850 White Station
Chinese Eats Cheat Sheet
Nothing hits the spot better than sweet and sour chicken... or dumplings... or maybe wonton soup? The only thing harder than deciding what to order at a Chinese restaurant is deciding where to go. Lucky for Memphis, this Weekly Yelp is dedicated to food you can really sink your teeth into!
Mosa Asian Bistro
Eastgate 850 S White Station, Memphis, TN
Asian Fusion, Thai, Chinese
“Gems of authenticity there, like the soups, the noodle soups, the hot wontons, and the fried rice... I love the su-chai vegetables (which literally means vegetables vegetables) and the sesame chicken.” Daniel C., Memphis, TN
For a full list, click here.
by Michael Donahue
Somewhere over the Rainbow I decided, “This is one of the best dishes I’ve eaten in a long time.” I’m referring to the Rainbow Panang Curry at Mosa Asian Bistro.
Owner Eddie Pao said the coconut curry dish, which is made with 25 ingredients, is their best-seller.
“They sell most of it to me,” joked server Patrick Le, who orders it a couple of times a week. “It has a tangy kick unlike any other curry.”
“It surpassed the Szechuan, the most popular dish for 20 years,” said Pao’s son, Alex.
I’ve known Eddie since he opened his first restaurant in Memphis forty-something years ago on Summer. I did a story about his career as a motion picture director in Taiwan. Alex said he and his wife recently gave Eddie several framed photos from his days as a director. One pictured a young Eddie directing a kung fu actor. “My dad had long curly black hair,” Alex said. “I’ve never seen an Asian guy who has long hair like that.”
Eddie compared his Rainbow Panang Curry to a movie that becomes a classic.“
Part of his legacy is introducing eclectic, authentic Asian cuisine to Mid-Southerners,” Alex said.
The basic ingredients in Rainbow Panang Curry are snow peas, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms and baby corn. The sauce includes lemon grass, cilantro, coconut milk and coconut cream. “It’s our most expensive sauce to produce,” Alex said. “The price of coconut milk goes up and down.”
A French chef, who was visiting Memphis, taught Eddie to make panang curry. “He gave Eddie the template and he filled out the rest,” Alex said.
Eddie named it “Rainbow” because of the colors. And, Alex added, “It has so many flavors.
People write a line or two on their credit card slips about how much they like the dish, which sells for $11 at lunch and dinner, Eddie said. He remembered one that read, “I’ve never had this dish in my life. Thank you very much.”
Mosa Asian Bistro, Eastgate Shopping Center, 850 S. White Station in Eastgate Shopping Center; 901-683-8889
Mosa Asian Bistro’s lo mein is just one example of the creative approach some of the best Chinese restaurants take on classic and original dishes. Photo: Mosa Asian BistroChinese food is an American obsession. Almost everyone has a favorite dish they can find on just about any menu at any Chinese restaurant in the country. Some restaurants,however, are just better than others.
In our attempt to pinpoint the best Chinese restaurants in each state and Washington, D.C., we reached out to Yelp data scientists. They compiled a list based on the number of stars and amount of reviews each restaurant received from Yelpers. The higher the combined number, the better the ranking. Some of the restaurants serve a variety of Asian cuisine – such as Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese – but devote a large portion of their menu to Chinese food, according to the reviews and menus.Compiling any “best of” restaurant list is a dangerous mission and risks offending at least a few of the faithful. People have their favorite go-to spot and not much can be done to break their devotion. While we salute their loyalty, we also embrace discovery, adventure, and sharing. This list represents that spirit.If you’re looking for a change, a proven winner while traveling, or a dish your local favorite just doesn’t serve, these restaurants are all worth visiting. They received mostly high marks (overall four to five stars out of five) for quality food; full, well-balanced flavors; decent portions; reasonable prices; and generally good service.After reading through hundreds of Yelp reviews, a few other trends and highlights emerged:
— Location doesn’t matter. There’s always a strong concentration of great Asian restaurants in any big city, but you’re likely to a find a rival to many of them in tertiary cities, small towns, and the middle of nowhere. Pleasant surprises lurk where you’ll least expect them.
— While most of these restaurants serve a full variety of Americanized favorites, many delve deep into authentic dishes. Sometimes they’re on the menu, sometimes they aren’t. Always ask.
— Odds are you’ll find the restaurant owner, or a close family member, working the floor or stove at many of these restaurants. They appreciate the business, like to chat, and will do what they can to accommodate.
— “Fusion” is no longer a dirty word. More restaurants are serving multiple types of Asian food and doing it well. The sushi is often as good and fresh as the Chinese food.
— Many of these restaurants are small and hard to find. If you happen to miss one on the first pass, keep trying. Chances are you’ll be glad you did.
Source: Yahoo Food
Authentic is the first word that comes to mind when you meet Michelle Pao Levine. Her easy manner is a perfect fit for her job. As co-owner of Mosa Asian Bistro with dad Eddie Pao, she has the natural instinct of a restaurateur to make people feel at home. A 1995 graduate of St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Michelle serves on the school’s alumnae board, and she is a fellow of the New Memphis Institute. She’s quick to throw her support behind the city’s major food-focused fundraisers, from Youth Villages’ Soup Sunday to Grizzlies Coach Dave Joerger’s annual event that supports Tennis Memphis. Michelle and husband Mark Levine are getting ready to celebrate their 10th anniversary, and are enjoying being parents to 18-month-old Matthew. And today, we get to share Michelle with you as our FACES of Memphis feature.
Tell us about your family’s journey to America. My father was born in China, in a province near Hunan. My mom, Charleen, and I were both born in Taipei, Taiwan. My dad was a movie director there; he directed Kung Fu movies and worked with (director) Ang Lee way back in the day. My mom was a secretary in a law firm. My family speaks Mandarin, and I didn’t learn English until kindergarten. I was born in 1976, we immigrated to the United States in 1977, and dad opened the first Little Formosa in 1978.
Describe your early career. Where did you work, and what were your jobs? Right out of college, I spent a brief time in legal marketing. It didn’t take me long to realize my calling. At the time, there were several start-up restaurant concepts in Atlanta that were hiring. I joined Doc Chey’s Noodle House working for the founder, Rich Chey, and his partners. My role was to create the operations and marketing manuals for franchise partners. The menu at Mosa offers a highly customizable dining experience.
What brought you back to Memphis? Mosa brought me back to Memphis! Actually, it was the opportunity to start my own business with an investor/partner (my dad), that brought me back to Memphis. I knew at the time that there were no hybrid-style restaurants in Memphis. Hybrid meaning full service/fast casual, and especially no Pan Asian-style restaurants. We knew that it would be risky, but we were up for the challenge!
What’s your typical day like? I’m pretty lucky. I start my day around 6:30 a.m., and I’m usually off to drop Matthew at daycare by 9 a.m. Then I run a few errands and to Mosa, and about 10:15 a.m. we start our day. I pick Matthew up around 4 p.m., head home and make dinner with Mark, and I give Matthew his dinner and bath, so he’s ready for bed. About three nights a week, I go back to Mosa at 8:30 p.m., and I close the restaurant. At some point during the day, I try my best to get in a 20-minute run. I pass out by midnight.
It sounds like you have a lot of flexibility in your daily schedule. I feel so lucky that I have my own business and can say “Michelle will not be available between this and this time.” We are fortunate now to be doing what we both love. If you are so lucky to have your avocation become your vocation, you just want to nurture it and see it grow year after year.
You’re Taiwanese and American, and Mark is Jewish. How will you raise Matthew? Matthew will celebrate both Jewish holidays and Eastern Christmas. Culturally, we want him to be very aware of his Jewish side. He will go through Hebrew school and Mandarin school — he’s going to love us for that!
What are the biggest challenges working in a family business? Some of the biggest challenges in working with your family are respecting each other’s boundaries and time. Hands down, those are the toughest challenges we continuously face.The best part of working with my family is knowing that no one is more committed than we are to one another. I know how lucky I am every single day to have Eddie next to me. His mentality is the reason why, for 40 years, he has been able to be such a strong business owner and provider.
Watching you at the restaurant, it’s clear that being a mentor to your employees is very important to you. I don’t know why I feel like it should come with my role, but it does. That’s what I looked for in a boss – I looked for a person who I want to learn from, and that was Rich Chey. I was really looking for that. In the end, ultimately, I went for a mentor like Rich. I wanted to go even further than how Rich mentored me, because I think that what a lot of people lack is communication from their own family.
Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? It’s part of your journey through life to know who you are, and to help find that greater purpose for your life. I hope I am that person for my staff, because I really try. Most are very young, so I try to advise them on everything … how do you apply for an apartment or rent a house, or apply to college? I help with scholarship applications, and I’ve given so many recommendations. I want them to know how important it is to care about people; care and empathy is what helps you realize what’s important. During the day, diners order at the counter and food is delivered to the table. At night, Mosa is a sit-down restaurant.
