Tapas at PF CHANGS, Los Angeles
The first time I visited PF CHANG’S was more than ten years ago. My driver at the time, had previously driven Whitney Houston on the regular, and he told me stories of how she and Bobby would send him on runs to the Beverly Center locale of the upscale Chinese-chain for their lettuce wrap appetizers! It was a favorite of hers, so of course, I ordered some, and, like everyone else who first indulges in PF Chang’s delicious and flavorful recipes, was instantly hooked!
The other night I stopped in the now famous Chinese chain’s location at the Sherman Oaks Galleria with some friends for some late night bites and ate tapas style, ordering appetizers for sharing while we downed red wine and martinis to catch up and relax.
PF Chang’s menu has everything one could want from Chinese fare – egg rolls, fried rice, shrimp, moo shu, lamb, noodles, vegetarian options, and more! The Asian-inspired decor is luxe but comfortable and the service is swift and the prices are moderately high. You can eat on a budget if careful, but if you are looking for appetizers, drinks, and desserts, the bill will undoubtedly be high.
I could go on and on about how great the food at PF Chang’s is, but when I first heard of them 10 years ago, they were only an LA delight. Throughout the years I have watched them grow, and have since visited PF Chang’s in Atlanta, Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Las Vegas, as they have become an American mainstay, popping up at malls and plazas throughout the country. And such growth is not out of sheer luck or some big time investor! At the end of the day, PF Chang’s offers great chinese food that’s far better, in every way, than any take-out spot you can imagine. Without the exorbitant menu or fluffed-up glamour of such trendy spots like Mr. Chow, PF Chang’s makes for a nice alternative for those who don’t come home with a Hollywood producer’s check, but simply want some good chinese without being propped on the sofa, pajama-laden, scouring the On-Demand options.
In the private room in the back that PF Chang’s Sherman Oaks had generously given to us all our own, the appetizers came out together promptly and I first dug into the crispy green beans! I had never had crispy green beans, but these were delicious! The texture combo and the sauce made this my NEW FAVORITE appetizer EVER at a chain restaurant!
The salt & pepper calamari were fantastic! Served in strips without tentacles, PF Chang’s calamari is clean but crispy, easy and packed with flavor. The seared Ahi Tuna was light and tangy, served with a spicy mustard and fresh mixed greens. Tenderly cooked to perfection, the tuna is a sure crowd pleaser.
And, as if you couldn’t tell from the picture below, the shrimp is scrumptious and perfect!
My only complaint is that there just wasn’t enough! I could easily have devoured one of these appetizers all to myself and then moved on to one of the restaurant’s main dishes. Or had two as a main course! But the portions at PF Chang’s are meant for individuals, good for group sharing when on a diet.
FYI, we also had the crab fried rice which was divine!
I love PF Chang’s, and if you meet anyone else who has visited, chances are they’ll also give you a rave review! Their recipes, menu, service, and style are fresh, fun, fabulous and foodie-licious!