothing mindblowing and pretty basic, but at $1.50 for a plate of 5 they’re pretty much the cheapest appetizer you can get in any restaurant in town.  Hell, a restaurant I went to today charges $3 for a fried egg.  ONE EGG.  It’s cheap sweet and sour sauce served with them, but who cares.  Nom.

komex mexican fusion
MOAR TACOS

Bulgogi tacos are a thing and they have been sadly lacking in my world.  $2 a taco is a very fair price for such a thing that makes my life more than $2 worth of happy, and the bulgogi marinade goes extremely well with the salsas and toppings on the taco.  I also recommend the pork belly tacos, which are not even really fusion because everyone eats pork belly because IT’S AWESOME.

komex mexican fusion
EXHIBIT A FOR AWESOME

One of the specials I received word on was the PBBBLT which is a pork belly, bulgogi, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.  Bacon is technically pork belly already, but you know what?  I didn’t think of that at the time because I was too busy stuffing my face.  I attacked this thing like a starving man.  The toothpicks were almost ingested.  Yes, that’s toasted wonderbread and iceberg lettuce, two of the worst atrocities that have no business in a restaurant.  No, I don’t care.  Sometimes a sandwich just hits every nerve in your being and tells you that everything’s going to be okay.  And if it isn’t, GUESS WHAT, WAFFLE FRIES.  Of the sweet potato variety.  It’s like a hug from grandma, only grandma didn’t have spicy mayo on the side. (thanks for nothing, grandma)

This was basically the best possible version of a club sandwich and I totally recommend trying it on your visit (if it’s still on the specials).

All the above food was “the most expensive meal ever eaten at this restaurant” and we got out for $20 a person.  This should be in any local’s rotation and worth a trip from the strip for lunch.

Komex Fusion (two locations)

Buffalo & Flamingo
4155 S Buffalo Dr. #103,104
(702) 778-5566

Closed Mondays
Tue-Sat 11 am – 9 pm
Sun 11 am – 8 pm

633 N Decatur Blvd Suite H
Las Vegas, NV 89107
(702) 646-1612

Mon-Sat 11 am – 8 pm
Closed Sundays

CHILE VERDE MEXICAN GRILL: Fuel both your car and yourself.

There are a few jokes that are sure to get laughs, and a lot of them include making fun of the food at gas stations.  This is not one of those gas stations.

The man who runs Chile Verde (and the woman who I presume is his wife) at the Choice Sinclair gas station in the southwest of Las Vegas is probably one of the most hardworking people I’ve ever seen in a restaurant.  He’s there every moment of the day that the restaurant is open.  Taking orders, cleaning up, preparing food.  From 9 AM to 5 PM, 6 days a week.  This is the Terminator of mexican food.  He can’t be bargained with.  He can’t be reasoned with.  He doesn’t feel hungry.  Or sleepy.  Or sweaty.  And he absolutely WILL NOT STOP… until you are full.

chile verde mexican tacos
OH JESUS HE SPOTTED ME HELP

It has a fairly standard, somewhat too big a menu for such a small operation.  It’s all extremely well done, but the tacos are so good I think it’s a shame to go for anything else.  It’s the only place I’ve been to that rivals quality such as Taco Y Taco, but for a somehow even smaller price.  And the portions?

chile verde tacos mexican
FUHGEDDABOUTIT
chile verde mexican tacos
My hands are huge. I can palm a basketball.

Make sure you ask for their green sauce on the side.  They’ll give you a giant squeeze bottle of liquid gold.  I went for a similar order to what I had at Taco Y Taco; carnitas, carne asada, and adobada and they absolutely did not disappoint.  Because they were so stuffed with meat, they were definitely extremely messy eating at the counter but there’s something so viscerally satisfying about licking your fingers clean over such a meal.

It’s really hard to describe what exactly makes these tacos special.  It’s one of those situations where you just have to taste them to believe it.  But trust me, these are the kind of taco that dreams are made of.

Those 3 tacos were $8.25 altogether, which is worryingly cheap.  The food terminator wants me to tell you to come with him if you want to eat.

 

 

Chile Verde Mexican Grill

Inside the Choice Sinclair Gas Station

8095 S Rainbow Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89113
Open Monday-Sunday 9 AM to 5 PM

TACO Y TACO: Taco… why taco?

I am as white as they come.

Growing up in the rural midwest, my experiences with real Mexican food started late.  Those of you in SoCal (as the kids call it) will laugh at my inexperience with legit tacos.  I’ve only had the chance to get LA tacos on a few occasions and was absolutely blown away at how cheap and good they are.  That is why I am so happy Vegas has started to get some great options, the best of which seems to be Taco Y Taco.

taco y taco
With a kitchen as open as my mind.

This place is streamlined for high volume like you wouldn’t believe.  3 separate lines for tacos/vampiro/tostadas, each one with different meats.  I had to visit all 3 lines and 3 different people, which is kind of weird when I was the only person there at the time, but it took less than 90 seconds to get all the food.  There’s a huge salsa/sauce bar in the middle of the restaurant, and one man was very angry he was unable to take salsa home with him for free.

taco y taco
Actual candid photograph of the incident.

After having an insanely good vampiro (open faced taco on a crispy tortilla with cheese sauce) in my last LA trip I decided to get another one here and see how it measured up.  I ended up with a carne asada vampiro and cochinita pibil, al pastor, and carnitas tacos.

taco y taco
FEAST YOUR, UH, EVERYTHING
taco y taco
Vampiro sandwich.

I decided to only grab some extra limes from the salsa bar to see how they dress it when they ask “with everything?” and I respond with a reverent nod.  The answer:

taco y taco
DRAMATIZED RECREATION

Whereas the LA tacos I had came with basically just meat and tortilla and you were expected to sprinkle on your extras, the array of salsas and toppings for these tacos were such that they were an absolutely explosion of flavor in your mouth.  Tangy, acidic, crunchy onions and peppery cilantro.  The pork marinade and spices shone through extremely well and everything mixed together into this absolutely incredible few bites of happiness.

All of the above food and a drink came out to only $14, which for the size of the tacos (folding them up resulted in some of the filling to spill out, a problem rectified by me eating it anyway) is super reasonable.  Most mere humans would be completely satisfied by this amount of food.  The vampiro taco, with its two tortilla sandwich appearance, was incredibly messy to eat but even at $4 was a remarkable deal since the amount of filling seemed to be 2 or 3 times as much as each taco had.  The cheese seemed to be just melted cheese rather than a coherent sauce and the carne asada was clearly the weakest of the 4 meats I decided to try, but it was still delicious.

I feel like carne asada falls into the trap of being the “safe choice” for gringos at taco places and they don’t want to do too much to it because they know it’s going to sell extremely well no matter what, so I was disappointed that I chose that meat for the vampiro because I felt like it handicapped it.

I don’t like bias.  I rectified it.

taco y taco
THE BIAS KILLER

Pibil vampiro numero uno.

Go here yesterday.

Taco Y Taco

9470 S Eastern Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89123

3430 E Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89121

Open til 10PM on weekdays, 12AM or 2 AM on weekends depending on location.