If breaded balls of bacon mac and cheese, and brioche buns dusted with edible gold, and multi-story burgers listing beneath their own weight are working for you, why would you ever change?

You would not. Let others kowtow to culinary minimalism. For you, excess breeds success.

And so the new Slater’s 50/50 that just opened at 7511 W. Lake Mead Blvd. near Summerlin, the second location for the restaurant, will follow the original in offering a menu of overstuffed dishes, a menu heedless of calories and promiscuous with bacon.

“Our food is designed to be indulgent,” said owner Andy Kao. “It’s all cheat day.”

A burger with a side of bubbles

The first Slater’s, on East Silverado Ranch Boulevard, debuted in July 2018. The restaurant gained wider attention when its Whale Burger (named for gaming high-rollers) took a star turn in July 2021 on “Fresh, Fried and Crispy,” then a new Netflix show.

The whale, a Brobdingnagian lollapalooza layering a fried lobster tail, a pound of American wagyu beef, thickly sliced ​​bacon bedazzled with gold, truffled cheese, arugula, bacon jam, swipes of roasted garlic aïoli and those gold brioche buns, fetched $ 100 and came with a split of Veuve Clicquot.

“We were buying lobster by the case. We were buying Champagne by the pallet, ”Kao said of the rush following the broadcast.

The Whale Burger (now with a sidecar of Moët instead of Veuve) appears on the menu at the latest Slater’s. But you can’t just tell the server you want one. To order, you must scan the QR code embedded in the whale mosaic on one wall to launch the whale website.

Smashing, then biting

Slater’s location near Summerlin, chosen to be closer to west valley customers, offers many other signature avenues for caloric immoderation.

A 24K Burger is like the whale without the lobster. A patty of 50 percent Angus beef and 50 percent ground bacon (a ratio that gives the restaurant its name) joins a full Angus patty, buttermilk fried chicken, American and jack cheeses, pickled red onions, slaw and kicky Tapatio ranch on brioche for the Farmhouse Party Burger.

One afternoon, a server measures the burger: It rises a jaw-unhinging 5 inches. To tackle the Farmhouse (or any Slater’s burger), Kao recommended people “smash it down as much as you can, then take a bite.”

Crisp pork belly and house pimiento cheese confer a Southern twist on a grilled cheese sandwich. Brussels sprouts are deep fried, then tossed with vinaigrette, Parmesan and, yes, bacon. “It makes you feel healthy – just don’t think too much about the bacon,” Kao said, laughing.

Vampire Dip, so-called because it’s lashed with garlic, arrives thick and warm in a bread bowl. The Vampire Dip is mostly mozzarella, with a nutty bite of Parmesan.

Giving up gaming, for restaurants

Kao comes late to restaurateuring. He graduated from hotel school at UNLV and business school at the University of Southern California; for 20 years, he worked in gaming finance.

“I was not a food person before this,” he said. “Everybody told me, ‘Just don’t go into restaurants. They are hard and long and the margins are tight. ‘ “

But after a 2017 visit to a Slater’s in Southern California (the small restaurant group has nine spots), Kao could not stop thinking about the food, or the family-friendly niche the restaurant occupied between fast-casual and high-end dining.

For a couple of years, after he and co-owner and wife, Cindy Sun, opened the first Slater’s, Kao worked his gaming and restaurant jobs, “until I could no longer reasonably do both. I hated to give gaming up, but the day came when I had to pick one. “

And he picked bacon.

Contact Johnathan L. Wright at jwright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ItsJLW on Twitter.

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