REVIEW: BAMBOO

The Monster has met a few people in his life who he recognizes speak English and yet not one word they say is comprehensible.  Others have no difficulty understanding them but The Monster is left clueless and guessing.  Between leaving there lips and getting to The Monster, English is replaced with “Zzzzuhhhks gerkunk sphhhaaaa!”

The Monster met another such person today.  A waiter at Bamboo.  Waiter: “Kasdun blik vodpiliam?”  Monster: “Water with lemon…?”  Waiter: “Qexlop!”  Sure enough, water with lemon arrives so the waiter definitely understands English or is an accomplished mind reader.

Situated on Venice Boulevard, this indoor/outdoor, Caribbean/Latin American restaurant is a decidedly polarizing place.  Some laud its mojitos, inventive cuisine and reasonable prices while other say the drinks are watered down, the food meh and it’s nary a bargain.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

The Monster has been a handful of times in the last few months and has found the food favorable, the patio a pleasant place to eat and the service…serviceable despite any possible communication breakdowns.

Sandwiches and pizza share a menu of shrimp, chicken and steak specialties.  Meals come with rice, beans and plantains.  Today’s order is corn chowder and the Caribbean shrimp.  The Monster believes the waiter understands as he nods his head and dutifully returns inside.  But if a plate of monkey brains and bananas Foster is set forth it wouldn’t really be shocking.

Complimentary chips and salsa start you off.  The salsa is thick and has a bit of a pasta sauce quality to its taste.  The Monster likes and loads up. 

The chowder arrives and while pleasing, it is much more soup than chowder.  It’s consistency is milky, not meaty, with hints of coconut and sweet corn.  As long as one knows going in what to expect it’s a good start to the meal. 

Lo and behold, The Monster is next served Caribbean shrimp!  Swimming in a tangy, sweet sauce and surrounded by the aforementioned accompaniments, The Monster is quite happy with the dish.  Across the table The Monster’s companion seems to be entirely enjoying his steak as well.    

The waiter returns and potentially asks about dessert or coffee.  Or maybe not.  Just as likely he’s reciting a passage from his favorite novel.  Matters not.  Nothing more in The Monster’s future on this day.

With a small lot (essential as parking in these parts is a brutal game of frustration), Bamboo may not be a place to cross town to try but The Monster thinks it’s a pleasant diversion from the downtown Culver City restaurant scene.

Why go?  Gheesurt di Makinos!

Monster rating: 3 ½/5 Monsters 

10835 Venice Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90034

(310) 287-0668

Bamboo on Urbanspoon

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