Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crazy Toppings With Crazy Pricing At Mulberry Street Pizzeria

New York or Chicago?

I had seen all those Travel Channel shows debating the merits of each style. Up until now, I hadn't given much of any thought since I never had real authentic New York or Chicago pizza. So when my friends suggested that we check out Mulberry Street Pizzeria, I jumped on this chance to try some supposedly very good New York style thin crust pizzas.

(Lemon Iced Tea)
Like most of my meals, I had a cup of lemon iced tea to go with my food. Mulberry Street's tea was just your standard teabag type brew. There really wasn't anything special about it. It was at least flavorful and not watery and that's pretty much all I can ask for. There really wasn't any expectation there.

(Half Eggplant Parmesan & White Spinach Pizza)
We had a pretty large group so we were able to share three pizzas with six different toppings, which gave me a great idea of what all the different toppings tasted like. I don't know too much about how authentic is this thin crust. A few of my friends started talking about whether they preferred thin crust or deep dish. A few of them had been to New York or lived in Chicago and know them first hand. I think I had come to the conclusion that sometimes I would like a soggy deep dish, while other times I would prefer a crunchy thin crust.

Mulberry Street's pizzas although are thin crust, are not very crunchy. It's closer to the chewy side. I don't have too much problems with it, I just would rather it be a little crunchier. The edges of the pizza were crunchy while the center was doughy. In fact I almost would prefer the flatbreads at Westside Tavern, which in essence is a thin crust pizza with a different name. Those were crunchy all the way through.

The toppings however I did enjoy tremendously. The eggplant tomato side of the pizza was excellent. I almost forgot that I was eating eggplant at all. They were very thinly sliced which was complimentary to the thin crust. The spinach white was good too, but personally I'm not a huge cheese person. The flavors were very strong inside my mouth making the pizza very juicy.

(Half Pepperoni, Half Hawaiian Pizza)
The pepperoni was pretty much a pepperoni pizza. I don't think I would ever pay over twenty dollars for this pepperoni pizza. It may be on a thin crust, but it's not so amazing that I would pay this much more for it when I would be happy enough with a cheaper version. Perhaps I just don't care for pepperoni to begin with.

I love pineapples so I wanted to order the Hawaiian style. I suppose this is definitely not authentic to New York pizza since pineapple isn't a readily available ingredient up in the northeast. Just like the pepperoni, it wasn't something I would pay that much money for again. It was good, just not impressive for the cost.

(Half Lasagna, Half Tomato & Artichoke Pizza)
We were still hungry after two pizzas so we ordered a third one to finish off lunch. The lasagna pizza really did taste like lasagna spread over the pizza dough. It kind of played tricks on my taste buds, confusing me with whether I was really eating a pizza or lasagna. I thought this was actually a very pleasant and fun experience on a subconscious level. I really did in fact enough this one, even though it wasn't the tastiest of the six toppings I had. It was the most interesting mentally speaking. I would go with the eggplant as the best flavored of the six.

The tomato and artichoke topping didn't do it for me. The artichoke was just too clunky for this pizza. It was hard to eat the artichoke with the pizza. When that big chunk of vegetable entered my mouth, it overwhelmed everything else. I felt like I was just chewing on a giant piece of artichoke rather than eating an artichoke pizza like the way the eggplant one was made. It was just too much.

(Hello Kitty Exhaust Pipe)
I think the only pizza I would ever pay this much money for back at Mulberry would be their eggplant. I did find some of their more interestingly toppings titillating to my tongue. It was a good novel experience, but not good enough to warrant the cost of a repeat experience for the most part. The crust of the pizza wasn't crispy enough for me. To top it off, it was a thirty-five minute drive for me. I would much rather go elsewhere for flatbread or thin crust type pizzas.

Lunch this day did end with me seeing a Hello Kitty exhaust pipe in the car parked in front of my car. An interesting sight after an interesting hour of pizza and friends.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I'm Not Blind at Green Island

One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to restaurants is how they could serve the same thing at the same table at the same time but the two are not the same. I usually get pretty annoyed when I see another table get the same thing but their portion is bigger or better looking etc. But when it's for the same table, that's when it's beyond apprehension.

I was out with a new friend a couple weeks ago to the new Green Island at the new Atlantic Plaza in Monterey Park. I had enjoyed Green Island in Temple City before and was expecting to enjoy this new one. I did hear some mixed reviews on the quality of this place. One of the complaint before was that it was too salty. Nevertheless I wanted to give this a shot, mainly also because my new friend lived close to the new plaza.

