April 1, 2010
I went to Starry Kitchen three times this week.
On Day 1, I brought a coworker – he went back again the next day.
On Day 2, I brought a friend – she went back, not just the next day, but also the day after.
If that’s not enough to convince you Starry Kitchen serves good food, continue reading…
Never been to Starry Kitchen before? That’s okay. Ordering is easy:
1. Choose your meat.
2. Choose the vessel.
3. There is no Step 3. You’re done.
One of the reasons I love Starry Kitchen so much (and why I’ve been able to eat there three times this week) is because there’s so much variety! Five protein options grace their chalkboard menu on any given day, with five vessels in which to eat them. You can get your protein sandwiched in a banh mi-like sandwich, wrapped in a tortilla, on a plate with rice or atop two different types of salads.
Each week, one of these protein options rotates off the menu; each week, a new protein option rotates onto the menu. It’s a novel concept and one I appreciate because it means that, five weeks from now, I’ll have a completely new menu to choose from. However, it also means that, once a protein rotates off the menu, you’ll have to wait a good month and a half until it comes back. (Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?)
This week’s “bye-bye” option (as they’ve dubbed it) were the Taiwanese Fried Pork Chops. Their “hi-hi” option (as I’ve now dubbed it) were the SK Spicy Crab Cakes. I ordered them both…Twice.
Day 1 – SK Spicy Crab Cake Banh Mi; Side of Jap Chae
I still can’t get over the fact that these crab cakes were made from imitation crab. Imitation crab typically evokes an imagine of string cheese made of fake seafood with that disgusting dyed pink outside. This was flaky and actually tasted real. It was perfect in the soft baguette.
As a side note, their jap chae (i.e. glass noodles) is RIDICULOUS. I know it’s just glass noodles and mushrooms cooked in soy sauce and sesame oil and topped with scallions, but there’s got to be more to this recipe than that. A secret ingredient of some sort…like crack. Yeah, crack. (God, it’s so addicting.)
Day 2 – Taiwanese Fried Pork Chop Wrap; Side of Jap Chae
Another perfect combination of meat and vessel. Especially when you add fresh jalapenos to the breaded pork and the tortilla. (Be warned: those jalapenos have a kick to them though!)
Day 3 – Taiwanese Fried Pork Chops on a Thai Cobb Salad
In order to mix it up, I got a salad for the day. The Thai cobb salad includes cucumber, avocado, tomato, egg, blue cheese and bacon in this light honey sesame dressing. It was a perfectly healthy salad…until I added fried pork to it. (Mmm…fried pork.)
Enough about their food, I have to say the best thing about Starry Kitchen is that everyone who works there is genuinely nice. Nguyen, the guy you can’t miss working the front of the house, has an energetic personality, which is so welcome after a morning of Outlook emails and conference calls. His better half, Thi, who mans the kitchen, is quiet but when she smiles, she cares. (You can just see it in her eyes!)
There’s real heart behind this restaurant, and I’ve fallen in love with that. It just makes me want to introduce people to Starry Kitchen, to introduce them to Nguyen and Thi and show them what this little establishment has to offer. I’ve already introduced two…Can I introduce you too?