Update: This restaurant is now closed.
The Bamboo Hut is a little Asian restaurant in Mira Mesa that serves up sushi, plate lunches/bento boxes, and a mixture of Japanese/Hawaiian/Asian food. It’s a bit of a mish-mash – sort of an umbrella of a bunch of different Asian foods in one spot. I’ve seen this place for years – I live right in the area – but I had never visited until last week. I felt after my positive experience with Wings N Things it was about time I tried the other places I had been neglecting in my own neighborhood.
I went on 2 visits – one last week and one this week – to try out a few of their items.
Last week I popped in and go some food to go. The place was totally empty – there was one other person waiting for some food who left shortly after I came in to order.
I noticed right away on their menu that with the Bento Boxes you could add either lumpia or 4 pieces of California or Spicy Tuna rolls to your meal for $2.75. Guess what I picked?
Lumpia, of course! These are pretty typical of the kinds of lumpia you get most places around town. Little fried bits of goodness. Pretty comparable to most places. My mom’s lumpia is still way better then this.
On this occasion I got my food to go so I was surprised they still gave me the soup with my take-out meal. I’m not usually a big fan of Miso soup, but I did actually like this one. Too bad it was too warm for soup.
I ordered the Grilled Shrimp Bento Box ($6.95) with garlic fried rice, a small salad and macaroni salad. It was quite apparent that they gave me the wrong rice – since this didn’t look fried at all and had no flavor to it. Which is also what I can say about the macaroni salad – it’s just really bland and not very good. The little salad was nice. The grilled shrimp were quite good, though!
Fresh, juicy, and grilled just right. It has that grilled flavor to it as well and the shrimp are a pretty good size – no small little skimpy shrimp. I liked the shrimp a lot, even if I didn’t enjoy my rice or macaroni salad.
On my 2nd visit I got the Bento Box again – but I added a 2nd item for $3.50. This time I sat inside the restaurant and there were actually customers in there today. My food came out in a pretty box/tray that I really liked. I wish I had some of these at home! And I finally got to tried the Garlic Fried Rice this time – which was quite good. It almost looked like Brown Rice to me. The garlic flavor comes through nicely on the rice without being overdone.
For my items I got the Mochi Chicken which is chicken dipped in sweet rice flour and then fried. I’ve never had Mochi Chicken before this visit as I haven’t seen it on other menu’s before. It had a really light batter on it and was slightly crispy on just the outer edges. The inside of the chicken was moist and chewy. There was some sort of semi-sweet sauce on the chicken, too, but just a hint of it. I ended up liking the general flavor and taste of this dish.
Here’s the Chicken Katsu dressed up in those panko crumbs. I got this with Tonkatsu sauce, which was sort of just drizzled over the chicken. I thought the Katsu was a bit overcooked – parts of it just tasted like overcooked breading to me and some of the chicken was actually a little dried out. I mostly just tasted batter instead of chicken. I didn’t really like their Tonkatsu sauce either – it tasted a bit sour to me. Maybe I’m too used to the version at L&L BBQ which is super crispy with that sweet and thick sauce.
There are some hits and some misses here at Bamboo Hut. I would definitely come back for the grilled shrimp, but the side dishes here make me wary since I didn’t like that macaroni salad at all (seasonings are pretty awesome and I recommend them) and the salad dressing is just kind of ehhhh. I might be back to try a few other things – they do have some interesting looking items – and I did like the shrimp and Mochi Chicken!
9172 Mira Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92126