Welcome to another edition of mmm-yoyo!!!, the food blog with variants on the acquisition of said foodstuffs. Kirk is very busy with work this week and Ed (from Yuma) is very busy with retirement (in Yuma). Cathy is writing today.
Last Monday, January 2, was the official New Year holiday and the Tournament of Roses held its annual parade and Bowl Game. The following morning, The Mister and I drove North to see the parade floats lined up end to end, at the Showcase of Floats. The Banner float, which was first in the 96 unit parade entries (floats, bands, equestrian units), reflected the theme of this year, "Echoes of Success". Of the 44 floats in the parade, five are not judged (this is one of those) and 24 of the remaining floats are trophy winners. I'll just show you some details from some of the floats. Walking along to view takes at least two hours and that's if you aren't paying attention to the details that went into the meticulous decorations. You can see the work and thought that went into the design and execution of each float.
Cal Poly Universities entry, 'A New Leaf' featured three chameleons, with that yellow one changing color via an elaborate system of dowels. (YouTube video, 1:45 in length). The California Milk Advisory Board, with its entry "Legacy of Generations" provided a surreal view of a good variety of California Dairy products and emphasized the generations of California dairy families who helped to make California the most successful dairy state in the nation (The 'raisins' are covered with real raisins and the 'cereal flakes' are dried apple skin).
A block away,
we'd been seeing this signage (and outside lantern decor) for years, but never were here when Egg Roll Express was open. We had finally the chance to dine here!
Simple decor, a pitcher of hot tea and weekday lunch specials!
Each lunch special comes with a choice of either hot and sour or egg flower soup. This was a wonderful, fresh, chicken based, creamy and very eggy egg drop served in a quite large bowl. I wanted more.
The serving plate of the special(#30-fish filet with Szechuan sauce)($7.29)was so cute! The food was even better. The spicy fish and vegetables were so fresh and flavorful.
The egg roll? Well, it was fried right (not greasy and nicely crispy) and filled with fresh and bright flavored vegetables. Quite good. Since this was our first visit to a new Chinese restaurant, our standard , Egg Foo Young (with chicken) was ordered ($8.99). Wow! Every restaurant makes EFY their own way and The Mister and I liked this version. Filled with bean sprouts, onion and eggy goodness, the pancake was crispy even under the (not salty) gravy, chicken and fresh vegetables.
Egg Roll Express 2397 E. Washington Blvd Pasadena, Ca 91104 (626)791-2398 open daily 11a.m.-9:30 p.m. Website
After our very nice and refreshing stop at Laduree, the Missus was itching to do some shopping.
I was however, quite surprised that She kept a rather leisurely pace as we headed down Champs-Élysées.
And while we didn't visit the exhibition at the Grand Palais, which was actually built as an exhibition hall for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, the building has had many uses over the years. During World War I it served as military hospital, during the Nazi occupation a truck depot.
We stopped at the statue of Charles de Gaulle on Place Clemenceau to take a photo.
This area, full of lovely green spaces is called des Jardin des Champs-Élysées and is quite lovely. There are many statues and fountains located on the garden grounds. This one, named "Fontaine des Ambassadeurs", also known as the "Venus Fountain" dates back to 1840.
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées ends at a large public square, Place de la Concorde, know for its two grand fountains.
And one dramatic looking, gold topped obelisk, which was originally located at the entrance of Luxor Temple in Eqypt. If you've read our posts on Istanbul, Rome, and even Brno, you'll know that the Missus has a thing for Obelisks, so we had to stop here. The Luxor Obelisk is supposedly over 3000 years old and was shipped from Luxor in 1832, arriving in Paris late in 1833. The pedestal details how the obelisk was transported to Paris, quite an engineering feat back in the day. The original pedestal resides in the Louvre. The gold leaf Pyramidion was installed in 1998 to replace one that had been missing since the 6th century.
It's quite a busy area.
We were going to check out Place de la Madeleine, but by this time the Missus was focused. So we turned left on Rue Saint Honore, then left on Rue Cambon, and arrived at the Missus's destination in the very upscale Opera Neighborhood.
