Chinese American lunches (vicinity of Redwood City)

The documentary the Search for General Tso, now on Netflix, got me in the mood for a deep-fried lunch. I head to two Chinese American places on Laurel St. in San Carlos.

Hot Wok Bistro Too’s version of the dish used dark meat so the meat was juicy, and the light coating absorbed the tangy sauce. It’s served with broccoli. The restaurant has a small menu of greatest hits, rather than the same formula for each type of meat, and friendly service.

Amazing Wok’s version wasn’t as good— the chicken breast had a batter too puffy to absorb the cloying sauce. Big portion though. The menu has standards except for Beijing Pork, which is made with shredded pork and “plum sauce.” This sounds similar to a dish served at Beijing style restaurants, which is made with Sweet Bean Sauce (tianmianjiang).

What are your picks for Chinese American dishes or lunch specials between San Carlos and Menlo Park? I’m not a fan of Yat Sing or Chef Kwan’s. I’m dismissive of Fey and Crouching Tiger for taming their Sichuan dishes, but how well do they prepare General’s Tso’s, Mongolian beef, sesame chicken, mu shu, broccoli beef, etc?

Hope you enjoyed watching the General Tso movie as much as I enjoyed being in it. Strangely our Bay Area offices are having their Chinese New Year’s dinner at Crouching Tiger. Personally I found that stunning.

Aside: I’m happy to see that many Chinese places are now serving brown rice, often without an upcharge.

The movie was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed seeing how they interwove your story! It’s a well made documentary— General Tso’s Chicken is the hook, but the broader social context is what you walk away with, and want to learn more about.

I’ve had Crouching Tiger’s “mandrin menu”, because we recently had our office food supplier have “sichuan delights” from there, including broccoli beef, walnut prawn, and something else that’s non-sichuan.

I thought the were OK but not great — but which, I kind of wished they were more sweet, gloopy, over the top. I find them nominal, good ingredients, clean taste, acceptable to those who like that sort of thing.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo