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« Asia Cafe Part I | Main | Panda Palace - Another ABCDE in National City »

Monday, 03 April 2006



Wow, everything looks so good. I really want to try the Laotian fried rice and beef jerky.


Hi Kady - You should give them a try the next time you're in the area, very reasonable prices!


Ok that was great; I am so hungry now! Hmm what in the world am I going to make for lunch! ;P


Thanks so much for the Lao lunch...if everything goes according to plan I'll be eating the real stuff in Luang Prabang in August. Got my tickets and counting down, 4 months to go and then lunch overlooking the Mekong. Do you mind if I link to you?


My my...that fried rice and the jerky does indeed look amazing. Maybe they'll put it on the permanent menu now because of you.


Hi Mills - Papaya Salad? ;o)

Hi Emilyk - Can't wait to read about it. I was about to send you and Stacey an email asking to link to both of you as well, thanks so much!

Hi Elmo - I think these dishes are always available, but just not on the menu - or maybe it is, and I didn't recognize it - good stuff all the same!

Passionate Eater

I love papaya salad. Green papaya almost tastes like a vegetable, but it's a fruit!

Your papaya salad looks incredible Kirk. But I have to ask... What's with the huge head of cabbage next to it? Is it for decorative purposes, or are patrons supposed to nibble on that thing?


Everything looks really good. That fried rice and beef jerky is making my mouth water at this very odd hour.


mmm beef salad! And that fried rice looks great too! I know of a laotian place in Canberra which I willt ry to ask for New Khao. Hopefully they will make it as nicely as that pic shows. I love your blog Kirk! I always learn new things even from countries which were "neighbouring" countries to the one I grew up in.


Hi PE - I use it to grab salad - so I can use my grubby hands to eat - it can help cut down on the saltiness. In fact I wish a bit more cabbage was provided.

Hi Jack - So are you back in San Diego?

Hi Rachel - Nem Khao has become one of the Missus's favorite dishes. I'm looking forward to seeing what you'll get from your local Laotian Rstaurant.


I've only been to Asia Cafe a couple of times and I need to re-visit it after your great review, but I think they also make an incredible 'Tea with Lime' drink that's worth checking out.


Hi Marc - Strange as it may seem, I think most of the really "good stuff" isn't on the menu, you have to ask them to make it! Thanks for the tip on the drink.


I want to add that Kirk and I had lunch at Asia Cafe when I was in SD on my food vacation (no, not vacation from food, but a vacation to food), and I was blown away. The fried rice dish (imho) is as good or better than the crispy rice and sour sausage signature dish at Lotus of Siam in Vegas. I thought the version at Asia Cafe was crunchier and better balanced. Plus the lettuce leaf and herbs add a nice touch.

The beef jerky was unbelievable as well. Even the rather ordinary noodle dish we tried was good ordinary, not bad in any way. Thanks again Kirk for taking me there. I wouldn't have made it on my own. Wonderful food!


Hi Ed - Glad you made it home safe! Thanks for the great company, and all the goodies as well!


Thanks for the recommendation. We went to Asia Cafe this afternoon. Did they tell you that the menu prices are out of date? This man said the menu was 10 years old and that the prices should be .50 higher. No wonder I was a bit taken aback by my total. I wasn't expecting to pay more than $25 for my orders. Unless they totally ripped us off.

Nevertheless, the food was great. We had the nem khao (fried rice - nice and crunchy), the Yum Asia (which didn't have the cellophane noodles on the bottom) , sticky rice, some spicy beef (forgot the name) that my husband ordered, and the seen-nam-toke. Oh my gosh! Everything was great and worth it...


Hi Reynila - It was hard to tell prices for us because we ended up ordering things not on the menu. So that's why I basically only mentioned totals. Was it the Older Man that helped you? He's the two Young Guys (Scotty & Johnny's) Dad. Mom is one of the cooks in the back. We were at Asia Cafe this afternoon about 230pm ordering take-out..... I'm glad that you enjoyed the food. Next time try the pork laab, I thought it was pretty good. The Tom Yum kind of threw us - light on sour, but loaded with pineapple, and the broth had alot of tomato in it.


our price total bugged me. It was $32.48, but my husband number crunched and said it was about right. i should have gotten a breakdown from the guy. there was a young guy who helped us (probably johnny or scotty, i didn't ask) and the older man was probably the dad. you must have come right after we left. we were there around 1:30 and leftaround 2-ish. unless that was you (wearing a green shirt, according to my husband) getting your takeout this afternoon when I was paying for my food.'s all good. i'd go again for that fried rice!!!! my brother enjoyed the leftovers. we'll try the laab next time. :)


Hi Reynila - I had a Grey "Reebok" T-shirt on, I think I may have just missed you - too bad, that would've been really funny! It was Johnny who served you.


oh nooo.... you made my mouth's water :D Have to go and eat Lao food now


Hi Tony - It is good stuff!

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