Saturday, December 13, 2008

Take a Bao

I had heard there was a bit of a buzz around the new food court restaurant in the Century City Westfield mall, Take a Bao, mostly good but some not so good. I was super skeptical because most fusion asian food places just disappoint me, and taste like Panda Express lite. Hey, I know everyone breaks down and gets a Panda craving every so often, but it's a case of lowered expectations - I walk through the doors of a Panda Express (not recently, believe me), and I already know I'm dooming myself to a rock in my stomach and a frown on my face...anyway, that's not THIS review, maybe another time when I want to torture myself!

So Take a Bao! It had been under construction for ages, and I admit it looks like they did a good job. Everything is nice, clean and new, the kitchen is exposed and the cooks were quickly cooking up orders as they were being taken. We placed our orders, I remember Owen getting a really tasty iced tea (I think their coffee and tea supply were from LAMILL, one day I will head there, I have been hearing some really great stuff about that place), and their buzzer that indicated that our food was ready had a really cute slogan on it - "Take a seat"...I think it said. It buzzed and we balanced the trays to our table. Maybe I should have gotten the baos, the namesake of the restaurant, but baos hold a special place in my heart, and I decided to go with...
Take a Bao's the Chinese Chicken Salad. This was surprisingly really tasty. The thing that made it was the light dressing, which wasn't too sweet and gave the right amount of tang to the greenery. The chicken was a bit bland, but with a bit of the dressing, it was miraculously saved. Magical dressing, perhaps?! Iceberg is something I avoid usually, but is perfect for Chinese Chicken salad. I kept catching myself picking up more and more of the salad. I'd get this again if I was feeling in a salad-y mood (a rare occurence, but sometimes it happens!)
Take a Bao
I had a weird craving for some chicken noodles, so that's what I ordered. What a mistake. The taste was so bland and the sauce here was the exact opposite of the Chinese chicken salad - it was thick, weird tasting and didn't really add the necessary flavor to the dish. The noodles were a lo mein type noodle, okay but again blander than heck. I know it was part of the presentation, but to have to mix the noodles myself were a bit tasking - the noodles were long and the sauce (the only source of unappealing flavor) was sitting on top of the noodles but below the toppings, so it was hard to coat everything. I would definitely not order this again.

Next time, I will muster up enough indifference to get the baos. Maybe I can get over my extreme caution and finally take the dang bao.

Take a Bao
10250 Santa Monica Blvd Los Angeles ca 90067
phone 310 551 1100

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