|Sweating summer away - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
Which is why it's always number one on my list to visit Aloha Specialties to get their amazing kimchee saimin, on the second floor of the California Hotel in downtown Las Vegas. Their menu is all local Hawaii food prepared the way people like it -- ono kine grindz with immense portions. Their kimchee saimin is no different, you could easily jump into the bowl and swim a few laps before the spicy heat reduced you to a withered nub. I had the benefit of getting there earlier in the day, so there were more tasty slices of beef, tofu and kimchee chunks swimming about, plus the broth just tasted more hearty with that peppery beef flavor -- it was probably the best bowl yet. I sweated off a layer of skin and smiled with delight at the vanquishing of this spicy hellbeast. It's an adventure to brave that part of Ye Olde Vegas. About the only thing Downtown has over the semi-gentrified Strip is the quotient of scary drunks and cracked-out bums, aka, The Real Las Vegas, but I did notice a new zipline "ride" that you can take which spans the length of the covered Fremont Street. No thanks, I'll take my deep fried Twinkies and creep away with what's left of my dignity. However, I'm not going to lie, I was disappointed I missed Night Ranger.
|The heat is on, as is Night Ranger - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
I was making this soup quite literally by the seat of my pants, as I'd never made kimchee soup before. I'd had versions of it as a stew, fried rice or saimin, but not like this. The devil-may-care attitude towards cooking was rewarded, as the soup turned out totally delicious, getting better like a stew as the flavors concentrated every day. Sweet potatoes added a slight sugary bite to combat the salty spiced broth. Even if it wasn't exactly like the saimin at Aloha Specialties, it curbed a major craving. Asian cuisine is actually quite basic and the strong flavored sauces tend to rely on the same ingredients like vinegar, soy, garlic and ginger to really punch those tastebuds in the kisser. If loving spicy food in the middle of summer is wrong, I don't want to be right. I also know it'll probably be Instant Rainy Season soon enough, and something like this will totally hit the spot.