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Ali Carte
Ali Carte

A ‘Mix’ Plate of Flavors

By Ali Resich Photos By Nathalie Walker
July 1, 2012

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When something old combines successfully with something new, as in the case of Asian Mix, the outcome is fresh and exciting. This brand new eatery is adding spice to the Safeway building on the corner of Piikoi and Beretania streets, while serving Japanese, Chinese and local recipes that have stood the test of time.

Owner Daniel Leung and his team of nine chefs bring more than 30 years of experience in the industry to their latest endeavor. Such knowledge and skill has resulted in quick, affordable meals that maintain their quality and freshness.

Since opening May 8, the cozy local spot has garnered attention for its satisfying Japanese bentos and mixed plates, but Leung says there’s a whole menu of exceptional Chinese-inspired a la carte items to choose from as well. “One of our strongest points is actually our a la carte items,” he says.

Shrimp with Chili Sauce ($10.95) is one the friendly owner recommends right off the bat. This velvety dish gets its hint of spice from a chili sauce that marries well with the slightly sweet tomato sauce that lusciously coats the shrimp. According to Leung, it’s great for takeout orders because it will keep fresh for hours.

While you’re at it, try the a la carte menu’s Kung Pao Chicken ($7.95), which offers a spicy combination of chicken, bell peppers, dried chili pepper and peanuts tossed in a flavorful, yet light sauce. “We have a really good house sauce,” explains Leung. “Every time you come in, you’re going to have the same taste.” Both the Kung Pao Chicken and Shrimp with Chili Sauce have been in the owner’s repertoire for 20 years.

After sampling such fresh Chinese fare, you’ll want to share it at your next gathering. No problem, since all of the restaurant’s a la carte items are available in party tray sizes for catering. You can share the Regular ($22) tray among 12 people or more, while the Large ($32) is good for at least 20.

Before you go, be sure to try some of Asian Mix’s Japanese and local fare as well. Misoyaki Butterfish ($8.95) — the best-selling bento — is based on a recipe that manager/chef Douglas Shirai has been cooking up since 1984. “We filet it — we cut our own portions, and the miso sauce … is kind of a secret,” he says with a chuckle. Nothing accompanies the melt-in-your-mouth bento better than a side of creamy Macaroni Potato Salad ($1.75), made fresh daily.

So get into the mix for a fresh burst of familiar flavors.

Asian Mix

1234 S. Beretania St., Shop A-1 Bottom level of Safeway building
521.1688
Daily, 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.