Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I first heard about Cambinos Asian BBQ when it showed up as an outing on my dining club's calendar. Even though it was in OC, just the thought of Asian BBQ was enough to get me in my car for a drive beyond LA County boundaries, especially since I had such a wonderful experience with Park's Finest BBQ. By the way, owner James Sar, is Cambodian, but named his restaurant Cambinos after his former Filipino-Cambodian basketball team that used to play around Orange County.
While the very name of the restaurant seems to indicate that the BBQ served there is a fusion of Cambodian and Filipino cuisines, James' friend, who was managing the restaurant at the time of our visit, mentioned that the purpose of Cambinos is simply to serve home-style BBQ utilizing general Asian influences and not necessarily specific to any one country. We were also told that a different BBQ sauce was developed for each of the various meats on the menu.
To get a broad idea of the BBQ, our group opted to split several plates of their Mixed Plate to share. This Mixed Plate consisted of steamed rice, grilled veggies, chicken and pork skewers, chicken thigh, beef short rib and spare pork ribs. Normally priced at $9.95, you can get it for $7.95 on Saturdays.
The first thing I tried was the Boneless Chicken Thighs which was marinated in a house blend of spices and hoisin sauce. Unfortunately, the marinade was a little too sweet for my palate, so it wasn't a hit with me.
Next was the Beef Short Ribs, which was marinated in a soy based sauce with ginger. This was just an okay dish for me. It needed more ginger.
Then I took a bite out of the Pork Spare Ribs which was marinated with a blend of lemon and lime juices along with garlic and other spices, and I was completely wowed. First, the meat was tender and practically falling off the bone. Second, I enjoyed the tart and slightly vinegary flavor of the meat itself. These ribs are definitely a must order.
As for the skewers, I didn't realize at the time that there were actually two different skewers on the plate, which meant that I didn't get to try the chicken skewer. I did try the Pork Skewer with a special marinade blend of spices, brown sugar and ginger and I found it absolutely delicious. It reminded me of Filipino BBQ, which actually is always on skewers.
Seeing the Grilled Cornish Hens with a Pineapple Glaze on the menu piqued our interest, so we placed an order for that as well. I'm so glad we did. Along with the Pork Ribs, those hens are a must order. The chicken meat was tender and juicy with delicious tropical flavors.
For dessert, we also checked out their simply called Yellow Cake. A small cake that was moist and had a slight sugar glaze to it that even made it more appealing.
Overall, I really enjoyed my Cambinos. While there were a couple of items I could pass over, everything else was really stellar. So much so, I'm planning on bringing my assorted family members there for a meal sometime. If you happen to be in the Cypress area, be sure to check it for yourself as well and go for those ribs. Yum!
Cambinos Asian BBQ
5721 Lincoln Avenue
Cypress, CA 90630