What are your tips for successfully managing family and business? Separate business life from personal life, and do not hold grudges
How about your best advice for working moms? Remember to take care of yourself!
So far, what’s the best advice you’ve given, whether as a mom or as a mentor? Be grateful for each day, and live life with great purpose.Trays filled with wonton crisps await a bowl of hot soup.
What are your hobbies, and how do you unwind? I love to spend time catching up with my friends (something I rarely get to do these days), whether it be over a glass of wine or on the phone. And I love to cook. I have an enormous collection of cookbooks. I love to listen to music while running — it sets me free. And I love to read and get lost in a great story.
Where’s the first place you take an out-of-towner when they come to visit you in Memphis? Cooper Young/Overton Square … the best restaurant scene!
What’s your favorite Memphis attraction and why? My favorite Memphis place is the Memphis Zoo, because it attracts a melting pot of people, something you don’t get to see much every day. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing the pandas and giant elephants?
Finish this sentence: If I had a superpower, it would be …To enable everyone to find their purpose in life and act upon it
What’s one fun fact about you? Twenty-two countries were represented at our wedding.
What one word describes you?Thoughtful
What inspires you? Everyday heroes
What are three lighthearted things you can’t live without, excluding faith, family and friends? Coffee, running shoes and Claritin.
Thank you, Michelle, for sharing of yourself with us today. And thank you to Micki Martin for today’s images of Michelle, taken at Mosa Asian Bistro.
Get your wonton on at Mosa Asian Bistro, with these hot and sour morsels of marinated pork and shrimp, wrapped in a wonton, steamed and tossed in a spicy garlic sauce.
Hot and sour wontons, $5
by Sally Davies Walker
by Amber, History & Pearls
Anyone who has been following me on Instagram or Twitter lately (or read my "Friday Finds" post a couple of weeks ago!) knows that I've been having a problem. A delicious problem. I'm in love. With a restaurant. Mosa Asian Bistro.Seriously, I'm pretty sure a HIMYM intervention may be needed.But I don't care. I LOVE Mosa. It took me ages to make it out there, but now that I have, I refuse to be stopped!Not only does Mosa have some amazing food (think a fusion of Chinese, Americanized Chinese, Korean, Thai, and Japanese - as close to "pan-Asian" as I've had here) they also have a great story, some of the friendliest (and most helpful!) staff in Memphis who really love and are knowledgable about their food, and a great social media presence that makes me feel super welcome and excited about eating there. So I've been...3...times this month, and it's been great each time.
Read full blog review here.
Mosa Asian Bistro currently listed as #1 Best Value and #3 Healthy Menu Easy to find in Memphis according to USA TODAY 10Best. Check out why here: http://www.10best.com/destinations/tennessee/memphis/memphis/restaurants/mosa-asian-bistro/.
by Stacey Greenberg
Restaurants specializing in wings could soon outnumber barbecue restaurants in Memphis and maybe even churches. Wings are seemingly everywhere, sneaking their way onto the menus of all types of restaurants.Central BBQ"Wings are one of my top sellers," says Craig Blondis, owner of Central BBQ. Blondis never intended to have wings on the menu, but one or two customers bugged him in the early days to give wings a try. Blondis made them one day, and the next day one of his customers ordered 200 and had them delivered to his office. "That's how it took off," Blondis says. "It was never my intention. I was just goofing around. Now our wings have been voted the best three or four times."They have a nice, smoky taste, and the meat easily falls off the bone. Blondis says he marinates raw wings in Louisiana hot sauce for one to two days before smoking them for an hour or two. Then he chills them and flash fries them. The last step is to season them — wet, naked, jerked, dry spice, honey gold, or sweet heat.Some customers like to order the wings "muddy," which means they come with a wet sauce and a dry rub. The most common muddy combination is a traditional wet Buffalo sauce with the hot rub, but customers also request the sweet heat with the jerk rub on top.Sweet heat on its own is also a popular choice. It's the honey gold sauce with the addition of habanero and Chinese red peppers. "You get the sweet up front and the heat on the back end," Blondis explains. It has a nice Asian flair to it, and the sauce sticks to your fingers in such a way that you may consider eating them too.A half order comes with three wings ($5.99) and full orders six ($9.99).Slider InnWings are a popular menu item at Slider Inn because they are good for sharing and go well with football games, general manager Jesse Keenan says.The wings are fried