Not every restaurant can be all things to all people. At Typhoon, I really don’t like most of the dishes I’ve tried so far, but they have at least one excellent dish, and there’s the great music.
What don’t I like? Let me name just a few things: overly fried spicy chicken wings, overly fried duck, fried frog’s legs, fried lobster and tasteless minced chicken with the wrong kind of lettuce leaves … etc. And I’ll take a pass on the insect menu, with crickets, ants, and sea worms.
The menu looks great. There are two dozen starters, including dim sum, and about four dozen main courses — all described in mouth-watering detail and encompassing a wide variety of the best in Asian cuisine.
There are exceptions. The whole striped bass steamed with black bean sauce is delicious, and makes for a very nice dish to share with others at the table. There are a lot of dishes on the menu that sound good that I haven’t tried, so I’m keeping an open mind. And although I haven’t tried them, the selection of soups looks exciting. I love Thai chicken soup in coconut milk, Chinese hot and sour soup, and Filipino won ton soups, so I’ll be back to try those.
Pricing seems a bit capricious. The lunch and dinner menus are about the same, but prices are $1 to $2 per dish higher at dinner. Appetizers average $10, and dinner plates can be between $14 and $26, so one can expect to spend about $40 a person for a full dinner with a drink or two.
But the best reason to go to Typhoon: the Monday night music. When I was last there a first-class group was playing jazz and some old-time favorites. The space lends itself well to music, and by 8 p.m. it was pretty much filled up with regulars.
Typhoon is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner except, for some reason unknown to me, they are closed for lunch on Saturday. The parking is adequate and free, a nice plus in today’s world.
Merv Hecht, the food and wine critic for the Santa Monica Daily Press, is a wine buyer and consultant to a number of national and international food and wine companies. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If You Go
3221 Donald Douglas Loop South, Santa Monica Airport