Friday Night Bites: Go cuckoo for Boo Koo in Mill Valley

Rebecca Smalbach

Friday Night Bites, Bark’s newest review segment, highlights hip places to eat and hang during your night on the town. From delicious desserts to superb suppers, The Bark knows where to go to tantalize your tastebuds.

 

For those who place a high priority on healthy, flavorful, vegetable-filled dishes, Boo Koo offers plenty to choose from. Housed in the classy version of a strip mall in Mill Valley, Boo Koo is the place to go to satisfy those Friday night cravings for Asian food, minus the grease and MSG.

Boo Koo was originally founded in 2011 as a way to provide southeast Asian street food with some Californian twists. Everything on Boo Koo’s menu can be made vegan, and fresh produce takes the focus in most dishes.

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The name Boo Koo is a play on the French word beaucoup, meaning ‘plenty,’ and there most definitely is plenty on the menu here to enjoy.

People can go to Boo Koo for anything from a small snack to a full meal, and it’s difficult to come away unsatisfied. Starters are excellent for a quick bite, and Boo Koo’s wide-ranging menu means that it’s possible for picky eaters to go for simple choices like the potstickers ($4.95) or the edamame ($3.50) while more adventurous ones can hit up options like the tiger prawn roll ($5.95). The Asian brussel sprouts ($5.95) were also a denser choice with heavier flavors and more salt, contrasting nicely with the light, crispy, mildly sour flavors of the other appetizers.

For a full meal, vegetarians and vegans who come to Boo Koo will be laughing at their meat-eating friends because although everything is tasty with or without meat, adding meat or other proteins to dishes can really run up the price tag, anywhere from $3.50 for green curry chicken to $6.95 for teriyaki tiger prawns (which are delicious, but ridiculously expensive).

However, meat lovers should keep an open mind at Boo Koo because even the vegetables are delicious. The salad menu has plenty of fresh, appetizing options, and the standout chile lime salmon salad ($11.95) has a tangy flavor—the combination of the salmon alongside bean sprouts, rice noodles, mint and lime makes for a dish with exactly the right balance of sweet and sour.

Not to be counted out are Boo Koo’s homemade not-so-sweet sodas. Listed at the bottom of the menu, they are excellent for cleansing the palate in between dishes or simply making you rethink just how sweet sodas really need to be. The Fuzzy G ($2.25) tastes of ginger and lemongrass and it’s a tasty way to feel refreshed after a grueling week at the books.

Another way to spice things up at Boo Koo is with the coconut shroom soup ($4.95). No, there are no psychadelic mushrooms in the soup—the refreshment comes from the pleasantly spicy aftertaste, making it a great way to pep yourself up for a night out.

However, the real standouts on the menu are the bahn mi sandwiches, made on delicious French bread and filled with chili aioli, jalapenos, an assortment of other vegetables and your choice of meat, tofu or grilled vegetables.

Quick and easy to eat, the bahn mi embodies the essence of Boo Koo—an excellent place for a fast meal or snack that will expand your tastebuds and make you feel healthy.