unbattered and then sauced. The sauce is very simple and classic. "We use Frank's hot sauce and butter, but we have our own special ratio," he says. "Everyone absolutely loves our sauce. It has a heat to it, but the butter mellows it out so it doesn't finish super hot."I don't know if it is due to the perfect ratio of butter and hot sauce, but Slider's sauce seems to soak into skin, coating the wings perfectly, delivering the full-on Buffalo flavor without too much mess. However, Keenan says that their motto is, "If you are going to get sticky fingers, we want you to get them sticky at Slider Inn."A half order of six wings is $6.99 and a full order of 12 is $12.99, but Slider is running a 50 cent wing special through Super Bowl Sunday.Mosa Asian BistroMosa may not be the first place you think of when it comes to wings, but if you are looking for something a little different, it should be. They've had a Sriracha style for about three months now and debuted the Rainbow Wings last month.The Rainbow Wings feature a panang curry dipping sauce, which is a game changer. Owner Michelle Pao Levine says the sauce is the same sauce as in their Rainbow Panang Curry dish. "It's a super special sauce because of all the amazing ingredients we use: fresh lime, lemongrass, and panang curry, to name a few," she says. The curry is sweet, spicy, and tangy all at once. It seriously brings your tongue to life. The wings are considered a special order item, so they do take a little longer to prepare — about 10 minutes per order. Customers can dip them in the sauce or slather them at will. (I recommend the latter.) An order of four is $5, and an order of six is $6.50.
We will be closed on Thursday, November 27 to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families. We'll see you again on Friday.
Mosa has been on my list of places to go forever. The monkeys (Satchel, 12 and Jiro, 10) and I finally made it there last Saturday afternoon. Mosa was originally on Poplar near Kirby, and was opened by Mr. Eddie, who you may know from the old Formosa on Summer Avenue. (Sidenote: My sister, a few friends and I totally pretended we got lost on the way home from a field trip in high school so that we could go eat at Formosa. I have no idea why they let us drive ourselves. Do they still do that? Anyways, we all got suspended.)When Mosa was on Poplar it was one of those order at the counter and sit down places. Now it's a sit down place. It's in the shopping center near Poplar & White Station behind Bed, Bath and Beyond.Once inside, we saw several of our Midtown friends. Definitely a good sign. My friend, Mairi, even gave me a few menu suggestions, including the Thai tea.I was able to get Satchel excited about eating here with the promise of chicken wings. We did not see them on the menu, but thankfully I noticed we walked right past this sign on our way in.Both monkeys were hungry, so we ordered 4 wings of each flavor and an appetizer of dumplings. Jiro also ordered a kids' Teriyaki chicken and Satchel ordered the Niew Ro Mein, which is a soup. I ordered the Thai tea and the hot & sour soup as Mairi suggested.The tea was very yummy. The waiter said it was an orange spiced tea with half & half. No wonder! The dumplings were also a hit.We immediately had to decide how many everyone was getting. I agreed to only have one. After one bite Jiro said, "That's sooooooooo good." Satchel agreed that they were better than the ones at Fresh Market. (We get those to go and cook them at home sometimes.) After his final bite, Jiro said, "That was the most delicious thing ever."Next up, some spiced peanuts and a cucumber/pickle salad that we were told was the appetizer for Satchel's soup. How awesome is that?Then came the chicken wings. OH MY GOODNESS.I am torn as to how I feel about the sauce being on the side for dipping. On the one hand it makes the wing eating experience a little neater. On the other, it really just made me want to slather MYSELF in the Rainbow Panang Curry sauce. IT'S SO GOOD. SO. SO. GOOD.It's sweet, spicy, tangy--it's just everything all at once. I want to marry it. The Sriracha style sauce was fine, but it paled in comparison.The monkeys just ate the perfectly fried wings plain, which meant I got ALL of the sauce.We were still working on the wings when everything else came out. Jiro's kids' meal had a lot of vegetables. When I noted it, he said, "Yeah, I guess I'll eat it anyway." Ha!Satchel's soup looked great, and contained stew meat, which he loved.Jiro also wanted some of it and Satchel agreed to share after I agreed to get six more chicken wings.My hot & sour soup was just ok. It was a little peppery and boring after what we'd already had. I passed it to Jiro, and he ate the tofu out of it.Our total bill was $43.15, which really isn't bad considering how much food we ordered. We are totally going back. And I will marry that sauce!
Happy hour is now extended on Monday through Thursday from 5-7:30 PM and on Fridays from 5-8:30 PM. Cheers!
