(or two and take some home too)
10250 Santa Monica Blvd. (in the Westfield Shopping Center, between Avenue of the Stars and Century Park Way)
Phone: 310-551-1100 | map | website (what there is of one)
Finally we have a reason to venture out to the Westfield in Century City. To eat in a food court, no less! That reason is a new food place called Take a Bao. Take a Bao is giving your (or our) traditional steam bun a new twist. Instead of a peking duck, Take a Bao offers a variety of fillings you can choose from. Between David (not to be confused with Dining In LA's Dave) and I, we sampled five of them.
Each order comes with two steamed buns and a generous portion of fresh napa salad. You could also opt for the wheat buns or lettuce wrap, but we kept it o.g. and stuck with the white steamed buns. I got mine filled with Pomegranate Steak, another with Miso Beef and one with Sweet Chili Glazed Tofu. My favorite of the three was hands down the Pomegranate Steak. It was the right amount of tangy, sweet, and meaty goodness. The skirt steak was just the right amount and thickness. The marinated cucumbers and radish tasted clean. There were also pea shoots in the mix, but I put mine aside since I'm no fan of pea shoots. My Miso Beef, altho tasty, was a bronze in comparison. I closed my meal with a Sweet Chili Glazed Tofu - filled steamed bun. I can tell that chef Christian Lomas really pays attention to the details as I tasted every ingredient in this dish, glazed tofu, caramelized shiitake mushrooms, marinated cucumbers and scallions. Again, I put aside my pea shoots.
Other than the Pomegranate steak, David had the Thai Peanut Chicken with peanut sauce, pickled vegetables and crushed peanuts and another bun with Signature BBQ Pork. David also agreed that the Pomegranate Steak was a home run, with the Thai Peanut Chicken being the runner up. Thanks to its wonderfully textured peanut sauce. Tho a signature, the BBQ pork was almost as good, but was lacking a distinct flavor. In addition to the buns, we ordered a bowl of crispy wonton chips, with both the wasabi guacamole and sweet thai chili sauce. The wasabi part of the guacamole was under represented, while the sweet thai chili sauce had just enough heat.
The service was very fast and precise, but in no way Take A Bao is your average fast food. If anything, Take A Bao has changed and upped the standard of eating at a food court while keeping the price affordable ($7.95 gets you two buns and a side of salad, yay!). We'll definitely return and try other irresistible items on their menu, like the Take A S'more; chocolate, marshmallow & graham cracker (y'know, like a s'more?) in a sweet bun or their selections of noodles. I suggest every one to 'bao' down to the center of the food court at Westfield in Century City ASAP.
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Chinese, Beverly Hills/Wilshire )
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