YourAsian Crashes and Burns

yourasian.jpg

I went by YourAsian for lunch today, the new place opened by Jerry Joseph, lately of Jerry's in SoHo, thinking I'd put it in the dining guide. First of all, the sign is terrifying. Second of all, the food is such an unmitigated disaster that I can't justify wasting the newsprint for a dining guide blurb. The waste of a perfectly good mealtime, sadly, can't be undone.

This is a case of a decent concept that's badly executed. Basically, the place is meant to be like a salad bar with Asian noodles. You know, like PAX (not very good either, but you get the idea)—you tell the guy behind the counter what toppings and dressing you want, they toss it together, end of story.

At YourAsian, first you choose a base from among a number of different Asian noodles and rice: soba noodles, jasmine rice, nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice), Thai noodles, fried rice noodles, and so on. Then you select your topping—stir fried chicken or beef, shredded pork, bbq roast pork, among others. Finally, you choose a sauce, which ranges from spicy red curry to sweet and sour or teriyaki.

You can also get those selections in a bowl of soup, rather than in a sauce, with either miso or chicken broth.

I liked the conceit of YourAsian, but I wasn't expecting miracles. Just some fairly good noodles and tasty toppings—a good fast food option for the neighborhood. I mean, Asian street vendors make amazing versions of this stuff with hardly any equipment at all, so you'd think that a restaurant with skilled workers (the chef is formerly of Yumcha) and basic amenities could whip up an adequate pile of noodles.

No. First of all, when you choose your noodles or rice, the counter person grabs a cold plastic container filled with your selection. Then, they throw your choice of meat on top (there are no veggies). They glop on the sauce, and proceed to stick the plastic container in the microwave.

So what you get is a plastic container, the lid dripping condensation. The pile of noodles or rice is stone cold in the middle and searingly hot on the edges. The noodles themselves are mushy and overcooked and the sauce is heavy and manages to have almost no flavor.

The only nice thing I can say is that the summer rolls are decent. Maybe they'll get their act together, but I think that their microwaving system is flawed—I'd rather eat something that has been sitting in a steam table than have it zapped into gummy, hot-cold oblivion.

After a few bites, I fled down the block to BonBon Chicken. Now that shit is good.

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