Monday, September 14, 2009

Committing Insecticide at Typhoon

Typhoon is located at the Santa Monica Airport.
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The only thing weirder than its location is its specialty -- bugs. Yes, you read that right. Bugs. And, really, that's the only reason to come here. To say that you conquered the bugs.

The place is a nightmare for photo-hungry bloggers. Cheesy hotel-bar-like ambience! The worst lighting imaginable! It wasn't just dim. The room had a scary red glow. Total bloody murder for photos.
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insomniac and I were dining in the Third Circle of Hell. With a stupid frosted glass take-out box votive candle holder.

But, again, we were there for one thing. Bugs or bust.

I attempted to whet my appetite with a St. Elmo's Fire ($9).
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I'll let the ridiculous text do the describing.
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My hairdryer has higher voltage than this weak-ass drink.

We frowned when our server informed us the restaurant was out of the Chambai ants ($10). Damn it. I was all ready to make a stupid ants in my pants joke. Curses! Foiled! But we did our best to eat all the other creepy-crawlies available.

Taiwanese crickets stir-fried with garlic, chili pepper, and basil ($10).
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A crunchy oily mess. It didn't taste like anything at all. It just tasted like...crunchy. I doused mine with the Sriracha provided. Then it just tasted like...Sriracha.
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Totally unimpressed. So unimpressed that I felt compelled to pose two crickets on my plate and pretend they were in love for my own amusement. Then I ate them. Crunch crunch.

Singapore-style scorpions on shrimp toast ($11).
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A crunchy oily mess. Again. The scorpions themselves were tasteless, and the shrimp toast wasn't much better. Nevertheless, it was kind of fun eating these. I mean, look at them. They're scorpions.

Deep-fried Thai-style white sea worms on baby lettuce with basil, chili pepper, peanuts, lime, and a tamarind dipping sauce ($9).
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A crunchy oily mess. Is this all the kitchen can do? I'm serious. And really salty. Much too salty. The funny part about my eating these worms is that they weren't even new to me. When the dish arrived, I was whisked back to my childhood. My mom always told me these were "tiny fish." And I believed her. What a sucker.

Deep-fried Thai-style frog legs with cilantro sauce ($11).
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A crunchy oily mess. Yeah, it's Groundhog Day in this post. Since we couldn't eat the ants, we decided to get a non-insect dish, and the frog legs seemed like a good idea. Probably the best thing of the night. That's not saying much.

If it wasn't clear already, nothing was very tasty at all.
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But it did make for a fun bill.


  1. yucks. i remember going there in high school. but not for bugs. i think someone found out our fake ids worked there.

  2. you're so brave, weemo! i probably wouldn't have tried the scorpions. they looked a little scary

  3. creepy crawlies, eh? can you believe i've been here and just ate the regular stuff like noodles and mongolian beef? i love watching the planes take off at typhoon. great atmosphere more so than food. too bad the critters didn't taste like much.

  4. 1) I didn't even know there WAS a Santa Monica airport.
    2) It sounds like it's not even worth it to go there for the bugs!
    3) I wonder how the board of health is able to grade them.
    "Umm, sir, it seems like your walk in has about a hundred cockroaches crawling around."
    "Oh! Don't worry! That's tonight's specialty!"

  5. I'm really quite grossed out by this. And baffled by why it's at an airport.

  6. Eww.I don't think I could ever want to eat bugs.

  7. I just saw the episode of Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre food featuring this restaurant the other day. I couldn't remember what the name of the restaurant was and was too lazy to look it up, so thank you for blogging this :)

  8. How was your stomach after all that?!?!?

  9. let me know when the squirrel restaurant is up next!

  10. Yikes. My stomach did a flippity flop just looking at those pictures. I don't think I'll be going there anytime soon...

  11. Hence Typhoon was never on my list, short, or otherwise.

    Gueleguetza's grasshoppers aren't greasy, but is salty as hell.

    Bugs are so high on protein tho...

  12. Sea worms? But I thought they were fish too! Tiny little white fish.

    I've eaten silk worms in Vietnam. Tasted like peanut butter. And bbqed waxworms that tasted like bbqed potato chips.

  13. I've had scorpion before but it was applied in a long cooked soup...which made the scorpion flavorless, but the soup extra delicious and savory. The weirdest insect I have tried would probably be something called "sa chong"(translation sand insect?) which has the texture of tendon but not fatty.

  14. Really? I don't think I would ever pay to eat bugs. Ever!! How's your tummy?

  15. Ew.

    But props to you and Insom for crossing off another entry on the Omnivore's 100.

  16. This is officially someplace I am never going to want to eat with you when I next visit L.A. Bad bugs plus weak drinks is a truly undefendable combination.

    (ok, probably wouldn't have wanted to eat there anyway, but really strong drinks maybe could have convinced me to try an allegedly good bug.)

  17. Ewwww. I scrolled REALLY quickly through the pictures but still got chills from the few glimpses.

  18. It's too bad that the bugs weren't that tasty. That means they died in vain. :(

  19. Funny...I was at dinner with some friends over the weekend and they mentioned this restaurant!

  20. Icky icky. You must have made quite a living as a kid winning all of the "I'll give you $1 if you eat that bug."

  21. Damn cool post, Rivers! Or shall I call you Zimmerman?

  22. Maybe I'm weird but the oily factor bothers me more than the eating bugs part. Super oily anything is no good. Boo. =(

    The scorpion toast photo made me ooh and aah a bit. hehe

  23. so bugs taste like one big oily mess. good to know I'm not missing out on much. ;)

  24. You're right - that meal was disappointing. I feel like I need to eat more bugs to overcome the bad bugs. The view (and company of course!) was much better.

  25. too bad everything was so oily. meh.

    at least it isn't as red as roscoe's?

  26. Redder.

    My saving grace = white balance.

  27. Hi weezermonkey,

    Total bummer. Your nice report confirmed what I've been hearing over and over - oily mess (with little distinct taste for the actual bugs). :(

    It seems like it's more for the idea that you ate "bugs" than anything. The way Andrew Zimmern described these dishes makes it seem like he got something totally different. Thanks for the warning.

  28. Wow. I got itchy reading this. Kudos to you and insom for being brave enough to try this. I would have needed a few more of those St. Elmo's to get through it all.

  29. I guess that they can't probably cook real food since all they manage to make are crunchy oil messes.

  30. yeah, no. there's no way in hell i'd have even set foot into this place.


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