Li Ao – Cheap Takeout

Trails End Beef
Trails End Beef

Last Sunday, L and I checked out Trails End Beef’s open house in Nanton, Alberta. We looked at their chickens, horses, cattle, and walked on their beautiful property. After chatting with the owners, Rachel and Tyler Herbert, we bought some beef to enjoy at home: stir fry strips; sirloins; ground beef; and ribs. L and I are huge fans of Trail’s End grass fed and finished beef, so we vowed in 2014 to clean out our freezer to make room for a big order.

On the way home, L was hungry and wanted to eat at Li Ao. I didn’t feel like dining inside the restaurant, so we opted for take-out. We ordered three pieces of toro ($2.50 each) and an outside roll combination ($13.99).

Complimentary Deep-Fried Roll
Complimentary Deep-Fried Roll

We were surprised to find that we were given a free roll – a deep-fried roll with salmon, cucumber and a spicy sauce. We ate a couple of the pieces but as there was so much food, we couldn’t finish the entire roll. However, we realized that it was a nice gesture of the kitchen to send us home with a new roll to sample.

Value wise – you can’t beat Li Ao. The inside out roll combination came with eight pieces of dynamite roll, eight pieces of California roll and eight pieces of a roll with squid and spicy mayonnaise. The rice was fresh and firm with a bit of a chew, which I enjoyed. The fillings were generous, but still maintained a good rice to filling ratio.

Toro Nigiri
Toro Nigiri

The toro nigiri wasn’t as cool as I would like – but that’s most likely because of the 30 minute drive from Li Ao to our house. The pieces of fish were generous and not stringy. I enjoyed the toro much more at the restaurant than take-out. However, that was not the fault of the restaurant, but the consequences of ordering food to go, as food is always best when eaten at the restaurant.


The Outside Roll combination was more than enough food for L and myself. Next time, I’d omit the toro and just order the combination plate. When in the area, we would order take-out again, though more so for the maki rolls than the nigiri.

Trails End Beef


Li-Ao Sushi on Urbanspoon


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