I was in Century City for lunch today and as I was walking over to Gulens I noticed that a new restaurant is open - Take A Bao. What I didn't know was that it was a private opening but somehow I got through the line to order before I realized it. After ordering when I asked how much? and they said no charge today I then realized the big sign that says opens Thursday September 4th. Oops! Well I did get to eat free but I made sure to leave a big tip. Anyway the place is smack dab in the center of the food court it has a modern look with big stainless steel bao steamers stacked up on the stoves. At the front counter are all the ingredients that go into the baos. Basically each order comes with two bao's and a chinese style napa salad. You get your choice of bao's I got the miso beef and the Thai peanut chicken. What they do is they have a flattened bao, kind of like a Chinese version of the lafa, and they fill it with the ingredients and fold it over to make a bao sandwich. The miso beef bao had braised beef brisket with pickled carrots and cucumbers with raddish sprouts and scallions, It had a nice beefy eastern flavor. The thai peanut had thai peanut sauce with cucumbers and carrots, cilantro, scallions and crushed peanuts it also was good. I like how they are using the baos as a delivery vehicle for the different types of meats and veggies. I also got as an appetizer crispy wonton chips with a wasabi guacamole, this was very good.
They also give you a choice of whole wheat bao or lettuce wrap. In addition to the Bao's they have bowls, rice with your choice of ingredient, noodles or salads. Oh and they have a take a s'more which is a smore bao!
All in all it was pretty good and the prices look decent for the area. It's a welcome addition to the food court.
Interesting concept that I think will work very well on the westside. This is definately not traditional baos but a conceptualized western take on the bao.