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seeking authenic Chinese in San Diego (or area)

r
rocknro Jul 24, 2009 04:05 PM

Hi!

I live in San Diego and honestly would drive hours if someone could tell me where a genuine, non-Americanized Chinese establishment exists. I know I am asking for a lot, but I just returned from a 6-week trip there and am longing for the flavors I was lucky to have experienced. What I appreciated most was that the flavors were simultaneously simple and complex, the ingredients regional and fresh, and always very satisfying. Even a bowl of soup or eggs and tomato always hit the spot. Any suggestions for cookbooks or websites would also be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!!

  1. v
    Victor Lieberman Dec 19, 2010 09:09 AM

    MSG alert! After joining in on this board yesterday, I grew nostalgic for our old times at Spicy City. One of the post-ers gave it good marks and despite our bad experience after they changed hands, I thought it was worth one more try. We had the spicy boiled fish, kung pao chicken, hot and sour soup,and pork steamed dumplings. They were very nice and some of the original people were back and I must say, the tastes were pretty much as remembered. BUT, out of the 4 of us, 3 had serious MSG reactions. Severe headaches and a cessation of eating about halfway through. The fish was the winner---big filets in the signature pepper loaded sauce, but it is not good enough to endure the after-pain of the MSG bad rush. We won't be back. I think it's time to give Ba Ren another tumble...

    -----
    Spicy City
    4690 Convoy St, San Diego, CA

    5 Replies
    1. re: Victor Lieberman
      honkman Dec 19, 2010 10:21 AM

      Not the MSG myth again. There is enough scientific evidence that it is doesn't exists

      1. re: honkman
        r
        royaljester Dec 19, 2010 04:39 PM

        Migrane reactions have been linked to genes in the latest scientific studies - most people won't have a reaction and a few people will. No studies have yet to contradict this, nor have any earlier studies considered this possibility. This conclusion is actually consistent with all studies done in the past - that most people don't have a reaction. No study has ever proven that individuals have no reaction, they focused more on toxicity and reaction in the general population. People who reported migranes were ruled out as statistical anomalies until fairly recently.

        The problem with most scientific studies is the media interprets them, and they interpret completely different conclusions than the studies themselves. Earlier studies only demonstrated that MSG is safe for the general population. You know, just like peanuts.

        1. re: royaljester
          honkman Dec 19, 2010 06:01 PM

          I am not looking at interpretations of the media but the original scientific papers and there are a number of these papers which over the years have shown that the MSG allergic reaction doesn't exists. Here is a more recent one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19...

          The origin of migraines is still not clear and I don't find any studies which link MSG and migraines. Could you provide any links to the papers ?

          1. re: honkman
            SaltyRaisins Dec 19, 2010 09:11 PM

            See, now, people's just gonna feel how people's gonna feel, whether it be from percieved or non- MSG overdosing or just straight up too much salt...there's no doubting Mr. Lieberman genuinely felt bad during the meal and really no reason to debate this issue on this thread. Take it to General Topics.

            Personally, I'm fine with MSG, natural and otherwise, but I recently asked to watch the woks st Sab-e-Lee the other day, and in there with the mise-en-place was a big container of what looked like sugar. The chef listed all the ingredients as she deftly scooped them into the wok, but left out the "sugar." I said, "MSG, right? Cool!" and she gave me a big smile. No wonder their larbs are so good...

            Cheers.

            1. re: SaltyRaisins
              honkman Dec 19, 2010 10:36 PM

              People feel often bad at chinese/asian restaurant because they expect these restaurants to use MSG not because of the MSG.

    2. r
      royaljester Dec 18, 2010 08:13 PM

      Victor's post earlier was spot on..Jasmine has convenient and good enough dim sum, Emerald's is excellent Lobster and Crab (comparable to a good place in Los Angeles, but more expensive since there's not much competition here)

      I've tried the new Chin's on Convoy for lunch and it's pretty good though I can't vouch for authenticity. The Chin's on Miramar is the only place that serves authentic Chinese Breakfast. Their Tofu soup brings back memories, including Taiwan style.

      Pearl in Rancho Bernardo was excellent when we tried year's ago, but it's literally the busiest Chinese restaurant in San Diego. Ba Ren is fairly authentic, though I'm not into spicy Szechuan. Little Lamb has great Mongolian Hot Pot.

