When you walk through the red plastic panels from Best Friend’s fun novelty shop loaded with candy, slushies and more and into the dining area of Best Friend, you’re transported to a dining room that is designed to give guests a glimpse of the Los Angeles hip hop scene Chef Roy Choi knows. Thankfully, if you’re vegan Best Friend at Park MGM has vegan options, and even more eats which can be tweaked to be vegan.
Choi, who started with his well-known Kogi BBQ taco truck in LA, has created a masterpiece with Best Friend. Once you’re inside the dining room, you’re treated to plants hanging from the ceiling, a constant track of hip hop courtesy of a DJ, and servers clad in track suits with the rest of the staff donning bucket hats and baggy khakis.
Don’t let the fact that the yellow binder which features a massive menu (plus throwbacks to Choi’s past throughout the pages) is meat-heavy lead you astray — there are plenty of vegan options at Best Friend.
Start your meal with the popular cucumbers and jjang featuring Persian cucumbers, soy bean chili paste and sesame, or the Los Vegas salad with mixed veggies and farmers market finds in a chili soy dressing. For something hot, tweak the tempura (simply hold the prawns). We dig the BBQ veggies with bok choy and long beans from the BBQ section.
No matter what you do, definitely check out the options touted under the L.A. SH*T category, specifically the eggplant schnitzel, a breaded eggplant served on a bed of gorgeous and rich dijon sauce (so. good.).
Also, order up the Commissary Carrots (no cotija) to your order, a throwback to Choi’s Commissary restaurant.
If you’re with friends, order up the cabbage and tofu hot spot (make sure to let them know you’re vegan for this one).
We weren’t kidding — there are a lot of options. Best Friend also offers vegan eats like the Best Fruit plate, spicy cold noodles (no egg), elotes (make sure to order it with chile and lime only), spicy ramen with tofu (again, specify vegan), plus veggies like broccoli, spinach, sprouts and sides including fries, rice and wok veggies.
While the best dessert you can hope for is a plate of fruit, that shouldn’t deter you; the vibe and the main eats are what makes Best Friend the spot you’ll want to hit up repeatedly on The Strip.
Park MGM, 3370 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, 89109; 702-730-7777; 5 p.m. – midnight
Diana Edelman is the founder of Vegans, Baby. She previously lived and worked in Thailand where she spent years working for an elephant sanctuary and has traveled around the world speaking about the realities of elephant tourism. She is a public speaker who has appeared at SEED Food + Wine, VegFest Puerto Rico, VegFest Toronto and more, a journalist and entrepreneur. Diana is also behind the Vegas Vegan Dinners at James Beard Foundation’s James Beard House.