Thanks for stopping in to look at mmm-yoso!!!, our food blog. Kirk is not blogging today, nor is ed(from Yuma). Cathy is sharing another meal she has enjoyed.
The first time I went to Asia Cafe, I met up with ed (from Yuma), who drove to San Diego for a visit. It was as wonderful as Kirk had described in his three posts in 2006 and I immediately understood why ed(from Yuma) would drive in (from Yuma) and make Asia Cafe one of his first stops here. Asia Cafe became part of the 'rotation' for me and The Mister. I realized the other day that that part of our rotation had somehow fallen away, probably because the wonderment which is Lao-Thai food showed up walking distance from our home in Santee, in the form of Sab-E-Lee.
Located in the corner of a small mall anchored by a Laundromat, on Market Street and 47th, Asia Cafe is easy to miss or just overlook; There's a car repair shop in the middle of that mall. However, business has always been booming, either
with most of the six tables with 28 chairs filled, or just with people picking up phoned in orders.
The menu, written in Thai and English, is only 3 pages long, has sections including Pho, Com and Bun as well as stir fried meats and fried rice dishes right next to a section of larbs, Lao-noodles, soups and curry dishes. I must say that each item I have had here is very well prepared and tasty.
So, we started this visit with deep fried spring rolls- (6 for $3.75). These were filled with pork, vegetables and clear noodles and did not have an excess of spring roll dough and were fried perfectly. Served with lettuce leaves, mint and cilantro-which complimented the Lao sweet and spicy sauce (fish sauce with a kick), these are better than average. I don't think any place else serves cilantro with fried spring rolls and the flavors seem so right together.
The other two dishes we ordered, both of which I craved, were (top part of photo) the Crying Tiger ($5.50). Beef larb, basically with at first a heat/spice level you may not have expected...but at some point the lemongrass, lemon juice, onions and fine powdery rice coating on the meat becomes so satisfying and you realize that you can taste all the flavors. This is addicting.
The bottom dish in the photo is chicken cashew nut ($5.50) A simple version of stir fried chicken, onions, straw mushrooms, scallions and cashews. The sauce is a bit sweet, but needs to be in this dish. Steamed rice is $1.50 and sticky rice is $2. One order is enough to share.
I'm so glad that Asia Cafe is still here and that the food, prices, owners and even the interior is unchanged. I do like consistency.
Asia Cafe 4710 Market Street San Diego 92102 (619) 527-1917
Closed Tuesdays. Open 10:30-6:30 M-W-Th-F, 11:00-6:30 S-S