If someone were to tell you they would charge you 10 bucks for a plate of ants and fried potato strings youâ€™d probably laugh and punch them in the neck. But, tell me I get to see a big band jazz ensemble with it and you might grab my attention. Well thatâ€™s exactly what I had last week at Typhoon at the Santa Monica Airport. Jason Z first told me about this restaurant a few years back and I was always curious and wanted to try it. Not only do they have a large amount of Pan Asian cuisine, like dishes from Thailand, Philippines, China, Korea, and Japan. But they serve bugs. Thatâ€™s right, bugs. Ants, crickets, scorpions, waterbugs, and sea worms. They even have frog legs for good measure.
With all the shows on TV nowadays, which require you to eat bugs to survive or win some cash, eating bugs in a restaurant seems a little defeating. I should be moving on to the next round! I just ate a plate of ants! OK, so maybe my ants were served over a bed of deep fried shredded potatoes and werenâ€™t crawling around and biting my fingers. And maybe the crickets werenâ€™t still chirping, but were actually deep fried with some thai spices. Regardless, it was still an adventure to be eating bugs for dinner.
Not thinking we could be filled up by just eating insects, we ordered plenty of other dishes as well. Like the Korean Kal Bi, Mongolian Lamb, Filipino Grilled Pork, Scallops, Mussels, various Gyoza and any other type of meat we could find on the menu, it was all very tasty.
The Goodyear Blimp even did a drive by along the runway as we started our meal. We also got to see Tim Davies Big Band perform. Mostly brass, this 17 piece band was amazing! He plays all around town and Jim Bianco usually joins him at some point in the set for some vocal jazz stylings as well.
I wonâ€™t be craving more bugs anytime soon. Although sometimes I wonder what it would be like to go out in the yard, grab some crickets and scramble them up with some eggs. Look out Survivor Man, here I come!
*all photos credit jason z and lien ta