Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Rate-A-Restaurant #276: Take a Bao
Restaurant: Take a Bao
Location: 10250 Santa Monica Blvd. -- Westfield Century City (Century City)
Type of restaurant: Modern Asian
We stipulated: Maria and the boys were dropping by Century City to see me after work, so we decided to keep dinner simple and hit the Westfield Century City food court. (Where I'm grabbing food virtually every day.)
They stipulated: "Bao has always been our favorite part of Dim Sum. We’ve given it a twist by rolling it flat and filling it with fresh, quality ingredients, local produce and all natural meat... Dishes from all across Asia inspired us, and we’ve melded them with our American tastes and French technique, so we’re a serious melting pot of world flavors. Which is why we can’t claim that our food is authentic. And we’re okay with that."
What we ordered: Bao (2 for $10, plus salad): Spicy Sesame Citrus Chicken (red chili & citrus glazed crispy chicken breast, pickled carrots, radish sprouts, scallions, sesame seeds) and Original BBQ Pork (Hoisin braised bbq pork, pickled red onion, pea shoots, marinated cucumbers). For the kids, a teriyaki rice bowl ($10) (served with sautéed broccoli, caramelized shiitake mushrooms, housemade pickled vegetables, scallions, sesame seeds)
High point: The spicy chicken bao had a nice flavor to it.
Low point: The BBQ pork bao, which I was excited about (and gave off a bit of a Momofuku vibe) was kinda disappointing. On subsequent visits I've also enjoyed the crispy panko crusted fish bao, although it costs 50 cents more for some reason.
Overall impression: A little too much food and a bit too pricey if you're getting lunch on your own. (Two buns plus a salad is actually a good deal at $10, but it's an awkward amount for one. You end up eating it all and then feeling bad about it.) On the flip side, it's not quite enough food for two people.
Chance we'll go back: It's not a spot I normally visit at the Century City food court for that very reason. But every once in a while I get a craving for a bao.