Sunday, January 09, 2005

LA, CA - Tung Lai Shun

An Islamic Restaurant featuring Chinese cuisine, Tung Lai Shun has always commanded long lines, even when it first opened several years ago. It is located in an award winning shopping complex designed by the talented Simon Lee, who still maintains an office there. However, some things stay the same and some things change. The lines are still long, but something about the food is different. We had the following (and Lamb with Pickled Cabbage Soup, which is not pictured):

Spicy Ox Tendon Slices

Lamb with Green Onions

Small Pea Sprout with Garlic Sauce

Chinese Squash with Bamboo Fungus

And of course, their must-have Sesame Bread with Green Onion.

Sure, the food was tasty; we devoured it. But 'tasty' and 'magnificent' are worlds apart and all the dishes (save the lamb) just didn't conjure up the taste we remembered the restaurant having in years past. Perhaps they changed chefs, or maybe we just went on the wrong night.

As usual, the service was questionable. They have a tendency to forget to bring out your complete order, and when you ask the about missing dishes, the wait staff would invariably say that the dish was on its way out. So you wait. And then when you finally got your final dish, the check would be plopped in front of you minutes later and they'd try to unsubtly usher you out. Slow on the food, fast on the check; not the best combination. In the past, the food was worth the service quirks, but this time, I don't know if/when we'll be back again.


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