(Lemon Iced Tea Sans Sugar - First Order)
(Lemon Iced Tea Sans Sugar - Second Order)
(Lemon Iced Tea With  Sugar)
As per usual, I ordered my cup of lemon iced tea sans sugar while my friend ordered it with sugar. When our drinks arrived, my cup of lemon iced tea looked significantly lighter in color than my friend's cup. I was already weary about the taste of it. When I took a sip of my tea, it was tasteless. It was basically brown water with lemon in it. There was absolutely no taste of tea in the drink. Generally I would probably just ignore it and drink what they gave me and be done with it. But since my friend's cup of tea was much darker, I didn't even need to taste his cup and knew I just got the bad brew at the end of a cycle. So I asked the waiter if they could get me another cup that actually had tea flavor, pointing to the fact that my friend's drink was significantly darker than mine.

So they took my drink back and brought me a new one also without sugar. This second cup was a lot darker than the first one. In fact it was even darker than my friend's cup and was very strong in tea flavor, to my liking. It was night and day. That second cup was definitely one of those early brews from a new batch. All of this led me to think how could a restaurant be so inconsistent with one of their most standard drink? Lemon iced tea is a stable to cafes, whether Cantonese or Taiwanese. Yet they can be so inconsistent that they can serve the same table three cups of tea in one sitting that had significant difference in color. A good cup of tea is a must for all cafes in this day and age, and to be this careless about it just showed how badly the drink bar is managed quite often at these restaurants.

(Pork and Cabbage in a Stone Pot)
Besides the drink fiasco, we ordered two dishes. I had tried quite a bit of the food at the original location in Temple City. The flavors here seems to be quite consistent with the flavors at the other restaurant. A bit sweet and a bit oily. At least they were consistent with the actual food, a good sign that they really made sure the new chefs learned how to cook it the way they originally had it.

The Pork and Cabbage in a Stone Pot was rich in flavor. The marinate sauce penetrated into the pork itself as well as the cabbage. The heated stone pot kept the dish warm for a good while. Of course towards the end, the sauce became a bit heavy since they tend to sink to the bottom soaking whatever's left. There really wasn't all that much that could have been done about it. It was a bit on the oily and greasy side similar to what's found at the original restaurant. I didn't think it was actually necessary for it to be as oily as they made it in order to keep it attractive and tasty. I needed to start remembering to request restaurants to make my food with less oil, less sugar and no msg.

(Eel Fried Rice - Serving)
(Eel Fried Rice)
The Eel Fried Rice was served in their metal sizzling plates held inside a wooden frame. Green Island was the first restaurant around the San Gabriel Valley that I had seen using this, though a few other restaurants had recently picked it up too. The Eel Fried Rice was tossed in front of us by the waiter. It really made no difference to me whether it was tossed on the spot or in the kitchen. It wasn't like Benihana where there was a lot of showmanship. There weren't a whole lot of flair and wasn't all that interesting to watch. It also didn't make the food taste any better as far as I can tell. I suppose it did change the beat of the dinning experience. Instead of the food being just tossed onto my table like at so many Chinese restaurants, the waiter was forced to actually spend a few seconds there serving. The actual fried rice was actually quite good and wasn't oily like the other dish. I could use a tad bit more eel in the dish. Still, it did make for a good balance between this dish and the oily pork and cabbage.

Despite the drink fiasco, the food was good and enjoyable. The environment was bright and clean, which I hope they can maintain after a year or two. The wait staff was actually very friendly compared to many other Asian restaurants around the area. Though like most other Asian restaurants where we don't have a specific waiter assigned to our table, they actually had a few waiters and waitresses roaming around the restaurant just to check up on the customers. I had been so used to seeing the wait staff standing in the corner watching TV, or hiding in the back to avoid going outside to work, this was actually refreshing. It was actually not difficult to find a waiter to ask for something. I almost missed having to eye down a waiter, then hunt them down to get a refill or something. This was definitely one of the better wait staff around, even better than the staff they had over at the original. Kudos to the manager of this restaurant.

