MARVEL'S MENU FUN, TOO.Byline: - Larry Lipson
Marvel Mania's food is best enjoyed on a weeknight week·night
A night of the week exclusive of Saturday and Sunday.
weeknights , preferably a Monday or Tuesday, when the Universal Studios tour crowds are noticeably thinner.
The glitzy glitz Informal
Ostentatious showiness; flashiness: "a garish barrage of show-biz glitz" Peter G. Davis.
tr.v. Universal City comic book-themed facility beckons children and adults alike with its colorful fantasy characters so much larger than life larg·er than life
Very impressive or imposing: "This is a person of surpassing integrity; a man of the utmost sincerity; somewhat larger than life" Joyce Carol Oates. . And much louder.
But this is also a place to eat and imbibe. And like so many of the ``eatertainment'' restaurants, there's a serious effort to produce above-average food. The trick is to maintain a high enough standard to get customers back. Otherwise it's just like a museum with the same old exhibits over and over again. Once you've seen them, you don't necessarily return until they change.
Yet admittedly, in its opening weeks, the food and service in the ex-Victoria Station building rises above expectations.
Marvel's kitchen does its best job with appetizers and starters. You'll find a novel potato soup ($3.50), thick and satisfying, served with bacon, chives chives
alliumschoenoprasm. , sour cream and cheddar cheese options, just like a baked potato.
And there's a hearty chicken and vegetable soup chock-full of mushrooms, squash, sweet pepper, onion, carrots and roasted chicken ($3.50).
But you'll enjoy even more spring rolls ($6.50) dramatically presented in slant-cut fashion, crispy on the outside, not too oily and filled with full-flavored spicy coconut chicken and a colorful melange mé·lange also me·lange
A mixture: "[a] building crowned with a mélange of antennae and satellite dishes" Howard Kaplan. of stir-fried vegetables. And with it comes a peppery pep·per·y
1. Of, containing, or resembling pepper; sharp or pungent in flavor.
2. Vigorously sharp-tempered: a peppery sales clerk.
3. Thai peanut dipping sauce.
Incidentally, when something is termed spicy here, it really is. And that's commendable.
Like the Chinese tacos ($6.95) made with crunchy wonton skins stuffed with chicken and Asian vegetables and delivered with a sweet, hot chile sauce. And the ``searing sear 1
v. seared, sear·ing, sears
1. To char, scorch, or burn the surface of with or as if with a hot instrument. See Synonyms at burn1.
2. satay'' main-course dish ($11.95) of grilled, marinated chicken with that same hot peanut sauce and basmati rice bas·ma·ti rice
An aromatic long-grain rice from India.
[Hindi bsmat .
More down to earth are a trio of offerings: barbecued pork from a skewer with fries and corn on the cob ($11.50), a generously portioned linguine and sausage plate ($9.95), and the ample half-pound burger and fries ($7.50). Add a cheese - gorgonzola (50 cents extra) is recommended - and bacon (75 cents more).
As for drinks, there are some weird, exotic concoctions from the bar including several nouvelle martinis. But the Blue Moon White Belgian brew ($3.25) goes especially well with the burger and spicy starters. And the portions here are large enough to make it difficult to include even one of half a dozen desserts, the most inviting being a caramel-and-chocolate-sauced butterfinger candy-studded bread pudding with butterfinger ice cream ($5.95). Phone: (818) 762-7835. Our rating: Three Stars