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Revel

Where is a good place for lunch on Mondays when many restaurants are closed?

Revel in Fremont is a fun choice if you enjoy Asian fusion.

Sister restaurant to Trove and Joule, lunch/brunch/dinner is served 7 days a week at Revel.

Open kitchen with very minimalist design, Revel is casual,  lively with hip hop blasting through the roof.

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I was intrigued by the soda: our server mentioned guava and I was sold!

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A lightly fizzy and faintly sweet drink with guava and coconut, it was unexpectedly refreshing as I did not equate refreshing with coconut milk.

We pigged out with our party of 2: one of each dish from each category on the menu: eggplant from rice, Dungeness crab from noodle, shrimp cake with nettle from pancake, lamb pastrami salad, and short rib dumplings.

My favorite: the absolutely delicious Dungeness crab noodle.

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L: Thai eggplant rice — R: Dungeness crab noodle

I was fascinated with the seaweed noodle description for this dish.

They turned out to be fantastic al dante noodle but with very little seasweed flavor; the spicy red curry sauce with creme fraiche was more than made up the tastiness of the dish.

The Dungeness crab was very sweet — wish there was more!

Second favorite would be a tie between the short rib dumplings and corned lamb salad.

The dumplings had the quintessential Korean flavors: soy sauce, garlic and sesame.

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They were a little salty, but the short rib beef was extremely tender; pickled shallots and scallion was dressed with light mayo for the salad on top.

The dumplings literally tasted like bite size Korean barbeque meat!

For the salad: I never had corned lamb before, and this just tasted like corned beef, except with gamey lamb flavor.

The tender lamb was tossed with ample fresh mizuna and fish sauce spicy dressing, very addictive.

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The shrimp cake was unique.

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I never had nettle before, and did not know what to expect.

Ultimately, I believe nettle made the pancake green but did not impart much flavor.

There was very little shrimp in the pancake, and the pancake itself was a little dense; it was ok.

The idea of the eggplant rice dish was interesting – a take on Korean bibimbap: served the same way in a bowl with rice, fried Thai eggplant, and spicy peanut romesco and grilled leek on top.

We ate the dish just like bibimbap and tossed everything together.

Unfortunately, the fried eggplant was still bland, and too much of the burnt, bitter flavor from the charred leeks.

My eating company and I also felt a disconnect with the romesco — a Spanish sauce with red pepper and nuts, Revel’s romesco was not a sauce, but chunks of red pepper and whole peanuts cooked together.

The whole dish was vinegary but with nothing drawing us in.

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I was very full, but my companion went for dessert which looked really good.

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