Angel House Fusion Cuisine

Food: () A steak salad was good, but various Italian and Asian dishes were less than satisfactory.

Service: () Prompt and friendly, even when the cook was also waiting tables.

Atmosphere: () Collection of angels and fairies add to a pseudo-natural atmosphere with flowers and plants.

More Info

Location: 950 SW Veterans Way, Unit 100, Redmond

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday

Cuisine: American, Asian and Italian

Price range: Appetizers $6 to $9, lunch $9 to $14, dinner entrees $10 to $18

Credit cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Kids’ menu: On request

Vegetarian and gluten-free menu: Choices include salads and tofu dishes

Alcoholic beverages: No

Outdoor seating: No

Reservations: Large parties

Contact: angelhouseredmond.com, 541-527-1436

For more area restaurant reviews, visit www.bend bulletin.com/restaurants

When the Redmond branch of Baldy’s BBQ closed last spring, the vacant space near Fred Meyer was quickly snapped up by another restaurant family.

While Baldy’s plotted a move to a new Redmond location, still in the works, the Osathanon clan, owners of the nearby Thai O restaurant, saw a new opportunity.

“My husband thought I was crazy,” said Jit Osathanon, who continues to work in the family’s Thai restaurant, just across the parking lot from her own. “But this was something I wanted to do.”

Opened in June, her Angel House Fusion Cuisine combines elements of American and Italian foods with a handful of Asian choices, although — since the culinary styles are not crossed with one another — it’s not true fusion. Instead, the menu selection ranges from pulled pork and burgers to spaghetti and linguine, with a couple of curries and fish soups added to the mix.

As the restaurant’s name might suggest, its decor features a colorful collection of winged angels and fairies, in standing models and in framed paintings. Artificial flowers on each table, greenery and additional art suggest a garden atmosphere while bringing the outside in. Light jazz music played in the background; two televisions tuned to sports events were out of place here.

Service was prompt and friendly, although the restaurant, at midday and evening, was relatively empty. It was telling that, on our initial evening visit, Jit Osathanon was the cook and the server.

Variety of meals

With but a single exception, however, my dining companion and I were not impressed with the food.

After dining at Angel House for a lunch and a dinner, we agreed that our favorite dish was a brandied steak salad ($14). About 6 ounces of tri-tip beef, marinated in brandy until tender, was sliced and laid upon a bed of fresh mixed greens. The salad was tossed with a vinaigrette that was as tangy as it was sweet.

We found two other entrees to be satisfactory, but nothing out of the ordinary, and certainly nothing worth making a special drive from Bend to Redmond.

In what was perhaps a nod to Baldy’s, the final entree listed on the menu is a half-dozen barbecued pork ribs ($18) billed as “fall off the bone tender.” Slow-cooked and marinated in a sweet-and-spicy hickory sauce, they lacked the flavor of a real barbecue joint, and were more like what one might find at a 24-hour cafe. Mashed potatoes (or French fries), canned kernel corn, and a green salad with creamy ranch dressing accompanied.

Likewise, the sole “Italian” dish we tried was essentially an Alfredo dish under a different name. Linguini Angel House, with chicken and prawns ($15), was heavy in the creamy, garlicky white sauce popular at chain Italian restaurants around the country. Here, besides the bird and seafood, it incorporated mushrooms, sliced ham and red bell peppers. It was topped with shredded Parmesan cheese and served with garlic bread.

Asian influence

Surprisingly, our more Asian-influenced orders were even less pleasing. An appetizer of shumai ($6), a classic small bite of Chinese dim sum cuisine, consisted of four spongy pork dumplings in wonton wrappers, with none of the flavor of real dim sum. They were served with hot mustard and a mild chili sauce.

Grilled meatball kabobs ($6) sounded appealing, but were so rubbery, they literally bounced! Three balls of undetermined origin were grilled on each of a pair of bamboo sticks and served with homemade plum-and-garlic sauce. My companion took one bite and promptly stopped eating.

I ordered chicken, rather than tofu, as the accompaniment to a bowl of udon green curry ($10). A thick wheat-flour noodle popular in Japanese cuisine, udon tends to dominate a dish rather than complement it. While I enjoyed the curry itself, made with basil leaves and slices of mild red peppers, I’m convinced that rice would have served its flavors better.

Perhaps most disappointing of all was an entree called “fresh snow crab with Chinese egg noodles” ($18). The modest portion of cracked crab meat was in itself pleasant enough. But the angel hair-like noodles were barely lukewarm, and the “touch of fish sauce” used in their preparation, per the menu, overwhelmed other seasonings, including roasted garlic oil and fresh cilantro. A few spears of steamed baby bok choy were cold.

I like the family’s other Redmond restaurant. Thai O has probably the best Thai food in Deschutes County outside of Bend. On a return visit to this neighborhood, I will dine there rather than Angel House.

— John Gottberg Anderson can be reached at janderson@bendbulletin.com.

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