Restaurant Summary by Allan Borgen:
The Taste of Asia Restaurant in La Verne is without a doubt, one of the best and most exciting one of a kind Asian restaurant in the Inland Valley featuring exciting dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, China and even from Laos. Owner/Master Chef Virada Khowong leads the way with cooking credentials spread all throughout the halls of her restaurant. I assure you once you dine here you will be a regular like I am.
For starters, I recommend the Egg Flower Soup $4.95 and the homemade Laotian Sausage. I normally do not order Egg Flower Soup because it is usually boring and tasteless however the Egg Flower Soup served here is outstanding and is undoubtedly the best I have ever had! The richly flavored broth had a nice even balanced mixture of tofu, peas, green onion, cabbage and scrambled eggs. Who would think Egg Flower Soup could be so memorable. The Laotian Sausage featured lots of dense textured sliced sausage made with ground pork, lemon grass and other seasonings and served with peanuts, cabbage, chilies and fresh ginger on the side. Only after devouring the sausage, was I informed by the polite server that you are supposed to wrap the sausage in the cabbage with the peanuts, chili and ginger. Oh well, it was still great especially with the homemade chili paste that came with it.
Next came some sensational entrees from the Chef’s Recommendations section of the menu like the Spicy Garlic Shrimp$14.95, Taste of Asia Mussels $14.95, Crispy Beef $12.95 and Tropical Salmon $14.95. The Spicy Garlic Shrimp featured 10 partially shelled jumbo shrimp cooked in a wonderful garlic chili soy sauce topped with crispy fried basil. The sweet succulent shrimp and the boldly flavored sauce was a perfect marriage of flavors and textures. The Taste of Asia Mussels was a very impressive dish featuring steamed green lip mussels stuffed with an assorted seafood, herb, and chili mixture and topped with a Kaffir lime leaf and served on a bed of fresh basil with a coconut milk. The dish was very good and very creative. The Crispy Beef was another terrific dish. How can slices of crispy fried beef sautéed with a delicious sweet oyster, sugar, vinegar, wine, and sesame oil sauce not be good?. It kind of reminded me of Orange Peel Beef but much better! Another winning dish was the Tropical Salmon, grilled filet of salmon topped with a fresh mango, tomato, onion salsa served on a bed of fresh spinach. If you like salmon and mango, you will love this dish.
Other dishes that I have had on previous visits and enjoyed very much include the spicy Drunken Rice $9.95, made with regular or brown rice, the Pork Jerky $7.95 and the BBQ Pork with Sticky Rice $8.95.
In closing, the Taste of Asia restaurant is a nice change of pace for those of us who love Asian foods and certainly one of the best in the Inland Valley. Having such a talented owner chef in charge of the kitchen definitely a big plus!