      -----
      Mongolian Hot Pot
      4718 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117

      5 Replies
      1. re: royaljester
        SaltyRaisins Dec 18, 2010 08:24 PM

        Chin's on convoy serves weekend Chinese brunch, too.

        Cheers.

        1. re: SaltyRaisins
          l
          lyn Dec 19, 2010 12:25 PM

          Does this include dim dum? I am having trouble finding dim sum. We are looking for a place for Christmas brunch. A couple family members like the more mainstream dumplings and such but I also like the more popular chinese items such as chicken feet and tripe. Is there any place in SD that fits the bill?

          1. re: lyn
            d
            daantaat Dec 19, 2010 08:13 PM

            Chin's has Northern style dim sum. If you want Cantonese style, then Pearl or Emerald. Jasmine is meh, at best.

            1. re: daantaat
              SaltyRaisins Dec 19, 2010 09:17 PM

              What is northern style dim-sum? I've eaten a lot of their menu with friends from Taiwan and China, and they didn't mention that it's a style of dim-sum. Is this the stuff on the weekend menu?

              1. re: SaltyRaisins
                d
                daantaat Dec 30, 2010 04:01 PM

                northern style has slightly different items on the menu than Cantonese style. For the life of me, I cannot verbalize the exact differences but I want to say that Northern style has more dumplings, noodles, bread-like items and less seafood, but I'm pulling at straws right now. Chin's weekend menu is more Northern style. We went once, some items were really, really good and others not so much, but the things I don't think were on the menu that are at Cantonese dim sum were things like chicken feet, beef meatballs, egg custards and deep fried sticky rice balls w/ red bean paste inside. Maybe KirkK or someone else can further enlighten us.

      2. deckape Dec 3, 2010 10:43 AM

        Ba Ren's Woo Jiang Fish is stellar, a simply addictive broth that's got me hooked.

        1. t
          toucanan Oct 20, 2009 08:42 PM

          Don' t go to Ba Ren. It had horrible food. First of all, they let people smoke in the restaurant and my kids were had to inhale it while we were eating. The staff didn't seem to care. Second, there waitresses are horrible rude and we waited over 30 minutes for them to take our order and the restaurant was not too busy. The food we ordered was not cooked properly and was terrible. In past years, I've been to Ba Ren and the food was good, but it took a major turn downhill. Not a single dish was good.

          -----
          Ba Ren Szechuan
          4957 Diane Ave, San Diego, CA

          12 Replies
          1. re: toucanan
            m
            mliew Oct 21, 2009 10:34 AM

            Exactly which dishes did you have there? If you ordered the more americanized things on the menu they probably wouldn't be too good. They have a few things that are outstanding and a lot of things that aren't so great. You have to stick with the Sichaun specialty dishes in particular if you want good food there.

            Never been there when anyone has been smoking. Service is pretty typical for an asian restaurant (i.e. you have to ask for service, they aren't going to come to your table first). When it comes to service at asian places you can't expect it to be the same as american places, they don't make it a priority and don't go out of their way to serve you. It's more a cultural thing and I can see a lot of people that aren't familiar with it to interpret it as being rude.

            1. re: toucanan
              m
              mikec Oct 21, 2009 11:59 AM

              I go to Ba Ren at least once a week and have never experienced anything close to what you describe.

              1. re: toucanan
                stevuchan Oct 21, 2009 01:30 PM

                Really out of character for Ba Ren. I find this a little hard to believe. It also bugs me a little bit this is the only time you have posted on Chowhound and you first post is to bash a board favorite. Odd.

                1. re: danielJones
                  m
                  mimosa Nov 30, 2010 11:52 AM

                  We just ate at Ba Ren for the first time and were blown away. By far the best Chinese I've had in San Diego. We had the beef teppan yaki (sp?) and the sizzling rice chicken dish. Both were absolute winners with rich, complex flavors and textures, as well as beautiful presentation. Our friendly server (an older woman, maybe the owner?) explained each dish before serving. Every part of our experience was positive. I can't wait to go back and delve deeper into their expansive menu!

                  -----
                  Ba Ren Szechuan
                  4957 Diane Ave, San Diego, CA

                  1. re: mimosa
                    DiningDiva Nov 30, 2010 03:07 PM

                    3 words...Fish Flavored Eggplant. You've got to try it. Stunningly good disy, and I'm not particularly fond of eggplant

                    1. re: mimosa
                      notjustastomach Nov 30, 2010 04:33 PM

                      I went to Ba Ren about 5 years ago. Was not totally impressed, but I may have ordered wrong.

