Zom Hee has been a Park Boulevard icon since God and I were children...about 30 years now. While it's been 20 years since my last visit, my Christmas day pilgrimage left me with a nostalgic smile on my face. It's comforting to know that there are some things (like Zom Hee and me), that remain unaltered by time. Okay, maybe just Zom Hee.
The vibe here is decidedly old school, from the flock wallpaper, Chinese lanterns, bead curtains and red Naugahyde upholstered booths down to the retro cocktail menu. When was the last time you saw the likes of "Grasshopper", "Pink Squirrel", "Sloe Gin Fizz", "Rusty Nail" and "Singapore Sling" on anyone's list of specialty drinks (and this is a rhetorical question...anyone who chirps "never" runs the risk of getting bitch slapped)?
Zom Hee is a real "sit down" restaurant (not a buffet) with generously sized entrees priced in the $10-$12 range. Adult beverages are also quite reasonably priced, but don't make the mistake of expecting a wine list. House wines are available in incremental pours of small, medium and make-mama-laugh-like-a-hyena (the latter being my description...not theirs).
My $2 cup of wonton soup was one of the best I've ever tasted, beautifully embellished with a plethora of savory pork matchsticks, bright greens and fresh scallion slices.
One of our frequent dining companions, Aries Wench, was similarly impressed with her steaming offering of egg drop soup.
Krab Rangoon here is a little different than the average bear, but not necessarily in a bad way. Shaped like small empanadas, the perfectly fried wonton purses are stuffed with more cream cheese and less "krab" than you might be accustomed to. Scrummy nonetheless.
AW, who was feeling a tad dainty, felt that the $8.50 Hawaiian barbecue rib app would serve her well as a main course..and it did. An Atkins dieter's dream come true, this pink pile of juicy, succulent pork slices showed up with spicy Chinese mustard sauce for dipping. Nope...no leftovers today.
My Orange Peel Chicken entree was prepared to the heat level of my choosing (a wimpy "medium") and charmingly presented beneath a stainless cloche. I adored the spicy, citrus infused sauce and pineapple chunks, but the chicken morsels' heavy breading prevented poultry from being the star of this dish.
UD enjoyed his $10.25 Charlie Chang Special, which was sort of a dialed down pupu platter for menu commitmentphobes. This trough of decadence was piled high with breaded fantail shrimp, barbecued ribs, stellar pork fried rice, chicken wings and a fat, crunchy egg roll.
Very nice for $70 before gratuity (including two beers for Underdog and a medium pour of white wine for each of the gurlz) despite the fact that I received a post-meal fortune cookie containing NO fortune. ACK! *Cue Ominous Music* Our server, who reacted with a level of horror befitting this dire situation, raced to the fortune cookie bin and quickly returned with a replacement crammed with appropriately uplifting affirmations like "You will win the lottery this Saturday", "Your ex-husband is miserable" and "You're not getting older, you're getting better". Whew.
See you in 2015...I hope.
My blog entries contain the unmitigated, and sometimes unforgiving, dining truths and perceptions I experience as an ordinary restaurant patron. Every meal I post about has been fully paid for by one of the participating members of my personal dining party. I do not engage in the gratis blogger freebie dining events I'm constantly invited to attend and never will. If I ooze font-like love for a restaurant in my blog, it's because they totally earned it…not because they gave me free food or knew I was going to share the experience on the internet.