Asian Box, a fast-casual chain offering build-you-own boxes with a Vietnamese flavor, opened their ninth location last week in the Westfield Century City mall. Self-billed as “Fresh Sustainable Takeaway,” Asian Box proudly proclaims that everything is fresh – no freezers nor deep fryers. This means no hormones, no antibiotics, no pesticides – sustainably grown produce and 100% gluten-free. Even their packaging is earth friendly.
Like Chipotle, you choose a base, add a protein, toppings and sauce. Asian Box also offers several signature boxes, including a vegan option, the Garden Box. Unlike Chipotle, you don’t move through the line while they build your box for you, so you will have to wait until your order is assembled.
The vegan signature box, the Garden Box, featured tofu coconut curry, brown rice, steamed veggies, and toppings, lightly coated with their Asian Street Dust (a mixture of spices). The curry had some heat to it and was very flavorful, a vast improvement over your typical food court fare.
In hot weather, the chilled rice noodles made an excellent base for the six spice chicken and steamed veggies. With the addition of peanuts, bean sprouts, pickled veggies, crispy shallots and tamarind vinaigrette, it made a tasty and filling meal.
For beverages, Asian Box has a Vietnamese Iced Coffee, Mint Green Iced Tea and the Eazy-E (half lemonade, half mint green iced tea), affectionately named after the rapper. The iced coffee was like a dessert, sweet but quite strong (I could only manage to drink about half of it).
Asian Box’s “farm-to-box” approach, using fresh quality ingredients, is a welcome addition to the Westfield Century City. For healthy Asian food, Asian Box is your best best in the food court (sorry, Panda and Ajisen).
Location – Westfield Century City, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90067. Additional locations in Downtown LA, Santa Monica, Irvine and Northern California.
Website – http://www.asianbox.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – Yes
Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes! Asian Box is 100% gluten-free.
(Editor’s note: Asian Box closed in 2020.)