I'm forming the opinion that the bar is raising for many "average" Asian restaurants, perhaps due to the popularity of the few very authentic ones.
I just received a flyer from Oriental Star (next to Tucson Cantina in the Alexandria Commons SS, 3221 Duke Street).
Entirely beside the blandishment of a 1:30-6 dine-in drink happy hour (heck, I'll be there) the menu looks promising.
Yes, there's the standard assortment (General Tso slept here, like George Washington slept everywhere else in Alexandria). And no, I can fairly guarantee that there are no Sichuan peppercorns in anything. But tofu makes an encouraging few appearances, Sha Cha beef/pork/chicken, several eggplant dishes, 17 Thai dishes, a couple of unusual preparations and their stated willingness to prepare any entree vegetarian (tofu? something else?) might push this one a bit above the average.
I haven't been there yet, but it's on my "to do" list.
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