Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Restaurant Review: NAAAP-Pittsburgh goes to Cambod-ican

January Dinner Club, The Cambod-ican Kitchen,
1701 E. Carson St., South Side. 412-381-6199

The January dinner club adds yet another restaurant this month, this time going to The Cambod-ican Kitchen on Carson St. Join us for this taste of street food that moved up in the world and became a restaurant with walls and a roof.

We went to Cambod-ican on Carson St (on the Southside) last week for the monthly dinner club, continuing a two year string of monthly dinner clubs without having to revisit a restaurant. Cambod-ican is a bit different then the normal. While there are some asian restaurants, and many restaurants that try (sort of) to be some variety of asian, Cambod-ican's tie with asian food is purely random, the wife (of the husband-wife team) is Cambodian. But the food is definitely Pittsburgh, with a Cambodian flavor (not the other way around). And it is Pittsburgh street food that stands out.

Cambod-ican Kitchen used to be a street stall on Carson St, before being kicked out to make way for Nakama (which is across the street). And so after looking for a place, they ended up moving indoors. Interacting with them was fun. When I called, I think a daughter answered the phone, and had to take a message. Then when we got there, we had to hang out for a bit waiting for everyone to show up. The husband came out and chatted with us (as well as everyone else) and generally gave suggestions and teased the ladies. Lots of fun. And he explained how to pronounce Cambod-ican (portmanteau of Cambodian and American, no he did not use the word 'portmanteau') And the chant that goes with it among some of the regulars (I can, you can, Cambod-ican)

Food, like everything else that is Pittsburgh street food, is lots of fried stuff, and some other stuff. We had a fried wonton, which is really fried perogies

Fried Wonton at Cambod-ican

And the steamed spring rolls for appetizer

Fresh Spring Rolls at Cambod-ican

Even the dishes, not exactly gourmet (this is grown up street food) but fun for what it is. The setting is not much, but the staff was friendly, and we enjoyed ourselves. Which is the point.

NAAAP-Pittsburgh at Cambod-ican
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