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Dec 3, 2009 01:29 AM

"Asian Tapas" in Irvine?

this is a newish place in the Woodbury Town Center; I've seen it only by its website. Appears to be sleeker in decor, smaller food portions (equiv. to higher prices) than the typical Chinese eatery in Irvine. Someone on Yelp traced its owners back to Tri-Village in its earlier days. My interest is in the Peking duck, prepared with a soup course made from the duck bones. The extra $$ isn't an issue, because it's a special occasion, and the guests are non-Asian, so the sleekness is probably a plus. Our usual spot on our annual visit to OC for Chinese is S&W.

Has anyone dined there? Is there another alternative for the duck prepared two ways in the general vicinity? Has anyone had that dish recently at Tri-Village? (We'll be coming from Lake Forest, returning to Anaheim/Orange)

thanks again to the generous and informative OC/LA folk who frequent this board, you've helped fill our visits with excellent eating.

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  1. OC Weekly did a favorable review a couple weeks ago. Edwin is usually spot-on with his reviews.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Wonginator

      duo xie, Wong xian sheng. Sounds like the new world can have a positive influence on translated foods, not just dilute/homogenize it.

    2. It's awful -- don't bother going. We went this past wkend and i must say it continues to confirm my belief that there is no good chinese food down in south OC.

      if you're looking for good peking duck, you'll need to go up to the SGV they have a few places that only specialize in that dish.

      3 Replies
      1. re: RSfoodie

        With beef rolls on the menu it seemed promising, but despite the large Chinese community in Irvine, they seem to be going after the Panera crowd.

        1. re: RSfoodie

          You can find great peking duck in Little Saigon. The vietnamese are pretty adept at chinese specialties, and I've had great peking duck. Although it doesn't usually work the other way around.

          1. re: RSfoodie

            i love formosa restaurant in lake forest, since they have dishes similar to what I like to get when in taiwan....

            bean curd and shredded pork, mustard green and pork noodle soup, beef noodle soup, chinese bbq beef and green veggies

          2. Isn't "Asian Tapas" = dim sum?

            1 Reply
            1. re: PeterL

              Sort of. This isn't a Cantonese places and their idea of Asian tapas includs beef rolls, onion pancakes and popcorn chicken.

            2. went to asian tapas a month or 2 ago with my family. it is a taiwanese influenced restaurant and i thought the food was just ok. for the most part, items were much too salty, however, the service was nice but a tad forgetful.

              - popcorn chicken: this was super salty. nicely fried and piping hot

              - bean curd w/ shredded beef in spicy sauce - this was ok. the beef was julienned roast beef and the sauce was not spicy.

              - green onion pancake: pretty mediocre. not much flavor and a bit greasy.

              - soft tofu w. thousand year egg - this dish was pretty well executed. the tofu was a fresh silken tofu and they piled it high with bonito flakes.

              - beef roll: this is basically roast beef and veggies rolled up in a green onion pancake like a burrito. i dunno if anyone who gave this dish raving reviews have ever had GOOD beef rolls but the ones served up at asian tapas are just ok. go to 101 noodle express in sgv and you'll know what a real beef roll should look and taste like.

              - 3 cup chicken: this is a quintessential taiwanese dish. this was one of the better dishes that night but also a bit salty. the chicken was a tad fatty but overall the chicken was cooked well and was plump and juicy.

              - basil beef: this was decent as well. it is beef stir fried with basil and was very fragrant. also one of the better dishes we had that evening.

              - 5am chitterling w/ tofu (): this is a braised intestine, pork blood cube and tofu dish. it was listed as spicy but ended up being a 4/10 on a spiciness scale. unfortunately, this dish was much too salty.

              - hainan chicken rice: this was pretty bad. the chicken was not moist and it was not soft. and the way they cut the chicken left bits and pieces of bone dispersed throughout the dish as well. if you want good hainan chicken rice, go to sgv and hit up savoy. they do it right.

              stir fried rice noodle: this was pretty bad as well. gooey and sticky. this dish needs to be dry-ish and fluffy.

              1. in terms of asian "tapas", my favorite is still nesai in newport beach