Monday, March 31, 2008


Scorpions on Shrimp Toast

3221 Donald Douglas Loop S
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Adequately Fed: $18

Singapore Style Scorpions**
Garlic Noodles***
Mongolian Beef***
Fried Banana****
(Out of Five Stars)

Approaching the restaurant, my companion makes an astute observation, it definitely felt like I was in the middle of some rampage-driven video game and this was one of the stops for the next mission. Typhoon is located on the second floor overlooking the tarmac of the Santa Monica airport. Its location is unique but provides a great dining experience with a wide view of planes taking off and landing. The bar and the tables are also furnished nicely with an open-view kitchen.

This is one of the most diverse pan-Asian restaurants that I have encountered. The menu heavily favored Thai and other Southeast Asian cuisine and even incorporated Filipino food, a cuisine typically unseen in restaurant fare. Most of the menu items however, were typical of any Asian restaurant with the particular stand-out of a section labeled "Insects." Among the scorpions, which I ordered as an appetizer, there are waterbugs, sandworms and ants.

Paying $10 for an order of scorpions, I asked the waiter what the portion size was for that item. He responded that there are only two scorpions and they are not too filling. When the dish came, I was disappointed by the barely visible scorpion sitting on a bed of bland shrimp toast. The scorpions were fried beyond recognition and so tasted as such. It is a nice novelty, but certainly not worth the money.

To supplement my scorpions, I ordered the garlic noodles. The noodles were not as heavily flavored as I would have liked, but the addition of chile peppers helped. The Mongolian beef was over-priced as well for a dish I could have enjoyed at the mall for six dollars. It came with some toasted buns, but they still do not add that much value to the dish. The portion was large however.

The dessert, fried banana by a name I cannot remember, was excellent. It was fried in an egg-roll wrapper, making a crunchy texture balanced by the soft banana. The addition of the whipped cream was also a welcome change of texture and a slightly different flavor emphasis.

Recommended: Do not succumb to the hype; certain dishes are not worth the money. If you recognize a dish as something you can order in Chinatown for half the price, you are probably better off ordering something else.

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