Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Box on Wheels

The Box on Wheels ("The Box") is an Asian-French fusion food truck located in Kirkland, Washington. Reis Llaneza, a chef for 13 years and originally from the Big Island (Hawaii), has brought his wonderful cooking to the Pacific Northwest. The Box even has an 808 number (Hawaii) right on the truck!

Gotta represent da 808!

Menu (late October 2011)
My friend and I spotted The Box at Juanita Beach Park on a rainy Friday. It was about 2:30, and the lunch rush had come and gone. It appeared they were packed up for the day, but luckily, they were still open.

We ordered one Pork Belly Hum Bao and one Kalua Pork Hum Bao ($2.50 each). The pork belly is braised in soy and mirin, topped with fresh slaw, and served on a Chinese steamed bun. The kalua pork is pork roasted Hawaiian-style, with lomi lomi tomato relish, served on a Chinese steamed bun.

Pork Belly Hum Bao (left)
Kalua Pork Hum Bao (right)
Damn. The food was incredible. The bun was soft and held all the juicy ingredients inside. The pork belly exploded in my mouth and the refreshing slaw came to the rescue to ideally balance everything. For the kalua pork, I could tell these guys were from Hawaii. Just properly made kalua pork here, and the lomi relish ("lomi" means to "massage") was professionally diced and heartwarming. The juices emanated from each hum bao like a waterfall. Worth $5? You better believe it. I just wish I lived in Kirkland so I could order about ten of those and stuff my face every day.

Other dishes I'll have to sample in the future include the Chicken Karaage plate ($8; tender pieces of fried chicken with Box sauce, steamed rice, and chop salad); and their Mini Bagel Burger ($3; hoisin and ginger-infused burger and remoulade on a toasted mini bagel).

For now, I highly recommend The Box! Who woulda thunk major flavor could come in such a small portion of food? 9/10

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