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Asian (but not Korean) in Bergen County

Elisa515 Apr 19, 2014 08:24 AM

We're trying to figure out where to meet friends for dinner. They live in the Summit area, and we're driving down from Westchester County, NY. The consensus seems to be any type of Asian food is fine as long as there are non-Korean options.

We'd like to be able to have a fairly leisurely visit. A place that's near a good coffee/ice cream/dessert spot would also work.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

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    scott10 RE: Elisa515 Apr 19, 2014 09:12 AM

    Probably your best option is to focus on the village of Ridgewood in Bergen County. There, you can start with a very good Vietnamese dinner at Mekong Grill (from the same family that runs The Vietnam in Spring Valley). Just remember to bring your own since Mekong Grill is BYOB. Then for dessert, you have some fine options: wonderful pastry at Sook, great ice cream at Van Dyk's Homemade, or a number of other coffee/dessert options in this picturesque village.

    1. Curlz RE: Elisa515 Apr 19, 2014 09:58 AM

      Chengdu 23 in the West Belt Mall in Wayne where 23, 80, and 46 intersect is where you want to go! Then across the street to Pallazone 1960 for authentic Italian pastries and gelato and coffee! C23 is BYO

      5 Replies
      1. re: Curlz
        scott10 RE: Curlz Apr 19, 2014 10:17 AM

        This is another great combo for eating. It is a little further southwest from Bergen County but right where I-80 and Routes 23 and 46 converge. Chengdu 23 is among the best Chinese/Sichuan restaurants in New Jersey.

        1. re: scott10
          Elisa515 RE: scott10 Apr 19, 2014 10:29 AM

          Regardless of whether we go to either of these places tonight, I'll make sure to hit them up eventually. I work in Hasbrouck Heights sometimes and really appreciate knowing about these two restaurants. Thanks!

          1. re: Elisa515
            Curlz RE: Elisa515 Apr 19, 2014 10:33 AM

            Closer to HH but not for tonight, try Lan Sheng in Wallington!

            1. re: Curlz
              scott10 RE: Curlz Apr 19, 2014 11:56 AM

              How does Lan Sheng compare in quality and consistency to Chengdu 23?

              1. re: scott10
                Curlz RE: scott10 Apr 19, 2014 12:15 PM

                I can't honestly say, since I've been there only once so far (need to change that!).

                My go-tos are Chengdu 1 in Cedar Grove and Chengdu 23 in Wayne. I always describe C1 as more "rustic" and C23 as more "refined" (in decor, service, and presentation) but I think they're both stellar.

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        Elisa515 RE: Elisa515 Apr 19, 2014 08:22 PM

        Thanks for the help! We ended up at Chengdu 23 and couldn't have been happier. Good thing we had a reservation--the place was packed!

        Our waitress was very helpful, especially once she realized we wanted the Szechuan food; we had a few options we had trouble choosing among (including not wanting to have redundant tastes).

        And Scott, I want to check out the spots in Ridgewood that you mentioned, too.

        Thanks also for the BYOB warning. Not that we needed to drink, but it was an extra nice touch to have the apple-ginger hard cider we bought on our way to the place.

        Our friends loved the place, too--and they kept asking "how did you find out about this?"

        Can't wait to go back. Definitely worth a trip.

        Maybe next time we'll have room for gelato and coffee afterwards.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Elisa515
          Curlz RE: Elisa515 Apr 20, 2014 07:05 PM

          SO glad you liked it! And happier still that you made a res - I forgot to mention they take them and it's always that packed on the weekends! What did you have? I love their volcano beef (or chicken) and ants climbing a tree...

          1. re: Curlz
            Elisa515 RE: Curlz Apr 20, 2014 07:27 PM

            Clearly we need to go back. I love ants climbing on a tree, and volcano beef/chicken sounds interesting.

            We had the Chengdu cold noodles and Szechuan spicy dumplings to start. Then we had the tea smoked duck, the cumin lamb, twice-cooked pork with garlic leeks, and Chinese broccoli. We were originally going to have sauteed snow pea shoots for our vegetable (at the waitress's suggestion), but they were all out of it by the time she put in our order.

            After eating all that, we had a chow fun dish because one person in the group wanted a noodle dish that wasn't spicy. It was fine.

            There wasn't a scrap of anything left. I even finished the brown rice in order to have more of the chili sauce that was on the table as a condiment.

            I'm already figuring out a good excuse to go back there for lunch.

            (P.S. My husband, who is watching "The Sopranos" for the first time, was excited to recognize the shopping center.)

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