Tag Archives: asian food

Best Thai in Boulder: Aloy Thai

Instead of getting Chinese take-outs growing up, we always got Thai. And I am oh-so-happy for that! It’s rare that I’m not in a mood for Thai food. I just love all the deep flavors right along with that spark of zest at the end. And because we grew up having it as take-outs, it reminds me of home in a weird way. We’ve tried a lot of the Thai places in Boulder and finally we took a friend’s advice to go to Aloy Thaiand I’m so glad we did! The combination of a great price and awesome taste knocks it out of the park.

Aloy Thai Cuisine

Let’s start with the dishes. The first time we came here was after a gym session (surprise, surprise), and I wasn’t feeling so hot. Everyone at work was sick around me, and I wanted to burn anything out! When we would get sniffly or sick as a kid, instead of chicken noodle soup, my dad would go get us Tom Yum Soup, a spicy Thai soup. It is so delicious and has that kick that will make your nose run. So you know I went there and ordered a huge bowl of Tom Yum Noodle Soup with Tofu. Serving was so big I had a full lunch of it tomorrow. Chris got the pineapple fried rice with chicken and he devoured it with a big smile on his face. And he got it a second time when we came back! I got the Pad Thai the second time. It wasn’t spectacular, but it was still good. We also have gotten the vegetable fresh spring rolls numerous times and love them–so fresh and we nearly drink the peanut sauce that goes with it.

Veggie fresh spring rolls!

Veggie fresh spring rolls!

Tom Yum Soup

Tom Yum Soup

The atmosphere is also excellent, with Thai designs and a yellow-orange lighting. They have plenty of staff and the service is always great. The music is nice and it is never too loud. The price definitely seals the deal. The huge tom yum noodle soup was only $9–NINE DOLLARS. Chris’ pineapple fried rice came to only $11. It was such an amazing dinner for such a good price, we are constantly going back.

If you’re in Boulder and craving some Thai, stop at Aloy Thai. It has delicious dishes that won’t break the bank. Avoid the Pad Thai, but dig into anything you can get your hands on! Hungry and Fit gives Aloy Thai a big thumbs up. And as always…stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Two cuties under the pingpong table

Two cuties under the pingpong table

Izakaya Den: Denver’s Best Sushi (Hungry’s Food Reviews)

This review is long overdue considering the fact that we went to Izakaya Den back in November. These lists of posts really stack up and we try hard to get them out but it’s not easy! So here you are… a review of what we have so far found to be the HIGHEST QUALITY SUSHI in Colorado. When we went, Sushi Den was closed for construction. Sushi Den is supposedly the more expensive and higher quality of the two but they are one in the same according to what we have heard.

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Here are the many positives and few negatives of our trip to Izakaya Den. The restaurant is in one of the most quaint and quiet communities in Denver. There are not neighborhoods like this in New York City and it’s nice to have such an escape in another busy city. The restaurant itself is pleasant looking on the outside and there is plenty of parking in the suburban-like neighborhood. We did go for a late lunch on a Holiday weekend with Fit’s parents so it was very empty, which meant quick service and the opportunity to explore. There were five of us in total and we were seated in a beautiful sun-room with plenty of table space.

Seating areas

Seating areas

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Nice bathroom

Nice bathroom

The service was again very quick and polite. It was months ago but I can’t think of a single complaint aside from the fact that the waiter was somewhat of a know-it-all and tried giving ME a lesson about sushi. Jiro… of course. Random Caucasian college student from Colorado… no thanks, no offense. The lunch menu was actually not very expensive even though the restaurant is known to be somewhat pricey. For the quality of food, the price was absolutely right.

