Slid on into chef zhao’s in Mt View. Long referenced by at least one CH’er, I have been reading/cooking/eating through some of Fuschia Dunlop’s books, which caused me to want to revisit some Sichuan places.
Twice cooked pork. BANGIN. Often the dish is too fatty ( for american tastes ), but this is fatty but sliced so thin. Heavily spiced. A little greasy but soooo good.
Sichuan Wontons. Best I’ve had in a while. Pungent spices, funny orange-citrus taste, more filling than some.
Lamb with black bean. Slightly less spiced but still the basic heavy sichuan favorite flavors. Interesting use of celery, which Ms Dunlop talks about frequently. Yum.
Sichuan potatoes. As a simple dish, this is closer to the dishes in every grain of rice, and I could see the brilliant simplicity.
Most of the chinese tables had hot pot or boiled beef or similar.
I’m a little worried about the place. They only take cash now (“broken” machine), they are out of to-go menus. OTOH, they have the second restaurant, but the owner was making wontons at the strange counter so he’s still there. And - the place has super easy parking because it’s not on castro.
Is that the place? I only heard it was in San Mateo, and someone here called Chef Zhao a “chain”.
Arguably the place was half-full on the late side of a thursday, probably everything’s fine. The place has always been a little dim inside with great food. Just a simple reminder - they’re still doing excellent food there - stick to the sichuan.
There’s been a Chef Zhao Bistro in San Mateo for a few years.
It surprises me that Pop Pot is from the same people? Maybe I had a non-representative meal there (sesame pancake bland inside and not very sesame flavored on the outside; pao cai “Sichuan Kim chi” was cut into coarse chunks and pickling didn’t penetrate much； beef ribs were excellent, cut like Korean ribs, not greasy, and meat/soy flavored rather than mirin/sugar dominated as in Korean ribs). They’ve got a special on the back of the menu that looks like a Chinese paella with whole lobster, etc. for $400 or $500.
Bottom three rows of the Jeopardy board, from left to right:
Little chili beef shreds; quickly fried or boiled lotus slices in sauce; lamb dry pot; sizzling rice beef; big plate chicken (dapanji, a Xinjiang dish invented by a chef of Sichuan origin); edamame roast duck
Taro roast duck; pig trotters dry pot; Quick fried (bao) kidneys (this may be the same as what another restaurant lists as Pig’s Kidney Flowers w Spicy Sauce [Numbing hot Kidney flowers ]); numbing spice sausage, $8.95 per proportion; Braised Duck with Shredded Konjak https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konjac
Clay pot fat lamb; sautéed celtuse (I think Celtuse was an ingredient in Pop Pot’s Sichuan kimchi); Country style crossing River soft tofu beef ; Erjintiao (a type of Sichuan chili) pork shreds; one pot end (???); Sichuan steamed pork (non-Sichuan versions of steamed pork, such as the Hakka version are a large fatty piece of pork, sliced, and made with some type of preserved greens