The Grand Opening At S.E.A. Bowl
S.E.A. Bowl’s grand opening introduced the exotic Southeast Asian cuisine to the city of Elk Grove on September 4. Dishes such as quail eggs, oxtails, papaya salads, chicken giblets, and tripe were presented from the gorgeous countries of Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. S.E.A Bowl was filled with guests and newcomers excited to feast on something new and different. It was an exciting day as folks from Elk Grove, Sacramento, Lodi and Stockton came out to try the famous soups and delectable dishes that only Southeast Asia can boast about. We felt as if we were at a trendy restaurant in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia, as the romantic Khmer music played along with the gorgeous Cambodian music videos on a large flat screen. S.E.A. Bowl owners Mora and Da made us feel right at home, along with their family members who work at this beautiful place.
Cambodian-American singer, Jay Chan, celebrated the grand opening, as he welcomed guests and socialized with his fans. He passed out his music CDs, as we enjoyed watching his sensational music videos. At S.E.A Bowl, Jay has a Cambodian noodle soup named after him called the Jay Chan bowl. This is a specialty soup which Jay drummed up himself, with all his favorite concoctions of chicken giblets, sliced beef, oxtails, meatballs, tripe, quail eggs and sliced chili pepper, all in an oxtail broth, topped with fried garlic and shallots in a rice noodle soup.
The grand opening of S.E.A. Bowl was a such a blast for all of us who attended, that we just hung out for hours upon hours, eating new and interesting foods while talking, laughing and socializing with each other.
About S.E.A. Bowl
S.E.A. Bowl has maintained a 5 star review since it’s soft opening earlier this year, with the word being that this place is truly excellent in every way. This is a family owned and family operated business, who also operate a sister restaurant called S.E.A. Hut in Sacramento. Mora and Da are the same owners, and they may very well be the reason that we will be regulars at both places. They welcomed and greeted each customer with humble eloquence and open hearts. Their family members worked tirelessly all day catering to guests and making each one of us feel right at home with them. They were attentive to every detail of our orders with impeccable grace and gentle manners. We felt so comfortable as if we were among the closest of family and friendst. The dishes presented to us were deliciously authentic and were completely on point in representing true Southeast Asian cuisine. S.E.A. Bowl duplicates the calm and peaceful vibes of the ancient temples and the soul-soothing spiritual statues of the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia, a sacred place that I so fondly remember visiting years ago.
The Cuisine At S.E.A. Bowl
I was pleasantly surprised to find myself reliving the fond memories of my trip to Cambodia while dining at S.E.A. Bowl. The authenticity of the cuisine was a familiar blast from my past trips and I enjoyed every insatiable morsel that took me down memory lane. The genuine kindness and warm hospitality displayed at this restaurant reminded me of the unforgettable culture I had once experienced in this part of the world. S.E.A. stands for South East Asia and this is exactly what you will get at S.E.A. Bowl, authentic, exotic, delicious Southeast Asian foods.
The Cream Cheese Wontons at S.E.A Bowl are a must have. Each bite was every bit of deliciousness. The crust was light and crunchy, and not at all greasy or oily. The inside was generously filled with a smooth cream cheese filling, dollops of imitation crab meat, and bits of crunchy yet juicy water chestnuts and green onions. This was a burst of so many flavors and textures to our palates that we could not stop grazing on this appetizer. The sweet & sour sauce was a nice addition, but not at all needed, and with every bite of wonton being so delectable, it only added yet another flavorsome experience. We loved this appetizer so much that we had to order a second serving. I cannot say enough about these Cream Cheese Wontons, they were addicting and voraciously outstanding!
My young teens being the adventurous food connoisseurs ordered the Quail Eggs with Oxtail Broth, and enjoyed it very much. This is a very unusual and small serving of 3 tiny quail eggs, each the size of a peanut M&M, in a small amount of broth. The Oxtail Broth was light, savory and almost similar to beef broth. The quail eggs are similar in taste to a boiled chicken egg. This is a fantastic appetizer for the foodie who is not afraid to indulge in new and exotic foods.
