You won’t find any red walls or golden dragons at Bamboo, the new $2.4 million Asian restaurant to open to the public Thursday at Pechanga Resort & Casino.
The 134-seat, 5,500-square-foot restaurant providing Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese fare has a “light, casual, yet elegant” feel with a neutral color scheme – a departure from Asian restaurants of old, said Pechanga’s Vice President of Food and Beverage Dennis Khanh.
Some minimal Asian artifacts and large accent murals help focus the full-service Asian restaurant amid its modern décor. And an all-lowercase title in a cool-green tone welcomes patrons to the dining venue, designed by Yates-Silverman, Inc., who also designed the casino’s floor, hotel lobby and award-winning golf clubhouse.
According to Pechanga’s Public Relations Manager Robert Bledsoe, Bamboo is the first restaurant since November 2008 to be opened inside the fifth largest casino in the world. It employs a staff of 51, and construction took only 90 days.
“It came in under budget and on time,” Khanh said.
Bledsoe said the idea for the restaurant came from “realizing the need for a more authentic Asian dining experience.”
He said it also will serve as a nice invitation to southern California’s large Asian population from Orange County and Los Angeles.
The newest restaurant differs from the casino’s other Asian restaurant, Blazing Noodles, because the more fast-paced restaurant focuses on authentic noodle dishes served in their “national style.”
Blazing Noodles, rather, has a full-fledged menu of appetizers, soups, salads and various entrees.
Helmed by head chef Vincent Cheng, Bamboo features dishes priced between $7 and $15.
In October or early November, the restaurant will offer full tableside service in its “Bamboo Pit,” or gaming area geared toward the Asian population. Lovingly nicknamed the “Asian Pit,” the area features Pai Gow poker and Baccarat.
It will be the first time gaming has been incorporated into the design of a restaurant at the casino.
California’s largest casino, Pechanga also is the largest casino in the Western U.S. at 188,000 square feet, besting the largest Las Vegas casino, the MGM Grand, by 16,500 square feet.
Hours of the new restaurant are 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. daily starting Thursday.