                      What would people suggest for a vegetarian / pescetarian.

                      Heat levels are no problem. Just keep away the chicken, pork, beef, etc.

                      tia

                      1. re: notjustastomach
                        m
                        mliew Dec 1, 2010 09:22 AM

                        You might want to try the double cooked fish with chili sauce. It's one of my favorite dishes there and there's no meat other than fish in it. Other than that Ba Ren is not exactly a great place to go if you aren't a meat eater, Sichaun food tends to be light on the seafood and vegetables when compared with say Cantonese food.

                        1. re: notjustastomach
                          Ed Dibble Dec 1, 2010 02:51 PM

                          I am far from expert at the menu, but the fish flavored eggplant, as DiningDiva says, is great. I also love the Tong-Nan Tai An fish fillet (Sichuan take on Thai fish - very spicy). The boiled fish in hot sauce is good also, and several of the crispy rice dishes just come with some type of seafood - and the textures of the crispy rice dishes are wonderful. Also there are usually at least two vegetarian cold appetizers. If the bamboo shoots are available, they are very good. I believe the mapo tofu has pork in it, but you could ask about the other vegetarian dishes.

                          1. re: notjustastomach
                            m
                            mikec Dec 2, 2010 01:20 PM

                            I second the previously mentioned twice cooked fish with chili, boiled fish in hot sauce (or boiled fish with tofu in hot sauce) and the Tong-Nan Tai An fish fillet. If you really like heat, there's the steamed fish fillet with red chili pepper (these are not their standard chili peppers and are on a bed of rice noodles) that is good, but blazingly hot.

                            Their rendition of sauteed green beans is good. Not a fan of their Ma Po tofu or cabbage with chili and vinegar.

                            1. re: mikec
                              Josh Dec 2, 2010 02:48 PM

                              I think you mean the fish with the pickled red peppers - that's one awesome dish.

                              1. re: Josh
                                m
                                mikec Dec 6, 2010 01:22 PM

                                I don't think it's the pickled red peppers dish. These chili's are about 2-3x hotter than the pickled peppers. The name is deceptive, something like "steamed fish fillet with spicy red pepper". I don't think it was on their old menu, it was on their specials board, but it is on their new menu.

                                1. re: Josh
                                  m
                                  mikec Dec 30, 2010 10:47 AM

                                  OK, I actually made sure I remembered the menu # last time I went. It's 122 on the House Specialties: steamed fish fillet with green onions and chopped red chilies.

                                  However, this last time we ordered it, they must have switched to a MUCH milder chili, as I could even eat the chilis without a problem. We only ordered it medium hot, though.

                                  We also made a point of ordering the Fish Flavored Egg Plant (in the Casserole/Hot Pot section) and it was also a real winner. Thanks to those who suggested it!

                        2. Dagney Aug 1, 2009 02:25 AM

                          Maxim's on El Cajon BL, near Hoover HS

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Dagney
                            r
                            rocknro Aug 11, 2009 06:01 AM

                            "Heartily agree with Kirkk's take on the Xiao Long Bao at Dumpling Inn: they just can't stand up against better versions"

                            - yep, I would agree, as well. Visited there a week after returning from China and was not at all impressed. Unlike others who posted here, I actually enjoyed their service - they were super nice and really trying to find out what it was I was looking for, but the food just fell flat.

                            Naomi & Kirk - thanks for the tip on Ba Ren. Just went there last week and got their cold noodles - one smell and I was right back in China! It was great! The only thing that threw me off was the amount of oil, just as warned. Don't remember having that experience in China, but the flavor was so delicious I ate the entire dish :o)

                            Saltyraisins - "Let me know if you find your eggs and tomato." I tried the egg & tomato soup at Ba Ren - it was ok, a bit greasy. The egg was fried in tons of oil, not like what I ate in China which was much lighter, but I will be trying a few of their other egg and tomato dishes, as well as just about everything else there, and will be sure to post my experiences.

