Tamago Burger – furikake, teriyaki and wasabi mayo, finished with crispy onion strings and a fried egg
Jazz Fries – Togarashi-garlic fries with brown gravy and ‘crack sauce’
Barbeque Duck and Pork combo
Unknown to the reservations department at Caesars’ and inciting an “I don’t believe it is open yet” when I contacted The Linq concierge suffice it to say that the “Asian Nightmarket”-inspired F.A.M.E. quietly opened to the public on Friday and having stopped in to see the space then I returned the next day just after the doors opened at 11am to give it a taste, my seventy-minute visit curated by the expansive venue’s two owners while a young, energetic staff buzzed around explaining the concept to curious customers. Not only new but decidedly nontraditional in its format with several stations encompassing stir-fry, soups, dim-sum, BBQ, Thai, Korean, Chinese Take-Out, and the first stationary Fukuburger it should be expected that F.A.M.E. is not yet firing on all cylinders – Beard Papa, boba, in-house pastry, and Fochun upstairs coming soon – but with full meals unlikely to top $15/pp and hours extending to 2am the concept is already poised to make waves as nearly everything I tasted was quite good. Beginning first with a few bites of chicken – a trio of karaage, ‘bourban,’ and orange – I was immediately impressed by the crunchy sapor of the first while the last was a touch too sweet and moving next through a basket of juicy shumai my attention turned to the ‘truck,’ my first Fukuburger moist and rich even before being gilded with a slightly overcooked egg and punchy accoutrements. Rarely impressed by potatoes but finding the crispy ‘jazz’ fries quite addicting as I chatted with the team about the upcoming “art, music, and entertainment” it was just prior to noon when my final plate arrived and with both duck and pork crispy yet supple beneath a touch of acid-sweet sauce I immediately swooned, a $12 plate worth the drive from Spring Mountain to The Strip as opposed to the other way around.
THREE AND A HALF STARS (Tentative): As ambitious a concept as any on The Strip today it is somewhat difficult to ‘rate’ the concept of F.A.M.E. in its yet-complete state but assessing the premise and execution thus far along with the teams’ passion the potential is undoubtedly here to do great things. Still far from its promise of 120+ items available at any one time it will be interesting to see how the execution stands up but with shockingly low prices given the location it is relatively low risk to give it a look – and come back once the full project is realized.
RECOMMENDED: Barbeque Duck, Barbeque Pork, Jazz Fries
AVOID: Orange Chicken was too sweet and while I ‘get’ the Chinese Take-Out station it simply doesn’t strike me as anything better or worse than PF Changs; something I’m not wasting time or calories on regardless of locale.
TIP: With Nevada’s first Beard Papa opening soon the team is currently working to establish an in-house pastry program as well. Supposedly French leaning in a manner akin to Suzuya one can only hope the Asian inspiration may also give way to more traditional items like that at 85degrees…or perhaps Sin City’s first truly excellent egg-custard tart.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor