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Century City: Why must we suffer like this? - Sen Asian Kitchen

I received the following promotional email today. I probably would have tried the restaurant as soon as it opens except I was forwarned by the following email from management.

Text from restaurant. Commentary my own.

Enticing New Restaurant Brings Asian Flavor To Century Park: Sen Asian Kitchen Opens at 2000 Avenue of the Stars on the Promenade of Cafes on Monday, January 31, 2011

Sen Asian Kitchen has arrived on the hip, LA scene with a fresh approach to Asian style cuisine. [Fresh as the suburbs of Iowa City]

Along with traditional Chinese dishes such as orange chicken, beef and broccoli, won ton soup; fresh sushi will be served made to order. [I am already scared. Orange chicken, won ton soup, and “fresh sushi” should not be together.] …

The new restaurant, designed by the world-renowned Thomas Schoos (designer of Tao, Koi, The Penthouse, etc.), celebrates its location on the Promenade of Cafes at Century Park with a contemporary enriched Asian theme... [“Contemporary enriched Asian theme”—is this English?]

Upon entering the 100-seat restaurant, customers are greeted with grand, contemporary bamboo light fixtures. Exposed vintage barn wood adorns the walls, modern tables with tables and community style seating available for those who like to talk to their neighbors. [Er, no]

The back wall houses the sushi bar with head sushi chef and mastermind, Ryota Okumura…. [Anyone want to lay odds on this “mastermind” ever working the line”?]

With fresh sushi made daily, it’s near impossible not to satisfy all of your Japanese cravings. [Wait—what about the orange beef? I thought this was Chinese, oh right, “Asian.”]

With creations such as the Avenue of the Stars roll, a vegetable roll covered with fresh albacore served with crispy onion and pesto sauce [this is the most horrible sounding dish I’ve ever been forced to hear about] and Baked Crab Hand Roll with a choice of spicy mayo, now being a classic roll for many high end restaurants (served at a lunch price), [Right- because a spicy crab roll is only served by “high end restaurants” and not ever sushi lunch truck disguising krab] chef Ryota’s culinary glory will not disappoint. [Let’s all take a moment to reflect on this statement, yes, you heard them, “culinary glory”] In conjunction with the traditional favorites of Chinese cuisine, fresh salads will be served daily including the Arugula Endive salad, Chinese Chicken salad, Main Mein salad and Asian Pear salad. [ So now we have fast food Chinese, sushi worthy of “culinary glory”, and arugula salads.]

But honestly, perhaps I am wrong? Any intrepid hounds out there? Reports please. I can’t bear to the legwork myself on this one.

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  1. I feel your pain.

    But can't really blame them, can you? Supply will meet demand. Market forces. Oh well.

    1. I used to work in the tower adjacent on CPE and this will fit right in. The D-girls will love it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Excuse my ignorance, but what, who, are "D-girls" ?

        1. re: JBC

          D is for development. D-girls read scripts and they tend to concentrate in large quantities in Century City. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define...

          As a stereotype, they're not known for culinary sophistication... think fruity sweet drinks in cocktail glasses, clothing far more expensive than their position and a need to go wherever is trendy, even if the food is awful.

      2. Hilarious!!!!!
        Dumb Dumb Main Mein

        1. Fulfilling my duty to the board, I went to Sen's Asian Kitchen as soon as they opened up this morning to beat the anticipated mob. Actually, it's not as bad as you may think, mainly because this is really a food court type of eatery, not a sit down restaurant, which limits the amount you can be overcharged. There are four cashier/order takers, and even though I arrived right at 11 am opening time, I still had to wait as all four spots were already taking orders. You have the option of taking the food back to your office or sitting at the tables inside and outside. As already mentioned, the menu is a hodgepodge of Chinese and Japanese food. I went with the steamed chicken dumplings, which were unusually dry, though edible. Entrees are $10, plus or minus, with the most intriguing item being fried rice made with crab, asparagus and egg white, for $12.95. This is a lunch only operation, and they close at 4pm. So given the location and its limited function, this place probably isn't a bad idea, though you'll never catch me here again.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Chandavkl

            Thanks for the recon mission, Colonel Chandavkl.

