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Chinatown in Las Vegas

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Restaurants & Bars 2

Chinatown in Las Vegas

anli | Aug 18, 2005 09:25 PM

We like to check out the Asian restaurants on Spring Mountain Rd for some respite from the buffets on the strip. One night we parked in the main mall which houses Sam Wo's and wandered into the lower mall building where there is a bookstore, jewelry shop, etc. There is a quasi fast food Taiwanese/Northern style eatery in the center of the mall, don't remember the name but it was half filled with Chinese families and had a number of specials taped to the wall. We weren't really hungry, but wanted something to nibble on. Ordered a scallion pancake, a chicken casserole dish called San Bei Ji (3 cups chicken), sauteed spinach and white rice. The scallion pancake was thin, crispy and full of flavor, one of the better renditions of this old favorite. The chicken chunks were well marinated, with a full flavored sauce and some basil and cilantro as garnish. Sometimes this dish is marred by crushed bones which are a result of poor chopping on the part of the butcher, but these pieces, both dark and white meat, were cleanly cut. The spinach was fresh, not gritty and stir fried with minced garlic. Except for some spotty service (took a long time to get the check), it was very good value for $20 for 4, before tip. They look to be a family run outfit, as I saw an elderly lady helping clear off tables, etc.

Another day we tried the Shanghainese restaurant on the 2nd floor. At 12:15 we were the first table on Monday (the dim sum place downstairs was slammed, so that's what led us here). It was just 2 of us, but we had to try the pan fried buns (shengjian bao), xiaolungbao (little steamed dumplings) and the jiang ya (Shanghainese soysauce duck). My husband also wanted a rice plate, so we got the assorted meats/veg. over rice (hui fan). The duck was a leg, slightly warmed, with extra gelatin sauce on top. Good flavor, not too salty so you could eat it without rice. The xlb came in a bamboo steamer on top of cabbage leaves, but a few of them broke when picked up, so couldn't get the full effect. The ones that stayed intact were sufficiently juicy. There were 6 to a steamer. The surprise was that the shengjian bao were also 6 to an order. These well browned buns were perfectly fluffy on top and best of all, the filling actually took up more than 75% of the cavity. They were some of the best I have ever had. Lastly, the rice plate was a heaping one, with chicken, shrimp and squid stir fried with napa cabbage over white rice. We couldn't finish it all, so wrapped it up to nosh on later. So if anyone has been wondering how authentic some of these places are, these 2 are pretty decent. By the time we left there were several tables occupied, all with folks who spoke Shanghainese or were obviously mainland Chinese businessmen.

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