We had a vegetarian, two spicy food lovers, myself, and someone with very specific and limited dietary needs. Everyone thought their meal was delicious, made them feel great, and most were full. (Me… not so much.) Plus, the bill was reasonable. Instead of talking too much about the food, I will say that everything was VERY good. No major complaints. You can look at the pictures. Oh, and obviously I am picky about eel quality but this was worthy of no complaints and just praise. Everything from the sushi rolls to sashimi to appetizers and dishes were all great. On top of that, the restaurant is spacious, exceptionally decorated and capable of entertaining every group. Whether its large groups, families, couples, or people who want to go to a bar… they have it. Izakaya Den earns our highest quality food stamp for the Denver area in Asian foods. That doesn’t make it our favorite, but it’s so damn good. Feast your eyes on these pictures. We will let you know how Sushi Den is when Alana passes her NASM exam (she doesn’t know about this… well now she does).

Edamame

Edamame

Tuna sashimi salad

Tuna sashimi salad

Beautiful sushi

Beautiful sushi

Unagi

Unagi

Mackerel

Mackerel

Lobster ramen

Lobster ramen

Tuna sashimi

Tuna sashimi

Visit Izakaya Den to stay hungry and fit!

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Hungry Eats… SUGARFISH (Los Angeles, CA)

I love sushi! My favorite food is probably a toss up between sushi and ramen. It’s hard to say depending on how I feel, one being hot and one being not so much. If you’re going to find warm sushi anywhere in Los Angeles, it would be Sugarfish. I talk about the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi all the time. It’s one of my favorite films of all time and it highlights the way that traditional sushi is made. The rice should be fresh and warm, the fish is fresh and cool, and the combination is not tainted by the addition of soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi. Any of those are applied only by the chef so that they compliment the fish perfectly. Sugarfish follows these standards and, although the have those condiments on the table, they recommend not using them. So let’s back track and start from when we entered.

Editor’s Note: WARNING: DROOL ALERT AHEAD FOR ENTIRE POST

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Fit’s family and I, along with Fit’s brother’s girlfriend (confusing right?) stopped by Sugarfish in downtown Los Angeles at 11:00 a.m. right when it opened on a Sunday (I think). Kai had recommended it and knowing that we are in Boulder where good fish is hard to come by, he decided to treat us to a nice meal. Not nice–amazing is more like it. Their quality control in their recommended dishes is second to none. The six of us were seated immediately and service was very good throughout the meal. It was quite empty but they took dirty dishes immediately and all of our dishes, or nearly all, were delivered warm. One hand roll had soggy seaweed but the rest were crisp and well toasted.

Sophie, Fit's brother, and Fit's mum

Sophie, Fit’s brother, and Fit’s mum

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Hand roll

Hand roll

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Nearly all of us got the recommended “Trust Us” with one person ordering a la carte, one getting the Trust Me Lite and me getting the super trust me (extra… for hungry, as always). The meal is not fresh in my head but nearly everything was great. The tuna sashimi salad was one of the highlights. Its dressing was spectacular and I must have licked the plate clean. The edamame was normal and the rice was always warm. The nigiri was all high quality with the exception of the unagi, which was just slightly off for me. Not quite sauced or toasted properly, but still tasty. It just didn’t match up with everything else. The seaweed on the handrolls were almost all toasted and I even enjoyed the blue crab handroll, which is typically something I would not order. Fit said it was the best hand rolls she had ever had. We drank water and it was refreshing and helped keep my mouth cool and fresh.

Tuna sashimi salad

Tuna sashimi salad

Edemame

Edemame

Unagi

Unagi

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All in all, I would say that Sugarfish is a very high-quality restaurant that utilizes the Nozawa style of creating simple but elegant sushi. If you are interested in complex rolls then you should venture elsewhere. If you are looking to get full on a budget, this is not the place either. The atmosphere is unfortunately very industrial and cold, despite efforts to warm it up. The concrete ceiling is hard to cover so I would advise couples that romantic dates might not be the best here, but they can still be great due to the food. It probably looks nicer at night so that might be a good time for a date. If you find yourself here I would almost certainly tell you to only get either the Trust Me, Trust Me Lite, or the Nozawa depending on how hungry you are. I did the math and the amount of food you get on the Trust Me for nearly 25 dollars would be over 35 dollars if ordered a la carte. Not only is it their best deal but it also highlights the dishes they do best. That is what I got out of our visit and I hope it helps you on yours.

