Sunday, July 02, 2017

Ten Asian Bistro - Newport Beach

Buddhas are fixtures in a lot of Asian restaurants. Go to a traditional Vietnamese joint in Little Saigon, Thai Nakorn in Garden Grove, or Chinese place in San Gabriel Valley and you're likely to see a small Buddha statue set in some quiet corner surrounded by offerings and incense--they're essentially religious shrines used by the business owner for prayer and to bring good luck.

But here at Ten Asian Bistro in Newport Beach, the Buddha is interior design, decorative kitsch, theming, eye-candy...tchotchkes. There are so many Buddhas placed at random spots throughout the restaurant, I lost count.

I saw Chinese Buddhas, Thai Buddhas, Buddhas that might not have even been Buddhas.

The food Ten serves here, of course, is non denominational. It's literally all over the map. I had sashimi, a caterpillar roll, uni sushi, which were all Japanese, but I then chased them with a Chinese banquet-style honey-glazed walnut shrimp. If I wanted, I could've gotten pad Thai or something Vietnamese. And it was all decent to good--Asian food aimed not for the Asian palate, per se, but the palate who generally knows Asian flavors and is willing to pay a Newport Beach premium not to schlep it to four different restaurants to have all of it together, on the same plate.

Don't get me wrong: there were Asians there enjoying it. Some of them might also be Buddhist. And as far as I can tell, none were offended that the symbol of their religion has the same function here as an Elvis jacket at a Hard Rock Cafe. Neither was I. In fact, it tickled me so much that I tried to take pictures of all the Buddhas as though I were on a scavenger hunt.

But it did make me think of how a restaurant with Christian symbols and Jesus statues all over the place might make people feel.

And what kind of food would it serve?

Ten Asian Bistro
4647 MacArthur Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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At 11:07 AM, Blogger KirkK said...

Hey Elmo - If you'd like to see the ultimate "Jesus Bar". We went to El Tabernaculo in Sevilla:

Pretty trippy, but really nice folks.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Whoa that is a lot of Jesuses! I mean, my God! No pun intended!


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