Category Archives: Pacific Rim & Other Asian

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

Indian at Himalayan makes us happy

I can’t think of a better way to get my attention than to tell me about a new eatery that serves world cuisine. Clue me in, and I’ll be there before you can drop a Salvadorian pupusa. Heck, even another Thai, Korean, Indian or Mexican joint will get my motor running.

So when I learned that a new Indian place, Himalayan Restaurant, had opened on Bardstown Road at virtually the same time as El Taco Luchador launched its new St. Matthews branch, I started spinning like a falling cat with buttered toast strapped to his back. Continue reading Indian at Himalayan makes us happy

However you say it, Pho Cafe offers year-round delight

Mmm, it’s in the ‘90s again. Wouldn’t it be great to go get some steaming hot soup? How about a big bowl of pho from Pho Cafe!

No matter how much a hot bowl of creamy chowder says “winter” to you, think about the Vietnamese, and all the other nationalities that ring Asia’s tropical southeastern edge, where hot soup is a main meal, people understand that hot soup cools you off. Continue reading However you say it, Pho Cafe offers year-round delight