June 18, 2017
After reviewing gastropubs on our last two Sunday dinners out, we were relieved to be eating something not fried or in a bun. Birdseye Kitchen is a Thai/Vietnamese fusion restaurant offering, but not limited to, healthy cuisine.
The sign out front boasts Pho (No, you can’t pronounce it Fo, like Fo sure! It’s Fuh. It sounds wrong saying it too. Fuh. Fuh you! Fuh this!)
It’s the kind of place one cruises their bike to for some good, Asian grub.
The decor is tasteful with music playing quietly enough to actually hear the conversation you are having. Word on the street about this place is that the service is poor. We waited only a few minutes too long before someone came to take our order. No biggie. Although the wine and local beer list looked good, we decided to stay on the wagon this week. Still recovering a bit from last week! The menu was quite overwhelming, with plenty of vegetarian and Gluten-Free options I may add, so I decided to have a chat with our waiter about what to order.
Me: Can you please recommend something popular that has chicken and is not too spicy?
Waiter: Everything is good.
Me: I’m sure it is, but what are one or two of your most popular dishes?
Waiter: The curry, the stir fry or the noodle dishes are all good. Also the salads and Pho are very popular.
Me: So pretty much everything on the menu is what you would recommend?
Me: Got it.
As helpful as that was, I made a decision and ordered the Lao-style stew. It had me at lemongrass. It also had organic cabbage, mushrooms and free-range chicken. I did an upgrade from white to brown rice. They call it a stew, but it was a clear broth, so in my book it’s a soup. It was delicious with the lemongrass happily coming through in the broth, er, stew.
Our friend, Leslie, ordered something called a Bun Bowl because it had a cool name. It came with roasted pork, vermicelli noodles, peanuts and a vinaigrette. The grilled pork was extremely flavorful. There were no buns of any kind, however. And it was served on a plate. Interesting name.
My husband ordered the Cashew Stir fry with brown rice and free-range chicken. It had eggplant and other organic veggies. Those cashews were like little golden nuggets of yumminess! (Why does Spellcheck underline in harsh red so many of my adjectives? Of course “yumminess” is a word!)
My older son, the non-picky eater, ordered the Wild Fish Curry that came in a coconut curry broth. The flavors were good, but the fish was so finely cut, they minced it right out of this dish. Better to leave some bigger pieces so you actually know you are eating fish. It was my least favorite dish on the table, but still very good.
We decided that the best way to tackle this meal was for each to try their own dish, then pass it to the right. Take a bite or two, and then keep passing the dishes until you end back up with your own. This was the way to go, and the way I hope to eat all future dinners out!
Bottom Line: Birdseye Kitchen is a great option stuck between an Italian restaurant and an upscale gastropub on the 101. The portions are just the right size, and the vegetables taste crisp and fresh. You will pay $14-$15 a dish which is worth the price when they are using organic ingredients and grass-fed meat. They don’t mind adding spice, so if you do, you better speak up! Go with a group and do our Taste-And-Pass, so you will get to try everything. Plus it makes the meal more fun!