Review: Bao Down On the Drive

Today I went for lunch at Boa Down which has been open a couple of months now.

Bao Down has been described to me as a Filipino-fusion taco joint, and that seems fair enough. The place is bright and cheery, with — today at least — loud NSFW hip-hop blasting out. It is dressed like a beachfront cabin, the attractive tables made from irregularly cut wood. With the front window open, the place is perfect for people watching but, if that bores you, they have two large screen TVs.

The menu essentially consists of a number of baos and tacos, each with a more or less exotic filling. I tried the Between Two Worlds bao (braised pork belly, hoisin, pickled daikon and carrot) and the Huli Huli taco (island style chicken breast, pickled papaya, crispy garlic, and radish).  They come with a range of homemade hot sauces.  The boas and tacos themselves take some chewing. Service was welcomingly minimal and the price — the two dishes plus an oversized portion of Kennebec fries — was about $17.

The food was more than OK and there was the occasional bloom of unusual taste that woke up my palette. But, for me at least, I can’t see this becoming a regular habit.

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