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Bistro D’Asia Focuses On Asian Fusion Cuisine

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Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 9:20 am

The one thing Alaa Elsadek enjoys most about his job as restaurant owner is the people. 

His restaurant, Bistro D’Asia, will celebrate its 14th year in Coronado this summer and over the years Elsadek has met many families and children. Those children are now older, and many of them work at Bistro D’Asia when on break from college.

Elsadek’s experience in the restaurant business started in London, England for what he describes as a summer of travel and work. “I was a dishwasher, bus boy. I did every job,” he said. Originally from Cairo, Egypt, Elsadek spent many summers in England. His background is in accounting and economics and he studied in Egypt, England and Cleveland, Ohio. His passion was always soccer and he came to the U.S. hoping to be hired by a professional team, but an injury kept him from reaching his goal.

He then worked for a company that opened restaurants around the country, and for Wolfgang Puck. Elsdek opened his first restaurant in La Jolla in 1994 called The Grill at La Jolla. A few years later, the opportunity of opening Bistro d’Asia came up. Elsadek first opened the restaurant with a partner but now he is the sole owner.

Regular customers see Elsadek at the restaurant busying himself with all kinds of jobs. “I’m the manager, owner, dishwasher,” he said. Elsadek is at the restaurant even on his days off on occasion.

“I know a lot of local families and the kids work here as hostess … bus boy. I met so many of the kids before they were born, some were three and four-year olds, now they are in college,” he explained. Sometimes he said teenagers and their friends go to the restaurant to eat and beforehand he gets a call from the parents to alert him of that. “‘We are going to send our daughter with a credit card,’” he said.

Over the years some menu items have changed and Elsadek has added a few new ones. But the main, favorite dishes have stayed. Elsadek is very accommodating and goes as far as allowing customers to order items not on the menu. His personal favorite dishes are Bangkok Spicy Beef, Hanoi style white fish and Firecracker Shrimp.

The lunch menu items at Bistro D’Asia are all under $10 and all entrees include rice and salad. Customers can add a soup and a beverage for $2.95. The Hanoi style White Fish is one of the choices both in the lunch and dinner menu; the fish is stir fried in a Cantonese black bean sauce and served in a sizzling hot plate. Customers can choose from steamed, noodled or  woked dishes. Some of the choices include orange peel chicken/shrimp - chicken or shrimp lightly dusted and wok fried, tossed with fresh orange peel ($9.25/$9.95). Another choice is Moo Goo Gai Pan, chicken filet sautéed with fresh mushrooms, broccoli and snow peas. ($9.50)

The lunch menu also offers salads, like the mandarin steak salad, and vegetarian dishes like the Szechwan style vegetables. A variety of sushi rolls are also available.

Bistro D’Asia offers an early and late evening menu which is a four course meal which includes entrée, rice, soup, salad and dessert for $16.95. 

The very extensive evening menu features sushi and sashimi and traditional maki. The chef recommended dishes include Open Sesame Chicken - crispy chicken breast tossed in a caramelized sesame sauce; Dancing Scallops - diver sea scallops sautéed with green pepper, lemon grass and sweet onion in a spicy Kung Pao sauce. Sizzled choices include Bistro style Teriyaki Chicken, Waikiki Pineapple Chicken and Sweet and Sour Pork. For customers who are on a gluten free diet, the restaurant offers a gluten free soy sauce. The kids menu features orange peel chicken, chow mien and fried rice for under $6. Elsadek accommodates the little customers by making something similar to chicken nuggets and fries made with tofu.

“It’s the personal touch, socializing, getting to know people. They become almost part of the family, he explained.

The restaurant  has a sushi bar and see-through kitchen and a bar area with big screen TV. There is also a room that can be reserved for private parties. “Customers feel at home. They get treated as guests not as customers. They are guests in my house,” he said.

Just then regular customer, Peter Jensen, came in. “I already know what he is going to order - Mongolian beef and a diet coke,” said Elsadek.

Jensen confirmed he was ordering the Mongolian Beef. “In the evening I get a big wanton soup,” he said. “The food is excellent. There has always been a nice atmosphere,” said Jensen. “Alaa has always been a wonderful, gracious host. We come for the ambience and mostly the food” he said.

Bistro D’Asia is located at 1301 Orange Avenue. Call (619) 437-6677. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Happy Hour daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information log on www.bistrodasiacoronado.com

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