Today my best friend and I decided to take an early morning/afternoon trip to the Palisades Mall. We arrived rather early at 9:30 a.m. way before any of the stores had even opened. We walked around for a while and worked up an appetite. After much walking we decided we were in the mood for a little Asian Cuisine. In the past, people have recommended the restaurant Stircrazy, on the fourth floor above the food court.
As a vegetarian I find it incredibly difficult to find a good place to eat. The thing that drew me to this restaurant was the availability of fresh veggies and most importantly soy protein. It is hard to get a good dose of protein as a vegetarian, lucky for me tofu was readily available.
Upon walking into the restaurant I fell in love with the Oriental decor. The dim lighting creates a calm atmosphere, the type I like to eat in. Dragons take over the walls mingling with the many Buddha sculptures. The restaurant makes you feel like you are in an authentic Asian restaurant even though the workers and chefs are no where near Asian decent. Regardless, they do make a mean Asian stir fry.
If you are looking for a restaurant having a good price and a decent serving size, you are going to love this place.
Stircrazy has a menu featuring a vast selection of Asian delights but the thing they are famous for is their Wok lunch/dinner special. For lunch it costs $8.95 plus $1 for any type of protein you choose.
You are able to choose from a variety of noodle types or rice if you like as well as your desired protein. The server hands you an interesting dish that holds two bowls. One for veggies and one for sauce.
In order for you to complete the Wok you must go through a 3 step process.
Step One: Market
Here is where you choose your veggies. There is an amazing selection of veggies from Bok Choy to Red Bell Peppers and Bamboo Shoots.
For my Wok special I chose tomatoes, baby corn, snow peas, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, Bok Choy, green and red peppers, scallions and a pinch of garlic. Sounds like a lot? Well I try to get my money’s worth and choosing green vegetables is filling and also good for you. Being vegetarian I chose tofu for my protein and lo mein noodles rather than rice. Quite a yummy selection don’t you think?
Step Two: Sauces
There are about 12 options for sauces from basic chinese cooking sauce to teriyaki.
For a personal touch you can mix a few ladles of different sauces. For this trip I mixed teriyaki, a subtly spicy but sweet classic sauce, with classic chinese cooking sauce and a Kung Pao sauce to add a background of heat to my delectable stir fry.
Step Three: Watch them create your stir fry
It is a pretty fascinating site but I will save that for you to watch in amazement when you go!
The final result?
The final step, not mentioned, is to enjoy the delectable creation sitting before you. The first bite just sends you into a frenzy of flavors. The flavors are a bit overwhelming even though I am partial to the spice and richness of Asian cuisine coming from my Indian background.
Since it is my own creation it is a once in a lifetime plateful of flavors. What I enjoy the most is the subtle hint of red chili pepper in the background of my first few bites and the intensity of the minced garlic I so cleverly added to kick up my taste buds.
My overall rating of Stircrazy: A-, Other than the servers being a little less than attentive, the food is amazing and the opportunity to “create your own” meal is a plus. Great food. Great prices. Great location. Great for vegetarians.
Whatever you do choose in your Wok special keep portions in mind and do not hesitate to try tofu. It really is not all that bad, when cooked well.
Think tofu and remember there is no BEEF here.