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St. Louis: Chinese and other Asian/Indian ethnic restaurants

b
Big Daddy Aug 3, 2009 12:43 PM

My wife (vegetarian) and I (omnivoire) will be in St. Louis at the beginning of September. We've gotten a lot of good suggestions off this board. But outside of a banh mi place, I've read very little about good, authentic Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese or Indian/Pakistani food.
Any recommendations?

  1. f
    FriendOfTheDevil Aug 3, 2009 01:41 PM

    There are tons. I will give you some Generic areas and a few places. At least you can search out the areas. Saucemagazine.com is a good resource-

    Olive Street Road east of 170 in U City is a small Chinatown. Lu Lu's is good, Won Ton King for Dim Sum, and lots of other places.

    Wei Hong Seafood Restaurant & Bakery
    7740 Olive Blvd.
    University City, MO 63130
    314-726-0363
    User Rating: 8.7 | View Info | Add to my list | View my list

    Kim Son Vietnamese Bistro
    8080 Olive Blvd.
    St. Louis, MO 63130
    314-432-8388
    User Rating: 7.5 | View Info | Add to my list | View my list

    In the South Grand area there is some Vietnamese aand lots of other interesting places-

    http://www.saucemagazine.com/advanced...

    I can't tell you much about Paki or Indian.

    FOTD

    1 Reply
    1. re: FriendOfTheDevil
      b
      Big Daddy Aug 5, 2009 10:48 AM

      Huge help, Friend of the Devil.
      I consider you a friend of mine...

    2. f
      FriendOfTheDevil Aug 3, 2009 01:42 PM

      I forgot Thai. King and I on South Grand is good. Thai Kitchen at Dorsett and McKelvey is good and Land of Smiles on Olive in Olivette (West of where I told you ) is good.

      FOTD

      1. a
        Anne Aug 3, 2009 02:26 PM

        Don't miss India Palace for wonderful Indian food Lots of delicious vegetarian choices, and the lamb dishes are out of this world! This place comes very highly recommended by my husband's many Indian co-workers---and we live 3 hours away!!! We've been there for dinner (order from the large menu) as well as for the daily lunch buffet. We've been very pleased every time.
        Very interesting place---on the top floor of a hotel overlooking the airport. Here's a link:
        http://www.indiapalaceairport.com/

        1. d
          Dedicated Fresser Aug 4, 2009 12:44 PM

          When I lived in St. Louis I always liked In Soo, on Olive Blvd in University City, east of I-170. It's a Chinese-Korean spot run by a Korean woman (by name of In Soo) and her children. Her husband cooks. Nice little place! I miss it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Dedicated Fresser
            f
            FriendOfTheDevil Aug 4, 2009 03:20 PM

            I am pretty sure she sold the biz.

            FOTD

          2. d
            Doug Aug 4, 2009 01:59 PM

            Even omnivores like the food at the all-vegetarian Indian restarurant called Raj's Rasoi. Everytime I eat here, I am impressed by the flavorfulness. Note: this is not a place for people who prefer nice decor over nice food. The restaurant is located in an unassuming strip mall in Maryland Heights.

            http://rajs-rasoi.com

            1. Phil Novara Aug 5, 2009 07:09 PM

              Anything on South Grand is delicious. King and I and Pho Grand come to mind right away.

              House of Wong in Clayton is also DELICIOUS! More contemp style of asian food.

              http://www.saucemagazine.com/houseofw...

              happy hunting!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Phil Novara
                s
                stlmark Aug 11, 2009 09:42 PM

                In that part of South Grand you will also find Lemon Grass. Go farther south on Grand, past Pho Grand, and you will start to find several hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese places that are either gems or worth avoiding. it's an adventure to say the least. Also, Sen Thai in downtown, if it is still around.

              2. t
                tonifi Aug 6, 2009 05:30 PM

                Everest serves Nepali food, which bears some resemblance to Chinese and Indian. Their lunch buffet is a really good value, and has lots of vegetarian and even vegan options. The lunch buffet always offers a variety of noodles, khormas, pakora, and naan... the sweet potato noodles are amazing. When a friend and I challenged each other to a month of vegan-ism, we went several times to Everest. The buffet menu doesn't seem to change much and is fairly small, but literally everything on it is freshly prepared and very tasty. Even my brother (NOT the most adventurous of eaters) loved it. www.everestcafeandbar.com. I have never been there for dinner, (my kids are still young, I never get to go anywhere for dinner...cue the self-pity)...but I've heard good things.

                2 Replies
                1. re: tonifi
                  b
                  Big Daddy Aug 8, 2009 01:40 PM

                  So many great suggestions. I'm getting positively pavlovian going through these menus. Now if I can just convince my wife we actually need to eat five meals a day, because it'll take all that to work my way through the restaurants I want to visit.

                  1. re: tonifi
                    p
                    p.j. Aug 11, 2009 12:51 PM

                    A hearty second on the recommendation of Everest. The husband is Nepalese and his wife is Korean. They are lovely people, and the buffet is an excellent deal for lunch or Sunday brunch (our favorite time to go). My daughter loves the veggie momo dumplings (which are not on the buffet) .

                    I also recommend House of Wong in Clayton, which will make anything (as far as I have experienced) on the menu with tofu in place of meat. Very fresh, and no extra charge for brown rice. My favorite is Hunan Chicken or Tofu, with broccolli in a black bean sauce. Heaven.

                    The Blue Elephant, also in Clayton, is a Thai restaurant that actually lists tofu as a meat alternative to most items on its menu.
                    Enjoy, p.j.

