Pechanga Resort & Casino, the state’s largest resort/casino, recently unveiled its brand new, multimillion dollar renovation of its hotel lobby, two restaurants and the addition of two more dining outlets. To showcase the timeless and elegant spaces, resort officials invited members of the press for a one-day event in which they met key resort leaders, toured the newly transformed areas, experienced the food of acclaimed Asian chefs and met with resort ambassadors versed in various languages and cultures. Also on the agenda for the day was getting to see the cultural and festive decorations put up around the resort/casino in celebration of Lunar New Year. In all, about 100 Asian media attended the event in early February.
Guests coming to Pechanga Resort & Casino following the unveiling of its major renovation will find a completely transformed Asian restaurant, Blazing Noodles. Internationally traveled chef, Chung-Ming “Borgie” Kwong, has been welcomed by Pechanga and has taken over the kitchen of the drastically different-looking restaurant. Having worked most recently as the chef de cuisine at an acclaimed Asian restaurant at one of Atlantic City’s best known resorts, and going through the harrowing Hurricane Sandy, Chef Chung-Ming Kwong says he is happy to be working once again on the west coast. With more than 25 years of culinary experience, he has designed a brand new menu for Blazing Noodles that veers more heavily toward traditional Chinese fare, but walks the line between authentic and Western appeal.
“I wanted to give guests dishes they would not be able to find anywhere else in the region,” says Chef Kwong. “Some of my more authentic items I consider signature pieces. Visitors would have to go to areas in Los Angeles or San Francisco to be able to enjoy these ingredients and flavors.”
Items such as Roasted Duck Noodle Soup, Oxtail with Red Wine Sauce, Poached Duck Wings, Duck Tongue, Tofu and Pork Belly grace the menu. But for diners who enjoy a more western form of Asian cuisine, the menu is balanced with selections such as the very recognizable Orange Chicken, Chinese Beef Broccoli, Pad Thai, Fried Rice and more.
Chef Kwong emigrated from Hong Kong in 1987 at the age of 15 and unwittingly began his culinary career working at his parents’ restaurant in Carson City, Nevada. He worked his way up through the ranks of the kitchen, gaining practical knowledge of the business. In his early 20s, he landed his first management job at a local grocery store. The big city later beckoned and he moved to San Francisco where he worked as head chef for a number of dining establishments and with Bon Appétit Management. He later moved back to the Reno/Tahoe area to open and become the head chef for a successful Asian bistro, though five years later, he was recruited by restaurant giant PF Chang’s to manage the opening of several of their outlets in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was later sought out for his outstanding culinary skills by one of the downtown Las Vegas resorts, and later transferred to their Atlantic City locale.
Located inside California’s largest resort/casino, the Blazing Noodles is open for lunch and dinner every day. Monday through Thursday the restaurant is open from 11:30a.m. to 11:00p.m, Fridays from 11:30a.m. to 1:00a.m., Saturdays from 10:00a.m. to 1:00a.m. and Sundays from 10:00a.m. to 11:00p.m. For more information, visit www.Pechanga.com/dining.