At first, you might think that the service would exude some kind of Zoolander-esque "too cool for school" attitude, but you would be wrong. The service is friendly yet efficient.
And the food doesn't disappoint. Self-taugh chef Abhi Sainju arrived from Nepal twenty years ago from Nepal. His love of Nepalese cuisine and his adopted home is certainly reflected in his moms: steamed Nepalese dumplings with ground turkey, vegetables, and spices, all bathed in an Alabama tomato vinaigrette. Another small plate worth trying is the "KFC," which is short for "Kathmandu Fried Chicken" lollipop with the house sweet sauce.
And the sushi is very good as well. My favorites are the "Wham Bam Birmingham" (shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber topped with seared salmon, wasabi aioli, and eel sauce) and the "Sexy Lady" (seasoned tuna, avocado, and cucumber with aioli).
If sushi is not your thing, then try the skewers. I like lemongrass chicken with honey sriracha. And finally, there are several banh mi sandwiches to choose from. I recommend you go with seared Marinated pork belly.
If you visit Bamboo, be prepared for a wait unless you arrive early. But they will take your phone number and call you when your table is ready. Bamboo is also one of the few restaurants downtown open on Mondays.
So, if you are looking for some casual pan-Asian food and good sushi in a hip environment, you can't go wrong with Bamboo.
Address: Bamboo on 2nd, 2212 2nd Ave. N., Birmingham, AL 35203; 205.703.055; www.bambooon2nd.com
Atmosphere: Modern and sleek with a mixture of metal, brink, and wood.
Sound: Moderate to loud.
Recommended Dishes: Momos, KFC, Wham Bam Birmingham, and Ramen Bowl
Price: $$ (moderate)
Open: Monday through Saturday for dinner.
Reservations: Not Accepted