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Dinner At The Typhoon Restaurant

By Scott Bowers


NEWS 03/11/2010: Typhoon's sister restaurant was recently busted for serving SEI WHALE, an endangered species. I am not making this up. New York Times Article I would recommend avoiding this restaurant and any other with such lax standards

When I heard that a restaurant in Santa Monica, California was serving bugs, I knew that my next road trip would be to the Los Angeles area. Arriving at LAX early on a Friday evening, I made the trip with fellow B.A.B.E.S. member Barbara to the Santa Monica Airport for a feast of wonderful BUGS in the Typhoon Restaurant. We found a couple of window seats with a view of airplanes while we perused the goodies on the menu: crickets, termites, scorpions, sea worms, ants, heaven!!!

As it happens, they had run out of the scorpion, so we started off by ordering a plate of WHITE SEA WORMS and the BAMBOO TERMITES STIR FRIED. A few short minutes later, a platter of sea worms loomed before us. Straight from the shores of Thailand, these tiny worms looked a little bit like uncooked rice with tiny black eyeballs on them. The trick was to eat a leaf covered with worms and various Asian spices. The worms had an exquisite crunch with good texture. Their taste was reminiscent of other dried Asian seafood dandies such as shrimp powder or dried fish. That's too bad since neither one of us like that taste much. However, if you are a sushi-loving eel-biting seafood eater, you are going to love the sea worms! The busboy says they are his favorite bug dish.

Ok, next on the plate where the BAMBOO TERMITES STIR FRIED. I was a little bit confused as I was thinking that I was getting bamboo AND termites. When the plate arrived, however, there were these little triangular shaped cakes with a SINGLE BAMBOO TERMITE atop each cake. A SINGLE TERMITE? I was really hoping for a plate piled high with termites, but the cakes were pretty good nonetheless. Even after sharing the two dishes, I was still a little bit hungry. The waiter recommended the CRICKETS. That dish sounded intriguing, but I since I had not eaten ants before, we ordered the CHAMBAI ANTS. By the time the plate of ants came, I was feeling pretty stuffed. Once I had a look at that pile of tiny little ants over fried potato sticks, however, I was struck with a newfound appetite. The ants were exquisite with an indescribable aftertaste that just must be experienced. After Barbara and I polished off the ants, we had to flip a coin to see who would get to lick the plate.

The Typhoon-Restaurant is located in the Santa Monica Airport about 15 miles north of Los Angeles. There is free parking just outside the restaurant. Typhoon is a Pan-Asian Dim Sum restaurant and is probably best to visit with a group of people.
On a scale of 5 stars...
Food ***
Service *****
Atmosphere **** (Trendy restaurant with views of airplanes, inflated bugs, and fashion models.)
Cleanliness *****
Price $$

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