Reviewed by Steve LaRosa – This may be my current favorite restaurant. It’s located at the intersection of Artistry Avenue and Delicious Drive. In actuality, Mints is located at 11088 Olson Drive, which is off the Zinfandel Exit (off of 50) in Rancho Cordova.
The food here is amazing. The presentation of the dishes–suitable for framing, and you will not believe the explosion of flavors in each of those dishes.
The owners are Daniel Kim and Michelle Tran, who took over from Michelle’s parents in 2007. Daniel is the chef and he describes his cuisine as contemporary Vietnamese. To Daniel’s description, I would add–a touch of France and a nod to China and Thailand. Michelle is the manager out front. The hostess with the mostess with miles of smiles. When people ask me, what do you recommend, it’s a one-word answer….everything. But I’ll give you a few ideas.
For starters, try the golden crispy rolls. Unlike a lot of Asian restaurants that serve those greasy, soggy, formerly frozen, assembly-line spring rolls, these house-made rolls come in a crispy rice wrapper and are deep-fried and stuffed with shrimp, pork, mushrooms and carrots and served with rice vermicelli, pickles, mint, and cilantro. The scorpion rolls with grilled prawns are a great choice as well.
You must order a side of their famous garlic noodles, which are stir-fried with Parmesan cheese and garlic sauce; so unique and a great blend of flavors.
A house favorite is the Shaking Beef. These beef cubes are sautéed with green onions, black pepper and garlic and mixed together with red and green bell peppers, red onions and scallions.
We tried the Mints Tiger prawns, which are large butterflied prawns that have been marinated with fresh garlic and pepper and grilled, served with those amazing garlic noodles and green beans. The three different items require different cooking methods which demands the timing has to be right on target. This place is labor intensive and that attention to detail is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. I promise you, with every dish, the thought will occur, what a shame to destroy this work of art, but overcome that reservation. You’ll reap the rewards.
“I want our guests to know we’re doing our best,” said Daniel, “We want them to feel that we’re trying hard.” An understatement if there’s ever been one.
Even dessert is delightful at Mints, whether it’s Michelle’s crème brulee or their fried banana. The latter is battered in banana flour and deep-fried with coconut flakes and sesame seeds.
The atmosphere at Mints is charming, perfect for a casual date night and they have an extensive wine and list, focusing on California wines and Asian beers.
Mints Euro-Asian Cuisine 11088 Olson Drive, Rancho Cordova. (916) 635-2744 mintsasia.com Open M-F 11-2:30 (Lunch) and M-Sat, 5-9 Dinner
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670