Mystery Mix

It's not clear what all's in it, but it works magic on a chilly, wet afternoon. When asked what fresh herb was sprinkled atop the hot and sour tofu soup ($6.50) at Van Loc (3010 Milam, 713-528-6441), the server had only this to offer: "It's a fresh herb. We don't know what kind." Well, thanks for the enlightening info, but thanks even more for the delicious ingredients that are identifiable: crisp celery slivers, little straw mushrooms, whole okra pods, tomato quarters, pineapple cubes and huge chunks of lightly fried tofu, all soaking up the tangy, sweet tamarind broth and sparkling with spicy red pepper flakes. Mix and match it all, any way you like, with the bowl of sticky white rice that accompanies the dish, and you won't care what that "fresh herb" is either.
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Anna Ossenfort
Contact: Anna Ossenfort