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So mouthwatering I can't even handle it. One of the best dishes -Alana

So mouthwatering I can’t even handle it. One of the best dishes -Alana

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Perfect

Perfect

The obesity rate in Japan is over 30% lower than the United States so eating sushi is certainly one way of staying hungry and fit!

Editor’s Note: I made sure to keep all the pictures nice and big to emphasize the drool effect. Can’t wait to eat there again. -Alana

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Hungry Eats… Ramen (Little Tokyo, Los Angeles)

If you read the title you know that there are a lot of good things going on so this has to end well. Hungry’s favorite soup and potentially his favorite food is ramen. Most of you are probably thinking why would Hungry love ramen; it’s not good for you and it’s disgusting. That’s what a lot of people I know say until I get them some real ramen. Ramen is a type of noodle popular in Asian cultures such as Japan and Korea.

You can find it in American supermarkets made by Maruchan and Top Ramen for anywhere from 15-25 cents a package. It’s almost completely nutritionally void or negative with dead calories and large amounts of sodium and abundant processing. But I love it. Ever since my sister ate ramen in high school, I have loved it. Luckily, I live a generally healthy lifestyle so I do not feel guilty or see the negative effects of eating it, even in excess, but you need to be careful consuming these supermarket brands (but the real stuff is okay!). BUT this all is going to be saved for another time because I didn’t mean to say this much about ramen. This is a restaurant review for Men Oh Tokushima Ramen in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.

Little Tokyo

Little Tokyo (you can see Fit on the left corner!)

Daikokuya is the most popular ramen spot in Japangeles. It is always packed and it was very busy when we went with our party of 6. We decided to pass it up and continue to Men Oh because of reviews on Yelp. It is not in the main drag of Little Tokyo and is hidden in a strip mall so it can be hard to find. You need to find it. The 6 of us (Fit’s family and family friend) walked in the Sunday night before Memorial Day. It was empty but by the time we left it was completely full although it is small. The menu is tiny but I can assure you that nearly everything is amazing since we had nearly everything. Everything we had was amazing so we figure everything is just as good.

The Menu

The Menu

The atmosphere mimics a perfect, small ramen shop but not ramen stop. It was very clean and cute. The staff was organized, kind, professional and efficient. The food was ridiculously filling, delicious and cheap as dirt. It also was much healthier than your store-brand ramen. Their theme is ramen influenced by Tokushima Prefecture on the smallest of Japan’s 4 major islands, Shikoku Island. The industry here is based on raising pork so the ramen has broth heavily flavored by pork bones and filled with pork meat. We got 4 of their 3 ramen dishes available (custom) and all were nearly flawless. I was the only one with great ramen experience but even people having it for the first time were as thrilled as I was.

Awesome painting

Awesome painting

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My dish

My dish

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Fit's dish (without meat or pork broth)

Fit’s dish (without meat or pork broth)

I can’t say much more than this is the perfect spot. You get a cheap, delicious, and filling meal that is quickly served by an efficient and kind wait staff in a clean and enjoyable environment. We will go back whenever we can and bring whoever we can. Michelin might not give this place a star, but I certainly do. And that says a lot. Really. Hungry approved. More to come about my obsession and history with ramen in the future!

Hungry & Fit chowing down

Hungry & Fit chowing down

 

Double-fisting...finishing everybody else's broths

Double-fisting…finishing everybody else’s broths

Bibimbap: Korea’s Perfect Meal

Let me start off by saying I’m pretty proud of myself for creating this dish tonight after a day’s worth of work and a workout. It took a good bit of work and time, but it was so worth it. Most of you are probably wondering…what in the heck is bibimbap? Well thanks to my Korean-obsessed partner, I am now blessed to the amazingness that is Korean food (and yes amazingness is a word). Bibimbap is basically mixed rice with vegetables, but is so much more. It really proves why and how Koreans are so healthy and why the obesity rate is so low there. I can’t wait to move to South Korea one day where this will be a regular meal.

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You can really make it your own, using a variety of vegetables and proteins. I used this recipe and this one as well, deciding from each what I wanted to do. Chris had a so-so day so I wanted to surprise him with a Korean dinner that he would really enjoy. Now that I know how to do it from heart, I believe I will be doing this on the regular (I know that makes Chris happy).