                            Just got in to LA...I only have a few hours but will try to hit up as many places as my stomach can handle! :o)

                          2. SaltyRaisins Jul 26, 2009 12:09 AM

                            Some good info on this board. Heartily agree with Kirkk's take on the Xiao Long Bao at Dumpling Inn: they just can't stand up against better versions. And forgive me (I have not had their famous jellyfish salad), but I find Dumpling Inn filthy. Revolting. Add hilariously bad service to that, and you can just forget SD for "juicy little buns." The place to go, since rocknro is prepared to drive, would be Din Tai Fung in Arcadia (the North American branch of the Taiwanese original):

                            http://www.dintaifungusa.com/

                            An addendum to Kirkk's description of Chin's weekend brunch- the OP is looking for Chinese, but while Chin's is officially billed Szechwan, the weekend breakfast menu is primarily Taiwanese.

                            Let me know if you find your eggs and tomato. I also jones for a few international breakfast items made from seemingly "regular" staple ingredients. Sometimes in these cases the particular quality of the items that you found so tasty over there just don't taste the same way after making a long trip, or need their local environment to taste "that way." Japanese eggs, Eritrean coffee, New York water, French bread, Swiss yogurt, Mexican food, Italian ciccoria, Ethiopian barley,...just ain't gonna happen on these shores. But that should never stop a guy from trying. Good luck.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: SaltyRaisins
                              r
                              rocknro Aug 11, 2009 06:18 AM

                              "Sometimes in these cases the particular quality of the items that you found so tasty over there just don't taste the same way after making a long trip, or need their local environment to taste "that way."

                              - you're absolutely right in every way. I actually managed bring into the US some hot peppers I bought from this elderly lady in Longji, and, even though it's FROM China, it still doesn't taste the same. But the flavors do recount the experience, which is great.

                              And, no, I will never stop trying, though I know at some point I will just have to become apppreciative of the uniqueness of the flavors out here. The memories of the foods I ate in China will never go away, but there is no use in continually comparing as that will ineviteabley only lead to disappointment. But they will drive me to eat my way through this entire country trying!! :o)

                              1. re: SaltyRaisins
                                Beach Chick Aug 11, 2009 03:00 PM

                                "but I find Dumpling Inn filthy. Revolting. Add hilariously bad service to that"

                                Are you serious?
                                I've been going to Dumpling Inn for years and have NEVER experienced inept service or ever have seen the place filthy like what you described...Revolting?
                                This is serious slander but I'm considering the source where it came from!

                                1. re: Beach Chick
                                  m
                                  mliew Aug 12, 2009 09:58 AM

                                  Filthy is a relative term. Dumpling Inn might be filthy by american restaurant standards but is pretty much par for the course as far as small asian eateries. Have you ever gone through the kitchen to use the bathroom in the back? It's not exactly the cleanest kitchen I've ever seen. But considering how small the place is I'm not really surprised. As long as I don't get sick I'll keep going back.

                              2. amyzan Jul 25, 2009 12:36 PM

                                Great website, San Francisco based: http://eatingchinese.org/

                                There have also been several discussions of Chinese cookbooks on the homecooking board. The Fuschia Dunlop books are faves...

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: amyzan
                                  r
                                  rocknro Jul 25, 2009 04:41 PM

                                  tnx, will be sure to check both out right now!

                                  1. re: rocknro
                                    r
                                    royaljester Dec 1, 2010 07:58 PM

                                    I think you'll be pleased. There are too many good Chinese places in SGV, though the list constantly changes as places get better/worse.

                                2. Captain Jack Jul 25, 2009 09:36 AM

                                  Since you state that you "would drive hours", the place for you is the San Gabriel Vally. Kirk has covered quite of few spots there on his blog.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Captain Jack
                                    r
                                    rocknro Jul 25, 2009 04:41 PM

                                    Yep, got it, and on my way to LA in a few weeks, so I;ll be eating my way through the SGV for sure! :o)

                                  2. k
                                    KirkK Jul 24, 2009 06:08 PM

                                    Since China is such a large country, I'd like to know what specifically you're looking for, there are several choices with regards to Sichuan. My personal favorite is Ba Ren, but for folks who aren't used to "fei ur bu ni" the "rich without greasy" type of food it may freak folks out. They don't do well on twice cooked pork, but have many excellent Sichuan dishes. The Chef used to cook at Traffic Hotel in Chongqinq which I believe was a 4-star hotel. He was also the original chef at ChungKing Restaurant in Monterey Park. Please be aware that this s ChongQing style Sichuan, not Zigong or Chengdu style which is known for their snacks and I've been told is slowly evolving into a more nuevo style.

