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Dec 11, 2006 05:46 PM

Ba Ren in SD - Recommended Dishes?

Will be making my annual visit to San Diego later this month and planning what has become an obligatory stop at Ba Ren on the way to North County. (At this point I'm not sure I'd be forgiven if I showed up without multiple dishes in tow.)

So anyway, would love recommendations for dishes to try at Ba Ren. Many thanks for any suggestions.

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    1. re: Josh

      The lamb is good, but after a few bites it becomes too heavy and rich.
      I dont mind fattiness in lamb but this was a little much. I might add, while I am not an opponent of MSG by any means, it was after eating this dish I had my only case of Chinese restaurant syndrome- my face became terribly tight.

      I can reccomend the cold appetizers. I could make a meal out of those and rice.

    2. Spicy cold noodles and any of the dry-cooked dishes.

      1. Fish Flavor Eggplant (no it doesn't have the remotest flavor relationship to fish), any of the rice crust dishes and the Jian Woo Fish, or maybe it's Woo Jian Fish. There is a stuffed kabota squash that is extremely good but must be ordered several hours ahead of time because it takes a long time to cook. The Chinese Pot Roast is also great.

        Don't overlook the cook appetizers which are located in the old converted steamtable by the front entrance

        1. Perfect - thanks so much to all.

          1. Most of the recs so far have been for things I like as well - though I'm not as fond of the dry cooked dishes as some others are.

            Additional favorites of mine:

            Ma Po Tofu - this is the way it is supposed to be done with sichuan peppercorns
            Ton-Nan Tai-An fish fillet - very hot spicy sauce with numerous fresh red chilies and a lot of tender fish fillets
            Chong Qing Hot Pot - A complex and very spicy stew of various ingredients

            I also have enjoyed the dishes with pickled peppers even though they don't have much pickled pepper taste. I've had both frog and chicken and enjoyed both.

            I should add that I have tried only a small portion of the menu as I am always torn between reprising the things I love and investigating something new.


            2 Replies
            1. re: Ed Dibble

              I agree with you ed on the dry cooked dishes.

              I havent had the pleasure of eating the Ma Po Tofu at Ba Ren. Could you describe it a little more?

              1. re: kare_raisu

                It's been a while, truthfully. Memory is that it was steamed tofu, spicy sauce with sichuan peppercorns also. It was the peppercorns that made the dish different from other versions I've eaten. Honestly, I wouldn't order it if I were by myself, but I liked the texture & spiciness at the feast we had at Ba Ren a couple (or three) years ago.