Spice Kit, Palo Alto, CA
At first glance, Spice Kit seems like just another fusion eatery aiming to market Asian cheap eats to larger demographic. Such restaurants have been blooming all over the peninsula. With the very mediocre experience with Asian Box still fresh in memory, I was highly skeptical of this new comer. Spice Kit, though still slightly gimmicky, offers surprisingly memorable good food.
The pork bun reminds me of those from Momofuku in NYC. While the quality of the pork belly is really no comparison to the legendary ones at David Chang’s restaurants, the pork bun here is tasty enough to deserve its own merit. Not to mention they are fairly inexpensive too.
The menu follows a very simple formula -
1) You pick a “style”. Choices are Banh Mi (Vietnamese Baguette Sandwich), Ssam (Korean Rice wrap), Salad or a Rice Bowl.
2) You pick your choice of meat from Five Spice Chicken, Roasted Pork, Beef Short Ribs and Tofu.
3) Order any side items to go with your entree. (Getting the pork buns is really a no brainer)
The banh mi was average. If you ever had those from any authentic Vietnamese bakery in South San Jose, you most likely won’t be too impressed. Ssam was interesting but I found bean sprout gave it too much of a coarse texture.
What Spice Kit did well was the meat. Both the five spice chicken and beef short ribs were excellent. The quality of the meat was good. Flavors were just right and the texture was simply tender and juicy.
If you are in the neighborhood looking for a quick bite, Spice Kit won’t disappoint.
Price to Value: 3/5