Disclosure: I was invited to a tasting event along with a select group of bloggers – all opinions are my own.
ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen is a fast casual restaurant that features a menu that is gluten-free, as well as dairy-free. The concept is simple – you get a noodle or rice bowl, fill it with your choice of meat or tofu, then pick one vegetable, one sauce & a garnish. The set-up of the restaurant is similar to Chipotle (who happens to own ShopHouse), in that they create your order in an assembly-line style.
My favorite meat item is the pork & chicken meatballs. They are so flavorful & juicy – not dried out like at some places. A close second is the steak laab – the spices they use make it so yummy. For a vegetarian option, you can get organic tofu, which I really liked as well. The texture of the tofu is crispy & it’s tossed with cilantro & other spices. You are allowed to do half & half, so I chose half steak laab & half meatballs for my entree.
All of the veggies are pretty spicy. I was told that the green beans were the spiciest veggie on the menu & they weren’t kidding! I really liked their charred corn, which is seasoned with garlic & sesame seeds.
For those of you who want to add even more heat to your entree, they have plenty of sriracha to choose from.
ShopHouse also offers a nice selection of ginger ales made by Bruce Cost. I really needed one after all of that spicy goodness! I chose the original flavor, but they also have pomegranate, jasmine tea & passion fruit flavors.
The ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen that I visited is in Hollywood. It’s right across the street from ArcLight Cinemas. Tip: park in the structure behind the restaurant & ShopHouse will validate it for 1-hour of free parking.
They will be opening up two new locations before the end of the year – one in Santa Monica (at Third Street Promenade) & one in Westwood. I also understand that two more will open in 2014, but the locations are TBD. Keeping my fingers crossed that they put one in the San Fernando Valley!