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Oct 1, 2000 11:48 PM

Tucson Chinese

  • d

It's small, it's difficult to find, but it's awesome. Cafe Pacific has some of the best Chinese/Asian food I've had anywhere. Don't order off the medium sized menu. Ask the owner (P.C., I think he goes by) what's good. You won't be disappointed. You can find at the northwest corner of Prince and Campbell (there's a Safeway and Burger King in the same strip mall).

For those of you with an interest in Tucson cuisine, please patronize this place and tell your friends! It does not seem to be doing well, and I would hate to see it close like so many other underappreciated eatery's in Tucson.

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  1. s
    Shelly Lewellen

    You are so right about Cafe Pacific!! I have always had exquisite food there. I wonder why there aren't Tucsonans beating down their door.

    Have you eaten at Dao's Tai Pan's on Wilmot??

    10 Replies
    1. re: Shelly Lewellen
      Dominic McGrath

      No, I haven't eaten at Dao's. Thanks for the tip!

      I can't claim to have found Cafe Pacific on my own (I probably would've never ventured past the dark glass beer-joint-looking facade, but I'm glad it was recommended by a trusted (on food matters) friend).

      Another place I'm trying to talk up is Lerua's on Broadway (mexican). Been there?

      1. re: Dominic McGrath

        I love Lerua's. They are said to have the best green corn tamales in town. I would have to agree. I am thinking of trying Poco & Mom's on Pima--will let you know.
        Another good Chinese place is Lotus Garden on Speedway. They have the definitive lo mein in Tucson.
        Have you tried Tork's Cafe on Grant? It's by Photographic Works. It has really great inexpensive middle eastern cuisine. Doesn't look like much. But hey, that's a chow hounds favorite find!

        1. re: Shelly
          Dominic McGrath

          YEs, Tork's is really good. It took me and my girlfriend a couple of times to find it (it moved a little while ago). She's been there several times, me just once.

          Can you give more details on Dao's Tai Pan's? I can't find it in the phonebook.


          1. re: Dominic McGrath

            Dao's Tai Pan's
            446 N. Wilmot Rd

            They have a great Vietnamese fondu sort of deal. I guess its called "hot pot" Lots of fresh spring rolls and interesting stuff. Not great BBQ pork, i hear though.

            1. re: Shelly

              No longer living in Arizona, I'm not in touch with the Tucson dining scene. But on a couple of visits I did:
              1009 N Grande, 2902 E. 22 recommend the shrimp culichi


              BK HOTDOGS 295-0105
              5118 S. 12th .I-10 to I-19 to Irvington to 12th south to Nebraska.
              Recommend the Sonoran Hot Dog, and the tacos de cabeza.

              As to Leura's green corn tamales, I'm prejudiced; having enjoyed for 40 years the best green corn tamales from Casa de Feliz (a private social club). Leura's are a very distant second.

              Please keep writing on this board, and if you plan an NY visit drop a line on the NY board as to what you want to eat. I and others will help as best we can--as long as it isn't Mexican.


              1. re: Pete Feliz

                Thanks for the reply. BK's is a fav of mine, but I always forget how to get there. GREAT prices.

                Are you in the city? i'm coming for PC expo next year. Have you eaten at any of Danny Meyers' places? I'd always wondered if they are as good as people say they are. Speaking of expensive places, is Nobu?

                1. re: Shelly

                  I live in a culinary wasteland called Riverdale, which is otherwise a great Bronx community.

                  Yes, Nobu is way too expensive. Checkout for NY Eats (if it still exists). Levin and Steingarten had a little guide on how to eat cheap at Nobu.

                  Until last year, I had never been to any one of Danny Myers restaurants. Hey, I got a wife, child and Riverdale rent to pay. But on a splurge (anniversary), I took the wife to lunch @ Union Sq Cafe. Much cheaper. Gotta tell you, their calamari should be required study @ all cooking schools. Didn't have their signature dish on the lunch menu (the Japanese Tuna). The much touted home made potato chips were a let-down. The signature dessert, that banana thing was also a no-go. But the rest (over a year ago and I lost my "notes") was astounding. Service was professional yet friendly. Since my wife isn't a wine drinker, I had to settle for a glass--and it was good. I also could have brought my child there, no prob. Casual dress. Side note, Imam ate at the table next to me, and boy was she loud. I do want to go again, and it ain't cheap. But I think, if you're a food pro, with little time to spend in NYC, you may want to hit another expensive NYC "in" place instead. Myers restaurants are reputedly understated, known less for the unusual or the personality of the chef or Myer himself. Imagine Janos with no the ego.

                  But personally, after deplaning I'd go to the Kabob Cafe on Steinway and hope Ali's in a great mood and it isn't too crowded. There is no other NY restaurant experience that good.


        2. re: Dominic McGrath

          I've only eaten at Lerua's once, but it was downright magical. JMHO

          1. re: Dominic McGrath

            Having seen this recommendation I tried Dao's. Wasn't impressed. Fly-filled diner style restaurant with food that ranged from mediocre to bad. We tried the ginger chicken in a pot and it tasted like a Lean Cuisine entre: over-cooked and oversauced. The noodle dishes weren't as good as at Thai places near the U of A.
            Still seeking really great Chinese in Tucson!

          2. re: Shelly Lewellen

            I'm fortunate to live near Dao's Tai Pan. I've gotten stuck on the #1 appetizer (fresh spring roll) and the #22 noodle bowl, which I'm starting to crave as I type. I just love the food. I only wish they'd tart up the inside a little bit, get rid of those ugly faded posters and do something about the lighting, which makes me feel like a duck in a shooting gallery after dark- solid windows on two sides and merciless overhead fluorescent lighting. Food's marvelous, though. I need a fix at least once a week.

          3. I agree that Cafe Pacific has the best Chinese in town (which is not saying a lot.)
            But my family stopped going there because the service is so surly. Also it's not cheap, particularly given the atmosphere. We asked for extra white rice once and were charged $3 for a cup the size of a teacup. And on other visits, we were chastised for asking for asking for something special, like no red peppers in one dish. Another time the owner stood at our table and complained about the prices of things while we were trying to eat! My family refuses to go there anymore.
            Since the food is almost as good at P.F. Chang's and the place is so much nicer (and the food is no more expensive) we just go there.
            We heard after that several people have had bad experiences with the service. It's sad, because if they gave good, friendly service, I think they would do much better.