Monday, June 26, 2017

EurAsia Sushi Bar in Oak Hill

EurAsia Sushi Bar Austin
If you've lived in Austin for more than a minute you know that our fair city is rapidly growing and changing. No part of town is immune to development and gentrification, for better or worse. The far southwest part of town, known as Oak Hill has become a trafficky mess due to the convergence of Highways 290 and 71, with William Cannon, Southwest Parkway and Mopac also nearby. Fortunately for area residents and those stuck in traffic on the way to outlying areas now have more meal options.

On the Highway 71 side of things, across from the HEB is a sprawling shopping center (or is it two centers? three?) with a gym, Goodwill, and what's rapidly becoming a cool selection of restaurants. Slab BBQ has already moved in on the northern side (and I hear good things!). Jim's has renovated. Pluckers is coming. And EurAsia Sushi Bar and Seafood is (mostly) booming.

I went for lunch last month, and even though we were on the early side, it still wasn't very busy especially given the number of employees working. But I have heard from a few different people that in the evening, the dinner wait has been upwards of an hour. (So go for lunch!) Very modern and clean inside, clearly there was some money put into this place. A gorgeous water feature runs along the banked seating. The sushi bar is in the rear of the restaurant and they have a camera directly on one of the sushi chefs so you can watch them prepare the food on TV! If I had to guess, I would say EurAsia is owned by Indonesians, as there is an Indonesian section on the menu and the sushi chefs were wearing Indonesian head cloths.
EurAsia Austin interior
With a very extensive pan-Asian menu, there is something for every palate, including your standard Chinese and Japanese (non-sushi) dishes, and things like Kobe beef or salmon burgers for lunch. And for those who are there for the sushi, there are a multitude of options, including sashimi, rolls, and chef's specials.

I went with Sushi Combo A, with your choice of two of the classic rolls, so I got unagi (smoked eel) and the veggie tempura. All the plates we saw coming from the kitchen looked beautifully plated, and the orchid was a nice touch. The menu said the veggie tempura included sweet potato, asparagus and broccoli, but instead of broccoli it was taro root. We didn't mind the change, but asked the waitress about it later, who sent the manager over. He didn't really seem to know, but apologized and took it off our bill, even though we weren't complaining! (I do see that the online version of the menu has taro listed, so I don't know if the printed menu was an error or if they have changed it to taro since our visit.)
EurAsia sushi rolls
My Thai friend (the one who turned me on to Thai Taste across the street) has now been a few times and partial to the Indonesian pho, which was really good, though certainly not very photogenic. It's traditional name is Bakso Sapi, but is also listed on the menu as Obama's favorite, as President Obama was said to have enjoyed this soup on a trip to Indonesia.  The broth isn't quite as flavorful as a good Vietnamese pho broth should be, but there's a bounty of meatballs, meat-wrapped hard-boiled eggs, tofu, veggies, and noodles, plus it is a large bowl and good for sharing if you're in the mood.
EurAsia Indonesian pho
My friend loves squid, and also in the Indonesian section is a grilled squid dish called Cumi Bakar Pedas. Granted she asked for the spicy sauce on the side, but the squid was fairly dry and tough, and you could tell it had been previously frozen. Has potential though.
EurAsia Indonesian grilled squid
EurAsia is located at 7101 Highway 71; they DO take reservations and you also can order food online. They have late hours (open til midnight)  with two daily happy hour from 4:30 - 6:30 pm, and a reverse one from 10 pm - midnight. So if you need a place to wait out some traffic, pull into EurAsia and eat in or get it to go.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

La Dolda Pasta

Editor's note: La Dolda closed January 2018.

I am a confirmed carboholic, so when I first heard about La Dolda Artisinal Pasta shop opening up in Westlake, I was excited! I have always enjoyed the fresh pastas from Pasta + Co on Kerbey Lane, but I just don't get up to that part of town too frequently, though they can be found at a couple farmer's markets too. So to have a new place -- owned by Italians -- south of the river is awesome. And while I didn't originally intend to write a blog post about La Dolda (and hence the photos aren't great), here we are. :)
La Dolda Pasta Logo
Only open since the third week of May, the word of fresh pasta is quickly spreading. La Dolda (Facebook page) is located at 4238 Bee Caves Road; as you are headed west on Bee Caves towards 360, they are on the right, just a bit past the light at Camp Craft Road. Inside, there are a few tables and fresh and dried pasta all around. A nice glass case highlights the days offering of freshly made pastas, from the familiar linguine, tortellini, and raviolis to fun corkscrews and some tiny bean-like offerings. Plus a variety of sauces (pesto, ragu, pomodoro) to take home as well. Prices range per pound.
La Dolda Pasa fresh pasta case
Two walls have shelving of nothing but bags of dried artisan pasta, and another wall had a big case of Italian condiments like balsamic vinegars and truffle oil.
La Dolda Pasa dry pasta

La Dolda Pasa condiments
If you're there between 11 am - 4 pm, you can eat a meal there; here are some of the offerings.
La Dolda Pasa menu
I got two different fresh pastas, plus a dried pasta as a birthday gift for a friend.
La Dolda Pasa fresh and dried pastas
With the paparadelle, I tossed it with some mascarpone, fresh lemon juice, parmesan cheese, sugar snap peas, a bit of basil and toasted pine nuts. It was thick and hearty, and next time, I would do it with a ragu.
La Dolda Pasa paparadelle
The tortellini I choose was filled with prosciutto and parmesan. I just tossed this with olive oil, parmesan, and wilted spinach. Owner Matteo said not to salt the pasta water, because the pasta was salty enough. Valid point! And I am sure he has all kinds of tidbits about preparing his different pastas.
La Dolda Pasa tortellini
This is not your average grocery store pasta; everything is hand made and the prices and quality reflect that.  And absolutely worth it! Benvenuto a Austin, La Dolda! Buon appetito!