Twenty years is a long time to do anything, but this Best of Memphis thing seems to be working out okay. The readers like it; the winners love it. We have a fun party. Since 1994, when the first Best of Memphis appeared, it's been an annual, momentary blast of positivity: Yay, you! Yay, us! Yay, everybody!(Never mind the grumpypants. They'll eye-roll and harrumph no matter who wins.)Now, over the years, there have been a select few who have being the best down cold, winning their category since 1994. They are simply better at being the best than anybody else. They are: Huey's (Best Burger); Folk's Folly (Best Steak); Sekisui (Best Japanese/Sushi); Buster's (Best Liquor Store); and Joe Birch (Best TV News Anchor).
As always, we thank our readers for participating in the Best of Memphis each year. Without you, there would be no Best of Memphis. And we thank our advertisers. Without them, there would be no Flyer. Much gratitude goes to Joe Birch of WMC-TV, Kelly Johnson and Jamie Chapman of Molly's La Casita, and Josh Hammond and Caitlin Belisario of Buster's Liquors, all of whom went above and beyond to provide images to use in this issue.
2. A-Tan — tie —Wang's Mandarin House
3. Formosa Chinese Restaurant — tie — Mosa Asian Bistro
The Veterans Affairs Council recently hosted a weeklong convention in Memphis. During their visit, the Taiwanese delegation hosted a banquet for 80 at Mosa Asian Bistro, as there were several Taiwanese veterans being honored.
A fresh -and we mean fresh -take on Asian dining, Mosa is a bistro that combines the best of Chinese, Thai and Japanese dishes - noodle and rice bowls, curries and a host of small plates - in a casual atmosphere that rocks with the business crowd at lunch and families at dinner. Dishes are made to order, truly some of the freshest Asian cuisine we've experienced. During lunch hours, you order at the counter and take a number, and one of the runners will bring your food. The Pao family is ever-present in the kitchen or at the register, always making time to say hello and catch up with customers - and after just two visits or so, you can consider yourself a regular. ((901) 683-8889)
For the full list, click here.
by Sally Walker Davies
Keeping to a travel budget may be easier in Memphis than it is in other cities, thanks to the city's already reasonable cost of living, a plethora of casual local restaurants specializing in inexpensive and delicious dining and plenty of free activities and free-admission opportunities at a number of attractions.
Memphis has finally flown out of the list of the top 10 most expensive airports, owing in large part to the fact that Southwest Airlines serves the city – so score one for those with their eyes on the budget. With the exception of hotels located downtown, most Memphis accommodations offer free parking, as do most of the city's attractions (one notable exception is the Memphis Zoo).
Speaking of the zoo, there's free admission for Tennessee residents on Tuesday afternoons. Even on regular days, the Memphis Zoo is one of the most moderately priced zoos in the country. There's no charge to explore Beale Street, the Danny Thomas Pavilion at St. Jude, the excellent Art Museum at the University of Memphis, sprawling Shelby Farms on the city's east side or the Center for Southern Folklore. The Brooks Museum, Dixon Garden and Galleries and Pink Palace Museum all offer free admission or pay-as-you-go days. You can even check out the Meditation Garden at Graceland at no charge, every morning from 7:30am to 8:30am.
Eating on the cheap is easy throughout the city, and you'd be surprised at how inexpensive some of the best restaurants in town can be. You can spend less than $10 per person on meals at Mosa Asian Bistro, Huey's and Bryant's. The city's famed barbecue establishments offer pulled-pork sandwiches for an average of $4, and a plate of Gus's Fried Chicken – including slaw, beans and bread – comes in under $7.Jerry's Sno Cones is another spot for cheap treats. Though sno-cones are the main attraction here, hot dogs and other snacks can be purchased for pocket change.If you like to picnic, hit the prepared-food cases at Whole Foods or Fresh Market and head to Shelby Farms or the riverfront to enjoy a gourmet alfresco meal.
While many of the city's attractions are downtown, it's easy to avoid the more expensive downtown hotels and still be close to everything. Rates at Midtown's GenX Best Western start at $103, while the Hampton Inn on Poplar Avenue includes breakfast and Wi-Fi for a rate of $104 on weekends. Top prices take over at all hotels during the first two weeks of the Memphis in May festivities and during Elvis Week in mid-August.
