Chef Alfred “AJ” Sheik grew up in a traditional Chinese household. His family even runs a Chinese restaurant. Like many Asian households, the children learn about their culture and family history in the kitchen through food. Chef AJ’s wanted to take his Chinese restaurant experience and infuse local foods and ingredients – where old meets new. In December 2014, his dream became a reality with BLVD Chinese Kitchen in surf town, Oceanside, CA. Co-owner, Thao Nguyen, runs the front of the house.
Fish Taco Chinos ($10) is honey glazed fish topped with cabbage slaw, house sauce, and chives. The local fresh fish is succulent and seasoned to perfection. This dish has a great mix of textures with the meaty fish, crispy cabbage, creamy house sauce, and tangy onions. Rating: 4.8/5
Beer Battered Fish & Chips ($13) is house beer tempura fish served with fresh-cut seasoned chips and Asian tartar sauce. The detail in the presentation itself is just awesome right down to a Chinese to-go box and chile-shaped sauce boat. The fish batter is golden brown with light and crispy texture while the fish remains succulent and juicy inside. The chips are crispy. The sauce is the bomb maintaining the perfect balance of sweet and savory for dunking both fish and chips alike. Rating: 4.4/5
Sweet & Sour Ribs ($13) are presented stacked with sweet and sour sauce flowing and topped with sesame seeds, green onion, and pineapple. These are reminiscent of sweet & sour fried chicken wings. The outside is crispy, like crispy chicken skin. The interior had a good pork flavor. But they need to be either parboiled or cooked a little longer before the fry process so the meat can be pulled off the bone easily. Rating: 3.5/5
With tummies full, it was time to head back to the Carlsbad Seapointe Resortto catch the sunset. As the orange hues began to fade, the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach sang another lullaby. A day with animals is on the agenda. Stay tuned!
For more information:
514 S. Coast Hwy.
Oceanside, CA 92054
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
This travel article series is dedicated to the author's step dad who passed away while the author was on this trip.