  • Prep Time (for n00bs like me): 20-40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Serves: 2.5 normal people (Chris isn’t normal)

It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but it really is a simple dish once you get the hang of it. Let’s first start off with a special sauce that is for non-spice people (Chris unfortunately can’t have spice). It’s easy and delicious.

Ingredients

  • 4 green onions
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame teriyaki 
  • 1 clove minced garlic 

Directions

  • Chop up the green onions and put into small bowl
  • Pour in the soy sauce
  • Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Stir well

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Now onto the good stuff– the bibimbap!

Ingredients

  • red cabbage
  • 2 small zucchini
  • bag of bean sprouts
  • spinach
  • 1 cup (uncooked) rice
  • 5 mushrooms (any kind)
  • 4 baby carrots (you can use regular)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Korean radish
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce
  • sesame sauce
  • garlic
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  • First off, I didn’t include cooking time of the rice. I did a running and core workout, so before I started that, I put the rice on ahead of time. DO THIS
  • Rinse your bean sprouts and cook them in hot water for 20 minutes. Drain them and season them with your special sauce and some salt

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  • Bring a pot of water to a boil (doesn’t need to be much water). Grab your spinach (whether it be a bunch or separate leaves) and put into boiling water for 1 minute. Take out and drain, run cold water over it, wring it out, then season with salt and sauce.

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  • Cut all your veggies into thin slices and sprinkle salt over  

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  • Separately, saute each veggie one by one [except for carrots] in pan over medium-high heat. You can use oil and garlic, or use the special sauce we created earlier to season and wet them. You only need to cook them for a few minutes to heat them up and infuse them with flavor.
  • You can either put them back on the cutting board OR have the rice ready in a wide bowl. Place the veggies in a circular fashion on the rice, leaving the middle open
Waiting for a few more ingredients..

Waiting for a few more ingredients..

  • For the carrots, just throw them in the hot pan for 30 seconds, so that they’re still crisp
  • For the last ingredient, throw your egg (or eggs if you’re making for two or more people) in the pan on medium heat. You want to cook it sunny side up (over easy). Put the egg in the middle
Ready to be eaten

Ready to be eaten

Pour the special sauce over the top for extra flavor. And that’s it! Not so hard, is it? It looks like a long list of ingredients, but once you get the hang of it, it can be done quickly (as I found out the next night–yes, I made this two nights in a row…red cabbage goes forever!). You can cycle a ton of different ingredients into this. Whatever you have or whatever is fresh at the market. Last night, I used green pepper, beets, and tofu as well as some from the night before.

A traditional way to do this is to serve it in a hot stone bowl, so that the rice gets crispy on the bottom. I did this style for Chris, but it was less attractive as it was a little too big. But that same fresh delicious FILLING flavor.

Chris' "plate"

Chris’ “plate”

It didn’t last long as we both dug in and watched Chopped All-Stars. I, of course, couldn’t finish it all so Chris ate his huge serving AND the rest of mine. Big surprise.

After we tore into it

After we tore into it

Enjoy! And use this recipe to…stay hungry and fit!

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Getting Creative With Tofu

If you’re a vegetarian or you just like it, tofu is a big part of the diet. Usually, we just cube it and put it into the dish with whatever else we are making. But recently, a friend (from Bali) shared a new way of doing tofu. Well, the cooking method is typical for some, but the flavoring is different. Using nutritional yeastNow, I had no idea what this was before the couple brought the dish over to us. And it is delicious. It literally had me thinking I was eating fried chicken, that’s what it tastes like. So, I was in heaven. And then, I realized I needed to know how to make this for myself. Luckily, our friend left us a little tub of this magic nutritional yeast, so I was good to go. I will be showing you how to make this tofu dish, but also sharing what we had with it (though you can have it alone too).

