The appetizers are wonderful. The satay is authentically Thai, with the chicken marinated in spices and coconut milk before roasting. The accompanying peanut sauce is sweet with a flash of heat cooled by the cucumber salad. The fresh spring rolls are delightful as well, with sprigs of mint hidden in the vermicelli and shrimp.
A meal is easily made with a salad and soup, and you can choose from at least a half-dozen of each. We devoured the Yum duck, which features strips of fried duck with plenty of succulent meat under the crispy skin. Tom Yum Goong is a hot and sour soup redolent with lemon grass and with lots of pieces of mushroom and shrimp floating in the broth.
In all, close to 100 different dishes are served at Taste of Asia. They include a full complement of noodle soups or pho, vermicelli or rice noodles known as bun, plus a number of entrée specialties (I loved the panang curry). The owners also offer the golden banana coin dessert, a fried banana rolled in sesame seeds and served with honey. It's a must-have.
TASTE OF ASIA
5110 Ocean Blvd. Siesta Key
Lunch: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Dinner: Monday-Thursday, 4-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 4-10 p.m.
Some credit cards
Parking on the street