They flagship store of Chanel......sigh. It was quite an experience, with one on one service, refreshment, and so on. I won't go into how much $$$$, or should I say "€€€€" the Missus spent. But let's just say She was quite happy...except for not having shoes in Her size.
In case you're thinking about stopping by:
Chanel Cambon 31 Rue Cambon 75001 Paris, France
The Missus, disappointed in Chanel not having the shoes She wanted, had a plan B so we headed off. At least I know why they call this area "Opera". It's because of the Palais Garnier, the striking looking Opera House.
Around the corner from the Opera House on Rue de la Paix is a location of Repetto. Repetto was founded in 1947 as a maker of ballet shoes. It is super popular in Japan. Being married to the Missus has its hazards; I know more about handbags and women's shoes than any red blooded male should. Anyway, the shoes are quite beautiful. The Missus requested black; but the savvy saleswoman brought out a pair of the Repetto BB in Flame Red and told the Missus they were the number one selling shoe in Japan! I gotta admit, they did look good, so I told the Missus buy them both (She's since bought four more.....sigh). Here's a wonderful blog post if you want to know more about Repetto shoes. There was one funny thing that happened. As I paid for the shoes, the young lady who helped us looked at my name and started talking to me in fluent Japanese! Ok......tis was starting to get a bit surreal. In chatting I found out she was one-quarter Japanese, though she didn't look it at all, and felt more comfortable speaking in Japanese than English!
Boutique Repetto 22 Rue de la Paix 75002 Paris, France
Lest you think I've gone around the bend and this has suddenly become a fashion blog.....
The Missus and I were getting somewhat hungry. While we didn't want too much to eat since we had quite a dinner planned, a croissant and coffee was just not going to do. Looking at my trusty Google Map, I noticed one of the places I entered, an interesting concept restaurant named Boco.
Created by two brothers, Vincent and Simon Ferniot, the shop is basically what I'd call Fast-Casual...or perhaps "Fast-Bistro". It has definitive French twist. Most of the items are served in a "bocal" (glass jar), which, in additional to being recyclable, means you can eat it in the restaurant, or take it home with you. In fact we saw two folks come in and leave with bags full of jars. I read that most ingredients are organic, and here's the kicker, are recipes from a star studded cast of chefs.
You basically pick your stuff out....let them know if you want to eat in, whereupon they'll heat up the items that need it, or take it to go.
Word of warning; this ain't super cheap. Especially if you visit the shop in Orly Airport. But just wanting a smaller sized meal, this proved to be quite relaxed and nice.
We started with Rabbit Rillettes and Celeriac...sorry no photo, we were hungry and just whacked this.
This recipe was courtesy of multi-Michelin starred chef Stéphane Décotterd. It was refreshing, the lapin perhaps a bit on the dry side, but the celeriac and mustard-aioli based sauce was really nice. Not too rich, nice acidity.
The Missus loved the Ouef Moelleux et Mousse de Courge au Lard.
Think of it as a perfect poached egg in a pumpkin mousse, with bacon. This recipe courtesy of Gilles Goujon, whose name I recognized. He is the chef and owner of Three Michelin starred L'Auberge du Vieux Puits.
My favorite dish was the lamb confit over winter vegetable ratatouille.
So perfectly gamey...at Orly, the whole dining area of Boco there smelled like this. Kinda scary to Americans, comforting to me. Loved the sauce, a bit of acid, some tanginess, I think from a tomato product, with an interesting sweetness. The lamb was both tender and gamey...the flavor of the green pasture coming through.
Overall we enjoyed this meal. It was comforting, the portion sizes not too large, definitely not like your friendly neighborhood Chiptole, Five Guys, Luna Grill, or Panera. The young man working here was very friendly. Not everyone's cup of tea....but if we had one on the corner, I'd be there quite often.
boco 3 Rue Danielle Casanova 75001 Paris, France
From here we headed back, walking through the Jardine de Tuileries. Folks were out and about, socializing. We stopped to watch this game of bocce.
A couple of the guys waved me down...wanting me to embarrass participate. I just laughed and nodded a solid negative. Where was the uptight and serious French folks told me about?
