Xiao Bao biscuit. If you don't know where it is, find it! if you can't find it, ask someone!
Friends of ours recommended we give it a try. They dine here often and love it.
We drove by a couple of times until we realized the abandoned looking old garage is actually the restaurant! Very low key and unassuming from the outside. We parked out front (one of about 6 parking spots on property). We were a bit leery about XBB based on the exterior. DO NOT judge this book by its cover. The old "pump area" of the converted gas station was repurposed as outside dining area. There were some plantings that acted as a "wall" between the outside dining and the street traffic. We were greeted at the door and seated immediately (6:00pm on a Friday night). There were not a lot of customers (scary), but not to worry. we were waited on by "LATOYA". She was fantastic! Very knowledgable of the menu as well as the beverage menu. Very attentive without being overwhelming. Bartender "JOHN H." was also awesome. The entire staff worked in harmony with each other shuttling drinks, plates and taking time with each customer.
The interior decor was that of an abandoned warehouse that a couple "foodies" held a secret dinner in. Bar was very antique looking. It was a funky/cool look. Nothing fancy by any means...but it works! There were a mish-mash of barstool seats, they had some "tall-boy" tables and some low tables with bench seating. My wife and I were seated at a corner low table.
I guess i need to speak about the food...
We ordered off of the "share" menu...tapas.
We started with JIAO ZI-Chao Shou style pork wontons in a spicy chili sauce...fantastic, just the right amount of heat and the flavor was spot on.
Next came the SAMUN PHRAI- Herbal Thai sausage with roasted veggies in a yam, coconut, chili sauce with basil...i loved the heat of the spice, my wife found it a bit too hot for her. But we both loved it!
Then we had the OKONOMIYAKI- cabbage pancake. We ordered it with the "pork candy"...OMG, wonderful! So many flavors and textures going on in this simple yet complex offering.
We could not stop eating it was SO good.
So, we didn't stop! LOL we ordered the GONG BAO XIA- Head on local shrimp (Love the fact they are using local ingredients) stir fried with green beans, peanuts and toasted chili. The stir fry sauce was phenomenal. The whole dish again was amazing.
We were still craving more! Not that the "share" items were lacking portion wise, but that the food was just so fantastic. So we ordered another Okonomiyaki!!
**Some of the dishes had some good "heat" to them, however, when we ordered the Gong Bao Xia after the spicy dishes, it somehow put the "fire" out.
I love the spicy dishes...not the "burn your face off" type of spice, but heat with flavor!
We each had two beers. I had the Howling Wolf Hefeweisen which paired well with the meal.
My wife had the Summer Solstice. She said it was good, but a "lighter beer would have been better".
We opted to share an after dinner beverage. We chose the PASSPORT. Served "Manhattan style" with Ramazzotti Amaro, chocolate bitters and bourbon served with a twist of orange peel. Nice finish to a great meal.
As we were finishing up our dining experience, we noticed a lady going from table to table speaking with diners. Turns out, she was one of the owners (Duolan Li). She came to us as we were on our way out to check on our experience and we could not help but gush over what XBB puts out for an overall dining experience. Duolan informed us that her restaurant is owner/chef operated and tonights chef was owner "JOSH".
Not fancy high end snobby joint, but a very homey relaxed family atmosphere.
We cannot wait to bring our friends here.
Well done XBB and staff!
BTW, this is the longest winded review I have done, but every word was worth the praises of XBB.
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