On The Line: James Sar of Cambinos Asian BBQ
His is a joint with no silverware or china; just paper plates. But on those plates he will pile rice, roasted veggies, and mountains of meat, including chicken skewers, beef short ribs, and his signature pork spareribs.
You might say James' food is akin to Hawaiian plate lunches, but that wouldn't be accurate. His food defies classification. It's not exacty Cambodian, nor Filipino (Cambinos is a portmanteau of the two words), but it's not what you'd call American BBQ either. It is just plain good, evidenced by the fact that we featured him many a time here on our pages (both web and printed), including our Summer Guide and Best Of Issue.
But enough about his food. Here is more from the Man, as he responds to our silly survey.
1. Dish that you cook that most represents you.
It would have to be the spare ribs. We both look pretty ordinary on the outside but once you get a taste, we are bursting with flavor.
2. What was the last meal you had at home?
I made yellow pancakes stuffed with ground pork and shrimp. All served with bean sprouts, cucumber, basil, and wrapped with lettuce and dipped into a light fish sauce.
3. Your favorite restaurant (other than yours):
Maria's Kitchen in Pasadena. Delicious Italian food at a reasonable price.
4. Fast food guilty pleasure:
The McRib from McDonald's. There's something about processed meat pressed into the shape of a rack of ribs smothered in barbeque sauce.
5. Complete this sentence I would like to [verb] [Food Network Star] with [noun].
(for example: "I would like to BEAT BOBBY FLAY with A STALE BAGUETTE." or "I would like to SHOWER GIADA DE LAURENTIIS with FLOWERS"):
I would like to call Rachel Ray a liar! She recommended a restaurant in Atlanta, and we went out of our way to eat there in hot and humid weather, and it was horrible!
6. Last meal of your life, what would it be?
A medium rare porterhouse steak with asparagus.
7. Items you always have in your refrigerator:
Eggs, hot sauce, butter, and strawberry jelly.
8. Your most indispensable kitchen tool or appliance:
The meat cleaver. I would be a mess without this knife. I use this knife for everything, from mashing garlic to cutting up spare ribs.