Surely not here in the park...enjoying the fall colors or lounging by the fountains.
We walked along the Seine and past Place de la Concorde.
Passing by the steady gaze of the statue that represents the City of Lyon.
And over the bridge.
We meandered our way back to our hotel on Avenue de la Bourdonnais.
We decided to take a short nap. As we unloaded our bags, you could see that the Missus had "made out".
And while this was much better than on my previous visit, it was still missing something. It's a bit more gritty these days, but not bad at all and truly quite filling. I like the flavor; not too much parsley. I'm wondering if they still use the same ratio of favas to garbanzos?
The tahini here is not my favorite version; kind of bland, the pita was fine, standard issue stuff.
As always, the folks working here are warm and wonderful. And yes, they make this stuff fresh so you'll have to wait a few minutes......which is the way things should be.
Mister Falafel 4461 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92117 Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 1100am - 800pm
Soo has already posted on the Rabo Encendido here (you can read my comment in the post). The version he had looked nice, though perhaps over done. I ordered it because it wasn't on the menu during my first visits to Havana Grill.
What I got was enormous; though obviously under done and on the tough and chewy side. In fact trying to cut it without holding with my mitts, it broke the plastic knife. The flavor was quite tangy and not quite the flavor I'd experience in other versions I've had; a bit of sweetness, somewhat beefy, and in some version a bit of clove/allspice, and definitely some garlic tones. This wasn't bad; just kind of one tone in taste.
The biggest disappointment were the black beans, which during my first visits back when they first opened was really nice; complex in flavor. This one was bitter, really watery, like the stuff was from the bottom of a pot that had been cooking too long.
The rice was dry, the plantains very tasty. The folks, nice as always. I'm probably going to stick with the Ropa Vieja and the El Cubano, which placed second in my Cubano comparison during future visits.
Havana Grill 5450 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92117
Thanks for taking a break to read this food blog, mmm-yoso!!! Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are too busy researching places to post about so Cathy is writing today's post.
In early October, cc and I met up for a Saturday breakfast at a location which has changed owners and business models a few times in the past 30 years. (In the late 80's, The Mister and I came to this location for fried chicken every Sunday and I also recall it being only a coffee shop for a short while, until the Starbucks opened across the street). Located across the street from Ralphs (and on the other side, from Starbucks) in the general area of SDSU, you may have noticed the small building with a large sign on the roof if stuck at the signal light. The interior hasn't changed much over the years. It isn't hipster, just clean and comfy. Family owned, with customers from the neighborhood as well as from the University, Daily Grind(s) is steadily busy.
That Saturday morning, cc ordered her usual, a chicken fried steak and eggs plate ($9.95) -tender cubed steak with a crispy, light batter topped with a good peppery sausage gravy. I ordered the pancake special($9.95)-three fluffy (with lightly crisp edges) pancakes wrapped around a filling of scrambled eggs and sausage (there was a choice of sausage or bacon). This was a quality, tasty basic breakfast.
A few weeks ago, there was finally time for The Mister to come back to this great place with me. It was a weekday and there is a special Monday-Thursday menu offered.
He chose the bacon and cheese omelet ($6.95) which comes with home fries and toast. This was a large, heavy omelet and very filled; I only have blurred photos of a cross section, though. I decided on the french toast plate ($7.95) which comes with two eggs and a choice of bacon or sausage. The french toast was properly made (crispy outside and fluffy/gooey innards), the eggs were properly over easy and the bacon was of good quality; thick and smoke flavored.
All in all, a really nice neighborhood diner.
Daily Grinds Cafe El Cajon Blvd San Diego 92115 (619)697-0750 Open Daily 6a.m.-4 p.m.
Thanks so much for stopping by mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Kirk is way busy with work and Ed (from Yuma) is kind of busy engaging in things retired people do (in Yuma). Cathy isn't busy in comparison, so she's writing today's post.
It's back to work time for most of us; the holidays are over. Even though it's cold and rainy today, posts about soups and stews may be a bit boring. Here's something to look forward to when our weather gets back to 'normal'.