Source: USA Today
It's time again to award crowns to the top people, places and businesses in Memphis as voted on by the readers of The Commercial Appeal. Memphis Most nominations open at midnight on April 20 and continue until May 5 at 9 a.m. The Top 5 in each category will move on to final voting starting May 18.To nominate your favorites, simply sign up (it's easy) and fill in the ballots for categories ranging from Dining to Shopping to Services. Nominations are limited to one per subcategory.
Source: Commercial Appeal
Title: A Gluten Free Primer To Memphis Restaurants
Date: April 15, 2014
Publication: 10 Best
Author: Sally Walker Davies
Click here to read the full article
Navigating the International Stores
Spring 2014 issue
Photos: Juli Ec
Mosa is honored to announce that we were chosen in the Memphis Magazine Readers' Restaurant poll as a finalist for "Best Thai Food" for 2014. Thank you to all who voted.
Excerpt from blog post: I (Holly) had the honor of going to a Soup Sunday Taste Testing Tour to get a preview of what types of delicious soup, speciality items, and desserts you'll be able to enjoy if you go to Soup Sunday this week. Clockwise from top left: Lobster and Shrimp Brushchette from The Half Shell, Greek Chicken Lemon Soup from Taziki's, Hot and Sour Soup from Mosa, Bundtinis from Nothing Bundt Cakes, Mr. Eddy's Favorite Noodles from Mosa, Chicken and Penne Balsmamic Pasta Salad from Taziki's.
Read the full blog post here.
Title: Dining Wright: MOSA
Date: February 17, 2014
Publication: The Wright Up
Click here to read the full article
Happy Chinese New Year! Come celebrate with us.
MR. EDDIE'S FAVORITE NOODLES
Choose your meat: Veggie 7.5 Chicken or Tofu 8.5 Beef or Shrimp 9
This dish, named after our founder, has linguini-like thin flour noodles stir-fried in a savory soy sauce with a subtle pinch of garlic and freshly ground black peppercorn and sautéed onions, carrots, scallions, green and red bell peppers. Prepared mild, medium or hot.
MONGOLIAN BEEF 11
Tender flank steak stir-fried with sliced onions and scallions in our Mongolian sauce. Prepared mild medium or hot. Served with white or brown steamed rice.
THREE SEASONED SHRIMP 14
Jumbo shrimp seasoned with a blend of kosher salt, black pepper, minced garlic and scallions, lightly dusted and then flash fried. Served over sautéed Chinese cabbage and accompanied with a side of pickled Asian slaw. Prepared mild medium or hot. Served with white or brown steamed rice.
Meet The Chef
Title: An owner, operator and chef at Mosa Asian Bistro.
Who or what was your first cooking influence? I would have to say it was my mother. My dad (Eddie Pao, an owner of Mosa and a partner in Formosa restaurant) was at work most of the time, so I didn’t get that much exposure to the restaurant. But I learned most of the Chinese cooking from my mom (Charleen Pao). She used a lot of rustic ingredients. A lot of traditional Chinese dishes that my grandmother passed on to her. Family recipes.
What was the first thing you ever cooked or baked? Sunny side up eggs. That’s what my uncle taught my mom. My mom never knew how to do a fried egg until she got to America and he taught her that. It was strictly an American thing back then. Taiwanese people didn’t really eat sunny side up eggs for breakfast. They just usually either scrambled them or stir fried them somehow.
When did you decide to become a chef? I’d been going to UT (University of Tennessee at Knoxville) for a year. I spent a year back at home to help my dad really create Mosa. He was older at the time, so he definitely needed some extra support. We had to create a lot of recipes from scratch. He never knew how to make pad thai, pad see ew or any of the curries. ... It was totally out of his realm. As we were experimenting (with) recipes we found online, using that as a template and tweaking it to our taste, I loved it. I loved the chemistry of it. I loved creating something that was just delicious.
What is something important a fellow chef taught you? Being able to multitask. I wasn’t very good at that, at first. I think almost everybody, if trained a certain way, can handle more than they (think they) can handle, at a certain point.
Have you ever created something in the kitchen? A Thai cashew dish. It was Thai cashews, zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms, carrots and your choice of meat, chicken, beef or shrimp. The ingredients were already there, but I figured we needed something that was Thai based, but not totally curry based.
What do you cook at home, if anything? A lot of grilled fish, like mackerel. I like Korean food because it really fits my diet. I’m going on this gluten-free almost pescetarian diet. So, I eat a lot of grilled fish, a lot of Korean kimchee fish.
What’s your favorite food? Vietnamese pho.
