When it comes to high-concentration dining areas, Columbia has limited destinations. Downtown can take care of you whether you’re in the mood for sushi or whether it’s a steak-and-potatoes kind of day. It’s got variety and, because of that, is our go-to venue when we want to go out for dinner but can’t make up our minds on exactly where.
But I hereby nominate the Peachtree area south of town for second place. Often overlooked at the southwest corner of Grindstone and Providence — in a maze of weird side streets and dead-end parking lots — is some of the best food in town.
Posts Tagged ‘Chim’s’
Jina Yoo’s: It’s been quite a while since I’ve made a stop at Jina Yoo’s. It’s partly the location – Forum’s not exactly date night material – and partly the service. When we are in that part of town it’s with the kids and Jina’s never been known for speedy service. So, a year’s gone by. Far too long for a restaurant that rarely disappointed on the food front. Also, the word on the street’s been positive and they’ve changed up the menu quite a bit.
I didn’t hold out a lot of of hope for the “Bulgogi Philly Wrap” but lo and behold: Korean fusion that actually works. The meat makes the trip over from their bulgogi bowl and appears with lettuce, horseradish sauce and just enough melting pepperjack cheese to ward off a soggy tortilla. Seriously, it’s good. (Note: I’d link to their website but it’s so catastrophically unintelligible it won’t help you glean any further information. No matter, you know where Jina Yoo’s is…just give them another try.)
After the jump: Sycamore, La Terraza and a Chim’s Thai Kitchen update…
Chim says her new Peachtree Plaza Thai restaurant could be open as soon as next week, following an inspection Monday. We’ll see. What we won’t see is Singha on the menu – as in Jefferson City they will not be getting a liquor license, at least in the short term. You can however bring in your own adult beverages. Score.
Closed for the time being is Lucy’s Corner Cafe. A sign says the restaurant suffered “interior damages” while a posted permit mentions HVAC installation. Either way, the place is torn to shreds. They promise to reopen “soon.”
Last week I hung out in the kitchen at Chim’s in Jefferson City during a lunch service. It’s tiny, as you can see above, and full of banging pots, jostling family-members and rapid-fire exchanges in Thai and English. Left to right are (brother) Jatupon “Jay” Wadtananussorn, (stepdad) Preecha Chaya and (mom) Pramuan “Chim” Duncan. Not pictured is (sister) Pantipa “Boo” Wadtananussorn who is, no doubt, scampering around the dining room.
Mostly I just tried to stay out of the way, but I did manage to snap a handful of pics. The photos are posted after the jump; the resulting Tribune column is posted here. Chim hopes to open her Columbia location – in the old Casablanca building – by Christmas.
It’s hard to believe but Mrs. SMEs and I have less than a month to go before we head to Thailand for two weeks. Thoughts are naturally turning to all things Thai. Sticking with that theme, a few quick notes:
- Chim’s Thai Kitchen, currently with outposts at Cooper’s Landing and in Jefferson City, will be opening a third location in the former Casablanca spot in Peachtree Center. The timeframe is “a couple of months,” because there’s quite a bit of work to be done on the building. The Jefferson City location will remain open, while Chim’s at Cooper’s Landing is closing for the season after this weekend.
- This is good, because the best Thai food I’ve had in Columbia in years was in someone’s home Sunday night. CoMo needs good Thai food in a big, bad way.
- Below is an actual encounter between me and the travel nurse who’d just given me tetanus, Hepatitis A and flu shots last weeek - along with several prescriptions – before the turning to additional dangers I should be aware of, like pick-pockets and street vendors selling delicious food:
Nurse: “Remember to not eat anything from the street vendors. Or on the floating markets.”
Me: “Um, yeah…”
M: “That’s why I’m going to Thailand.”
N: “To eat street vendor food?”
M: “Pretty much.”
N: “That diarrhea medicine’s going to come in handy, then.”
Chim’s Thai Kitchen (Cooper’s Landing): Aesthetically, this Thai restaurant is about what you’d expect from a van down by the river. But it’s not bad as a prelude to Bangkok street food and the noodle dishes and spicy cucumber salad are excellent (I don’t care for Chim’s pad thai, either here or in Jeff City. Go with drunken noodle or pad see ew).
Schnucks: Officially calling Hy-Vee’s bet, St. Louis-based Schnucks had pulled out all the stops with their renovation of the Forum store in Columbia. Their beautiful wine and beer section is centrally located (as it should be, everywhere, all the time). There’s also a Kaldi’s – with gelato – and more local produce than I’ve found before. Their spiral cut ham remains a draw. And I couldn’t resist this charcuterie platter.
Coffee Zone: Stopped in to grab breakfast to go (kitchen opens at 8:oo am). Grabbed a bagel instead (flavorless and stale). Anybody in Columbia have a decent bagel?
Riverside Diner: Homemade doesn’t always equal quality. This greasy spoon across from Glenn’s Cafe in Boonville clearly hand breads their own catfish, whips up their own coleslaw and even pickles their own beets. The beets were the only thing I’d eat again. (On a side note, at least they were open. Glenn’s, supposedly open until 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays, had closed when I arrived at 2:05 p.m.)
I’ve become a big fan of Chim’s Jefferson City location (their green curry in particular is wonderful). They opened for the year down at Cooper’s Landing last night. Dinner Monday-Friday, lunch and dinner Saturday and Sunday. The Jeff City location will remain open for its regular business hours.
Prison Brews – Very tasty-looking menu, comparable to Flat Branch in makeup, if not execution. Sausage and mushroom pizza was a bit of a travesty. Too much cheese, canned sauce, dough lacking salt/flavor. Still, they get props for using chorizo. Pretzels are from Sysco, tasty in a ballpark kind of way, but no threat to FB.
O’Donoghue’s – Another attempt at inserting a little class and decent food into east downtown Jefferson City. Nice French dip, fries were overcooked.
Chim’s Thai – Cooper’s Landing transplant seems an improvement over previous occupants. Hot actually means hot. Curries have been good; anything fried, too long so.