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San Francisco Bay Area

disappointing return to China Village

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Restaurants & Bars

disappointing return to China Village

amyd | Feb 21, 2003 06:16 PM

After the Chowhound dinner at China Village, I couldn't wait to go back. Now that I've done it, I'm not sure how quickly I'll return. Getting the right menu wasn't difficult (we're not Asian and had to ask for it) but getting food of the quality we had as a group appears harder (we were a party of only two people this time). We ordered the cucumber in garlic sauce, lamb dish with cumin (can't recall what it's called on the menu, but that isn't always relevant, anyway, as I will explain), the sesame flatbread, and the bitter melon and long bean (the waitress approved of the latter selection in particular, it seemed). The cucumber was as tasty as I remembered, although a bit oversauced. The lamb, however, had a dull appearance to it, and it sat in quite a bit of grease. It tasted fine, but it didn't look appealing. It was also a little fattier than I recalled, but quite tender. But ordering long beans seems to produce a variety of results at China Village--like someone else who posted here, we received something other than what we ordered. What we got looked like a frittata with long beans. It was tasty enough, but not what we expected and not what we would have chosen over anything else. Perhaps this was the long bean and egg pancake that the earlier poster had expected! The place was busy and perhaps the kitchen was overwhelmed, but the food and experience were less than ideal. I was also surprised to see that the owner/manager's personality seemed to have changed completely--he was quite impressive and personable when we were there as a large group, but this time, he silently swooped in to pick up our check and just as silently and quickly dropped it back on the table when we noted that we hadn't put any money down yet. I'm sorry to provide this report, as I loved the place the first time. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

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