“Kobe was a big idol of mine growing up.”
Cody Tomboli certainly isn’t the only Las Vegan who feels that way. But as the owner of the Bar Code Burger Bar sports bar on East Flamingo Road, he’s in a position to honor his hero in a way that few others can: with a tribute burger. And he’s packed it with references to the NBA legend.
Known simply as The Kobe, it starts with 8 ounces of “kobe” (technically, American Wagyu) beef, in recognition of the first number Bryant wore as a Laker. The cheese on the burger is goat — a nod to the acronym G.O.A.T. — “greatest of all time.” Other toppings include purple caramelized onions and yellow roasted tomatoes, in honor of the Lakers’ colors. And it’s accompanied by five onion rings, a nod to the star’s five championship rings. There’s also some roasted garlic aioli, which he’s calling “Mamba sauce.”
Tomboli says he considered pricing it at $24, to honor Bryant’s later jersey number, but decided to keep it a bit more affordable. Instead, he’s promising to donate 24% of the $19.95 price to the funds set up to aid the victims of the helicopter crash that killed Bryant, his daughter Gigi, and seven others. Fundraising isn’t his main objective, however.
“He touched a lot of people, and I just really wanted to do something to honor him,” he explains.
The Kobe will be available at Bar Code Burger Bar through the end of February.