When growing up, ice cream was a big treat for my brother and I. Whenever we can meet, its for a meal-and dessert. Always. Recently Bing Haus opened in the same Convoy street mall as Grandma's Tofu, a convenient location. I needed to check it out for a future meet up. Stepping inside, the menu is on the wall to the right.
There are also some grab and go beverages as well as a pastry case. Orders are being prepped behind the cash register, but just past that area is what fascinates most. Those are 'anti-griddles'- steel surfaced flash freezers. Order a 'rolled ice cream' ($6.25) and a measured cup of heavy cream is then poured onto the surface where it begins to solidify after being evenly dispersed. The cream may then have an ingredient mixed/chopped in and then the thin, frozen layer is scraped into rolls, placed into your cup and topped.
This results in a very fresh ice cream treat. Today's choice was fresh coffee mixed in to make ice cream topped with Heath Bar candy bits and sliced banana. The creamy texture along with a bitter-sweet coffee flavor, complimented by the toffee and banana was very refreshing.
That pastry case sometimes has 'day old' items for $1. Based on past experience, I know that day old scones age well. This one had chocolate chips and coconut as well as almond slices and was delightfully flaky and light. It went well with a fresh cup of coffee.
The Mister and I decided to drop in the other day and tried a Chai tea latte ($4.25) and an affogato ($4.50), as shared desserts. The chai tea was subtle in its melded flavors, with a good black tea undertone. We were curious about the soft serve ice cream made here and it was of high quality, natural vanilla flavored and very smooth. Pouring the fresh made, hot espresso over the soft serve ('drowning' it) made the resulting flavor of coffee and cream quite similar to our coffee rolled ice cream from the first visit.
It seems like they are slowly adding things to the menu.
The Missus and I went once. But as She says, it can get pretty old after a while. What doesn't get old, at least on cold nights for us is the "tang", the bone based broth. What we found out was that they sell the broth, it's $4.99 for the large version. We really like the "extra spicy" version of this bone based broth.
Which ends up being 2-3 meals for us.....
After picking up the broth, head to the new 99 Ranch Market. The Missus favorite items? Wintermelon, daikon, a variety of bean curd products, bean thread, various vegetables...you name it. Because the broth is nicely rich; it seems like we go mostly vegetarian on this.
Talk about a warming meal that will leave you with a nice sheen of sweat on your forehead (the extra spicy is not super spicy), with a nice "ma" (numbing) to go along with a slight chili induced endorphin high. Can you say "aaaah".
It's worth the slight communication thing.....I had the Missus spell out the broth in Chinese, but just tried to order "tang". The sweet young lady, thinking I was speaking English hilariously pointed to the duck tongues.
The folks working have always been quite accommodating and friendly to us.
So as the next storm moves into San Diego....maybe grabbing some of the hot pot broth and your favorite items (I saw them packing 10 portions of broth and fixins to go during my last visit) might be a nice option for spending a "night in".
Private Kitchens 5440 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92117
Our first night in Paris was rather low-keyed. We got a great night's sleep and the Missus was ready to go in the morning. The skies were overcast and hazy, but that didn't stop folks from enjoying the Eiffel Tower....like these Nuns, with smartphones and iPads, taking selfies even!
We had an outline of what the Missus wanted to do on this day and crossed the Seine on Pont d'lena.
I guess they decided not to turn on the fountains in Jardins du Trocadero because of the rather dreary weather on this morning.
From the Palais de Chaillot, the Missus decided She watned to wander Avenue d'Eylau and Rue de Longchamps to Avenue Victor Hugo where we stopped for some espresso and shared a croissant. Up Victot Hugo, we then crossed the super crazy roundabout and headed up Avenue Raymond Poincare to one of the richest and most prestigious streets in Paris; Avenue Foch. Finally stopping at the Arc de Triomphe.
This iconic to celebrate and symbolize France's victories and those who fought for and died for the country in a very Roman way. Take a look at the sculpture of Napoleon being crowned by the Goddess of Victory.
And while Napoleon died long before the completion of the Arc, his remains were passed through the Arc on its return from Saint Helena, on its way to Invalidies.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I was buried here on Armistice Day in 1920.
