Cooking Papa, the Mountain View location


#1

Saturday’s lunch at Cooking papa in their Mountain View location. Had the:

Stir fry beef noodle- we have had this dish in this location and others a few times and it ranged from average to great. Today at Mountain View its great. Full of wok hay and flavor. I am guessing they have enough turnover that some times quality fluctuates. for now its a highlight.

steamed rice w meat wrapped in lotus leaves (zongzi)- credible rendition of zongzi with the standard ingredients like pork, lotus seeds, mung beans, preserved meat, mushroom and preserved egg yolk. its a little on the dry side, and its unclear why since this is steamed. perhaps the leaves weren’t completely tight?

moon cake- we got a box to go. 6 of them about 2" x 2" each. $19.8 no preservative according to the staff. needs to be refrigerated. the egg yolk is a little dry, but its a welcome option with mid autumn festival approaching. eating one won’t give an entire day’s calorie with this version, and won’t clog all the arteries up.

honey bbq pork- good for the price ($7.75). It uses a pretty lean cut of meat, and tastes well. it will be even better if it uses a slightly fatty cut of meat.

Baked bbq pork puff- ok- better versions around the area are at Saigon and Lei Garden

Portugese baked seafood rice- its got curry, egg, and small shrimp. I think its an ok version of this dish, though D&A Oakland (years ago when i ate there) was more skilful with baked rice dish.

cheung fun beef- forgettable


(Brian Bulkowski) #2

Nice. I’ve been wanting to go but uncertain about what to order — a lot of the old CH discussion was negative. Looking forward to trying and contributing.

In this neck of the woods, I’ve been eating my chinese at:

  • Mandrin Roots, which is pleasant atmosphere but way too fusion and often muted tastes ( americanized ),
  • Su Hong PA, which is shanghai and one isn’t always in the mood for shanghai

#3

yeah, consistency is an issue for cooking papa, I have been there many times, eat in or to go, the pre-made stuff are pretty consistent, like steamed rice w meat wrapped in lotus leaves (zongzi). In their dimsum menu, I also like the “shrimp wrapped in tufo skin rolls” in fried/baked section and hong kong style egg puff in dessert.

How is Su Hong PA lately? I liked the old one before they moved to el camino, have been there only once since they moved, and found out their small dish menu was gone.


(Brian Bulkowski) #4

Su Hong PA is “fine”, that is, I don’t know a shanghai place within 15 miles its better . There’s a place in Sunnyvale that’s probably better, especially the SJB, but Sunnyvale is a far crawl for me.


#5

yeah, if you like shanghai style Xiao Long Bao, you can try Panda Dumpling in San Carlos, I don’t know if this works better for you. This is a mama and papa shop, their Xiao Long Bao is outstanding, very fresh and delicious, you can taste the texture of the meat, very juicy as well.
But their main entries are bad, their second best dish is the dumpling with shrimp, their dimsum menu is okay, is the northeast style where the owners come from, with noodle and Chinese style pancake.


(Brian Bulkowski) #6

Yeah, Panda Dumpling.

I went to Panda Dumpling a few times when they were in RWC, loved the XLB as you state, but the lack of a broader menu limited the appeal.

ShPa and iDumpling and Steam in PA ( underrated in my book ) end up being our “usual suspects” for dumplings ( iDumpling being more northern an not as great for XLB ) due to range +


#7

I have not tried Steam in PA, swing by a couple of times, thought the selections are small, price is on the high side,
especially I find out they are from Tai Pan (portion is small, quality is decent though).
I have read your review on this restaurant before, I will give a try sometime. Thanks!


(Brian Bulkowski) #8

Steam: price is on the high side, yes! It is palo alto. But for palo alto, the price is low.
For whatever that means.
My favorite dish is the szechuan chicken, and the dumplings are OK - just the same as Taipan.


#9

Thanks for the recommendation, I will give it a try!


#10

I have eaten at Cooking Papa many times. But I thought I’d post about a recent meal. The wonton noodle soup has always been pretty decent by local standard. A recent bowl was good and seemed better compared to the past.

The three components to evaluate a bowl- the broth, the noodle, and the wonton, got a thumbs up in 2.5 out of 3 components. Broth tasted deeply flavored with dried tile fish, pork bones and shrimp eggs.
Noodle had just the right bounce. The wonton was also pretty nice, with small number of points deducted for having slightly mushy pork, though the shrimp was bouncy. Garnish was yellow chives. Came with a couple leafy greens.

Noodle went into the bowl first, then wonton on top, so I flipped them around.

The evaluation criteria is lax-er than if its a bowl in Hong Kong, but I thought its a good local bowl.

Portion was 中蓉- the local standard meal-sized bowl with I think 5 or 6 wontons.

Looks like Cooking Papa may tempt me into restarting my wonton noodle crawl in the Bay Area.


#11

The chef from Chef Z said the head chef for all 3 Cooking Papa branches moved to Vegas almost a year ago, and now either wants to or is cooking Sichuan food.


#12

Huh, wonder what restaurant in Las Vegas?

I don’t recall the Chinese food to be all that great in LV (and the prices of some Asian places on the Strip are killer…).


#13

A Cantonese ride share driver told me the best Cantonese in Vegas is KJ. I’d start inquiring there :slight_smile: @Smokeydoke

I went to CP MV last Saturday. Apparently they suffered slight structural damage from a kitchen fire and was closed when I went. Noticenon door said they would reopen on 9/5, but it was already 9/8 that day.


#14

Huh… I was just in Vegas but never really thought of branching out to Chinese there. Maybe I’ll give that a shot if I’m with a group of people.


#15

2 posts were split to a new topic: Vegas recs?


#16

I didn’t say how the best Cantonese in Vegas compare to those here though :slight_smile: And I don’t know, since I never ate Cantonese in Vegas.