                                    I also enjoy some of the dishes at Dede's which tends toward lower oil and less spicy. Strangely, the dish I enjoy most at Dede's is an Uyghur style dish - Cumin Lamb.

                                    China Chef 2 in Mira Mesa is pretty good as well. I enjoy the tea smoked duck, and a few of the other dishes. Duck at most Hunan and Sichuan places tend to be more boney, many folks who are used to Peking Duck and Roast Duck have a difficult time. But China Chef does well.

                                    Si Chuan Garden Spicy City (Gui Chao Yuan), is Sichuan/Yunnan, and serves up food similar to it's sister restaurant in Monterey Park, Yun Gui Garden. There are a few Yunnan Dishes, and it's mostly Sichuan. I've really not been too impressed.

                                    For Shanghainese:
                                    Shanghai City serves up the usual suspects, like pork pump, "smoked fish", XLB, etc. They also make my favorite Niu Rou Mian, but get it during the weekends when they have Chinese Breakfast. They go through more during that period, and I've found it to b better.
                                    Chin's Miramar location is strange (in the Holiday Inn off of Miramar), but they have Chinese Breakfast on the weekends as well, with some interesting dishes such as Zhenjiang Crystal Pork (sort of like Spam with Aspic), my MIL claims the Suzhou Smoked Fish is the best she's had since they left PRC. Please be aware that it is only the Miramar location that serves this, though they are opening another location on Convoy.

                                    Little Sheep is a chain from China, and they do Hot Pot (Huo Guo), it hs been kinda hit and miss the last few times I visited. Dede's and Ba Ren also do hot pot, and Ba Ren also has a "Yie Shi" (Night Market) menu which is skewers in hot pot.

                                    Folks love Dumpling Inn. I'm not such a big fan, though like Naomi mentions they make a nice Jelly Fish Salad. If you order the Jiaozi, get the shrimp and chive. Folks love the Xiao Long Bao, but I'm not a fan, they just don't do it right.
                                    There's also Mr Dumpling which opened in the back street from 99 Ranch Market. I thought it was pretty bad.

                                    As for Hong Kong style Seafood, China Max is probably still the place, though it's been kinda off on my last few visits.
                                    You can read a ton about Jasmine and Emerald in other posts.
                                    I also enjoy a few dishes at Golden City like the Kwai Fei Chicken.

                                    Naomi - We recently went to Gen Lai Sen, and I found it to be better than my previous visit about 7-8 years ago. I'm going to wait for another visit to post.

                                    There is no Tianjin, Hunan, etc in san Diego at the moment, but there is some good stuff out there.

                                    Sorry about the kinda scatter-brained post, just kinda throwing things out off the top of my head.

                                    As a side note, we often drive up to the SGV for our fix as well.

                                    -----
                                    Ba Ren Szechuan
                                    4957 Diane Ave, San Diego, CA

                                    China Chef II
                                    9225 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92126

                                    Mongolian Hot Pot
                                    4718 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117

                                    Dede's Teajuice City
                                    4647 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

                                    Spicy City
                                    4690 Convoy St, San Diego, CA

                                    Chin's Szechwan Restaurant
                                    9355 Kearny Mesa Rd, San Diego, CA 92126

                                    Shanghai City Restaurant
                                    3860 Convoy St # 105, San Diego, CA

                                    Dumpling Inn
                                    4619 Convoy St Ste F, San Diego, CA 92111

                                    mr dumpling
                                    san diego

                                    Golden City
                                    san diego

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: KirkK
                                      h
                                      htzkid Aug 3, 2009 02:49 PM

                                      Thanks for posting your list. We went to spicy city, loved it. Szechuan cuisine was something I have avoided because of the abundance of chiles. I was proved wrong again. The food was delicately flavored and outrageously delicious. I would recommend this restaraunt to everyone.

                                      1. re: KirkK
                                        v
                                        Victor Lieberman Dec 18, 2010 08:47 AM

                                        Dede's has changed hands and while the spicy boiled fish is still very good, everything else has gone down hill. No beer, the menu offerings are similar but not the same and it just feels like a different restaurant. I've been to Ba Ren twice and find it not very flavorful. I will check your site and see if there is a specific dish that will turn me around on the place as we need to replace Dede's which replaced Spicy City when they changed ownership. We enjoy Jasmine for Dim Sum because it's fun but Emerald is probably better. If you are in the mood for Crab or Lobster, Emerald is the way to go. China Max prices went through the roof for a while and it is definitely not as good as it used to be.

