UPDATE JULY 2012 - HAS A NEW NAME...NAMI CUISINE - An updated review can be found August 19, 2012Venus Nails and Spa. Jenny is the best and I knew I would be de-stressed before leaving. She (and her massaging pedicure chair) did not let me down :-) I headed down to Paragraphs to pick up my copy of El Valle and, DUH, it is Thursday - open at 12:00 - soooo, with a pocket of time to fill and a hungry belly, I decided to swing into Uchi at 2300 Padre Blvd. I had not been there for lunch but was hankering for a bit of oriental fare - I thought it would fit the bill!
My hubby and I had dinner there this winter when he was in town between assignments and we really enjoyed it. The food was extremely well-flavored and abundant...we could have easily split a plate. Of course, we didn't. The soup was light and flavorful - not salty as is sometimes found in Asian restaurants - so that was a great start. I have to admit, in the oriental arena, I have rather plebeian mainstream tastes - so I ordered the Sweet 'n' Sour Chicken. I'm not a big fan of bell peppers and had to leave a lot of those on my plate - but the sauce was really good and the chicken was tender with good-sized chunks. Crisp onions and carrots were a good complement to the dish, with a generous side of rice. My husband had the General Tsao's chicken and was very satisfied with his meal.
So, having not dined there during the lunch hour, I took a few minutes to scan the menu. They have a huge selection of sushi (of which I am not a fan) and a modest lunch selection - several of which I could be happy with. I was feeling like a little spice, so I ordered the General Tsao's chicken since I knew it had gotten the thumbs up from my main man. I also ordered a side of fried Spring Rolls and a glass of iced tea. I was the first one in the door and the tea was just brewing - slight delay - but worth waiting for - and I had a book, so no worries. A really excellent glass of iced tea. I had refills! (I'm an iced-tea snob - and this was a 10!)
My spring rolls came out first with two dipping bowls - one, a white sweet 'n' sour sauce (thank you - who needs red food color added to the sauce?) and two, a melt your eyeballs, steam out the ears garlic/pepper sauce. Holy moly! I just touched the edge of my spoon and touched my tongue - and my nose started running and eyes watered - I literally choked. That's some powerful pepper thing going on!!!! There were two large spring rolls cut on a diagonal and they were steaming hot (temperature - not spice). I liked that they had a very thin and fragile wrapper - crisp and brown - seemed freshly made. It was absolutely delicious...frankly I could have made a meal of them. I chose the chicken spring rolls - but there was a choice of shrimp spring roll. Possibly the best I've ever had - and I've had a LOT of egg rolls!
The service was excellent - very friendly, attentive waiter. It is a small venue - just a few tables and the sushi bar. By noon they were about 1/3 full. It was very pleasant and relaxing and I left with a full tummy, ready to head back to Paragraph's to pick up my books. Total price just over $18 before tip.
It's nice to have a good place to get Asian food on the island. I probably can't take the picky teen there - but I will definitely return any chance I get. It's not a "cheap lunch" place - but it's definitely a nice change from my usual shrimp baskets and, to me, worth the price! I can't speak to the sushi...but I did hear someone behind me telling the person they were with that they had excellent sushi ;-) So, there you have it, good old word of mouth!
SPI FLIP FLOP FOODIE RATING:4 – Lip smackin’ - good quality – flip flops will definitely be parked under their table again!