What’s your least favorite food? Raw tomatoes. Actually tomatoes and eggs, the combination of those two things. My mom used to cook that for breakfast. She cooked the eggs and sliced the tomatoes and put them on top.
Mosa Asian Bistro is at 850 South White Station Road; 901 683-8889
Michael Donahue, 901-529-2797; firstname.lastname@example.org
Come in to Mosa for lunch or dinner and try out our Featured Specials for fall. We know you will love them all! And don’t forget to order a slice of Mrs. Pao’s homemade cheesecake or a few chocolate covered strawberries!
Tender beef flank steak served with sautéed scallions and sliced button mushrooms over a bed of crispy chow mein noodles. Prepared mild, medium, or spicy and served with a side of steamed white or brown rice.
A traditional Thai coconut curry flavored with lemongrass, lime leaves, and panang curry. Served over a vegetable medley of julienned carrots , baby corn, mushrooms, snow peas, and zucchini. Made with your choice of crusted grouper, shrimp, chicken or tofu. Prepared mild, medium or spicy and served with a side of steamed white or brown rice
Our Rainbow Panang Curry was featured on the Hungry Memphis Blog!
Our food was featured in the Daily News for our continuous success. To read the full story click here
Memphis Daily News
March 27, 2013
Family Owned Mosa Continues Success in evolving market
For family-owned Mosa Asian Bistro in East Memphis, freshness is the key to success.Alex Pao, from left, Eddie Pao, Laura Pao and Michelle Pao Levine run Mosa Asian Bistro, 850 S. White Station Road. The restaurant serves fast-casual food at lunch and offers full service at dinner with the same menu prices. (Photo: Lance Murphey)" style="color: rgb(125, 2, 0); text-decoration: underline;">Alex Pao, from left, Eddie Pao, Laura Pao and Michelle Pao Levine run Mosa Asian Bistro, 850 S. White Station Road. The restaurant serves fast-casual food at lunch and offers full service at dinner with the same menu prices. (Photo: Lance Murphey)The neighborhood restaurant creatively blends different styles of Asian cooking into customizable dishes, and it has grown steadily over the years thanks to repeat business from satisfied customers.Eddie “Mr. Eddie” Pao is Mosa’s founder and past owner of the Formosa Restaurant. He and his brother, Alfred Pao, opened Formosa in 1979 on Summer Avenue after immigrating to the U.S. from Taiwan two years earlier. Eddie Pao had been a successful filmmaker in Taiwan (and went to film school with Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee) but chose to move to the U.S. and switch mediums.“The restaurant business is an art to me, so I gave up the movies and started doing this,” Pao said. “(After we opened Formosa), we had a full house every day for almost 15 years.”Pao opened Mosa in 2005. Asian food has evolved over the past couple of decades, and one of the goals of Mosa was to find a way to bring the best of all of the cultures together.“In the ’80s and ’90s, what people came to know Chinese food as is your average strip mall, mom-and-pop restaurant with lunch specials, but it changed and became mass marketed and Americanized and became more of a ‘buffet world,’” said Michelle Pao Levine, Pao’s daughter who runs the front of the house. “That’s not how Chinese food is at home, and we knew that in order for us to have our business and stay relevant we had to evolve.”Pao works six-plus days per week and can usually be found at the grill, which has the capacity to stir fry vegetables in 30 seconds rather than the normal 15 to 17 minutes at home. In fact, the restaurant required three permits from Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division when it opened atLearn more about 850 White Station RoadTap into millions of public records, notices and articles on The Daily News with our ever-growing line of services.Try one of these to get you started:Property SearchCrime ReportNeighborhood ReportWatch Service" style="color: rgb(125, 2, 0); text-decoration: underline;">850 White Station Road to accommodate the gas needed to maintain the necessary 700 degrees.“It has very strong power. Any longer than 30 seconds and the vegetables will burn,” Pao said.Several other members of the Pao family also play key roles in its success. Pao’s wife, Charleen, prepares homemade cupcakes daily as well as cheesecakes and chocolate-covered strawberries seasonally, and son, Alex, and his wife, Laura, work the restaurant part-time. Vietnamese chef Ah-ton, who has worked with Pao for 26 years, runs the kitchen with Mr. Eddie.Mosa features fast-casual dining during the day and full service at night, but the pricing stays the same throughout. At night, the lights are lowered and guests can unwind with a glass of wine or a beer with dinner. When the weather is nice, customers can also enjoy dining on the patio.