Hello Blue Basil Asian Cuisine!

Hello Blue Basil Asian Cuisine!

It’s a new year and time for new discoveries and new eats! Just right after the holidays, was the grand opening of a new Asian eatery in the South Bay! Located in Torrance, California is the brand new Blue Basil Asian Cuisine!

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I am a big fan of Asian eats and was intrigued to find this place offers a gigantic smorgasbord of Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and Thai dishes. They also have American and Italian food! Looking at the menu there just seemed to be something for everyone!

I came during lunch time with my mom and we started off our meal with an appetizer via their Vietnamese egg roll.

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Six crunchy pieces of Vietnamese egg rolls packed with meat and veggies was presented to us! I loved the wrapping that they used for the crispiness did not go away during the whole meal. It was fresh tasting all throughout. They were also very generous with the filling.

For our main courses, we chose to do their lunch special which is served with seamed rice and a daily soup. The soup of the day was a nice egg flower soup. It was good for a chilly day like today.

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The first of our lunch entrees was the Fried Chicken with Basil.

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An abundance of flavorful basil leaves was mixed in with tender pieces of chicken and red chiles for a delicious and slightly spicy stir-fry that was perfect on top of white rice.

Our other entree was the Beef with Vermicelli in Satay Sauce.

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Tender pieces of beef along with crunchy bell peppers and sweet pineapples were tossed on top of long, soft, silky vermicelli noodles. This noodle dish made for a light and tasty entree.

The deliciousness of this place does not end with their appetizers and entrees because equally impressive is their drink menu that consists of various milk teas, fresh fruit drinks and ice milk drinks. I chose to get a strawberry, pudding and boba ice milk drink.

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When my drink came out, I was happily surprised with the large concoction in front of me. The large drink consisted of sweet milk and lots of strawberry, pudding and boba inside. It was a perfect pairing to all the savory dishes we had above.

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Blue Basil Asian Cuisine is one nice addition to the South Bay! Offering a variety of Asian dishes, it is one place that every one can enjoy. I know that I will be back here for sure this year.

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Blue Basil Asian Cuisine.

Hello Mrs. A. Hanoi Pho!

Hello Mrs. A. Hanoi Pho!

Mrs. A. Hanoi Pho is a brand new restaurant in Torrance, CA specializing in Northern Vietnamese cuisine. In a city full of various restaurants, how does one differentiate itself from the others. Mrs. A. is one that clearly is out to show that they have what it takes to be impressive and different.

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Walking in, I was instantly impressed. The restaurant is very clean and nice. There are pretty pastel jade trees all over and beautiful circular lanterns hanging from above.

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One area of the restaurant has a flat screen tv showcasing all of the dishes offered by the restaurant.

Unlike other restaurants that has many offerings, Mrs. A only has five specialities. One being their pho, three dishes being rice dishes and one being a roll appetizer. The choice to only have five entrees can be seen as a testament to having the best quality of dishes. All of their foods are fresh made daily. There is no MSG and no artificial ingredients.

The waiter mentioned there most popular dish is the #2.) Mrs. A. Hanoi Pho. It is a pho done the Northern Vietnamese way. It consists of medium rare Angus beef in traditional Hanoi beef broth.

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I found this pho to be very interesting because unlike pho served at other restaurants, there were no bean sprouts served with it. According to the server, this is how pho is commonly served in Vietnam. I love how they didn’t go with the mainstream way of doing pho! Their version of pho is great! The noodles were fresh. The Angus beef was of good quality and lean. The broth tasty.

The second dish that I got to try here was  the #3. Mrs. A. Cube Steak. This dish consisted of Angus Beef Cube served with rice and vegetables.

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I liked this dish a lot! The Angus beef similar to the meat in the pho was of the best quality. It was tender and lean. It was well seasoned and I loved the sauce that it was marinated in. There was a sweet sauce that was on the side for dipping but the beef was perfect without it. The side vegetables was similar to a cole slaw.

The pho and beef dish are awesome but I have to say one of my favorite offerings was their black iced tea. This black iced tea is amazing! It tastes like Thai tea but without condensed milk. It’s perfectly sweet and refreshing. I’ve never had tea like this and this definitely has to be one of the best iced teas I’ve ever had.

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Mrs. A. Hanoi Pho is a wonderful addition to the South Bay.  It’s great that they decided to go with introducing Northern Vietnamese cuisine. Their offerings from the food to the drinks are different and delightful and sure to bring smiles to all who visit.

Fore more smiles, please read my Yelp review on Mrs. A. Hanoi Pho.

Hello Pho Consomme!

Hello Pho Consomme!

Happy New Year! It’s a new year and along with the new year comes new opportunities and new adventures. How perfect is it that for my first dinner out for 2015, I tried a place that Yelp has listed as “hot and new.” This place is Pho Consomme located in Torrance, CA. There are also two other locations in California, one in Gardena and the other in Rowland Heights. When I saw this place, newly opened, my adventurous foodie side got excited and I decided to try it out. 😉 New year, new foods to try!

Their menu is pretty extensive with the biggest focus on the pho, noodle soups. For my first time here though, I went outside the box and tried something different. My adventurous foodie side kicked in and for this particular dinner, I chose to split with friends one appetizer and one rice dish.

The appetizer of choice for the night was the Bi Cuon. Bi means “pork skin” while cuon refers to a “roll”. At Pho Consomme, instead of pork skin, they used shredded pork. The roll was filled with various vegetables such as cilantro, basil and mint. There was also vermicelli noodles inside. It came with two dipping sauces, one peanut sauce and one spicy red pepper sauce. This appetizer was a meal in itself. Stuffed and oozing with the all the ingredients, it was hard not to be full after eating this appetizer. I loved the freshness of the dish. The crisp vegetables inside were a nice touch. The dipping sauces gave a special extra flavor kick. The peanut sauce a slight sweet flavor while the spicy red pepper sauce was fiery and burning.
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The main entree of the night was Com Chien Consomme. It is the house special fried rice and had shrimp, chicken and beef. This dish was huge. There was plenty of flavorful, well seasoned fried rice and a good mix of shrimp, chicken and beef. It was my first time trying fried rice at a Vietnamese restaurant (once again, adventurous kitty was channeling in) and I did enjoy it. There’s a distinct flavor due to the mix of different ingredients. The beef and chicken were a little overcooked but overall It was a good and hearty rice dish.

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Overall, it was good first dinner out for 2015. I got to try a new place and eat something that is not commonly ordered at a pho place. A new year, a new restaurant and new foods = new smiles.

For more smiles, please se my recent, Yelp review on Pho Consomme.