Ingredients

  • 1 box tofu
  • knife
  • nutritional yeast flakes
  • oil
  • peppers [optional]
  • udon [optional]
  • teriyaki [optional]

Directions

  • Drain the tofu juice out of the box and place the tofu on cutting board. Cut long-ways first, into thin 1/2 inch pieces
  • Cut short-ways, making little squares
  • Have a pan hot with a very light amount of olive oil and carefully place tofu on the pan, letting each have enough room to cook. I put the temperature on a little less than high (medium-high)
  • Takes about 5-10 minutes to cook, I use a fork to turn them over. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn on the outside, but get cooked on the inside. Turn them over one by one when the first side is done.
  • After both sides are ready, pop them onto a plate. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast flakes on top of each piece
Tastes like fried chicken!

Tastes like fried chicken!

  • And if you want to continue with our dish…slice up your peppers (or whatever vegetable) into thin long slices.
  • Put some more olive oil in the pan and this time garlic too
  • Throw the peppers in there
  • After the peppers have been in there for a few minutes, throw in your udon to heat up. At the time you put the udon in, put a good amount of teriyaki in as well, flavoring the udon and peppers, as well as giving some moisture to it all.
Yum...

Yum…

  • Once the udon noodles are heated and have absorbed the teriyaki and the peppers have cooked enough, plate them atop the already-cooked tofu!
Finished product

Finished product

And voila! There you have it–an easy, nutritious, delicious meal full of protein and fiber. Feel free to add or subtract any vegetable or addition to the stir fry, but seriously go for this tofu. It is absolutely delicious.

Cheers! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

Nymeria is 98% back to normal!!

Nymeria is 98% back to normal!!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Restaurant Review: Chez Thuy

We had heard good things about this place. We are all about Vietnamese food and it was a nice Saturday to have a good lunch. So here we show up at Chez Thuy, one of Boulder’s Vietnamese cuisines. It was a sunny day, a little windy, but we were all game for our one-restaurant-out-a-week (attempted).

The atmosphere was wonderful. Ethnic music in the background, loud enough to hear, but not overpowering our conversation. The place is beautifully decorated, we were loving it. Beautiful paintings and traditional decorations all around. The only thing hurting the atmosphere were two obnoxious loud Boulder moms a few tables away.

photo (69) photo (68)I had a difficult time deciding between the Blended Boba drinks and Thai Iced Tea, but eventually decided on the latter since I like my Boba on ice, not blended. We order our dishes and they bring out two complimentary hot and sour soups. I’m delighted–Chris can’t exactly eat spice. So I get two! And am then full a lot quicker. The soup was delicious and warming and I ate both bowls.

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hot + sour soup

hot + sour soup

For appetizer, we order steamed vegetable dumplings served with a side of peanut sauce. I was delighted with this. The dumplings were light and fresh, and the peanut sauce was the perfect heaviness to compliment it. I wish there were more of them to gobble up!

photo (70)Then we wait for our meals. It’s a pretty busy time for them, but we don’t mind waiting, taking, and making fun of the two moms near us. Chris orders a Pad Thai and I order a Yellow Curry with Calamari. Eventually, they come out. Now I’m almost full at this point (way to go, Alana), but we dig in anyhow.

yellow curry

yellow curry

pad thai

pad thai

Now…the dishes didn’t quite cut it for us. I actually enjoyed Chris’ Pad Thai a lot more than mine. Mine was too fishy, and not enough of that peanut-taste that you get in most yellow curries. I really didn’t eat much of mine. It wasn’t something I was very excited about, and I usually love Vietnamese food. Chris was not a big fan of his Pad Thai. It didn’t seem like it was prepared with a lot of care and love, the noodles really stuck together in one large mass, thus not allowing the dish to mix well.

Overall, we wouldn’t come back here for a main meal again. It just wasn’t impressive or very tasty. However, we would come back for appetizers.

Cheers! (Sorry for the lack of posts, we have been sick and busy)

Stir Fry Creations

Stir fry is one of my favorite dishes. It’s because there are endless possibilities. And it’s so easy to do. All you need is some veggies and a form of protein in your fridge–you can mix and match and throw things together that don’t seem normal. And that’s the beauty of it! If you have veggies, rice,  and/or noodles, you have no excuse for not home cooking. Let me share with you a dish I just recently prepared, with an attempt to make it as Asian as possible for Chris.

