Mendocino’s Steak and Shishito Bowl, a Full Review

Mendocino Farms steak and shishito pepper bowl is a delicious and filling lunch item that appears to be a permanent addition to Mendo’s menu.

The steak and shishito pepper ball originally launched at the same time that Mendo shifted towards offering bowls alongside their popular sandwiches and salads.

All of Mendocino Farms’ bowls are anchored by grain. Their bowls have been similar to salad but using grains instead of lettuce as the base. The steak and shishito pepper ball follows that trend, using a rice mixture as the base grain.

What’s in the Bowl?

On top of that, Mando had slices of steak, spicy shrimp, shishito peppers, and broccolini. The whole thing has a tasty citrusy sauce on top of it.

When I first got the steak and shishito pepper bowl, I found that it was a little bit small in terms of portion size. Either Mendocino has increased the amount of grain, or I just got an incorrectly assembled bowl— either way, on a recent visit, I found that the bowl was much larger and more filling.

Even though the bowl includes steak, it’s still primarily anchored by plant-based ingredients. The steak is more of a flavoring than the main focus of the dish.

Other Mendo Bowls

In that way, the steak and shishito pepper bowl is similar to Mendocino‘s Elote chicken bowl. both use grain as the base, putting plant-based ingredients front and center, even though they are not vegetarian.

Flavors in the Bowl

I like the steak and shishito pepper bowl as a tasty and filling lunch. If you paired it with a side, it would also be enough food for dinner.

I’m not the biggest salad eater, so I appreciate a bowl format not based on lettuce. The greens in the bowl provide plenty of filling goodness and make up a nice backdrop to the spiciness and depth the flavor of the peppers and steak.

Shishito peppers are particularly nice in this dish because they differ from bell peppers. The dish doesn’t have a fajita-type feel, which bell peppers, but definitely gives it when combined with steak. Instead, You get the spicy, crunchy elements of the shishito peppers, which is a nice complement to the slices of steak.

Now that I know this bowl is comparable in size to the chicken elote, I’ll definitely be getting it more often. I got mine at the San Ramon location of Mendocino Farms, but you can find bowls on the menu at most of their restaurants. 

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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