Friday, January 28, 2011

XO Asian Cuisine, 58 Monroe Center, NW - 1/19/11

This restaurant is a favorite for its food variety and pleasant atmosphere. It has at least 20 tables for four, a few booths along the side walls, and several large round tables for six or more in the rear. An attractive bar is situated against a wall at the entrance.
The ambiance is warm and the room is tastefully decorated in golds and browns, including golden drapes at the windows. A few large columns and screens help to break up the room, and the carpeting keeps the noise down. There are only a few tacky posters to mar the decor. And paper is laid over the cloth tablecloths. We understand the practicality of this practice but dislike the rustling paper.

We looked for something more unusual for an appetizer and selected Beef Negimaki. Our server returned immediately to let us know that it was unavailable. So we chose Shumai instead, shrimp and scallion dumplings, and it was an excellent choice. The dumplings were delicate and flavorful.
Our favorite hot and sour soup to date can be found at Wei Wei Palace but the soup here was a very close second. It was slightly hotter and a bit less sour than Wei Wei’s and very delicious.

The very large menu features dishes from Southeast Asia, Japan, and China. Other categories include soups, salads, noodles and rice, sushi, sashimi, and the restaurant’s Signature dishes. We both selected from the latter.
Scallop and Shrimp Hunan style was expertly sauteed with mushrooms and broccoli. And Thai Basil Chicken was equally as good. Vegetables in both dishes were crisp and not over cooked. Spice levels ran one to five, and we both chose level three. We could have gone a little hotter.
Our server was polite and prompt, and the food was well prepared. If you’re a fan of green curry, you’ll find a fine one here. In the summer, there’s a small outdoor dining area, and a food cart if you’re in a hurry. The restaurant also has delivery service. 

If you think the name of the restaurant is an asian word, here’s one last tip: don’t ask how to pronounce it. The answer is “X” “O.” Menus are online.
XO Asian Cuisine on Urbanspoon