Hours: Lunch, dinner: seven days
Chinese restaurant featuring the warming cuisine of Dongbei, aka Manchuria.
They cook with a lot of lamb in Dongbei, the three northeasternmost Chinese regions once collectively known as Manchuria. They also cook with vinegar and eat loads of pickled vegetables, especially cabbage (suan cai). And unlike a lot of other regional Chinese cuisines, the Dongbei diet doesn't feature rice. In its place, farmers grow wheat and the people eat bread, which takes the form of stretchy shredded pancakes that you tear apart with your fingers and dredge through rich, soy-based sauces and oily braising juices. Among its variants at Homestyle Taste, this flatbread is sliced into wide noodles and stir-fried with cabbage, carrots, and your choice of meat or tofu, a dish described—unhelpfully for non-Chinese speakers—as "choice of pork, beef, chicken, & vegetable fried cake." That's the challenge of eating here. If you don’t speak Mandarin, your best MO is to rubberneck the tables around you and take note of what everyone else is having, like shared plates of long, thick, springy, translucent mung bean noodles served cold atop a radiant arrangement of wood ear mushroom, bits of pork, julienned carrots, and cucumber. Among the distinctly Manchurian dishes is the stewed bird referred to as "stupid chicken," served in a star-anise-scented broth with wiggly mushrooms and slippery tendrils of mung bean vermicelli, topped with absorbent slices of yellow corn cake. And one of the region’s best-known offerings, di san xian, is a simple stir-fry of green peppers, eggplant, and hard-fried potatoes in an incredibly satisfying and rich brown sauce. You could spend weeks exploring Homestyle Taste’s menu, which lists hundreds of dishes, but before resorting to General Tso’s chicken, check out the dense pork and cabbage dumplings, tofu tossed with snappy green preserved duck eggs, spicy Korean-style noodle soup, or whole grilled squid impaled on skewers. Read the full review >>
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