Tuesday 29 Jul

Food briefs: You’re toast, er, pretzel

There’s a new food truck on the scene.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Upward mobility

Locals can have fresh microgreens and herbs for cooking in a new and convenient way. Microgreens, a chef favorite, are petite vegetable greens that add color, nutrition and flavor to dishes.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Vietnamese comfort food

I’ve always had a love affair with the refreshing, healthy cuisine of Vietnam. I love the fragrances, the fresh herbs, cilantro, basil, mint and other Asian herbs: perilla, Vietnamese coriander and sawtooth cilantro. And I love the contrast and balance in almost every dish: spicy vs. cool, salty vs. sweet and steamed vs. crispy.
07/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG eat: Cool places, cooler drinks

We know. It’s hot. It’s summer in Oklahoma. Cool down by sampling cocktails that local bars and restaurants have concocted just for you. Find a nice, air conditioned space or a shaded patio and while away the hours drinking the flavors of summer. You might decide it’s not that bad after all.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Lauren Hamilton

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

New kids on the block

There are a wealth of new local eateries cropping up in the metro and even more coming. If they’re not on your radar, they should be. From the comfy atmosphere at The Barrel on Western Avenue to the laid-back vibe at the Plaza District’s coffee shop, you might find a new regular hangout.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

07/16/2014 | Comments 0


Ah, the perils of working with special dietary needs. It can make dining out a pain. Luckily, with restaurateurs becoming more savvy to their diners’ needs, there are a bevy of places in OKC to satisfy your craving for the foods you love without losing taste. All choices this week have been road-tested by gluten-sensitive foodies to guarantee satisfaction.
07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Food · Restaurant Reviews · Rising from the...
Restaurant Reviews

Rising from the ashes

Golden Phoenix has reopened, and is even better than before.

Doug Hill July 11th, 2012

Golden Phoenix
2728 N. Classen Blvd.

What works: The beautifully remodeled dining room with the same authentic and delicious Asian food.
What needs work: A menu that’s intimidating in its length and obscure descriptions. 
The tip: It’s possibly the best Asian food in the entire state.  

Credit: Mark Hancock

 On Jan. 11, a blaze fed by 60 mph winds raced across the roof of Golden Phoenix. Oklahoma City firefighters brought the fire under control, but not before enough damage was done to halt the restaurant’s operation, along with the adjoining Asian grocery.

Personally supervising the reconstruction contracting, owner Larry Lee reopened both businesses in May.

“It was like a blessing in disguise,” said manager Jason Xa. “There was an opportunity to remodel, modernize and expand the dining room.”

Although the fancy new sign hasn’t yet been installed out front, inside it’s like an all-new restaurant.

Still, there are some familiar sights. The glass case containing whole roasted ducks, chickens and pork is there, along with oversized aquariums holding live lobsters and tilapia to select for your meal. Also unchanged is the restaurant’s commitment to preparation of high-quality authentic Asian cooking.

“Our main objective is to serve good food and provide good service,” Xa said.

What sets Golden Phoenix apart is that there is no attempt to modify recipes for Western tastes.

Located in the heart of the city’s Asian district, the eatery’s culinary philosophy is reflected in the customer base. The dishes are of a level found in Taipei, Vancouver or San Francisco, rather than the American Midwest.

This is not standard-issue, all-youcan-eat Chinese fare.

You’ll find recognizable items here, but it’s all fresh and cooked to order using traditional condiments, spices and flavorings.

Lee and Xa wisely made the decision to keep their seasoned Vietnamese and Chinese chefs on the payroll for the months that the Golden Phoenix was grounded.

Since re-opening, business has increased by a third. This is the place to impress your out-of-town visitors with how exotically sophisticated OKC can be.

Golden Phoenix’s menu can be overwhelming. It’s 15 pages and lists 325 separate and numbered items.

Unfamiliar dishes such as female capelin with salt and pepper ($8.95) compete for your attention alongside the more well-known sweet-and-sour chicken ($7.95) or beef with snow peas ($7.95).

“I love to recommend things for people,” Xa said. “We answer questions and make suggestions for our customers.”

Tell your server what you like — veggie or what kind of meat, spicy or not, Chinese or Vietnamese — and take the direction provided.

If you’d rather spend 40 minutes reading the menu, however, go for it. Seemingly peculiar contradictions abound. Frog leg with creamy butter ($12.95) is listed under chicken dishes. Supreme chicken soup with rice noodle ($6.95) is below the heading “Rice Noodle Beef Soup” dishes.

As for what to order, it just depends on how adventurous you want to be.

Everything appears to be prepared with care and fresh ingredients. Goat in hot pot ($24.95) or jellyfish salad ($13.95) goes way beyond the familiar boundaries in which many grew up.

Fried tofu with eggplant in garlic sauce ($7.95) is a vegan delight. The sweet, velvety vegetable was sliced with purple skin left on, then sautéed alongside big chunks of mahoganycolored tofu. The result is a good contrast of textures and mild sesame oil flavor.

“That has become a very popular dish with vegetarians,” Xa said.

Pan-fried, salted squid ($9.95) is Asian calamari. The difference is a liberal lacing of scallions and jalapeños.

It will be difficult bypassing this dish to try new things on return trips.

And there will be return trips.

Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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