The traditional Cambodian Noodle Soup or Kuy Teav was a another hearty and delicious soup. It is similar to the Vietnamese Pho Soup, with the broth being clear and soothing in taste. This soup consists of rice noodles with pork stock and toppings of cooked shrimp, beef balls and pork slices, garnished with garlic and onions. Kuy Teav is a dish of Chinese origin and a popular breakfast food in Cambodia, Southern Vietnam and Thailand. It can be found at marketplace stalls, restaurants and roadside vendors through out Southeast Asia. This dish alone is very filling and can be split for two people.
The Oxtails in the Oxtail Broth were deliciously interesting. Each serving was small in size, yet delectable in flavor and texture. The oxtails were soft, tender and moist. The oxtail broth was savory and flavorful, and made a perfect combination soup with the oxtails.
The S.E.A. Sampler appetizer plate offers Cream Cheese Wontons, Spring Rolls, Chicken Skewers, Beef Skewers with a Sweet Chili Sauce. This was another big a big hit with us as these appetizers were all one more delicious than the other. The Cream Cheese Wontons were absolutely addicting as I described earlier. The Spring Rolls were cooked to a perfect combination of crunchy on the outside and soft veggie deliciousness on the inside. The Chicken Skewers and Beef Skewers were tender, juicy and bursting with so many delightful flavors of smoked barbeque and sweet marination in every bite. These skewers could be a great meal in itself over plain white rice. The Sweet Chili Sauce is not needed but makes a nice condiment to add flavor and variety to these already perfectly delicious appetizers.
If you have an appreciation for tea or if you love chai tea, this Thai Ice Tea is another must have at S.E.A. Bowl. Thai Ice Tea has always been an old time favorite of mine and I enjoyed this cold cup as a dessert. It is made from tea, milk and sugar and and is a popular drink in Southeast Asia. It has a very unique flavor, as it is spiced with ingredients such as star anise, crushed tamarind and cardamon. I recommend this drink to anyone who has not yet tried it and if you are a tea connoisseur like me, you will definitely find yourself going back for more.
My kids loved the Strawberry Lemonade which was a dessert in itself. Small chunks of fresh strawberries sit in every sip inside a cold, refreshing lightly flavored lemonade making this a perfect drink to go with any of the exotic dishes at S.E.A. Bowl.
Ambiance At S.E.A. Bowl
Clean, posh, vibrant, yet comfortable and cozy is the ambiance at S.E.A. Bowl. Being seated on the new, light grey, leather sofas gave us that warm feeling of cleanliness and comfort. The grand mural paintings of Southeast Asia vibrate the peaceful vibes of these beautiful countries. I was entranced by the ambiance at S.E.A. Bowl, as it was filled with the sounds of the calming Khmer music, aromas of sweet spices and savory soups, and the instantaneous camaraderie among the guests. This restaurant is very small and cozy, but filled with warm welcomes for all people. This is a terrific place to explore new and exotic foods, or to introduce your family to the delicious Southeast Asian cuisine. S.E.A. Bowl makes a very cool place to go on a casual date, to enjoy a relaxing family dinner or to have a fun get-together with friends. The single seat bar area makes great for a quick drink or a hot soup for one, two or more. Whatever your dining needs are, this sweet little restaurant is a comfortable and casual place to eat and relax alone or with others.
Great big kudos and praise to this beautiful restaurant with terrific prices and delicious food choices. This is a place I will recommend and suggest highly, as I will continue bringing my family here.
S.E.A. Bowl is a restaurant that generates love, warmth and kindness. The food speaks for itself in presentation, tastes, flavor and portions, all designed to satisfy the adventurous foodie. We were very impressed overall with all the elements of this restaurant and we enjoyed every aspect of the fun grand opening.
Look no further if you are wanting to have a true and authentic taste of Southeast Asia. Welcome to Elk Grove, S.E.A. Bowl, we have long awaited your arrival in Northern California!
9635 E. Stockton Blvd,
Elk Grove, CA 95624
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:30am-8pm