pan-asian with panache

December 19, 2009


It seems that while I’ve been in the UK for the past six years the US has seen an increase in the number and variety of Asian-food establishments.  Was Panda Express so popular before I left?  I can’t remember, but I’m seeing them all over the place now.  Then again, I was living in New York City back then and am now spending most of my time in suburbia.  So they may have been around, just not around me.

My mom has been raving about Pei Wei.  Billing itself an “Asian diner,” the place looks quite modern from the outside; and I finally decided to give it a try with her a few days ago.  Nice!  I love Pei Wei.  Nearly all the dishes are offered with vegetables and tofu, so I was spoiled for choice here.  I went with the Thai Dynamite that was supposed to be spicy, but having just spent five weeks in the hot-salsa haven that is Southern California, this barely made my tongue tingle.

What I loved most about this dish is that the vegetables were barely cooked–they were beautifully crisp and colorful.  And the brown rice was just perfect.  I couldn’t finish the whole thing, and it came to under $8.  Pei Wei seems to be attached to malls, so if you’re doing some last-minute shopping, steer right past the food court and get yourself some healthier wok cooking at this place.  It seems that over 41,000 other people agree with me.

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