Debuting this February, 2012 to Palo Alto, CA is the new Asian Box concept from San Francisco’s FK Restaurants & Hospitality. The completely gluten free menu is crafted by Executive Chef Grace Nguyen, formerly of Charles Phan’s Slanted Door and Out The Door, and combines local ingredients with Asian street food-cart influences. The Palo Alto location will serve as the flagship of the concept that CEO Frank Klein, eventually plans to expand on.
Asian Box fills one of Klein’s personal holes, “I love Asian cuisine but have always found it challenging to find places offering fresh and authentic menus, especially in the fast-casual sector,” Following with, “Asian Box evolved from the idea of the kind of restaurant I’d want to eat at and introduce to my family and friends.” And this is his answer.
“What’s in your box?”
The approach at food is reflected in their tagline, “What’s in Your Box?.” They not only play on the presentation that your food comes in, but also on the quality of sustainable produce that goes in it. Asian Box takes it further by using compostable materials and energy efficient practices, Klein says, “it’s people-healthy and earth-friendly.”
The menu starts at $7.25, and allows guests to create their own “boxes” by choosing what ingredients they want, like Asian Salad, Noodles & Savory Vegetable Broth, Brown Rice Bowl or White Rice Bowl and add mains including Range Raised Coconut Soaked Pork, All Natural Six Spice Marinated Beef, and Cornmeal and Herbed Baked Tofu.
A selection of steamed vegetables, broths, vinegar-soaked peppers, eggs, and more than a dozen housemade condiments opens up even more options. They’ll be making Asian Box Housemade Sriracha, Asian Box Tamarind BBQ Sauce, and Asian Box StreetDust, a blend of exotic herbs and spices. They are especially proud of their HotBoxIt sauce made from California-grown Asian peppers that they guarantee will give you some burn.
Boxes can be expanded on by adding a side of shrimp, tofu, spring roll, or other compliments. Housemade artisanal beverages such as Lime Soda with Lemongrass, Thai Iced Tea, and Iced Vietnamese Coffee are available for $2.95. Gluten free wines and Asian beers are planned for late 2012.