We decided to take the stairs, all 284 of them to the top.
The stairs weren't too bad, but somewhat dizzying.
The view from the top, even on a overcast, foggy day was still stunning.
And we'd be crossing over to Avenue des Champs-Élysées upon leaving.
There were a few "musts" on the Missus's list for being in Paris for the first time; one of them was a walk down Champs-Élysées. It was a pleasant walk, but really didn't have any of the type of shopping for the Missus's taste. There were some interesting things though, like why no "Golden Arches" for what is considered the "the largest McDonald's Restaurant in the world"?
Apparently, there's some strict sign codes on the Champs-Élysées and if Mickey D's, or "MacDo" as they call them here, wanted to operate on the Avenue. By the way, did you know that the second largest market for McDonalds is France? WTH..... But, according to this posting in NPR, there may be some really good reasons why.
The one must stop for the missus was the Flagship store of Laduree, established in 1862, one of the two "King of Macarons" in France; the other being Pierre Herme, whose namesake used to work for Laduree.
Man, this place was quite....well fancy schmancy.....the boutique and even the counter.
We decided to head to the back area; the "Bar Laduree", which has a bit of a strange underwater theme. Had me humming "Octopus's Garden" by the Beatles.
It seemed to be just the right place to take a break and the Missus's sweet tooth was telling Her it needed to be tended to.
I started with a café noir. I love the way that these lovely shops always provide a little piece of chocolate with your coffee.....or rather, the Missus loves collecting these little tidbits.
Not being big on sweets, it was the Missus ordering all the way. A couple of macarons, which we ended up taking with us. And something from the dessert menu called the Ispahan, which are rosewater macarons sandwiching raspberries and lychee. Not cheap at 12,5€, but it was something that even I enjoyed.
Note overly sweet, with a nice balance of tartness. This was quite fragrant and very elegant as I felt like a complete barbarian trying to eat this.
The Missus loved it and She also enjoyed Her macarons which we ended up taking to go.
The service was very professional, the vibe relaxed. It was a nice little stop on our walk down the Champs-Élysées.
Ladurée 75 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France
Yep, so there I was....sipping a café noir, munching on a frou-frou dessert, in a underwater themed bar on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Who'd have thunk? My day dreams ended quite quickly when the Missus nudged me and said, "ok, enough of this....let's go spend some money." A phrase that sends shudders across my wallet.....
Thanks for reading!
For other thoughts on Laduree, please check out Kirbie's posts, here and here.
For the two years or so, one of my favorite snacks is this......
These "spicy" peanuts are quite addictive. They aren't super spicy, but also have that "ma" (numbing) thing going on with whole Sichuan Peppercorns used along with dried chilies. It's a nice salty, spicy, and numbing snack. Inevitably I started calling these "numb nutz". I even started giving these away to folks, often telling them, "this snack reminded me of you". A little inside joke.
Anyway, I was wondering what would happen if I actually used these peanuts in a dish. I had a couple of cups of corn and used 1 cup of "numb nutz", doing a quick high heat stir fry. This was actually not bad......
The Missus has me cooking with "la rou" a lot these days. Her favorite prep is simply spinach stir fried using the Big Kahuna with La Rou and Garlic.
I topped it with some shaved gobo. It's Her current favorite; though I think the shaved Brussel sprouts with La Rou might be gaining ground. Heck, I've even done an edamame - orange bell pepper stir fry, that was more of a beer snack....it would probably go well with some numb nutz......
During this past summer FuAn Garden officially changed course and owners. Going from Sichuan to Cantonese fare. One of the main players was a former manager of Jasmine. I tried the place and had a terrible meal. Then according to what I understand, there was a major kitchen revolt and the manager was booted. And then I noticed a sign while driving by announcing lunch specials.
Man, $6.99....how good could the food here be now? Well, with the help of Calvin, several visits were made and we got to try out a good amount of the lunch specials.
In case you're thinking that the $6.99 specials were basically going to be egg noodle soup, porridge, and vegetable dishes, you'd be wrong. I was surprised to see some seafood item, though I remained somewhat skeptical about the quality of the dishes.
So here's a rundown of the items we had; best to worst.