                  2. g
                    greggold Aug 17, 2009 02:43 PM

                    I have been addicted to the pho at Pho Long. Just east of 170 on the north side of Olive in the same shopping center as Nobu's. The flank steak pho is amazing. The eggrolls are great also. Not much on the atmosphere though.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: greggold
                      s
                      STLMealDeals Aug 17, 2009 04:27 PM

                      Truc Lam on Tower Grove is another highly recommended Vietnamese place:
                      http://www.yelp.com/biz/truc-lam-sain...

                      Sounds like you should just do a South Grand Tour. there's a Wei Hong Bakery on South Grand as well that's great - many is huge. Plus Basil Spice Thai, Mekong already mentioned restaurants like Pho Grand & King and I. If you like sushi, Cafe Mochi is also down in that area.

                      Personally, I prefer House of India's lunch buffet over Everest's but Everest is great for ordering a la carte and is a little quirkier and quainter.

                      1. re: STLMealDeals
                        b
                        Big Daddy Aug 29, 2009 08:28 AM

                        Thanks very much for all of the suggestions. We leave on Wednesday and I'm really looking forward to checking out your recommendations.

                        1. re: Big Daddy
                          b
                          Big Daddy Sep 8, 2009 08:31 AM

                          Many thanks for all of the great suggestions. St. Louis is a really charming city and we had some great meals there.
                          (1) Modesto: What an incredible restaurant. Real tapas and streetside seating. Ironic that perhaps the best restaurant on The Hill is not Italian; it's Spanish. The Iberico ham was outstanding (mouthgasmic). Other great items were the spicy albondigas and the plancha-cooked asparagus with romesco sauce. We also enjoyed the grilled squid (listed as chipirones) and the garbanzo puree. We were not impressed with the "flatbread" that was anything but. I enjoyed a reasonably priced ($12) 20-year tawny port to finish. Wish I could eat there regularly.
                          (2) Salem's Ethiopian restaurant. While the Delmar Loop is full of chainy places, on a short jog of Rosedale Ave near one end of the loop is this jewel. New ownership took over about six months ago. The food and service were great. Generous portions. My wife got a vegetarian combo and everything was stellar (especially the tikle gomen cabbage and carrot dish and the spicy ye misir wat red lentil stew). I had the lamb wat, which was falling off the bone tender. The food was not very spicy (not sure if they dumbed it down for the Westerners), but very flavorful, the way slow-cooked food can be. The lentil-filled sambusa (like a samosa) also rocked.
                          (3)Everest Cafe: The only Nepalese/Tibetan/Korean restaurant in town, they say. We went for lunch and really enjoyed the buffet. especially good were the chicken tandoori, hot spicy chicken with bone, pakora (zucchini perfectly fried in a lentil batter) and the Korean clear noodles. My wife also liked the vegetable korma.
                          (4). Wei Hong Seafood Restaurant: It was a pilgrimage for me. Any place with XO sauce is a place I want to try. I was not disappointed by my mixed seafood and XO. The dumplings I tried made me want to return for dim sum. My wife and I really liked her salt-and-pepper tofu. The hot and sour soup also was real nice.
                          (5) Mai Lee Restaurant: This was a nice little discovery, a back-up restaurant I scouted out in case we needed a place near our hotel. Great choice: Both the squid and tofu versions of xao ot (lemongrass and coconut curry sauce) were very good, as were the cha gio springrolls and my wife's tofu fresh roll. The apps came with lettuce leaves, cilantro and cucumbers for making salad rolls. We arrived just before closing but didn't feel rushed at all even as all employees but the owner left (and he came by to talk).
                          For drinking, I had some great pints at Llewellyn's (Fuller's on cask; what can I say?) and at Square One Brewery. My wife also enjoyed the margarita made with their house-distilled agave spirit.
                          Can't wait to go back, hit Modesto again, maybe sneak off for Wei Hong dim sum and explore South Grand.

                          1. re: Big Daddy
                            t
                            tonifi Sep 9, 2009 08:44 PM

                            Thank you so much, Big Daddy, for the follow-up, and for your kind words about our fair city.
                            I have GOT to get to Modesto some time soon.

                            1. re: tonifi
                              b
                              Big Daddy Sep 10, 2009 07:32 AM

                              Can't wait to go back. On the non-food front, we really enjoyed walking around the Delmar Loop and Central West End (did I get that right?) and our visit to the botanical gardens. Looking forward to spending a day around Forest Park and the museum, etc.
                              Modesto: Do go ASAP. Take some friends and share some plates. So many places bill themswelves as tapas, but really are offering expensive small plates. This is the real deal, down to the jamon, pickled olives, cheeses (which I'll delve into further next trip), plancha dishes and "tortillas" (Spanish fritatas). I started with a sherry, since this is the closest I'll come anytime soon to a tapas bar in Spain.

                    2. s
                      Scott D Sep 10, 2009 09:10 AM

                      What, no St Paul Sandwich? :)

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Paul...

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Scott D
                        alan Sep 10, 2009 09:19 AM

                        I'm with Scott D. The St. Paul sandwich is probably only vaguely Chinese and undoubtedly conceptually weird, but is decidedly delicious and uniquely a St. Louis product.

                        1. re: alan
                          b
                          Big Daddy Sep 10, 2009 09:32 AM

                          Make mine with a side of toasted ravioli.

                          1. re: Big Daddy
                            s
                            Scott D Sep 10, 2009 10:51 AM

                            Bingo! :)

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