            1. re: Chandavkl

              Thanks. Sounds more like the horrible Patina run Army basic training camp we used to have.

              I'd love to know whybeverything in CC and the mall costs more or less $10. I can't tell if it is a conspiracy, the price point required to break even, or some other mystery.

              1. re: JudiAU

                I think this is better than the Patina Asian Kitchen. Wasn't some of their stuff pre-cooked?

                1. re: JudiAU

                  "Sounds more like the horrible Patina run Army basic training camp we used to have."

                  Is that Swill Hut, Judi? :P

                  1. re: Professor Salt

                    I am so proud you remember Professor Salt. =)

                  2. re: JudiAU

                    Thank you!! I went from working in the SGV, where Chinese food was abundant and cheap, to working in CC, where it was not hard at all to lay out $15 for lunch.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      if i found myself spending that kind of money on lunch in CC everyday, i'd probably ask the folks at OBIKA mozzarella bar to reserve me a spot at their bar for lunch everyday.
                      their food rings my bell.
                      their DineLA menu, is a good value too.

                  3. re: Chandavkl

                    I'm surprised you got in. We showed up on the first day to try it and they had a woman turning people away at the door because of "problems in the kitchen." A minute later, the fire alarm went off.

                    We decided to wait a week or so before going back.

                    1. Feel the owners knew that the two most successful Westfield food court tenants were Panda Express and Take A Bao, and thus the market was already in place, and that they could save many from having to walk to the mall.
                      But as Professor Salt so ably stated, might this be Swill Hut 2.0?
                      Doesn't sound like it, yet they may earn the award over time.

                      Take A Bao
                      10250 Santa Monica Blvd Ste Fc15, Los Angeles, CA 90067

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: carter

                        Had this and this tastes way better than Panda. Could be a lil cheaper, but worth it. Def better than the others.

                        1. re: TrueBlueShoes

                          Interesting. I rather eat at Panda Express than Take A Bao. At least with Panda you know what you are getting. Take A Bao has terrible rice and everything is horribly sweet. I can't eat there.

                          Take A Bao
                          10250 Santa Monica Blvd Ste Fc15, Los Angeles, CA 90067

                          1. re: JudiAU

                            I am 100% right there with you. I complained here on Chowhound about the terrible food. They asked me to try it again, which I did (anonymously, of course), and it was still terrible, so I wrote them off forevermore.

                      2. Just a follow-up on this place, which I finally tried after my first attempt was derailed by the fire alarm.

                        I tried the sushi, getting a three hand-roll combo for $10.95. It consists of a spicy tuna, salmon and avocado, and California roll, plus salad and soup. I'm not a big fan of salmon sushi (except at Kiriko), so I got two spicy tuna handrolls. The result was nothing particularly special. The spicy tuna was okay, although the rice had an odd texture, and the California roll was imitiation crab. On the other hand, it did not send me racing for the exits like Swill Hut (TM - JudiAU) did. But then, although I love high-end, top-qualify sushi, I am not adverse to eating supermarket sushi either, so my standards for "serviceable" sushi are probably pretty low.

                        Interestingly, I noticed that the names of a number of the Chinese menu items reminded me of things from the Chin Chin menu ("wonton stars" for crab rangoon, sichuan dumplings with spicy cilantro sauce). Then I noticed that the food was being placed in bags with the Chin Chin logo. Sure enough, Sen Asian is related to Chin Chin, although the menus are not exactly the same. It's been years since I've had Chin Chin, but I remember liking their Chinese Chicken Salad and some of their dumplings, so I'll probably try some of the Chinese menu items in the future.

                        I'm not going to say the food is great and the prices are pretty high, but I can't really complain about having another lunch option nearby.

                        11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Jwsel

                          Maybe this should be a seprate topic, but I wonder who people think makes the 'best' supermarket sushi. This really does seem to be popular with upscale markets and Japanese grocers alike

                          1. re: Jwsel

                            I had this place again too. Quality is good. I just like that they have so many options. Is it authentic? Eh. I can't complain. We're in Century CIty.

                          2. Get ready to suffer again they are opening a big BJ's in Century City mall.