In terms of texture, the Salt and Pepper Squid might have been the best overall.
Notice I didn't say technique. Though the squid was impressively tender and decently seasoned, batter was peeling off the squid, showing some lack of good technique. It was also not very crisp; like the oil used for frying wasn't at optimum temp.
Coming in a close second was the Stir Fried Pork Stomach (intestines) with Chili Pepper.
Edging on being too greasy and with little or no spiciness; this was still a decent dish. The intestines were nicely prepped; just the right amount of funk and chew, the vegetables were crisp, and this was mildly seasoned, so you could make out all flavors of the peppers, scallion, intestine.
The Missus's favorite dish; at least for two of the four times I bought it was the Gailan with Preserved Pork (la rou).
This was the first lunch special item I ordered on a solo visit. The portion size was large enough that I ended taking half of it home. The Missus loves La Rou and on this first visit the gailan was perfect; the stalks cooked but crunchy, and the leaves not over cooked. The seasoning was simple which suited this perfectly. So, during my other lunch visits; I'd order this to go for the Missus. The second time it was decent; but the last two times the gailan was blanched too long and was rubbery. After which, the Missus stopped requesting it.
It's hard to mess up simple Soy Sauce Noodles. Which might be the only thing over priced on this $6.99 menu.
The noodles were on the hard side, the presentation left something to be desired, and this was bit too salty.
The Eggplant in the Eggplant with Fermented Bean Curd; basically Yu Hsiang ("Fish Flavored"), was much too sweet and this was on the greasy side.
Though the texture of the eggplant was fair.
The Bittermelon with Black Bean Sauce was terrible.
An overcooked, greasy-gloppy mess, displaying some haphazard wok skills. Way too salty; bitter garlic....'nuff said.
Perhaps my least favorite item here...mainly because of flavor and portion size, the Roast Duck Rice.
Well geez, look at all that broccoli. This was basically the bottom two thirds of a duck leg with the meat and skin splayed out to make it look like more than it was. This was mostly bone. The skin was pleasantly crisp, but had very little of the beany-salty-sweet tones of a good roast duck. The meat was super bland. The rice was on the hard side and I wish they'd put a bit more jus on the rice. Well, I made fun of the broccoli, but that might have been the best item on this plate.
It's hard to complain too much about a $6.99 lunch item. Some things were decent and a good value; others rather uneven. One of the women who works here is very nice. I'd say while your mileage may vary, it might be worth checking out the lunch specials here. It might even be a good alternative to Golden City once in a while. It's even cheaper too.
Fuan Garden Seafood Restaurant 4768 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Hope 2017 is going well so far. Today it's Ed (from Yuma) blogging here. Tomorrow it'll be Kirk or Cathy. Thanks for reading the blog.
In 2013, Yuma changed for the better when Red Rose, a Thai restaurant, opened off of Fortuna road in Foothills. The food was generally good, and it was one of the few places with many choices for vegetarians and vegans. So I was worried last summer when our server told us that new ownership would be taking over. The good news was that the new owner was already the chef at Red Rose.
A new ownership with a new menu means it's time for a new post.
Except for the name change, the exterior looks much the same:
As you can see from these two pictures of the interior, there's not a lot of change there either: Something else that has not changed is the restaurant's BYOB policy, customers can bring their own bottles of wine and Yuma Thai Cuisine will provide glasses etc.:
But I would not recommend bringing a Chardonnay; here I speak from experience, trust me.
There are some significant differences like the huge mugs for ice water:
That picture was taken on my first visit after the ownership change, so I requested lemon. There was no need for it, however, because that's not water straight from the tap, but fresh tasting, very quaffable H₂O. Particularly great during our summers when I can get thirsty just walking from car to restaurant.
This entrée of basil eggplant reflects other changes: The menu (website) has been tweaked. For example, the featured eggplant dish used to contain deep fried slices (think tempura) covered in a Thai style brown sauce, a nice combination of crunchy and smooth. YTC's eggplant dish is more of a standard stirfry, but the eggplant is still creamy and the flavor good overall. I also like that the "pick a protein" dishes provide the option of extra vegetables – as in this case – so that vegetarians or vegans don't have to have to overdose on tofu.