So yes, I would definitely come back to Green Island simply because the waiters and waitresses were nice. But I am not blind and I do expect them to be way more consistent with their drinks in the future, at the very least in looks. However as long as there is a good staff to help me remedy the problems, I don't mind being served a drink that I had to ask for a replacement. I rather this than the other way around.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Can't Smell the Tofu at Young Dong Tofu

Somewhere along my life, I started to fall in love with tofu. All those childhood myths where we grow up to find things previously disgusting to us enjoyable are true. I love my tofu, whether firm or silky. Needless to say Korean tofu houses are on my frequently visited list of places to eat. Young Dong Tofu happened to be very close to my house, and it also happened to be pretty good.

On this day, I was originally going to just stay home and eat. But my vegetarian friend Ko was in the mood for some Korean tofu. Apparently everyone else she normally goes to eat tofu with is sick of eating tofu except me. So I happily obliged. Like most Korean tofu houses in the area, the menu's on the disposable paper placemats. We just split a combination order of BBQ Beef with Mushroom tofu.

(Kimchi Octopus)
A huge part of my love for Korean tofu houses are their side dishes. No other cuisines would just throw a bunch of small little places of goodies on your table for no additional charge. Young Dong gave us their kimchi octopus, kimchi cucumbers, kimchi cabbage, sprouts, seaweed and green bean pancakes for free. I generally avoid the spicy stuff except the octopus tentacles. Something about those mushy and chewy strands of tentacles overcomes my fear of spiciness. Truth be told, the kimchi actually isn't overly spicy at Young Dong. A few small bites were actually manageable for me. Young dong mixes some vegetable strands along with the octopus.

(Kimchi Cucumbers)
Since I knew I was going to blog about this outing, I decided to at least take a sample of the other kimchi dishes on the table. The spiciness was again very tolerable if I only ate one or two. The cucumber slices were crunchy and fresh. The spiciness does actually help bring out the sweetness of the cucumber. I can see why people would love this. I just can't eat too much of it. I am very glad to have given this a try, cause I would actually take a slice or two from now on whenever I revisit Young Dong.

(Kimchi Cabbage)
I have never been a fan of kimchi cabbage. Unlike the cucumber, the spiciness doesn't bring out anything from within the cabbage. It's just plain spicy with a little crunch. It's just really not my thing. I suppose if all I had was this plate of kimchi cabbage, I would still be able to eat it. But every time I see something this red, it brings back memories of my younger days where my friends brought me to these super spicy restaurants where eating was just painful.

(Green Bean Pancakes)
I have always been a fan of the green bean pancakes. Generally speaking they are just slightly crispier than a western breakfast pancake. But today's green bean pancake was way more crunchier than usual which I found way more appealing. The crunchiness almost functioned like it was some dough goo that has been battered on the outside and deep fried. I don't think the pancake was deep fried, only pan fried with enough oil to make it a little crispier and crunchier than usual.

I should come as no surprise that I love the seaweed and the sprouts. After all these are the two dishes that actually are not spicy. I do however much prefer the sprouts than the seaweed. Most Korean tofu houses' seaweeds that I had sampled tend to be too sweet. Young Dong's aren't overtly sweet, but it's there. Since the last couple of years I started becoming weary of all things sweet, I found it more and more difficult to eat a ton of seaweed. So I much rather chomp down on the sprouts.

I could just eat this dish of sprouts all day long. I can't recall one time where I didn't have to ask for more. It's fresh and crunchy yet still cooked in a broth thoroughly. It's light in flavor, chilled and easy to eat in bulk. If my meal just ended here, I would be one hundred percent satisfied. Fine, I'm over-exaggerating. The point is I just love the way Young Dong cooked their sprouts. I just need to figure out what they actually did so I can do it at home.

(Stone Bowl Rice)
Young Dong like most Korean tofu houses around Los Angeles serve their rice in traditional stone bowls. The only problem with stone bowls in general that I have often experienced is peeling off the burnt rice sticking to the bowl. I enjoy a little bit of that every time, but it's always unpredictable how easy or difficult it would be to get the rice off. If only there was an iPhone app that would scan the bowl and tell me where the weak point of the rice sticking to the bowl is. Then life would be easy. Where is that easy button when I really need it.

(Mushroom Tofu - Mild Spiciness)
Finally the main course came. We've been having a great time with great conversation so far over the condiments. There is a raw egg we were given to crack and put right into the boiling bowl of tofu. This kept the egg from being overcooked if it was placed earlier. The egg whites blend very well with the tofu and I usually forget that there was an egg inside until I reached the egg yolk which I have never been a fan of. I am also a fan of mushrooms, but I have never found the mushrooms inside the mushroom tofu satisfying. This is mostly because there just isn't enough to really share. I don't mean this one time, I just mean in general. I need a lot of mushrooms to satisfy my taste buds. A few strands of golden needle mushrooms just won't cut it. That aside, the mild spiciness for the silky tofu was just perfect for me.

