Looking for fast food with a healthier twist? Asian Go!Go! business partners Victoria Lounnarath and Kazuo Seto are on a mission to provide fare that is quick, reasonably priced, and good for you. The fast-casual café opened earlier this year in a tucked-away strip behind Bokamper’s Sports Bar at the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt.
“Most Asian food is fast food by definition,” says Lounnarath, who is of Thai and Chinese heritage. “Our cooking is much more healthful because we avoid frying and heavy use of oil. Most of our dishes are grilled or baked, and they rely on spices for flavor.”
The menu at Asian Go!Go! fuses food from throughout the Pacific rim; sushi, bento boxes, and grilled hibachi items are complemented by salads and Vietnamese favorites such as a banh mi with chicken paté and pork. Diners can order and be out the door in less than five minutes or enjoy café seating. Chef Jinji Hijikata, who worked for many years at Fujiyama Steak House, oversees the hibachi grill and turns out a wide variety of nigiri sushi and maki. There is also a selection of premium sake, Asian beers, boba tea, Ramune (a Japanese soft drink), and Calpico (a milk-based beverage with many of the digestive benefits of yogurt). For a sweet ending, try red bean ice cream or mochi, the Japanese ice cream ball encased in a covering of rice-based sticky dough—both available in a freezer case, ready to grab and go.