                                        -----
                                        Spicy City
                                        4690 Convoy St, San Diego, CA

                                        China Max Restaurant
                                        4698 Convoy St Ste 101, San Diego, CA 92111

                                      2. n
                                        naomiwise Jul 24, 2009 05:10 PM

                                        Ba Ren has genuine Szichuan-style cooking. Dumpling Inn is controversial but has what many people consider genuine northern style dumplings (and super jellyfish salad, yum! Took me right "home" to Hong Kong). Pearl in Rancho Bernardo does a fine job with some of the Hong Kong style "gold cup" classics and decent dim sum. China Max used to be so HongKong-y I couldn't believe I was eating in SD (both the cheap peasant dishes and the gold cup stuff) , but friends I used to eat there with have been there recently and said that it may have changed ownership, the food had lost all its zippiness. (Were they right? Can any Hounder comment on that? Kirk, have you been there lately?) Oh yeah - Hakka! There is one: Gen Lai Sen, near City College. Don't even try their cheap greasy kid-stuff regular stir-fry dishes, stick strictly to the "chef specialty" Hakka dishes, like the stuffed sizzle plate tofu. Just a few dishes, not nearly the menu breadth of the Hakka place in San Francisco (Tong Kiang) but at least it's a little something special for SD.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: naomiwise
                                          r
                                          rocknro Jul 24, 2009 06:03 PM

                                          Super, Naomi!

                                          I will for sure try Ba Ren this weekend, then run through your list within the next week or so. I didn't get the chance to visit Hong Kong, so I'm very curious to see what Pearl and China Max have to offer.

                                          Looking forward to it!

                                          1. re: naomiwise
                                            Josh Jul 24, 2009 11:51 PM

                                            I agree with your friends about China Max. I was wondering what happened the last time I ate there, because all the things that used to be so good about the place had changed. The crabcakes were really bad. I found myself apologizing for them to my dining companion, explaining how they used to be so good. I definitely won't be back any time soon.

                                          2. amyzan Jul 24, 2009 05:02 PM

                                            You don't say where in China you were, but my bet would be you can find some similar cuisines on the Convoy corridor. Kirk recounts many visits to Convoy area resties (and other areas, too) on his blog. If you scroll down to categories, you can pull up just Chinese, Chinese bbq, even posts on just one dish, niu rou mein, of which he is a fan. HTH! http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/ His recs are reliable, and you can turn up other hounds' thoughts by searching Convoy on this board, too.

                                            Is there anything in particular you're looking for?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: amyzan
                                              r
                                              rocknro Jul 24, 2009 05:59 PM

                                              Tnx Amyzan!

                                              I actually visited many different cities, so please bear with this list:

                                              Beijing - Zhengzhou - Kaifeng - Luoyang - Xian - Kunming - Dali - LiJiang - Zhongdian - Chengdu - Mt. Emei - Chongqing - Yichang/Wuhan (Yangtze cruise was great, but also where I understood that Americanized_Chinese food will no longer do!) - Guilin - Yanshuo - Hangzhou - Suzhou - Shanghai. , so I enjoyed many different cuisines of China and found that I loved them all!

                                              Things I like the most were: what was to become my breakfast staple - a soup for which i can't find the name. It had rice noodles, some sort of pickled green veggies, a spicy ground meat (pork?), scallions. I love dim sum, had some great stuff at Da Fa Cheng and great soup dumplings in Shanghai, but, so far, cant find anything similar here. Tried Dumpling Inn, it was ok, I would def go back, but it just wasn't "it," ya know?

                                              Even something as simple as the eggs with tomato would be wonderful to come by (it was actually one of my favorite things to eat out there). There was this really flavorful spicy "bean curd jelly," a deceptively simple garlic noodle (tried to replicate it, a huge disaster :o), I could just go on and on...

                                              Seriously, the only food I did not enjoy was the stuff on the cruise, but I understand that they had to appeal to so many different people so food was, well, certainly not very Chinese in flavor.

                                              Im actually trying to figure out how to write up a blog about my food experience there since it was so awesome, and yes, I did take many pictures (def got some weird stares!). As soon as I do, I'll be sure to send the link.

                                              I will try Kirk's blog right now!

                                              Again, thanks!! :o)

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