(BBQ Beef)
"Beef, it's what for dinner." Or lunch in this case. Every time I see a sizzling plate, I will always go back to my childhood memory of eating a sizzling plate steak in a specific restaurant in Hong Kong. I was infatuated. Though that novelty has long worn off, somewhere deep inside the child is still there ooo-ing and ahh-ing over the sound of steaming hot food.

I generally would choose the BBQ beef over the beef ribs. Most of this was just laziness, while the rest was not wanting to deal with the ligaments that's more difficult to chew and digest. The BBQ beef today was like it always had been, a little sweet, flavorful and juicy. There were plenty of onions to flavor the meat and the rest augmented the dish in presentation and taste. The beef itself was tender and easy to eat.  It's definitely one of my favorite dishes of sliced beef from any restaurant.

I do love tofu, but I can't resist having the rest of the offerings at Young Dong. It's not because the tofu there isn't good. It's because everything else there is also good. I couldn't stop eating the sprouts and the other condiments. The aroma of the BBQ beef doesn't help the case for the tofu. No matter how amazingly silky their tofu is, it's not going to win my nose over given what else is on the table. The only time I had ever smelled tofu enough to be lured to it is when it's firm, well-marinated and grilled. Even then it's the sauce that I'm smelling, not the tofu. There's just nothing I can do about it when I can't smell the tofu because everything else smells so much stronger. Our sense of smell is far stronger and addictive than our sense of sight. It's also why in the back of my mind, I never thought of tofu houses as tofu houses, but Korean BBQ joints that also serves tofu.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Guppy House with Guppy Showmanship

It isn't everyday where I venture down to Irvine to have a meal. It is even rarely that I would have Asian food so far south. But this last Wednesday afternoon, I happened to have a little bit of free time, so I hoped onto my car with a friend and went down to the OC to meet up with a third friend and had a little mini OC adventure.

We started off the afternoon actually exploring the various parts of the OC. We ventured off to the Korean Friendship Bell down in San Pedro. Following we stopped by Long Beach and spent a little time on the boardwalk. We then stopped by Signal Hill to see the lights of greater Los Angeles. Finally we ended up in Irvine in the plaza where Guppy House was at. There were plenty of other restaurants to choose from ranging from a Thai restaurant, to a Korean tofu house, to a Chinese seafood palace, and even the famous 85c bakery.

(Pineapple Fried Rice)

Immediately after walking into the room, I knew exactly what I wanted. Nearly every other table had an order of their pineapple fried rice. The fried rice is fried with ham, pineapple, peas, corn and carrots with pork sung and raisins on top. The whole thing is served on half of a pineapple shell. The presentation alone sells this dish easily. It just looks like it's a lot of work and very elaborately made. But the truth is it's just decently fried rice served in a pineapple shell. The fried rice was flavorful and the sweetness of the pineapple did come through. The raisins after mixing it into the rice gave it a little bit of a surprising contrast in the rice. But the pork sung just didn't go well with the rest of it. The pork sung never really blended into the rice. Whenever it entered my mouth, it was distinct and distracting from the rest of the blend. This had a lot to do with the fact that pork sung is just too dry to blend in a dry plate of fried rice. Perhaps it's just because I'm more used to eating pork sung with congee.

(Kimchi Dumplings)
The kimchi dumplings came after the fried rice. I suppose the fried rice is so popular that they have it all ready and made and just a matter of plating. So it took nearly no time at all to get to our table. The dumplings came with two different sauces, a sweetened soy sauce and a vinger sauce. The word kimchi in the name may be a little misleading since these are not fermented at all. It really is just normal Taiwanese cabbage dumplings. Kimchi by definition is fermented vegetables and the vegetables inside are not fermented at all. I did actually liked the texture of the dumplings. The skin was nice and soft at the correct thickness. It held the dumpling in place when it's picked up by a chopstick while after entering mouth, it didn't feel like I was eating flour. The balance between the cabbage and the pork was also very good. I always hate dumpling houses that jam pack their dumpling with meat. It too hard and too heavy to eat. These were very well done. The two flavors of dipping sauces was a bonus, giving my taste buds a little bit of contrast between each dumpling.

