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Restaurants & Bars 3

Triangle: Thai Palace/China One/Annie's

David A,. | Jan 13, 200309:34 AM

Following Chowhound advice, my wife and I tried Thai Palace (across from Glenn Lennox) this weekend and found that it more than measured up to the advance publicity. We had a first-rate meal from appetizer to dessert (taro custard, which was surprisingly subtle and worthwhile), and we were thoroughly pleased with both decor and service. Thai Palace is easily the best Asian restaurant we've tried since moving to NC this past summer, and probably the best mid-priced restaurant we've tried.

On the other side of the coin, we recently tried dim sum at China One, which was edible but essentially mediocre (mushy, cold), and in no way helped by sullen and impatient service. I find that Chinese food in America is consistently worse than other Asian cuisines for the simple reason that Chinese proprietors tend to take a very condescending attitude toward their clientelle. My wife, who is Chinese, has often heard waiters and chefs make rude comments, and in Minneapolis we knew a restaurant that employed two chefs: one for Chinese customers, one for Western. We eventually learned to specify that we wanted our food cooked by the Chinese-customer chef, who was far more skilled. I find this state of affairs a real shame.

Finally, we visited Annie's Old-Fashioned Trattoria and Pizza Parlor, which just opened in Southern Village off 15-501 in Chapel Hill. This time we didn't even get to the food. We showed up for dinner at 5 and asked to be seated at a four-person table near the window. Despite the fact that the restaurant was completely empty, the maitre d' rolled his eyes and began to huff and puff about seats going to waste, and finally lead us to a four-person table in the extreme rear near the bathrooms. It wasn't so much that our request was declined as the gratuitously and flagrantly rude manner in which it was declined (maybe this was an attempt at European authenticity). Without saying a word, we turned around and walked out. Has anyone else been?

David A.

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