Item Purchased: Sumo Sized Yakitori Chicken Entree
Location Purchased: Pacific Wok Teriyaki Grill / 7127 120th Ave. / Kenosha, WI
Price: $7.38 + tax
Purchased on: 03/22/08
Review: Pacific Wok has only two locations and looks and feels like a fast food joint. For all practical explanations, Pacific Wok is a fast food joint. The food (which you, in fact, receive very fast), however, will change everything you’ve ever thought about Asian fast food.
Don’t let me mislead you. Pacific Wok doesn’t have a master Japanese chef in the kitchen or anything, but the food they serve is a far sight better than the typical mush between buns that the majority of Americans deem food.
“Yakitori” literally means grilled bird, and there is plenty of that served with this dish. Tender chicken with little or no fat, grilled over an open flame and stir fried with some of the spiciest seasoning this side of a buffalo wings megaplex (literally… there is a buffalo wings restaurant right next door) comes piled over your choice of rice or noodles. Alongside the fire grilled bird is a collection of exquisitely fresh vegetables. Everything was so fresh, I had to do a double take when I left in order to see if they had a broccoli patch next to the parking lot.
Though it isn’t needed, Pacific grill offers their version of the up-sizing fast food staple. They call it the “sumo size.” Instead of extra fries and a fountain drink, you receive something called a steam roller, which was described to me as a healthy version of an egg roll. I found it to be more of a mini tortilla wrap stuffed with more chicken, vegetables and cream cheese. This is wholly unneeded, since portions at Pacific Grill are monstrous already and their silly steam rollers are bland at best.
Though its off-highway location is a bit strange, I will definitely be stopping at Pacific Wok when I pass this way in the future. I’ve been to restaurants with dress codes and wine lists that couldn’t make yakitori this good and would be put to shame by the freshness of Pacific Wok’s vegetables. Even the water chestnuts (the litmus test for most Asian food, in my opinion) were tasty and completely devoid of the formaldehyde flavor that comes with most canned varieties.
Pacific Wok grill dresses like what it is… a fast food joint, but ultimately proves that you can’t judge a boxy strip mall eatery by its cover.
As long as you don’t fall for their add-on feature, you’ll be sure to have an incredible lunch (and a dinner of leftovers later in the evening).
Rating: 4 / 5