KGB: Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers slides great flavor into every bite
By Brock Radke
Photos by Peter Harasty
Celebrity kitchen star Kerry Simon—once dubbed the “rock ’n’ roll chef” by Rolling Stone magazine—has been cooking up delicious fun in Sin City since he first came to town to work at Bellagio almost 15 years ago. His namesake restaurants, initially at the Hard Rock Hotel and now located at Palms Place, are known and loved by locals and visitors alike for their uncompromisingly vibrant cuisine and sexy scenery.
At Harrah’s, Simon is getting down to the business of burgers. It makes perfect sense that the chef who once won “Battle Hamburger” on Iron Chef America would create a casual, upbeat eatery that focuses on this most American of meals. But with this chef, there’s always a twist or two. KGB: Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers features a wildly creative menu that elevates standard bar food to new levels of excitement, all under one cool and kitschy roof. Colorful comic book-style graphics based on ’60s Russian posters set the tone for this bustling, industrial space, a lively lunch spot or laid-back dinner with friends, in the heart of Harrah’s. Following the playful theme, it’s vodka time at KGB: sharp martinis and whimsical cocktails like the Double Agent (Grey Goose L’Orange with melon and peach liqueurs) will get you in the right mood. And don’t worry, there’s a great selection of beer and wine, too.
As is the case with any of the gourmet burger palaces dotting the Las Vegas Strip, you can always build your own. Here at KGB, the topping options offer more variety than most. Want to get a little cheesy? They’ve got everything from gouda to pepper jack. A fan of fresh fruits and veggies? How about pea sprouts or sliced apples? Sauces run the gamut from sun-dried tomato mayo to Thanksgiving-style turkey gravy. If you’re feeling crazy, there’s grilled pineapple, fried mac and cheese sticks, even popcorn shrimp. Go nuts. (There are no nuts, though.)
We recommend, and Simon says, trying one of the signature burgers, each artfully composed to reach ultimate flavor excellence. The Orchard turkey burger offers apples, red onion, Brie cheese and maple mayo on a wheat bun, a unique and festive bite. The Southwest burger starts with a juicy all-beef patty on a jalapeño-cheddar bun, augmented with lime-marinated peppers and onions, avocado, cilantro, pico de gallo and pepper jack cheese. This one will bite you back. There are also well-designed buffalo chicken, grilled salmon filet and lamb burgers, each served with—what else?—crispy french fries.
Simon is known for his love of snacks and desserts, and KGB doesn’t disappoint in those areas. Before you get to the burger, indulge in a Vietnamese-influenced ahi tuna tartare roll, with soy ginger vinaigrette, fried dill pickles or grilled shishito peppers. If you’re looking for something to share, look no further than waffle fry nachos, criss-cut potatoes with cheddar cheese sauce, Sloppy Joe-style meat and fresh jalapeños, or hearty chicken tacos in roti bread. See? Lots of fun. Save stomach space for a Captain Crunch shake, an orange Creamsicle float, or the ridiculous banana split nachos. At some point, you might be having as much fun as Simon is.
11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat. 702.369.5065