I grew up in Cambridge MA and used to work at a chinese place called Hsing Hsing that was really really good for a while. I thought I knew my way around a menu, too, because most of the chinese places in cambridge/somerville/alston had at least a similar set of standard dishes.
Now I find myself in Arizona, and the standard menu is completely different. Places here feature mayonnaise shrimp, pepper salt squid, and seafood with ginger and green onion as staples. These are things I had never seen or heard of before (I have since seen then in san francisco places too). Do the differences have to do with regions in china and imigration patterns? Can anybody explain?