While the new 'Bao might not be in a fabulous food court, the free-standing Ventura Blvd. location offers an updated version of Chef Gavin Portsmouth's Asian-meets-French inspired menu. Standards like steamy bao buns are still filled with everything from spicy sesame citrus chicken, BBQ pork, and miso beef, but Muscovy duck leg confit and Banh Mi are new additions. Creative salads like the 8 Veggie and Asian Cobb (my husband's favorite) are joined by a BBQ Chicken, Arugula and Glass Noodle option.
My favorite "Take A Bowl:" Spicy Sesame Crispy Chicken
Want something with a little more heft? New hearty dishes on the over-the-hill's menu include Yellow Curry, Shrimp & Tofu with tiger shrimp, chili aioli; Roasted Market Fish in banana leaf with coconut-kaffir broth and broken rice with wok-charred snap peas, Chinese eggplant, bok choy, finger chilies and Thai basil; and Thai Style Fried Chicken with twice-fried half chicken, Asian vegetable slaw, sizzling basil-chili dressing and garlic lime aioli. To drink, a full alcoholic bar is highlighted by craft beer on draft, beer floats (I'll take a Coffee Toffee Stout Float, please), and vodka basil lemonade.
Take A Bao
11838 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA 91604