When Dommy and I hear about a new restaurant in our hood we greet the news with hope and skepticism. The last restaurant in the space, Grand Bistro, was nothing more than bland wedding food. But news of something interesting came from our Neighbors. There is now A Chinese-Thai Halal Cuisine restaurant in that spot, and they said it was good. I first tried it for lunch. They had a 6.99 special and I ordered the Szechuan Tofu but a language barrier caused them to bring Tofu With Veggies. While I got the wrong dish it was good enough to try again.
When I told Dommy! of this place she was intrigued. She had hoped it would be a Chinese-Islamic Restaurant. But hopes were dashed upon learning that they did not serve the typical Scallion bread among other things instead it appears to be run by ethnically Chinese Southeast Asians with a Muslim background. The Chef is Chinese but is not Muslim. This explains the varied menu.
We started with a super creamy thai ice tea, lightly sweet and fragrant. Dommy stuck with the house tea, also refreshing with a bit a barley aftertaste.
We started with Shrimp Dumplings, Dommy pegged them as typically frozen. Nothing special. Luckily our mains made up for them...
Szechuan Tofu, basically Ma Po Tofu. A favorite dish of mine, we recently had a super authentic version at Chung King and although this was not in the same level of heat, it was extremely flavorful (Not just salty brown sauce like lots of other places) and with the slightest taste of heat and sichuan peppercorn. Though the Menu said that the dish comes with ground Beef this one had none and I think it is because it is on the vegetarian menu, you will have to specifically request it. Oh and If you need heat there is chili paste already on the table.
One of the few Chinese Islamic dishes there was Lamb Curry. Again, no where in the league of the stuff you can get at China Islamic, but again, they made a decent attempt. Lots of flavor of curry and cumin. The lamb was cooked well, thin, tender, but still slightly lamby.
Above all, we were very satisfied with our meal and are glad to have a new option so near by. Next time we plan to try from the limited Thai menu...
10706 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230