(Sweet And Sour Popcorn Chicken)
Finally the sweet and sour popcorn chicken arrived at our table after most of the other dishes were devoured. I suppose one should never expect a Chinese restaurant to actually serve an appetizer in the beginning of a course. It's servered whenever it's ready to be served is really the trademark of every Chinese restaurant. I have yet to dine at a Chinese restaurant where appetizers and entree were served in order except during a formal banquet. As my mother always say, it all ends up blended up in our stomach anyways.

The sweet and sour popcorn chicken were pretty standard for a Taiwanese joint. The chicken and the batter didn't particularly stand out to me. I've had plenty of better popcorn chicken in my life all around the San Gabriel Valley. The sauce however did make this one stand out just a tad bit. It was a bit more sweet than sour, which I have come to expect when it comes to Taiwanese dishes. They tend to be on the sugary side. I have to watch out for diabetes since it runs in my family so I tend think negatively on sugary foods. But once in a while, I do indulge myself on a deep fried sweet and sour indulgence lik this sweet and sour popcorn chicken.

Guppy House is pretty clean for the most part, after they wiped the dirty chair that I pointed out. The foods were mediocre but we were hungry. The presentation of the food was clean and crisp and I can't complain. I just wonder where do they get all those half pineapple shells. Somewhere in the back of my mind I wonder if they recycle them. I certainly hope not. I have really no reason to suspect something like that, but I've seen some horrific things in my past what some Chinese restaurants would do to save money. Nonetheless I doubt I will ever revisit Guppy House only because it's way too far from where I live, and not good enough for me to ever warrant that drive. I really have no real reason to visit that plaza, maybe except for 85c bakery. But if I did live closer, I may come back once in a while for a little bit of that pineapple fried rice without the pork sung.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Baccali Cafe & Rotisserie: An Appetizing Appetizer-Entree.

I know I go to a lot of Cantonese cafes. I eat, sleep and breath in the aura of this part of my own culture. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that I have yet another post on another cafe. Though Baccali is for the most part a Cantonese cafe, it does emphasize itself on its rotisserie as well as bring in some non-standard Cantonese Cafe dishes to its tables.

My friend and I got a little hungry and decided to grab a bite to eat. We have already went to a bunch of the other cafes around town and Baccali was one of the few remaining that we have yet dined together at. So we decided it may be time to just drop by. The interior of the restaurant is open with a high ceiling. It was more like a little lodge cabin than a restaurant in its decor, which is rare for a cafe. It was mainly because a long time ago it was some sort of American restaurant before the Asian takeover of the valley.

(Half Rotisserie Chicken - Cajun Style)
Baccali specializes in making rotisserie chicken, and is probably one of the best cafes in the San Gabriel Valley to get rotisserie chicken. Personally it's not something I would eat all the time, but once in a while, if a friend orders it, I would nibble off a few bites off their plate. That's exactly what I did on this occasion.

The chicken was tender and flavorful, but hardly cajun. It's completely expected since cafes tend to mainstream their foods for the taste buds of the general Chinese eater. Not too strong in spices, but flavorful with a nice aroma to the food. Having had authentic cajun food from New Orleans and its surrounding areas, this Cajun style chicken barely had anything that remotely tasted cajun. It was only slightly more spiced up than their normal rotisserie chicken. Nevertheless the chicken was still well made and made for a good meal at a very good price.

(Curry Deep Fried Chicken Wings)
It almost seems like a completely opposite concept of serving something simultaneously deep fried and with a curry sauce. But I definitely enjoyed this combination very much. Something about having that nice juicy and slightly spicy curry sauce smothered over a crunchy deep fried chicken wing that just hits the spot. Of course this is hardly a healthy meal being wings have a ton of skin and fat. The curry wasn't oily which was a plus, but it was still quite heavy and stomach warming.

The steamed vegetables were lightly flavored. The zucchini slices were fresh very crunchy to my liking. Different cafes serve different vegetables as their side dishes and this is one of my preferred vegetables. It actually feels like I'm eating vegetables rather than just two slices of broccoli with some peas. Sometimes I'm stuck with baby corn which I find a bit too hard to be served steamed. But this dish was great. It did feel more like an appetizer rather than an actual meal, but since I wasn't overly hungry, combined with the rice, it was enough to fill me up.

