Palagor Asian Fusion, Yuma AZ
Even though Los Manjares de Pepe was calling, my dining companion and I decided to give Palagor a try, since we were trying to check out places we hadn't been yet. Palagor is owned and operated by the same family that runs Highway 95 Cafe, and they even have the Highway 95 shield below the restaurant name on the sign.
I don't know what this location used to be, but they've done a respectable job in converting it to an Asian restaurant, with the requisite Chinese style artwork and bubbling fountains.
Their beer and wine list is nonexistent, but luckily, we weren't really in the mood for drinks. I had a Tsing Tao beer, just to be a little festive.
We started with the Hot and Sour Tom Yum Soup ($6 for two) which was crammed full of seafood and vegetables. It was good, but we both agreed that it needed a little more broth. It was more like a hot seafood salad lightly dressed with broth! The seafood, however, was very well done--mussels, squid, shrimp, and scallops were all tender and not overcooked.
Next, we moved on to the Peking Duck Dim Sum Bun ($6 for 4 buns). These were the traditional Peking Duck rolls with more duck meat than skin, a light smear of hoisin, and a good portion of green onion. I thought they did a pretty good job with these, although I would have liked more crisp skin. The only other place in Arizona that I've been able to find Peking Duck of any sort is in Phoenix, so it's good to know they have this on the menu.
Next was the Triple Choices: barbecued pork, two spring rolls, and two rice crisps for $8. In retrospect, I'm not sure why we ordered this one. The barbecue pork was gristly and greasy, the spring rolls were really standard, and the rice crisps were truly peculiar. They are like an unsweetened rice krispie bar rolled into a tube. A tube shaped rice cake. Styrofoam. I'm not sure why this dish is also marked "not available for To Go orders."
Finally, we had the Vietnamese Chow Fun ($9). We thought it sounded interesting: "Seafood medley, wok-fried chow fun, wrapped in rice paper." When it arrived, it looked like a giant, glistening brain. They had balled up the noodles and wrapped it in a translucent rice paper bundle. Big noodle brain. The seafood medley was really hard to find--I think I had one shrimp. My dining companion noted, "They like to put mussels in things," so I guess he found a mussel. The noodles were overdone, and cut into short lengths which made them really difficult to snag with chopsticks. But I'm sure that made them fit in the brain better.
So strong start, weak finish. Service was fine, but I hope they pare down the menu to focus on dishes they do well.
Palagor Asian Fusion Restaraunt
771 S 4th Ave, Yuma, AZ 85364
Highway 95 Cafe
2585 E 16th St, Yuma, AZ 85365
Your report confirms my experiences at Palagor so far. Instead of focusing on making real food (as at Hwy 95 where most of the dishes have roots in Thai or Mandarin cuisine), they are doing "fusion," which often doesn't work. I have yet to have a really satisfying meal there.
I like the idea of the Peking duck dim sum (?), but the balance between the starchy bun and the meager fillings isn't right. Not enough sauce, skin, or duck to my taste. They also have a duck/noodle dish which is OK (noodles, duck meat, broth), but not special.
I've had some other things there that were too sweet for my tastes. Weird salads. And far too much peanut sauce. Spring rolls filled with noodles and a few tasteless shrimp served with thick gloppy peanut sauce.
The first time I was there, I had good roti with a wonderful thick curry dip. Next time, the great dip was replaced with the curry flavored coconut milk soup broth. Never a good sign when a restaurant replaces good stuff with stuff not so good.
I hate to be negative about a local indie restaurant, but so far I think this place has more pretence than passion, more contrivence than cooking.
At least they finally got their liquor license.