Was craving Chinese food and didn't want to chance crazy lines at Mission Chinese Food.
Went to Buddakan around 5:30PM, couldn't get a seat in the main dining area so I sat in the bar area.
Oxtail dumplings - very flavorful, beefy, with a little kick from the jalapeno, the broth was very salty but fragrant with cilantro. Wrappers are thin and decently made.
Pork belly with lotus buns - Lusciously soft with a sweet sticky char, on spicy raw Chinese cabbage. The buns come to you in a steamer and are better than the ones that are so discussed at Momofuku NB. The dish is a little bit overly sweet for my taste.
crispy calamari salad - this has been better in previous visits, the calamari was not very crisp, and the greens a little bit salty.
boneless spare ribs - also better in previous visits, the ribs were oversauced, didn't have much char but the ribs were tender and tasted good.
dungeness sticky rice - this was a disappointment because this is usually my favorite dish. The crab was overcooked and the rice was too strongly flavored of soy sauce, much too salty. The rice was well cooked though with a good texture and chew.
chili chicken - crispy chicken skin with chili sauce, my first time trying this dish, the sauce is much too sweet and no heat to speak of. Fragrant with cilantro and scallion, would have been much better with less sugar. The chicken was prepared decently, not dry, but a bit overcooked. There's no subtlety to this dish other than the chili.
Was too stuffed for dessert.
Service was competent, although it took a while to get water and my initial order taken. Once the order was taken, food was fast to arrive, as always. Water was also refilled quite regularly.
Restaurant was fairly quiet and empty, music wasn't thumping but it did get very busy as my meal progressed.
Total bill $120 before tip. Was a bit disappointed with consistency, food seemed a little less polished than previous meals and things were a bit too sweet and things were a bit too salty like they were trying to "amp up" the flavor volume.