Hello and hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter spent with loved ones! Welcome once again to another new week of Bheng’s Bahay Kubo, atbp. This week’s topic is all about the newly opened restaurant, Bao Down Gastrobar.
FilAm Star, was invited to attend the Bao Down Gastrobar media preview night last April 5. Bao Down is a contemporary Pacific Rim Fusion Restaurant Group rooted in Filipino Cuisine with four unique locations in Vancouver BC, Canada and now opening the first restaurant in the United States right here in San Francisco. We met the owners of this restaurant, including a Filipino actor, Marvin Agustin.
Upon entering, you realize five things before you even get to the food.
1. The wall artwork and design
2. Great Full Bar
3. Friendly Staff
4. Happy Hour
5. The location (next to a hotel)
We had the privilege to try most of their food as they bring them out to the media people. My colleagues enjoyed the Bao Chicken Bao (Lemongrass & garlic gluten-free fried organic chicken, garlic aioli, red boat glaze, organic pickled carrots, daikon strings, cilantro, crispy garlic) and SFO (sesame seared big eye tuna, sweet tamari glaze, organic baby pea shoots, Applewood smoked bacon, wasabi aioli, smashed avocado) and they said they were pretty good! The food had an Asian twist to it which made the taste so amazing! If you’re a fan of wasabi, I’m pretty sure you’d love SFO.
One of the dishes we ordered was the kimchi fries. These were, hands down, one of the best plates of fries ever! The kimchi tasted very authentic, fries were seasoned really well, the sauce was spot on. Choice of organic mushrooms and vegan garlic aioli or crispy pork and CA garlic aioli. We tried the vegan and enjoyed them. My colleagues ordered the Japayoki Fries (Double fried fries, chicken karaage, Japanese curry cheese sauce, jalapenos, pea shoots, sweet tamari, sesame, nori, spring onions). They both had bean sprouts on top and it adds a very nice texture along with the fries because you get that extra crunch! The price of these fries is about $10 but the portion they serve is worth the amount you pay for!!
The next dish we ordered was on the Island Tacos menu. The K-Pop (kimchi, daikon, Asian slaw, vegan garlic aioli, tofu, crispy garlic, avocado – vegan) and the N2 Deeper (crispy coconut crusted wild local black cod, house made kimchi, Thai chili ranch, Asian organic cabbage slaw) tacos were really good as well. For $4.50 each, it’s definitely well worth the price.
Another dish they served for media was the West Coast Lumpia (chicken, water chestnuts, lettuce, cilantro, Thai basil, sweet chili sauce, crispy garlic, scallions and ginger aioli). The lumpia was very crunchy, served in a lettuce leaf and sweet sauce on the side.
On my next visit, I’ll try the Titanium (Thai style khao sol with steamed & crispy egg noodles, Thai red & yellow curry, organic peppers, traditional accompaniments). Choices of wild shrimps and crispy prawns or crispy tofu and local seasonal veggies. This dish is $24, but I was told that the quality and the serving portion is well worth the price. Looking forward to it.
The food was delicious, presentable and tasty! Will definitely recommend! We had a great time!