Thursday is my favorite day of the week. You know why? It’s the day of our Thursday Lunch program! If you haven’t heard about it, here’s the scoop: we (the Marin Magazine staff) are committed to picking a place in Marin, ordering food, eating it and blogging about the things we like (it's a Pollyanna version of Julie Powell in Julie & Julia).
This week we chose Boo Koo (Asian Street Food) in Mill Valley. Their Hoison Pork Banh Mi was our Editors’ Choice pick last year (yet strangely, none of us ordered it this time). Boo Koo offers wok-fired entrees, banh mi, salads, soups and a kids menu.
Here’s what we ordered and here’s what we thought:
Summer Roll, $3.95
Thoughts: (Disclaimer: I don't usually eat or like Asian food.) I knew this was a starter, but for some reason I thought it was going to be bigger – like, burrito-sized. So you can imagine my surprise when I opened up the box and saw two rolls no bigger than my palm. I’d never had a summer roll before, so forgive me for my forthcoming review. The squishy outside wrap, which I was told was rice, unnerved me. I know this is normal, but to me, it was unfamiliar. Nonetheless, I took a big bite. At first, it tasted a big gingery – a surprise, but I’m not complaining. I did like the veggies inside, especially the crunchy carrots and lettuce, but I wish there had been more avocado.
Tiger Prawn Roll, $4.95
Thoughts: Asian street food is Mimi’s all-time favorite food category. She thought the tiger prawn rolls were delicious. In the past, the rice paper has been a little stiff. But the last couple times she’s had them, the rice paper has been perfect – strong enough to hold everything together, but soft enough to enjoy.
Boo Koo Peanut (with Hoisin Pork), $6.95 + $3.50
Thoughts: This was Michele’s first Boo Koo experience. She thought the sauce was yummy – just the right amount of peanut flavor without being too overpowering. It was filling, yet didn’t have her dreaming about taking a nap afterward. She had ordered the pork because it was recommended and it was a welcome change from her usual chicken. There was just the right amount of it with the veggies (broccoli, carrots, bamboo shoots, lettuce and actual peanuts!). It was also aesthetically pleasing. Michele would definitely order this dish again.
Boo Koo Peanut (with Teriyaki Chicken), $6.95 + $3.50
Thoughts: Matt thoroughly enjoyed his meal. He thought the peanut sauce was awesome; the crunch of peanut was great. The dark meat chicken was cooked perfectly – good sear, great taste. Matt would order it many, many more times.
Norcal Pad Thai (with Tiger Prawns), $8.95 + $5.95
Thoughts: “Loved it!” The tails had been taken off the prawns, which made them easier to eat. It wasn’t too saucy or clumpy. The noodles were relatively wide and thick, so that the angel hair clump doesn’t happen (though Mimi does prefer a thinner, lighter noodle in pad thai). Mimi had dish envy with Sophie and Calin’s options – she believes rice is a better way to go for lunch.
Norcal Pad Thai (with Hoison Pork, no scallions), $8.95 + $3.50
Thoughts: The portion was generous and it even had no scallions, as requested! Veronica liked the addition of the mixed veggies (chard, cabbage, broccoli, mustard greens and bok choy) that usually isn’t present in Pad Thai. They added more texture and flavor. The noodles seemed fresh and the flavor had a slight kick to it. Overall, she would order it again.
Indo Rice Bowl (no scallions), $6.95
Thoughts: “I love me some Boo Koo and this is why…Indo Rice Bowl with Green Curry Chicken. It’s just THAT good. It’s the bomb. Enough said!!! Go get it.”
Indo Rice Bowl (with Green Curry Chicken, brown rice), $6.95 + $3.50
Thoughts: She thought the dish was tasty, but not memorable. Though she likes Boo Koo, she would not order the same thing again.
Indo Rice Bowl (no bean sprouts, no scallions), $6.95
Thoughts: This was a weird experience for me because I don’t typically like Asian food (I’m assuming “Asian Street Food” falls under that category). I like my veggies and I like my rice, but somehow they two together didn’t come out how I expected. There was much more rice than veggies (what I was hoping for), so my lunch was basically a plateful of white rice (again, not complaining). I didn’t think the dish had much flavor. It was quite bland and I wish I’d had some salt to put on it. But it wasn’t bad – not mushy or anything. Just plain.
Indo Rice Bowl (with Tiger Prawns), $6.95 + $5.95
Thoughts: Calin enjoyed her meal. The tiger prawns were delicious, but she wished there had been more broccoli in the mixed veggies – she only got one tiny piece. Calin says she will definitely try Boo Koo again.
Tiger Prawn Banh Mi, $8.45
Thoughts: Alex thought the tiger prawn sando was just the right size – not too big and not too small. It was loaded with interesting veggies. The shrimp was also plentiful. She could have used a little more heat in the sauce, but once she added chili flakes, it was delicious. Alex enjoyed her meal and would like to try the rice plates next time because she thought they looked good.
Chinese Chicken Salad, $8.95
Thoughts: Maeve thought the meal was “delicious.” The chicken was moist and the portion was generous. It was a good value for the price. She would definitely order it again.
Until next Thursday!
(Did you know that you can save money on your next meal at Boo Koo? CLICK HERE to find out how!)
35 Miller Ave
Mill Valley, CA 94941