Went with friends to Ocean Palace Saturday night only to find it under renovation--major renovation--till August. We ended up at Diamond on Eighth (or "Eight" not sure), which is huge and gleaming inside (not out), though we were slightly wary because there was absolutely not one other soul eating there. We needn't have hesitated, and if we'd arrived half an hour later, we wouldn't have been able to get a table.
With 4 young kids and 2 of the 4 adults discerning but not adventurous eaters, we didn't even begin to explore the further reaches of the menu, but everything we ate was first rate. Two particular favorites were Dungeness crab with ginger and minced pork and a sauteed eggplant (it had a slightly more descriptive name on the menu, but I can't remember--it was the only "eggplant-only" dish on the vegetable list) that was delicately and intriguingly seasoned and really memorable.
Seafood is definitely a specialty: We saw lots of whole fish going by and lots of lobster parts. There is an entire section of the menu for abalone and another one for jellyfish.
And maybe this item is commonly available, but I for one had never before been offered Sauteed Silk Worm Pupa. With chives, I think. Gotta love it.
Diamond on Eight(h). 8th Ave. and 61st St.
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