Alana’s Monday Stir Fry

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients

  • a bunch of bok choy
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 case of Udon noodles 
  • 1/2 pound of wild-caught scallops
  • 1 case of tofu 
  • wok oil & soy sauce 
  • spices such as ground ginger, fresh garlic, pepper, salt, 5 spice, and garlic pepper 

Flower of the Bok Choy

Directions

1. Let’s tackle the boy choy first. Wash the bok choy, scrub out any dirt under cold water. Cut until the stem is almost gone.

2. Cut the rest of the vegetables: thinly slice the onions and carrots. Do proper thick slices of the yellow pepper.

Chopped beauties

3. Put the wok oil and soy sauce in the wok (or frying pan, whatever you have) and heat that baby up! Crush some garlic in there and let the smells get you.

4. Once it is heated, throw those veggies in there. As you are tossing them in the oil, put your spices in, whatever they may be. I put in lots of ginger, garlic, and pepper. Make sure you are constantly tossing the vegetables so that your spices get on it all.

Stir frying!

5. Cube the tofu, wash the scallops, and unwrap the udon noodles. Throw it all into the already cooking mixture. Again, make sure to keep stirring and tossing so that everything soaks up that flavor.

6. Cook to taste and decide when it’s ready! For me it took about 10 minutes, maybe not even that.

Plate of stir fryAnd there you have it, an easy 20-minute dish with tons of nutrient-filled vegetables and protein. PS- there are eggs in the picture, but I didn’t end up using them, but they are a great addition! Get creative. This is only my recipe, and it’s one of many stir-frys.

Cheers and Happy Cooking! 

Restaurant Rave: Kho’s Asian Bistro

After our workouts (usually legs) at the Longmont YMCA, we typically go out to eat. It’s our eating-out treat day. And for the past two Fridays, we’ve gone to Kho’s Asian Bistro. You can guess if this is going to be a positive review or not. WE LOVE IT HERE. It’s not just the food, which is obviously made with love, but the incredible atmosphere and service.

So this place is tucked away, literally you have to go down No Name Road to get there. No, seriously, it exists. Once you get there, it’s in a complex with other shops. As soon as we walk in, we’re blasted to Malaysia, with fountains and beautiful sculptures and ethnic items on the wall. The sushi chef is the first to say hello and wave us to a table.

After being seated, we are soon approached by a waitress (all three we’ve interacted with have been absolutely great) and offered drinks. I almost without fail can never resist a Thai Iced Tea. Chris gets his green tea which comes in a huge pot and fills us up plenty.

We’re also pretty settled upon what we want at this point and we order our appetizer (Chris gets white rice, I get Hot n Sour Soup). The thing I love about this place is that everyone here is earnest and really wants to make you happy. We’re smiling as soon as we walk in the door.

We gobble down that quickly and we order our dishes. The first time, I got a Malaysian Curry and it was delicious (I could barely make a dent in it). Chris got the Una-Don which is his favorite. This time, I got the Buddhist Delight and he got Shrimp Ramen. I can never finish the dishes here, they’re so huge and decently priced. Packed with flavor but none of the heavy sauces that always hurt my tummy.

You can just tell: IT LOOKS DELICIOUS. BECAUSE IT IS. And that’s not all. This is the second time we’ve been here and the second time we’ve received a little special something on the house. This time it was two veggie pieces of sushi. Needless to say, we were happy.

Speaking of sushi, they have the best white tuna I’ve tasted so far. Haven’t loved it (because we’re spoiled from the coasts), but I definitely ate all my pieces last time I had some. The only negative about this restaurant is that they don’t have ethnic music on…it’s current music which we dislike. All in all, this is a fantastic joint and we will be coming back every Friday. We feel so welcomed, wanted, and happy that we’d be fools to go elsewhere. Thanks Kho’s Asian Cuisine! And where else can you find such great fortune cookie fortunes…

Cheers!