Tucked away in Temecula’s Tower Plaza at the corner of Ynez and Rancho California Roads sits Bamboo House Asian Bistro. I’d been hearing a buzz about this place well before I paid my first visit, and it’s very clear what all the excitement is about. I sat with general manager Chase Waitman, and his enthusiasm is evident.
Chase has local roots in the Temecula Valley, and he and Executive Chef/owner Dong Ho pay tribute to the region in everything they do. Local wines are prominently featured, and they use only the freshest ingredients, choosing local at every opportunity. Bamboo House features local musicians, with violin virtuoso Diego de Jesus Mondragon performing nearly every Friday evening. When Diego isn’t available, other local artists step in.
Chase and Dong pride themselves not only on the quality and variety of their food, but on their friendly staff as well. Regulars are greeted by name. It’s family friendly with family style portions. New menu items are introduced often and there are always chef’s specials. “It’s a little bit upscale, but still casual,” Waitman told me. Dong is Vietnamese, and the Asian fusion menu features not only Vietnamese food, but Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Hawaiian, too. He graduated from culinary school at age 26 and his passion for everything he touches, from the food presentation to the menu and décor is evident. Sushi chef Max Takao is well respected in the area and comes from the family that started Nihon Japanese restaurants.
I came for lunch and enjoyed a delicious appetizer plate with Pacific Islander’s Ribs, crab won tons, summer rolls and Vietnamese egg rolls. The presentation was simple, yet elegant with fresh flowers perched atop the appetizer plate. Each bite was delicious, seasoned to perfection and bursting with fresh flavors. For an entrée I enjoyed Bo Luc Lac, cubed filet mignon sautéed in a garlic sauce with peppers and onions aside a tossed green salad.
Lunch specials are offered from 11 – 2 everyday and include both soup and salad. Happy hour is from 3 – 6 every day with all appetizers, house wine and well cocktails $5, $3 Sapporo and $4 for all other drafts. Bamboo House Asian Bistro, 27473 Ynez Road in Temecula. This is one hidden treasure worth searching for.