Category Archives: Pacific Rim & Other Asian

Ramen Inochi offers a fine, warming noodle bowl

Thoughts upon dining at the amiable new Ramen Inochi, latest in the city’s growing circle of Asian soup eateries: If you’re ever in the mood to start a foodie fight, ask your friends whether ramen or pho is better. I tried this on Facebook and Twitter the other day and had three dozen arguments going by lunch.

But you don’t have to be a social media troll to love these traditional Asian soups, and Louisville clearly knows this. In the past few years we’ve seen a mini-tsunami of restaurants that specialize in these memorable soups.

So what’s the difference between ramen and pho, anyway? Continue reading Ramen Inochi offers a fine, warming noodle bowl

Mai’s Thai still delivers the flavor

Some of you young’uns may not believe this, but there was a time, not all that long ago, when there was not a single Thai restaurant in the Louisville area. We might have read about the stuff, or even, if we were lucky, tasted it in trips to more sophisticated cities or to the Far East. Continue reading Mai’s Thai still delivers the flavor

Dragon King’s Daughter achieves enlightenment

The dragon king’s daughter, ancient Buddhist tradition tells us, was an eight-year-old female dragon who became the first woman ever to reach enlightenment. Female, young, in the form of an animal? It seemed impossible for such a creature to attain Buddhahood – and yet she did it.

There could be no more appropriate spirit animal for Toki Masabuchi, proprietor of the popular Dragon King’s Daughter restaurants on Bardstown Road and in Southern Indiana. We crossed the river recently to check out its new, larger location on New Albany’s Market Street. Continue reading Dragon King’s Daughter achieves enlightenment

Ikebana fills long-vacant Red Pepper space

I still mourn the 2010 departure of Red Pepper, Louisville’s best Chinese restaurant ever. As good as it was, Red Pepper owner Yuan Hua told me when it closed, the combination of a $5,000 monthly lease payment and a respected Sichuan chef who required fair payment for his skills, sent it on to restaurant Nirvana after a short, bright two-year tenure.

Now, eight years later, the exotic-looking building on Lower Brownsboro is lighted up again: Ikebana Japanese Restaurant & Sushi has come to fill the space. Continue reading Ikebana fills long-vacant Red Pepper space

Tandoori Fusion masters the science of fusion

When I first heard about Tandoori Fusion, the new Indian restaurant way out in the East End across the way from Costco, my imagination leapt up. I know that the tandoor, the iconic Indian clay oven, can reach temperatures upward of 900ºF, a searing fire that does something magical to meats and flatbreads too.

But Tandoori Fusion? Can these people possibly have mustered nuclear fusion, the fierce energy that lights up H-bombs and the Sun itself? Crazy! That would make some remarkable tandoori food, all right, and it would be wicked fast.

Nope. Continue reading Tandoori Fusion masters the science of fusion

Ngon Appétit — worlds of delicious II

I’m afraid LEO Weekly’s Taste Bud writer, Kevin Gibson, who wrote fondly of Sam’s Hot Dog stand on Lower Brownsboro in 2015, is going to be sorry to learn that Sam’s has gone away. I expect his regret will be tempered, though, as it is for us all, by the recent arrival of Ngon Appétit, successor to the late and lamented Four Sisters, serving up Vietnamese-French crêpes, banh mi, and a worthy pho. Continue reading Ngon Appétit — worlds of delicious II