Taste your Asia four ways

LEO’s Eats with LouisvilleHotBytes

Speaking of new ethnic arrivals in spaces formerly occupied by other restaurants, A Taste of Asia has landed in the shopping-center space formerly occupied by Tony Boombozz’s North Hurstbourne quarters before Boombozz moved to Westport Village.

The name fits the fare: A Taste of Asia’s short but appetizing menu covers four nations: Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and China. The venue, half of the old Boombozz facilities, is now a long, narrow room with an attractive fireplace-and-sofa sitting nook, a serving station where you place your order, and a combination of black four-top tables, tall bar tables and a short banquette.

Starters and salads range from $3.99 (for six potstickers) to $4.59 (for salads, lettuce wraps, chicken satay or a four-piece order of egg rolls). Thai and Vietnamese dinner-size soups are $6.99; nine choices of sushi roll range from $6.99 (for California roll and several others) to $9.99 (for soft-shell crab “spider roll” or the impressive multi-fish rainbow roll). Want a stir-fry? Choose one from Column A and one from Column B to mix up your choice of chicken or beef ($6.99), shrimp or salmon ($7.99) with veggies and steamed or fried rice or lo mein noodles.

The California roll ($6.99) consisted of eight pieces with real crab, not the usual crab “shapes” rolled in with carrot and cucumber. The menu mentioned avocado, but I didn’t see it. Still, it was good, presented on a swash of sweet-hot sauce piquant enough to get my attention. I didn’t mind, but it’s an odd thing to find peppery fire on a plate of California rolls. Heat-haters, be warned.

Thai Tom Khan Gai soup was both sweet and savory: A gently spicy coconut milk soup scented with galangal (akin to ginger), lemongrass and fresh cilantro filled a large bowl, with tidbits of mushroom and tender white chicken meat. It was delicious but made a rather liquid meal, so Mary supplemented it with a bowl of rice (no extra charge).

I put together a shrimp stir-fry ($7.99), a steaming bowl of small, tender shrimp tossed with broccoli, carrot shreds, red and green bell peppers, water chestnuts and mushrooms in a spicy, sweet-hot sauce over steamed rice.

With iced water and hot green tea, dinner for two, which really could have served three, came to $24.97, plus a $5 tip. (By the way, if you plan to use a credit card, be sure to bring along a little cash to take care of the friendly staff: The credit card signature slip contains no tip line.)

Taste of Asia
2809 N. Hurstbourne Pkwy., Suite 101
Robin Garr’s rating: 81 points