(Lemon Iced Tea)
It wouldn't be a trip to a Cantonese cafe without my glass of iced lemon tea. There really isn't all that much special about this one here at Baccali. I think the most important thing is that it actually has tea flavor and tasted more than just water. It wasn't especially rich or bland. It was your ordinary glass of iced lemon tea that was cold and refreshing.

Baccali isn't my favorite cafe of all time, but it makes for a nice break away from my usual joints on occasion. They have some slightly unique dishes like beef stroganov that isn't commonly found in this area. I had that before and it was decent. I don't know enough about Russian foods to know the authenticity of the dish, but my guess is that it's not. The environment does make for a nicer date joint or just an outing with friends. Parking isn't a complete nightmare, though it is still small. I wouldn't make a trip out to Alhambra just for their chicken if I lived more than thirty minutes away. But to swing by once in a while if you happened to be nearby will turn up a few nice dishes of food on my table.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Relax, Kick Back, It's China Bistro

I was snowboarding with my friend George up at Mountain High this Monday morning. Since we both had rather flexible schedules, we would always go early morning on a weekday to avoid the crowd but still get back in time in the afternoon to get some work done the rest of the day. Usually we would grab some food at a fastfood joint and be done with lunch. But that day we decided to grab a bite at a cafe instead; we ended up at China Bistro.

This place over ten years ago used to be a MacDonald's that moved down the street. Since then it had changed hands a couple of times and now it had become China Bistro, a Cantonese cafe that served only the Chinese foods but with the western influenced drinks. This day I actually opted out of my usual lemon iced tea and just had water, I had no idea what actually came over me.

(Dry Beef Chow Fun)
George ordered the dry beef chow fun, a pretty standard dish in case if you missed my many other posts on this dish. China bistro's dry beef chow fun is pretty well made. The chow fun didn't stick together and were evenly seasoned. There were ample amount of beef along with onions, sprouts and chives. It was certainly better then the ones I had over at U2 recently too, which drove me nuts if you read the other post. But no matter how good dry beef chow fun is made, I don't care for it. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that my parents love this dish and eats it all the time. But I personally preferred the wet style than the dry when it comes to chow fun. In fact I much preferred it in soup found more commonly in Chiu Chow style cuisine, though I much preferred the thin version than the thick ones.

(Beef Stew over Rice)
For me I ordered a beef stew over rice instead. I generally would order the beef stew over vermicelli wraps in a clay pot here at China bistro, which is one of my favorite things to eat. That day I really just felt like having a bit of rice instead. The dish was not very well plated, with sauce dripped on the side of the plate. The beef felt like it was just thrown on top with absolutely no consideration at all on presentation. I never really expected much in presentation at a cafe, but this felt as crude as street vendor food in Hong Kong. It was a bit crude even for my taste.

However the taste did make up for it a little and I cleaned my plate. Perhaps I was just hungry from the morning workout. The beef was very juicy and well marinated. It was spot on in terms of the thickness of the sauce. Served over rice, it was less heavy than its vermicelli wrap clay pot counterpart. The little bit of vegetables, as little as I was given, was at least a bit of fiber I desperately needed.

(Chicken With Vegetables)
George ordered an additional dish, not because he was that hungry from snowboarding, but mostly to take home as dinner. For less then $7 a dish, it's certainly a cheap and tasty dinner that could easily be heated up at home either with a microwave or reheating it on the stovetop. He wanted a little bit of vegetables in the second dish and ordered the Chicken with Vegetables. We actually didn't realize the vegetable was broccoli, which I actually liked. It just wasn't what I was thinking when I hear vegetables. But when the plate arrived, I remembered that I actually ordered it before and it was broccoli at that time. The problem was broccoli during the last time I had it was out of season and was really bitter. This batch was normal and edible.

The chicken was perfectly made in this dish. It was cooked just right giving it a nice spongy quality that was juicy and chewy; not one piece was stringy. The sauce wasn't overpowering which allowed the meat and the vegetables to speak through. The little bits of mushrooms balanced off the texture giving that added sponginess to the dish.

I do frequent China Bistro every so often, and generally order their lemon iced tea. In fact I was just there today again with another friend with a tall class of tea. The food is generally consistent in its quality, which is harder to find around here sometimes then one would imagine. Though the food has never been spectacular or well presented, it has always been reliable and decent. I wouldn't expect more than some alright food with a nice environment to sit in for an hour or two. It is a great way to just kick back on a small budget after a morning of intense exercise and long drive.

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