A couple of other differences you can see in this picture:
These days, YTC has a two-page lunch menu with lunch size portions of many dishes at lunch size prices. Some are noodle dishes, but the rest – like this one – are served with rice. Also different is the "brown rice" option. It used to be a nutty flavored and light brown; now it is what I call Korean purple rice.
All the lunch specials also include a small cup of very flavorful spicy tom yum soup with vegetables:
A similar broth highlights the mixed seafood soup:
The soup contained mussels, shrimp, scallops, and squid along with tomato wedges, mushroom slices, Thai basil leaves, and onion chunks. It was all good, fresh tasting and flavorful.
YTC also serves rice noodle soups that remind me ofphớ. The first one I tried was the beef noodle soup:
There was a lot to like. The broth, while not super beefy, was rich and sweet with the taste of anise. The rare steak was flavorful if not especially tender, and the meatballs were lightly spiced and not rubbery. Fried shallots, chopped cilantro, and a sprinkling of bean sprouts were fine.
The soup was served mild with no hot spiciness, but was accompanied by these condiments if I wanted to turn up the heat:
There was just one problem:
The noodles were overcooked, sometimes breaking apart. As I was leaving, the friendly server mentioned that the regular chef was out of town, and I suspect that was the problem because the noodles were perfect a couple of months later when I had the oxtail noodle soup:
And the chunks of oxtail were tender, rich, and succulent. Just wonderful soup.
Noodle dishes in general are a strong point at YTC. This is pad se eaw with chicken:
Overall good flavor, a nice range of ingredients, and the product of a hot wok. Much like this pad kee mao with shrimp:
The ultimate fried noodles are a curry flavored combination of egg, chicken, shrimp, pork, beef, veggies and noodles:
And I really love YTC's version of pad Thai, here with shrimp:
and here with pork:
The sauce is powerful and complex. There is the sweet tang of tamarind and rich umami flavor as well. Good with a lime squeeze. And the noodles masterfully prepared, al dente and toothsome.
The papaya salad always spicy is well done as well. When we request it, YTC happily will prepare a vegan version that's almost as good as the standard version. Sadly, my best papaya salad photo is what was left on the serving plate after four of us had hungrily attacked the salad:
Tina and I also liked the yum nua, the spicy Thai beef salad:
The lettuces were nothing special, but the steak strips were beefy and the salad crunchy and tangy, nicely balancing other dishes like noodles or curries.
While the chicken larb had many of the same flavors, on this night, the meat seemed a little dry:
YTC has many of the same curry options as before – such as this somewhat under flavored green curry with shrimp:
The shrimp and vegetables were great and the sauce creamy, but not a lot of green taste.
The jungle curry, here with tofu, is a new addition and is the only curry sans coconut milk: Again, my only complaint is a lack of intensity. Perhaps if we ordered the dishes at a higher spice level, the other flavors would be jacked up as well.
The menu has also been expanded with an entirely new section, "Thai specialties," which includes many new seafood entrées as well as this very enjoyable red curry duck:
Half of a boneless duck, deep-fried until crunchy crispy, served with pineapple chunks, tomato pieces, pepper strips, abundant Thai basil and a creamy red curry sauce. Our server said this was his favorite dish on the menu, and I can understand why.
We've also sampled a variety of the desserts, the least interesting being sticky rice and Thai custard:
Cool and refreshing in the summer, this dessert seemed more one-dimensional than the fried banana, sort of deep-fried eggrolls filled with soft fleshed banana:
But on this evening, the real winner was the mango sticky rice:
The mango was wonderfully ripe and partnered perfectly with the sweet creamy rice.
If you were a fan of Red Rose Thai, I'm sure you'll love Yuma Thai Cuisine. And if you have not tried this restaurant, you're really missing one of the highlights of the Yuma culinary scene. YTC serves some excellent quality dishes with preparations that you can't find anywhere else in Yuma County.
Yuma Thai Cuisine, 11274 S. Fortuna Rd., C1, Yuma AZ 85367, (928) 342-7777.