TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


September 25, 2017

Bringing down the Baohaus

Baohaus takes good old-fashioned steamed buns to a whole new level with its creative combinations. These are no ordinary peking duck steamed buns.
Co-owners Eddie and Evan Huang first established the restaurant in New York in 2009 to share the Taiwanese-Chinese food of their childhood and use the eatery to challenge Asian stereotypes by encouraging people not to let their skin color define them.
Eddie Huang is well-known for his Vice show “Huang’s World” and memoir that the ABC television show “Fresh off the Boat” inspired. He narrated the first season, but later left because he was unsatisfied with the show’s depiction of Asian immigrants’ struggles. Because his television role required him to live in Los Angeles at the time, he decided to open another BaoHaus location in the Far East Plaza of Chinatown in 2014.
Although the West Coast’s food scene, which includes fresh and fusion food, differs from the comfort and classic foods of the East Coast, the Huang brothers kept the original menu with their distinct items. The restaurant offers some of the customers’ favorite baos, or buns, such as the Chairman Bao made with pork belly, Uncle Jesse Bao created with tofu and Birdhaus Bao made with fried chicken, with prices ranging from $3-14.
Quickly glancing at the short menu, I ordered their Three Bao Special, which was their lunch deal that came with three baos and fries for $14. I chose the Chairman Bao, two Birdhaus Baos and taro fries. Unfortunately, the eatery only accepted credit or debit card, which was a hassle for a student who does not have either.
My order came out within a few minutes and the baos were aromatically and visually pleasing, as the scent of the lemon-garlic aioli in the Birdhaus Baos was prominent and the sprinkled cilantro on top gave the buns a pop of color. There was a hint of lemon and other spices in the chicken as I first bit into the Birdhaus Bao, creating an explosion of flavors in my mouth. The crispness of the chicken complemented the softness of the buns, creating a balance of texture.
As for the Chairman Bao, it did not live up to my expectations after having the Birdhaus Bao. The fat of the pork belly provided the savory juiciness that the first bao was lacking. However, there was more fat than I would have preferred. After seeing how thick the pork belly was in photos before arriving at the restaurant, the thinness of the meat disappointed me.
The taro fries were the worst part of the special, as the appearance deceived me into thinking that they were fries, but they tasted more like store bought fried chips. Although I somewhat tasted the taro, the salt was highly overpowering and led to a failed attempt at making flavorful fries.
Overall, the food at BaoHaus was satisfactory, but I would not go again. The meal is too expensive for a lunch that feels more like finger food. The only reason that students would go to the restaurant is probably because of how the famous chef Eddie Huang is the co-owner, rather than for the food itself.

About the Author

Michelle Le


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