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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Austin
Food
Feel
Price
8.6
8.0
$15
Modern
Food cart

Hours
Daily 7:00pm–1:45am

Features Outdoor dining, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, liquor
Credit cards None

Website

East Austin
Liberty Bar, 1618 E. 6th St.
Austin, TX
(512) 600-4791
East Side King Liberty
Eat Bourdain-approved Asian street food in one of our all-time favorite dive bars

One of our favorite food carts, East Side King, sits behind one of our favorite dive-not-dive bars, The Liberty. It’s not-dive because it boasts a surprising selection, including about six changing taps of micros. In the bottle and can, there are dozens more, plus Brit and Mexican favorites. Although you can find better cocktails this side of IH-35, Liberty carries quality spirits, including digestifs. Best of all, you can have ESK’s food brought right to wherever you’re sitting.

The speck-sized trailer taps into Thai, Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese traditions, and sells less than a dozen items. In delicious steamed buns, peanutty curry is balanced with mint, basil, cilantro, and jalapeño in a way that eludes most versions in town. A fried Brussels sprout salad with cabbage, mint, and onions combines salty, sour, sweet, and hot in an addictive slaw. We crave the fried beets, lightly dusted in togarashi (a Japanese blend of ground peppers) and served with intense Kewpie mayonnaise. Another favorite borrows aptly from Portland’s epic Thai-to-end-all-American-assumptions-about-Thai restaurant, Pok Pok; specifically, its famed “Fish Sauce Wings,” fried chicken niblets tossed in fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and fresh herbs.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that East Side King is the side project of one of Uchi’s sushi chefs and its chef de cuisine. What could be better than those credentials at these prices, with this beer and jukebox?

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