Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Take A Bao

I very rarely find myself over in Century City, so hadn't been able to try Take A Bao until... today! (I can't believe I'm putting this up on the same day the eating actually occurred!) Now, this place is located at the Westfield Century City mall where all the food court restaurants are priced rather high (at least in my opinion -- A&W cheese fries memories from middle school, anyone?). On to the food...

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I chose the Take A Bao combo (two bao and a salad) for $9.50.

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BBQ pork bao: I was expecting Chinese style BBQ pork because I overlooked the "braised" part of the menu description. It tasted like a Chinese-American version of BBQ pulled pork.

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Miso beef bao: while I liked the flavor of the marinade of the beef, the combination of all the ingredients didn't work very well. Maybe miso and bao dough aren't meant for each other? Also, the texture of short ribs wasn't great because it wasn't falling apart, so the beef was a little tough.

Overall, all the food was on the sweet side (and I like salty-sweet taste combos a lot). I was underwhelmed by the salad because it had napa cabbage, which in general I like a lot. But, not in raw salad form; I don't find it very flavorful. I honestly would've been happier with one of those spring mix with mandarin oranges salads.

I did enjoy the pickled vegetables, though, and the ingredients were of higher quality than most mall food. I ordered both white buns, but somehow ended up with one of each; I think I surprisingly enjoyed the wheat one more.

Take A Bao is an inventive and fun concept, which I appreciate, but I wouldn't fork over $10 on the regular for their bao. I'm glad I tried them, though! I've been in a restaurant lull these days because I've been going to the same old places.

Take A Bao
10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067-6501
(310) 551-1100


weezermonkey said...

Interesting re the wheat bun.

I agree re the prices in that food court. Definitely not your ordinary food court!

Gastronomer said...

I was hoping you'd report that they tasted great! At least they *look* tasty ;-)

Mary P. said...

I agree - it LOOKS really, really good!

SinoSoul said...

great concept. lousy location. Chicago's version of this restaurant, Wow Bao, is gaining ardent followers. When I want my pork gua bao, I head to Si Hai and pick some up for $2.50

Marie said...

Weezermonkey: I guess it IS a glitzier area, so it's hilarious that there's a Fuddruckers in there!

Gastronomer: Yep, not worth the trip unless you already happen to find yourself there at mealtime and will be spending mucho bucks on mall food anyway.

Mary: Must be the natural lighting (although I had to fix it because it came out very blue)! :P

SinoSoul: Si Hai, eh? Gonna keep it in the mental Rolodex; my track record so far of all the trademark SGV eats is pitiful.