“This year, we may get local musicians to perform once a month on the patio,” Michelle Pao Levine said.Mosa also does a large amount of catering business, including daily corporate catering gigs.The menu consists of a fusion of Chinese, Thai, Korean and Japanese fare with a freshness rarely found in fast-casual restaurants. Mosa grows many of its own vegetables and herbs, preps everything each morning just before opening and purchases fresh vegetables and meats daily.Eddie Pao, right, Xin Lin, center, and A-Ton Huynh cook in the kitchen at Mosa Asian Bistro, 850 S. White Station Road. Pao, who started Formosa Restaurant in the 1970s, opened the bistro with his wife and children. (Photo: Lance Murphey)" style="color: rgb(125, 2, 0); text-decoration: underline;">Eddie Pao, right, Xin Lin, center, and A-Ton Huynh cook in the kitchen at Mosa Asian Bistro, 850 S. White Station Road. Pao, who started Formosa Restaurant in the 1970s, opened the bistro with his wife and children. (Photo: Lance Murphey)“Nothing is frozen or pre-packaged. Everything is extremely fresh,” Alex Pao said.The Mosa staff prepares 25 homemade sauces each morning from scratch, and every ticket is made to order.Mosa also boasts “the best hot and sour soup in the Mid-South.”“A lot of people come from out of town just for the hot and sour soup. It’s my momma’s recipe, and they say you can’t beat it,” said Pao, who explained he learned many of his secrets from cooking with his mom when he was younger.The Mosa menu includes primarily vegan-based dishes that are customized by combining preferred meat, heat, sauce and choice of brown or white steamed rice to any rice entree or meat and heat to any noodle bowl.“The main menu is updated every year, and the seasonal menu is swapped out every three months,” Michelle Pao Levine said.Mosa also rolls sushi rolls on Thursday nights, and it will begin serving Asian Farm to Table special dinners once the crop is harvested this spring and change the menu to include seasonal vegetables. The new menu will also have lighter selections for the Memphis heat like a new crunchy shrimp salad and a traditional Vietnamese sandwich called Bhan Mi.Giving back to the community is very important for the Pao family. Mosa supports local organizations and companies such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Mary’s Episcopal School, International Paper, New Memphis Institute, Learn more about Ronald McDonaldTap into millions of public records, notices and articles on The Daily News with our ever-growing line of services.Try one of these to get you started:Name SearchWatch Service" style="color: rgb(125, 2, 0); text-decoration: underline;">Ronald McDonald House, Youth Villages and the Memphis Zoo through in-kind donations and fundraisers.“Today we are hand rolling 500 beef empanadas for a Brooks Museum event tomorrow night,” said Michelle Pao Levine. Mosa also prepared sushi for the 400-person event.Next up, the restaurant plans to renovate a small area adjacent to its main dining area with a couple of TVs and a bar for watching the Tigers or Grizzlies games or having a drink during happy hour. More Mosa locations are a possibility in the future, with Midtown or Downtown being the most likely spots.
We were featured in Norococo for our kitchen straight to table experience at our restaurant. To read more click here
Michelle and Mosa Asian Bistro granted FOUR wishes last year for the Make-A-Wish local chapter by donating proceeds from lunch and dinner tickets. To read more click here
We closed down our Kirby location! Click here to read more about why we closed it down.
We were featured in The Wanderers blog! Click here to see why.
Click here to see why Savvy Sunah featured Mosa in her blog!
Read the full blog here.
Full blog post here.
Source: Memphis Stew
Full blog post here.
Title: Dish of The Month
Date: February 2011
Publication: Health and Fitness
Click here to see the full article
One of the few things I miss about my old office job in East Memphis was being within walking distance of Mosa.Pad Thai, Mosa, Memphis, Tenn.Mosa is a local chain (if you can call two restaurants a chain) of Asian diners run by the former owners of legendary Memphis restaurant Formosa. The menu tends towards Chinese and Thai favorites like crab rangoon, red curry, fried rice and Kung Pao.I had the veggie Pad Thai. The noodles were covered in a sweet, citrusy brown sauce and topped with cilantro and crushed peanuts. My partner in crime got the Dan Dan, which was a bowl of udon noodles covered in brown sauce and topped with mushrooms, carrots and cucumbers.You can pick your meat or tofu for most of the entrees. The best part? Most of the entrees are less than $10.For a diner, Mosa is pretty classy. There are big windows and plenty of space in the warm, dim dining room. There are two locations, both in East Memphis - one at White Station and Poplar, and one at Poplar and Kirby. Mosa is open for lunch and dinner.