Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bug Bites!

Somehow the members of my lab got to talking about bugs and eating them a few months ago. Finally we managed to get people to go down to Typhoon in the Santa Monica airport tonight.
Typhoon is a Pan-Asian restaurant just below The Hump (I think owned by the same people also). Definitely has a nice view with the small planes there and all.

There were 10 of us and we ordered family style - bugs and nonbugs.

The first one that came definitely had a shock factor and was probably the grossest of them all. This was the chicken-stuffed waterbugs:First of all, we were shocked (and disappointed) that there were only two bugs on a $10 plate ... and since there were 10 of us it was a bit hard to share ...
So they were salty and crunchy ... with an aftertaste. The chicken? Could barely taste it with all the bug's exoskeleton pieces swirling around in your mouth ... They remind me of fried shrimp skin- salty and crunchy and otherwise doesn't taste like much.

We actually didn't order this but I guess they thought we did anyway ... this was the scorpions on shrimp toast:
Again, there were only two of them - plus the scorpions were tiny. I didn't get to have this one so can't tell you how they were.

Then we had the seaworms, also deep fried and served on lettuce wrap:
I was actually most scared of this one, but it turned out to taste and look pretty harmless. The seaworms to me tasted (and looked) like anchovies. My first bite was incredibly spicy and my mouth was burning. It didn't happen again though, I think it was just a piece of green chili in there.
Next we had the crickets, which rumdood said it was good (if he remembered correctly from years ago).
The crickets were somewhat small, but these were probably our favorite out of the bugs.
The potato strings do mask the flavors though, so you have to try the crickets by themselves.

The last one was the Chambi ants, also served with potato strings. Looks like an ant hill ...
The ants were harder to pick out to see how they taste, since they're so small. Eating them with potato strings mask the possible ant flavors. I think they do give subtle but distinct taste to them, but with the deep fried salty potato strings it's hard to be sure.

All in all, it kind of felt like the bugs were just a gimmick. They don't really taste like much - but then again that is not necessarily the fault of the restaurant. The prices definitely insane though, $10 for two pieces of cockroach-looking waterbugs.

Obviously the bugs - although drained our wallets - didn't really fill us up, so we ordered some "normal' stuff. Among others we got the Mongolian lamb:
This was actually really good. They served it with a bunch of this flaky bread that was delicious. The lamb retains its "lamb taste" which we liked, and the spices were pretty good.

Typhoon
3221 Donald Douglas Loop S.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 390-6565


Typhoon on Urbanspoon

6 comments:

Matt

Wow, I've never had the seaworms...I missed out! Glad you agree that the crickets were the best of the bugs.

Eddie Gehman Kohan, Pleasant Gehman and Cupcake Gehman

You're so right about the bugs being a gimmick! Really fun post!

Aaron

The scorpions taste like nothing. You didn't miss anything. I agree that the bugs are more gimmick than anything else. I wouldn't regularly eat them for any reason.

Food, she thought.

I ate cricket tacos years ago at the Gualeguetza on 8th.

The end, forever. (Unless I am in the Southeast Asian part of Rome, at some point.)

Matt

Scorpions are great in a liquor infusion. Scorpion-infused rum tastes very nutty and warm.

mattatouille k.

omg, that seriously looks gross. i can eat almost anything, but crunchy bugs is my kryptonite.

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