thanks to the chowhounders who doled out an excellent recent report on qingdao garden in cambridge, who turned me on to the excellent cold sweet + sour cucumber dish (so tasty--just the right balance of cool and sweet. i tried re-creating this one on my own, but my skill seems to be lacking!) and the spicy, chili pepper packed zhonqing fried hot chicken. both really good, and they made a good combo as well with the cukes acting as foil for my burning mouth after i munched down one of the pepper pods.
now, where's my shangri-la report so i can swipe even more ideas? ;)