Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > California >
Apr 12, 2007 10:44 PM

Anyone been to Asia-Vous in Escondido lately?

I really wanted to like this place, despite the fact that I generally detest the Asian-fusion concept. I like to stop by for the warm carrot bread pudding (best dessert in north county), but my one dinner there was not a success. The problem was portion size. My husband is one of those who expects large restaurant portions, and his $36 lamb chops were admittedly slight. It would take some very good word for me to convince him to go again. Any input?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I ate there recently and had a very good meal. I personally think the portions are plenty large, especially considering how rich the food is. We had an excellent meal and would go back but for the fact that it's far from where we live (La Mesa) The menu changes frequently so if you haven't been in a while, they probably won't have a lot of the same dishes. I have to say though, if you detest Asian fusion I'd wonder why you would choose this restaurant, since that is exactly what it is!

    8 Replies
    1. re: Alice Q

      Perhaps in the interest of being open-minded / giving things a chance / broadening culinary perspective?

      1. re: kare_raisu

        That's partly it. The other issue is that (I find) that too often "Asian fusion" means a chef thinking he can do green curry or fish with tamarind or miso-inflected dishes or whatever better than the inexpensive, authentic joint down the street. It was just never as good as the real deal. Asia-Vous, however, presented the concept in a fresh manner; I found his combinations truly unique and definitely worth a try.

        BTW, they no longer serve lunch. Glad to hear the portions were acceptable to others; maybe I was there early soon after they opened. Even I, a light eater, was unimpressed by the lamb serving.

        1. re: kare_raisu

          I agree that the dishes were unique and interesting - and I do hope you will try it again. I suspect they might be struggling a bit, given the fact that the dining room was largely empty on our last visit. It would be a shame for No. County to lose this restaurant, as there aren't a lot of interesting independent options in that area.

          If you look at the link I posted above, there are photos of the dishes we had - including the kurobuta pork confit.

          1. re: Alice Q

            Chef Riko is a local kid so it's not likely he's going to go anywhere. His concept is, however, mislocated in Escondido. Not that there is a problem with Escondido, it's more that the I-15 corrdior is a bear on week nights, especially with the perpetual construction going on.

            I have a reliable source that has indicated there are changes in the works for Asia-Vous, but was not able to divulge what they were at that time (which was 2 weeks ago). My guess is that they aren't closing but relocating somewhere in the county. Remember, the operative word here is "guess"

              1. re: Alice Q

                Me too, I really like Riko's cooking.

              2. re: DiningDiva

                I went to the horse's mouth - i.e., Kim and Riko. They laughed heartily when I asked if they were relocating. No way....thank god for us North County Inland follks. The only change has been ending the lunches and opening on Monday nights for the fixed price.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. $36 for lamb chops in Escondido? Wow.

            It's been a while since I've eaten at Asia-Vous, but the last time I was there someone in our party had the lamb chops and the portion was more than adequate. I managed to snag a taste of them and they were really nice. I had the pork confit (i.e. fancied up carnitas on the bone) that made me swoon. I've eaten several of the chef's fish dishes and he's got one of the lightest, most sensible touches with fish in the county.

            I'm not sure if they're still open for lunch or not, but if you just want to give the place a second try, lunch might not be a bad way to go. Not too much of an investment in time or $$$ and your husband doesn't exactly need participate.

            1. I love Asia-Vous and try to dine there at least once a week.Riko is a very, very gifted chef but you have to "get" the cuisine to appreciate it. I hope that doesn't come off as snobby because there are some very big name chefs that I just don't "get" or who are inconsistent (Deborah Scott or Patrick Ponsaty, for example). I have never had a bad meal at Asia-Vous, just some dishes I liked better than others (kind of like my own cooking!) I, who am not a dessert person, have had some fabulous desserts in the last several weeks. His tuna tartare is the best in SD. However, if you want big portions, head somewhere else. Vincent Sirino's up the street has heartier classic French fare. Although they are closed for lunch, Asia Vous is now open on Mondays when they have a reasonable $35 prix fixe with only two choices which speeds up the ordering time. I love this place and admire what Riko and his wife Kim have done but I am careful who I recommend it to.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cinderz

                I love Asia- vous and i found the portions to be perfect. If he is hungry...please try the Karubuto (sp?) is meat lover's paradise. As of a few months ago my daughter (9 mo old) held the honor of being the youngest tuna tartare customer. Riko came out to watch her eat... I am a proud mommy!