We were looking for somewhere new for lunch and Sara vaguely remembered hearing about a restaurant by the name of Urban Belly.
It was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.
I think I can say that with some confidence too, since we ordered about 50% of the menu. Each dish was more amazing than the last. Seriously. There wasn’t a one that I tried that I didn’t like. We had Asian squash & bacon dumplings, duck & pho spices dumplings, and pork and cilantro dumplings. Pork belly & pineapple rice, phat rice and sticky brown rice. We had udon (shrimp, coriander, and sweet chili lime sauce) and Asian egg noodles stir fried with spicy garlic chili, tofu, and Chinese eggplant. And finally we had wrinkle beans and kimchi. I wasn’t kidding when I said we sampled half the menu.
As proof of the fact that all of the dishes were equally good, everyone had a different favorite. We were all eating off each other’s plates, but my dish was the phat rice, and I thought it was the best.
It’s Asian food, but Asian like I’ve never had it before. It’s kind of hard to describe what it is exactly that makes it different, but whatever it is, it’s kind of awesome.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the decor, which was also amazing. Everything is made of rough, old, reclaimed wood. The decoration on the walls, the table tops, and the “stools” which are sort of like sitting on a pile of old, stacked logs. The dining room is set up to promote “communal dining”, which it certainly would do, except it wasn’t very crowded when we were there.
Despite it’s pedestrian appearance on the outside (it shares a strip mall with a laundromat and a dollar store), this place is highly recommended. Well worth the trip.